Strike one for Arsenal ahead of the new season

It may be early days yet but Arsenal certainly looked a well-oiled machine this weekend compared to Manchester City and United.

This weekend has finally seen the big boys in pre-season action with Arsenal, Manchester United and Manchester City all in action over the past two days; with massive variations in success.

Manchester United were the first to play and it was also David Moyes' first game in charge after taking over from Sir Alex Ferguson at United and he had a rather understrength team out on display against the Singha All Stars XI in Bangkok.

The likes of Robin Van Persie, Wayne Rooney, Javier Hernandez and Shinji Kagawa were all unavailable for the tie and perhaps that told in the result as United lost in muggy conditions 1-0; despite some flashes of brilliance from Wilfried Zaha and Adnan Januzaj.

Manchester City were in action on Sunday with Manuel Pellegrini in charge if his first game and they put in an abject performance in South Africa against SuperSport United; going down 2-0 and hardly putting up a fight against their tour rivals.

Arsenal on the other hand were absolutely breath-taking.

They looked sharp, clinical, fit and focused even at this early stage of pre-season as they tore an Indonesian XI apart 7-0.

And it was the blend of excellent performances from players young and old that made for the most excitement.

Kristoffer Olsson, Chuba Akpom, Gedion Zelalem and Thomas Eisfeld were all on top form while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott, Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud were also superb.

Goals from Walcott, Akpom, Giroud (2), Podolski, Olsson and Eisfeld were what did the damage and after this weekend you could excuse a small amount of optimism creeping into Arsenal fans minds despite it being very, very early doors in the pre-season campaign.

One thing for sure is that the team that still has their long serving manager looked the far better then the ones trying to adapt to a new man at the helm.

Manchester City in particular looked a disjointed outfit; dishevelled, demotivated and disinterested and the youngsters available to them were nothing in comparison to the talent on show for both United and Arsenal.

The games may indeed be just friendlies but all three teams played similar standard of opposition and Arsenal outshone their Premier League rivals with aplomb.

Right now there is no doubt that it is strike one for Arsenal.

But we have yet to see Jose Mourinho part II at Chelsea...

image: © wonker

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