OMG!!! The Curse Is Broken? 🤗 By Victor Stephen.
A 21 gunshot salute to all Gooners floating somewhere in the orbit of the Goonerverse, defying gravity while basking in the euphoria of watching the gunners in action yesterday 8th July, at the Max-Morlock-Stadion, Germany. FC Nurnberg played host to Arsenal FC, with almost every eye locked on Gabriel Jesus, our new number 9. Though just a friendly pre-season tie meant to give both teams a runout, to boost fitness levels, ahead of a demanding season. It was the perfect opportunity to get a glimpse of what to expect from the team this season and a sneak peek into Arteta’s tactical thought process for the season opener. If that performance was his (Jesus) audition, then I guess we are in for a good show.
Okay, I get it. I hear you. It was only a pre-season friendly with nothing at stake, so let’s not get carried away, let’s see him do it consistently on a week-in, week-out basis, before we get excited and I understand your point clearly but I am just appreciating his application to the game at the moment and the positive effect he had on the game when he was called upon. His pressing was clear to see and the intent with which he ran at the opposition defence, caused a lot of chaos as he popped up all over the opposition’s final third combining to good effect with Nketiah.
Gabby could have easily had a hat trick but his brace was impressive as well. With the first goal, a sweet shot into the roof of the net from close range and the second, typical of a fox in the box, running in front of the defender and applying a deft and subtle touch off his right boot to guide the ball into the back of the net. Asides Gabby’s brace, his general play was an indication that Arsenal have added to their ranks a very good signing that will tremendously improve the quality of the team’s attack this season.
Assessing him fresh off his general gameplay in this match, he looks like the chosen one prophesied to come from across the seas to break the curse of the Arsenal number 9 shirt. Well, enough of the sweet talk, football is not theatre or some Greek mythological legend, it’s a performance-based sport and Jesus is going to have to prove just beyond one fantastic display, that he can repeat such feats, throughout a 38-match EPL season, Europa League campaign, as well as the two domestic cup competitions. However, it was undoubtedly an encouraging debut that should flip his nitro boosters and set his confidence on overdrive.
So is Gabriel Jesus the one to finally break the curse of the Arsenal number 9 shirt? I guess that question is his to answer at the end of the 22/23 EPL season.
In other news, Ralf Rangnick speaking in April 2019, as head coach of RB Leipzig after securing the loan signing of Arsenal youngster Emile Smith Rowe, for the second half of the 18/19 Bundesliga season, had this to say of our Hale End sensation:
“…He’s shown in training why we took him on loan. He’s got a brilliant mixture of good physique, speed and an unbelievably good shooting technique…”
Rangnick said in April 2019. My emphasis is on ‘unbelievably good shooting technique..’
As I conclude, I refer you to the 14th minute of yesterday’s encounter vs FC Nurnberg, ESR combining well with KT down the left flank, ESR strikes the ball with aplomb on goal forcing the keeper into a good save. The way he struck the ball, is testament to Rangnick’s observation in 2019. Now that you are more aware of ESRs shooting ability, check out his goal in Arsenal’s 2-4 victory away to Chelsea last season. He took it like a seasoned pro, let’s hope he shows us more tekkers this season.
So that’s it from me, so sad I have to stop here. Wish I could keep writing but I’ll save it till next time out. Have a splendid weekend in the goonerverse.
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Mikel Arteta gives a short press conference after Arsenal’s comeback win over Nurnberg.
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