5 positive and 5 negative lessons from Arsenal's pre-season preparations

Arsenal won the Amsterdam Tournament for the third time in four years at the weekend, but for any Gooners thinking that the team is hitting form just in time for the start of the new season, I’m afraid there were some worrying signs.

As with all but one of our pre-season games (the 1-0 victory over Real Madrid), the Gunners failed to keep a clean sheet in the two weekend matches, with the young boys holding Sevilla to a 1-1 draw.

But their more experienced team mates conceded two first half goals to give their attacking colleagues some real work to do in the opening game against Ajax on Friday. Thankfully Emmanuel Adebayor and Nicklas Bendtner obliged and came back to beat the hosts 3-2.

So the front line, in 10 pre-season games, has notched a grand total of 23 goals, although it should be pointed out that 10 of those came in a game against Austrian fast food outlet Burgenland.

At the same time, our defence conceded 10 goals in 10 games and given the relatively poor standard of oppostion in some of those games, that should be a worry for Arsene Wenger.

And bear in mind that our first choice back four - Bacary Sagna, Kolo Toure, William Gallas and Gael Clichy were guilty of conceding two against Ajax on Friday. Arsene Wenger might believe we can enter the new season without strengthening our defence,  but I’m a little more scpetical.

It wasn’t all negatives though. The story of the pre-season has been the emergence of 16-year-old Jack Wilshere as a first team squad member, while other positives have me more optimistic than I might have been a couple of weeks ago.

So here are our five positives and five negatives as the Gunners prepare for our first competitive games this week...


   1. Jack Wilshere. Say no more
   2. Emmanuel Adebayor has returned, after a summer of discontent, in goal scoring form
   3. Carlos Vela is already banging the goals in for fun
   4. Emmanuel Eboue looks like he might contribute something to the team
   5. The team have shown that they have the spirit to come from behind to win games


   1. Kolo Toure and William Gallas look like they've never met each other
   2. It's still taking Adebayor multiple chances to hit the target
   3. Samir Nasri and Abou Diaby are on the physio's table already
   4. The lack of depth in our squad suggest that any injuries will hit Arsenal hard this season
   5. With just three weeks until the transfer window closes, we still haven't signed a defensive midfielder

Can you think of any more positives or negatives from Arsenal's pre-season build up? Then share your thoughts here