First Defeat No Reason To Panic

Arsenal suffered their first defeat of this pre-season against SV Red Bull Salzburg, going down 1-0 to a 74th minute strike from Janocko.

 

Arsenal fielded a team devoid of Cesc Fabregas, Gilberto Silva, Johan Djourou and Gael Clichy who weren’t in the squad, but most of the other expected first team were available for the boss to use.

 

Arsene took the opportunity to hand a first start to new signing Eduardo, and as predicted here, he moved out to the left hand flank to take up a Reyes style position.  Some people like Setanta say it was like Henry, but it’s not nearly the same.  Eduardo is a different player to Henry and more akin to Reyes – even down to being left footed – so comparing the Croatian/Brazilian to the now departed Frenchman is purely designed to get his name in the meta tags.  However, Eduardo showed that his finishing needs sharpening up before 11th August as he spurned a couple of good chances.

 

This was the first time that Eduardo has been given some decent game time for the fans to cast our eyes over and while he did not set the game on fire, he showed that he can link up the play between the midfield and defence by occupying the left side, and also stalking the penalty area in a typical centre forward role.  He looked busy and full of running – something that Henry lacked in the latter stages of his career as a Gooner – and also showed that he possesses all the technical attributes that we have come to expect from an Arsene Wenger signing.  Sadly, despite creating plenty of chances, the finishing was lacklustre and memories of last season were eminent in the mind as the team looked impressive in the build up but lacked the killer instinct.  Good performances from Hleb, Denilson and Van Persie went some way to easing the disappointment of the defeat, and you can’t help but feel that the inclusion of Gilberto and Fabregas would’ve made a difference.  It is important to remember though that these two can’t play every single game and so it is necessary to give as many minutes to Denilson and Diaby as possible as they possess so much potential that to waste it would be criminal.

 

A minor downside was the knock sustained by Tomas Rosicky, but Wenger dismisses it as only a minor thing and his withdrawal after half an hour was precautionary.  Rosicky has a hamstring strain, but Arsene is confident that he will be ready for the start of the season.  It is a bit crap that he will miss some of the build up to 11th of August as I’m expecting big things from Tomas this season.

 

With the Emirates Cup looming large, and the promise of strong teams being fielded, this defeat doesn’t fill me with a sense of foreboding.  It’s only the second friendly, the players are struggling for fitness, and they still have to adapt to the introduction of two new first teamers.  With the sale of Ljungberg and the possibility of a replacement being added before the close of the transfer window this situation is not going to get any easier.  However, with the calibre of the teams showing up for the Emirates Cup, there is a good chance that come the Fulham game, the boys will be fighting fit and eager to go.

Conspicous by his absence was Johan Djourou.  Where he was is a mystery.  Back in England, signing a loan deal?  Injured?  Who knows?  Really, who?

In other news, Arsenal.com has revealed plans for the Ticket Exchange.  Red and Silver members be excited.  Read more here.

 

OK, that’s it for today.  Have a good night.

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