The Arsenal USA Tour came to an end on Wednesday with a defeat via penalties to Zidane’s Real Madrid. It was a game that finished with 20 players on the pitch with a player sent off from both teams. Lacazette and Aubameyang scored their first pre-season goals as the gunners let a 2-0 lead slip before losing 3-2 on penalties.
We won three of the four matches played in the USA – A 3-0 win over Colorado Rapids before playing three matches in the International Champions Cup. Eddie Nketiah scored the winner against Bayern Munich (2-1), before getting a brace against Fiorentina (3-0). Joe Willock scored the other goal against the Italians and gave a good account of himself in the defeat to Real Madrid.
It was a good outing for the team, especially the academy and newly promoted players. Eddie Nketiah, Joe Willock and Robbie Burton stood out while James Olayinka, Reiss Nelson and Bukayo Saka played their parts. How many of these players will be involved in Emery’s plan this season? Don’t forget about Krystian Bielik.
Arsenal could win the Internal Champions Cup. All other teams have been eliminated except Benfica, Manchester United and Atletico Madrid. A win for any of these three teams would displace the gunners from the top of the table. The small matter of the Emirates Cup comes up today. Arsenal Women will play Bayern Munich while the male team will square up against Lyon.
Irrespective of how the results of these pre-season games are, Emery must prepare his team for the challenge ahead. His first season can be forgiven but I don’t think the fans will be patient this season.
The transfers seem to be positive so far. Dani Ceballos joined on loan from Real Madrid to shore up the midfield. William Saiba joined Saint-Etienne but the defender will spend the season on loan with the French side. Arsenal is expected to announce the signing of Nicolas Pepe from Lille. Does that mean we won’t have Wilfred Zaha in an Arsenal jersey? Only time will tell.
Arsenal still need to get a centre back this window. Can we rely on Mavropanos and Sokratis? The relationship with Koscielny is sour now and Mustafi doesn’t seem to be interested in improving.
Ok that is all from me. We meet at the Emirates today.