Bellerin, Ozil and Aubameyang – What did we learn from Arsenal’s defeat to Aston Villa?

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?

Shenel Osman


  1. I’m guessing the team was based around players who are not away on International duty?

    That would mean quite a few first team players were unavailable. It’s more about fitness too. The results are less important.

    1. Exactly GunneRay, we did put out a strong team though, if the reports are correct.
      Not sure how villa where affected, but Grealish was obviously out as well.
      The “importance” of this game, is surely how the club have not reported on it to date?

  2. Pre season results does not mean too much. However conceding six goals does give a pause.Were the goals scored from the left flank were there is a big Intl absence, the right side that is pretty much full strength or up the middle?
    There were some indications that some of the goals in the previous game were from long shots…..Goals against should always be a bit of a worry.

    1. Its better to concede six goals in friendlies than in the league. This will give Mikel an opportunity to learn where we are lacking before the destruction of Fulham.

  3. It’s pre-season. It exists to get match fit and to get new ideas across. The goal is not winning.
    It’s a well known fact pre-season form is a near useless predictor of early season form.

    Fact we refused to allow these games to be streamed speaks to their experimental nature. We didn’t want rivals to see what we’re looking to implement or fans to hate on players lacking fitness playing unfamiliar roles. It’s a learning exercise.

  4. @Angus Agree, think new formations and tactics was tested. And we have shown against Liverpool, Man City and Chelsea recently that we can keep it tight and defend quite well.

  5. We lost and Ozil played am I surprised? Not one bit, hope Mikel has opened his eyes and keeps that man away from the first team if he is serious this season like he was in the FA and CS games.
    Many will dismiss this a as friendly, but a loss is a loss.
    Come on Mikel, your not paying Ozil from your pocket to give him a damn and chuck him out.
    I really want you to succeed Mikel brother.

      1. its his negative influence he has on the team with his presence
        What would you do if at your office the laziest peon was paid 3.5 times more than the best employee.
        it demoralises the entire squad.
        hope you can realize that scenario in the dressing room.

  6. Pre season games, which include the Community Shild mean little at all. I tend to ignore them as they are just a proof of which team is fitter at the time and strange results are common, often in a majority of them. Of practically no real relevance then.

  7. Don’t panic, it’s just a friendly match, I’m sure MA will plan for something better for the next game.

  8. It really depends on who was playing. My guess was that several first teamers didn’t so not a big deal really. I think this was more about fitness and practice

  9. Not a very important game and so not a very important result. We have won when it mattered and am sure MA was experimenting and trying to find out his best formation/tactics and with all the personnel available, am sure Arsenal will start winning. For Ozil bashers, kindly give the statistics of how many games we lost without Ozil in the squad and how many games we won with Ozil in the squad. If MA is trying to have a formation playing to Ozils’s strengths and Ozil is ready to contribute in a positive way for the overall success of the team, than so be it. We should focus on the winning aspect of our team and not on one individual or his wages. Let us trust MA.

    1. Statistics shows that in all ozils time at arsenal with him in the team arsenal have never beaten Liverpool,Chelsea and Manchester city in any season he played with us. But without him in less than a month we achieved that. That statistic alone should relegate him to Europa league games those are games he should be playing as he hardly turns up against tough opposition

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