The movement and intricate passing of our attackers have simply been mesmerising during pre-season. We have scored all sorts of goals with assists from a variety of players.
With Odegaard and Xhaka we have two of the finest left feet in the PL. Odegaard’s pass to Saka that led to the penalty was inch perfect and played with so much feeling. The same can be said about Xhaka’s throughball for our sixth(!) goal v sorry Sevilla. With such fine left feet beautiful things will happen.
Saka is still only 20 but he plays like he is in his prime. Only Fabregas was able to shine to such level at that sort of age as far as I can remember. Bukayo has scored a number of goals during pre-season and this bodes well in terms of not becoming too dependent on super GJ who has been the absolute star of the show until now.
Martinelli has stepped it up too with some high quality assists and unselfish play. It must be a dream for him to play with Jesus.
It looks like Partey is now more in a deep, protective role and Xhaka in a more advanced one when we are attacking. This may suit Partey best and maybe keep him away from injuries a bit more.
It also looks like our full backs will be a bit more conservative this season, still pushing forward occasionally but not all the time. White on the right and Zinchenko on the left seem to give us a lot of defensive solidity and the pairing of Saliba and Big Gab is also looking promising.
But pre-season is just a practice period and no points are won. Crystal Palace will be a very tough nut to crack. The Friday night PL opener is one of the hardest outside top six games to play and Vieira will as always be keen to get one over Arteta. The buses will be parked and the counter traps will be set. We will need all our defensive discipline, movement and creativity to crack the Eagles’ defensive nests and take all three points to the Home of Football.
It will be a big test for the maturity of our young team. I have a feeling they are ready for it. Bring it on!
Ooh to, Ooh to Be, Ooh to Be a Gooner!!! 🤩 🤩 🤩
50 thoughts on “Great Pre-season: Movement, Creativity and Fine Finishing | Ooh to, Ooh to Be..”
I dont agree about Xhaka. He doesn’t score anywhere near or assist as much as he should now he plays the left sided advanced midfield role. Zinchenko is a much better option. Look at his metrics. Ball retention, passing accuracy, key passes, interceptions and tackle stats are superior to Xhaka. Zinchenko pinged an insane crossfield pass on Saturday. Look out for it during the season. Saka will love those.
Well TH, judging on preseason you are wrong. XhakA had multiple goal involvements. Let’s be glad we have Zinchenko in the team for back up for two positions.
Nice one Total, I’m sure that Johnno is a wizz in the kitchen, as am I as it goes, I mean the best chefs are all men…
LG, yeah it’s a Hillsborough thing, we hear it from Merseyside all the time but strangely hear very little about Heysel
Gary Neville, Roy Keane, Jamie Carragher, the usual suspects taking snide or negative pops at our resurgent Arsenal is a good thing because it shows that we, despite their jibes, are seen as a threat.
If Arsenal were an insignificance then they wouldn’t comment at all, so I see it as a positive.
Xhaka is entering his prime, Arteta is developing different aspects to his game, more attacking aspects, he is set to be an important part of the squad even if he doesn’t play as often because I expect to see a lot more rotation during this campaign.
One more goalscorer and I think we’re fit to go and with Balogun looking set to join Reims a goalscoring addition is on the cards.
Fabio Vieira on the bench at Selhurst Park, bring him on late so we can sing the Vieira song and have a friendly dig at Patrick perhaps?
Hi TA and everyone! 👋 looking forward to a great season. good point about Xhaka TA. I am looking forward to seeing him more involved in our forward play and demonstrating the form he displays for Switzerland consistently.
Nice one about Vieira Allezkev 😆
Yeah Kev, one more forward and we are good.
Most pundits are lazy and believe in their own opinion as the absolute truth. We will see what happens this season. OGAAT x 38 for me.
Love the Vieira song thought.
Good to hear from you StH. Enjoy the new season my friend. 🙂
Total, the pundits will be eating humble pie.
TA, I doubt that a player who is as talented as Zinchenko has come here to be back up. I wonder what Mikel has promised him? One of Mikel’s big tests this season is how he rotates and manages the squad.
I am really please with how we have already strengthened the team and it will be interesting to see who is now sold or loaned out and if that then facilitates one or two more additions to our squad. There’s still a way to go in this transfer window but, I’m already excited about our prospects for next season!
OX10, I share your positivity. Re back up, it all depends what you and I mean with back up.
I hink he will play a lot of games this season but believe that Granit and Kieran will remain the nr1s in their positions. Tierney will be injured a lot most likely and Xhaka will need a break after the world Cup. Then there are all the Cup games…
A. Taylor will be umpiring at Selhurst Park
Don’t know what to make of it really, the man’s a refereeing conundrum to me … there’s no middle ground, unless we’re taking on Chelsea in an FA Cup final, he robs us blind more often than not
Should he be on one of his “robbing” mood night, Friday’ll definitely become a crash test for this brimming-with-confidence young team pre-season has unveiled
This is going to be the most exciting season in many years, so get your seat belts on.
Xhaka has been playing like a man unleashed in preseason. I think he has literally been encouraged by the manager to produce more goal involvements in this new look team.
T, Kev, of course I love cooking but no baking as that’s very detailed and needs patience.
He is so versatile, J.
What is your best dish, J?
J, re Gakpo, I believe a deal was agreed a few months ago and that’s why no other clubs are being mentioned. Voetbal International reported back then that Gakpo would be going to Arsenal. I think that both PSV and Gakpo want to get through to the CL first for which Gakpo is key. Once they are through (or not) I reckon his transfer will be announced. Gakpo is a loyal PSV player and he wants the best for them. He also knows he needs to move on to get the best out of himself.
Well that is my little theory 😅
Granit more versatile than any of us suspected, even you I think!
I would get excited if Gapko was coming. Mikel wouldn’t buy him if he can’t press.
That’s a main requirement now. Best dish, something Italian. Too many to choose.
I love pasta, any kind of pasta, tagliatelle is my favourite and of course lasagna brings back many happy memories and any kind of tortellini, bliss imo…
My roast potatoes are a triumph with Yorkshire pudding and roast beef or chicken or lamb or a combination of all three.
I guess Total that you’re into the pancakes…
New Zealand Snapper and scallops in beer batter, or pan fried Kingfish…
Or a good haggis.
J, can you cook anything non-Italian? 😅
Italian food is simply great.
Ah Kev, roast dinner is also a favourite, especially with lots of sprouts.
Never made a pancake in my life, but Mrs TotalArsenal loves to have them in the Netherlands, especially the hearty ones.
I cook a nice chicken legs oven dish with cannelloni beans and tomatoes and Basil, served with pasta or potatoes.
My chilli con or sin carne ain’t too bad either.
Sounds a bit heavy to me, Stu. Not a fan of scallops or haggis, but I am sure you will cook this with finesse and great use of spices. 🙂
Of course T,
Some American classics…also occasionally use Asian flavors with chicken too. I like Latin flavors and spicy… hence my travel to South America and Caribbean…
I am beginning to discover that one of the greatest, richest, and under appreciated cuisines in the world is Mexican. I’m hoping to visit Mexico city and get the most authentic version.
Sounds great, J. I have no doubt you are an excellent cook, judging from the way you construct your comments.
I’m definitely supporting Eindhoven at Monaco this evening, come on PSVay, qualify, then sell us Cody.
Angus and haggis is a combination made in heaven, or Dunoon. 😉
My Old Dutch restaurants Total, have you been there?
TexMex is amazing, simple food with lashings of flavour.
HT Monaco 0 PSV 1
Uneventful half (neither GK had had a single save to make) ‘til that 38th min when PSV scored a great team goal (Veerman – De Jong’s holdup play and assist were top-class)
Our boy Gakpo wasn’t helped by his LB (Max, I think) who did his best to deliver him the worst possible passes, but the moves, the first touches, the pace, are world-class (Clément probably had a word or two about that to his players, judging from the way they close in on him as soon as he gets the ball)
Wouldn’t be surprised if PSV scored a second, Monaco have physical power, individualities upfront, but don’t look like what I call a football team (take this assessment for what it’s worth – I hate that club)
Just sent a comment about Monaco-PSV , TA – must have ended up somewhere in your spams or something …
Why do you dislike Monaco LG..?
Great comments guys. Am, also watching the game but poor quality. Nervy start by both. Good goal indeed.
Well, Kev at least Chelsea got rid of their oligarch – Monaco still have theirs
They’re also a bunch of tax-evaders, which allows them to pay wages which other French clubs can’t afford
Lastly, that club smells money-laundering to high heaven – all that buying/selling of young promising players (African ones in particular) without any sporting “process” in sight
The other day, we talked about painful finals – to me, having been knocked out of the CL by them in 2015 is on a par with those
Hmm, I never saw AS in that light before, I guess it’s the Wenger, Petit, Grimandi and Traore effect LG.
But when you put it like that it does reek of corruption and there’s more of it still in football than we’d really like to see Ami.
Ah 1-1, that’s a shame…
1-1 it is, then
The “blue” defenders might be in for an RvN “hair-drying” session – there’s not much you can expect from a melee in your 6-yard-box if you don’t show at least a little bit of resolve
At least, it’ll make for a very interesting second leg; with the away goal rule called off, I expect Keown’s best pal to unleash his excellent front four (Salibari will feel very sorry for that 60th (or so) minute miss, but he’s a very good player too imo) completely
There was a teaser about Friday game at half-time on French TV: they have made their choice, obviously – PV4 was the star of the show (didn’t hear what he said though, I watched with the sound turned off because Mrs L. is watching “Stranger Things” on Netflix 3 feet away from me)
I really think the question if Zinch/KT is nr1 is irrelevant. Clearly very different types of fullbacks and Im sure Arteta would choose the player who he thinks suits the gameplan best. This year we have that oppurtunity with our talented squad qnd I hope we’ll see a lot of rotation in the starting 11.
Btw, lot of swedes support the gunners. Think great Freddie boosted that interest back then. Lately I’ve seen quite a lot of kids wearing the Saka 7 shirt. Incredible talent, crazy he is just 5-10 years older than those kid-supporters.
Just 3 days left
Cheers LeG, sounds like a nervy second half.
Really good to hear BS7 is on a lot of Gooners’ shirts in Sweden. The boy is amazing but I hadn’t expected that.
Yes Arteta will rotate especially with all the Cup games. Yet you will see him start a same or similar team for most of the key games. It’s indeed good that Arteta has options in most positions.
Goodbye Bernd, you always gave your all and your shot stopping was awesome. Good luck at Fulham.
I’m reading that Arsenal get £3m initially and another £5m in add-ons, £4m of that tied to Fulham staying in the EPL this season and next.
Now I understand that Leno is/was on a big salary and that obviously had a big influence on the clubs’ wish to move him on, Turner will be on a fraction of what Leno was on?
But it kind of strikes me that Arsenal took another hit just to move him on bearing in mind the difficulty we’re having, still, in selling players for anything close to their true value. I’ve no doubt that Fulham will be absolutely delighted at getting a top international goalkeeper at such a bargain price.
I also wonder if Arsenal might have postponed signing Turner and gone with Leno as our No.2 this season if they’d known how little the club would get in selling him? I’m sure when Edu and Co settled on the course of action taken this season a few months ago that a fee in the region of £12m to £15m was in their heads?
Leno wanted to get back into the German National team and Arsenal would of course have had that in mind when helping him with his transfer, Arteta might have also promised to help move him on last season making Leno’s stint as a No.2 to Ramsdale more bearable. But you could also argue that Leno’s desire to stay in London cost Arsenal the chance of instigating more competition for his services and a more favourable fee so whatever way you look at it Arsenal have lost a lot of dough whilst trying to do the decent thing.
All good points, Kevski. I guess third places GKs with big salaries are not easy to shift. If he also wanted to stay in London then it becomes indeed even harder. I think a lot of Non PL teams are struggling financially, so the market for selling squad players is not great.
“A man never got a woman back
Not by begging on his knees”
Good Ol’ Leonard sure knew you don’t get much out of a bargain when you’re so obviously desperate, and I think as far as transfers go, that’s where we are, Kev
I think – no Sherlock needed here – it’s quite clear that MA has the absolute trust of our owners, who agreed to pay whatever it’d cost in order for him to build the team he had in mind in as little time as possible – hence the desperation
If someone as hopeless at making business as I am could understand this, the football sharks did understand it too, they smelled blood and went – still go – for our jugular; it’s in their nature to do so
A keeper as good as Bernd going away for so little is a bitter pill to swallow, but £50 million
Ben White wasn’t exactly the deal of the century either (make no mistake, I love the lad, and he’s been doing a great job as RB in pre-season) …
On the other hand, what’s great about this summer TW, is that we seem to have made the most of MA’s past at City to buy outstanding players without being left with the feeling we were ransomed (on the basis of what he’s shown in pre-season, a €50m GJ9 is hardly believable)
I have to admit this is not going the way I expected all of this to go when Unai was shown the door … I thought we would rely on our very best academy scholars to make it to 4th or to winning the EL, and then with the money saved in the process, the plan would have been to make 2-3 game-changing signings, at market outrageous “value” (£100m or more) to put up a real fight once back in the CL
It wasn’t to be, but judging from pre-season displays (again) I’m starting to believe that though this be madness, there is method in it
Hey, Le Gall, competition is always nice. Not only if it is provided by Vieira to Odegaard and Smith-Rowe, but also when provided by Leonard Cohen to Bob Dylan and David Bowie. 🙂
Leonard did build up a solid bond in my heart, Pb
Truth is, before I went to college, all these guys were my actual English teachers (Jagger too, Jagger the lyricist is criminally underrated imo), along with the BBC guys who commented the football games on saturday afternoons
Tomorrow’s lineup is a no-brainer, it’s been a long time since I was that impatient to watch the first game of the season …
If there is one thing that I’m hoping for tomorrow it’s the disappointment on the faces of those failed coaches Jamie Carragher and Gary ‘rat face’ Neville at the final whistle.
Carregher has been praising Arsenals business this window… but I don’t trust too many pundjts… so often they just pick a stance to be controversial or to take the other side of their fellow pundits. I’d like to think he actually recognizes the thoughtful planning and execution (investment) that’s going on at Arsenal.
I swear, if I was a neutral fan, I would have seen what Arsenal are building last season, and then after our new signings, I’d be choosing us as the biggest upside surprise for the upcoming season.
Of course I’m totally biased, and predict 3rd or 2nd this season.
As any trained Stoic will tell you, one can only influence one’s own action and opinion with certainty, so I don’t give a flying fig about any self–declared pundit’s point of view.
New Post 🙂