Gunners End Their Preseason Tour + Injuries
Everyone connected with the club have been wondering when the manager would sanction a bid for a world beater to arrive at the Emirates, but there was the welcome distraction of a fellow Premier League heavyweight, Manchester City, to contend with in a friendly at Gothenburg, Sweden. Pep Guardiola is one of the newest arrivals in what will prove to be an exciting season, and he has been very busy in the transfer window, signing Ilkay Gundogan, Aaron Mooy, Nolito, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Leroy Sane, Gabriel Jesus and Marlos Moreno. Arsenal on the other hand, did very good business early with Granit Xhaka, but after the acquisitions of the younglings, Takuma Asano (beasting in the Olympics) and Rob Holding, the fans are anxious for that center forward and center back.
Moving away from the transfer speculations and rumors, I watched a really good football match last night. Despite the game being a friendly, there was some competitiveness about the game as both managers fielded strong lineups. The Citizens drew first blood when Sergio Aguero intelligently evaded both Arsenal center backs, Holding and Gabriel, to guide the ball beyond Petr Cech. Arsenal got their equalizer from a player that has actually benefited for playing preseason instead of opting to join his country at the Olympic Games. As a Nigerian, I would have loved Alex Iwobi to represent us in Rio, but the lads have shown that he hasn’t been missed with two wins from two games. Iwobi on the other hand has had a wonderful preseason campaign, scoring goals and putting up wonderful appearances. He deserves everything he’s getting at the moment for him.
With the game leveled, Arsenal got the equalizer from the much-maligned Theo Walcott. He provided the assist for the Iwobi goal and he showed some composure when he latched onto Alexis Sanchez’s pass before doing a Carlos Vela on poor Joe Hart. The England goalie’s misery was compounded when he failed to get a hold of the ball, gifting Chuba Akpom his fourth preseason goal in four games. Kelechi Iheanacho waltzed one in late on and there was a siege from the Citizens but Arsenal held on to finish the game as 3-2 winners. A good day for Nigeria, as three were on the score sheet.
On a very sad note, Gabriel Paulista suffered an ankle injury and the manager provided an update. It has left the team desperately short at the back and as if stands, it’s looking we would use Calum Chambers and Rob Holding as our center backs against Liverpool. Holding is a raw talent that has had a decent preseason with the club, while Chambers has somewhat failed to impress, so that doesn’t fill me with some confidence. I remember hearing something about Francis Coquelin training as a center half, and if he plays against Liverpool, that’s Arsene Wenger’s headache not mine.
I will probably discuss about our defensive options tomorrow.
Follow Gooner Daily on Twitter @goonerdaily.
Visit Gooner Daily’s Facebook page.
Click on the “Follow button” to join Gooner Daily’s Mailing List