Well, that was fun wasn’t it?
Reading were no pushovers but not good enough to really threaten, that said, Martinez made a couple of fine saves which highlighted our abundance of quality keepers.
At 24, Martinez was one of the oldest Arsenal players, he is older than Ox! Fortunately for him GK’s have a longer shelf life.
And what of the Young Pretenders? Iwobi shone as one would expect. He could be the Real Deal, a future superstar. Up there with Messi and DB10. He has amazing dribbling ability, great balance, a good eye for a pass, he can shoot, tackle (?) and has stamina. I hope AW allows him to develop slowly and not overplay him, thankfully Ramsey is about to return and perhaps Iwobi will get some rest.
Jeff, and Niles found it hard to get into the game but showed flashes of their potential. Both typical Wenger youths; inventive, fast and confident.
Once again, Holding was impressive. Alongside Gabriel we looked solid in the centre of defence. Gibbs showed why he is good enough to play for England but not good enough to start for Arsenal, in other words the best FB on the pitch.
Jenkinson must have been delighted to start again for the club he loves. As one would expect his performance was full of energy but The Corporal has the problem of always being second fiddle to the best RB in the PL.
Elneny held the midfield and did his work efficiently and without too much drama.
Upfront we continually chose or misplaced the wrong final ball. Perez was busy as was Ox but we really should have put more pressure on the Reading goalkeeper. I cannot recall Perez having a shot on target however it is easy to see why Mr Wenger has such confidence in him, Perez needs Ozil and Sanchez to flourish.
Ox. I love this bloke. I love his energy and his passion. I love his intelligence. But …. he should be progressing faster than he is if he wants to stay at Arsenal. Danish TV had Ox as the Man of the Match . Yes, he scored twice but his passing, especially this crossing, was wayward (I say this without the benefit of stats!). Against a young Reading side in a game with little pressure Ox was the best player on the pitch but I expect more.
The subs did well. Zelalem and Willock both got a taster but the best news for Gooners was the return of the mighty Giroud. He looked fit and strong , bringing out a marvellous save from Al-Habsi (who had a great game.)
Overall, Arsenal played some wonderful, dynamic passing football making for a really enjoyable evening.
Written by Big Raddy