Five things Arsenal can take from the win over Fiorentina

The win over Fiorentina was a bit underwhelming, to be honest, they are hardly the most challenging of opponents but it was a good work out and there was more than enough in the game for us to analyse.

There was a mixture of positives and negatives and you do not need to be a rocket scientist to work out what they were really.

Here are five things that I believe can be taken from this game.

Eddie Nketiah must not be loaned out

A very exciting player that makes devastating runs and is clinical in front of the goal, his positioning and decision making showed that he is still a work in progress and raw but a season working with players like Lacazette and Aubameyang and he will be very close to challenging for a first-team spot.

Mustafi continues to be a liability

He just cannot turn his game around, too many times he was found wanting. For some reason he looks a nervous wreck when the ball comes to him, he seems confused and unable to make any decisive actions. Maybe his confidence is shot but whatever it is he really should not be an Arsenal player once the transfer window shuts and that is not picking on him or jumping on the bandwagon but an honest assessment of his performance.

The team is completely unbalanced

Going forward we were sharp and penetrating but in defence, it was the same old story. Every time the Italians attacked I expected a goal, there is no cohesion, certainly no leaders and quite simply we looked a mess defensively throughout the entire game. Arsenal is as unbalanced as they come, great upfront, poor at the back.

James Olayinka could be the Aaron Ramsey replacement we are looking for

I kept a particular eye on him and he was confident, decisive and unafraid, his passing is good and he is not afraid to take a shot at goal and he does like to make those penetrating runs we saw so often from Ramsey.

Emiliano Martínez definitely good enough to be Bernd Leno backup

If there is one position we do not need to strengthen it is the goalkeeper positions. Bernd Leno is the number one but Martinez has shown more than enough to be trusted as the Germans back up. In fact, is it was not for him in the first half we could easily have been losing instead of ending the first half 1-0 up.


  1. Great showing for the youngsters, they did well. Back 4, atrocious and won’t get us close to UCL football. Sort it out. After watching this, would rather have a CB over a winger honestly. Nketiah I would like to see him go on loan to a club where he would get a lot of gametime. Willock, should play next season since there is a hole he can fill in midfield. Nelson, we’ll see more of and see if he is ready for 1st team.

    1. And am aware there are two kids infront of our defense, but Mustafi consistently gets caught out of position or on the wrong side of attackers. Consistently. That just means you are bad. Chambers should start over him every time

    2. On loan! Nooooooo bro we need a third striker/welbeck replacement should be on the 1st team

      1. He has to compete with Auba and Lacazette so essentially he’d get no game time. If we want him to develop he needs to play games. I don’t think he is any good out wide so don’t think he’d be a good Welbeck replacement. Majority of Welbz games came from that position. Getting an outright winger would be more sufficient to replace Welbz.

        1. Nonsense, Auba doesn’t compete with Laca for 9 shirt, he plays predominantly on the wing. Our strongest 11 starts both Laca and Auba so makes no sense to loan out someone who can make an impact when needed. Who else do we have?

          1. Latter half of the season Auba was not on the wings anymore, and we played plenty of games with just one of them. If Emery can guarantee him game time, I would like to see him stay, but I don’t see it. Unless there is an injury he would only play cup matches and sub appearances.

          2. You think when Auba is on the wing and Laca is in the centre and then substituted, then Eddie will be the CF and Auba stay on the wing??

            You must be joking. No one is that clueless. I guarantee you that in that case Auba will go to the CF spot, and a winger introduced.

        2. I feel he’ll get games. Emery didn’t trust him enough last season but I feel with his display he’s winning everyone over besides one of those two will certainly be injured at some point next season

          1. If one of them gets injured then we just start one up front, which we did a lot last season. It all depends on if Emery can guarantee him game time. He should go wherever he gets to play more, and I feel like a lower EPL side or Championship side he will do well at. If worse comes to worse we allow him to be recalled. He’s definitely at the age and point in development where he just has to play consistently.

  2. Spot on mustafi there he doesn’t dissapoint!! Mkhi should be sold a left back is a must buy . Jenkison should improve on his crosses, can’t remember any that went past a player,Chambers is miles better than mustafi.The youngsters are really stepping up.

  3. I must agree with you Martinez is surely Leno’s backup. crucial saves he made.. mustafi…ohhh guess we still stuck with him this season because don’t see him leaving but hopefully when Holding is fully fit our centre back pairing of holding and papa will do

  4. Totally agree with this article. Eddie shouldn’t be loaned out. I feel Willock is the Ramsey replacement. He’s an absolute beast with box to box potential, good confidence and a great touch. Martinelli is awesome (pure diamond) I wish that ball went in he did everything right.

  5. Emiliano Martinez has impressed again today. With him and Leno, I think we two very good and capable keepers

  6. Agree with almost everything you said admin Martin except Olayinka, don’t get me wrong the lad shows talent but he’s not ready yet imo.

    Now Willock however, that boy needs to be getting some games this season…. Quick, strong, reads the game well and makes those runs from deep just like Ramsey.

    Chambers did alright in defence but kept losing his man, would be interesting to see what he does in Xhakas place as a holding mid.

    All our young wingers did well and to me at least are on par with Iwobi if not better, Saka and Nelson both gave the opposition troubles at times but personally I’d like to see more of Martinelli…. He wasn’t on long but showed plenty of promise and that run was quality, shame he missed by a whisker, but by the look on his face he will be working on that going forward, the boy is determined

    Reinforcements are needed but I’d say Emery is doing a good job of working with what he has so far

    1. “All our young wingers did well and to me at least are on par with Iwobi if not better,”

      mmmm Iwobi to Palace as part of a Zaha deal… Is it time to cash in?? After all there is tried and tested, raw talent and up and coming and Iwobi seems to be stuck in “up and not quite coming”

          1. Bloody hell let’s get this deal done then Sue,I would even chip in a fiver if it helped

          2. Didn’t take long did it?Hardly started in second half of season when Emery realised Wenger had sold him a pup and the player just wasn’t good enough.Iwobi would not get in the side ahead of Nelson and Sika out wide.Thats before we actually but someone for that position.
            As for a No10-that just wont happen.The player who was “Tearing the place up at ACON” would not get in the team in front of anyone in our squad including the youngsters.
            So the writing that his Fanboys never seemed able to accept is now on the wall.He has accepted what most admitted 2-3 seasons ago.Not good enough.Never was.Never will be

    2. I want to see Chambers as a backup to Torreira and Elneny sold.

      Chambers as a CB will never fill me with confidence, though. His concentration and decision making are too sloppy for that, nor can he call on any great physicality to compensate for those traits.

      Think about it – he was Fulham’s top player as a DM, but barely good enough for a relegated team as a CB.

      I hope Emery realizes that.

  7. Good to see Eddie playing well, and likes others have said, I hope we don’t loan him out. As always, our attack is fine, but the defence is shocking!

    I am worried a lot about RB, because we have nothing there unless we keep Jenkinson? Bellerin is still injured, and it’s concerning knowing how often Arsenal players have had setbacks in their recoveries, or they come back only to then break down again. Even if Bellerin returns on schedule, will he be the same player?

    1. Will Bellerin be the same player? I hope not! The one I remember was rubbish defensively and only good going foward. If he comes back as a winger great, if not then I don’t have much else to say about him.

      1. Under Wenger he was trash, but he improved so much under Emery that his absence was sorely noticed. Bellerin 2.0 is the one I am referring to.

        1. Under wenger he was trash ,you didnt see his breakout season then ?barca were sniffing around and it was only injuries that stop his progression.

          1. Dan kit, does this guy ever give up?

            I’m surprised he hasn’t blamed AW for Bellerins injury!!!

            Take it all with a pinch of salt…after all this was the expert who said “Lichs wasn’t a bad signing at only £70,000 a week, after castigating AW for signing Kallstrom (quite rightly)…one rule for one and one rule for another.

  8. Forget wingers .We need a new CB , a LB and a RB .
    Mustafi , Jenkinson, Elneny ,Koscienly and Monreal need to be let go. We have so many promising youth players .
    Xavier Ameachi not on show, Emile Smith Rowe and Beliek not playing yet .
    If we can find our balance in this team it will be something to behold . I dont know if it is just me but something looks a bit different about Ozil and it is not the hair . I will judge him when the season starts but for now i am hopeful

    1. Good on you Gizzle, such a shame that others don’t do the same.

      For example Bellerin 1 and Bellerin2 … Ozil1 and Ozil2…or even Iwobi1 and Iwobi2…a new season, let’s get behind every single player with no prejudicies (except mustafi of course, yeah I know).

  9. We have two good strikers in Laca and Bangyang (we call him that round here) both could lead a one man attack if either God forbid were injured. Lone out Eddy and FIX THE BLEEDING BACK **#%*

  10. Haha less than 3 weeks to the start of the new season and it’s Jenkinson playing game after game as our RB. Mustafi STILL HERE. Your days are numbered Emery.

    1. QD, Emery’s contract finishes at the end of the 2019/20 season. It is much easier to churn through coaches, than spend money on addressing the deficiencies of the team. Next coach please!

  11. The kids are stepping up? Its only pre season.
    Dont forget Sanogo scored 4 goals against Benfica in pre season, so what?
    Lets not be deluded.

  12. Haven’t seen the game yet but I noted these live comments in a British newspaper:
    79 min: One (presumably) final wave of substitutions for Arsenal as Mustafi, Thompson, Xhaka, Ozil, Maitland-Niles and Martinelli come on for Medley, Monreal, Burton, Jenkinson, Nelson and Nketiah, who was brilliant today.
    83 min: A poor giveaway by Xhaka forces Maitland-Niles to bring down Sottil and the midfielder is shown yellow, giving Fiorentina a free kick that’s deflected out for a corner.
    Exciting new but same old!!

  13. we could have written this analysis over any of the last years.

    Do not expect our defensive issues to be sorted. If this manager was the man to that with these players he would have made some progress last season.

  14. Watched the game. I thought we were reasonably good in possession in the first half, but a bit devoid of creativity. It was very hot and that must have sapped at the players. Chambers played well but Mustafi looked like….. like Mustafi…poor. To play him spoils the teams rhythm and invites trouble. Reiss Nelson didn’t do much…so get Zaha he is needed. Ramsey was missed, but Willock looked good later in the game. Xhaka is the biggest liability. He is just slow and vicious to me. He needs to stop his late tackles and goading people. To me…not a lot of creativity and some typical Arsenal defending so we were very lucky not to have conceded. The kids did look quite solid in possession in the first half. Well done.
    So a tall centre back is urgently needed, a creative midfield player, a defensive full back, and a winger. Good victory but lots of problems in the Arsenal defence.

  15. Seville let in record numbers of goals when Emery was boss there. He’s bought his same defensive tactics to Arsenal. Why on earth he persists with five at the back when we have useless centre backs and equally bad wing backs is beyond me. Once we get Bellerin and Holding back from injury and a new left back and centre half perhaps he’ll stick with a back four. The start of the season is looking scary.

  16. No need to sign another goalkeeper, we have two very good ones.Mustafi, Monreal and Xhaka really are defensive liabilities which surely Emery and his back up team must be aware of.Until they are moved on we will continue to ship goals against better class opposition.A quality CB and LB are essential prior to the start of the season.Nketiah and Martinelli have impressed me more than Nelson this far.

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