It’s always important to relativise pre-season results.
Before the mighty Invincibles won their golden Premier League trophy, they lost against Peterborough United and drew against Barnet and SC Ritzing, before losing the Community Shield.
That being said, beating the champions of Spain clearly means that we’re winning the league and the Champions League this season.
Jokes aside, it was a very positive performance with some stunning goals and one that was needed following the disappointing showing against Man Utd. As much as pre-season results don’t matter, getting wins and goals can only be positive and the team should be going into this new season brimming with confidence.
Without further ado, here are the positives and negatives from the game.
Positives & negatives from the 5-3 win over Barcelona
Positive #1: Goals, goals, goals
Some fans worry about not having a Haaland/Kane-type striker that can provide 25+ Premier League goals a season without much of an issue. However, when a team gets goals from all over the pitch and can score five against a defensively solid Barcelona team, then fans should realise that really isn’t an issue.
Some of the goals scored yesterday were really impressive, especially that rocket from Fabio Vieira. He will hopefully impose himself a bit more this season, as he has an invaluable profile, able to generate goals out of nothing à la Trent or Kevin De Bruyne.
Leandro Trossard scored twice; Kai Havertz and Bukayo Saka also bagged one each. There were goals from most of the advanced positions and it is a fantastic sign for the season to come.
I was also impressed by the quality of the shots taken, not just for the goals. Emile Smith Rowe and Trossard both launched thunderbolts that were saved by the Barcelona keeper.
Never a trait of the Arsenal of old (the problem with Arsenal is that they always try and walk it in), Mikel Arteta has clearly given his players the confidence and license to take shots from further out and it will hopefully pay off this upcoming season.
If the Gunners can improve on the 88 goals scored last season, then it seems almost guaranteed that they will be in a title race unless the defence starts leaking goals.
Negative #1: Individual mistakes
Unfortunately, the defence leaking goals is a slight worry. It’s a bit of a double-edged sword because the team does look good at the back and the eleven defend well as a unit.
Yet, individual mistakes keep leading to goals. It seems like that’s the way we concede most of our goals and it needs to be stamped out.
Compared to the defence of a couple of seasons ago, the club has improved massively. Saliba always looks imperious, Gabriel has come leaps and bounds and we have five very capable full backs.
Individual mistakes will keep undoing all that good work in an instant though. The main problem with costly mistakes is how they just take a second to undo a whole half of great play and how one seems to lead to more due to confidence.
If the players can eradicate them, then Arsenal will be a very, very scary team to face.
Continued on the next slide…