As I said yesterday, the first goal in last night's game was always going to be crucial. A quick Spartan goal, and we might have been under the cosh a bit. As it was, we pinged in an early goal and the remainder of the game turned into a pre-season friendly.
The return of Gilberto to central midfield brought some much needed stability to proceedings, but the performances of a few other players was worrying.
Diaby still seems to think he has ten minutes on the ball every time he collects it, and even then he often gives the ball away. I still see a lot of potential in him, but the way he conducts himself sometimes seems to strike me as lazy. I know I'm being critical but I think he could improve his attitude a little.
van Persie is searching for a partner. Him and Eduardo did not go to plan last night, although obviously it's far too early to completely rule out the possiblity of the two of them working together. So far, Bendtner seems to be the only one capable of really giving Robin the ball where he wants it. Some of my doubts about his attitude and selfishness are resurfacing, I have to say.
I also would have like to have seen Bendtner more involved last night and I worry that Arsene is not using him enough. He's going to be a fantastic player, but he's very different to what we currently have; a good thing, I feel. Whether Arsene thinks so as well, I'm not sure, and it would be a terrible waste to not implement Nicklas's talent properly. He will be a success somewhere; I hope it's with us.
At the back, I would say that Senderos and Hoyte both did what was asked of them. Hoyte will probably never be more than a squad player, but he's a very good one to have around. Phil has the potential to be first XI, and after a difficult year last season, he really has a chance to prove himself again. I hope he does.
Theo had a bit of an odd game. He started brightly with an assist, and some zippy running and passes, before descending into obscurity. His crossing notably dipped in quality, and seemed to involve punting the ball into the air as high as possible at times. Odd. So encouraging signs from Theo, even if they only came sporadically.
Eduardo, overall, did well, especially after Fabregas came on. He provided a lovely assist to Fab, before scoring a goal INSIDE THE SIX YARD BOX at the end. I've capitalised this freak occurance, such is its importance. Maybe the fox in the box has finally arrived, after years of searching by Wenger. Moreover, the fact he looks fairly comfortable on the left-wing, means we may have finally found a Bobby mark II. Here's hoping.
Fabregas also took his goal well and touchingly dedicated it to Puerta. I've debated this with others, but I'm still of the mind that there should have been a period of silence before the games last night.
So we're through to the more lucrative rounds and our odyssey to Moscow can properly begin; I hope. It was nice, if a little boring, to have a comfortable win, even if the role of certain players in the team remains slightly fuzzy. Onward to Russia!