Arsenal fell to a 3-2 defeat to Aston Villa, behind closed doors at the Emirates Stadium today. Although Arsenal have yet to confirm this on their website Villa and the Birmingham post couldn’t wait to distribute this news and an hour ago the Arsenal twitter page thanked Villa for the ‘run-out’.
It obviously isn’t the best of results given that our season opener is next week against Fulham and that some of our main players are on international duty, but it gave Arteta the chance to play a mixture of players and give them a run around, including new signings Saliba and Willian. And the ones that had lacked fitness such as Lacazette who was missing for our game last week, and also Bellerin who is rumoured to be linked with PSG. But surely Arteta wouldn’t play him knowing he was going to let him go, would he?
Most notably one of those players who got a chance today came in the shape of Mesut Ozil, who pulled on that new Arsenal shirt for his first game in 6 months. A lot of fans thought that the West Ham game just before lockdown was going to be the last time we saw him in a Arsenal shirt, but clearly my earlier article shows that Arteta’s ‘clean slate’ comment also applies to Ozil in some way.
Losing to Villa in a pre-season friendly isn’t the end of the world given the numbers available and the importance it held. I would much rather see the team perform under par during pre-season and then blow everyone away when the action gets underway, than win every pre-season game and then lose the ones that mean more to us.
I guess the boys can be forgiven for this loss, seeing as we won a cup only one week ago, and we do know we have a lot more to do but with the rumours that Aubameyang scored the two goals for us, confirmation of him signing an extension couldn’t come any sooner for us could it. Gooners?