Monday, September 12

Like with every game we all have our pre-match thoughts, hopes and needs. Saturday was consequently no different.

Talk of a thumping victory with each of our new signings putting in world-beating performances is something we all would have been ecstatic to witness, but above all else in a league game there is only one aspect.

The Meerkat's sharp finish after our visitors' goalkeeping error gave us three points that felt simply essential after our difficult start.

The feeling come the final whistle consequently was one filled with relief as much as anything else.

So how did those who made their debut get on?

Mikel was always involved as we probed and searched a goal, showing the kind of neat touches and passing we saw plenty of times when he was wearing an Everton shirt. The simply enormous Per Mertesacker definitely demonstrated the kind of coolness in defence we have always associated with a German international centre-half.

Yossi Benayoun was introduced late on so it is difficult to form an early opinion.

Above all else, their debuts included taking three points and that will do as we move on I feel.

That involves the first of six Champions League encounters, and this time a road trip.

As you read these thoughts we should be heading across France, Belgium and into Germany in a minibus for a two-night jolly, taking in our game in Dortmund tomorrow night of course.

It doesn't come too much harder than an away match against the current German champions but it will offer the kind of challenge we would be mad not to look forward to.

Our hosts' massive stadium will be noisy and colourful I'm sure, but that's tomorrow.

For now the discussions are all about tonight's pre-match fun and frolics - a fact that I'm sure you would be surprised about if it wasn't the case!

Cheers

Frank

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 12 Sep 2011