The rubbish news after the match came from Mikel Arteta:
I just had a talk with the doctor. He’s going to have a scan tomorrow and at the moment it’s not looking good because he was in pain and he could not continue which, for Thomas, is pretty unusual.
Thomas Partey has been excellent during pre season. Now it looks like we might have lost him for a few weeks which is grim news. However, he was spotted walking around in Paddington after the game according to someone on Twitter so perhaps he’s not too bad.
What did the fixture against Chelsea tell us?
- All three summer signings look very good.
- Bernd Leno is terrible at playing the ball out from the back, so why does he?
- Our football in and around the box remains toothless.
- Aubameyang and Lacazette aren’t going to fire us back into the top four unless they suddenly find some form.
- Arsenal’s most dangerous striker on the day was Eddie.
- Where was Folarin Balogun?
- The standard of officiating hasn’t improved.
Sambi Lokonga, Ben White and Nuno Tavares were excellent and boy can the last on that short list deliver a cross? The one he landed on Auba’s head was as good as you’ll see. Unlike the attempted finish.
Joe Willock and Eddie Nketiah caused Chelsea more problems than any other player in our attack. Both look more grown up, more determined and certainly more composed on the ball this season. If I were Arteta, I’d be reluctant to let either go, in fact I wouldn’t let them go.
Mo Elneny, a lovely bloke I’m sure but I think it’s time for Joe Willock to take his place in the squad. Thomas Partey and Sambi Lokonga are the probable first choice pairing eventually, but surely Joe Willock’s name should be next on the list. The Englishman has energy, pace and likes to move the ball forwards. His long legs can take him up and down the pitch all day long and he’ll pop up in the right place to score a few goals I’m sure. He scored a great goal yesterday but the linesman failed to spot the ball had crossed the line after it smashed the underside of the bar.
Granit Xhaka scored our only goal with his bonce. His passing range is so good but his lack of pace remains a big problem. He’s staying though if Mikel Arteta’s words after the game were truthful. If Arsenal and Roma were squabbling over a few pounds and Xhaka now signs a new improved contract at Arsenal, I think it’ll be a huge mistake made by the club. For what it’s worth, I still think he’ll leave. Bigging up a player before selling him is the oldest trick in the book.
Anyway, we lost which is no big deal in a preseason friendly but the fashion in which we lost remains worrying. Too many mistakes were made by players who were making similar mistakes last season. We’ve now played five preseason fixtures and there’s still a lot of work to be done on the training ground, although not all old dogs can be taught new tricks.
There’s still some work to be done in the transfer window too but just how much of that Arsenal can afford to do this summer no one really knows. We don’t know who is leaving either but if yesterday’s showing from Eddie and Joe Willock is a sign of what’s to come from them, selling them for peanuts could prove costly. In more ways than one.
See you in the comments.