Match report:Gunners lack the hunger against Szombathelyi

To say it was an experimental side that lined up against Hungarian unknowns Szombathelyi Haladás this evening is an understatement.
 
Manuel Almunia took charge in goal, while the two full backs were also our strongest first team choices, Bacary Sagna and Gael Clichy. But in the centre of defence brothers Gavin and Justin Hoyte were woeful during a first half that saw the Hungarians take the lead due to complete naivety in central defence.
 
In midfield, Arsene Wenger gave Aaron Ramsey another early run out, alongside Denilson, Theo Walcott and 16-year-old rising star Jack Wilshere. Or should that be shooting star? Wilshere was lively again and although he can't break Cesc Fabregas's record of being the Gunners' youngest ever player in a competitive game (16 years 177 days), I can't see him being too far behind that if he can continue to impress us Gooners and, more to the point, Arsene Wenger with his vision and superbly weighted passes.
 
Up front Nicklas Bendtner looked fit, while Carlos Vela enjoyed his first game for the Gunners and looked eager to impress despite an obvious lack of sharpness.
 
Unsurprisingly Gael Clichy seems to have returned in tip top condition and was easily the Arsenal's best played in the first half. I wouldn't bet against the Frenchman grabbing his first goal in Arsenal colours sooner rather than later.
 
Back to tonight's friendly however, and it was Bendtner and Walcott who combined for the latter to notch the visitors' equaliser with a cooly finished shot dinked inside the post.
 
Elsewhere there wasn't much to say about the first 45 minutes apart from a couple of missed chances for both teams, but neither side stamped their authority on the game despite the obvious gulf in class.
 
On the bench Le Boss had Vito Mannone, Mark Randall, Francis Coquelin, Henri Lansbury, Armand Traore and Jay Simpson to call on and only the latter two remained on the bench at the restart with Almunia, Gavin Hoyte, Ramsay and Vela making way for their teammates.
 
Just after the hour mark Bendtner and Wilshere made way for the remaining duo on the bench.
 
I'd love to say that the Gunners started to take control as Hungarian legs tired, but it simply wasn't the case, although Coquelin again looked like a decent purchase and showed that he is up for the fight. But the most entertaining element of Arsenal TV's coverage was the commentary of Perry Groves.
 
Quite what Wenger will take as a positive from the game, I'm not sure, but for me the only thing I can come up with is that the Hoyte brothers positively should not play in the centre of defense together and Gael Clichy should maybe be allowed to take more free kicks. Given his effort on goal from about 20 yards out, Kolo Toure might have some competition.
 
All in all though it was a fairly straightforward run out for the Arsenal players and will no doubt help them regain a bit of match fitness. I don't think too many people who watched the game will be grumbling about the 1-1 scoreline, but the Gunners need to improve several hundred percent before the new season kicks off.