What did we learn from Arsenal v Juventus?




By Tony Attwood

In theory, it should have been another win.   We had a strong team out

 Ramsdale (GK);

White, Gabriel, Holding, Tierney 

Partey, Xhaka 

Odegaard, Vieira, Nelson —


Although the bench lacked names to stir the heart

Hein, Turner, Cedric, Sousa, Walters, Foran, Elneny, Nwaneri, Smith, Marquinhos, Butler-Oyedeji, Cozier-Duberry. 

For Juventus, it was their first match since the World Cup and unlike Arsenal, they were not top of their league…


  P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Napoli 15 13 2 0 37 12 25 41
2 Milan 15 10 3 2 29 15 14 33
3 Juventus 15 9 4 2 24 7 17 31
4 Lazio 15 9 3 3 26 11 15 30


Ben White and Granit Xhaka were back in the lineup but  Reiss Nelson went off and had to be replaced midway through the first half.

On the other hand Arsenal’s unbeaten season of 2003/4 began with a defeat in the opening friendly 0-1 to Peterborough, followed by a goalless draw at Barnet and a 2-2 draw with Ritzing. 

And for this match against Juventus it wasn’t that Arsenal put out a weak team and Juventus were at full-strength – they had youngsters in the side as well.

Indeed sometimes pre-season games tell us something, sometimes not.   Last season we lost to Chelsea and Tottenham in the pre-season tournament, and then continued that form losing the first three league matches and ending up bottom of the league – as the media and their blogging allies reported constantly with such relish.

So who knows?  Next up it is Boxing Day against West Ham.  That match at 8pm is on Amazon Prime TV.   Their pre-second half of the season has been a 2-4 away win at Cambridge United, a 3-1 away win at Udinese and a 1-1 away draw at Fulham.

Maybe none of it tells us anything.  Except perhaps the appearance of Amario Cozier-Duberry meant something.  Obviously he’s never played for the first time –  but he replaced Xhaka after about sixty minutes and played on the left side of the attack. 

This itself was interesting because although he is left-footed he is one of those wingers who often plays on the opposite side from the traditional position for that sort of player.   And he went at the Juventus defenders.  Another Saka in the making perhaps?

Beyond that Reiss Nelson looked good before he had to come off with an injury – there’s no news I’ve seen as yet as to how serious that is.  Even Football.London thought he was worthy of a positive mention, which must be a first.

So two positive results and then a disappointment.   Who knows what it tells us!  We await West Ham with interest.   And as the media keep telling us, there are 49 players tipped to come to Arsenal  with one player tipped 39 separate times!

16 Replies to “What did we learn from Arsenal v Juventus?”

  1. It tells us that, although Eddie is a good player and on his day an exceptional player, he is, sadly, not good enough consistently enough to lead the attack for Arsenal.

  2. It tells us that EPL is over hyped and bush league and you said juventus was at full strength? 💔😂 hilarious give juventus only started two names Locatelli and kean then subbed the second choice GK for the third Choice every other player are youngsters and players from their youth team seriously I still think arsenal are top of EPL by a mistake very funny how news from arsenal source came out saying vlahovic is ashamed to face them but we all know he’s still not fully fit and was risked in the Serbia match that’s why he played 60mins or so had he been fit he should have played a full match as he scored for them and juve are in that position because of injuries and an old school coach

  3. All 3 friendlies have simply reinforced what was clearly obvious even to Stevie Wonder.
    1)Beyond our established PL starting 11 we have little too offer
    2) Nketiah is not PL standard
    3) Marquinos needs loaning out
    4) Vieira flatters to deceive and not ready for PL
    5) we pass sideways far to much allowing opposition to set
    6) Holding will be gone in the summer
    7) club remain dishonest about extent of injuries

  4. Silentstan – with that set of seven problems it is amazing that Arsenal are five points clear at the top of the league. I guess if the sort of reforms you imply were instituted we would be ten points clear. Unfortunately it couldn’t be more than that since Arsenal have only dropped five points all season. Still I suppose you can start up the “Oh Lucky Lucky” song again.

  5. Dannywheels. . . Why so aggressive and disrespectful? If you seriously think that you can judge the merits of Arsenal and the EPL on one mid-season friendly then you have much to learn, my friend.

  6. SilentStan, I think you must be a little disorientated; read what it says at the top of the post…. ‘Supporting’ the club, the manager and the team. . . I’m afraid it’s back to Highbury House for you, old son.

  7. @MikeB,

    please do not forget that Eddie did not have Saka on his right and Martinelli on his left, 2 of the best wingers in the PL. So comparing him to Gabriel Jesus is not fair.

  8. As I have pointed out many times, Nketiahs goals per minute in the PL and across all competitions are better than Jesus, Saka and Martinelli.

  9. Just for those that missed it and still believe their ‘opinion’ tells us more than the stats, or indeed the facts as they are otherwise known. These stats are all competitive matches since they joined the club.

    Arena – Goals – Mins – Goals per Game


    EPL – 10 – 2078 – 209
    Other – 14 – 1879 – 134

    Total = 24 goals over 3957 mins at 164 mins per goal


    EPL – 5 – 1226 – 245
    Other – 0 – 318 – N/A

    Total = 5 goals over 1544 mins at 245 mins per goal.


    EPL – 16 – 4298 – 268
    Other – 3 – 1214 – 404

    Total = 19 goals over 5512 mins at 290 mins per goal


    EPL – 21 – 8499 – 404
    Other – 6 – 1893 – 315

    Total = 27 goals over 10392 mins at 384 mins per goal.

    As I said, Nketiah has the best strike rate at the club.

    So rather than just your opinions guys, why not try showing us, you know with evidence and all that nonsense, why Nketiah isn’t premier league standard.

    All stats courtesy of whoscored.com

    NB: 2 things:

    1) I try my best not to make mistakes but if there are any please just point them out.

    2) And I know I’ve repeated these stats, but it does bug me when people come here dismissing Nketiah out of hand without seeming to have a clue of just how efficient in front of goal he has been during his time at Arsenal. As such I believe there bear repeating whenever they do.

  10. Mike B

    “It tells us that, although Eddie is a good player and on his day an exceptional player, he is, sadly, not good enough consistently enough to lead the attack for Arsenal.”

    I cant remember the last time I disagreed with you but I have to take issue with you on that blanket statement following ONE match. You say he is not consistent enough. Hmm, sorry but the fact he is our most efficient goal scorer over a number of years suggests otherwise.

    This is an evidence based blog so maybe you have the evidence to back up your concerns?


    “Nketiah is not PL standard”

    Given he scores more goals per minute in the PL than Jesus, Martinelli and Saka, I wonder, other than just your opinion, what leads you to say that?

    Perhaps you too can show me some evidence.

    I’ also a bit confused about this: “7) club remain dishonest about extent of injuries” Do they? Remain?

    Okay show me examples.

    I await the supporting evidence. Not just opinion. The evidence.

    Thanks guys.

  11. Nitram,
    Twain misquotes Disraeli as saying there are lies, damnable lies and statistics and so I guess it all comes down to impressions. However, when you quote the statistics you conveniently forget that the reason so many of the so-called impact players are successful is because the opposition isn’t as sharp or as quick as it was at the match outset. . . The strike force that plays for 90 minutes is less likely to have a better strike rate per minutes played than the impact player; Ole Gunnar Solskjaer being a classic case in point , , , . Couldn’t get a start for United, but his goals per minutes played stat was magnificent. I think that was the reason that Eddie was given a new contract. Anyway, at the end of the day it all comes down to impressions; and mine is; good player but not up to leading the attack for Arsenal from minute 1. Have a good one

  12. MikeB

    “you conveniently forget that the reason so many of the so-called impact players are successful is because the opposition isn’t as sharp or as quick as it was at the match outset”

    I haven’t conveniently forgotten anything, because it simply doesn’t apply to Nketiah and I don’t know where you got the idea it did. He is as far away from an ‘impact’ player as you can possibly get.

    These are the facts:

    This season:

    Nketiah has started all 4 friendlies scoring his 2 goals in the 33rd and 39th minute.

    In the league cup he started the match against Brighton scoring our only goal in the 20th minute.

    He started all 6 Europa league matches scoring his 2 goals in the 23rd and 62nd minutes.

    So he has started every match he scored in, and scored 4 of his 5 goals in the first half, completely refuting the notion he only scores as an ‘impact’ substitute when the opposition is tired.

    He hasn’t been given a start in the PL just coming on as a late sub on 12 occasions, and guess what? He hasn’t scored a single goal against these ‘tired’ opponents. Exactly the opposite to what you are suggesting.

    And here’s a thing.

    In season 2021/22 he started 8 premier league games and scored 5 goals. A goal approx. every 144 minutes, scoring them in the 5th, 10th, 13th, 31st and 57th minutes. Again hardly backing this notion that he just comes on and scores against ‘tired’ players. In fact again he’s completely the opposite. He came on late on 13 occasions last season and didn’t score a single goal. Not 1.

    That’s 25 late substitute league appearances and not a single goal. Some impact that. The fact is he does better and scores more when he starts games.

    He also scored 5 goals in the league cup and yep he started in every game he scored in except 1.

    So where you got this idea that Nketiah is “an impact player” that comes on late and scores goals against tired opposition I don’t know. He has scored 1, yes 1 single solitary goal as a sub over the last 2 seasons. Every other goal he has scored he has scored in games he has started, and what’s more, a good proportion of them he has scored early on in the match and of course he scores them at a fantastic rate.

    Okay Mike, for some reason you don’t have the faith in Nketiah that I do, and that’s up to you. But please have your reasons for that based, in part at least, on facts rather than just ‘impressions’ because as I have just pointed out, impressions can be very misleading.

  13. Nitram,
    I really can’t be doing with this silly confrontation. There is no need to be so aggressive. What are you; his mother? My opinion is different to yours, but they are just that . . .opinions. My opinion is that in the matches I’ve seen he can’t cut it at the top level. The stats, for what they’re worth, tell me that 71 appearances in the PL for 10 goals ain’t good enough. That might be fine for an attacking midfielder, but not for a top-quality striker. He may get better. He may suddenly start hitting golden boot stats, but right now I can’t see it. So let’s leave it at that. . . . We have different opinions on one player but both support the same team. Have a good one.

  14. MikeB

    I’m sorry if you think I’m being aggressive. I’m not, and I don’t know why you think I am. In my first response to you I said “I cant remember the last time I disagreed with you”. Hardly aggressive.

    All I’m doing is putting some statistics forwards to back my opinion as to why I think Nketiah will be okay. As you well know Mike, that is what this blogg is all about. Anyone can say I think this and I think that, (opinion), it’s much harder to support that opinion with facts, which is what I thought us regulars did on this site?

    With that philosophy in mind all I did was put forward some statistics/facts that show Nketiahs rate of scoring is very impressive. Better than Saka, Jesus and Martinelli. That’s all.

    To counter this you said that’s because he’s (and to paraphrase) “an impact player who comes on and scores against tired players”

    But that is clearly not true and I put forward some statistics that show this.

    To counter this you said “10 Premier League goals for 71 appearances aint good enough”?

    Again those statistics are clearly inaccurate. He’s scored 9 goals in 19 premier league starts. He’s scored 24 goals in 40 starts in total.

    It’s not being ‘aggressive’ simply pointing out these inaccuracies.

    On the contrary it is disingenuous of you to try and undermine my argument with your sarcastic jibe that I’m his mother. It is disingenuous of you to suggest it is a ‘silly’ confrontation. No I’m not and no it’s not. It’s called a debate. I thought that’s what us regulars liked to do?

    Again, at the very beggining I said I hardly ever disagree with you and I don’t. And I stand by that. You are a fantastic contributor to this blog. But also, I’ve always believed you subscribed to this sites underpinning philosophy that opinion is fine, but opinion with out facts is just that, opinion, and nothing else.

    Again, I apologise if you thought I was being aggressive.

  15. Nitram,
    Paraphrasing your last it reads ‘sorry if you think I’m being aggressive but you’re wrong on everything you said and here are some more stats to prove it. . . oh, and your stats are wrong and mine are right. . . oh, and you’re being sarcastic and disingenuous ’.
    Allow me to return to my initial post, which said. . . “It tells us that, although Eddie is a good player and on his day an exceptional player, he is, sadly, not good enough consistently enough to lead the attack for Arsenal.”
    So, on the question of what constitutes an impact sub. . . .
    Question. . . If everyone is fit, is Eddie Nketiah a name on the first eleven team sheet?
    Answer. . . No.
    Question.. . . Why not?
    Answer. . . Because he is either an impact sub (which means he is expected to make an impact if and when he comes on) or he’s second string and just there to warm the bench or step in when someone gets injured or if we’re three-nil up or playing a bunch of losers.
    Question. . . Which is it; impact sub or second string?
    Now we can go back and forth until the cows come home, cherry-picking and questioning each other’s stats and getting hot under the collar, but the simple facts are that on the occasion in question he missed an open goal, and over the course of a number of seasons he hasn’t been considered by the manager as a starting eleven player. I agree with Arteta; you don’t.
    Now forget about apologies; you don’t need to give or receive them, however qualified. Let’s agree to disagree and look forward to a great Christmas, three points on Boxing day and a prosperous New Year. Be good and keep scanning the stats. That’s it from me.
    All the best.

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