Finally, it’s over! The break comes at such an awkward time, with the transfer window closing and teams just starting to gel. I didn’t pay close attention to the World Cup 2018 qualifiers, but our boys have been getting in the spotlight for their international performances. Some for the right reasons, others for media trolling (i.e. Mustafi down).
Ozil’s work to set up the attack shows how big of an impact he has, and is willing to have, on the field of play and important moments of the game.
I can’t wait to mention the absolutely tasty goal from Giroud against Italy! I hesitantly mentioned on Twitter (@GoonerInCali) that this goal was RVP-esque. He anticipated the ball over the top and started his run early, before allowing the ball to drift over his shoulder to fire it far-post on the volley! The skill, technique, and confidence to pull this off is exactly what we want to see from our forward options.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles netted this beauty for the England Under-20’s. Watching him in the recent youth match against Liverpool on the Arsenal player, he appears to be at the point of strength and talent where he is a step ahead of the match. He has a lot to learn tactically if he is to play an attacking-defender role, as he did against Liverpool, but the physicality and skill are all there.
Bellerin is all the news right now. Let’s face it, his progression is not slowing down and he is becoming more and more difficult to hide from the big boys in Spain. He is a great defender, a perfect physical specimen, and he thinks as quickly as he runs! Here is Hector’s perfect through-ball for Spain over the weekend:
Other notable performers include a goal for world-beater but permitless Asano versus Thailand, a red card for Xhaka (surprise! the tackles that I have spoken about) against Portugal, and the Germans. On Muller’s goal, Ozil’s work to set up the attack shows how big of an impact he has, and is willing to have, on the field of play and important moments of the game. We often hear that Wenger is losing his touch for improving players, but I think that Mesut looks faster and more dominant than ever before!
Arsenal Legends vs. Milan Glorie
The legends match was a great piece of nostalgia. Thierry and Bergkamp were the glaring omissions from the day, but the mood was high and the bench was full of the legendary coaching staff. It was great to see some of our heroes, most of which were pretty fit, take the pitch at the Emirates. Milan did not show up with a crew of slouches, either.
The true winner of the match was the Arsenal way. Some of the players had never been on the pitch together before. The Legends were undoubtedly great players, but the style of play brought them together seemlessly. A Kanu hat-trick was enough to seal the win, but Pires turned in a very tasteful fourth goal off of a great run and cross from Freddy Ljungberg.