As if there wasn’t
enough negativity doing the rounds among the Arsenal fans at the moment. No new
transfers and going without a win in the Emirates Cup isn’t exactly the way to
lift the spirits around here.
There is still plenty of time to
solve one of those issues (and believe me, we will), while the other will be
etched at the bottom of a piece of silverware for as long as you or I shall
I’ve heard two kinds of reactions
from fellow Gunners; one suggesting that the world is coming to an imminent end,
while the other implies that the weekend’s action didn’t matter in the
Having been present at the Emirates
for both days of the cup, I can tell you that the correct reaction would
actually be somewhere in the middle.
This isn’t the classic AKB against
the WOB battle, oh no, this is different. Consider it a second chance. We’ve
not been hit where it hurts just yet, but we’ve certainly been left with a
I could talk about what the Emirates
Cup has done for all four teams until the cows come home as there are so many
talking points to decipher from the weekend’s proceedings, but, I’ll keep them
Arsenal related for Gunners Town.
To quickly fill you in Craig David
style on what went down in North London over the past few days: Arsenal came
from 2-0 down to draw with Napoli once the big boys were summoned from the
bench, before the Gunners stuttered to a lead over Galatasaray, only for Didier
Drogba to remind us what he is all about by winning the match 2-1 for the
That and more will be discussed, so
without further ado, here are my five points to take away from the Emirates
Gunners Town Top 5: Arsenal points to take away from the 2013 Emirates Cup
5. The Turks show Gooners how to
The “support” of some fans
as of late was really testing my patience, and that was without being surrounded
by a stadium full of them. The first day of the tournament witnessed pockets of
Porto, Napoli and Galatasaray fans all scattered around the stadium, and all of
them were terrific. They may have been away from home and enjoying a trip to
the English capital, but they still took matters on the pitch seriously. Porto
were poor in their first match, but they were still positively encouraged
throughout the afternoon by their fans who displayed their affections as much
as they could. Napoli, despite pre-tournament concerns about potential
hooliganism, were the same and got behind their boys until the bitter end.
Galatasaray were different class. Given London’s significant population of
Turkish residents, it was no massive shock to see that a huge number of them
were present on both days, especially the final one.
I’d be highly surprised if there were
no more than 10,000 Galatasaray supporters inside the Emirates on Sunday. There
was no escaping them, they were all over the place and passionately cheered on
their side to two victories and a trophy.
Yes they have more to shout about at
the moment, but even when Theo Walcott had put Arsenal ahead, the fans were
still droning negativity frequently and it’s just so depressing to see.
Hats off to the opposition fans, it
was like we were in Turkey at times.
4. Arsenal, doing thing the classy
I Tweeted before the matches took
place on Saturday pleading with Arsenal not to boo Gonzalo Higuain at the
weekend. Did they listen? Did they fuck. And sure enough when the Argentine’s
name was called out, the boos cascaded around the Emirates and it was at that
point that my head slumped into my hands as a sign of sheer disappointment.
Frankly, it was embarrassing.
For a club that prides itself and so
often makes reference to possessing class both on and off the field, we sure as
hell didn’t show it.
It wasn’t even a one-off negative
reaction, Higuain was met with jeers the entire weekend and it was a joke. It
Admittedly a lot of it was a joke,
and the man himself couldn’t help but smile it off when given the reception
while warming up, but the fact that it still happened means that we need
to take a long hard look at ourselves and question our own personal
3. Every Drog has its day; sometimes
more than once
It just had to happen didn’t it?! As
if he hasn’t tormented us enough during his eight-year tenure at Chelsea.
Drogba came off the bench to remind us all of what the Premier League has been
missing since he left the Blues last year. The good, the bad and the ugly side
of Drogba were all on show at the Emirates.
While he may not be everyone’s cup of
tea, I find it hard to fully dislike Didier Drogba (don’t shoot me). He is a
class act who, even at the age of 35, looked the best player on the pitch on Sunday.
We all know he has the lot, including that attitude and smugness that riles the
opposition fans into a fury. But that’s what he adds to a team. He’ll dive and
go down easy (look how he won the penalty) and continue to force you to
brandish him a cheat all afternoon but then he’ll show why he is still a top
class player after he has snatched the match away from you.
He battered the Arsenal backline all
game, he didn’t come out on top every time when going to battle with an Arsenal
man, but he made his mark.
He created problems all afternoon,
and when he is getting the service of Wesley Sneijder, he will always be a
His winning goal was superb. He lost
Per Mertesacker with a glorious first touch that brought him inside from the
right of the penalty area when receiving a long cross before smashing home the
winner past a helpless Wojciech Szczesny. Brilliant.
Arsenal need a hate figure like that
of their own. Wayne Rooney and Luis Suarez would both do jobs in that sense,
but it is imperative that we add someone who commands such a reaction as
2. Koss the Boss, once more
Many believe that he was the reason
for us getting fourth spot in the Premier League last season, and in most cases
they are right.
Laurent Koscielny is quickly becoming
our most valuable player and I dread to think of what we would be like if
(touch wood) he was to spend a fair amount of time on the treatment table.
Against Napoli he was superb. He
couldn’t really do much about either of the goals we conceded, neither were
directly his fault, but he rescued us a draw against the Serie A outfit (who by
the way I fancy to have a real crack at the Scudetto this season) with a late
header that demonstrated his never-say-die mentality.
Koz caused a ruckus in an attacking
sense, but at the back he was absolutely world class.
He made Higuain, a striker who I
believe is world class, his bitch for the afternoon and bullied him right up
until the final whistle.
Higgy didn’t have a sniff, and every
time he managed to get possession of the ball, he was quickly thwarted by a
As well as his agility and speed, Koz
has beefed right up, and has no problems in overpowering his man to a
devastating effect until he gets what he wants.
We missed him on the Sunday, and I
would have been intrigued to see how he would have got on against Drogba.
With Thomas Vermaelen out for what
could be a long time, we desperately need to add a talented defender or
Ignasi Miquel isn’t up to it, and we
need Bacary Sagna at right back. We cannot risk getting Koz to bail us out all
the time, and need to put this right before something bad happens.
1. Premier League, we’re having a
Arsene Wenger said before the
weekend, as did some of his players previously, that we could win the Premier
League title without any new signings this summer.
Before we all castrate him for this,
I don’t actually believe that he is convinced by his own words and was merely
keeping the press at bay when it came to speculation surrounding the club’s
involvement in the transfer market. Trust me, he knows that we need to improve,
he knows we need to add a couple of big names to the squad and is working hard
But the weekend proved that we are
still light when it comes to quality in depth. We have some fantastic players,
and they proved that with or sensational end of season success last term, but
we don’t have enough of them and that was exposed over the past few days.
The likes of Serge Gnabry, Gedion
Zelalem and Chuba Akpom are talented individuals who can have a great future at
the Arsenal, but the Emirates Cup showed that this year will be too soon for
them to move fully into the first-team picture. They did great in Asia, and
didn’t do too badly in London this weekend, but they did at times look out of
their depth and in need of more experience when it comes to facing better teams
such as the ones who featured at the Emirates.
As well as them we have a great young
British core that still have their best years ahead of them, and some top class
experienced players such as the BFG, Tomas Rosicky, Mikel Arteta and Santi
Cazolra. We have a very good squad, but we’re still missing those dazzling
Suarez, Rooney, Cesc Fabregas,
Marouane Fellaini, Julio Cesar whoever (not Gareth Barry please oh transfer god
up there), but we need them and we need them now.
I’m confident that we will get one or
two and that we can have a good year, but we certainly need to try to change
our tune and get behind the team.
The season doesn’t start until
August 17, so consider this a warning Arsenal and let’s all work together to
get us in the best possible shape heading into the new campaign.
Please leave a comment or give me
some feedback on Twitter and let me know your views, I love to hear them.
And remember, never forget you’re a
Matt has been the editor of the site since June 2012 and was born into a Gooner family 21 years ago. He recently graduated from Southampton Solent University with a degree in Sports Journalism and strives to work in the Sports Media industry. As well as currently working as a reporter for Sports Mole and TIBS News, Matt has been providing football commentary for the visually impaired since 2008 at Arsenal, Exeter City and Wembley.
His earliest Gunners memory is watching the ‘Boring, boring Arsenal’ VHS as a six-year-old on repeat, to the extent where he could recite most of the commentary from that season. Matt was lucky enough to witness Arsenal lift the Premier League in 2002 as well as being present during the last match at Highbury in 2006, and at Dennis Bergkamp’s testimonial a few months later at the Emirates Stadium. Matt’s favourite players include Bergkamp, Thierry Henry and Tony Adams, with the 5-3 comeback victory against Middlesbrough in 2004 the best match he has ever spectated.
Matt is an optimistic ’In Wenger we trust’, kind of guy and believes that the glory days are not too far away…
Apart from his editorial duties, Matt will also be bringing his Arsenal knowledge to a column called “Where Are They Now?” – which focuses on former Gunners.