Some may not want to see it more than a training session but pre-season is an important start to any team. After all, this is the first time the whole Arsenal squad gets together before the new season and the manager tries different variations.
To be frank, this is not the whole squad for the Gunners. There are some absentees through injuries or through prolonged vacation. But, the victory in the Barclays Asia Trophy is nevertheless a satisfying experience for Arsene Wenger.
He relaxed in his seat and enjoyed a very solid performance from his team. Let us not get over excited with the start but the first signs are good enough to tell that Arsenal looks good enough to extend a fine end of the last campaign into the new season.
Wenger must be particularly surprised by the way his latest addition Petr Cech integrated into the squad. Cech made some wonderful saves and showed what the fans can expect through the season. No wonder then that every player and fan is unequivocal in welcoming the former Chelsea goal keeper with so much gusto.
Cech must have had a surreal feeling seeing the Arsenal fans cheer his name with so much fanfare. He must have a brief idea of what he can expect at the Emirates Stadium. He is sure to be an genuine celebrity among the fans.
The manager should also be happy to see Santi Cazorla and Theo Walcott have a wonderful game too. It also helped Arsenal that Everton continued to misfire again – just like they were against Stoke City. It didn’t matter that Everton pulled one goal back late in the game because by that time the result was beyond their reach.
What would have satisfied Wenger is the way his team continued to press high up and not give a breather to the Everton defenders. Almost every player Wenger tried in the final showed enough glimpses of class. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain injected much needed intensity and pace on the right wing once he replaced Jack Wilshere.
Wenger will expect that Ox will have an injury-free season so that the fans get to know and see what he can do. Cazorla should be expected to have another stellar season as the Spaniard looks to get better in his central role. Walcott and Ozil too got themselves on the sheet.
All in all, the trophy win is a pleasant start to the Gunners. There will be very few games where they can get a free pass like this one but Wenger will hope his team can build on this one and carry on winning into the new season..