Arsenal ended their pre-season with a 1-0 defeat at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium to our North London rivals today.
The Gunners looked in control for most parts of the game, but a late Son Heung-min strike after a couple of errors by Nicolas Pepe and Pablo Mari gave the hosts the victory ahead of the start of the new Premier League season.
Results don’t really matter in pre-season, but it’s still annoying to lose to Spurs. Here’s a look at five things we learned as we lost the game 1-0…
Same old Arsenal
Apart from the first few minutes of the game, Arsenal dominated the first half. We pressed them high up the pitch, won back possession efficiently and looked solid overall. However, we failed to create chances to score and gifted them a couple of easy opportunities.
This is exactly why Arsenal struggled last season and it doesn’t look like a lot has changed on that front. Hopefully, Arteta can work his magic when the real test starts in five days time.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang started on the left today and once again, the Arsenal skipper looked lost. It really is sad to see a player who was arguably the best in the Premier League two years ago become so difficult to watch.
Arteta is right to keep his faith in Auba and help him get his confidence back. However, time is running out and it really won’t be a surprise to see Bukayo Saka get the nod over him on the left against Brentford on Friday.
Brilliant Ben White
White was handed his first start in an Arsenal shirt today and he was phenomenal. The Englishman looked fantastic in possession and passed every test that was put in front of him by Tottenham’s attackers.
His performance after only a few days of training shows just how good he is. He will only get better in the coming weeks and that really is exciting for Arsenal supporters ahead of the start of the new season.
Albert Sambi Lokonga had already impressed us in pre-season, but his first-half performance today was undoubtedly his best in Arsenal’s colours.
He was fantastic in possession, held his own against quality players without the ball and made Arsenal fans forget that we were missing Thomas Partey in the middle of the park for a while.
Lokonga did tire in the second half and his level dropped as a result. However, we’ve really signed a gem of a player, and we can’t wait to see more of him in the upcoming Premier League season.
We need Gabriel back ASAP
Pablo Mari is a fantastic defender when it comes to positioning and aerial ability. However, he’s easily picked apart by quick dribbles, and that is a massive concern ahead of the new season.
Arsenal don’t have a choice at the moment. Arteta prefers a left-footed player at left centre-half and our only other option, Gabriel Magalhaes, is injured.
The Brazilian, on paper at least, could form a phenomenal partnership with White at the back, and we really need him back ASAP.