So Barnet have been dispatched 4-0, the league title is ours! Well, maybe not, I always try to get very unexcited by pre-season results, they often bear no relation to how the team will perform when the real season commences. One thing that one can glean from the early fixtures is how Arsene is lining things up and who he sees in which roles for the coming year.
Interestingly Nordtveit was deployed at right back and the young Frimpong was given a first half run around in the centre of the park, one thing learnt is that in won't be a lack of physical power that stops the young centre midfielder from making the grade. It was also good to see Kieran Gibbs and Johan Djourou back fit. Pronunciation is set to be a huge problem for anyone commentating on an Arsenal game this year, the likes of Szczesny and Koscielny will not make life easy for pundits this year.
The lack of a No1 keeper is a slight concern. Szczesny is clearly the long term prospect, but for me Almunia is still by far the best of the bunch. Fabianski has been woeful and I have not been at all convinced by Mannone. Arsene is hinting that more may well happen in the transfer market and possibly a goalkeeper is in his mind; we still need more reinforcements at centre back, after all if Campbell doesn't sign on as looks likely, then we only have three recognised centre backs at the club (Vermaelen, Koscielny and Djourou) and given that one of these is just coming back from long term injury, this is not enough for the long hard season ahead.
Eduardo may be off and that makes sense given his failure to recover from that shocking Taylor thuggery at St Andrews, we have a decent array of attacking players at the club, this is why I am not keen on the club attempting to sign Joe Cole, as well as this player being overrated, we have an abundance of attacking midfielders and there is simply not a need for paying huge wages for someone who plays in an area in which we are already so well equipped.
Finally I thought I would respond again to those who seem unable to criticise Spain at all for their consistently dishonest approach throughout the world cup. There is no doubt at all in my mind that Spain were rather fortunate with refereeing decisions all the way through the competition and this was also the case in the final. The feigning of injury contributed massively to numerous soft Dutch bookings and the eventual red card for Heitinger, Iniesta was a recurrent culprit with numerous shocking dives but Villa's pathetic rolling around gave him claim to being the biggest cheat of them all.
The Spain apologists seem all to keen to point out the bad tackle by De Jong while ignoring similar filth from the likes of Ramos and Puyol. Spain have the better players and were the better team, I don't deny this, but to deny that their game involves routine cheating is to deny reality I'm afraid. That's all I am trying to say and I have genuinely lost a lot of respect for Spain over the course of the tournament as a result of these antics, they are rather reminiscent of Barcelona aren't they? The way they go to ground expecting a free kick after no contact but are happy to tug shirts and cynically clip ankles while expecting the opposition to stay on their feet is nothing but massively hypocritical and unfair. Not a surprise given how many Barca players are in the Spanish side is it?