First off, let me say I am most encouraged by the way everyone went for goal. Wenger always says he likes everyone in his team to score, and it seems they are really taking it to heart. Is it just for pre season, or is it really a new attitude? I hope it continues into the regular season. I sometimes wonder if our guys are a little gun- shy, because we think everything has to go through van Persie. It can be intimidating, especially to the younger players, even to his friend Theo.
I am concerned about the defense, with good reason – from the way we played the last 2 matches, and the goals conceded last season. I have faith in our central defenders, but really hope the wide players can be better than they have shown. I don’t expect any signings in those positions. Coquelin may be used there while Sagna recovers, and if we are nursing a lead in a match, I’d consider moving Koscielny there to bring in another defender. But most of all, we need to help defend as a team, it’s always said by Arsene and other coaches, but our team really is guilty of forgetting this more than most. We work very hard for our goals, and seem to allow the easiest against at times.
On to the positives. Where to begin? Let me start with my favourite subject, Theo Walcott. I felt like I was watching a different player. More aggressive, scoring minded. I’m not used to seeing him drift into the middle and shoot from distance, and it looked good. He even attempted a header ! Maybe it is time to let him have his wish and start slowly converting him to striker. Of course it depends who stays, goes, and comes in. But Theo as third or fourth choice striker can’t be much worse than what we are getting there, and has a great upside potential, as well as making him happy.
Gervinho looked great, like I remember from the beginning of last season, since we know he can do it, I wont assume it’s because of weak Kitchee defense. But although he made a great pass at one point, he should have taken a strong shot instead…. still needs to attack the goal more.
I’m assuming Ryo will go on loan again, but I liked how he helped out alot on defense. great sign from a young player. Owen Coyle may have helped a little there.
The OX looked fantastic- more than just ball skills, he picked out great passes forward, long ones, and showed great touch and vision.
Our boy Jenkinson made a couple big mistakes defensively, but I loved his shots on goal, and he is a gifted crosser.. I think that’s why Arsene plucked him, not just a bargain.
Yennaris looks like a battler, I do like what I have seen from Ignassi Miquel when he has played. I havent seen enough of Bartley, obviously. Santos, I like, but he must be more dedicated to defense. But I like his attacks also. He must remember, he CAN do both. Gibbs, never seems to impress me either way. I hope he can show us soon.
And, I just have a feeling about this Eisfeld. Not because he had a couple goals, it’s a little intangible yet. But we will see.
I’m sure I left some things out.