By Walter Broeckx
Looking back at the Emirates Cup we have a lot to feel happy about.
Of course the amazing 6-0 win against Lyon was the most eye catching but the win against Wolfsburg was also very promising.
Let us first analyse the win against Lyon a bit deeper. One could argue that we are further in our build up to the season because we have to play the Community Shield next weekend. But the league starts for Lyon also at the same weekend as it starts in England. In fact Lyon also play in the super cup in France next weekend. So both teams should have been at the same level coming in to this match and looking at the schedule they have in front of them.
And yet Arsenal was very much on top of Lyon and blew them off the field when we really stepped it up during the match. Özil was outstanding in this match and even though not all and everything came off as he wanted it, he was a joy to watch.
But youngster Iwobi was another player to catch the eye. Not just for his goal. Or should I say goals? Because I still haven’t seen a full replay of the disallowed goal because Arsenal went on to score another goal just when they wanted to show the replay and so they had to cut the replay just before the decisive moment. But his overall play and contribution was also of the quality for a young lad making his debut at the Emirates.
What was also impressive was the combination Özil-Ramsey in this match. They both were on fire in the first match. If you can have a look at the 4th goal it was Ramsey who was at the start of the move and then he ran all the pitch to put the delicate cross from Özil over the goal line. If you can have a look at that goal you should try to stop the video at the moment Özil is going to give his pass to Ramsey. To see that opening…it does take some special eyes.
Of course they had the knowledge that Coquelin was behind them picking up the loose balls when needed and so they could run riot at Lyon for most of the match. He sure seems to pick up where he finished last season.
Giroud also contributed a lot not just with his shouldered goal (an Arsenal speciality?) but a good assist for the second goal was also very important. I know the haters will say time and time again that we need a world class striker (without giving a real definition or a player that is available at a realistic price) but for me he did what he had to do. Putting his weight on the Lyon defenders, dragging them from left to right and back to make openings for teammates.
Oxlade-Chamberlain seems raring to go also. I hope the way he finished off the chance and scored our second goal will give him more belief in himself when it comes to scoring: the thing that is missing from his game and that he really can improve on and should.
He has not scored enough goals. That and losing the ball in dangerous positions are the two things he has to work on and keep attention on. Something I also noticed with Ramsey just before he broke his leg and something that got Wenger a bit frustrated at the time. So I’m pretty confident Wenger will teach the Ox as he did with Ramsey. It will be all right in the near future I think.
But we should also give a special mention to the back 4 (or 5). Martinez looked comfortable the whole 90 minutes and is also turning in to a good keeper after his bad start at Reading a few seasons ago. But the back four with Debuchy and Gibbs on the flanks did an excellent job. You could see that both players are realising that they have to work very hard to get a starting place in front of Bellerin and Monreal. Per and Kos were also their usual themselves with good and strong defending whenever it was needed.
Putting six goals past Lyon is not something that happens a lot. They had a rather good defensive record last season so it must have come as a shock to them. And we must remember we did this with last season’s best player not on the field. But I have seen some pictures and a short video clip that Alexis posted on the internet of him doing some training on the beach in Chile on his own. I have the impression he wants to be ready when he comes back to London in a few days.
Amazing to think that we still have Alexis not playing. And Welbeck. And Rosicky and Flamini. That is two more strikers and two more midfielders.
More in the next article.