Sturm Graz 0 Arsenal 3
It was certainly a good work out in our new away kit (any thoughts)and they all looked pretty fit, but I get the impression that Arshavin doesn’t need these matches as he only wants to be involved in the real thing. JET is a monster, a sort of young Emile Heskey, and showed nimble feet on more than one occasion.
Nordveidt did look composed as did Lansbury when he came on and scored a suberb goal which was calmly taken.
Nasri looked very sharp and was undoubtedly the man of the match in the first half. The prolonged summer rest showed to good effect.
Jack is class, a little feisty, though he undoubtedly has a football brain and as I’ve said before he is ready now and IMO should be a useful member to the squad. He is quality and showed it when he drew the right back so that Lansbury could score.
Chamakh will need time and its far too early to judge him but if the truth be known not many of these will feature in the first team.
Gibbs looks assured, but as I said it was basically a work out. What I had really hoped to see was an improvement in Theo, but it wasn’t there, maybe I am judging him too soon, more about him later on.
It was interesting to see Traore play the first half as left-back, come off at half time and then re-appear for Wilshere on the wing. I wonder what the bosses thinking is with regard to Traore.
I think for Wenger this was an exercise to assess which players should be in the squad this season, together with the fitness levels of both Gibbs and Djourou, and those that may go out on loan. The majority of the first team haven’t even played yet, so it was an exercise to slowly see who might be good enough to compliment the side.
Almunia was absent yet again, a prolonged tummy upset or perhaps not. I have a gut feeling that we may have a new number 1 and 2 this season. Fabianski played the first half and was replaced by Szczesny for the second but neither keeper were tested so we’re still in the dark there.
The focal point for me was to watch Theo. He has had a lengthy break, should be fresh as a daisy yet is there any improvement being shown? Unfortunately, in my view, not as yet and midway through the second half he was attacking via the right wing and for some reason decided to play the ball back from the halfway line to Szczesny.
I know we are split about the progress or lack of progress Theo has made in the 4.5 years he has been with us, and the expectations as a 16 year old were immense. He was unfortunate to suffer various injuries including the inherent shoulder problems that came to light about 2 years ago but these have now been addressed. At 21 one has to decide if he is a naturally gifted footballer who will enhance the team, or perhaps a slow learner or dare I say it nothing more than a squad player. Some will argue he needs more time, but I am not so sure.
On the other hand I have to eat my own words about Rosicky. He looked like a player reborn, and he was mighty impressive in his midfield role, spraying accurate passes all over the field, and on more than one occasion I thought it was Cesc. Is he another new signing 😉
A lot to ponder and I am sure you will all have your own view to the points I have raised.
Written by kelsey