Another summer out of the way and into the new season we go. This close season has gone so quickly and whilst I am recouperating in Italy on a well deserved summer break I can now get my thoughts together on the upcoming season and what has happened since the end of last season.
We know this season is a massive one for the club. Emery moves into his second season and a chance to ring in his own style of player albeit with very limited budget if you go by the papers and media. We knew it was going to be a busy window for the club.
Outgoing players currently are Ospina, Ramsey, Lichtsteiner, Cech, Welbeck, Bielik, Asano, Bramall, Jenkinson and Koscielny.
Incoming this season are Gabriel Martinelli, Nicolas Pepe, William Saliba and Dani Ceballos. Saliba being loaned for the season to his current club St Etienne.
Pre season saw us fly out to the US to take part in a series of friendlies starting with Colorado Rapids at an aptly named stadium DICK’s Sporting Goods Park (A reference to Kroenke I am sure) (W 3-0) goals from Saka, Olayinka and Martinelli. Next up was a 2-1 win against Bayern Munich with goals courtesy of an OG from Poznanski and Nketiah. Following on from thaat we played Fiorentina and completed a comfortable 3-0 win with goals from Nketiah (2) and Joe Willock.
We then moved onto a game against Real Madrid and took a two nil lead into half time with goals from Lacazette and Aubameyang only for 2 goals in two second half minutes keeping the game locked into a penalty shootout which we lost.
We then got ready for the Emirates cup game agains Lyon which proved disappointing when again leading 1-0 courtesy of Aubameyang and then throwing away the game in the second half, more importantly was an injury to Lacazette early on.
Next we played in France against Angers drawing 1-1 with a goal from Reiss Nelson we then won the resulting shootout. Our final game of preseason was against Barcelona and again we led 1-0 thanks to an amazing finish by Aubameyang but a mix up between Leno and Maitland Niles meant the latter passed the ball into his own net. We then allowed Luis Suarez to score another great goal in the last minute to lose.
I know it is preseason and it is just about getting minutes into the players but can’t help seeing the same flaws from last season. We all knew as fans that if we concentrated on the one area of the squad that has been needed for many years. The lack of defensive quality was needed last season and with the attacking players at our disposal we certainly would have been seeing Champions League football this season. We now see ourselves with an even weaked defensive lineup now with Koscielny and Jenko leaving us and no new defenders.
Here is to what this new season brings. Good luck Gooners I hope its a good one.