Preseason footy: Greentown v Arsenal

Watching the second half of Arsenal’s game in China against Hangzhou Greentown it seems a case of more of the same. I am grateful, from the comments made on the video stream by the Arsenal commentators, that I missed the first half.  I shall remain from commenting further on the fact that I am writing about a live football game in July.

Arsenal battered poor Greentown for nearly all of the second half. The game was pretty much Arsenal camping outside their penalty area.

This is, of course, familiar from last season.

Despite that Arsenal didn’t score.

This is, of course, familiar from last season.

And on the rare ocassions that Greentown could break they managed to get behind our centre backs.

This is, of course, familiar from last season.

What is different is that the defenders covered for each other better, and Greentown didn’t score against the run of play. Whether this is because Arsenal defended better or that Greentown weren’t good enough to stretch Arsenal is open to question.

We created plenty of chances, but couldn’t convert. Praise must go to the opposition goalie, who made several very good saves after what I felt was a shaky start. But questions about ruthlessness already suggest themselves.

This is, of course, familiar from last season.

There are positives from this:

  • The midfield trio of Ramsey-Wilshire-Song looks pretty good. Given the Cesc situation that is important.
  • This was my first chance to see Miyaichi: he looked pretty lively and involved.
  • New signing Jenkinson looked to have good feet (apart from one embarassing slip right at the start.)

Another thing to comment on is the use of the 4-3-3 formation.
This is, of course, familiar from last season.

Looking at the very brief highlight showing Arsenal’s first half goal it appears this came when Vela drifted in to the middle from his wing position, allowing him to bundle in the rebound from Van Persie’s shot: we looked a bit more like 4-4-2.  Both Theo and Miyaichi did well to get into the middle, and Ramsey and Wilshire supported Chamakh well in the second half, but I would like to see more flexibility in formation: could we have a plan b earlier, and mix it up more.  No sign of that here.

This is, of course, familiar from last season.

Overall an enjoyable half, but no end product.

This is, of course, familiar from last season.

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