Thoughts on the Lens game and Arsenal Sign Holding
Arsenal traveled to France to take on RC Lens on their home ground last Friday. I would have watched the game live but I had other commitments so I had to make do with some highlights from the official site. I know you can’t really judge a game of 90 minutes from a few bit-sized highlights, but I’d learned a thing or two from what I saw, and overall it was a good run out for the lads.
From an individual standpoint, there were some impressive performances on display. It seemed as if our captain’s lack of pace was exploited, as it was a comical sight seeing him trying to catch up with that Lens forward but thankfully, he missed his effort. The goal the Gunners conceded was down to some terrible defending from Calum Chambers. With the arrival of Rob Stark Holding from Bolton, it’s going to be interesting to see how Arsene Wenger manages Chambers. More on that anon.
I was happy with the fact that Kieran Gibbs is still very much around and there has been no news regarding his future. He came on for Nacho Monreal and looked very tidy with the ball. Matt Macey also came on for Emiliano Martinez and made a brilliant save to deny the home side a clear-cut goalscoring opportunity. The goalie spoke after the game, labeling that save as a ‘nice moment to have‘ but he has also come to terms with the fact that it wouldn’t be easy for him to break into the first squad.
Further up the pitch, Theo Walcott looked hungry and was trying to make things happen in attack. He looked incisive in attack, and I don’t know if he’s auditioning to play a key role in the squad with his performances but time will tell. The contest was leveled when Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain lobbed a superb effort over the goalkeeper. The English speedster stated that he had been practicing the chip for quite some time, so I’m guessing he has been infested with a Carlos Vela spirit. It was good seeing the Ox strut his stuff after such a disappointing campaign last season. He started well with a brilliant finish in the Community Shield but his form waned as the season progressed before it was ended abruptly by a knee injury.
Wenger’s post-match interview was quite interesting, speaking about the game, Sam Allardyce getting the England job and the transfer market. In the end, it was a good run out and all focus would be in the games at America.
So all speculation about Bolton’s Player of the Year, Rob Holding, joining the club has been confirmed, as the youngster has joined Arsenal to be the third signing of the season, after Granit Xhaka and Takuma Asano. With the presence of Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny, Gabriel Paulista and Calum Chambers at the club, Holding will have to work his way to the top and we would be hoping to see what he has to offer during the preseason.
With Holding coming to the fray, there are whispers that Chambers might be sent out on loan, with Southampton apparently interested in his services. He has taken the #16 jersey vacated by Ramsey, which is an indication that he wants a number that shows he’s close to the first team. I’m not taking anything away from the likes of Jeff Reine-Adelaide and co though.
I wish him the very best in his fledgling Arsenal career
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