Friday, October 7, 2022

Emirates Cup round-up + Nelson, Kolasinac, Sanchez, Ospina

So day one of the Emirates Cup passed off relatively well. I didn’t see the game between Sevilla and Disgusting Energy Drink Leipzig, but a quick Netscape search tells me that the Spanish side won 1-0. I’m sure it was a fantastic game full of excitement and thrills and skills and that.

I’ll confess, I didn’t turn on the Arsenal game until it was 1-1. I missed their opener and our first goal, and it took me a while to adjust to seeing the blurred shapes that were footballers blurring around the pitch. How quickly we get used to HD, it’s hard to think that this is how we watched football for so long.

Anyway, not long after I turned on Theo Walcott scored his second to make it 2-1, then Ainsley Maitland-Niles gave the ball away and they equalised and it was 2-2 at half-time. Three second half goals, from OG, then the actual OG, then Alex Iwobi gave us a 5-2 win in the end (match report with goals).

It’s always nice to get into the winning habit, I guess. Today we’ll play Sevilla and I assume the manager will be making plenty of changes from the team that started yesterday. There were a couple of stand-out players, youngster Reiss Nelson continues to catch the eye. He’s had a very impressive pre-season and has shown the manager that he’s ready for some first team football in the new campaign.

Perhaps not Premier League just yet, but with the League Cup and Europa League he may well get chances. And on this we generally have to trust Arsene Wenger’s judgement, even if a player looks raw in the beginning – I’m thinking Iwobi and Hector Bellerin in recent times – if he sees them as ready then he is willing to play them.

New boy Sead Kolasinac had an impressive game too, and afterwards the manager said:

I think he has gone, in pre-season, from strength to strength. He started a bit nervous, but every single week he moved his level up and in the last game was already good and today again I think he was influential as well. The first two goals came from him. He looks powerful and the timing of his availability going forward was very good.

He certainly makes this team more physical, he’s a pretty imposing figure down that left hand side, and it’ll be interesting to watch him adapt to the Premier League over the coming months. So, overall a decent day’s work, although there appeared to be an injury to Francis Coquelin and given our need to strengthen midfield anyway we could do without any injuries here.

The other story of the day, apart from the manager saying we were still looking to bring more players in, is the delayed return of Alexis Sanchez. Apparently he’s been in text conversation with Arsene Wenger and he’s now expected back on Tuesday.

Now, if he does actually have flu, then I can understand it, but I mean actual flu. Not a head cold, not man flu, the actual flu because it makes you feel like you’re about to die. However, I have to say his Instagram picture did not make him look that ill, and if you are that ill, you don’t post Instagram pictures in the first place.

I’m still willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, but if this stretches beyond Tuesday, you’d have to think this could be the start of shenanigans. The kind of acting up that he would need to do if he wants to force a move away, because once more the club’s position is unwavering about his future:

Anyway, let’s see what happens over the next couple of days. My spider senses are tingling a bit though.

Finally, despite a lot of speculation about his future, it looks as if David Ospina is staying at the club for another season. He’s been linked with moves to Fenerbahce and Nantes, but our information is that he’s decided to stay – most likely continuing the timeshare arrangement he has with Petr Cech that sees him play the European and FA Cup games.

We’ll have all the bits and pieces from the Sevilla game on Arseblog News later on. Until then, have a great Sunday.

PS – Thanks to everyone who has emailed over the last few days regarding this post. I’ve been kinda inundated but will reply to everyone as quickly as I can. And there’s still time to vote in the poll if you haven’t already.

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