The tour of Australia is over and too be honest it was a lot better than I think most of us thought it would be. The stadiums were wonderful, the Gooner support was mental and the team had a good run out. Despite it being just a tour I think I learned some important bits of info on the team going into the 2017/18 season that I probably wouldn’t of predicted before this tour. With that let me go into the 3 thing I learned from this tour in Australia.
Iwobi WILL flourish next season
If a Thomas Lemar or a Leon Goretzka come into a the team then Iwobi should go on loan for game time. But this preseason just like the previous 2 have shown me just how good Iwobi is once again. On the right side of the 2 behind the striker in a 3-4-2-1 Alex excelled and looked the most professional of the all the young players we fielded. His pace, flair, dribbling and eye for a pass tell me young Alex can probably play anywhere behind the striker from LM to CAM to RM. Last season poor management of Alex lead to him becoming severely out of form despite briefly holding the top place in assists during the beginnings of the season. If Alex is put in as a 65th minute sub in hard games or a starter in easier ones then this could be the beginning for Iwobi’s rise to becoming a legendary player.
Goals won’t be a problem
Yes Giroud was not happy Lacazette scored…
If a young upstart was coming for your job would you be? Of course not, so I’m fine with Giroud being mad for a while, in fact I’m happy about it. When Giroud is challenged, he scores a lot of goals. Think of the time around the turn of 2017 when Alexis was striker, Giroud was scoring every week and bailing us out of games we should have lost like United and Bournemouth. With the introduction of Lacazette we have a striker who can start and score 20+ goals in a season, with quick feet and great movement and another France starter who can score 15 from the bench. Whether Sanchez goes or not goals won’t be an issue for us next season.
Our youth set up is strong
This is the number one take away from the Tour: We might not need to delve into the market for a while. I have noticed an exiting of highly rated youth prospects that had me worried for the future included Serge Gnabry, Kaylen Hinds, Dan Crowley, Chris Willock to name a few. One of Arsene’s philosophies is youth development and considering the drought of academy products in the past 10 years (bar Bellerin and Iwobi) it was worrying.
Now I’m not.
Reiss Nelson looks like our second chance at the Ox. Dynamic, two footed, crazy close control and rapid he was the star of the Tour and I fully expect him to feature in the Europa League. Maitland-Niles has played CB, RB, LWB, RM, CDM in senior games and acts as the ultimate utility man who will surely have a breakout season now. Joe Willock (Chris’s Brother) looks to be the heir to Ramsey with his box to box play, defensive and offensive work and late runs into the box and replacement for Ramsey will not be required when the time comes for it. These plus Nketiah, Malen, Iwobi and Bielik (Even Adelaide, Zelalem and Mavididi who are injured) are all looking like top prospects to join Iwobi and Bellerin. I truly believe these players will create a team reminiscent of Barca 2011 or the Class of 92 who will graduate into the first team together I lead us to a League title and possibly more one day.
These where my top 3 lessons learned but what are yours?