By Walter Broeckx
Looking back at the Emirates Cup we have a lot to feel happy about.
Of course the amazing 6-0 win against Lyon was the most eye catching but the win against Wolfsburg was also very promising.
Let us first analyse the win against Lyon a bit deeper. One could argue that we are further in our build-up to the season because we have to play the Community Shield next weekend. But the league starts for Lyon also at the same weekend as it starts in England, so both teams should have been at the same level coming in to this match.
And yet Arsenal were very much on top of Lyon and blew them off the field when they really stepped it up during the match. Mesut Ozil was outstanding in this match and even though not everything came off as he wanted it, he was a joy to watch.
Youngster Alex Iwobi was another player to catch the eye. Not just for his goal. Or should I say goals because I still haven’t seen a full replay of the disallowed goal. But his overall play and contribution was also of the quality for a young lad making his debut at the Emirates.
What was also impressive was the combination Ozil and Aaron Ramsey in this match. They both were on fire in the first match. If you can have a look at the fourth goal it was Ramsey who was at the start of the move and then he ran all the pitch to put the delicate cross from Ozil over the goal line. If you can have a look at that goal you should try to stop the video at the moment Ozil is going to give his pass to Ramsey. To see that opening take some special eyes.
Of course they had the knowledge that Francis Coquelin was behind them picking up the loose balls when needed and so they could run riot at Lyon for most of the match. He sure seems to have picked up where he finished last season.
Olivier Giroud also contributed a lot, not just with his shouldered goal, but a good assist for the second goal was also very important. I know the haters will say time and time again that we need a world-class striker but for me he did what he had to do. Putting his weight on the Lyon defenders, dragging them from left to right and back to make openings for teammates.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain also seems raring to go. I hope the way he finished off the chance and scored our second goal will give him more belief in himself when it comes to scoring, the one thing that is missing from his game.
But we should also give a special mention to the back four, or five. Emiliano Martinez looked comfortable the whole 90 minutes and is also turning in to a good keeper after his bad start at Reading a few seasons ago.
But the back four with Mathieu Debuchy and Kieran Gibbs on the flanks did an excellent job. You could see that both players are realising that they have to work very hard to get a starting place in front of Hector Bellerin and Nacho Monreal. Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny were also their usual selves with good and strong defending whenever it was needed.
Putting six goals past Lyon is not something that happens a lot. They had a rather good defensive record last season so it must have come as a shock to them. And we must remember we did this with last season’s best player not on the field.
But I have seen some pictures and a short video clip that Alexis Sanchez posted on the internet of him doing some training on the beach in Chile on his own. I have the impression he wants to be ready when he comes back to London in a few days.
It’s amazing to think that we still have Alexis not playing. And Danny Welbeck. And Tomas Rosicky and Mathieu Flamini. It’s going to be a good season.