Pre-season friendlies come and go, to the point where it’s kind of easy to just push them to one side and forget about them. That, of course, is one way of dealing with them, but another way is by embracing the idea that you can take nuggets of information from them they could prove to be useful in the future.
A strong win
Gunners fans will remember their last few meetings with the Bundesliga champions very well, mainly because they’ve been humiliated time after time after time by them. Alas, while this may have been just a friendly, it probably felt quite nice to gain a measure of revenge.
The first half saw a few half opportunities here and there, in what was turning out to be a pretty entertaining clash of styles. Then, in the second half, Arsenal actually managed to take the lead courtesy of an own goal – which led many fans to believe that Bayern would really start opening up.
They did, and eventually, they got an equaliser courtesy of Robert Lewandowski. Serge Gnabry, who used to play for Arsenal, was the man who delivered the cross that cut the Premier League side’s defence in half.
In the end, though, it would be Arsenal who got the last laugh as Eddie Nketiah scored the winner with just a few minutes remaining to send the Arsenal fans into a frenzy.
“Our responsibility in this club – for the history, present and future – is to give young players a chance,” Emery said.
“If they deserve minutes, they’ll get minutes. I’m very happy with them.”
Bayern are almost certainly going to be just fine as we look ahead to the new season, because let’s face it, they’re one of the best sides in European football and they’ve got a strong core within their squad. However, despite the win, Arsenal fans are still going to be pretty worried about what they are able to produce once the new domestic campaign gets underway.
They may have a series of really strong, world-class stars, but that doesn’t guarantee success in any way, shape or form. They need to start investing in a big way, and the supporters are realising that – which is why they’re starting to go after the Kroenkes with everything they’ve got.
Wins like this are going to paper over the cracks ever so briefly, but that isn’t going to last. The protests are going to get louder and once a few bad results come in quick succession in the Premier League, there’s going to be a lot of worry for Unai Emery’s job.
Most Gunners fans would be happy to see Emery carry on for another full season, but that isn’t really the way that modern day football works when it comes to the longevity of managers.