Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Boreham Wood 0-8 Arsenal (inc. goals)

The Unai Emery era has started with a comprehensive 8-0 win over Boreham Wood at Meadow Park.

The Spaniard picked a strong starting line-up for his debut match, including a debut in defence for Sokratis, and it paid dividends immediately as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang opened the scoring with a delightful curler from the edge of the area.

A darting run and cross by Ainsley Maitland-Niles helped the Gabon international to grab a second with his head. And the striker completed his hat-trick on 15 minutes, smashing home a penalty after Reiss Nelson was felled.

A fine finish by Nelson, he controlled with his chest and volleyed into the top corner, made it four, before Aubameyang’s through ball freed Alex Lacazette to make it 5-0 before the break.

The Gunners made eleven changes at the break and the goals kept coming.

Eddie Nketiah, who spent the summer scoring for the England under-21s, converted a Lucas Perez cross at the near post to make it six.

The Jeff smacked home a low drive from long range and, after Matteo Guendouzi came on for his debut, Henrikh Mkhitaryan finished off a nice backheel from Nketiah.

A fun and promising start for Unai Emery’s squad. It’s back to the training ground for the next week before we fly to Singapore to take on Atletico Madrid and Paris Saint German.


First half XI

Cech, Bellerin, Sokratis, Mavropanos, Osei-Tutu, Maitland-Niles, Willock, Smith Rowe, Nelson, Aubameyang, Lacazette

Second half XI

Martinez, Jenkinson, Holding, Mustafi, Kolasinac, Chambers, Ramsey, Mkhitaryan, The Jeff (later replaced by Guendouzi), Perez, Nketiah

You can check out the highlights below

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We’re going to win the league!

Faisal Narrage

League? We’re bigger than that now.



Forget the league, we’re winning the iron throne!


The quadroople, you mean.


Hearing reports we’re gonna win the treble.


On the more serious note – taking into account we shouldn’t really read into this game – I liked that we seemed to have a clear idea of how we want to make the transition from defense to offense. Our CMs were making themselves available and adventurous in their passing between the lines. Good stuff.

One of them is lying!

We’re gonna win the treble unbeaten?


We’ll never lose again


Never losing again > never walking alone


This is the first win of a 900 game straight win fest.


Interesting to see Chambers at CDM. I wonder if Unai sees him as a back up option there or if that is where his future might be. Either way, a fun and exciting match to watch. COYG!


He’s done well in the past for us there. His positioning is quite good (which it needs to be given his lack of pace).


On a less positive note, though it’s only the very start of the season and a friendly, I found sokratis was quite poor, being passed or caught easily… on half a dozen of occasion 🙁


As I feared, this ex Dortmund Greek is not the optimum solution for us at the back.

We may/will be facing teams like City with Sane- Mahrez-Sterling. If that doesn’t strike fear in you or illustrate the gulf in class, then consider the pace of the game and how this fat Greek is suppose to keep up.

Mslintat buys at his convenience to the benefit of ex contacts.

Emery will likely not shake the boat for now but better purchasing is necessary.

Not much has changed.

Faisal Narrage

There’s every chance Sokratis is in fact the back up.


Yeah, it was weird to see him running so slowly; most of the Arse players looked like they were jogging around the BW guys at half-speed, but Sokratis was getting ran past by their guys repeatedly; he might struggle with the speed in the EPL unfortunately. He almost looked overweight or something.


Yes I noticed Sokratis was slow and looked overweight. I don’t know why we went for him doesn’t seem like a talker either so the leadership argument doesn’t hold because he doesn’t even seem like a natural leader. Maybe he’s in the team just for experience. I’m seriously hoping he’s no considered to be a starter. Tbh Sokratis and Lich don’t excite me at all.


I remember he played there against Southampton once and it was dreadful. Never again unless everyone else’s legs fall off.


read the report, and you will find out

DieHard Gunner

The way we played was so convincing, the urgency of the team without the ball was impressive, even with 10 minutes left to go, you could see they were still chasing every ball, trying to win every ball. I love what i’m seeing, i really want to watch us more playing like we just did. Unai is so good at what he does. Chambers in DM is joy to watch, goes to show DM is a position Unai cherish so much, i’m sure we will have a beast playing in that position. Up Gunners for life. Plus we will win… Read more »

Romford Pele

That may have something to do with playing an entirely different 11 at half time.


Interesting to see Unai try Chambers there. Wenger has used him there before but maybe he has accumulated better experience now. Torreira will likely sit in the DM position but beyond him, we are want for options. AMN may be in the mix but is still green (in terms of experience). Neither the Jeff or Guendouzi are any better with experience either. Elneny is OK and diligent but a bit light weight. Granit we know, its not entirely his strength. So trying out Chambers is wise just in Case. But really want to see Chambers blossom in defense next to… Read more »

Romford Pele

Impossible not to be excited by that

Unai Emeryite

The BPL trophy is coming home!


It’s EPL but I like the sentiment.


It’s the PL


Please, not this cursed chant.


So apparently was the world cup….but the media now happy to accept a fourth place finish as a heroe’s welcome home. Ah Spurs.


Auba looks sharp.

Damo Dinkum

I liked that Unai elected to play him and Laca together rather than in separate halves


I noticed that the commentators said a couple of times that the defenders were just defending, leaving the attacking to the forwards, rather than everybody bar the keeper bombing forwards and we get caught out on the counter. I like this way of playing!


Strange notion


Only 8-0. Very disappointed. #EmeryOut

But seriously, the team looked good today. We can’t read too much into a preseason game against non-league opposition, but some of the patterns of play were very nice. Aubameyang will get the headlines. The younger players looked very tidy. Really liked the look of Emile Smith-Rowe in midfield.


Yes, its Boreham Wood.

Group Captain Mandrake

Everton won 22-0 and arsenal only won by 8. We’re doomed!


Okay guys not getting carried away but I think we have a genuine shot at the Quadruple.

hg hg



With Unai pulling the strings, yes.


I didn’t watch the whole game but judging on highlights Sokratis seems quite error prone ,correct me if I am wrong


Good win whilst Spudland come 4th again (what else!). Nice to see a strong team put out for Dick to check out his players

Evang. Simon

these are the stuffs of champions… .
No mercy….
No complacency….
No mediocrity…..

U n Ai will celebrate come May 2019

Auba scoring 45 goals ? ? ?


he’s on pace for 124 in the league alone


dang…actually only on pace for 114. that bum


Good maths


actually, if he plays the full 90 of each game, there’s no reason why he can’t bag 228 goals in the league.


Good point


Thus matching Henry’s career record for us, in one season in the league alone. I like it!


I doubt he will pay 90 minutes in every game so I think around the 150 mark is a more realistic tally for the season.

Me So Hornsey

From the bits I saw, I could see an immediate difference to Arsenal’s style. Much more urgency with the ball, more tenacity off it, more direct transitions and defensively secure.

It was only Borehamwood I know. But just the change in our approach is getting me very excited. I like what I see.


Arsene’s style?


Just go out there and enjoy yourselves lads.


Jack Smith-Rowe ?
Really liked the look of Emil though.
May he follow a more successful career trajectory than our previous midfield prodigy.

Sank India

We have a good team and after so many years we have 2 good strikers and finally our DM problem is Solved.

Hope we challange for the Title.


Good stuff. Most of the young lads looked good, and Auba looked hungry. I thought Chambers did well as a defensive midfielder. And he wasn’t just shielding, his distribution was decent too. Hopefully we’ll see more of him there in our friendlies against better teams. A few wobbles at the back in the first half, but we’ll forgive that. Mostly seemed to come about from the fullbacks pushing too far forward and forcing Sokratis (curiously it was always Sokratis, whether the attack down on the left or the right) wide to cover. But I’m not going to blame the fullbacks… Read more »


Couldn’t watch it- Anyone see how we were lined up? 4-2-3-1’s or 4-3-3’s? Esp. with Auba and Laca together, what were their positions?

I know with all of the young players in it doesn’t really tell us anything about full senior squad formations, but curious to see what Emery is doing.


Laca was in the middle, Aruba wide left but drifting in. Only playing The Wood so formation was a bit like 2-4-4 in first half; some worrying lapses by our Greek defence but at least they stayed back. Complete change at half time with interesting input from Perez – will he stay? – and The Jeff – will he go out on loan?


Grazie. Perez is an interesting question. He showed his presence the few times he actually made the pitch with Arsene. Untimely injuries got in the way a bit, but there’s something to him as a player. For some reason just must not have rung Wenger’s bell the right way. Still can’t help but think if he wants starts he’ll have to leave though. Jeff is a tough one – mostly for him. Seems quality, but look what’s ahead of him. Ozil, Ramsey, Mkhi, Iwobi, Nelson, and now the Doozie. Those are the spots he seems to be trying to push… Read more »


Its coming home…the Engelund team that is. More media masturbation. Its an OK (admitedly young team) with a number of players with propensity to spurs it up. And predictably against better opposition, they have been found out. 2 defeats to Belgium who outclassed them today. Clueless Southgate did not adjust tactics instead persisted with pressing high with 5 men, ceding acres of green behind for Meunier and Hazard to prey on. Truthfully, would have loved to have seen Belgium in the finals or at least semis against Croatia. Argentina, Brazil were also over hyped, good striking power but feet of… Read more »


I don’t get the point of playing against Boreham Wood. What exactly do we get out of it?

Might as well simply field two of our own teams against each other.

The quality of the opponents is so low.

It’ll even make Elneny look good..again.

OTOH good to see close to an entire squad ready for pre-season, our poor showing of (lack of)Arsenal players at the world cup maybe a blessing in disguise for Emery and his preparations for this coming season.


It’s the traditional pre-season opener going back decades. It’s the first chance for the local fans to see the new squad and it’s usually a nice day out for all and a chance to give any shiney new signings and youth players a good once over and fan welcoming.

Not all traditions are good but this one is.


it is a partnership or traditional with a local team with whom we share facilities “Arsenal Reserve, Young, Ladies”.


It’s at least better than Everton beating an Austrian 5th tier team 22-0


8-0 Arsenal who could be 12-0(d5), 22-0(d5 austria) Everton, Liverpool 7-0.

It is rather a good result that rewards their work at the beginning of this preparation. We could see our two attackers particularly fit as well as some young distinguish themselves as Emile even if for me, it is far from being a surprise to level there.

One may be disappointed not to see Dasilva with the team, although he certainly deserves to be there but see Jeff Shine offsets.


Both Nketiah and Reiss look sharp. Little to choose between them but I like Nelson’s incisiveness on the ball. Papastsellbydate looks heavy. I don’t like the signing. would have preferred someone more mobile. With teams like City boasting, Mahrez, Sterling and Sane, we will face a lot of quick counters like the way England got (again) found out with Belgium. Would have preferred we invested better at Cback. This looks like stop gap convenient to Mslintat and Dortmund. On the flip side, we still lack a genuine quick and tricky winger to transition us quicker on the counter (like the… Read more »

Don Cazorleone

The guy hasn’t played a competitive match for us yet and you are already writing him off and giving him snide nicknames. You are everything that is wrong with this club.

Well, I guess you have your narrative down for the season already.
Can’t wait to see you repeat this 5 x per article, every damn game.

Tanned arse

I think you may be over analysing


Chambers played DM, and in his after match interview said that’s where he’s been training also, so your idea of him forming a cb partnership is somewhat puzzling. The Jeff was in the attacking 3 behind the striker, which looks to mean that he’s seen as a forward more than a mid, and guendouzi came on in the mid 2 alongside Chambers, like a Ramsey or Maitland-Niles role. So saying Guendouzi and Jeff are competing for the same position is again puzzling. To me Torreira is dm1, elneny dm2, chambers dm3 etc then Ramsey is cm1, Xhaka cm2, Niles and… Read more »


And extra credit to Smith Rowe, looks to play the number 10 role in a very imPRESSive way that I imagine Ozil will be asked to do and bring the same energy, interesting times, these youngsters might get more game time than we think if they continue to imPRESS.


well, we wont have to wait long, before we find out, city will give us a good indicator as to how good they are, or not


Great to see the Arsenal play again and they looked decent for an opening match. I like these away shirts much better than last year’s away shirts. Of course, winning makes them so much better looking anyway.


I just knew socratis would be too slow.


Arsenal lacking wow factor in terms of players nowadays. About the only player that remotely excites in the squad (for the neutral) and then only maybe is Aubameyang. The rest at the world cup were OK. Interesting to see how Spurs have huge representation today. We have Henry. Tomorrow, hoping Giroud scores a scorpion. He starts for France over Lacazette for a reason and in truth it was somewhat of a mistake to have let him go last January with Auba cup tied for europa. BUT Mslintat in charge means, ex-Dortmund players. Hopefully Emery begins to gain a stronger hand… Read more »


Not sure who scheduled this friendly, but they certainly wanted Emery to get started on a positive note. As many have said not much can be read into this result against such a low level team, but it is exciting to see the team on the pitch with a new manager after so many years. Definitely excited by how we should be more of a pressing team and how we will have much more structure and urgency when defending and off of the ball.

Faisal Narrage

“Sokratis, Mavropanos….Holding, Mustafi”

Everyone getting excited about the attacking players which is fantastic, but this really excited me.
Still early, but it seems to be going with a classic “big sitting man with a smaller aggressive attacking CB” pairing on both halves, nit Mustafi with Sokratis.

That already makes me excited for the season.

Where’s Chamber though?

Faisal Narrage

Sorry, didn’t even notice he was DM.


Perez is a good crosser and a hard worker, I quite fancy keeping him


I agree…I wanted to keep him last year but Arsene didn’t fancy him. I thought he did well his first season with us. He still might be sold though. Emery might not fancy him either but he’s giving him a chance.


Was it a 442 diamond?

Faisal Narrage

No. 4-3-3.


NA. 4231


If anything different at times it looked like a 4-1-1-4


4123. End of.

Blim Blam



no, it was a 1- 10


Surprised Leno didn’t play…. Any idea why?


He started training a week later than the others, that’s probably why. No reason to rush him.


OK. This has nothing to do with the playing of the game. But what’s with these 3rd strips. Why weren’t we wearing the red-and-whiter? Why is the away strip no longer the yellow and blue?


Wenger Stay Out


I don’t know why so many fans are getting excited about our new season just because we signed a couple of old defenders


Why is Perez wearing diapers?

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