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Thursday, April 25, 2024

New-look Arsenal lose to (or lull?) Man Utd, plus WWC and Lego

Good morning from Berlin!

With Blogs throughout the pond and Andrew Allen (and Tim Stillman) becoming a member of him, it’s all a bit Kevin McCallister right here. I’ll be right here stretching my toes making an attempt to fill these sneakers this week. Let’s hope I don’t burn the home down.

There was a sport final night time and it’s one that may actually separate those that suppose pre-season friendlies are meaningless and those that suppose they’re significant. Naturally, had we crushed Manchester United on the MetLife Stadium it could have confirmed we’ll stroll the league however the 2-0 defeat will really lull Erik Ten Hag’s aspect right into a false sense of safety earlier than we play them within the league in simply seven weeks. Mikel Arteta is at all times one step forward.

The sport itself was, eh, not our greatest. Takehiro Tomiyasu and Jurrien Timber got here in on the again, Declan Rice and Kai Havertz did the identical in midfield, and Gabriel Jesus dropped to the bench with Eddie Nketiah taking part in via the center.

United triggered us issues by going lengthy — maybe one thing to look out for in September — however their objectives nonetheless got here from nothing, with Aaron Ramsdale struggling to get a robust hand to a shot from Bruno Fernandes and Gabriel fluffing his strains when he simply needed to clear them, permitting Jadon Sancho to race away from the midway line and rating. They felt like very pre-season objectives to concede and there was a scarcity of effectivity on the different finish too, with Gabriel Martinelli discovering Tom Heaton with each elements of a double probability when the scores will nonetheless degree.

Clearly the adjustments to the aspect will take a little bit of adjustment and that shouldn’t be a shock. With Timber inverting from right-back, the Odegaard-Saka dynamic on the correct adjustments a bit of – the previous dropping wider at occasions, the latter not being fed in the identical manner. There are tweaks to our form towards the ball too, with Havertz pushing up alongside the striker from the left of the midfield three, moderately than Odegaard from the correct. And behind all that you’ve got Declan Rice, taking part in on the base of the midfield alone — uncommon for him — with a brand new type to familiarize yourself with.

Mikel Arteta mentioned as a lot after the sport when he was requested in regards to the new-look midfield:

“After they play 55 occasions collectively they are going to be higher. It should circulation higher, they may perceive one another higher and will likely be extra dominant and higher. However it takes time to glide and now we have to respect that. However I noticed loads of constructive issues, and issues I like far more than the sport we gained the opposite day towards the MLS (all-stars) though the consequence may be very totally different.”

With Granit Xhaka gone and Declan Rice in for a document charge, it feels apparent that almost all of the season may have two thirds of a brand new midfield, with Havertz competing with Leandro Trossard and Emile Smith Rowe (who gave an encouraging cameo in New Jersey) in what was Xhaka’s spot final season. The midfield is evolving and that gained’t occur in a single day … it simply can also’t take 55 video games. So if you happen to can pace that up, Mikel, that will be pretty.

Clearly the efficiency and the consequence isn’t what anyone wished however I actually hope the followers on the East Coast have had a unbelievable time, it’s undoubtedly appeared like one from afar. I used to be fortunate sufficient to catch a sport (the 3-2 win over Liverpool) at O’Hanlons in New York Metropolis final season and it a unbelievable place to observe an Arsenal match and I’m certain the entire place has been buzzing all week.

Our subsequent sport is towards Barcelona all the way in which over in LA on Wednesday night time (or the early hours of Thursday for these of us east of the Atlantic) however provided that they’ll shake off the bug that noticed their match towards Juventus referred to as off. Time for Xavi and co. to put off the lasagne. Hopefully that sport does go forward and there’s a extra entertaining efficiency to jot down about.

If you wish to hearken to some chat on final night time’s sport, you possibly can head to Patreon to seek out an On the spot Response pod Blogs and Elliot recorded on the stadium.

In Ladies’s World Cup information, Arsenal’s Alessia Russo (England) and Kathrine Kuhl (Denmark) bought off to successful begins on Saturday and I’ve simply watched new signing Amanda Ilestedt rating the winner for Sweden towards South Africa late on. That’s the second Arsenal objective of the event after Steph Catley’s penalty towards Eire. Stina Blackstenius additionally began for Sweden and Victoria Pelova begins because the Netherlands kick their marketing campaign off towards Portugal.

Lastly, I’ll be utilizing my week right here to publicly disgrace myself into some proactivity. You see, it’s virtually two months since I began placing collectively an Arsenal-branded not-actually-Lego Highbury given to me as a present and it’s about time I completed it.

So I figured promising a every day replace on my progress right here would embarrass me into motion. Clearly, I’m now going to place off including to it by spending my afternoon watching both Oppenheimer or Barbie as an alternative.

Till tomorrow!

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