Benfica Match review and Insight.
Pace oh pace how we have missed thee… Emirates cup pre-season tie against Benfica was a nice run out for the players and a good day out for the supporters. When I saw the team-sheet I immediately gained optimism at the prospect of seeing pace back in our attack. A dynamic frontline containing Oxlade-Chamberlain, Sanogo and Campbell guaranteed an exciting spectacle going forward and we weren’t disappointed.
There was evidence of Campbell demonstrating his desire to play for Arsenal this year with his direct style on the ball. He was good coming in off the right and knows how to beat a defender, he bagged himself a nice goal and although he could have scored more, his attacking intent was encouraging.
Sanogo scored and I stated a while back that when Sanogo eventually does score he won’t stop, not once did he stop. What I’ve always admired about him is how he’s never hidden on the pitch in spite of missing chances, he keeps going and going and I think that could get him far, he’s certainly at the right club to do so.
He’s incredibly raw and will need to neaten up technical aspects of his game but that will come with practice, his movement has always been one of his better attributes however and he’s been unlucky not to score for u before. He got into great situations against Benfica and his simple finishes should not be underestimated, it usually signals a good striker. 4 goals will only enhance his confidence going into the season and hopefully he pushes on.
It’s also nice to see both full-backs get forward too! Ever since former right back Bacary Sagna returned from his leg-breaks he lost his urge to burst forward and offer an alternative, we had to settle for his occasional special delivery crosses in the rare big game. The Benfica game made for a totally different scenario as both Kieran Gibbs and Hector Bellerin occupied the full-back positions. Gibbs showed what we already know about him whilst young Hector demonstrated adventure in his game. The young Spaniard could also be a factor in why Jenkinson doesn’t currently feature in the clubs plan for the coming season, a promising prospect indeed. Needs work defensively but that will come with more match experience no doubt and I look forward to viewing his development over the next few years.
I’ve recently emphasised on how I believe our attack has been bolstered already this summer with the signing of Sanchez and return of Campbell, not to mention Walcott is getting fitter with each passing day and Sanogo should improve from here. Podolski and Giroud also due a return to action makes our options up front fairly strong in my opinion.
A good variety of options up there and if we sort out more pressing issues like finding a midfield powerhouse as well as replacing our captain Vermaelen who’s exit seems imminent at this point then I don’t see why we can’t rank our squad up there with the best in the league!
Time will tell of course.