The season has officially started and the first pre-season game of the season finished Barnet 1 - 2 Arsenal. It was a good run out for the boys.
The line up saw Ramsey and Denilson start in central midfield with Traore on the left and surprise starter Lansbury on the right. Henri Lansbury is highly rated by the Arsenal staff and Arsene has talked about his role in the reserves and how the player could break into the first team. He start today was a vindication of how high the esteem the player is held.
Up front saw Bendtner and Walcott start as Vela was earlier withdrawn. His replacement in the squad was Francis Coquelin, a new summer signing as revealed many months ago by us. Arsene has talked about how ultimately Walcott will be a striker, and today showed an idea of how he could be deployed. The back five consisted of first teamers Sagna, Clichy and Alumnia with Justin Hoyte and Harvard Nortveit starting in central defence.
The game was a good run out for the team, but the team obviously lacked cohesion as the mix of reserve, youth and first teamers may not have played too many games together. Arsenal went 1-0 down to Barnet when Kenny Gillet, a friend of Gael Clichy, won and scored a free kick outside the D. The first half finished 1-0 to Barnet and it was a good effort from the home team.
The second half saw a host of changes and the highlight of the changes was the introduction of Jack Wilshere, a very highly rated youngster “with the dribbling skills of Alex Hleb”. Jay Simpson was another youngster introduced and again he is a highly rated striker, the player was on loan Millwall. On the 63rd minute, Simpson scored his goal after some sublime play from Jack Wilshere and it wasn’t long after that Nacer Bazarite, a player who was the top scorer for the reserves last season, scored the winner.
Coquelin was comfortable in midfield during his second half outing and Mannone was solid in goal too.
A good game, a chance to see Denilson in defensive midfield and Ramsey in the attacking midfield role, albeit the young Welshman sometimes found himself defending whist Denilson moved forward.
For a full match report, detailed action by action, view the report by Gooner Talk.
Okay, it’s very very late… have a good Saturday night, a good Sunday and I’ll be back on Sunday evening in London to round up the news and events of the coming day…