Arsene Wenger has hailed a decent pre-season performance by his Arsenal squad as they defeated FC Cologne 2-1 in Germany.
The Gunners took an early two goal advantage thanks to a quick-fire brace by new boy Gervinho before a Carl Jenkinson own goal saw the deficit cut just before half-time. In the second half, the game continued to be very open with both sides counter-attacking although no further goals were forthcoming.
Reflecting on the workout, Wenger spoke positively about his side’s performance while paying tribute to Gervinho’s 30 minute cameo.
“We played at a good pace in the first half and looked dangerous,” he told Arsenal.com. “Gervinho had a good start and that is always important for his confidence.
“He has shown his qualities. He has quick movement behind [the defence], the timing of his movement is great and he is easy to find.
“We have seen what he can bring to the team and he contributes to the high pace we have in the team.
“Overall, I liked today. We took many risks and were exposed to counter-attacks but, overall, I am happy.
“The team is not completely ready but it was the end of our first phase of preparations and it was important to win the game.”
One negative to come from the match appears to be a serious knee injury sustained by youngster Conor Henderson who went down in the final minutes.
“The only sad thing today is the injury to Conor Henderson, it looks quite bad but let us hope that we have good news tomorrow morning. He twisted his knee, I don’t know how big the damage is but the first signs don’t look too encouraging.”
Arsenal now return to London to prepare for the Emirates Cup fixtures against Boca Juniors and New York Red Bulls, with Wenger predicted a strenuous week on the training ground.
“Training, training, training! Morning and afternoon,” the coach revealed of the next few days. “It is a block of work that will be very intense for us. Tomorrow will be an easier day but Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday will be higher levels of work.”