1-0 To The Arsenal Is Actually A Very Good Start To The Season

Some Arsenal supporters might have felt that their opening day result over Newcastle United was a bit of an anti-climax.

The Gunners enjoyed a very successful transfer window, with the club bringing in six new faces.

Importantly the defensive area has been strengthened with the arrivals of left-back Kieran Tierney and experienced centre-half David Luiz, they’ll be joined next season by the highly rated French youngster William Saliba (who has been loaned back to Saint-Etienne this year).

The midfield has been bolstered with loanee Dani Ceballos joining from Real Madrid and young winger Gabriel Martinelli also signing up to the Unai Emery project.

Nicolas Pépé has been the biggest summer acquisition. The forward has arrived at the Emirates with a big fee (£72m via Transfermarkt) from Ligue 1 side Lille OSC.

So optimism was running high amongst the Arsenal support as they geared up fro the new campaign.

Yet none of the new boys lined up to face Newcastle in their first Premier League fixture of the season.

Two returning players in Calum Chambers and Reiss Nelson did start as The Gunners bossed the game.

It wasn’t a vintage performance but the team selection repaid Emery’s faith by securing a 1-0 away win in the opening weekend (BBC Match Report).

It proved to Unai and the Arsenal support that the squad could cope with faces missing (Alexandre Lacazette, Mesut Ozil and Lucas Torreira were also absent from the starting eleven) and indeed win tough away games in the process.

It also eases the pressure on the new signings and means the Gunners gaffer can gradually introduce them to the rigours of the league. Pépé, Ceballos and Martinelli managed to get some game time at St James’ Park once Arsenal had already found the lead through a nifty finish from prolific hitman Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

It might take time for Nicolas to settle into his new surroundings as it’s a huge move for any twenty-four year old. So if Unai can ease him in and take away some of that pressure, then that could be huge for the player’s development.

Obviously everyone is looking forward to seeing Emery unleash the front three of Pépé, Lacazette and Aubameyang but there’s no need to rush it, especially of you’ve got a squad that can gain results while you wait for the young forward to settle in.

I’m sure we’ll soon see Unai Emery’s preferred starting eleven once everyone is fit and raring to go but it must be very pleasing for the Spaniard and his backroom team that they’ve got more and better options available to them this term.

I’m also betting that the Gunners boss would’ve been delighted to see his defence record a cleansheet in their first game of the season. It would’ve also been pleasing to see both teenagers Nelson and Joe Willock starting and holding their own.

Unai Emery stated after the win over The Toon that he was happy with his side’s balance:

“The balance offensively and defensively is only taken with the victory. Today in our 90 minutes, we could do that. Also, we created chances and we need also to create chances for our strikers and today with Auba, we won.”

Via The Mirror

If Arsenal are going to succeed this term then that strength in depth in their pool could prove to be priceless as could that wonderful front three!

It wasn’t the most eye catching of performances but I’m sure Arsenal’s latest 1-0 win would’ve pleased their manager as it gave him plenty of positives to build from.

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