It was only the first game of pre-season for Arsenal today and playing against a Singapore select XI was never going to be the toughest test for the Gunners. However, it was a great start for us and could hardly have gone better, especially for the young English striker Chuba Akpom who completed the full 90 minutes and capped an impressive performance with a well taken hat-trick.
Arsene Wenger gave a few of our young Gunners a chance to show what they can do, as expected, but only Alex Iwobi on the left and Akpom in the centre forward role started the game and they both did well against a well organised and energetic opposition.
Although Arsenal were the better team from the start, our fitness levels combined with the hot and humid conditions in Asia provided a test. So until we got our noses in front it was quite a tight game and we were not exactly carving them apart. The opener came after half an hour and just like his next two goals, Akpom was involved in the build up as well as finishing them off, dummying a cross and then smashing in when Wilshere was tackled.
The pick of the bunch was the third; a bullet header after some great work on the right and a lovely cross from Hector Bellerin. His second was from the spot but again he took it very well and showed no nerves whatsoever. The other goal was also a penalty, scored by Wilshere who looked sharp and incisive during his 63 minutes.
No one looked too rusty and there was also some good stuff from the likes of Crowley and Toral who came on in the second half. All in all a very good start to pre-season for the Gunners and now we face Everton in the final on Saturday, when the test is likely to be tougher and the names on the Arsenal team sheet are likely to be bigger.