3 Things We Learnt from Arsenal’s Singapore Excursion



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Arsenal travelled to Singapore to take part in the pre-season International Champions Cup. On their flight home, the Gunners would be pleased with what transpired over the course of the two games. In their first game against Atletico Madrid, Arsenal were in control for the majority of the game and conceded a goal from a rare Atletico attack. A few wretched penalties aside, Unai Emery would have been happy with what his troops came up with. Against Paris Saint-Germain, the Gunners were simply magnificent. They made their dominance count by putting 5 goals past a hapless PSG. Slowly but surely, Emery is starting to stamp his identity on the team. The adventure in Singapore has thrown up a lot of positives and has left the Gooners enthused about the season ahead. However, there were a few frailties that were brought to light as well. With the start of the season still a fortnight away, there is ample time for Arsenal to iron out these kinks. Through this article, we look at three things that we learnt from Arsenal’s games against Atletico Madrid and PSG and the implications it might have on the road ahead. 1. Guendouzi is a wonderful signing Matteo Guendouzi was signed from French side Lorient in the summer. The signing was looked upon as one for the future with him having enjoyed just a solitary season of regular top-flight action. However, when Emery threw him into the thick of things in Singapore, Guendouzi passed with flying colours. In the game against Atletico, Guendouzi played as the anchor-man in midfield alongside Aaron Ramsey. Apart from a couple of nervy moments, he looked composed in the middle of the park. The most impressive aspect of his game was his discipline. He was never caught out of position and was on hand to fulfill his defensive responsibilities. When on the ball, Guendouzi displayed an extraordinary range of passing.With Elneny alongside him, he had more freedom to go forward and he was simply sensational. If Guendouzi can come up with similar performances throughout the season, other teams would have a tough time containing Arsenal’s midfield. Even though Guendouzi was signed with an eye on tomorrow, his performances and temperament have shown that he is well and truly a signing for today. 2. Arsenal’s younger crop deserves a shot at the first team Unai Emery handed starts to Reiss Nelson and Emile Smith-Rowe against Atletico Madrid. Nelson started on the right wing while Smith-Rowe was handed an attacking midfield berth. Both the starlets did their burgeoning reputation no harm and ended the game as Arsenal’s best players. While Nelson’s direct running had the Atletico defence tied in knots, Smith-Rowe ran the show from his ‘number 10’ position. Smith-Rowe capped off his incredible performance with a sumptuous strike into the top corner. Against PSG, with the score tied at 1-1, Emery threw on Nketiah, Smith-Rowe, Nelson and Maitland-Niles. They had an immediate impact with Smith-Rowe providing the ass

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