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The Highbury Library animted promo v5 350x350

I had written this during the game and forgot to publish it! I'm not so used to writing anymore it seems. Anyway, I thought I'd give you my live thoughts of the pre season friendly... I mean the serious business of the International Challenge Cup

That's an interesting looking team out there. A chance to see Guendouzi up against better quality. It looks like a midfield three with Guendouzi , Ramsey and young Smith-Rowe, unless the youngster is playing at a 10 in a 4-2-3-1. We shall see.

Reiss Nelson gets to start on the right side of the attack. If he wants to show the manager that he is ready to be involved, he needs to impress in these type of games.


Nelson with a lovely driving run into the box, he managed to get to the line and chip to Aubameyang at the back post but his shot was blocked. That is what we want to see Nelson doing on a regular basis, attacking the left back and drawing players towards him. Oi Reiss! What's the deal with this contract of yours? Hurry up and get that signed. I wonder what his intentions are? Does he want more money? assurances that he will play? or follow his mate Jadon Sancho abroad?


Guendouzi blasts the ball high into the fans behind the goal. Arsene is watching somewhere stretching both arms in front of him in frustration because he had players available in better positions.


Ok, I need to catch up a little here. I just made myself a couple of tasty poached eggs and toast and they have both been devoured. So Atlético have just got around the back of our defence and a shot was blocked by Mustafi. A couple minutes later Atlético get down our left once more and Mustafi clears on the second time of asking.


Leno really hasn't had a great deal to do in the first half hour. Lucky he isn't playing at the Emirates with this heat in London. He'd be Burnt Leno! Amirite?



Stream has died but I have a back up on my phone! I knew making those eggs would come in handy. I wouldn't have found a second stream on my phone if I didn't need to head down to the kitchen.


Nelson and Aubameyang had switched sides for a while but Nelson really doesn't feel like someone who could thrive on the opposite flank. I may be wrong but that's my impression.


A nice Arsenal attack sees Lacazette having a low shot saved and Nelson couldn't quite convert at the far post on the rebound. Emile Smith-Rowe playing a positive part in the move.


Oops! Kolasinac just slices a clearance behind him, we deal with the Madrid attack.


Atlético Madrid go ahead with a header. Rob Holding was too tight to his man and was turned in the box, the driven cross was headed in very well by  Vietto.


Holding heads a corner wide. So we've had 9 attempts and Madrid have had 4 but it's all been rather patchy so far.

And that's half-time. Considering the number of young players playing for for Atlético, that's gotta be quite disappointing. We haven't really created any clear cut chances as yet but there are 45 minutes remaining and you know, it's pre-season and stuff.

Will we have full rotation for the second half? And then the same dual teams on Saturday?

Cech comes on for Leno at half time. I can't see any other changes just yet which is interesting in itself I guess.


Emile Smith-Rowe has just bent one into the top corner from the edge of the box. Ooh some lovely feet to get him into that position. This is not going to be good for folk (me!) who tend to overhype young players. 1-1.

It was such a measured finish, no panicking, no thrashing at the ball, just pure composure. What's also nice about Emile is that going back the other way and contributing defensively seems like second nature to him. I like the kid, what can I say?


Ha! Guendouzi and Ramsey doing all they can to give Madrid a goal back by dribbling in their box and not clearing. Cech saves I think or blocked by someone. It's difficult to watch this properly on my phone.

Atlético starting to create chances again. They've had about 34 corners in a row and they have about 17 players in our box. I may well be exaggerating a little. We've bloody given it straight back again and it's another corner.


Looks like we are set to make a whole host of changes. 7 In fact. Maitland-Niles, Mkhitaryan. Perez, Chambers, Nk.. basically a load of players coming on and loads going off. You already know this by the time of reading so why am I writing this?


Chocolate ice-cream break. We've been a little flat for a while now, even before the changes. Our last pass has let us down a number of times in this second half.

Atlético look the more likely team to go on and win at the moment.

Arsenal's quality has definitely dropped somewhat We are struggling to get our forwards into the game. Just as I say that Nketiah makes a lovely run across the box but his shot was mis-hit. I do like Nketiah's movement around the penalty area, he seems to have a natural awareness of where to move to and at the right time. Not sure his overall game is quite as good as someone like Smith-Rowe as yet though.

84 mins:

Lucas Perez and Eddie Nketiah having  a few words after Perez fails to find his younger partner. Mavropanos with a half chance following a corner kick. Oh and I've eaten too much ice cream. I'll know it about it later as I am pretty sure I am lactose intolerant.

91 mins:

Ooh so the fun isn't over yet. I've just read that this goes to a penalty shootout. Understandable really, you have to get a winner in a competition as prestigious as the International Champions Cup.

Whistles gone, it's pens!

FFS EMERY!! you took off Lacazette and Aubameyang! our best penalty takers. I'm off to phone around some aeroplane hire companies.

So quick guess as to who will step up for the Arsenal.

Nketiah, Perez, Chambers, Maitland-Niles and erm Kolasinac. Oh I forgot Mkhitaryan.

So here we go. Madrid first up and some dude hits the post and out. Cech went the right way.

Mkhitaryan next and it's saved. Same side as the other dude. Good save in fairness.

Number 14 for Atlético calmly lifts it into the net.

Joe Willock eh? takes a few shuffling steps and his tame penalty was saved. Not sure those extra steps really help a great deal.

Number 32 takes it and Cech saves! Gwan Petr! He's got a taste for it now.

We still need to score and this time it's AMN tasked with it. Oooh! He's only gone and done a Panenka. Cheeky!


Number 40 beats Cech this time and it's 2-1 Madrid. Cech went the wrong way this time.

Eddie Eddie Eddie! hands on hips and it's saved. Our penalties have been a little poo. That was the worst of them all.

Their keeper takes it and beats Cech to win them the game. I'm furious! We've got to get a new manager and a new squad, including all the new players who have joined the club.

I'm kidding of course but you know there are some folk out there absolutely frothing at the mouth at losing a friendly, bless them.

Ok so I suspect we will see another combination of 60 minutes / 30 minutes on Saturday against PSG. A good run out, decent first half but we couldn't sustain it.

Will any of the world cup dudes be involved on Saturday? I do wonder. Mesut Özil, Mo Elneny and Alex Iwobi are part of the squad but are obviously a way behind the others in the group.

  • 15 Sep 2015
    So let me stop reminiscing of days gone by and let me focus on our Welsh wonder. Let me start off by saying that I think it is quite obvious that Aaron Ramsey is better in central midfield. His partnership with Mesut Özil, his running from deep and his underrated ball winning ability makes him a ...Read more