6 things I learnt from watching the Emirates Cup.
Hallo gooners world over, the Emirates Cup, the two-day tourney which has served as a curtain raiser to our season for the past 4 years went down this weekend, and as it’s almost become tradition, the “coveted” cup is staying home. But that’s only a bit of what we learnt from a competition that included A.C Milan, Celtic, and Lyon. We ended up with 8 points in total, 4 for earning a win and a draw, and the other 4 points for scoring 4 goals. I feel it gave us a fair idea of what to expect in the coming season as most of our players were around and played at least one match.
So, I’m just going to touch on a few things I learnt from watching the team play in both matches.
The most interesting thing I noticed is that we are somewhat stronger upfront. I say this with uttermost respect, but it seems as though we have replaced a shattered Eduardo with a skillful and hardworking point man in Marouane. While it’s still too early for any assessments, the Moroccan was everywhere over the weekend, he was our focal point in the first game and played his part very well. His first touch is quite assured, his link-up play is impressive and he definitely has an array of skills to boast of.
Koscly just might be the real deal. After unconvincing performances earlier in pre-season, the Polish Frenchman really came to life at the Emirates and performed quite admirably. He was calm and assured in his tackles. Even though he still has a lot of improving to do as the atmosphere over the weekend will be different from what’s obtained when the season proper begins, he looks a decent buy and even his partner had this to say about him.
“He’s a clever player, quick over the ground, quick with his feet and looks to be the complete defender. I think we can work together well, he’s right-footed and it’s often better to play one left-footed and one right-footed defender together.” Vermaelen said.
Frimpong and Wilshere are two youngsters that will most likely and soon break into the first team. On first sight, Frimpong looked quite scared and uncomfortable but as soon as the match began, he eased himself into his defensive midfield role and took no prisoners. He was not fazed by the pedigree of the A.C Milan players as he hassled the opponents here and there, and won the ball a lot of times.
For Wilshere, is talent is not in doubt, it’s only a matter of whether he has the attitude to make his talent come to the fore. He had two amazing games and even struck a Scholesque volley against the cross bar. His confidence and ball retaining abilities are amazing and he was at the heart of everything Arsenal did. Despite his small frame, he seems to enjoy the physical aspect of the game.
Both players gave a few passes away, but that can be attributed to their youthfulness and it is safe to say that will be eradicated as they mature.
Bad habits are very difficult to kill and that was obvious again over the weekend. Our penchant for conceding unnecessary goals is something that denied us the trophy last season. In both matches we conceded cheap goals, goals we could have avoided. It is very sad to see us scrape through a match we should have easily won. No one expected the tension that accompanied the closing minutes of the Celtic match; not after going 3 goals up. Arsene needs to tell the players that it takes a mean defence to mount a successful title challenge.
Cesc might have set his mind on leaving for Barcelona. Still on holiday, I watched on TV this morning as he was honoured in Spain for his part in the World cup triumph. And as he addressed the fans, he stated that he would love to see them more often. What that really means, I can’t tell you, but one thing I am sure it does not mean is flying from London to Barcelona every weekend to say hello to his fans! I think it was Arsene’s wish that he addressed the fans prior to the Emirates cup but he refused. His games are not funny anymore and I think he should state categorically if he wants to be with us next season or not. He needs to end this sequence of boring stories of how he adores gooners worldwide while at the same time breaking their hearts with his comments concerning Barcelona.
Almunia is not leaving Arsenal, at least not this summer. Speculations were rife about him leaving when he was not included in the previous matches, but on Sunday, he was back in goal as number one and captain too. To be fair to him,, he had a good game albeit conceding two goals and seems to have done enough (not enough in my opinion) to convince Arsene to keep him. Arsene said yesterday that he is only in the market for a defensive player (more or less a defender) which you will all agree is more important right now than a goalkeeper. But what law says we can’t have both?
So that’s it mates, my lessons from watching my team play two matches back to back. I am sure our views will differ on some issues I raised. Why not tell me what you saw differently and what needs to be done about them.
See you in the comments.
From wherever you are reading, have fun.
9jabred says so!