This was a headline waiting to be written and I’m not even an Oasis fan.
Perhaps you want to know, why won’t we look back at Angers, which is pronounced more like ‘armchair’: the viewing position of many on the pitch in Arsenal’s penultimate friendly.
Aside from Nelson, there was very little to celebrate in Arsenal’s meagre attack, spearheaded by the hardworking, but ineffective, Nketiah.
No wonder, the half-time score was 1-0 to the hosts after an abject and deflated display by this young Arsenal side fielded by Unai Emery. My late grandfather would have called the performance ‘putrid’.
After some more experience was introduced, at half time, the fledglings still on the pitch showed a little more life with ‘the Admiral’ Nelson netting (who else?).
In fact, on the subject of who else, Martinelli is always sniffing around goal like (dare I say it?) a Martin Peters of yesteryear and a Dele Ali in today’s game. Although I don’t rate his overall game, Martinelli looks potentially lethal in the box, so might be a huge asset this season.
Focus on the game was minimal, perhaps because the big news was the signing of Pepe for a record transfer fee, although it was still not completely confirmed while the game was going on.
Meanwhile, aside from Nelson, who went off injured, who else could have held their head up high? Dominic Thompson, that’s who? Don’t be surprised if we see more of this left back. Who needs Tierney, when this level of young talent is almost ready for first-team duty?
Looking ahead to the season, let’s hope we see less of the Arsenal that started this game against Angers, making the opposition look like Don Revie’s Leeds. Now that’s scary!
Next up it’s Barca in the final friendly before a trip to the stripes of Newcastle. On this performance, few will relish either trip, unless you’re a keeper looking for shooting practice.
Still, Martinez is up to the task. It’s about time the Argentinean got a chance to show Arsenal fans how much he’s improved during his loan periods elsewhere. I’ve always rated him, so I won’t be at all surprised if he ends up as a capable deputy for Leno in the league and top-notch in his own right in the cup competitions, winning penalty shootouts for Arsenal (like against Angers).
Other news: Takuma Asuma has left the club, following in the footsteps of other two other Japanese imports who failed to make it at Arsenal: Junichi Inamoto and Ryo Miyaichi. I had big hopes for Asuma as, physically and technically, he seems to have what it takes to thrive in British football. Perhaps we can thank the home office for his lack of opportunities in this country and just wish him well for the future.