That’s what I call an inspiring preseason game. The three new signings straight into the team and we weren’t short of inspirational performances either – with all three of the new signings impressing and some of the existing squad showing new leases of life. Koln have been relegated, so they are a team we should have beaten, but the manner and swagger in which we played was awesome. Giroud looked impressive and his shorts were on target and intelligent, whilst King Poldi was the man of the match with an excellent performance and 2 goals to his name. His first from the penalty spot and his second from just inside the area – a sweet left footed finish.
The scoring was opened by Vermaelen after a Mertersacker flick on and that for me, looked like vintage Bould. The final and fourth goal came through Gervinho in what looked like a very much Pro Evolution type R1 run with the ball and score. The Ivorian was one of the existing players that really stood out.
It was an interesting selection which saw Oxlade and Coquelin marshall the midfield from the start and the line up looked like this:
Yennaris – Mertersacker – Vermaelen – Gibbs
Oxlade – Coquelin
Walcott – Cazorla – Podolski
It was an interesting forward line and very attacking – at the same time, very faithful to the 4-2-3-1 formation that Arsene has adopted in the last few years. The front 5 – if you include Oxlade were a breathe-taking combination to watch. The football was sensational and the play was cute but effective.
Cazorla stood out – a player that would have done wonders for our team if we had him last season – but he looks everything the player he is hyped up to be. He looks like he love football and just wants to play, to entertain and to be part of a team who play good football. The combinations he put together and the way he linked up with the team was very impressive. Little deft touches here and an excellent passing range at the point where it matters means we’ll be more of a threat this season.
Giroud looked excellent, he peeled off the opposition defence, used the channels well and held up the ball when necessary. Whereas Podolski offered us something different, something quite exciting on the left, drifting in and very dangerous.
In yesterday’s blog, I wrote how I think it’s going to be really difficult to name the starting XI, but after this game, it’s going to be even harder. Out of Giroud, Podolski, Gervinho, Walcott, Cazorla, Arteta and Oxlade, it’s going to be hard to leave someone out of the starting line up. I suspect we won’t have a fit squad to choose from all the time, and it’s a nice dilemma to have.
Who starts next week against Sunderland is anyone’s guess and I am sure we’ll have time to think about that nearer the time… Today’s blog will be a short one, you’ve heard me praise our team and instill you with confidence… Arsene is also quietly (or not so quietly) confident too:
“We are in a much stronger position now because last summer we lost Nasri and Fabregas, and on top of that we lost Diaby and Wilshere [to injury]. So we lost four players at the start of last season and that is not the case this time. We want to [compete for honours] and we have a desire to. We are up for it and what we want is to come out of the season and know we have given our best. I feel we did that last year, finishing third with the start we had. The first target is to do as well as we can in every single game and see where we stand at the end of the season. But of course we want to fight for the championship.”
Tottz is back tomorrow for his usual Wednesday digest, for the meantime, don’t worry about Van Persie or Arshavin, just enjoy the team and enjoy the new signings…