Arsenal have been back in full training for a couple of weeks now, and despite having only completed one full pre-season game so far; there is a lot that can be taken away from the side’s work so far this summer.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain saved Arsenal from an embarrassing 1-0 defeat to Ligue 2 sides Lens in their opening game, and whilst Arsenal were disappointing; they definitely showed sparks of life.
That game, alongside footage and information that has come from Arsenal’s training camp will give supports a brief idea of what to expect in the coming weeks, and perhaps more importantly what can be expected next season.
With that, here are FIVE things we’ve learned from Arsenal’s pre-season so far
Breaking news that has emerged over the last 24 hours or so brings some not so good news from Arsenal’s pre season training camp.
Per Mertesacker has reportedly suffered a serious knee injury, which is likely to keep him out for the rest of pre-season; and likely beyond that point.
Arsenal are already short on defensive cover, so this is a real crushing blow to Arsene Wenger’s new season preparations.
Injuries are of course common as players get fit during pre-season; but Wenger will no doubt be doing his best to ensure that he keeps the rest of his players fit over the coming weeks.
If there is one thing that the Arsenal vs Lens game showed fans, it was a reminder that the club desperately need a new striker.
They had to rely on a last ditch equaliSer from Chamberlain against the second division French side; proving that the side’s attack is just not good enough.
With a host of strikers linked; expect Wenger to go in for a new forward with a bit more vigour in the coming weeks.
Many fans have written off Arsenal’s chances for the Premier League next season, with the Manchester clubs in particular touted for league glory.
However, Arsenal are at this point the only of the top sides to still be undefeated in their pre-season so far.
Admittedly they have played just one game, and fans shouldn’t get carried away; but it proves that if nothing else Arsenal are well prepared for the challenge to come.
Their last minute equaliser also proved that the famous Arsenal resilience has not been lost in the shuffle; and that will no doubt see them through the 2016/17 season.
Arsene Wenger also seems keen to give youth a chance next season, with a number of young players brought with the first team as they begin their preparations.
Krystian Bielik and Gedion Zelalem are both included in Arsenal’s US Tour squad, with the club reportedly having high hopes for the pair going forward.
With only 5 key players missing the trip, Wenger is clearly putting his faith in the pair in front of some more established stars in hope that they will force their way into the first team.
Their inclusion is definitely a good sign that they could be getting a chance next season.
Whilst the game against Lens did produce a few positives for Arsenal; it did also prove that the side aren’t there yet.
Whereas some clubs have made a quick start to pre-season, Arsenal looked slow and lazy; with many stars lacking the sharpess that fans have come to expect from them.
Of course this will likely improve as pre-season goes on, but it’s worth keeping an eye on their progress moving forward.
The side showed life with a last ditch equaliser; but a fit in-form Arsenal would have put the side away early on and not left it so late.