So football is supposed to be fun, you’re supposed to enjoy it. Sure, in the quarter finals of the Champions League, or the final weeks of the domestic season it can get all nail bitey, a bit angsty and talking about football starts to become like talking to a 14 year old about love – it gets difficult.
But it’s pre-season right now, everyone should be sitting back in the glorious sunshine, welcoming players like Riquelme and Thierry Henry to the Emirates, having a bit of fun playing teams you’ll never usually play, seeing some young players, having a few beers seeing new signings get their first runs out onto the pitch… it should be fun.
There were definitely positives to the Emirates cup this weekend – Traore looks, at the very least, to be no worse than Clichy and in fact had a very solid game. Gibbs didn’t explode on the pitch leaving just a smoking pair of football boots either, so there’s something. Fingers crossed for the lad that he doesn’t drop a cup on his foot or something. Jenkinson looks better than I assume must of us expected – solid, clever and defensively aware, the moment when he confidently stepped up to play offside, knowing he was the last man was fantastic. Gervinho also looks very tidy – direct and powerful, he’s exactly what Arsenal have been screaming out for up front, so fingers crossed he mangles a few defences at the start of the season.
In terms of youngsters, Afobe played exceptionally well when given the chance, Frimpong excelled in the middle and Kyle Bartley had a a miserly ten minutes in which to impress, unlucky slicing the ball into his own net. I hope all three get a chance at Arsenal this season – Bartley in particular impressed me on loan at Rangers, and I would consider him exceptionally unlucky if he is sent on loan again, considering we have Sebastian fucking Squillaci at the club. If I was Bartley I’d have already cut Squillaci’s break lines, but I suspect Squillaci drives like he plays football anyway – that is, not very quickly.
Anyway, then there were some negatives. We conceded three goals. From 2 mistakes on Saturday and a bit of good football on Sunday. Sunday’s goal was one of them. It probably could have been defended better, but it was a well worked opportunity and the ball was difficult to deal with. Saturday’s goals were…. scrappy. Again, there was a large element of appalling misfortune, Djourou’s excellent tackle somehow turning into a delightful one-two with the attacker. 1 time in 1000 that ball drops for the striker, but such is Arsenal’s luck.
I still find the “we/Arsenal need to buy a defender” club hilarious. As Martin Keown said over the weekend,