This Friday, Arsenal open their premier league campaign against Crystal Palace, off the back of a very successful pre season, Arsenal fans for the first time in a long time are excited and buzzing for the start of a new Premier league season. 6 wins in seven pre season games with the solitary loss coming in a closed door game against Brentford, The gunners are looking solid and ready to go. In this article, ill briefly explained what we learned from Arsenal’s pre season campaign.
1) We finally have a striker
And for a long time we have needed one, In the business end of last season, one of the biggest uncertainties was were the goals were going to come from, Lacazette worked hard on the pitch and off the ball, but when it came to banging the goals, he was the guy. Laca missed key chances across the season, most especially the game against Burnley that could have won Arsenal points that could have taken the team over the line. The failure of Arteta and Edu to adequately replace the departed aubameyang ultimately cost arsenal champions league football. Fast forward to August 2022 and that uncertainty has being dissolved very quickly, Who is going to score, Gabriel Jesus. Jesus has very quickly endeared himself to the arsenal faithfuls, we knew we were signing a good player, but it didn’t feel like a Marquee signing, but Jesus has shown enough quality to get us excited, not only has he scored goal, but you can see it that this guy wants to play for Arsenal, the passion, the vim, the hunger, the desperation to prove a point, the winning mentality is everything arsenal need and more. The sharpness, explosiveness, work rate, finishing is enough to get fans excited. He was cause Chelsea so many problems with his touches, movement, finishing.
He is quickly developing a chemistry with Gabriel Martinelli and when he has played with Eddie Nketiah(who by the way is also looking very sharp) the link up play has been good. Arsenal lacked goals last season, games where they won by playing really good football felt like narrow wins because the score lines didn’t tell the complete story, but with Jesus that will be different. I’m tipping Jesus to bang in 20 goals in the Premier League this season and at least 35 goals in all competitions. With Jesus, Arsenal win on all fronts, he is not the young prospect Manchester city signed, he is matured, well groomed and hungry, he is Premier league experienced, and desperate to ensure he is one of Brazil’s main man in the world cup. We finally have a striker.
2) Saliba is a proper defender
While we have one top quality player leading the front, we have one at the back now. Calm, athletic, clean, Big, ball playing, William Saliba seems like a new signing for Arsenal. Seeing him for the first time since he signed for Arsenal after three loan spells, he was brilliant. Watching him play justifies why Marseille were desperate to keep him and why he is in the French national team. This kid is showing enough potential to be compared to Van dijk, against palace this Friday, there is no reason why Saliba is not starting. Saliba also gives different options, Mikel can switch to a back three or start Ben White at right back and not rush tomiyasu. Saliba is a proper proper defender and arsenal need to do everything to keep him. Arsenal conceded too many goals like season and with another top quality defender in the fold, there is a good chance that number will be reduced.
3) Arsenal first team is really good
Arsenal first team looking really really good, this team is good enough to win the Europa League and finish in the top four. If everybody is fit, Arsenal have a really really good first team.
Tomiyasu Saliba/white Gabriel Tierney
Partey odegaard xhaka
Saka Jesus martinelli
And suddenly there is Competition for places, If tomiyasu can not stay fit, Ben White can do a job there, Cedric can come in and do a job there. If Kieran Tierney can not stay fit, Zincheko can come in and do a Job, if odegaard is absent, the highly rated Fabio Viera (who we haven’t seen yet) or Emile smith Rowe(who can also come in for Martinelli) can come in. There is competition for places which is very good, nobody is above the axe, if you come in and you don’t take your chance, you are out and that is a good thing. This writer still think arsenal need a midfield addition most preferably Youri Tielemans to so that there can be competition in that area.
4) There is a huge difference in quality between the first team and the backup
In the first pre season game against Nuremberg, majority of the backup team started the game and were two nil down at half time. Against Everton, the second half that featured more of the second string players was awful. The first half against Orlando city where the more of the second string players featured was quite shaky. The closed door game against Brentford was our only loss in the pre season and that featured just second string players. There are so many players in this Arsenal squad that need to move on and are simply not good enough for Arsenal. Ainsley maitland Niles, Reiss Nelson, Hector bullerin, Pablo Mari, Lucas Torreira and so much more of these players that need to move on. Most of them are simply not good enough to put on the arsenal shirt. Many of these players need to move and free up space in the squad so more quality can be added. If for example there is an injury crisis at Arsenal like last season, the second string team is simply not good enough to take the team across the line. Many of these players are dead wood and need to move on.