First team close to full strength as new signings train

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Lucas Torreira and Stephan Lichtsteiner trained with their new Arsenal teammates for the first time yesterday as the Gunners stepped up preparations for their first game of the season in 13 days time.

Unai Emery also met Granit Xhaka, Joel Campbell and Nacho Monreal for the first time after they returned from their respective post-World Cup holidays.

Joel Campbell and Stephan Lichtsteiner learn to twerk

The foursome has been pictured running, lifting, pushing, lunging, smiling, growling, sweating, listening, jumping, pointing and kneeling. That Darren Burgess fella really has taken things to the next level.

Stephan Lichtsteiner learns how long it’s been since Sp*rs won the league.

As things stand, the only player missing from the group is Danny Welbeck. Despite playing only 10 minutes in Russia, the England international endured the longest wait for his summer holiday due to the inconvenience of making the World Cup semi-final.

Lucas Torreira points at all Hector Bellerin’s haters

Arsenal travel to Dublin this afternoon ahead of tomorrow night’s friendly with Chelsea at the Aviva Stadium. Presumably, on Thursday, they’ll fly straight to Stockholm before facing Lazio in our last pre-season match on Saturday evening.

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Jack
Jack

Just curious as to how people think we’ll line up on the opening game of the season?

gooner
gooner

Probably one goalkeeper and ten outfield players plus Unai constantly gesturing on the sidelines.

Uhtred
Uhtred

Hahaha.. They asked for that

Rummy
Rummy

Leno

Bellerin Mustafi Sokratis Monreal

Torreira Ramsey

Aubameyang Mikhi

Ozil

Lacazette

Although 2 up front would probably be better

Killak
Killak

I agree but with cech in goal. Think he’ll start cech at the start of season, ease Leno in with the Europa cup games. If it were me, I then re assess around December time…

Tankard Gooner
Tankard Gooner

While I agree this could end up being the more permanent look of the starting 11 in due time, hardly think emery is going to risk debuts for leno and torriera against city. Maybe torriera gets brought on later during the game, but probably have to wait till europa kicks in to see leno.

mc1892
mc1892

I have a sneaking suspicion he may go for Chambers over one of the two centre backs..

John C
John C

I have a sneaky suspicion that Ramsey might be sold before then

sheffieldgooner
sheffieldgooner

He’d better not end up in fucking Chelsea blue.

One of them is lying!
One of them is lying!

What’s that rumour about Ousmane Dembele and Ramsey swap? I would take that deal!

Post January Blip
Post January Blip

Out of curiosity, would anybody take Willian?

lari03
lari03

Yes please Ramsey+10million.

Tony
Tony

No

Hantal
Hantal

I expect to see something like

Cech

Bellerin mustafi sokratis Kolasinac

Xhaka Torreira

Mkhi ozil iwobi

Aubameyang

Make Arsenal Great Again
Make Arsenal Great Again

It’s unfortunate that I can only vote that comment down one time.

santori
santori

More likely.

Iwobi is a talent but I’m not sure he is the best option as a winger though. Aubameyang there and Laca up top is also an option.

At the back Chambers may be a preference depedning on further look in pre-season, particularly over the Greek. BUT if its still 50-50, Sokratis is the insurance.

Ramsey should swap out with Ozil or is an option deeper in midfield (not ideal).

I doubt he’s going anywhere. He was given the Captain’s armband.

Isaac
Isaac

I am sooooo excited – so glad we have Torreira in our club.

Faisal Narrage
Faisal Narrage

Now I don’t wanna overhype or put a lot of pressure on him, but suffice to say the future of Arsenal rests completely in his hands.

@Woodburygooner
@Woodburygooner

Who is downvoting this? Get a grip ffs!

Isaac
Isaac

Some people like to put a downer on things – I guess they get a kick out of it – Right now for me everything about our squad right now is positive

Homer
Homer

“rests completely in his hands ….”
Bit of an overstatement.

Faisal Narrage
Faisal Narrage

You must be a hoot at the Christmas parties.

Faisal Narrage
Faisal Narrage

Probably Fatgooner

myrtle
myrtle

Please stop giving that prick oxygen.

Petit's Handbag
Petit's Handbag

Don’t tell people what to do. Rule #1 of the internet

Monday Atomore
Monday Atomore

Welcome back lads. I have so much expectations this season.
God bless Arsenal FC.

Malaysian gunner
Malaysian gunner

The game against PSG showed the defence played asa unit.Under the fm
everyone one attacked and left gaping holes to be ruthless exploited.
But this is football and if you dont score more goals than the opposition who
were outplayed you lose.
I am more hopeful than previous seasons .For starters we have a manager who knows winning takes priority. That is why I hope there will be less endless passing and a willing ness to shoot on sight as Rowe’s goal showed. Und er the fm he would have to pass the ball.
By then it will be too late.As the wc has shown the speed of attack is important.
France showed excessive possession aint the way to go

santori
santori

With the CAVEAT that largely it was a PSG youth team. Rabiot and Diarra were the only senior players and Rabiot a couple of times waltz through the midfield.

Hard to draw such facile conclusions. Against Atletico, second half back 3 did better again largely bc soon after intro, Simeone fielded the rest of their youth team.

Crash Fistfight
Crash Fistfight

Unbelievable that Rabiot didn’t go to the World Cup (I know they won, but still). He’s a brilliant player.

arsepedant
arsepedant

Yeah, right, France were so bad they only just won the World Cup.

kinghenrythe14th
kinghenrythe14th

13 days to resumption of the league!

Can’t wait, can’t wait…

Herb Kazzaz
Herb Kazzaz

Yeah, I’m with you. Having said that, early August…..I’m never entirely comfy with football in the height of summer. Football needs a nip in the air, and a few leaves falling. And for it to be pissing down of course.

Pedant
Pedant

Looking good. I think we’ll walk the league this season.

Man Manny
Man Manny

I don’t know about walking the league, I’d be okay with winning it on goal difference. The field is quite tough this year, but I am cautiously optimistic.

sheffieldgooner
sheffieldgooner

I think we’ll walk the league every season. Hey ho.

Pedant
Pedant

My advice is to post this at the start of each season and you’ll be right one year and can then show everyone what you said.

I haven’t done my ‘we won’t even get into the Europa League next season’ post yet.

David C
David C

Man City will be as good, Liverpool have improved, but I think Chelski, Spurs, and United will be worse this year.

The league would be fantastic but I’m just hoping for a top 4! It would be something great to build from.

COYG!!!

santori
santori

Walk the league as in we are slow this season.

Just as a reminder before reality crashes back down on you, City have Mahrez-Sterling- Sane (not to mention De Bruyne, Silva Aguero)

Think Sokratis is a great addition at the back?

We will be done for with speed.

Liverpool still have Salah-Sane- Firmino.

If we don’t get our pressing right high up (which isn’t an easy thing) AND we adopt same assets without outlet of a true wide player to hit, we will leave gaps and the Cbacks will again be dragged out of position and left exposed.

Only thing is we have Torreira who may prove a bit more diligent but he can’t do it all either.

Arsenal's Top Scorer
Arsenal's Top Scorer

It’s nice to go into the season with very few guaranteed starters, now it’s up to the players to earn their spot.

Petit's Handbag
Petit's Handbag

Hey @arseblog, any word on any arsenal open training, meet and greets or anything while the lads are in Dublin. Haven’t heard of anything so far.

Gordy
Gordy

Is anyone else being sent to something called Mimecast when trying to buy tickets via Ticket Exchange?

Crash Fistfight
Crash Fistfight

My work has Mimecast – it blocks certain emails from coming through that it thinks may be harmful. Not sure how it works so I don’t know why it would open when using an internet browser. Were you using a work computer?

Hantal
Hantal

Any sign of nacho yet?

Isaac
Isaac

Yep! He’s back also. Saw him in the training pics from yesterday on the Arsenal site and twitter

santori
santori

Kolasinac has a couple games to stake a claim.

Really hope he finds his gear.

He did well in Bundesliga and first number of games for us.

If he can get it right, he is a better option than Monreal.

Last season Monreal also made some critical errors positionally.

Otherwise our other fallback of course is the robust AMN. Not alien to errors either but great recovery speed.

kepu
kepu

i guess ospina has been sold while on the break…cos no mention of him at all…even when u called welback as the only player not yet back

Cliff Bastin
Cliff Bastin

Lucas Torrei rrraaaaa
His tackles are really hard
He won’t slip like Stevie Gerraaaaaard
He’s Lucas Torreira

chalmeroo
chalmeroo

He tackles really hard
He wont slip like Gerrard
Lucas To rreira
much better imo

bossman bill
bossman bill

Torriera, whoa
Torriera, whoa
He comes from Uruguay
He’s only four foot high

VAgooner
VAgooner

i thought torreira looked different. he’s lost the braces since his signing on pictures

ArsenYUL
ArsenYUL

LANS Signing

Crash Fistfight
Crash Fistfight

LANSOT (Like A New Set Of Teeth).

Charles
Charles

What is Welbeck doing going for holidays this long? He only played 10 minutes. He should be back fighting for a place on the bench

Mpls
Mpls

Oo. A bit harsh.

Fact is he still had to train with the England team, do all the travel, and not drink vodka shots from a sword the whole time there.

And he had to tolerate all those Sp#rs. He’s earned double time off after that.

santori
santori

I don’t think its harsh either.

Do not understand why he has to have such a long break.

It wasn’t like the Wcup was on the other side of the world and he barely featured.

matat
matat

It’s his vacation days as per his contract.
Why would he reduce his holidays if he isn’t expected to and during the season they get very little time off?

I take all my annual leave that I am allowed, I’m happy for Arsenal to treat these players like any other workers in England and give them their holidays that they are due.

Finlay307
Finlay307

Squad is looking decent. But shaky at centre half maybe. Have to wait and see how papa does. It would be nice to get one more attackign wide player in and get rid of one or all three of Perez, Campbell, Welbeck and invest the cash in a better player. Dembele would obviously be class, but I think that’s complete nonsense.

Hantal
Hantal

I think dembeles only even a possibility if Ramsay goes, and that would leave us really lacking in midfield

Faisal Narrage
Faisal Narrage

Lacking in quality? Maybe. Not so sure. In that midfield 3 would be options of;
Ozil
Xhaka
Torreira
AMN
Elneny
Mikhi if be
Davidos Luisdouzi
Possibly Iwobi May become an 8.
And further down is even Smith-Rowe.

Ramsey is a loss, but for a Dembele or even Martial and him not signing a contract, I’d take those options above and one of Dembele/Martial for sure.

santori
santori

Doubt Ramsey goes. He was given Captain’s armband. Why would Barca want him? Hardly their priority.

Don’t think we can afford Dembele given how much they paid. There are other teams who may be in better position to pay the price they may want plus have CL. Say Bayern where Ribery and Robben are both aging assets, Coman has flattered to deceive thus far.

Neymar, Mbappe, Hazard may all be moved before end of window but are all out of our league.

More likely we should be looking at how these moves may impact on availability of players like Lozano at PSV or Neres at Ajax, possibly Thauvin at Marseille (albeit just signed for them so likely not cheap) and from left field maybe Yannick Carrasco wasting his talent in China (prob high salary)

These are the sort of players we should be looking at.

santori
santori

Agree.

We are not as strong in midfield as some people like to think.

Torreira is new and may need time to bed in.

Guendouzi may look impressive against PSG youth but the more experienced will tell you he is still very green.

AMN is also good potential in midfield but has a steep learning curve.

That leaves possibly Iwobi and the average and rather flimsy Elneny albeit he has improved with his distribution)

Maybe we still need a senior player like Ramsey to cover and add option in deep midfield plus if Ozil gets injured, Ramsey is the best alternative in that advance position. Even if not, he offers competition to the German who can get complacent otherwise.

Will
Will

If we can use the Ramsey funds to try to buy Mateo Kovacic, and then find a solid – even if relatively unknown – wide player, getting rid of Perez, welbeck, and Campbell on the way, I think we would have quite a team on our hands.

santori
santori

We need to get rid of – two of Campbell, Perez or Welbeck.

Welbeck will fetch the most price and a ready buyer of the 3. BUT he may also offer something slightly different for Emery with his frame and power.

As for CBack, Mustafi is a starter but jury is out with the Greek vs Chambers.

Holding and Mavropanos, looks like Holding is slightly more solid but we still see he has plenty to improve as well with his game with that Atletico goal.

People tend to be too easily enamoured with the new. Last season it was Holding and Mavropanos anytime over Mustafi but we’ve seen this is a facile argument based more on emotion. The German does not lead the squad in intercepts for nothing.

Question is who is best to complement him.

Heightwise Holding and Mavropanos get the nod but experience is Sokratis and likely positioning. The Greek is want for mobility though so Chambers may have the perfect combination but can he step up the aggression?

santori
santori

Midfield with Torreira-Granit is one to watch.

Also how Kolasinac can stake a better claim with remaining time in pre-season.

Plus Cback pairing. Mustafi has to start but how we complement him this season is key. Sokratis has the positional experience but mobility is an issue. Holding and Mavro both get the nod with aerial power but still inexperienced. Chambers may be the perfect combination but can he bring the aggression and sustained discipline this season?

The other position to watch is wide. Auba may likely continue left side with Welbeck also auditioning. Perez and maybe Campbell may get more bites of the cherry on the right, Nelson is definitely an asset we should strongly consider this season supporting Bellerin there.

BUT we could do with another player to function wide if we can sell 2 of Perez, Campbell and Welbeck (not to mention Asano and Jenkinson)

Would prefer to see Aubameyang and Lacazette rotate up top. We need to keep a predator like Auba higher up particularly with a high press.

Cdm995
Cdm995

Lucas Torreira – yet another man crush for me in the arsenal team.

iamtheantisp*r
iamtheantisp*r

I love the photo captions on this one.

Thierry bergkamp
Thierry bergkamp

Why do people thumb up or down a question, instead of answering the question or ignoring it?

Crash Fistfight
Crash Fistfight

Agree. It adds nothing. Especially if someone is asking a question.