Arsenal finished last season in style and we have taken up where we left off, with four wins out of four in the pre-season games, despite the squad rotation and youth player additions. We have lots of promising youngsters and just about all the senior midfielders and strikers nicked a goal or two in our run.
Wenger is very happy with the preparations ahead of the crucial game against Chelsea next week, with just a slight reservation about only scoring the one goal yesterday. He said after collecting the Emirates Cup: “First of all our defensive stability was very good,”
“After that our game is well structured, we can create chances and our technical level is good.
“Physically we are already not far from a very good level and some young players have done extremely well. We could give them a chance and that’s very pleasing for our fans to see that as well.
“We had two different teams, two good games, everybody played well, we have no injuries and we had clean sheets. The young players who played were convincing as well so you could see that it’s a photo of the present and of the future as well. The team spirit is very good as well so everything is positive.
“It smells like we can score goals. That is something that is very positive. Around the box our passing looks incisive, dangerous, creative, and our finishing has not always been at the level that we want it to be in the last two days but we cannot complain.”
We all know that the game against Jose Mourinho’s side will be much more competitive, but we have beaten some very talented sides to get us up to speed and our confidence is at a very high level, which makes the Community Shield a great chance for Wenger to finally beat his arch-nemesis and send a warning to the reigning Champions.
The Gunners buzzword at the moment is “cohesion” and our captain Mikel Arteta believes we are on the brink of greatness. He said: “We have been together a while now and we have this belief now that we are capable of achieving something important,”
“It took some time to build this cohesion, this momentum.
“I think the crowd is feeling much closer to the team at the moment and together we can make it.
“I think pre-season has been good. The tour in Singapore was great as well, probably the best we have had.
“Here, the opponents were tough but we managed to play well and win both games.
“Overall [the Emirates Cup] has been a really nice tournament. I have enjoyed the games as well, they have been very good. I hope the fans had a good time.
“I think they have been missing football for a while so I hope they enjoyed.”
What was there to not enjoy! Four wins, lots of goals, a great defensive record and, most importantly, no serious injuries. Chelsea, meanwhile, have lost 4-2 to a depleted Red Bulls team, and have won a penalty shootout against PSG, and it certainly won’t do them any favours to be playing Barcelona after midnight on Tuesday in Washington DC. They certainly won’t have had the settled preparation that Arsenal have had and could perhaps go to Wembley without a pre-season win under their belts.
This is the perfect time for Arsenal to add more pressure on our biggest rivals by adding the Community Shield to our new-found trophy haul.
Onwards and upwards!