Arsenal drew their first game of the Emirates Cup after a second half fightback secured a 2-2 draw against Napoli.
Arsene Wenger started with this team: Fabianski, Jenkinson, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Gibbs, Ramsey, Wilshere, Rosicky, Gnabry, Podolski, Giroud
It was the visitors who started well though, as Insigne took advantage of some unconvincing Carl Jenkinson defending to put Napoli 1-0 up in the 6th minute. There were some light boos after the goal. Perhaps booing the goal, perhaps booing the fact that the goal came about BECAUSE WE HAVEN’T SIGNED ANYONE!
Serge Gnabry, playing an increasing role in pre-season, almost put Arsenal level with a clever lob that almost caught out Pepe Reina after a ridiculously careless pass, but the ball floated just over the bar.
Arsenal then had a brilliant chance to get level when referee Kevin Friend awarded a very soft penalty for a foul on Kieran Gibbs, but Lukas Podolski’s spot kick was poor and easy for Reina to save. Napoli should have had a penalty of their own a minute later when Jenkinson clearly barged their bloke in the box but Friend waved play on.
Watching on Sky Calcio, I was greatly amused every time Mertesackereh and Jeenabry got the ball, and the game was so dull a man has to get his kicks from somewhere.
But then, deciding the people had been starved of anything to watch, Lukasz Fabianski channeled his inner Manuel Almunia, came out to close down Pandev, fell over when the Napoli man waltzed past him and looked on as he curled the ball into the net to make it 2-0.
It was almost 3-0 immediately afterwards when a Napoli broke from an Arsenal corner saw them threaten once again and a deflected effort left Fabianski stranded, but thankfully the ball went the far side of the post.
Lukas Podolski almost got one back in the 34th minute, fizzing a left footed shot just wide, before Reina clawed away a Mertesacker header from a corner. Aaron Ramsey then thought he’d scored, firing home from a Wilshere pass, but the linesman’s flag ruled the goal out for offside.
Arsenal dominated possession, with the Italians content to sit back, soak it up and break, but failed to really make the most of the the chances they had. The visitors took their two goal lead into the break and there were some more boos. At a pre-season game. At half-time.
Arsenal made no half-time changes while Benitez brought on some bloke called Gonzalo Higuain. Can’t say I’d ever heard of him before, but there you go. These foreigners get more obscure by the day. For some reason, some Arsenal fans booed the Argentine, all a bit unseemly.
Jack Wilshere had a great chance to get Arsenal on the score-sheet early in the second half when he waltzed through the defence but dragged his right-footed shot inches wide. Olivier Giroud fired a free kick into the wall before Arsene Wenger made changes, bringing on Theo Walcott and Bacary Sagna for Gnabry and Jenkinson.
Arsenal continued to press without ever really crafting any real openings, and Wenger brought on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for Aaron Ramsey and Mikel Arteta for Jack Wilshere.
In the 72nd minute, we were back in it when Olivier Giroud made the most of a fairly poor Theo Walcott corner. The ball was floated in, but Giroud executed a lovely overhead kick to make it 2-1. It deflected off Bacary Sanga but we’re looking on the bright side here folks.
The HFB nearly equalised a few moments later when the ball rebounded to him in the box but he couldn’t quite get his foot around the ball and pushed it wide of the near post.
The equaliser arrived in the 87th minute when Mikel Arteta’s free kick was curled in for Per Mertesacker to plant a header on goal, only to see Reina make a brilliant save. The ball rebounded out and upwards though, and Laurent Koscielny was on hand to nod home from close range for 2-2.
Mertesacker almost got on the end of a Walcott free kick in injury time, but it crept wide of Reina’s far post.
In the end though, the real winners were the socks of the new away kit, which are absolutely brilliant. That’s what we’re taking from this game.
posted 4 seconds after FT.what kind of black magic is this?
I don’t know, maybe he’s typing as the game is being played?
Maybe Arsenal have become very predictable…
Arseblog can you post omorrows Galatasary report so i can see if its worth watching?
I am genuinely interested to watch tomorrow’s game against Galatasary, well its the first time we see our new signing forward Yaya Sonago and I hear cazorla might also get few minutes. Any time there is santi playing, I will be watching. Also, on retrospective on today’s game, I loved how we went forward and were more direct in terms of play, rather than our previous ways of pass, pass, pass, sideline, cross, repeat. This was much more exciting to watch, just too bad we didn’t get to see Zalaleam. But one thing I didn’t enjoy was how on the… Read more »
That’s well said. Although wisdom dictates we should put this in the perspective of a pre-season workout, the way we played without Arteta should illustrate our need for a central/defensive midfielder this summer. As it is, if we lose Arteta to injury or burnout (I feel strongly we burned him out last season), I think we’ll be in trouble. As we seem to have made a rather large bid for Bender last month, I feel hopeful that we are seriously in the hunt for this position.
meanwhile sp*ds lose 5-2 to Radamel and the Falcao’s (great band)
They are having abit of a habit losing 5-2 …
It’s know as … The Internet.
Sign some fucking players.
I’m betting that Blogs is, in fact, H. G. Wells.
Do you reckon Higuain found it comfy in Koscielny’s pocket?
I fucking love Kos.
He’s cooler than ice
He’s groovier than Disco Stu
How exactly good is kozzer? what? absolutely world class and then some…..
I love the bollocks out of koscienly
i second that admin lol
Blogs I think if we don’t improve this season Kos might be on his way out!!!
Arsene please buy a 30 goal a season striker or we are fu**ed again and Barca will bust our balls by christmas.
I can’t take much more of this tripe
Thanks madrid for shifting that goal post, Kos, absolutely brilliant, plus i want some of that thing TR7 is taking, kept running till the final wistle.
Ever since we played Barca at the emirates and Kos put in that man of the match performance (for me anyway) keeping messi quiet, he has rarely looked back. Maybe he realised his potential at that point that he could be a top defender with a bit of extra work. He hasnt let himself down. Well played Kos. Well played.
Would have prefered to see Higuan playing for us rather than in Koscielnys PockeT
Perhaps. But either way, you have to say that it was completely baffling why we booed him when he came on.
What did he do, exactly, to deserve the ire? Try to play for Arsenal but we balked at Madrid’s price? And somehow that’s HIS problem?
However, I did enjoy the booing of Reina, that time-wasting, ex-Liverpool, Cesc-shirting so-and-so.
Pretty sure any booing was directed at the club’s inability to sign this guy. Simplest way for people to let them know they are displeased, and the focus of their displeasure.
It was a rather feeble, half-hearted complaint then, and they didn’t bother booing him again because in his little cameo he showed us why he was merely a squad player with Real Madrid. (By being kept in Kos’ pocket – which, incidentally, also proves beyond any shadow of a doubt that Messi is little better than a squad player too).
Great team effort in the end!
The club does need a cold blooded striker though. How many chances (or passes before a chance) did we waste today? Giroud’s goal was technically nice; I felt that our offensive moves, especially in the first half, were a bit “one dimensional” though.
Best players: Rosicky (first half!) and, of course, Koscielny. The Napoli goals were due to individual mistakes on our side, which needs to be said as well.
We were our old early 2012-13 selves for a while there. Slow and painful build-up, facing a wall of buses (that would be Benitez’ influence), showing occasional flashes, but not showing any of the defensive solidity of the end of last season (you know, what we said we’ll need from the start this season if we want to win anything). We just didn’t look as sharp as Napoli, and were easy meat on the break. I’d have liked to think that it was a result of it only being pre-season, but then with a couple of substitutions in the second… Read more »
You sexy French bastard(s)…
Koscielny absolutely owned Higuain
Couldn’t agree more. Kos is on another planet. I challenge anyone to identify a better Arsenal signing made in the past five years (for value or even for pure quality of contribution to the team). Which, given his name recognition at the time of joining, should give us all pause amidst the frenzied demand for marquee signings.
cazorla, arteta, per, ox, thats 4 signing we made in last 5 years
Cazorla’s a good call, but I (personally) don’t think Mikel, Per, or Chambo are quite as good signings as Koscielny. That is, Mikel’s great, but he’s a bit old, and Chambo’s going to be great, but he’s not yet, while Kos is great now and he has plenty of years left, hopefully at Arsenal.
Arteta should be judged on what he brings to the team, not on his age. He has already earned his laurels as one of our best signings of the last 5 years. You can’t judge a player’s worth to the team on what hasn’t happened yet. Yes, Arteta is a bit older than the rest, but if that were enough to deny viewing him as one of our better buys then you should discount Kos because he might get injured one day, Cazorla because he might get banned for biting Suarez one day, and the Ox because he might get… Read more »
He is the best. Period.
Hey Gonzalo is it comfortable in Kos’s pocket ? And Rosicky i love you!
Rosicky, this guy is going to run the show and eat defenders for breakfast if he is played consistently. Love how he played today, just like every game is his last. Man of his word.
Sagna had a great game too. Really wish to see him and Rosicky retire at Arsenal
No, no, no. He is Higuain. We only use the first names of players if they are our players. The first name of every player who isn’t ours is ‘Cunt’, ‘That Bastard’ or ‘Who?’, with a few exceptions amongst players who used to play for us.
Damn this was fast. I bet you write up the first half report at half time and then starting finishing the report after 80 minutes.
He wrote a 220,000 word writeup on Thursday at lunchtime and just deleted bits today when they didn’t happen.
Koscienly is the best player at Arsenal Football Club
I said at the end of last season that one day Koscielny would be considered one of the best defenders in the world. He looks right on course to being just that.
On Tv,Emirates seemed liked a library before the Goal.. Come one guys.. Lift the team up when they are down
What do you expect when they boo their team in a pre-season game?
I don’t think Higuain is worth 30M+.
He didn’t show it today. Koscielny was the man!
Thank you people are finally realising this.
Most Neutrals I talk to done even rate Higuain its only Arsenal fan boys that wanted him.
Everyone i have spoke to agrees Suarez is better but the draw back is his issues.
Higuain’s goal conversion rate was second only to Messi in all of Europe last season. 100+ goals in under 200 games for Madrid is a fantastic record.
People who don’t rate Higuain need to pay a little more attention to him. Is £35m too much? Maybe, but I have no doubt he’ll be a success at Napoli.
How much you wanna bet?
I’ll bet you £10. If I lose, you can find me by going up and down the streets in cities across the world yelling my internet user name. If I hear it, I may respond.
Hmm. Maybe ‘Blogs can moderate this wager. Arseblog presents: ArseBet (c)
Please don’t attempt to get revisionist about this. The guy’s stats speak for themselves. The only reason he was initially available at some 25m or whatever it was was because he played under a manager who didnt really value him and he had an injury ridden season.
Credit to Koscielny, but until we sign a decent striker (and at this stage, I’ll even take the racist biter) we should all keep talking about how the Higuain negotiations smacked of us being ridiculously unrealistic.
If this realization is from one pre-season game, Higuain’s first game for his new team, that its not worth a shit is it? Higuain is a quality player and much of the football watching world is agreement with that, I don’t know where are you getting that its only Arsenal fans who want him. Not worth the inflated amount though, that I agree.
And he was up against Kos!! What chance did the poor lad have?? He would probably be coming off the bench considering the quality of strikers Kos has added to his pocket.
I have to say that on balance, Higuain is probably the kind of player who might react toxically with the current atmosphere at our club. In much the same way as Walcott (but with far better outright stats) he has the tendency to ‘disappear’ before popping up with some excellent piece of intervention, be it link-up play or strikes at goal. Now there’s nothing wrong with that approach per-se and this isn’t to say that he wouldn’t have been a success- it’s just that we’re at a point now where confidence in the club is so low that the fans… Read more »
higuain in his pocket, + a goal…not a bad day in the life of the Boss
“A poor Walcott corner”
best Walcott corner I’ve seen so far…
That’s not really saying much, is it? 😛
From the mail on sunday
“The introduction of Theo Walcott livened the Gunners. His perfectly-placed corner found Olivier Giroud in the box and the Frenchman’s overhead kick beat Reina on 73 minutes.”
Blogs just suffers from expectation bias
Don’t trust the Mail on Sunday. They’re building him up in pre-season so they can knock him down later.
Arteta is the best set piece taker at Arsenal. He proved that today.
Careful, Blogs, “Poor Walcott Corner” sounds like the title for a rival Gooner blog.
Posted right after FT. Somebody said being fast during transfer window is impossible. I call it total bullshit. You’re golden arseblognews.
Koscielny and Rosicky were outstanding.
Podolski had a stinker, and has not looked great at all through pre-season. Interestingly our 2 goals came from defenders (the first a ricochet off Sagna from a Giroud shot going wide).
Do we need another striker?
Over to you, Wenger.
So you aren’t giving Giroud the credit for actually doing the overhead shot because it went in off Sagna?
If Giroud hadn’t hit the bloody thing how was it going to go in at all?
Sorry, hair-splitting man. Perhaps I should have said defenders were involved in both goals. Maybe the reason I minimized Giroud’s contribution is because overall, there wasn’t much to get excited about. But yes, he did shoot a ball that was going to miss the goal completely had it not been for a deflection. In that case, how was he going to shoot the ball anywhere had it not been a corner. In that case, Walcott deserves credit for the goal, as well as the player who created the corner, and the player who passed to the player who created the… Read more »
You’re a machine, Blogs. The whistle went a few minutes ago. I’m massively struggling to see the good sides of that performance, but I suppose their were some positives; Rambo was good, TR7 was clever, Kos had a VERY good second half after such an insultingly bad first one (that bit at the end where he kept the ball from going out was superb, top-drawer). The rest were pretty shit, really. Flappy, Jenks, Poldi and HFB played VERY badly. But I guess it’s a run around at the end of the day, and I’m happy that they fought back from… Read more »
I’m not entirely sure blogs, I could be totally wrong. But I got the impression that it was poorly thought out booing because it may have been more to show Arsenal we could have had Hig if we SPENT SOME F*CKING M*NEY!!!
btw Rodgers now thinks Suarez is worth same as B*le
Rodgers is a deluded retard. We should go for Another striker and let the fools have a bity, racist, unhappy cunt for the entire year. Lets see how that will work out for Rodgers.
Once the window closes and Suarez remains Liverpool’s bitey racist I would like to hear Wenger come out and, after praising our fantastic new striker (Don’t ask me who, I have absolutely no idea), tell the world that only one team in England deserves Suarez, and they’ve already got the cunt.
I swear i heard some:Spend some Fucking money!
No swearing on this blog 🙂
Geez people it was a joke…
if koscielny play like this all season, he will be in the team of the year for sure.
i think you meant ballon dor, after Arsenal wins the champions league of course by beating barcelona or bayern 5-0.
And in Barcelona’s next??
This result should clearly show Arsene we need a couple of quality players, especially one with a ruthless streak in front of goal. Happy for the draw to save pride, unhappy with the continuing tendency to give up goals and chase the game. I had hoped we had left that behind. Kudos to the young guys and of course Kos who is the best centre back in the league.
We have a lucky one. He went for a spectacular and completely unexpected goal (see the lack of reaction from anybody in the area for a couple of moments after it went in), and had that little bit of luck that is the difference between good and great.
We could add a ruthless finisher alright, but to play alongside Giroud, not in place of him. Trouble is, who is this ruthless finisher? It’s either Suarez (trouble) or some guy nobody has mentioned yet (that’s troubling too).
Not by his stats. See this, for example – http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1551842-olivier-giroud-vs-theo-walcott-who-the-stats-say-is-arsenals-better-striker.
I like him because he offers a different sort of threat yet is still skilful enough to work with Arsenal but one deflected overhead kick goal does not a Fat Frank make. Not that we want a Fat Frank particularly but if you’re talking about hitting and hoping, that’s sort of the benchmark.
We still need a clinical striker.
great attitude, poor team, poorer manager..wenger out
Koscielny was a monster, had Higgy in his back pocket from the moment he stepped on the pitch. Our beautiful Tomas Rosicky looking really sharp too, can’t wait to see him in action this season. Now then, a nice couple of signings and…
I think people (not just you) here are being a little harsh on Higuain, who was clearly not fit. Did he start pre-season later than the rest of the squad? I’m sure he’ll be fantastic for Napoli, who, to be fair, look a quality side. Inler was superb.
I wasn’t trying to piss on Higuain so much as applaud Kos’ performance. He was ferocious. You’re right, Hig’s a class player and I’m sure he’ll do well for Napoli given a bit of time. They do look pretty handy this season eh, even without Cavani.
Yeah, I understand where you were coming from. It’s just that there seem to be a lot of comments above and below about Higuain, with some (not you) saying we were lucky to miss out on him.
I’ll be curious to see how Napoli do this year. Might even follow their results a bit. Always sort of liked them for some reason (and no, I didn’t watch them in the Maradona years).
must be the mafia.
He was eventually ferocious. Started slowly like the rest of the team. Possibly missed Arteta in front of him to some extent, though it could equally have been down to the entire team advancing to the edge of the Napoli area each time we attacked (That parked bus was acting like a magnet, drawing the team to it).
I wonder if Bould reminded them why we did well at the end of last season when they went in at half time.
If he hasn’t been training by himself, if Madrid wouldn’t let him train with them, then he hasn’t got the right stuff for Arsenal anyway.
Do you guys realise that Higuain is overrated now? We only had a chance of signing him because he was 3rd choice and not a reguler started for Madrid and consider that scoring a lot of goals in the La Liga a terrible league is not proof he would of done well at Arsenal in the premier league.
This game showed we need another striker and goal Kepper.
Rosicky, Wilshere, Ox, Ramsey and Koz all playeed really well for me.
Pleas let me know if i missed out anyone..
Come on its his first start in a new team ffs
Yeah and probably his last.
Come on he surely had a point to prove today and did nothing.
Again i make the point Arsenal fans who are desperate for signings were the only ones getting excitted about Higuain.
Everybody else sees him as a Madrid cast off.
But thats what i think, right? thats all it is, dont get all but hurt about it dont all sensitive balls going all tight and whatever, at the end of the day, you can think whatever the fuck you wanna think!
point to prove my arse. as much as i love the Arsenal, we’re not the fucking centre of universe. and it was a fucking friendly.
Friendly, my arse. We ARE the centre of the fucking universe. The rest of the footballing world only exists to give us a pool of teams to play against. I don’t give a fuck if Higuain is any good or not, except when he plays against us when I want him to be utter shite.
Its Higuans first game of the season and serie A starts a week later than PL. He is class and will be class for Napoli. I would have absolutely loved too have him in Arsenal.
Is it just me or Ramsey looks like Lee Dixon in the pic above?
Its just you.
The guy next to him in the picture looks more like Lee Dixon.
just you mate
Yep looks like Lee alright. The defender looks like Vincent Kompany 🙂
A good report so fast no point in forking out for bt sports channel. Same tomorrow?
Sure, just for you pal!
We love you blogs but please don’t call us pal or dude…that’s fighting talk where I from.
Got all the games on ESPN here in Oz.
yep, or free on the net if you know where to look.
Rosicky really showed his class Today! Imagine if his career wasn’t slowed down by injuries.
I know. Reading the stuff Reus said about him makes me genuinely really sad. He would have been a true great 🙁
Kos the boss. Period.
Personally, I think we can just drop the ‘Kos’ from now on, and just call him The Boss.
For that is what he is.
Nice to see theo taking on players and cutting to take a shot, expecting 25 plus from him this season.
Couldn’t agree more. he has the foundation to come into his own this year and own his place. He has the finishing, he has the talent, he has the pace. All he needs is the maturity and the calmness in his mind. Channel that, and he is world class. P.S. I wish my son had his chance at glory.
I love Rozza , hope he stays fit for whole season he could be massive ..
We looked terrible!!
In the first half, yes. Second half, we were cruising. Do you remember Fabianski having to save a single shot in the second half?
The only worrying thing for me is that this first half bad / second half good pattern didn’t do wonders for us last season.
Not trying to be negative here, but you make it sound like the game was under our control when you say
“Second half, we were cruising. Do you remember Fabianski having to save a single shot in the second half?”
when, in fact, we were 0-2 down. I realize the only way to make up for a poor first half was to play better than that, but it’s also not totally unreasonable to think that Napoli felt as though they’d made their point in the first half and then switched off a little bit, thinking “meh, it’s a pre-season game.”
I just don’t see how you can describe our whole game as “terrible.”
To put our “cruising” down solely to their fatigue or inferred psychological state is to ignore the fact that the team also switched to more effective tactics in the second half by stretching Napoli wider and creating more space in the middle (we were far too narrow in the first half, and played right into their counterattacking hands). We also changed the personnel to good effect.
If changing personnel and tactics was effective, why “terrible”?
We were bloody frustrating in the first half, started the same in the second half, and grew into the game, with substitutions playing a part, as it went on. We were solid and reasonably competetive in the latter part of that half, and did score two without loss. This game reflected last season like a mirror. Three quarters so-so, final quarter not too bad at all. We’ve said we need to play this whole season with the organisation and desire that we showed in the last 10 games of last season, and we managed that for twenty to twenty five… Read more »
Please please please full season of rosicky this year football gods. He was my man of the match, little Mozart.
Kosielny was fucking incredible too but tommy was like a wind up toy all day. Legend.
Comical defending for their goals but meh shit happens
Podolski played out of position yet again…thus ineffective. Ramsey always slows the game down….taken off and we score twice. Am I talking bollox?…probably.
We were pretty awful at times. Hope the all too familiar looks of angst displayed by the manager, force his hand into his pocket. Here’s to the internet for not leaving viewers stranded with audio & their pronunciation of Wilshere… Wilsherrrre! Sounds cool.
Kos by far man of the match for me with TR a close second but by fuck we need a striker ASAP as OG is a decent second striker but never a 25 or 30 goal a season guy.
Come on Arsene get yor finger out!
Blogs typed this out live as the match went on? Each para equates to each time he updated this article during the game.
heh. People further up were quite surprised as to how the piece was uploaded this quickly.
If this were a bar you’d be turning your pint pot upside down, wouldn’t you Micko?
The thing is, you need to save some of this anger for when we play Chelsea, otherwise how are you going to put the right amount of effort into shouting “cunt” at John Terry?
you got him sherlock
Shut it, Irene.
Arsenal’s one stop solution for their goalscoring problems
Sure thing, Marouane. We’ll call you…
Same shit, different season. That could of been any number of games from last season. This squad will not threaten and I feel a challenge for 4th is again on the cards.
3-4 new players could change that though. Again, that has been said a number of times over the last 8 years.
I would like to know what’s up with podolski.. Last season I attributed his performances to injury but he’s supposedly had that cleared now.
He’s anonymous a lot of the game. Really hope he has a break out season this year but what I’ve seen isn’t encouraging
Yawn another awful performance from our clowns. Meh
A carbon copy of a lot of games the last 4-5 years and probably how it will look when the season starts. First half completely horrendous and uninspired. Fabianski is not a good enough and Jenkinson has a lot of work too do before he can challenge Sagna. We were lightweight in midfield and Podolski was rubbish throughout the game. We really need wide midfielders and not strikers out wide. Napoli scored two from mistakes and it was uphill as always. Second half and when Arteta and Sagna came on it changed the game. They are class and when Theo… Read more »
We were trying out a 4-4-2 and I wonder if that made us a bit lightweight in the middle. We did get better eventually when we brought on Arteta (Note, I am not saying when we took off Ramsey, I mean when we brought on Arteta). He is one of our most important players because he stabilises us in the middle of the park.
I don’t believe Higuain was overrated. Not after only seeing him play for 45mins at least. Overpriced? Certainly. Much like Suarez.
We shud buy pandeff, he comes 4 cheap price and has xperiance,little slow but left feet V.gud, winger also cesc postion becoz of high intelligence
Amaury, it’s great to see that you’re still a little bit the crackers.
Sign me up!
We are not that desperate yet
Wide midfield players who are good on the ball, a striker playing off Giroud and a steely midfielder to boss the middle. I need a miracle, I need a miracle.
Arsecrew: Amen brother!
I was surprised to see Dries Mertens ih Napoli kit. I’ve Bern hollaring about this kid for a while, would of been great fit for us. Credit to Rafa, he’s building a team that will dominate the Series A.
Played well. 2 quality signings and 2 decent back ups and we can challenge this year.
Watched the match on BT sport and they have a massive studio with a pitch in it and they show how to play football on it WTF!!!
How mad’s that giant screen on a tea trolley?
Meanwhile, in Sp*rs are getting their asses handed
Come on rosicsky pace yourself its just the emirates cup. We going to need you all season. God love this lad.
Well yes the negatives are out there, but still feel this season there is a lot of oneness in the team. Players know each other better, but still need to train harder and improve technically. Jenkinson, y u make so many errors? If you look at BVB-their team spirit is off the charts, even Klopp remains so involved in the game from the sidelines. Wenger please we need to patch up the defensive errors we make again and again. And let’s spend some of that moolah and get some strong players on the defense. Seriously, for silverware this season the… Read more »