Singapore select XI
We expected to beat them and we did. It was also by a score that reflected the difference in the teams and the occasion. I said last week that I was looking forward to watching Akpom and he didn’t disappoint. Three goals is also a good way to get the managers attention. I hope he gets a run in the first team this season because he clearly has a lot of potential.
The thing that stood out most for me watching the game was how our players interchanged. For example, on paper Walcott started on the left and Wilshere started on the right. In reality Walcott played all across the front line and Wilshere played on both flanks and at times in the middle too.
Although I’m sure we can expect more positional discipline when the games actually matter, watching the players move about with freedom was very interesting a fun to watch. It is also worth noting despite the players appearing not to have to set position, (except in defence) every position was covered. When Jack moved left Theo moved right. When Jack went central Özil drifted wide. This told me that the team hasn’t lost any of its cohesion, which of course bodes well for the start of the season.
Something else to take away from the Everton game was the manner of the win. 3-1 isn’t exactly a drubbing, but Everton are a good team and we made them look awful at times. Barkley scored a very good consolation goal but they were already three down and it was directly as a result of an error by Oxlade-Chamberlain. For the first time in years, fans and pundits are talking about us a potential title contenders rather than the favourites to drop out of the top four and there is a fear factor attached to such labels. That fear factor only increases when good teams are dispatched with ease, and the more we can do this the more opposition teams will stop believing that they can get a result. If you don’t believe you can win, the chances are you wont.
Ultimately the game that will really bring a fear factor is the community shield. If we beat Chelsea we’ll lay down a marker for the rest of the league.
Santi was outstanding against Everton. Scoring one and assisting the other two, he pulled all the strings and was probably our best player. The deep lying playmaker role is what Pirlo is renowned for, and Cazorla is every bit as good. At this rate, he’s going to be extremely difficult to replace if he decides that he wants to go back to Spain at the end of the season.
The Cazorla/Coquelin duo at the base of midfield is something I loved watching last season and I think will be outstanding again this season. It also means that there is no way Arsene will be signing a DM unless Juventus decide to sell him Pogba for £20, and I’m ok with that.
According to Sky Sports we made a bid for Dortmund’s 26 goal striker which they have rejected. Having watched a fair amount of Dortmund last season, (BT Sport ladies and gentlemen) I have to agree with comparisons to Walcott. They are very similar in how they operate and I think that if Theo is given a run of games in a central striking role like he was at the end of last season he’ll score a lot of goals.
Aubameyang can also play across the entire front line like Theo and Alexis, so Arsene could be planning on playing all three in an interchangeable frenzy of pace to terrify slow defences. Apart from that, the only reason for our interest in him would be if Arsene thinks that Theo will leave. Given that contract talks are ongoing this isn’t beyond the realms of possibility, however it would be a shame to see him go.
Sp*rs share the Emirates
Saturday’s Independent and London Evening Standard had stories about the spuds in a ground share whilst they redevelop their toilet of a stadium. Fellow GT writer Alex has already alleviated my fears by informing me that Arsene has said no. Considering how much power he has at the club I’d like to think that what he says will go, regardless of how much money Daniel Levy offers the board. If not then I predict a riot.