Mikel Arteta tried to use as many players as possible in last nights preseason friendly against Everton in Baltimore but he started with an extremely strong line up.
Our new American Matt Turner started in front of his home fans, while Saka, Jesus, Partey, Martinelli, Thomas Partey, captain Odegaard and Granit Xhaka were all fielded. William Saliba also got his debut at long last.
This is the way Arteta described his thoughts after the game on Arsenal.com: “It was good, two really different halves. I think the first half we were really good, really intense. We understood where the spaces were and the execution was really good. We were a threat all the time, we had a lot of bodies attacking. We were really direct, the counter press was top, I really liked that we conceded nothing.
“The second half we started a bit sloppy. We changed the formation and we had too many giveaways, it didn’t give us control of the match. The last 20 minutes we changed again and I think we got control again. Overall the boys have done what they are doing in training. They are training really well, really high intensity in every session and you can see the way they play.”
And his impressions on Jesus, who opened the scoring for the second game in a row: “He looks really sharp, really dynamic. (He’s got) a really good understanding with his team-mates straight away. They are looking for him, he’s generating chances, good connections around specific spaces we want to exploit with him especially, and yeah, we’re really happy.”
“He creates chaos,” Arteta continued, “he creates uncertainty and he’s always on your shoulder. He’s always there to nick the ball off you, he’s always in front of the goal. He’s a real threat and this is what we need. And then he’s the one. The moment we give the ball away he is straight away active and putting pressure and getting his team behind him. He has a lot of leadership skills, I can see straight away what he’s doing with the boys and he’s the type of guy that we want.
So, the Gunners have now had two wins out of two, with Jesus scoring three goals. Now we move on to Orlando City to take on the local stars, before playing Chelsea next weekend in the Florida Cup Final, before returning to London. Chelsea won their opening game 2-1 last night against Club America.