Sunday, August 05, 2007

Gallas looks a decent captain; van Persie looks sensational; a perfect pre-season?

An interesting pre-season, it has to be said. Aside from the games in Austria, we've been involved in two reasonably big tournaments and come out triumphant in both. Whether pre-season friendlies actually mean anything is, of course, a matter for debate, but it's always nice to win trophies.

The main highlights for me have been the performances of certain players and the new sense of unity in the team.

The first, and most obvious, player who's starred has been Robin van Persie. His goal against Inter was so good, you almost wished he'd saved it up for a more important occasion. His persistence and even his abrasive attitude were also good to see in the Ajax game. It's never a bad thing to have a few spiky characters on the pitch.

Gael Clichy has been outstanding. His run against Ajax which led to the goal was little more than sensational. For a long time it may have been wishful thinking to say this, but we may actually have the best left-back in the premiership.

Alex Hleb has looked a lot better in a more central position, even if it's one he probably won't get to occupy come the beginning of the season. It was great to see him score against Inter, and his overall range of creativity is a joy to watch. The way he carries himself on the field, and his desire to find defence-splitting balls, makes him the player in our current squad who has the greatest potential to really replace Dennis.

Nicklas Bendtner has proved intriguing, scoring twice, providing an assist and missing a penalty. He clearly thinks a lot of himself but, to be frank, so what if he's performing. There's something to him, I'll say that: when I was watching the PSG game you could sense he might be a really big player for us, and not just in terms of his height. He gives us options, if nothing else.

Eboue is a winger. I'm glad we've sorted that out. He could be a real handful this year, even if I implore him to cut out the diving. Sagna has looked good and has proved that we needed a right-back of proven quality. He also seems capable of putting in tasty challenges, which we've needed.

Gallas looks like captain material. Gilberto could, and has, done the job very well hitherto, yet I wonder if Gallas has that aggressive attitude that captains need? I think the first team is in good hands under his stewardship.

The defence as a unit continues to worry me. It has looked reasonably solid but we're still leaking goals. The individual players look fine - it's the inability to co-ordinate which is costing us. A decent defensive coach is needed.

Overall, the team looks more like a team again, rather than 10 players and Thierry. I don't think it's unfair to say that we have the whiff of a dark horse team this year. And Gallas is right: if we concentrate on getting fourth place, we'll become a fourth place team. The title should be our goal for this year and the fans shouldn't forget that. The squad as it stands is still a little thin for my liking but we're only a few steps away from something really quite exciting.

And, while I don't normally do this, I shall make the following transfer predictions for the next twenty-five days: we will sign someone; it won't be Diarra from Chelsea; it may well be Quaresma.

Arsenal to sign Quaresma: there, I've said it. It's based on nothing more than a gut-feeling; one which may, in fact, be nothing more than the beer from last night awkwardly swilling around inside me.

Gallas for captain? Hleb the new Bergkamp? Quaresma to Arsenal? I've either lost it or triumphant vindication is around the corner.

14 comments:

Luke14 said...

1st gun

Anonymous said...

emm.. intersting and im thinking i might just agree with u hear...may be willam galls is the rgt captain too...

Anonymous said...

2 trophies. Everything counts u know. I support Gallas as captain if that trophies keep coming.

pratyk said...

gallas is looking like a decent captain .. he just has to watch wat he is saying at times .. i hope wenger signs a left winger .. and i expct gael clichy to shine throughout the season .. he will be one of the players on player of season polls along wid robin van persie, fabregas, hleb, toure n eduardo :)

Nick said...

Will Gallas get the support of other players after all that he has said? I doubt it.
And yes , like u i have the feeling that we might sign someone. With hleb flourishing in the central role, Wenger might well go for a winger. And i bet it will be someone who we dont expect. :P

papa peula said...

there could be something of roy keane in gallas as captain

Anonymous said...

I hate to disagree with you mate but I think our performances were pretty crap in pre season.Winning both tournaments has just papered over some very big cracks in this team! We are woefully short of attacking options when you compare us to say man u scum, there is no pace and there is no width in the team! If you watched much of eboue in the ajax game you will see he tended to drift in field all the time making it very compact in the middle of the park. I think we will be very easy to defend against this year with no pace in the side, ajax are nothing flash and restricted us to very few chances. We need two new signings at least and attacking players at that!(martins and quaresma and then we might have a genuine chance of challenging for the title)

Anonymous said...

6:22 PM, Anonymous said...

I hate to disagree with you mate but I think our performances were pretty crap in pre season.Winning both tournaments has just papered over some very big cracks in this team! We are woefully short of attacking options when you compare us to say man u scum,



Really? In the last two games Eduardo scored one and showed a potential to score many more, and displayed strong fighting qualities. We had Hleb and Flamini score from midfield, Bendtner scoring a couple. I think we've got a hell of lot more scoring options than last season.

But I guess there'll be many who won't be satisfied unless we bring in a big name signing; or until we win something more meaningful than the Emirates and Amsterdam cups.

Fair enough, as long as you cheer on the team when it matters...regardless of whether Quaresmo et al comes in or not.

Anonymous said...

i agree with gallas as captain because he is nt naturally a nice guy so is more then willing to confront players who arent showing fight or skill especially needed on our trips to bolton blackburn west ham etc

Clay said...

People please if u r so obsessed with big name signings go somewhere else, a players ability is not determined by his price tag. so as far as i am concerned we dnt need to big name but someone who will make the team better and right now the team looks better than last season an i will stick my head out and say we are getting a trophy this season and i dont mean the carling cup

Dong Zhou said...

If Gallas can stop saying things off the pitch then yes, he would make a good captain. Our defence, Lazio game aside, looked quite solid personally but worried about the way we leave it late to score goals.

Anonymous said...

Some mouthy bastard who pitches up from Clelsea last year (and then probably only because he didn't have any other options) as captain of The Arsenal, NO FUCKING WAY. What a slap in the face that would be to Gilberto and Kolo. Gallas should stop getting ideas above himself and concentrate on doing what The Arsenal pay him a shit load of money to do.

Borehamwood Gooner said...

A solid unified team.

Captain is not that important, but a solid defence is.

We need to look at defending off the break more, however with Gilberto back we should be more solid there

Anonymous said...

i think you're missing the point...


we're going to be signing drenthe...