Tag Archives: Arsenal

Arsenal make it 5 wins from 5 as impressive pre-season comes to an end

We have been in scintillating form during pre-season, so it was no surprise we beat Sevilla.

The manner of how we brushed aside the Spanish side was however unpredictable.

Yes, it was just pre-season. And yes, we are a week ahead of Sevilla in terms of preparation – La Liga starts a week after the Premier League. But we should celebrate our impressive performance.

Sevilla finished 4th last season in La Liga, and had the best defensive record conceding just 30 goals in 38 games.

They have sold their senior defender Douglas Carlos to Aston Villa and their talented young centre back Jules Kounde didn’t play due to his impending more to Barcelona.

But we scored 6 goals. And they were impressive goals.

The type of goals where you could see the types of attacking situations that we were attempting to manufacture. The attacking patterns that came straight off the training ground.

A hat trick for Gabriel Jesus. Brace for Bukayo Saka and another pre-season goal for Eddie Nketiah.

The front 3 of Jesus, Saka and Martinelli looked versatile and electric. Whilst Martin Odergaard ran the game behind.

Thomas Partey dominated the midfield and Granit Xhaka kept the game ticking.

William Saliba and Gabriel looked solid in defence whilst Ben White and Alex Zinchenko were untroubled as “inverted” full backs.

At one point in the second half, Zinchenko pushed into midfield and we went into a back 3.

All in all a very good performance.

The XI that played was also the XI that faced Chelsea in our last pre-season game. It is also the XI I expect to start against Crystal Palace on Friday.

10-goals in our last 2 preseason games against sides in the Champions League.

That makes it 5 wins from 5 pre-season games – the behind closed door games against Ipswich and Brentford were no more than training matches.

20 goals scored in those 5 games for Arteta’s new attacking Arsenal. 3 clean sheets.

A pre-season that will all get us excited.

We now need to back it up against Palace on the opening game of the season.

Bring on the Premier League.

Keenos

Former targets back on the radar after step away from Martinez & Raphinha deals

Weekend news is that we have pulled out of the deal for Ajax defender Lisandro Martinez.

This is being promoted as a “huge snub” for Arsenal, compounded by the Raphinha “rejection”.

Like Raphinha, the truth is very different to the narrative taken by the media.

Arsenal have not been rejected by Martinez. We have decided he is not worth spending £45million on him.

To those that demand we “pay the asking price”, let’s break it down for you.

Leeds United we’re demanding £65m for Raphinha. Martinez looks to be off to Manchester United for £45m. That is £110m combined.

Should we really be spending £110m on players that are not guaranteed a start?

Martinez was always going to come in as dual competition and cover for Kieran Tierney and Gabriel. Raphinha would have to compete with Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli on the wings.

Arsenal were looking to get the deals done for a combined £70m (£40m for Raphinha, £30m for Martinez).

£70m for the pair feels good – especially after the investment in Gabriel Jesus and Fabio Vieira. £100m+ feels steep.

Stepping away from the deal does not mean we need to go “back to the drawing board”.

We will be interested in many players at the same time. Martinez would not be the only left back we were keeping an eye on, talking to representatives.

Remember Aaron Hickey?

We were linked heavily with him at the beginning of the transfer window before seemingly switching to Martinez as our priority.

He looks set to join Brentford but it might not be too late to sweep in.

Likewise Olexsandr Zinchenko was linked to us prior to the Martinez “interest”.

This was of course press speculation and they never know everything.

We were getting linked with Zinchenko at around £25m. That is £20m less than Martinez’s impending move to Man U.

He might not cover centre back but he does cover central midfield. Arteta loves versatility.

Another forgotten man is Youri Tielemans.

The Belgium midfielder seemed to be our number one target back in June. Then we signed Vieira and began to target Raphinha.

The fee for Tielemans was rumoured to be around £30m.

Could Arsenal go back in for him and then utilise Vieira’s versatility as another option on the wing?

Edu and Mikel Arteta would likely have preferred Martinez and Raphinha for £70m ahead of Hickey and Tielemans for £55.

But Hickey and Tielemans for £55m feels much better business than Martinez and Raphinha for £110m.

So we move on to our next targets. Potentially going back to the two lads we were heavily linked with earlier in the summer.

And at £55m for them, it could leave us with some money left on the pot to improve elsewhere. Has we spent £110m that would have been our transfer budget blown.

I would not be surprised if we see links to Zinchenko and Tielemans intensify this week.

Final thought: We could potentially sign Zinchenko, Tielemans and Cody Gakpo for the price of Raphinha and Martinez. That is sort of business we should be doing.

Keenos

Eriksen to Arsenal? Yes please

Whilst watching the evening game on Saturday, one stand out player came onto my scouting radar.

Christian Eriksen.

The Danish midfielder was integral to everything good Brentford did Saturday and has been in fantastic form since the West London side signed him in January.

Brentford only gave him a 6 month deal following his cardiac arrest at last summers European Championship.

He has shown in the handful of games he has played that he still has a lot to offer.

At 30-years-old, Eriksen would be a departure from Arsenal’s recent transfer policy of buying youth. But that should not put Edu off.

Eriksen would be available on a free transfer and would unlikely command huge wages. We wouldn’t therefore be tying up lots of money in him.

The Dane would also fit perfectly into Arsenal’s current system.

Mikel Arteta’s system that has seen Arsenal climb into 4th place is about having Ken defensive midfielder in Thomas Partey and then Granit Xhaka and Martin Odergaard playing in tandem further forward.

Eriksen would give Arteta a more attacking option over Xhaka and would also provide cover for both the Swiss man and Norwegian.

Considering Eriksen health problems, his playing time would need to be managed. Being the cover and competition for Xhaka and Odergaard could be ideal for him.

Likewise with Arsenal 99% certain of getting European football, we need more squad depth.

There is also Eriksen’s character.

He is a humble lad, settled in London with his family and a leader. He would fit in nicely with the current squad make-up and provide a senior role mode to our young, hungry stars.

Eriksen to Arsenal? Yes please.

Keenos