Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Arsenal start pre-season with draw against Watford

Arsenal and Watford drew 1-1 in a behind-closed-doors friendly at London Colney on Saturday as Mikel Arteta’s side geared up for the German leg of their pre-season preparations.

While many of the first team squad were not involved, those who returned from holiday on Monday did get game time alongside a host of youngsters from the academy.

Reiss Nelson, Leandro Trossard, Eddie Nketiah and Gabriel Jesus made up a strong attacking unit while Rob Holding, Gabriel, Ben White and Cedric started at the back.

Keeper Arthur Okonkwo, back from his impressive loan spell with Sturm Graz, scholar Myles Lewis-Skelly and Mauro Bandeira made up the numbers.

The latter got caught on the ball in the closing stages of the first half as the Gunners looked to play out from the back and the Hornets, after a first effort was saved, took the lead when Ismael Kone tapped home the rebound.

A much younger Gunners side found an equaliser in the second half when Marquinhos coolly slotted home after Amario Cozier-Duberry had forced a save. You can watch the highlights here. 

Later today, Arsenal will travel to adidas HQ in Herzogenaurach, Germany for a training camp. As part of the trip, we’ll face FC Nurnberg on Thursday before flying back to the UK on Friday.

The following Sunday, Arteta’s squad will fly to Washington.

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Funsho Patrick

Baby steps! Who says we can’t win the champions League in our first season back in ages? I believe in the process!

Jackie

That’s a GIANT baby step, but I’ll love it. And I love the belief around the club and among the fans. We are so good that I think we can do anything… anything we set our minds to.

COYG!

Johnny 4 Hats

I’ll say this much. For the first time since I’ve been an Arsenal fan, I fear no European team. Whether it’s Munich, Real or Barca, I think we could and would beat any of them.

It’s the other English teams that give me the willies.

Actually it’s not. I was thinking about playing Liverpool. But they aren’t even in it. We could totally handle United or Newcastle.

So yeah, it’s literally just City.

This is how Ronaldo must feel being a footballer in the same era as Messi.

A Different George

City, obviously, have great players and a great coach. But what takes them into a different class than every other big team is their extraordinary depth. Which require combining a great coach, and a very smart management team. Oh, and unlimited funds.

EmileSmithWhoa

OR, if you have less funds become the kings of attracting and developing young gifted talent who can be world class in multiple positions like… Jesus, SmithWhoa, Saka, White, Tommy, Rice, Zenchenko, Havertz, Trossard. I bet you this is one of the reasons that / and how Arteta blows the minds of gifted young players. I bet this is how he shows them that he will improve them. I believe that we are witnessing to evolution of ” Complete Football ” by a brilliant tactician, innovative strategist and visionary. I bet that if Blogs did some digging further aspects of… Read more »

...and really bad eggs

I understand where the confidence is coming from. The trajectory of the team, especially in the last 12 months has been ridiculous. But to not fear any European team might be stretching it. For some reason, we have never done very well in Europe, even during the Invincibles era.

And for as good as we were last season in the league, we got knocked out of the Europa league by Sporting Lisbon. I honestly hope we take a leap and compete for the champions league, but it’s hard for me to be as confident as you are right now

Dada

This is I believe.

Ozzie

First knock out round, we’ll get Barca or Bayern as always – but I won’t be as scared this time.

Haybe

Can’t wait for the new season to start so we can watch our collection of beautiful players dominating the league, this time far longer and more efficient. Does anyone else think we need one more signing for the quadruple this year: Ivan Toney, maybe, when his stock is down.

wrightstuff8

Agreed. Toney would be a great signing to add a different dimension to our attack, but Brentford wouldn’t sell him, even for 50 big ones.

Martin R

Why not give Balogun a try and hopefully save a great deal of money.

Johnny 4 Hats

#ArtetaOut

Emi Rates

Clearly Rice is overrated. What were they thinking??? OMG it’s all over!

Arteta out! Edu out! Errr, others too out!!!

Johnny 4 Hats

#SakaOut
#RyanFraserIn

A Different George

Or, for historical accuracy: #OdegaardOut #MaddisonIn.

Left Testicle

Tits out?

Johnny 4 Hats

Right testicle out?

Goonerrific

Glad to see Soares starting, this could be his breakthrough season!

Johnny 4 Hats

He’s still a bit raw IMHO. I think he needs another season or two in the u23’s, possibly a loan move and then I think we have a player on our hands.

Ebo

You spelled u32’s wrong

Serpent

One week into pre-season and some people go completely hysterical on the club FB comments. We’ve had a thorough rebuild of both team and back room staff, but a portion of the fanbase seem impossible to restructure.

Johnny 4 Hats

That’s next on the list for Edu and Arteta.

They are going to pay negative fans to go and support someone else.

Apparently it’s an investment.

Tapps

I’d share them out equally between 5pur2, Manure, Chelski and the Mugsmashers! I’m sure they’d fit in seemlessly with the other twats.

A Different George

Johnny 4 Hats returns to form! Great comment.

Johnny 4 Hats

Form is temporary

Idiocy is permanent

Charlz

Why can’t I like this comment multiple times

Ebo

That said if you want a representative picture I suggest you look elsewhere. If you rank all Arsenal supporters on a spectrum of positivity and rationality, I think what you’re looking at there on those FB and Twitter threads is the bottom 15%

AlexNuggz

Hopefully Timber and Rice will be wrapped up in time to make the plane to Adidas HQ, important step to help them bond with their teammates. Got alot of optimism going into this season, not gonna lie. COYG

Dr. Gooner

Amario Cozier-Duberry is a really exciting prospect. He is quite similar in build and style to Bukayo Saka and likes to cut in on his left foot to shoot. That’s how the Arsenal goal came about. Marquinhos was there at the far post to score from the rebound as he should be, but that goal was all about the maneuvering by ACD. Myles Lewis-Skelly is another other big name to watch from the list of up and coming academy graduates. I don’t think either he was just there to make up the numbers as the article suggests. I suspect his… Read more »

BillyKrystal

I was wondering if that was him with the deflected shot. He did stand out in just a few minutes of highlights. Wonder if we might see him backing up Saka a tiny bit? Very exciting if so

Dr. Gooner

And MLS is on the plane to Adidas HQ with fellow youngsters Ruell Walters and Ethan Nwaneri. Huge honor for Nwaneri in particular and another big show of belief in him from the club after his well publicized new contract.

Andy Drew

Can’t believe Cedric is still here 😭

assistantref

Even after he leaves, he’ll still somehow be there in all the goal celebration photos.

EmileSmithWhoa

We know he played Jesus on the right…a defensive Prediction or possibility… Arteta targets or has targeted Timber or alternate as a less expensive and “develop-able” part of our talent pool for defensive midfield backup. Less expensive ball handling defensive minded options who are better bargains than current quality options like Lavia. This approach Matches his and Peps ways of managing. This willingness/economic need to provide young players growth, development and more availability to get playing time is one of our club superpowers with Arteta. We now have Elneny, White, Timber, Kiwior, Tommy and Fresneda?? as possible options behind Rice.… Read more »

Frog In Ze Room

Just watched a video of Timber. The man reminds me of Clarence Seedorf. Fucking balls!

Dr. Gooner

Not sure we are going to get a post about the overall squad strength and expectations for the new season, so I’ll post my take here. I think it’ll be a two horse race between us and City. Let me be clear: City are the standard. They are the champs, the treble winners, and at this point we are still pretenders to their throne. Pep is the greatest coach of his generation, if not all time, and the selfsame Jedi master who taught Arteta how to hold his light saber. And they could still casually add 200 million in talent… Read more »

Rick_Sanchez

Very good analysis, which is probably the most true of all that has been read and written.

What pills would you prescribe us to finally overcome the plague called Manchester City, my dear doctor?

Dr. Gooner

Hi Rick, thanks for the comment. I think anti-depressants are in order for all of City’s rivals as long as Pep is there.

Gigi

On a morning when I should be working, I’ve been trying to find out who number (free kick, blond dye) and 59 (lost ball in midfield) are but can’t find shirt numbers anywhere?

Anyone save me from a sacking?

Gigi

Of course I find out immediately afterwards. Trossard and Lewis-Skelly. Trossard’s looking younger with the dyed hair, thought he was an academy player..

Paul Spitznagel

Jesus lined up on right with Trossard at Center v. Watford. Sign of what’s coming.

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