Arsenal has concluded their mid-season break in Dubai with a 3-2 win over Al Nasr and overall, the trip can be considered a success.
Not too much should be taken from the game against the Gulf League side, it was just a friendly after all, but that does not mean that we cannot take some positives from the game and the trip overall.
1 – Denis Saurez finally got a start.
In itself nothing major but it will have done the Spaniard the world of good, and not only was it his first start for us, but also played the entire 90 minutes and that is a sign that Emery must be close to featuring the 25-year-old more often in the upcoming games.
2 – Fantastic experience for the youth players.
Konstantinos Mavropanos, Zech Medley, Charlie Gilmour, Ben Sheaf, Xavier Amaechi, James Olayinka, Tyreece John-Jules and Jordi Osei-Tutu, Dominic Thompson
That is nine youngsters given a try out with some of the first team which included the likes of Bernd Leno, Shkodran Mustafi, Mesut Ozil, and Alexandre Lacazette, Carl Jenkinson, Petr Cech, Laurent Koscielny and Ainsley Maitland-Niles.
It may have been just a friendly but for those youngsters, it would have been a hell of an experience and no doubt some of them will have had their confidence and self-belief boosted significantly.
3 – Happy Squad and public relations success
They looked really happy, just look at the pictures below, smiles all around and on the face of it, a PR success, which is good news for the Arsenal brand. Pictures like these and these are just three of hundreds, will serve the club well in the future, potential sponsors love to be associated with teams with a good public image.
Tyreece John-Jules and Alexandre Lacazette
Danny Welbeck and Alvaro Negredo (Al Nasr striker)
Mesut Ozil and Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum
4 – The inclusion of Danny Welbeck and Hector Bellerin
It was great to see these two players with smiles on their faces, it shows they are in good spirits and that their respective rehabilitation is going well, it is unlikely that Emery would have taken them along if they were down in any way and while you cannot take too much from a few images, it just looks good.
5 – Refreshed and ready for Monday night game against Newcastle
Emery made it clear after the game today what it means for the team and how it will assist them for the upcoming games.
“My objective with the players today in the first and second half was to get into their rhythm and continue with the work we’ve been doing recently. I think we did that” Emery said
“We are going step by step and also for us it is getting better. The adaptation for us first and for all the players in their work is getting better and we are keeping confidence.
“The players are also showing they wish to do something important this year. The key is now, this break is key for the next month and we are focused for this last month.”