Nasri, JET Shine + Room For Improvement + Highlights

The second pre-season friendly against Austrian side SK Sturm Graz was a much sterner test than the one against Barnet. The Austrian Bundesliga season has already started and we could see the opposition were fitter, sharper, and much better organized.

The first half was closely fought and Arsenal led by two goals thanks to some real class by Nasri. The Austrian side created some chances but didn’t have the ability to finish them off.

It would be premature if I express concern at some of our defending but Arsene really needs to sort it out before the season starts. Vermaelen and Djourou both looked rusty and made some uncharacteristic mistakes. Koscielny was no different. Once again we were troubled by a few balls over the top and were opened up by some runs in behind and down the channels.

The full backs weren’t troubled that often and since they were both (Nordveit and Traore) third choice players we can’t really get into much analysis. I do have to note that Traore made a number of forward bursts but didn’t have the final ball. No change there then. Nordveit was fairly solid and made a couple of good tackles. I also thought he had a good long pass and a decent cross on him. The only time I was worried was when the opposition were pressing high up in the Arsenal area and he passed it square in the penalty box to Djourou who was already under pressure. It reminded me of the panic I’d seen in his game in Bundesliga but that’s only one instance so far so I’ll just leave it as a point to observe in future games.

The starting midfield was an interesting choice. Frimpong, Wilshere and Nasri were the chosen ones. It was good to see the opposition asking some serious questions by pressing hard. Frimpong wasn’t able to dominate the midfield as he did against Barnet but he did a decent job as the holding midfielder even though he was caught out once or twice. With less time on the ball Wilshere wasn’t as influential as the last game either. At times I feel he keeps the ball for too long or tries a stunt when a simpler pass is needed. I guess it’s necessary for him as he is a confidence player and has the ability to take the defenders on. Some of his tackling was quite rough as well. Nasri provided the touch of class with both goals. The first goal reminded me of a Fabregas finish from last season, I think it was against Bolton. The second was a nonchalant free-kick.

Amongst the forwards, Arshavin was laid back; Chamakh was rusty and some of his first touches reminded me of Bendtner; and Walcott was his usual inconsistent self as he made some good runs but the final pass wasn’t always there.

As the players who played in the World Cup and have just returned were not available for selection the whole team wasn’t changed at half time. Djourou, Walcott, and Nordtveit played the full ninety minutes.

JET was by far the most impressive player from the second half substitutes. I was surprised to see him start as a forward but he moved around and often ended up on the wing or dropped deep. He had the ability to take on the defenders and beat them with his strength, speed, and close control. He also had a good awareness of his teammates and played some good balls in the penalty area.

Lansbury scored his goal with panache but didn’t have much else to do. Gibbs, Koscielny, Rosicky, and Szczesny had a decent outing. I was a little disappointed with Eastmond has he gave the ball away a few times. He also made some interceptions but seemed slow and indecisive.

Of the eighteen players on the pitch only 5 or 6 will be regulars when everyone is fit so we shouldn’t read too much into this game. There is room for improvement but I’ll leave those comments till after the Emirates Cup.

In case you’ve missed the game you can see the highlights on this link.

24 Responses to Nasri, JET Shine + Room For Improvement + Highlights

  1. bops says:

    Spot on analysis. Looks like most the mistakes we made last year still linger. A little premature to overanalyze right now but there is big, nay gigantic room for improvement..

  2. stephen says:

    as everyone noticed that every time some one scores a goal on sky its always against the Editor a spud or man u fan.

  3. SomeRandomGunner says:

    I am wondering where is Denilson.

  4. Phil23 says:

    @ stephen, I think its partly to do with the fact that playing against arsenal seems to bring the best out of opposition attackers. We always seem to concede spectacular goals/stupid goals that make the opposition look good. Then again maybe your right!

  5. lukychmz says:

    Denilson is injured…..yes already >_>

  6. Phil23 says:

    I think/hope that Arsene hasn’t really had time to train his new tactics etc to the players. I think that Austria is more of a fitness camp and then by the time Emirates cup comes around we will see those little changes we are all hoping for. The player who I think needs to make the most improvement on their performance is Theo. He was extremely frustrating for me and what made it worse was the contrast between him and Nasri (Who obviously had a point to prove).

  7. arsenal fan says:

    i noticed it too, rooneys penalty, man untd break against us in the champs league, drogbas freekick, messis 4 goals.
    None the less great analysis.

  8. Bretty says:

    I was not impressed by Eastmond.

    I wouldn’t be shocked if he falls down the pecking order a bit more.

    I was really impressed with Nordveit. Fantastic tackle helped stop a fantastic chance for the opposition (tracking back and tackled in the penalty area no doubt).

    Good analysis though.

    I feel Chamakh and JET offer things we’ve lacked in attack (being a big man that will run at defenders and make them panic, meaning they’ll probably end up leaving one of our better finishers open).

    • desigunner says:

      I remember the Nordtveit tackle you’re talking about. It was certainly a good sprint and a well timed tackle, could have conceded a penalty if he got that wrong.

      Eastmond, in my opinion, lacks a little bit of confidence. Last season I commented on his body language during some games and it gives me a feeling he doesn’t think he belongs. Unless he sorts that out he will struggle.

  9. Kipmonster says:

    I am proposing that Arsenal fans World wide post letters once a week for the next four weeks to UEFA & FIFA complaining about Barcelona FC’s persistent public ‘tapping up’ of Cesc Fabregas.
    Also post a letter just once to Arsenal FC requesting that they formally complain to UEFA & FIFA about Barcelona FC’s rule breaking disrespectful behaviour.
    I have drawn up 3 template letters that I will email to willing participants. All that you will need to do is type in your own Name & Address before printing off & posting.
    A momentum is needed in this regard & can be boosted by you forwarding the email I send you to every single one of your Arsenal FC supporting family & friends and encouraging them to post letters off once every week for four weeks to UEFA & FIFA and just once to Arsenal FC.
    The aim of repetitive letters would be to create an Administrative headache for UEFA & FIFA with hopefully thousands of letters received from all over the world. It would be a great way to display the strength of feeling from Arsenal FC fans.
    The purpose of the single letter to Arsenal FC is again to display the strength of feeling from Arsenal FC fans.
    The Arsenal FC hierarchy seem to exist in an ‘Ivory Tower’ immune or just simply ignorant to the feelings & wishes of their fans.

    My email address for this campaign from where I will email you the letter templates is ……..

    COME ON !! …… Lets DO this & be taking substantive action for a change instead of simply bleating on web blogs which achieves nothing as it goes unnoticed by those who should hear the complaints the most.

    I will post this on the anti Barca facebook group ………….!/group.php?gid=116042895106146

    & also on as many Arsenal blogs as possible via ……………

    • santori says:

      Don’t let it get under your skin mate. They are not going to get Fabregas.

      I would propose whoever turns up for the nest pre-season/training camp to write out this chant on a giant piece of cardboard the shape of a hand –

      Milner for Barca! (add 6 claps) Milner for Barca!

      He may not have Barca DNA but he is a price that you can pay.


  10. Ajinkya says:

    We need Fernando Torres! (X 3)
    Not the one who played the World Cup, but the one with long hair.

  11. santori says:

    Anyone-else think some of our exciting young prospects could benefit from more stringent stress testing (other than then the teams lined up for pre-season)ahead of the season?

    Perhaps one or two harder friendlies thrown in might benefit some of the young players and be a better litmus test of their abilities.

    • desigunner says:

      I think the Emirates Cup will be a stern test. Right now it seems more about fitness and getting back in the groove.

  12. santori says:

    desi…we should lobby for Wenger to take the team out to the US for pre-season next summer.

    It’s a market waiting to happen not to mention he’ll get more competitiveness out of some of the MLS teams (Red Bulls anyone?)

    • desigunner says:

      This has been put to Wenger regularly in the recent past but Le Boss seems to value his Austria trip a lot. I don’t have the knowledge or the experience to understand his reasons but Wenger swears by it.

      Also the Emirates Cup does generate good income for Arsenal. Sort of compensates for the lack of tour income and allows us the chance of staying home. Although one could say the commercial segment would improve a lot if Arsenal do go on tours.

  13. […] Nasri, JET Shine + Room For Improvement + Highlights The second pre-season friendly against Austrian side SK Sturm Graz was a much sterner test than the one against Barnet. […] […]

  14. fakhikid says:

    in Arsene we trust…i hope mesut ozil and mertesacker join th gunners this season,

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