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By Tony Attwood
In theory, it should have been another win. We had a strong team out
White, Gabriel, Holding, Tierney
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…
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!
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