In the event of a no-more-deals summer, Arsenal can rest assured they should have a decent season ahead of them, despite not strengthening the defence in the transfer market, at least.
This game with Lyon was almost like a leaflet through the post, reminding us that we don’t need to be on a war-footing or as Corporal Jones of ‘Dad’s Army’ would say: ‘Don’t panic!’
The return of Calum Chambers from his loan spell from Fulham should ensure that there is no need for panicking. The central defender looked so assured in the starting line-up and with Guendouzi in midfield, Lyon didn’t look likely to break Arsenal down.
However, once Guendouzi was replaced at half-time, with Arsenal defending a 1-0 lead, thanks to the Mkhitaryan-Aubameyang combination striking again, the tide began to turn in this Emirates Cup match.
Suddenly, Arsenal were on the back foot, and Sublime-Ridiculous, although brilliant going forward, was exposed defensively by Depay, who crossed for Dembele to head an equaliser.
Arsenal brought on the cavalry, which included latest-signing Ceballos and the-less-heralded-new-signing Martinelli and, despite my reservations about the latter, he was seemingly in the right place at the right time to put Arsenal ahead again. However, the referee’s assistant had different ideas.
This uncanny (almost Gothic) knack that Martinelli has of nicking goals by ghosting into the box will have been noticed by Emery, who will be likely to include the Brazilian in the first-team squad based on this performance.
Without Guendouzi, Arsenal were carved open, however, at the other end, with Dembele making it 2-1.
That was how it stayed, despite Neck-Tie’s wriggling in the box and, overall, impressive performance.
Therefore, Gooners should not be downhearted after this display.
Let me sum it up with new-ish reasons to cheerful or to be ‘drearful’.
Reasons to be cheerful:
2. Reiss Nelson
3. Joe Willock
4. Eddie Nketiah
5. Fitness levels
6. Team spirit
7. Martinelli’s goalscoring instinct
Reasons to be drearful:
1. Defensive issues without Guendouzi
2. Lacazette’s ankle injury
3. Xhaka as captain
4. Mustafi (is he just a scapegoat?)
Off the pitch, although the Pepe deal is not done, he sounds a better proposition than Zaha to me, so let’s hope Arsenal can finalise that deal.
Personally, I don’t care if Tierney joins or not. I heard from a Hearts fan that the left-back is seriously over-rated, but the real reason I’m worried about his arrival is his career-threatening injuries. If Tierney does sign, we won’t see him in action until September at the earliest.
Before I sign off, i have to ‘big up’ Kolasinac for defending the Ozil family from car-jackers. If his footwork and aggression is that impressive in an Arsenal shirt when he gets the nod, there will be a lot of clean sheets, that’s for sure.
Two more friendllies to go! Bring them on!