Date:Sunday July 31 2011
As the season draws ever closer, Arsenal hosted their annual "Emirates Trophy" over the course of the weekend, playing host to Boca Juniors, PSG and Thierry Henry`s New York Red Bulls.
There`s no real importance over the result of the competition other than getting in some good preparation for the upcoming campaign, however having watched Arsenal surrender a 2 goal lead over Boca Juniors that saw the Argentine`s secure a late draw and then a 1 goal lead over the Red Bulls you can`t help but feeling a scarey sense of de ja vu.
I was philosophical over yesterday`s 2-2 draw, the strong first half team easily out-played a very poor Boca side and we only gave up the lead once a very unfamiliar backline took to the pitch, however today`s team that let yet another lead slide was much much stronger.
True, the line up towards the end that conceded the late goal didn`t resemble that much of a first team line up, however the toothless attack that was readily unable to break down a New York team that had no other gameplan than to hoof the ball down the lines at every opportunity was very concerning.
At the start of last season Wenger told we Gooners to judge them at the end of the season, and the outcome of that was as sad as it was embarrassing, and it`s a shame to say that it doesn`t look like anything has changed.
Lots of possession, lots of fannying around the centre of the park not doing much of anything, nobody getting in the box, and scrappy late goals.
I stressed the point through the summer that we needed to get in all our transfers asap to get the squad to gel, Wenger responded (not to me personally of course) by claiming we needed to wait for someone to blink. Well I`m of the opinion that we should have been the ones blinking, we`ve saved more than enough cash to splash out on ourselves for a change.
The telling thing for me was that the player who showed the most desire in this match was a player who gave his all for the club, and today gave his all against it. Witnessing a 52 year old striker busting a gut trying to get back and help defend in the last minute of a pre-season friendly is exactly the kind of work ethic we`ve been missing.
With two weeks till the start of the season it very much feels like the more things change, the more they stay the same.
Date:Sunday July 31 2011
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