By 1970's Gooner on the friendly game at Salzburg
It was like watching one of the many games that Arsenal played last season. Domination throughout the pitch, playing the beautiful fame but lacking penetrative threat up front with no killer instinct when needed. And finally making mistakes at the back which allowed the inferior opposition to steal an unexpected win. Heard that one before haven’t you?
Granted there were several “first team” players missing from the Arsenal line up like Fabregas, Silva and Adebayor and the opponents were already several games into their domestic league. But it was obvious that even if those players had graced the game with their presence we still would have witnessed a dej a vu with a repeat of last season’s follies.
The most important ones being the inability to convert the numerous chances created so that they could have killed the game off and the lack of defencive nous. It’s one thing not scoring but when you can’t keep a clean sheet then a respectable draw turns into a painful defeat.
If Wenger will not enter the market to recruit a proven premiership experienced goal scorer who will be able to take a small percentage of the chances created then the onus will fall on Van Persie, Adebyaor and Eduardo. I personally don’t see the first two being so prolific in front of goal although I would expect that their improvement will be very marked this season.
Eduardo on the other hand impressed with his technical prowess, pace, acceleration and positioning awareness. I liked him. But he couldn’t put the ball in the net.
He opted to take one more touch rather than pull the trigger. Yes I know it was only his first game with his new club and he is bound to get better with more games. Let’s hope he is the answer to our prayers because that is where there is ample room for improvement.
On the defencive front, as explained in other postings, (what does Arsenal need to do to challenge for next season?) the errors that seem to be recurring can only be cut out by better organization and awareness. But annoyingly it doesn't look like they will be cut out do they?
The only time the opponents got a sniff of a chance was when there were lapses of concentration. In the first half by young Traore and by the older Gallas.
The goal itself came from two successive errors; first from the central defensive pair who got too near each other in trying to cut out a cross thus exposing Hoyte who had to come inside. And although near, Hleb’s lack of awareness to cover for Hoyte.
As explained in my previous posting, “Salzburg v Arsenal 1- 0. Diaby is the new Vieira and even better” apart from Eduardo’s promising debut the shining light from this friendly was Diaby’s performance which was awesome.