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.
- Arsenal has let in one more goal than at this stage last season, and that’s a disaster
- Arsenal continue to make more progress than the rest of the big seven
- Arsenal v Tottenham; the team and some rather jolly recent history
- We are running out of referees, and the reason is the PGMO.
- Arsenal v Tottenham: the key fact the media won’t to tell you – and why they won’t