Friday, July 27, 2012

What we learned from the friendly against Man. City

Arsenal succumbed to a 0-2 defeat in a friendly against Manchester City in Beijing. Both team didn't fielded the strongest team, although some of the first team players were involved in this match. Despite an even game on the first half, the Citizen were able to score two goals. On the second half, much more inspired Arsenal failed to break City's defence, despite having some chances to score goals.

1. It was the same old Arsenal.
Nothing is really changed this season. It was still the same Arsenal. getting the ball, playing beautifully, making passes, but failing to score. The defense has no improvement from last season. High defense line without the proper protection from the midfield would make the defense highly vulnerable and opponent would easily penetrated it. Steve Bould, one of the famous back four on Arsenal's 90s were promoted to the assistant manager's spot, and many gooners hope there would be an improvement, defensive wise, but it is yet to be shown in this match.
Last season, Arsenal conceded 49 goals in the league, highest conceded during Wenger's era, meaning there's something wrong with the defence. If Arsenal wants to challenge for something next season, they should seriously fix the defensive frailness, or the trophy drought would continue, again; or even kicked out of the big four for the first time in Wenger's era.

2. Arsenal lacking of game-changing player
Aside Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain who played very well, there was no one who could create something from nothing. Alex Song was on his off day, none of his pass threaten the City's defence. Gervinho showed some flair, but he still lacks of final touch. Theo Walcott was still the same him in the last three or four years, inconsistent, and failed to capitalize his advantage using his pace. Mikel Arteta was a dependable player, yet he is not someone who can really change the game. He is more like a stabilizer in the midfield.

Last season, Robin van Persie did a brilliant job, but this season, it's still unclear whether he would stay in Arsenal after the transfer window closed. He already said that he won't renew his contract, meaning Arsenal has to sell him, or losing him next season.

Arsenal already brought in Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud. Looking from his performance in Euro 2012, Podolski is not the type who could bring the team up when all the players were playing badly, but he could be great if the team is great. Olivier Giroud did well in Montpellier, but both he and Podolski is still unproven in the highest level in club. Podolski failed to deliver in Bayern Muenchen few years ago.

Arsenal would still need to buy someone Santi Cazorla is linked with the Gunners, and he would be a nice addition, could replace Rosicky in the attacking midfielder. He played well with Malaga last season, and could complement Giroud's aerial ability, Walcott's pace, and Gervinho's trickery.

3. Marouane Chamakh still low of confidence
Marouane Chamakh is one of the player who needs to prove himself in the preseason, and he is yet to do it. Played poorly against Malaysia, he is dropped to the bench on this match, only to be introduced on the second half. He did make some good link up with the midfield, however, he failed to do what striker should do, scored goal, and threated opposition's goal. His presence in the Manchester City's penalty area, beside one backheel pass to Craig Eastmond, is unnoticed, and failed to test opposition's keeper once.

With this kind of form, he is yet to be ready of Arsenal's first team spot. With Park Ju-Yong getting regular football on Olympic, he could even be behind Park Ju-Yong if Park could rediscover his form.

1. Some of Youngsters are Promising
Kyle Bartley, Francis Coquelin, Chuks Aneke, and especially Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain are some of the youngsters played in this match that quite impressively played.

Kyle Bartley was quite solid on the backline, and made one brilliant stop against outstanding Yaya Toure. Chuks Aneke, who scored the winning goal against Malaysia, was lively after his introduction, while Coquelin ventured all the field, despite almost costing Arsenal one goal after failed to catch up with Aguero in City's counterattack. Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain was one of the reason why Arsenal played much better after the break.

Aside from the youngsters from this match, there are still some promising talents in the squad. Henri Lansbury scored the winning goal against Anderlecht. Thomas Eisfeld, despite struggled in this match, played well in a match before, against Malaysia. Ryo Miyaichi played well last season in Bolton, despite his team being relegated.

2. Diaby could give another dimension to Arsenal's midfield
The long-waited player finally available again for selection. Abou Diaby was disrupted by injuries last season, and almost not featured in all Arsenal's first team last season. But this season could be different, he is fit now, and could offer something different for Arsenal, compared to other midfielder. He is tall, strong, and has a good technique. Could be said, he is like a more offensive version of Patrick Vieira, if he could play at his best.

He is different from the other Arsenal's midfielder who is mostly technical, without too much strength, and could give something more dimension in Arsenal's midfield.