By Bulldog Drummond
Orlando City are part way through their own season and involved in a heavy schedule of games, so can be forgiven for not taking the match too seriously. Arsenal are of course trying to use as many players as possible to see what options they have and more importantly what options work.
Plus I suspect put a few players that they would like to get rid of, on display.
The weather for this game didn’t help as torrential rain held up the match for an hour. But ultimately the starting line up was
Cedric Soares, Rob Holding, Pablo Mari, Nuno Tavares
Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Mohamed Elneny, Albert Sambi Lokonga
Nicolas Pepe, Eddie Nketiah, Gabriel Martinelli
The bench was pretty crowded: Matt Turner, Hector Bellerin, Ben White, Gabriel, William Saliba, Reuell Walters, Thomas Partey, Granit Xhaka, Martin Odegaard, Reiss Nelson, Bukayo Saka, Marquinhos, Folarin Balogun, Gabriel Jesus
Reuell Walters is the name that may be unfamiliar so before we start the match here’s a video of him
As for the game, which Arsenal won, there are plenty of videos around, but many of them are so packed with adverts it becomes hard to make much sense of the game. This video below still has ads but is about the best that I can find. But in case it goes down, or you are looking for something different I have added a couple of others. They are all of the same game!
So what did we find out?
Ben White played at right back and seemed able to do it ok.
Rob Holding looked stable and organised, as we saw last season
Gabriel looked in good form for a pre-season game.
Nuno Tavares is still only 22, and not the rounded defender, but he looks to be finding his game and it looks like the club is giving him time to do that.
Mohamed Elneny is probably not going to start many games this season in the league, but he is solid and dependable and looked so once again.
Albert Sambi Logonga seemed to be solid and dependable.
Martin Odegaard is easing himself back into his position as captain and director general on the pitch, and long may that last. He may well have a long term future at the club after being a player as well.
Nicolas Pepe is in a quandary. Does he try extra hard and risk making mistakes or try and refind his natural game and get accused not trying hard enough? He seemed to be trying re-find his natural game.
Gabriel Jesus made all the difference to the team and was one of the two stars of the match.
Eddie Nketiah was the other star. At last he believes in himself and his importance to the team – and everyone else responds.
Of the substitutes, Reiss Nelson needs a mention not just for scoring but for the reaction of himself and those around him. It looks like they want him to stay. That’s not saying they will influence the manager, but he looked part of the team.
- Being a visionary is not as easy as it looks
- Fifa appeals to Swiss courts against Court of Arbitration in Sport ruling
- 6 years late, media finally starts to admit there is a refereeing problem in the PL.
- Arsenal have only three players who have scored in double figures!
- Welcome to the new age of football: cunning, manipulation and a simple desire for power
2 Replies to “Orlando City v Arsenal: the Arsenal team, the video and player review”
I stayed up way past my bed time and watched the match. I agree with the assessment in the article above but would like to comment on William Saliba.
Early days I know but from what I have seen of him in the games so far I think we could reasonably describe him as an embryo Virgil van Dijk. He looks to me to have a VVD presence and calmness about him, he is assured, strong, quick and his range of skills are impressive. I think White is going to find it hard to keep ahead of him in the pecking order.
Artetas much criticized handling of Saliba over the last two seasons appears to have born fruit, now hopefully the critics will shut up and who knows even acknowledge that Mikel does actually know what he is doing.
I fully agree. Saliba was offered the possibility to play pretty much in the starting line-up of a historic team in the french league. It may not be the intensity of the PL, still there are real games being played and the atmosphere in some of them is ‘hot’.
Much better then warming the bench, if you ask me ! And suddendly we see White being aligned as right back and you wonder what this means… !
As you say, Mr Arteta, IMHO, definitely knows what he is doing, and if it does not work, he takes decisions and lets the player go. Far better and much more honnest then keeping an unhappy player doing nothing if you ask me.
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