Saturday, March 2, 2024

Report: MLS All-***** 1-2 Arsenal (inc. highlights)

Arsenal: Cech, Debuchy, Holding, Bielik, Gibbs, Elneny, Coquelin, Chamberlain, Wilshere, Campbell, Walcott

Chuba Akpom scored a late winner as Arsenal started their 2016 tour of California with a 2-1 win over the MLS All-Stars.

Didier Drogba did the most Didier Drogba thing ever by cancelling out Joel Campbell’s first half penalty before the England youth international came off the bench to convert Nacho Monreal’s cross from close range with four minutes remaining.

The first half whizzed by in a haze of corked Sauvignon Blanc and slightly gone-off potato salad – not football terms, just my post-pub snack. Highlights (of the match) included Joel Campbell, sporting a poor mohican, getting tripped up in the box and then scoring with a penalty.

After that I made a bet with myself. Guess how many Revels you can you eat before Dider Drogba scores his next goal against Arsenal. I’d barely fingered the bottom of the pack before the Ivorian netted his 876th strike against us.

The goal, scored just before the break, was a thing of farcical beauty on the part of the ex-Chelsea man. He kicked the football at the Arsenal goal about nine times before a massive magnet, probably bought by uber-crook Roman Abramovich, sucked the ball past Petr Cech. The fella in charge of the All-Stars did a little jig and a fist pump.

Arsenal made a host of changes at the break with Monreal, Bellerin, Xhaka, Chambers and Iwobi replacing Gibbs, Debuchy, Coquelin, Bielik and Wilshere. Naff all happened before we swapped a few more players out. Martinez, Zelalem, Willock, The Jeff and Akpom came on for Cech, Elneny, the Ox, Campbell and Walcott.

Action? Yeah, there was some of that. Xhaka forced a couple of saves, Jeff did a bit of ball juggling in the box and a player for the All-Stars fired over when the goal was gaping. In the final ten minutes Xhaka whipped in a corner that Holding headed over.

Akpom’s strike, scored from a yard out after a decent passing move, ensured the game didn’t go to penalties.

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Didn.t watch any of it..but anyway YAY!


Try to top that, you Spuds!

Congrats to our boys!


It’s funny because they’re cunts.


Congrats. to the youngsters!
It was much better to the eyes when they came in. More hunger and honesty!


Those youngsters have SWAG

Granit(e) hard!

yep!….and i think the ox seem to have recovered his mojo. he was all action every time he got the ball. the all star backline couldn’t handle him


He plays only when there is no expectation. He is arsenal through and through


Not a great game for TW14.

This comment brought to you by the AT&T goalpost cam.

Dave M

I think its because he is not a great player

Jack Action

Walcott was abject. I hope to God that has scared Wenger about the prospect of trying to hold the fort until Giroud returns with Walcott up top.


don’t worry wenger knows all!
He will surely use ‘the new suarez’ Akpom after that world class finish last game!


Always too hard to judge anything from these matches…nothing like playing in that heat to get some more match fitness in though


Not to mention MLS is half way through their season and kept making changes every 30 minutes so it was physically very demanding and a great game for our youngsters to play in, especially with some of those legends


means fuck all but still happy we won. Centre backs did okay considering their makeshift nature. Debuchy was ordinary but most notably, Walcott’s performance was worrying. I genuinely want to see the Walcott that ran Spurs ragged in THAT 2-0 victory but tonight he looked as if he would struggle to get game time with the youth squad. Sigh


I don’t know if it’s encouraging or worrying that we looked much better when we took off Walcott and Ox and put on Akpom and The Jeff.

Xhaka looked really tidy, don’t think he put a foot wrong. The defense was all over the place in the first half, a bit better in the second. Walcott offered absolutely nothing up front, as usual.


I hate singling out players but Walcott was shite! Those youngsters have natural ability, some of the link up play at the end was excellent. Walcott is just a really fast dude that Wenger tried to teach how to play football.

Still though, we need him next season until/unless we make any signings…sigh


I’ve been a huge Walcott fan forever, but if you lack the talent, or can’t be bothered to make a mark in a preseason game when you would hope he’s trying to force his way into the team (and I truely don’t know which it is). as much as it pains me to say it, it’s time for him to move on.


I know Wenger says he wants to keto him, but I suspect he’s only there for if we don’t secure a striker. Because if/when we do, I think he’ll be sold, either this window or Jan.

But it’s getting to the point where there almost is no point keeping him as he provides so little. We simply cannot start the season with him up front.

Clive St Helmet

Who is going to pay that wage though? Can you see another club offering him the same as what he’s on at the moment?

Walcott could quote happily honour his contract, refuse to move and pocket whatever silly money he’s on.


Biggest most disappointed Walcott fan here.
That season when he injured his knee against the cunts was his brief flowering (blossoming) and I thought everybody would stop laughing at me for being such a Walcottphile.
I don’t think that flower is going to bloom, he can play in the U21s


Theo and Jack were both invisible and ineffective. They should be putting on a show against these MLS guys.

The most interesting thing for me was that Zalalem, Le Jeff and Chris Willock all stole the show in the last 15 mins and actually outperformed Iwobi who looked a little out of shape.

Agree that Zhaka looked really strong.

I also thought new boy Rob Holding looked pretty solid got his debut. Optimistic about him.

But agree – hard to measure any of this too seriously.


I’m happy that Akpom scores his goal. Taken cool and calmly. But at the same time worried that Wenger will think he is a decent backup and stop on thoughts about signing another striker.

Please use Walcott as any form of bait and exchange him plus cash top up for a quality striker.

I’m thinking about Lukaku.
Experienced in the league, strong, fast and mostly importantly scores goal.

What do you think?
? Agree
? Disagree


So THAT’S what those thumb things are for!


I disagree not because I think Walcott has to go (and I certainly do think he has to go), but because you suggest Lukaku is the answer. Lukaku may be experienced and strong, but he’s not all that fast and he misses a far higher percentage of his chances than Giroud does. If we’re going to bring in an experienced striker, we should be aiming a lot higher than Lukaku. Walcott just frustrates me so much. He made some really good runs today, showed some skill on the ball, and yet frittered away every chance he got. EVERY bloody one.… Read more »


That is assuming there are teams willing to take the Walcott bait in the first place.


100% several decent players we could use as makeweights but that historically hasnt been ‘the arsenal way’ unfortunately. Doubt we will.


Good lord Walcott was terrible! The Jeff and the rest of the youngsters outclassed him by a wide margin. Xhaka and Ox looked really good. Overall lots of positives especially from the youngsters. Even Jack had a couple of great balls.


Indeed Jack does have a couple of great balls.

John Stepanovs

Great balls – see what you did there. Great work sir


Got to watch the whole game, a few quick observations:

Rob Holding played well and seems like good value for the money we spent.

Pleasantly surprised by young Chris Willock who had some good dribbles and released Monreal to set up Akpom’s goal.

Theo cannot be our 2nd option up front. More than anything he impeded play against weak opposition.

Xhaka gonna be huge this season.

I still hate Drogba.


Holding was actually class, gonna be worth a lot more than what we paid for him. Xhaka was indeed faultless and so damn calm on the ball. Also again, like against Lens, Zelalem made a big difference to our possession game once on, i’d keep him in the squad based on merit, albeit not logical with all our playmakers.


Yeah, I dunno how we got him that cheap. Promising young English center half, player of the year for his club last year (albeit a terrible club). Even if he doesn’t work out we’ll be able to resell him 2-3 years from now for 5 million at least.


20 times cheaper than Stones will cost Man Shity!! Let’s hope we look back at this signing in a couple of years as a bargain rather than a gamble we could afford to take (kinda like Sanogo)


£5mil in a world where Reece Oxford is already worth £18mil and Stones after a poor season is worth £50mil?

Even if he doesn’t work out, £15-20mil is still likely.


I was very impressed with Beilik at centre back, shockingly calm and collected, which eventually lead to some mistakes but he’ll learn with more experience. Holding also seemed very calm on the ball but really didn’t take any risks. Had sort of a koscienly-esk no bullshit attitude about him. Both seem very promising, but definitely too raw and inexperienced to play for Arsenal in the league. it’s more important we get that recruitment asap so he can settle in time for our first game, and wenger can play poker with the striker situation till the last minute if he wants,… Read more »

A Gorilla

Love the idea that someone can be shockingly calm and collected – “OH MY GOD HE’S SO FUCKING CALM!!!!”


Yeah it was clear to see that Theo hasn’t lost his amazing ability to find an opposition player to run in to in a wide field of green. Completely agree about Holding, I thought he looked excellent, kind of showed up Chambers deficiencies when he partnered him though.

John Stepanovs

Coq is going to be huge this season…


holding played well. very calm on the ball, makes the easy pass out. i can see him partnering with kos the boss

kampala gooner

Friendly or not a win is still a win especially against a much fitter side. Well done boys. Keep up the drive. ?


There certainly was a bit a hunger about the boys today, wasn’t there?


what’s the point of:
1. theo walcott
2. jack wilshere
absolute rubbish. on a positive note, at least i didn’t see sanogo on the pitch.


Are you out of your mind? Wilshere was fucking brilliant today.


Walcott I agree, Wilshere is pure class and I honestly believe he is the most talented player to come out of England in the last couple of years. If somehow we can manage to keep him fit for at least 2 seasons I really think we’ll see the special player he’s supposed to be


Frank Bascombe

Wilshere’s very good footballer and has a bit of spite about him. Which, given our being a soft-touch, can’t be bad. Be interesting to see him and Granit together.


It should be noted that the MLS season is halfway through… And our young players did well against them. Encouraging displays from the youngsters. Walcott not doing himself any favors. We need another striking option ASAP!


Yeah, the MLS players had more fitness, but it was a random collection of its best players from a bunch of teams. So they had both an edge (fitness) and a handicap (no previous teamwork)

Also, I was impressed with Holding and Xhaka. Willock too. Chambers needs some game time, preferably on loan. He was so promising and still has potential. Bielik, apart from that lulzy mistake, looked alright.


I thought Holding looked good, assured in his tackling, and unphased by any challenges. Hope he does a koscielny and makes Wenger look like a genius. Still need a CB obviously, but if he can make a significant impact (which he pretty much has to if we want to be competitive) this season and going forward, he might be one they talk about amongst the best players that Arsene has unnearthed that people were not relatively or at all familiar with beforehand.


What we learned its still early days.. Walcott has become so selfish its hurting his game, Holding is a good signing, Cech is very prone to conceding low shots hope this wont be a theme next season likw the first game of last season, Campbell is fantastic, Wilshere was barely noticeable on the field, our youngsters in the second half totally schooled MLS all star players in the second half the JEFF is dope Iwobi class and Xhaka is absolutely cracking!! Good tap in goal for Akpom


This has to be walcott’s last match in the Arsenal shirt. Akpom and the jeff are miles better than him.


Nah i get Feo. He is just trying to get us a new striker.


Holding played well, looks promising


Was hoping for the Xhaka shot but, oh well!!?

Magic Al Gooner

Xhaka looking exciting. Just wish there was more signings to get excited about. Welldone akpom


Walcott’s pace was consistently nullified by his bungling on the ball at the final moment. Xhaka looked like the best player on the pitch, although to be fair there was a lot of youth around him.


He clearly *was* the best player on the pitch.


Wilshere was pretty damned good today too. There were a lot of promising performances.


I thought Chambers and Holding played well. Is it worth buying a defender? I think Holding and Chambers have showed enough to warrant a starting place. If we buy a defender he’ll take a few games to settle in anyway.

Also Elneny was the best player on the pitch along with Ox in the first half. Theo should have scored or assisted two goals. Elneny, Xhaka, Ox, Cazorla must start against Liverpool.


A good CB was already needed before Mertesacker’s injury, so yes it is needed. Holding and Chambers won’t be good enough just yet against top class opposition in the PL; the MLS stars are nowhere near the level they’ll face during the season.


While I admire your optimism. I highly doubt Rob Holding and/or Chambers would be the most reliable options against strike forces that include Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Sergio Aguero, Diego Costa etc.


Well there’s Gabriel and kos.
Beside if we don’t give these kids a chance, when are they ever going to fulfill their potential.
What experience will come to sit and warm the bench as 3/4 choice. Think man…….think man


Never criticised Gabs and Koscielny. He speciifically said that Holding and Chambers’ display yesterday would give an indication that we do not need to buy a CB. Which I would have to disagree with considering the strike forces our defence will be up against next season.

Stringer Bell

Though Bellerin did OK didn’t he when was thrown in against top players.


Looked better in the second half when the majority of the youngsters joined the fray. Encouraging for the future but worrying in the short-term. What was very obvious is that nothing has changed with Walcott. He cannot be counted on, even as a back-up. Wenger needs to address this.

Third Plebeian

I think Walcott knows the game is up. Would be surprised to see him in an Arsenal shirt this coming season, though I suppose this is Wenger we’re talking about. “If I buy Mahrez, then I kill Walcott.”


Just flip Wenger’s logic and consider a whole generation of strikers who never played for Arsenal because Theo “killed” the opportunity. Madness.


(Meaning it’s mad how many good strikers we’ve missed out on – Wenger’s logic also works against him.)


Standing behind the goal in the second half, Holding looked great and in sync with Chambers. Not bad considering Chambers only fills in in that role too.
Looks very promising!

Easy as JVC

We all know Wenger is over Walcott, the trouble is that nobody will take on his ridiculous wages.


Sometimes ya bite the bullet and assist with his wages whilst at another club. Cheaper, and gets him atleast out the door!

Rooney's Lady Bits

I was there. Walcott was as drunk as Frimpong impersonating Campbell. Oh wait..


Hahaha- yes, when I saw Joel’s new haircut I immediately had Frimmy flashbacks. Thankfully he didn’t go into anyone out of control.


Jesus Giroud still hasn’t scored in preseason… Joke!

Witty Futty

I don’t know what Wenger sees in Walcott, he should have been sold years ago!


To be fair, just two or three years ago he was close to our best player. Scored 21 goals in one season, was probably going to better that before that freaky shit injury against Spurms. He’d really turned a corner up to that point. So no, he shouldn’t have been sold years ago. But he should surely be sold this year.


Only time Walcott looked good was just before signing a new contract. Sell him to Man City or some chinese club


Just sign him on a one-year revolving contract then. Easily solved.


First Arsenal game of my life after supporting them for the past 18 years ! Loved it!
I was amazed to see a whole stadium packed with Arsenal fans. The best feeling never to be surrounded by by the red an white of the Gunners everywhere!


Best feeling ever*

Frank Bascombe

If you wish to retain that memory, stay clear of home games. The atmosphere’s toxic.


It seems most of us agree on the need to sell Walcott and give the youngsters their chances during the season. Will be difficult to find somebody who wants him though…..(maybe some Chinese club?!!).


I watched the whole match this morning. I set my alarm last night and my wife said am crazy for watching ARSENAL match that late and I smiled and made her coffee this morning with a smile. Why is Theo taking corners? I used to like him as an ARSENAL player but doesn’t worth the space in the team except Ivan not supporting Wenger in the transfer Window andbi can see clearly is not WENGER’S fault all this while but the club… Give Wenger some love and what his doing at the club


A player has a bad season:- answer is sell them. Walcot was doing great before his injury. Cut him a slang. Right now, what the guy needs is for club fans to support him. Sometimes players take awhile to get back to their best form.
Arsenal fans (some) can be so naive and quick to judge. Players are just humans.
CB issue:/ I don’t see the need for reinforcement. Enough players in the club.
Midfield we are full to the brim.


I’ll “cut Walott some slang” He is Pony!




Fund half of Mahrez by selling Walcott, then buy Lacazette and Mustafi. That would be a good summer.


stop playing football manager my friend.

Jack Lewis

I hate that man Frogba, he ruined the only Arsenal match I’ve ever been too, (Gala in the emirates cup) where he won a penalty with the most pathetic dive ever. Anyways, lovely to beat him. (Gala in the emirates cup)


Really lethargic display in the first half. Walcott was awful, kept dribbling into people or taking a weak shot when Campbell is wide open in the box and very little off the ball movement to come back to the ball, thinks the only way he is going to get the ball is to have it played behind defenders. Holding looked very good for his first time out and Elneny and Campbell did too. The others (Wilshere, Debuchy, Gibbs, Chamberlin and Coquelin) all looked rusty, but not awful though Coquelin is making stupid challenges in a scrimmage match that could get… Read more »


You can see what the manager means when he says Zelalem needs some work in the pace & power department, but his composure, passing and vision is quite notable. The other players constantly looked for him and he really started the movement forward with purpose.


jags i love your point on walcott. if walcott scored three goals, fans will say it was just MLS. Players in the first half had bad games, you guys gave excuses such as they were rusty, it was just a pre-season, e.t.c. while the same cannot be excuse for walcott. You guys are like policemen that only sees the bad in people. Your PEOPLE in Arsenal that are your victims are walcott, wenger, ramsey, wilshere, meterscker and Ospina. Cech made plenty blunders that were overlooked, koscieny is the master of blunders such as against barca recently, sanchez will not release… Read more »


Hmmm, the Walcott story, its really going to be difficult in selling Walcott, when he is performing so poorly, he is in the Highest wage category at arsenal and i strongly doubt he would want to go if the wage is lowered, so we are basically going to be caught up in a Bendtner situation again. The good thing with Walcott however, is the pace he still has, it is still important if we plan to play a counter attack system, if he get 2 easy goals i think he will get back some confidence, i think he looks at… Read more »

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