Arsenal 3 Fiorentina 0 Match report and Player ratings

This was the fourth game of our pre season and, as expected, we fielded some of our young players.

The team lined up as follows Martinez, Chambers, Jenkinson, Mustafi, Monreal, Kolasinac, Olayinka, Burton, Neslon, Saka, and Nketiah.

At first glance it would seem to be a 343. I didn’t realize we were still changing formation? I thought we would be sticking with the 433. One reason I can say the 343 is a good formation for us to play is because of Monreal as is he is too slow. I would have preferred to see Thompson over Kolasinac and Medley over Mustafi.

First Half

Nothing particularly remarkable from Arsenal in the first 15 minutes, Monreal being sloppy and Mustafi being Mustafi. Florentina were defending really well as a unit and Arsenal were shifting the ball left to right then right to left looking for an opening. Until eventually a brilliant move from Saka (Zaha who steups) playing in Kolasinac who lays on a plate for Eddie who was cool as ever rifling the ball into the net. Some more clumsy defending and more Monreal being sloppy. Olayinka and Burton needed to offer some support to the defense, Nelson to show a bit more probably it was because of Jenkinson Arsenal not getting the same dynamic on the right hand side as they are getting from Saka and Kolasinac on the left. First half ended 1 – 0 and we were fortunate not to have conceded, Martinez really proving to be a great keeper.

I was praying that Mustafi and Monreal would come off for the second half and we would revert to a 433, letting Medley show Mustafi how to defend.

Second Half

Well Emery listened to half of my prayers by reverting to 433 which made us definitely looked much better. Nelson was move to the left flank where he began showing his quality and on one occasion using his smart feet to cut inside and get a shot off but it curled straight at the keeper. Mkhitaryan’s first contribution in the game was to get booked, his second one was to pass the ball to Lacazette who laid it off to Eddie making it two nil, One thing you have to admire about Eddie is his ability to get space in the box. Willock held his own again when brought on and was smartly set up by Lacazette making it 3 goals to nil


One of the Star performer so far for me was Saka, I wouldn’t have any qualms him starting in the opening game. Eddie has a great ability to create space in the box. Mustafi is woeful and I hope he is frozen out just as Emery did with Mesut. We played much better when switching to 433/4231. It was nice to see us continue our fine form and the youngsters taking their chances.


Martinez – Was able to keep clean sheet not matter how hard Mustafi tried … 6

Carl Jenkinson – Struggle in 343, looked better in 433 still can’t cross … 5

Mustafi – Another horrible game from Mustafi … 4

Monreal – Struggle in 343 a lot of silly turn overs, looked better in 433 … 5

Sead Kolasinac – Looked solid again today … 6

Olayinka – Didn’t protect back 3, but was solid when we changed to 433 … 6

Burton– Didn’t protect back 3, but was solid when we changed to 433… 6

Chambers – another solid game … 7

Saka (Zaha who steups) – Another great game … 8

Nelson – Was invisible first half, came alive when he went to left … 6

Eddie Nketiah – great positioning in the box and took his 2 goals wonderfully … 10


Leno – Was able to keep clean sheet not matter how hard Mustafi tried … 6

Lacazette – Much more lively than in the previous game, came up with 2 assists … 7.5

Mkhitaryan – had an ok game but did we really need to see him play … 6.5

Megan Rapinoe – had an ok game but did we really need to see him play …

Willock – is this Ramsey 2.0? … had another great game … 6.5

Xhaka – Gets his customary yellow card and turns the ball over … 3

Thompson – Only a cameo but am really liking the look of him … 6

Other Subs not mentioned …5


Emery – Has the team looking sharp, his 343 experiment failed and he still doesn’t realize mustafi will cost us goals against better teams… 5



79 Responses to Arsenal 3 Fiorentina 0 Match report and Player ratings

  1. LBG put this comment on early this morning

    LBG says:
    July 21, 2019 at 5:42 am (Edit)
    Thanks for the match report.
    Just like Allezkev, and many others on the blog, happy most with use of yoof. Saka proving you are never too young and that Freddie’s advice to bulk up is working. Showed some real strength. Still believe in Holding, Mavrapanos and Medley( let alone Saliba) and Sokratis, we have five CBs better and more worthy than MustaveatrytocuttheballouteventhoughIamoutofpositionandtooslow.
    Nacho is not a centre back, but can still do a job as a left back – his position.

  2. Also this comment late last night from allezkev

    allezkev says:
    July 21, 2019 at 2:50 am (Edit)
    Just seen brief highlights, great run and shot by Martinelli, they’ll be going the right side of the post very soon, I’m sure of that.
    Great finishing by Eddie and another nice goal by JW, also enjoyed the celebrations of the kids and Lacazette, they all seem to be having a great time…

    Whilst I read and understand the concerns over our defence and whilst it’s early days in terms of preparations and fitness, it’s still an impressive 3 games, 3 wins, 8 goals for, only 1 against.

    Despite all the issues we have with our club, the ownership, the coach, the management, the board, no CL, all that stuff, I’m really encouraged by our kids and the fact that Emery is using them.
    Regardless of all the negative guff we’re bombarded with, for me, next season is all about the youngsters and how they’re gonna be integrated, that’s what I’m really looking forward to seeing.
    All the rest is just noise…

  3. Sue says:

    Nice one, Fred – you’re becoming a pro at this!
    Enjoyed this game, although some things never change (Mustafi, Xhaka.. meh!!)
    The youngsters seem to be getting better & better! Eddie & his goals – superb! 🔥
    Martinelli looks a great prospect, that run & nutmeg 😍 if only it had gone in!!
    Great goal from Willock!
    Great coin toss from Rapinoe 😜 (or did I mean Mesut, Fred 😆)
    When the players are subbed, I really love seeing Freddie there to pat them on the back or shake their hand.. he isn’t just sat there chewing gum!!
    So on to Real Madrid (they lost 3-1 to Bayern.. no, Hazard didn’t score, but Gnabry did!) Should be a belter! COYG… oh and come on Juventus (beat the spuds 🙏)

  4. Sue says:

    Here’s a question for you, Fred – Iwobi has said he might leave, if Zaha signs. Would you welcome Wilf more now or not?
    I’m afraid Iwobi doesn’t cut the mustard for me.. so I defo want this to go through (more so than before!)

  5. RA says:

    Mmm, it may be me, as usual, but I bought a jar of mustard, English and French, washed a knife, and tried to cut the mustard — as you have set that as a footballing standard, Susie …….. but mustard is runny gloop, and just runs off the knife. No one can cut it!!

    What are you on girl? Leave our poor old Iwobi alone! 😳🤴Tish.

  6. RA says:

    A nice Post, Fred, well at least the part that I could understand. 😜

    (who the heck is ‘Zaha who steups’?)

  7. Sue says:

    Well in that case, RA.. you should stick to the crooning 😝

  8. RA says:


    re your re-posted comment above.

    I totally agree that more minutes should be given to the younger players next season, and that can be nothing but a good thing.

    However, the pre-season games are always larded with the better youth players who are then lauded (geddit?) for their refreshing pace and skills, but you will see them all put back into the hutch when the season starts.

    Happens every year. 😩

  9. RA says:

    I am sorry, Sue, but I draw the line at crooning to mustard — with my accent it might sound like I am standing on my head singing to Mustafi, not the mustard. 🙃

  10. fred1266 says:

    That was one of my issue Sue, why sign Zaha when we have the likes of Iwobi Mkhitaryan etc, we officially know mkhitaryan isn’t worth really playing and having the likes of Saka then i have not prbolem with Iwobi leaving but still don’t think we should sign Zaha cause am really impressed with Saka, Martenlli and to a lesser extent nelson but i think they deserve a chance this season

    and the money should be on a CB

    what you guys think of Thompson he just goes about his job, i think he should be given a chance and we not by a new LB

    what i think we should get is a RB, although i love Jenkinson he really offer nothing for us, so move AMN to CM and get a RB

  11. fred1266 says:

    I can’t remember who the discussion was with think it was LBG who said he didn’t want AMN in midfield cause he would cost us to much points but look at willlock is he costing use points , he came on scored a goal, xhaka came on gave away the ball got a yellow, so don’t understand how anyone can think xhaka should be starting

    plus that was a horrible tackle by xhaka sending the guy into the hoarding if anyone did that to our player we would be livid

  12. fred1266 says:

    RA just wanted to emphasis that we don’t need Zaha when we have Saka

  13. Sue says:

    Well RA… I bet there are a helluva lot of cats outside your house (trying to tell you something!) 🙉🙉

  14. fred1266 says:

    What pre season youth player stood out last year RA

  15. LBG says:

    Saka AND Nelson and Martinelli , who needs another overpriced, wide player!
    Dominic Thompson has always been my man. If the green and white hoops insist on pushing the price of Tierney up, let him take the left hand berth. Nacho as cover and even Medley as second cover.
    I believe the money for Saliba is warranted. Hope for no injuries, more experience at international level, and in a years time we will be saying we have our VVD. In the meantime play Mavrapanos and Medley alongside Holding and Sokratis and CB is solved for me!

  16. fred1266 says:

    last season pre season fixtures

    Borehood – won by 8 goals clearly that was PEA game
    A. Madrid – EMR scored in a 1- 1 draw
    PSG – scorers Eddie, Holding, Mesut and Laca were the scores
    Chelsea – Lacazette

    so which youth player your remember having such a good game like the ones we are having this season

    and unsure why you all even opposed to it, you saw both Mkhitaryan and Xhaka came on and got yellows immediately that some you expect from an in experience player but we get that from our experience players

  17. LBG says:

    I am hurt…cut to the quick….decimated by the accusation………..(not really, Fred….one love)….check back and you will see I have always, always propounded AM-N as the central attacking midfielder and want him moved away from full back as soon as possible.

  18. Rasp says:

    Fred, your match report is a top story on NewsNow and has already had over 5,000 hits … 😉

  19. fred1266 says:

    Sue that was the best news u posted who week iwobi leaving, this is won youth that got his chance and didn’t take it

    One reason i want the youth to get a chance this season, if you all don’t know Bellerin is my favorite play and remember in the CL game he was horrible but look at him now but even before Bellerin was introduced in the CL game i followed his career a bit and am seeing the same determination from your current youth as i saw in Bellerin all those years ago

  20. fred1266 says:

    my apologize probably was the other LB, all i remember the person saying something down’t the lines of with Xhaka we would loss less points that by playing the youth

    anyone with eyes can see Xhaka is just as bad as mustafi

  21. Sue says:

    5,000 hits, hey Fred? Impressive… what’s even more impressive, is that you said Kolasinac looked solid again today!! Bet that hurt 😂

  22. Thank you Fred for a great match report. I watched the first half and loved so much of our attacking play.

    I think we have got ourselves an excellent collective of young players …… like you I’m very impressed with Saka. The academy boys I know from that team down the road have also whispered his name. He is obviously very talented.

  23. RC78 says:

    – Xhaka needs to be sold
    – Mustafi also needs to go ASAP
    – Monreal can be a back-up at best
    – AMN needs to be moved up the pitch. Let us get Alves for free or let s try to snatch Ricardo Pereira from Leicester or Atal from Nice.
    – Kola is a gem going forward and has the engine to also defend well. We need a player to push him to the next level. I like Grimaldo, Martin and Tierney or Chilwell since Gaya is too expensive for us.
    – Chambers better in the middle of the park
    – Willock, Saka, Nelson Nketiah should be part of the squad FOR SURE

    Jury is out:
    – Mkhy was decisive in the two games he played, proving his passing ability and his ability to create chances is second to none. He is however quite slow and he can make silly fouls. I would keep him but I can see why some people don’t want to keep him.
    – Martinez and Medley need to show more…

  24. What we do get to see in pre-season is players being able to express themselves without being hacked down by PL players which we know for sure will happen against some teams.

  25. ……. although saying that, the youngsters do have tricky feet and play with ‘forward thrust’ (MickyDidIt89 😉) so defenders will have to be careful.

  26. fred1266 says:

    Yea kolasinac for the assist and that makes up for any defensive laps right lol

  27. fred1266 says:

    Rc78 Ricardo would be to expensive as a backup

    The thing is no one is that stupid to buy xhaka and mustafi

    Just let them train with under 23 but we want them no where near the first team squad

    Chambers better anywhere he plays bro you saw how composed he was when passing from the back

  28. fred1266 says:

    All emery needs to do is play the young players against the likes of Newcastle Sheffield United etc , we would be able to see there real potential against those sides

  29. Sue says:

    Come on Ronaldo!

  30. RC78 says:

    The one-way Eurostar tickets go to:
    – Jenko, Mustafi, Koscielny, Xhaka, El Neny, Ozil, Asano

  31. LBG says:

    “Forward thrust” MickyDidit, now you are talking. Where is the old surfing hippy when you need a controversial bomb placed surreptitiously amongst the masses? Come back Didit, the West Country cant be that enticing!

  32. LBG – hiya, my former charge is up against Ronaldo today 😉

  33. Blimey …….. two of my former charges are in the totts starting line up today

  34. fred1266 says:

    Don forget mkhitarian ticket

  35. fred1266 says:

  36. fred1266 says:

    Mesut hanging out with bellerin

  37. fred1266 says:

    Hearing Ramsey injured who would have thought

  38. Really miss mickydidit ………… he must be loving how the kids are banging in the goals

    Really Fred? Ramsey injured …………. as you say, who would have thought it 🙄

  39. fred1266 says:

  40. RA says:

    Hi Ya, Fred,

    There have been many potentially good youth players who have appeared in pre-season games, over the years, and then ‘disappeared’ on loans and never reappeared.

    Some I recall having an impact on my conscious footballing mind-set, have been Adelaide (The Jeff) who had a Vieira like ambience, Zellalem who looked the biz, went to Glasgow Rangers on loan and did the old ‘disappearing trick’ from Arsenal, then there was Gnabry, and Bennacer who a few weeks back was linked with a re-turn to Arsenal, but it seems that was a rubbish rumour.

    Others on here might have other youth teamers they hoped would make it – and did not.

    In pre-season last year, Nelson, and Willock, were also hoping for first team minutes and just maybe next season might be their time – who knows?

    The problem for the coaches, I guess, is that players who look good in the youth team (U23s) against players around the same age, get found out against older pros who, as Peaches said, treat them to some sly tackles and they get injured and Bob’s your ankle, they take time to recover, and someone else takes their place — and their chance has gone.

    That’s how Bellerin got his chance – and frankly – unlike you, I think Bellerin is as good at defending as Maitland Niles is – which is to say pretty average.

    Belli and Niles were originally attacking MF players as youngsters, and still do that well — but as full backs? — meh. 😁

  41. RA says:

    Hi Peaches,

    Micky-who-done-did-it, is probably outfitted in his rubbery surfing dudes, and is teaching the harbour porpoises to squeak in French.

    Hard to drag him back from that! 😜

  42. LBG says:

    Just imagine, former charges, still playing for a crap Club, but imbued with the wisdom, gentleness, good cooking and “mothery charm” of a Peaches! Pretty well set I’d say.

  43. Rasp says:

    7,000 have read the post now …. fred … your fame is growing …

  44. fred1266 says:

    Ok great point RA but not because the likes of Gnabry, Zellalem and etc didn’t make it what about the ones that did bellerin AMN etc

    To be fair gnabry, zellalem got there chance and didn’t take it so all I want is for this crop ro be given a chance

  45. allezkev says:

    Hi Red, I think the problem last season was that Emery, like any new manager/coach, was trying to establish himself, that’s why he went with his best/senior players often in games where we expected some rotation. As a new coach, it’s understandable that he isn’t going to take a risk with the youngsters, but I think that’ll change this campaign – well I really hope so…

  46. allezkev says:

    I also think Red, that Emery can use our youngsters as a tool to motivate some of our unmotivatable senior players, they all have egos after all and might actually start to think about playing properly when they’ve got some young gun after their shirt?

  47. fred1266 says:

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  48. fred1266 says:

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  49. Sue says:

    Harry bloody Kane 😫 I wanted penalties 🙄

  50. LBG says:

    Oliver getting rich praise…..amazing what home cooking can produce!

  51. Sue says:

    From the halfway line 😳😳 oh Szczesny

  52. RA says:


    It’s no surprise to me … 😁 … that you shine light on things. You are right — I had not thought of Emery’s conundrum in his first season — trying to balance ‘safety’ with ‘success’ and that having an impact on the kids/youth.

    Motivation, as you say, is a powerful tool and again you are spot on – so hopefully next season could be a humdinger, despite many of us feeling slightly concerned as to the direction the Kroenke’s are taking the club with further constrictions regarding a feasible transfer budget.

    My friend the Rasper has pointed out that the transfer budget seems to have been plucked out of thin air, and does not have any real, verifiable ‘source’ attached to it – and that seems to be borne out by what Emery has been saying. And Rasp is usually right. 😳

    You have both made me feel a little brighter about the possible Arsenal potential for next season – mercy beaucoup, mes amis!

  53. Sue says:

    Fred.. loved the picture of Hector & Megan, with your caption “Mesut hanging out with Bellerin”
    Brilliant, that tickled me 🤣🤣👍

  54. Rasp says:

    🙂 Hi Redders, one of the drawbacks of working behind the scenes is that I can’t really express myself in comments … but I do believe that we can and will spend more than £45m … unless we are going to cash in on a 30 year old Auba for circa £60m … in which case a lot of this will have been planned in advance.

    The problem is, the players who are out of favour (you know the names) are not worth threepence halfpenny (pronounced thrupents haypenny for those born across the pond) 🙂

  55. Rasp says:

    The lack of focus on a CB is a mystery.

    If we’re going to lose a 33 year old 6ft 0in Kozzer, and we have to wait a year for a 6ft 4in Saliba, why not sign a 33 year old 6ft 4in Gary Cahill on a pay per play basis for 1 year .. surely there’s nothing to lose … it’s no worse than signing Lichsteiner,

    Obviously technique, ability to read the game and pace are the main attributes you want in a CB, but a bit of extra height at the back wouldn’t go amiss … remember how many defensive clearance headers Giroud would win for us.

  56. fred1266 says:

    Fake news according to iwobi, can’t we ever get some bloody good news flash once jah

  57. fred1266 says:

    Megan who that lol

  58. RA says:


    Your comments are always valued, and have been for years.

    There has been another silent but possibly deadly rumour a few days ago, and I saw it briefly today in one of the sports pages, speculating on Arsenal buying a 6′ 6″ CB of about 20 y.o., for approximately £10m.

    Maybe someone like that [of a very normal-ish height] 😜 , playing as a backup to Holding, Bielik, SoK etc might be the answer to why there has been little rumour-mongering about replacement CBs for Kozzer.

    As usual, I finish with the rhetorical “Who knows?” 🥺

  59. Sue says:

    Fred 🤣 that American footballer I was on about the other day 😆😆

  60. RC78 says:

    Rasp – I can understand the rationale with Cahill but I woild rather see us take on Takowski or Duffy who are younger, space for improvement and have the potential to replace Sok in one or two years.

    I also think that we should let Kos go and cut our losses on Mustafi. We should send Mavro on loan and give Bielik a chance. He s fit and ready to fight for his place.

    We d have Sok, Holding, Takowski, Bielik as our 4 CBs and Monreal can deputise if needed or play as a LCB if we play 3 at the back.

    Next year, we ll have Saliba and we can see what to do with Sok, Mavro and maybe Bielik.

  61. Aaron says:

    Excellent comment above on youth NOT getting their chance in the bigs.

    So, if Emery starts the year with Sok, Xhaka, Mustafi and Mesut all together, then the season is as good as done. That combination is slow as molasses, and error prone.

    Mustafi partnered with anyone is a accident waiting to happen. If we get KT, that still leaves problems up the middle, yes, less goals will occur on the right, but still come from the middle. See game from yesterday if you want proof, dang friendly and still a comedy of errors inside.

    He should play back 4, including AMN, and another cb other than Mustafi, until Holding and Bel come back to fitness. They are not game close yet.

    Can only hope we get the defense sorted during the season. From where I sit, the Arsenal plan is to outscore all the teams again, and maintain possession, especially if the Ceballos rumors are true.

  62. fred1266 says:

    Lol or u mean mesut twin

  63. fred1266 says:

    To be fair mustafi and holding last year was actually solid

  64. Rasp says:

    Hi RC … are the players you mention on a free/out of contract as Cahill is?

  65. RC78 says:

    Hi Rasp – under contracts 2 and 3 years remaining respectively

  66. Anyone got any ideas for a post for tomorrow?

  67. Rasp says:

    Fred … for future reference, it is best to email us stuff if you know it will become a post … thank you.

    Incidentally, your name now features in our list of authors, apologies for not adding it sooner.

  68. Aaron says:

    Sure: can Emery get the team to win on the road, will he play any youngsters, best formation for the squad, how many will the Arsenal concede, who does everyone really think the Arsenal will bring in during the transfer window if at all- not counting 18 years olds who will not play for us this year, will Emery really bench Mustafi….and on and on and on….

  69. Sue says:

    I wonder if GN5 still looks on here – just in case – I hope you’re enjoying the darts so far! Been great & pretty tense!! Can’t wait for Lewis v Duzza 👊

  70. fred1266 says:

    What email do I email to rasp

  71. fred1266 says:

  72. fred1266 says:

    Mustafi had her crying with all the shit he played yesterday

  73. Sue says:

    Are you watching Liverpool v Sevilla, Fred?

  74. fred1266 says:

    Yea I was very boring game

  75. Rasp says:

    Morning all ….

    …. New post …

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