Five positives to take from Arsenal’s trip to Dubai

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

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Danny Welbeck and Alvaro Negredo (Al Nasr striker)

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Mesut Ozil and Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum

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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.

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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.”


  1. Good to see a successful PR and warm-up game, before the upcoming Newcastle match

    Arsenal are still very popular in UAE and hopefully in other continents as well. If they can get Europa League trophy, it will be a big boost to the brand and the confidence for facing the next season

    John-Jules looked very composed in the penalty box and hopefully he can compete with other young attackers such as Nketiah/ Nelson

  2. Was good to watch, even though it was just a friendly. Most importantly I was glad no one was injured!!! Now Monday night…. COYG

  3. Wonder how much that shirt Ozil’s holding would cost to print in the Armoury?

    Good to see Bellerin and Welbeck with the squad and the togetherness amongst the players is easy to see.

    Great work UE, what a difference to last seasons long faces, wish we had some of the oil money though!!!

  4. If Arsenal manage to offload Ozil and Mhikitaryan as suggested in today’s rumours – as well as Mustafi – it could be a transfer kitty of over £100m rather than the £40m mooted. Will make for a much more interesting window.

    1. Thanks for bringing us back to earth and reminding us that we have a very negative fan base that can’t appreciate the benefits of a positive atmosphere and great team spirit.
      However, we need all hands on deck (and that includes fans) to help make the final tilt to achieve success this season. Lets leave all talk of unloved players or our outgoing player wish-list till the season is over. No more negativity for now, just optimism.

        1. it is so sad when we fans treat and talk abt players as if they were our players in a video game. They have feelings and challenges. Let us be supportive of them and their families. It is not easy for a player to decide to move with his family to anew club.

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