Arteta happy with “leggy” Arsenal team after penalties win over Monaco

The boss Mikel Arteta saw his side gain a little more fitness ahead of the upcoming season in a good workout against Monaco in front of 60,000 fans, and the Only One Arsene Wenger.

Eddie Nketiah was named as captain for the night, maybe with Mikel Arteta wanting him to know he was still a valued member of the squad, especially with Gabriel Jesus out with an injury, and he repaid Arteta’s faith by being in the box at the right time to score Arsenal’s equaliser.

Arsenal are not winning all their pre-season games, like we did last summer, but we seem to be introducing more players and more tactics into the mix as we head towards the new season. I don’t think either coach will be reading too much into the Community Shield result next week, but let’s hope that everybody knows what we are doing by the time we play forest in two week’s time.

Arteta was reasonably happy with the day’s work, he said: “There were some improvements. We had minutes for a lot of players that didn’t have many minutes in pre-season, which was a key thing for us today to achieve. We did that and came through the game.

“There are players that haven’t played a lot of football in the last five months and they got some minutes, especially in the last two weeks, so that’s really good to see. I think the new players are fitting in really well – we have to still fix a few things which is normal because they’re coming from different environments, but they’re looking good.”

“It’s true that we struggled, especially in the first half, to control the game better,” he added.”I felt that we were a bit leggy after coming back from the West Coast and we tried to prepare really hard for the last two days before the game, and we were a bit late in everything we were doing.

“We picked it up in the second half, we had better moments but it wasn’t enough to win the game there. But at least we won it on penalties.”

All in all, other than the tame defeat by Man United, it has been an entertaining and informative pre-season schedule,

Now let’s see how we get on against the Treble Winners next week at Wembley….

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  1. Jesus out a month again because of a knee injury. Last season he missed 4 months also because of dodgy knee.

    I wonder if we end up playing Balogun after all? Wouldnt make any sense going into a season with Jesus injured and Nketiah as our only striker.

    At the moment I would like to see Balo given a chance. Eddie’s got plenty and I’m not convinced.

    Might be worthy of considering selling Jesus next summer. Dodgy, reoccurring knee injuries are not a good sign.

    1. If Arsenal would like to rely on Nketiah and Balogun this season, they’d better extend Balogun’s contract first. Otherwise Balogun could use the opportunity to ask for an obscene pay raise or to move to another club next summer

      Or use Havertz as Nketiah’s backup and sell Balogun, although Nketiah looked too weak to hold the opposition’s CBs in pre-season games

    2. Good point.
      Jesus isn’t a prolific goal scorer at all, but good at pressing and movement.

      Unfortunately out again with his bum knee, maybe replace him and he can backup new striker and Saka.

      Hope Trossard gets the starts up top with Martinelli and Saka. If Nketiah starts we will be toothless and struggle.

      Seems Jesus and Zinchenko are injury prone and rehabbing with Arsenal.

      They should earn their starts like Tierney and Tomiyasu had to do until they proved fitness.

      However they will magically be inserted right back in when healthy, regardless of who is playing well; like when Trossard was dropped last year.

  2. Yes we still seems to be feeling our way about, the injury to Jesus no doubt will send Arsenal back to the drawing board, is that a recurring knee.

    Can Balogun or Eddie be trusted to run the line? Or maybe Arsenal should have a serious look at Cancelo Ramos?

    Maybe we should cool our intrest in Raya? Is he really an upgrade on Ramsdale? Address the striker situation first?

    1. I would welcome Raya with open arms but Arsenal should understand that WE are in control of thr situation:

      – 11 months remaining on his contract
      – Raya WANTS to join us

      We don’t need to bend over backwards for Brentfords demands. We have Turner, Hein as back ups at the moment and IMO we can definitely make it to January window with Ramsdale in goal.

      So yes, I would agree that the striker situation is more urgent than the 2nd choice goalie. That is of course if the budget is very limited.

  3. Pre-season results are meaningless. I remember many season where Arsenal fans got over-excited that we won all our pre-season games, and then they had a rubbish season in the League. I’d rather lose all these games & start with a fight rather than win them all and start off complacent.

  4. Did anyone else notice that all Monaco s penalty kicks were straight down the middle! Ramsdale only caught on when the 4th penalty was taken and he delayed his move and then saved the penalty. I think the manager must of told him to stand his ground. Unfortunately he once again dived early on the 5th penaulty, that was once again scored down the middle. David Seaman told the media that the art of saving a penalty is not to move until the very last moment as you are not helping yourself but aiding the decision of the penalty taker by diving early. I am still not convinced with RamsdaleRice and Kai looked a little rusty and both players clearly need more time to settle into Arsenals quick passing system. That is not Artetas real problem. //I have been saying this for months, that Arsenal ” SCORE MORE GOALS” when TOSSARD “STARTS” as a “FALSE NUMBER 9″, not as a sub, not as a left winger, but as a FALSE NUMBER 9” . Arteta must be blind not to notice this. //We also need a “NEW CENTRAL DEFENDER with PACE” over the “FIRST 10 YARDS” as we are repeatedly being caught for pace at the back during our highline defence and at in swinging free kicks!

    1. Many would agree with you about Trossard as a 9, but Arteta can be stubborn about players positions.

      Vieira disaster as a CM, Xhaka at LB, ESR on wing when he’s better through the middle, and more examples. Versatility is important, but sometimes it’s best not to over complicate things.

  5. To me it was defensively worrying. Monaco could have easily been two goals up if Ben Yedder had scored that sitter. I don’t think Nketiah is the answer to losing Jesus. Let’s hope we get a good start, but it is a little worrying. Wish we could sign Dušan Vlahović.

  6. Partey was simply magnificent! Rice was lively too and could have scored if it wasn’t for that unbelievable tackle. I suppose Trossard will start as our CF with Nketiah introduced later on. We still have a few games before the window closes. We can assess how badly off we are without Jesus and see whether we need a new striker. Personally, I am fed up with these Jesus injuries. Can’t count on him.

  7. I like Jesus but I feel Trossard is more potent… As long as Trossard is fit and starts I don’t worry too much about Jesus…. Some players are just under appreciated for some reason

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