Our final pre-season before the Emirates Cup took place today and what seemed to be a decent run out for the team. Arsene took the opportunity against Hannover to experiment with a 4-3-3, fielding Bendtner, Arshavin and Van Persie. With the 4-3-3 that we play, it always looks a bit like a 4-1-4-1 or a 4-2-3-1, as one or two of our midfielders join the attack on the regular basis.
Today, we saw deployed in a more forward role, with both Alex Song and Denilson behind him. In a way, the formation looked like this:
Eboue – Vermaelen – Gallas – Traore
Denilson – Song
Bendtner – Fabregas – Arshavin
It was on the whole, a decent game, the first pre-season game for Cesc and good to see Arshavin and Van Persie in action and fit. It looks like our first choice centre back partnership will be Vermaelen and Gallas and the pair looked solid enough considering it’s early days in their partnership. I do like the look of Vermaelen and of course, remember the stellar performances that Gallas put in before his injury last season.
The result was 1-0 and the goal game through good play from Van Persie and Cesc, a nice one two creeping through the defence for the captain to round the keeper. The rest of the was a good workout – Hannover having a go – and we did well throughout – Alex Song and Denilson putting in pretty amazing performances.
I won’t deviate from the topic of this post too much but I will touch on the Kolo transfer. Whether or not you approve of the transfe of Kolo Toure to Man City – and I love Kolo to bits – Arsene has brought in a replacement. One thing that I’ve come across recently is a statement by Oliver Kay at the Times, who said something very interesting.
Wenger, while continuing to search for reinforcements, has told his board that Arsenal will be a force to be reckoned with next season, he has done so with conviction, rather than hope.
And whilst I do think we’re a club who have a debt to service and cannot turn down massive offers for players, I’m sure if Arsene thinks the squad need a player or two, a Chamakh or similar player, considering the sudden £45m war chest, he will buy a player. But if he doesn’t buy someone, it may be because he honestly doesn’t believe we need anyone.
Kay went on to say:
Wenger has weighed up the threat posed by City and concluded that his club’s needs are best served by selling them Touré and Adebayor. It is a risky strategy, one that may feasibly backfire, but Wenger believes that it will make Arsenal stronger.
And if you look at the squad and where it was last summer, add Arshavin instead of Adebayor and add in Vermaelen instead of Toure – then throw in Eduardo and Rosicky, two players who were missing for pretty much the whole season, then give everyone in the squad an extra year of Premiership and Champions League experience, you have what we have now. Is that good or bad?
Our best player against Hannover? Alex Song.
Finally a quick one for you – although I didn’t listen to it – I’m hearing that Ian Wright believes that Vieira is on his way back to Arsenal – he said this on his show yesterday:
“I’m hearing Vieira, pay-as-you-play back at Arsenal. That’s what I’m hearing and that’s what I’m hoping.”
Interesting news, I wonder if there is any truth in it!?!