Written by Jamie
Match Report: Cologne 1-2 Arsenal
So now that we have the far-east hand shaking junket out of the way, Arsenal fans could be justified in feeling that this is where the serious stuff begins. After all, Arsène Wenger said so himself.
No more games against Kuala Lumpur elevens or tepid match ups with the mighty Hangzhou Greentowns. Proper football is upon us. An English team against a German team. Football as we know it.
Of course while Arsenal began the Pre- Season proper in Germany’s North Rhine-Westphalia region yesterday, El Capitan, Bendtner and co were still plotting moves away from London. So it is impossible to know exactly how we will line up next season but we got a pretty good idea.
One thing is for sure, Arsenal don’t seem likely to change formation. So it seems that 4-2-3-1 or as others like to call it 4-3-3 is here to stay. Frankly, I think that the only difference between the two is how effective the wingers are.
If the wingers are slow and lack movement it is a 4-2-3-1. If they are fast and quick in to space like the first half yesterday then it is a genuine mobile 4-3-3. This is when Arsenal play best.
All of which was evident when Wilshere chipped a perfectly weighted pass to Gervinho.
The new boy crept in on the defenders blind side to lift the ball over the on rushing keeper.
This seemed to dampen the crowd who had been in good voice pre-match.
A short while later Wilshere was again the architect. Pinging a pass wide to Walcott this time, who squared it cutely for Gervinho to sweep home a second from eight yards out.
The first goal to me was a Wiltord finish, the second a Pires, right place, right time finish. It was very impressive how he found space frequently in the first few minutes.
Based on very little, A you tube video, 29 minutes in a Arsenal shirt and half a dozen games when I didn’t really know who he was in the French League a couple of years back, I would say he looks to me like a Pires/Wiltord hybrid.
Arsenal had wobbled towards half time before Jenkinson capped a brilliant Arsenal performance by beating Szczesny with a lob Dennis Bergkamp would have been proud of.
Arsenal looked vulnerable with the normal high defensive line. The midfielders don’t get enough pressure on the ball in pre season. Frankly, I’m fine with that, I would rather they didn’t risk injuries.
I don’t worry about us defending in open play. Our record is very good on that front. At the risk of stating the obvious, we need a big centre back or an organiser at set pieces.
Arshavin had four attempts in the second half but again didn’t really hit the heights. His pace seems to have gone and he needs to play in the middle somewhere. Where he can use his close control, vision and shooting. He is too isolated on the wing. He never hides though.
Sitting at home, I might be getting worried about Fabregas leaving but all I know is this, if I were sitting on the banks of the Rhine with some of the Gooners that made the trip, I wouldn’t be worrying about any of that. I would be ordering another round of the local Kölsch and trying to work the name Gervinho in to a song.
Life goes on.
First Half Team
Szczesny – Didn’t inspire confidence but did ok.
Koscielny – Strangely out of sorts. One of our best last season but lacked his competitive edge.
Vermaelen – Similar start to Koscielny but improved as the half went on.
Jenkinson – Was trying to cover Koscielny when conceding the own goal. Technique needs work. Could he be a better cover right back than Eboue?
Gibbs – Excellent, his best game yet in the warm up. Smooth and could have scored in the second half.
Song – Solid but no yet at full tilt.
Ramsey – Played well, some nice touches.
Wilshere – Best player, was involved in both goals. He looks very well after his summer of rest.
Walcott – Sharp and focused, made one, movement was good.
Gervinho – Eventful, 29 minutes, 2 goals, impressive movement and a knee knock. I like him even if he does have the least subtle parting since GDR made plans to stop defection in 1961.
Chamakh – Did he play?
Miyaichi – Must have been chuffed to get on, did have one run, with what is becoming his trademark step over. Hoping he gets a Visa, He might brighten up the Carling Cup come the winter.
Second Half Team
Mannone – Curiously solid.
Fabianski – Not much on but good to see him back.
Sagna – No thrills, no spills, just another 45 under his belt, coasted.
Henderson – Got his chance at left back but seems to have come to a sticky end after giving himself a nasty looking knee injury in the dying moments of the game.
Squillaci – Could look out of his depth in a puddle.
Djourou – Tried hard to cope with the lack of structure around him, he gives his lot.
Frimpong – High on industry and low on artistry which is no bad thing for the anchor man but still lacks consistency to his passing.
Rosicky – Played well, it is bizarre that there is a part of all of us that still thinks he might still have his finest hour ahead of him. We can all dream.
Nasri – He looked a bit disinterested other than his cuddle for Jenkinson at half time. I wouldn’t read too much in to it, just easing in the warm ups.
Vela – Introduction was about a noticeable as air
Arshavin – Tried but still looks under par. Arsenal need to get the best out of him this season.
Van Persie – Couple of lovely touches, time has taught him to take pre season easy.
Afobe – Got on at 89 minutes, hopefully we might see more of him through the season.
Arsenal player won’t work so I’ve downloaded the first half. I’m off to watch it. Thanks for the report 🙂
Good report Jamie
Ok the transfers aint happening, but i was just pleased to be watching The Arsenal again. That first half front 3 fueled by the engines of LJW and Ramsey must have looked very scary to our premiership opponents, even after the withdrawal of gervinho and intro of miyaichi and the ineffective low on confidence Chamach, it was an attacking symphony and my pleasure to see. Life after Cesc and the wantaway Nasri doesn’t look bad at all SHOULD THEY ALL STAY FIT. I was looking at Manone yesterday and he did look comfortable, maybe the Number 1 spot isn’t as settled as Mr Woj might think.
I hope we get Cahill and a deputy for Song, Frimpong needs a loan out as he is not ready.
As for brittle Gibbs, if Traore isn’t going to step up then we have to get a left back and maybe that is who Monsier Wenger is talking about when he says a defender is on his way.
whr did u download it? i wish 2aswell
Great report Jamie, thanks.
Lets look carefully at the pic of our new superstar. That is one seriously receeding hairline, which in effect makes the elastic band hair holder produce a contemporary comb forward. Am I onto something?
Quick thought on the Nasri issue. In a years’ time we have the fair play stuff. Assuming he stays, and that the Utd’s, City’s and Barca’s of this world have done their big name signings this summer, where would our boy like to go next?
Nice one Jamie.
I was worried yesterday about the defensive high line. We really should have conceded several goals if Cologne were half decent. However, I like your explanation about the lack of pressure on the ball in pre-season games.
Singing in the Rhine….
well said, i haven’t seen a forehead like that since diarra graced the emirates.
He has impeccable timing though, if cesc stays he may well score a bag full
Chas – Loving the video!
Micky 89 – It is a funny hairline. I can only assume that he is one of those people that looks reallyt odd with no hair at all.
Oz Gunner – Agree that he would score a hatfull if Cesc stays.
Tommy Stout – Again agree, Cahill and eputy for Song are the priority.
I made a mistake with Vela.
Was supposed to say. Vela – Introduction was about a noticeable as air. Good player though.
If anyone gets the chance can they change it. Cheers!
Super write-up with some great lines (“Squillaci – Could look out of his depth in a puddle”).
Like Chas, I like your explanation of the lack of pressing. And I also agree we need a big, commanding CB (but so does Arsene, it seems).
You made brief mention of Ramsey. I’m curious – is the Wilshere/Ramsey axis starting to look like it could deliver?
Not many people around today – is it a scorcher back in Blighty?
Changed that Jamie OK
Wilshere and Ramsey looks better each game. I personally still think that he is playing that pair because he expects that Cesc will stay and that Ramsey is the closest in style.
Fair point though as Wilshere and Ramsey can press a lot i a real game which might give a good balance if Cesc goes and allow is to play a proper front 3 like Gervinho, RVP and Walcott.
Worth noting the Nasri has played in the hole in every game so far so there are a number of options.
They are definately staking a claim though.
jacks through balls are very much underated.If he lifts his scoring rate this year he could well be a more tenacious fabregas. It is going to be scary the partnership him and ramsey will be in a couple of years time.
I like the idea of arsenal supposedly offering more for jagielka, because he is a bulldog of a player.
Your Vela mistake is funny. I didn’t see it as a mistake – I thought you meant “as noticable as. ” – ie, as noticeable as nothing…
Meant to say – great headline!
Great report Jamie. I thought first half was brilliant for a friendly, and just cannot agree with you on a lack of pressure. We put tremendous pressure on them and simply did not allow them to get into their play. It looked like a home game, yet we were in Germany, where pride and desire are not an option but a given. Some of the football was sublime and Jack was firing from all cylinders. Basically with Jack and Rambo we have the young versions of Xavi and Iniesta, and what an unbelievable prospect they are.
We might have allowed Koln a bit too much space for their counters, but hey it is a friendly and these things happen at this stage of the season.
Second half was poo, but I could not be more happy about the first half: simply loved it.
Jamie. I also thought the Vela thing was intentional.
Rocky – it is indeed, very hot and sunny for a change
Jamie – great second post!! Well done mate!! All the junk food that you scoff is clearly very good for your state of mind 🙂 Tuck in lad!
TA – yep, second half was poo, but it was the big guns that didn’t fire us up. The first less experienced squad was much better, is this going to be indicative for the new season?
It’s been a scorcher today, most unusual after the past three weeks of really dreadful weather.
Jamie – thanks for the post. I’m going to try and watch the 1st half at some point as I missed it yesterday.
We are going to need posts this week and as early as possible as I’ll again be away from my computer all day, so if anyone has any ideas can they write them up or at least say they’ll do something for a certain day that would be great.
Evonne, yes the experienced players let us down in 2nd half. At least they did not get injured 🙂
Peaches, I will write something for Friday (have visitors from Holland, so have no time before then).
TA – you are right, it was such a horrid weekend (Amy Winehouse and the Norway tragedy) that we are lucky to escape with only one knee injury.
Peaches – sorry, I cannot write posts, but if you want some ironing done, I am your man
Good write up Jamie.
Love the title and “Squilacci would be out of his depth in a puddle of water” is up there with the greats.
I have now had a chance to see the game and I think you were right first time about Vela, I doubt if I am the only one who thought that as it doesn’t seem anyone has answered yor request to change it.
Morning all, still not seen the action, but Jamie your report means I probably don’t have to.
There has been some twitter banter between RvP and Cesc last night which made me feel all warm and tingly. I have some straws and I’m clutching at them!
I’ll take all the straws that are going, what did they say?
Bueno dias amigos. Muchas gracias Jamie, I only caught 20mins or so
First half or second half Sharkey? First half good second half not so good.
RvP: youtube.com/watch?v=OVxK4V… amazing 7 years old enjoyed watching it!
Cesc: @Persie_Official This little boy is amazing but he doesnt pass the ball like you!!!! Haha
RvP: ha this is how we roll the dutch
Cesc: @Persie_Official you should learn how the spanish people roll, then maybe you would have a WC. Im only kidding, you know i love you. hehe,
Cesc: @Persie_Official by the way, im waiting for a strong answer from you. I wont be here to reply if u take more than 2 min. 😀
Cesc: I dont want Robin to nutmeg me on 5 against 2 anymore so apologise for what i said… 🙂 good night guys. Great talking to you.
That scum evra is up to uis old tricks it seems. I hope something very bad happens to him. I hope nasri goes if he won’t sign an extension. I’d rather lose him now than have a manc playing for us.
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