Emmanuel Adebayor and Nacer Barazite ‘secured the points’ in this ‘crucial’ friendly fixture, although it came at the cost of an ankle injury to Denilson.
Many complaints were coming from all and sundry about how ‘unrecognizable’ the players were – not from sheer absences of football and broken television sets, mind you, but from the very, very awkward white away kit.
The newest signings on the bench were Nordveit and Fabianski, whilst Eduardo comforted himself with a place on the terraces, watching on. It was a match the Arsenal XI were expected to control, and did: a clever, low-flighted corner from Van Persie set up Theo Walcott on the 18th minute, who duly provided for Adebayor, finishing on the half volley. Only a few van Persie testers and an attempt from Adebayor had proceeded the goal, but Arsenal’s movement seemed much fresher and more lively than from a year ago.
Barnet were not without their share of chances; Almunia was called into action only two minutes later, smothering an attempt from Barnet’s Puncheon. Denilson got to try his luck from range once or twice, and Clichy was called upon to make some last-ditch interceptions on the by-line. Predictably, the pace fluctuated throughout the game, being the first of the preseason, and many players still having to wear off their Violet Crumble binges. I love Violet Crumble. Arsenal fans may have groaned at the sight of Alex Song in central defence, and a moment of hesitation from him and Almunia saw another Barnet opportunity arise, only for Hatch to skewer the shot away from goal.
Half time saw six Arsenal changes and five subs come on for Barnet. The pace throughout the game was already irratic enough not to notice any disruptions the subs made – but come the 66th minute, a “rocket shot” (thank you Arsenal.com) from Nacer Barazite saw the win signed, sealed and delivered. Now to hunt youtube for any trace of ‘magnificence’, if at all.
From the match saw the productive addition of Denilson to the injury list, though the club claim it is ‘not serious’. Hopefully he will be back soon, and there’s no more of these injuries. We need fresh people off the shelf, not the shop soiled variety.
Update: and Youtube does its thing –
News outside the match fell to Wenger, where a misleading headline suggests some kind of coyness from the manager – he’s quoted as saying “I have shown my commitment in the past…I will come out at the right moment… maybe when you don’t ask me the question.” All signs seem to point at him signing. It’s just going to require some patience from the fans, and no hysteria. He has players to sign, a Grimandi to initiate, nitty-gritties over takeover talk to listen to, and matches to plan. Add to that the hammering out of the fine print of a contract. It will get signed come a free moment, but probably only around December-ish, I think.
That’s all, really. A truncated match-report, as there’re only friendlies going on. But still – it’s football: In White Kits. Who knows, maybe it’s like a lentil – sad, but necessary to growing some muscles. Or winning titles.
That’s the ticket…