A guest post from Seebs
Well the new season is only a few days away and the real stuff is truly upon us. Arsene has really gone and the new breed are bedding in. I’m not totally sure there are more differences than matches in the way things are set up now, of course apart from the set up which has evolved over the last couple of seasons and is now totally different if you know what I mean.
The preseason has ended, and the season starts with us, as are most other clubs, still looking like we are in preseason, its all very strange. We certainly look like we need another four games to gel the starting eleven as these half a half games really don’t give you a good idea of how the team will perform over ninety minutes and against sides that will perform over ninety minutes, the whole thing is one big anomaly.
Would anyone have said Unai’s reign would start with Ainsley as the only sure-fire starter in the whole squad? I know there are other players probably with their name already on the first team sheet, however, the strength of the squad that has been build up over the last few seasons is such we really have different players for every position and again those players could interchange depending on the system we decide to adopt.
We know Cech is approaching his twilight years, but Leno is a top-quality keeper? Although I think the more experienced man will get the nod the decision will be close. As time goes on Leno’s distribution above anything else will make him the clear winner as we play the ball out from the back more and more and just as happened at city the necessity to have a footballing keeper will determine the pick.
At right back its close again but Stephan’s lack of game time with us will see Hector get the nod. As for the CB’s I am a massive fan of the Rob and Callum partnership and I believe they are the best footballing pair we have however, I again think the more experienced duo of Shkodran and Sokratis will start the first game.
The Midfield becomes difficult to call as systems, fitness and cohesiveness all come into play here. I’m guessing that as were at home and judging by the friendlies the midfield three will be Aaron, if fit, Guendouzi and Granit although Elneny could cover anyone of these three if needed.
Up front It would be Pierre, Henrikh and Mesut in quite an attacking line up and Laca unfairly missing out but that’s the quality we have at present.
That would leave the bench looking like Leno, Stephan, Callum, Lucas, Elneny, Alex and Lacazette. So, most of the new lads starting their ARSENAL careers from the bench and most the youngsters missing out for the first game. I do think Eddie is very close and will get game time soon as will they all in Europe.
So, in conclusion, we’re not ready, but maybe readier than some of the unready we are playing early. There are things to be worked on and ironed out but in the main the preseason has gone well, and the integration of players has gelled quite nicely. Of course, I’m massively excited for next Sunday and will very nervous coming up to kick off.
Enjoy it everyone here we go again.