Friday, 22 July 2016

Arsenal Get Pre Season Underway Against Lens

The new season is only just over three weeks away and Arsenal get their pre season games underway tonight when they play Lens in Lens. There's isn't an awful lot to be learned from pre season games to be honest, but they help the players as they try to build towards match fitness. Arsenal's invincibles didn't have an impressive pre season in the summer of 2003, but they went on to complete the season unbeaten in the league which gives us a good indication of the true meaning of the outcome of these games.

Last summer Arsenal looked good and finished their build up by beating Chelsea in the Community Shield which led us to believe they were raring to go from day one. It wasn't to be though as they lost their opening league game at home to West Ham the next week, but they improved quickly enough after that. It's hard to believe the squad will arrive in tip top shape for the first game at home to Liverpool on August 14th after so many players were active in the later stages of Euro 2016 in particular.

We most certainly won't see Mesut Ozil, Laurent Koscielny, Olivier Giroud, Aaron Ramsey or Alexis Sanchez tonight and we probably won't see all, or at least most of them, in that opening game. In a squad already short of options in the attacking positions it's worrying to think we could start the season without those five players. The lack of Giroud will mean we will be desperately short up front and it's impossible to believe Arsenal won't sign a striker before the season starts.

At the moment it just doesn't look like it's going to happen, but not to sign one would be nothing short of a dereliction of duty from Arsene Wenger. Regular readers will know my views on Giroud, but he is by far our best option at centre forward despite all of his shortcomings. In my opinion Arsenal need to sign a striker who is better than Giroud and one who has real pace and they need to do it now.

The transfer window doesn't close until the end of August, but Arsenal will already have played three league games by then and they cannot wait until the last minute to sort out a problem which has been ongoing for far too long. It's not the only position that needs attention in the transfer market with the need for a wide attacking player and a central defender pressing too, but centre forward has to be the number one priority at the moment. There is no doubt the club have the money for the players that are needed, but getting their clubs to part with them and then convincing them to join us are no easy task either.

We should still get to see quite a few of the first team squad playing tonight along with some of the younger players who are training with them at the moment. There are another four games over the next two weeks with two of them in the States and the other two in Scandanavia before the squad come back home for the final week of pre season prior to the Liverpool game. Whatever the outcome of tonight's game it at least has to be good to see Arsenal back in action.

That's it for today.

See you tomorrow.

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