A mix of youth and experience equals an exciting season ahead! by Konstantin Mitov
Hello lovely Arsenal ladies and gentleman! Adidas has found a way to take my money, by making the most awesome of Arsenal kits! I want them all. The third one followed the trend of the first 2 and is just stellar. Onto some football now as we’ve started the season with an away clean-sheet victory!
This already equals the total amount of away clean-sheet victories of last year. An achievement already? Or a platform to improve upon? We were helped by the fact it was Newcastle. Literally one of the easiest opponents you could play given the circumstances. We also fielded a lot of young players.
AMN, Chambers, Willock, Nelson and Guendouzi all started the game and they didn’t let us down. The one player who did was Mkhitaryan, who should’ve scored, and he lost the ball quite a few times. He’s part of the ageing part of the side that needs to be moved on. If we take him and Monreal to join Koscielny, Lichtsteiner and Cech who left, our average age would see a massive decrease!
Now consider the fact that all 3 reserves we played are also under 25 and this will be the year of the youngsters. That Martinelli guy has so much pace and energy and could be a real diamond if we develop him right! Project youth 2.0 has arrived and it’s exciting. We featured a few British players in the starting 11 as well. Overall, it’s everything I’ve been crying out for in recent years and I’m very happy to see real change.
The performance wasn’t a vintage one and it seemed for long periods like it’s game 39 from the last campaign, but with the players we had, I’d take it. I wouldn’t like to put the “circumstances” as an excuse, because we know all too well when the season starts, and we should be ready with a squad good enough to compete. It was a typical trait of the Wenger era to complain and use excuses as to why we weren’t prepared to start the season.
This year, I’m taking none of that. We didn’t have our star players ready and we really need them for the big challenges coming up ahead. I’m not sure what’s up with Ozil and Kolasinac. They looked sharp in pre-season and we missed them and it looks like they could be missing more games which is a disgusting issue. That said, even if our win was not as flashy as Liverpool, Man City or United’s win against Chelsea, we needed the points and we got them.
The one player who looked really sharp was Aubameyang. The guy looks in top condition and if we supply him with the right service and don’t burn him out during the season, he and his partners in crime, Laca and Pepe, can really propel us into the top 4. I enjoyed the fact we dropped Mustafi, and I expect Luiz to eventually replace Chambers in the starting 11, as our defence could use his experience as well as presence in set pieces.
We’re playing Burnley at home next and we generally do well against them. We should have more than enough to beat them with all my respect. It’d be great if Pepe and Laca are fit to start. Torreira would be great to get some minutes too. Tottenham play City and we have a chance to get some ground before we face 2 incredibly difficult tasks. Anyway, it’s exciting. There is something to look forward to.