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!!! 🤩 🤩 🤩