Tag Archives: She Wore A Yellow Ribbon

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

After Brentford and Leicester City, can Newcastle round off a great weekend for Arsenal fans?

Happy Sunday! And what a glorious one it is.

A Sunday morning spring coffee is always one of my most zen moments of the week.

There is a chill in the air which awakens your senses, the hot sun beating on my skin and all IBC an hear is birds chirping. And the distant hum of the M11. I think I will grab another cuppa before starting my day.

Yesterday was a good day for Arsenal. Even though we did not play.

No one saw that Chelsea defeat coming. And the manner of the defeat will be concerning to the fans.

Losing 4-1 at home to a side in a relegation battle is never a good look. But the defeat comes on the backdrop of the Roman Abramovich sanctions, the clubs impending sale and Thomas Tuchel splitting from his wife.

They are clearly a club in turmoil off the pitch, and it was only a matter of time until that translated on the pitch.

Chelsea have a Champions League game against Real Madrid mid-week before visiting Southampton.

Whilst yesterday was there first league defeat in 6 games, you feel they could be on the brink of imploding.

What the lose to Brentford does is re-open 3rd place as a genuine target. We beat Crystal Palace on Monday (by no means an easy feat) and the gap is closed to just 2 points.

Also dropping points in the race for the top 4 was Manchester United.

A 1-1 draw at home to Leicester City is a disaster for them. Now 3 points behind us, we have two games in hand (the first of which is the game against Palace tomorrow).

It is getting to the point where we will start talking about “maximum points” that our opponents can get.

If Manchester United win their last 8 games, they will be on 75 points. Realistically they are not going to go on an 8 game winning streak.

It wasn’t just the draw against Leicester City, but the performance.

Man U were toothless, passionless and clueless.

They played without a striker and seemed to be playing without a game plan.

Scott McTominay eas lucky to stay on the pitch. And whilst VAR was right to rule out a second Leicester goal, you do feel if that was a Manchester United goal it would have stood.

That highlights the problem with VAR.

Whilst offside now no longer has a grey area – you are either on or off; fouls and what is deemed “clear and obvious” is still subjective.

I do think yesterday was a clear abs obvious decision. Kelechi Iheanacho did foul Varane. But it is one of those that you feel referees would decide it wasn’t a clear and obvious error if it was in favour of Manchester United in front of the Stretford End or Liverpool in front of the Kop.

Regardless, it is 2 points dropped for Manchester United and 3 points dropped for Chelsea.

Today Tottenham face Newcastle at home. I do not expect any slip-ups from them. But then again we have to remember teams are playing the “new Newcastle” who have shown top 4 form since February 1st. Not the old one that showed bottom 4 form for the first 20 games of the season.

If (and it is a big if) Tottenham do drop points, it will be a fantastic weekend for Arsenal without even playing.

Monday we travel to Palace and they showed against Manchester City that they are difficult to break down.

With their array of exciting forward talent – Zaha, Mateta, Olise and Eze – they are dangerous on the break.

Manchester City understood this which led them to play cautiously against them; not committing too many men forward on attacks.

Palace play with a deep defence and pace on attack. They will be a threat.

One last thing, our friends at Kick Off Merchants have just released their new 1988 inspired collection. Well worth a look if you have a home bar or looking for a gift ideas!

Enjoy your Sunday!

Keenos