Well, quite a week of change from an Arsenal perspective. Plans to travel to America were scrapped (it was a ludicrous idea from the get go) and a few pre-season games behind closed doors came in.
As the week progressed Ben White arrived to nobody’s shock and the squad trained ahead of this stupid Mind series where we play Chelsea and the Scum. Which is an utterly pointless load of bollocks and watching it yesterday there were some nasty tackles that felt very deliberate.
Arsenal 1-2 Chelsea
On the receiving end of one from Ruben-Lumbering Chump was Partey. Looking at the way his ankle rolled Arteta’s conclusion of “It doesn’t look good” sounds bang on the money. I expect he’ll be out for 4-6 weeks which with the season starting next Friday is far from ideal. There has been lots of talk about getting another midfielder in to partner him and that now must be pressing if true. We can all do without another outing of the Xhaka/Elneny pivot.
Aubameyang’s form is becoming a real problem and going into a critical season it’s something he needs to put right. Strikers have blips but this has been ongoing since well before his bout of malaria. There is interest in Inter striker Lautaro Martinez but I think we’re going to be priced out of that one, leaving us with: an out-of-sorts Auba, an aging Lacazette and then a handful of young, inexperienced options.
And then we come to the defence…wow. We need some serious work on the training ground to get that straight too. The space Chelsea had behind our back line yesterday was terrifying at times. Realistically they should have put about 4 past us. Pre-season improvement needed!
On a more positive note, we did create a lot yesterday and there were some solid performances from ESR, Tierney, Lokonga and White. There are some definite bright sparks in this slightly new look Arsenal side however let’s not kid ourselves, there’s a lot left to do.