Arsenal vs Wayne’s World. Wow, wow and wow, that was good.



By Tony Attwood

In case you were, like me, too old and too tired to watch a match in the early hours of the morning, or at last to watch a friendly game in the early hours of the morning, here are the highlights and believe me if you haven’t watched them yet, or indeed if you haven’t yet seen them half a dozen times, it is worth looking.

Every goal was wonderful, and from what we can see on the highlights everyone played their part, and we are starting to get some notion of how the team will line up – although this isn’t the final version yet, of course.


White, Saliba, Gabriel, Kiwior,

Jorginho, Vieira, Trossard,

Saka, Nketiah, Jesus

Five superb goals, each from someone different.  It doesn’t get much better – although  I suspect this season it will.   Gabriel Jesus, Leandro Trossard, Jorginho, Gabriel Martinelli amd Kai Havertz scored.  What more do you want?

We had some great moments in the game and of  course this being a pre-season friendly, some moments that were not quite right, but you don’t want the team too perfect too soon.  But we most certainly did get to see Declan Rice on as a second half sub.

And yes it was just a warm-up game, and yes it was against modest opposition, but even so, for a pre-season game.  And not just because there were those five scorers, but also because Folarin Balogun came on as well.  Maybe he is going to stay (I hope so) although maybe he was just being shown off to potential suitors.

The last time I saw a pre-season game this assured was in 2003, and we know what happened then.

And still Arteta is not satisfied saying, “I think we were suffocated with the weather … and we could not really control the game,”

Yet from what I have seen Kai Havertz looked superb, and worth every farthing, (an old monetary value, a coin worth one-quarter of 1d – and old penny, for which one needed 2.4 to make a new penny, I think…  oh the way us old timers can go on when it comes to thinking of the old days…).

Havertz played 91 times for Chelsea and scored 19 goals – a drop in goal ratio of around a third on this previous achievement with Bayer Leverkusen where he got 36 in 118.  And from this I would say that is more a reflection on Chelsea than on him.  Another one Chelsea have let slip through their hands.  And of course Arteta has him playing in a different position – none of this false nine stuff – but then we would expect nothing less. 

And for now it looks like Rice, Martin Odegaard, and Haverz will be the heart of the team, which ought to be enough to scare the living daylights out of any opposition that have enough brains to be scared with, even before a ball is kicked.

The media has also come up with its opening round of “Solid piece of Timber” comments and variations there on – we can expect more.  And the truth is he absolutely fitted in and knew exactly how the show was going to run.  And we got some of Arteta’s new language of explanations.  I particularly liked,  “He gives you the capacity to invert and occupy different spaces.

“He’s so comfortable on the ball in that phase. As well he’s got that aggression in the duels and that dynamism which I really like. You saw with his first action, high press, won the ball straight away, won the duel and was ready to go. He is going to be a really important player for us.”

And yes Saliba is back as… Saliba.  Oh what would have been last season if he had not got injured.

As for the others, Takehiro Tomiyasu played, although earlier reports said he wouldn’t be returning until the season was about six games old.  These journalists with their tales!  Where do they get them?

So predictions of the first XI might now be


White, Timber, Saliba, Zinchenko, 

Odegaard, Rice, Havertz;

Saka, Jesus, Martinelli.

Which is pretty damn good, but is doubleplus extra good when you think who is on the beach, sunning themselves….Turner; Tomiyasu, White, Kiwior, Tierney; Vieira, Jorginho, Smith-Rowe; Nelson, Nketiah, Trossard.  Play that lot in the league cup, and I’d say that competition is ours.  Same with the FA Cup.

And there was one wonderful thing Arteta said afterwards… “The idea is to be more unpredictable every year and more difficult for the opponents to stop and nullify what they do. I think now, especially in the back and midfield we have many more options than we had last year.”

Which could well mean that Balogun stays.  And I’d say again, don’t forget Smith Rowe who played in all of the Under 21s Euro winning team games.

7 Replies to “Arsenal vs Wayne’s World. Wow, wow and wow, that was good.”

  1. Hi Tony, great thoughts about how we might line up next season. We all know that Arteta is a wonderful tactician but I think it might be best to start the games with eleven players!

  2. And better still not to be trying to write this with a really painful back, having got injured last night! My mistake, I’ll correct it.

  3. Please forgive me, I posted a shorter version of this on the last post.

    “What Kai Havertz? He can’t even hit a barn door,” Jamie O’Hara said on talkSPORT.

    One swallow and all that, but really?

    Talkshites hatred of Arsenal in general, and that of certain pundits and presenters is beyond laughable.

    I know it’s clickbait or whatever, but honestly it’s like a running gag that just isn’t funny anymore.

    Anyway, I hope O’Hara is suitably embarrassed this morning.

    “Havertz played 91 times for Chelsea and scored 19 goals – a drop in goal ratio of around a third on this previous achievement with Bayer Leverkusen where he got 36 in 118. And from this I would say that is more a reflection on Chelsea than on him”.

    Perhaps it was a misunderstanding Tony? Whereas Chelsea seemed to of been trying to get Harvertz to hit a barn door, without much success it seems. Arsenal have taken a leaf out of Leverkusens book, and tried to get him to hit he back of the net!

    This coaching lark eye!

    As for the match. Like most in the UK I suspect, I couldn’t watch, but have seen the goals, and as Tony says, what goals they are!!!

    From the stats it seems we just about dominated possession, 56% to 44%. Efforts on goal more so, 15 to 7 with 5 to 2 on target, but it appears we allowed them to counter attack a bit too easily, all be it without them ever being too threatening.

    That’s what the stats suggest anyway.

    Odegaard says “Good in patches, but room for improvement. Early days”

    Sounds a reasonable summary.

    What I like, is goals from everywhere again. Who needs Mbappe?

  4. I must admit that I watched the match this night. I forgot to disable the match notifications so my watch woke me up. I thought oh well let’s have a quick look and then go back to bed. But it was great to see us play so stayed up till the end.
    I will be early in bed this evening I think….
    The best thing I noticed is that it looks that we can switch players for likewise players and not get weaker in doing so. And that was the main difference with City last season.
    Rice and Timber with good first matches. Showing promise and quality.

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