With Arsenal's campaign about to get underway, what can we take from their pre-season? Who was their best player? When was their best performance?
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger
The Premier League begins this coming weekend and every club has been busy over the summer with transfers, rumours and games keeping fan and player alike busy. Transfer wise, Arsenal have been relatively quiet this summer, so how did their pre-season go?
The Gunners played a total of five game in the build up to the new season and they found good form to beat opponents from a number of different countries. However, it did begin with a disappointing 1-1 draw with RC Lens in France. Arsenal then claimed two victories in America, the first, a 2-1 triumph over the MLS All-Stars, before they defeated Chivas de Guadalajara 3-1.
The Gunners then found top form with a thumping 8-0 win over Viking FK in Norway before a final pre-season game against Manchester City ended in a 3-2 victory.
But what did we learn from their pre-season?
Who was their best player?
Arsenal's Chuba Akpom celebrates scoring their third goal
The standout man was Chuba Akpom. He scored four goals in five games, including the winning goals against the MLS All-Stars and Manchester City. The forward has seen his chances in the Arsenal first XI curtailed by the likes of Theo Walcott, Alexis Sanchez and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in the past, but a strong pre-season showing will have Akpom in Wenger’s thoughts for the coming season.
Arsenal’s best performance?
Many would argue that the 8-0 victory over Viking FK was their best performance. Goals for Walcott, Santi Cazorla, Akpom and a brace apiece for Joel Campbell and Alex Iwobi, along with an own goal displayed just how ruthless Arsenal can be as they tore their opponents apart.
However, their 3-2 victory over Manchester City was their most impressive win in pre-season. Their Premier League rivals fielded a strong team for the encounter with the players looking to impress new manager Pep Guardiola. Goals for Iwobi, Walcott and Akpom were enough to see of City, while Walcott, who earned the man of the match award, and Petr Cech, who made a string of fine saves, were most impressive.
Arsenal's Calum Chambers, Santi Cazorla and Serge Gnabry celebrate after their first goal
Arsenal’s lowest point?
Their lowest point was surely the injury that Gabriel sustained in their final pre-season game. The Brazilian picked up a leg injury right at the death of the game as he went in to win the ball. Usually, a single injury would not worry Wenger too much, but he has already lost senior defender Per Mertesacker to injury with the list of possible defensive partners for captain Laurent Koscielny is growing thin.
Arsenal's Gabriel Paulista lies injured
New singing Robert Holding and youngster Calum Chambers are both viable options for Arsenal, but Wenger may be forced to look toward the transfer market for reinforcements with injuries hitting Arsenal’s squad hard once again.