This was the seventh game of our preseason and we fielded a mixed side of …….
Martinez, Chambers, Mustafi, Medley, Monreal, Burton, Guendouzi, John-Jules, Martinelli, Nketiah, and Nelson.
My initial thought was I was excited about the lineup but would have preferred Thompson over Monreal. Also there has been a lot of debate about Mustafi recently and I would have preferred to see him at RB and Chambers at CB.
Unlike majority of our preseason games we started rather slowly not doing much pressing from the get go. Martinelli was released by Chambers down the flank as he cut inside instead of looking for a team mate opted to shoot but his shot was blocked.
Nothing much happened until in the 13th minute a ball is misjudged by Medley and Martinez who sense the danger rushes off his line but is rounded by the attacker making it 1 nil to Anger.
For the rest of the first half both sides were feeling each other out with some balls over the top to NKetiah but they were easily dealt with. Jules also tried to slip in Nketiah in but again nothing come of it. We went into the half 1 nil down and a lot to be desired.
Second half we made some substitution bringing on AMN, Sokratis, Willock, Thompson, Xhaka. The quality didn’t take to show with Guendouzi doing some great work on the right hand side then sends in a cross which was slightly deflected causing some confusing in the box and Nelson tucking home the equalizer 1-1.
Nice to see Nelson score his first goal of the preseason. Willock was lively, as always, and won a free kick which was taken by Nelson with Xhaka attacking the ball which flew over.
Eddie and Guendouzi came off, Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan came on. Thompson had a good break down the wing and put in a good cross into the area but there were no takers as usual.
Xhaka took a free kick but Aubameyang hit it wide. Then an Arsenal player put in a great sliding tackle and the ball fell to Mustafi, why is he even that high up the pitch is beyond me, who then slips the ball to Martinelli who has acres of space. This has to be 2-1 surely, but Martinelli decides not be selfish and tries to pick out Aubameyang but the pass is block which lucky falls to Nelson and I don’t know if he was trying to shoot or pass but it fell to Aubameyang who was in an offside positon. There were a few more chances to win the game but they weren’t taken. Penalties were pointless but like Xhaka in the Real game Mkhitaryan wanted to see which one of them can take a worse penalty.
The youngsters didn’t do much in the first half, Jules wasn’t able to create for the front 3. Played much better second half when the experience players came on.
Martinez – Save a penalty controlled his area well … 6
Chambers – was solid at RB … 6
Mustafi – Caught out of position for the goal … 5
Medley – Didn’t look good for the goal … 5
Monreal – didn’t offer anything today … 5
Guendouzi – lively today and his crossed help with our only goal … 7
Burton – looked out of his dept today … 4.5
John-Jules – worked hard but couldn’t create much for himself or his team mates … 5
Martinelli – lively as usual … 6.5
Nketiah – looked out of it today … 5
Nelson – scored a goal, missed a sitter hence why I say waiting for him to impress me, one of our few youngsters you played at a high level last season so expected a bit more … 6
They collectively made a difference to the game, stand our performers were Willock and Thompson … 6.5