Pre season is almost over and we saw performances from us that showed some beautifully free flowing football to a more gritty performance when the personnel changed on day two. Ozil looked in great nick as well as Ramsey and the Ox. Things are slowly beginning to click but we do have to keep in mind that this is still pre season and it’s important to do it when it counts. Some people feel as though this won’t be the case until the West Ham game but for me it begins against Chelsea. They won’t by any means take it lightly nor will they put out a sub par team so we need to be at the races to avoid the risk of a hiding. It’s important for the mindset we take into our first league game. Win and the confidence will continue to flow, lose and the doubts may just creep back in. Especially in the know that we will be without one of our best players for the first few games at least.
The main event from yesterday was Jeff Reine-Adelaïde. The kid looked a great prospect with great feet and an eye for a pass with Theo’s assist. Obviously the whole of Twitter got carried away with his performance and began to herald him as ‘the next…’ whoever. A long way to go for the young man but it’s been a while since we’ve produced a genuine dribbler of the ball at Arsenal. The one and only man who does that for us is Alexis Sanchez and before him you’d have to say it was Thierry Henry. We’ve had no one in between so it’s nice to know we have someone earmarked for that role in the future. It makes all the difference to have that type of player in your side. The unpredictability of them is what causes chaos for the opposition and helps to create a successful football side. All of the big sides around the world have them. City have Sterling, Chelsea have Hazard, United have Di Maria (I guess now replaced with Depay), Barcelona have two in Messi and Neymar, Real Madrid have Bale and Ronaldo, Bayern have Robben and Ribery. Thankfully we also have one in Alexis Sanchez and my oh my did he make a difference last season. Let’s hope Jeff can become this type of player for us in a few years time.
On the transfer side of things we have been on the Benzema merry-go-round. From being heavily linked to having his agent and Benitez refute the links to having them further solidified by the Kike Marin Twitter account. Lord knows what will happen with this but it looks like a possibility, all be it a small one, but a possibility nonetheless. The links with Lewandowski seem more far fetched but the fact that the links are continued as well as Wenger keeping as neutral as he can about it has led to some “here we go again Arsene” press. Dan Storey of Football365 has come out with the “same old Arsene” line, but what we need to remember is that whether something is going on or not Arsene is highly unlikely to come out and publicly state what his transfer plans are. It’s the way he’s always done business so I’m not sure what’s so surprising about it. Keep the faith guys, he’ll come through in the end.
Now to the small matter of Wembley. This is where, as I mentioned above, our season should begin. Beating Chelsea by hook or by crook is going to be key in getting our season off to the flyer we need. Winning the league last year was something that felt a possibility but we looked back to our false start as a fundamental cause as to why we fell short. I know we went into the season by winning the community shield last year but City put out an under strength team (as did we to a degree) and I can’t see Chelsea doing the same. It will be intense but it’s an opportunity once again for Wenger to end the Mourinho hoodoo. Win and people will say it’s preseason, lose and people will say there’s no way we’ll challenge. Chelsea are the media darlings so a loss will firmly focus on it being preseason, more so than if we were to lose in any case. So the pressure will be on us to perform.
Lastly I saw a quite hilarious interview from
Mourinho this week gone addressing other teams trying to buy the title. Trolling of the highest order and surely nothing more? What’s funny is that he looked entirely genuine in his approach to the interview. The mans combined spending at all of his clubs is over double the amount Wenger has spent in the same period. It’s just comedy of the highest order. Please let’s knock him off his ‘little horse’.
Hopefully the next time you read the ATAFC blog it will be in celebration rather than mourning. Have a great week people.
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