Arsenal 3-1 Stuttgart + Bischoff signing won’t be the last

Although only a pre-season riendly, last night’s impressive 3-1 win over Stuttgart suggests that things are ticking along quite nicely for Arsenal. The game marked the debut of new signing Samir Nasri and Arsene Wenger gave the Frenchman as well as a host of other senior players their first pre-season runouts.

The starting team included Manuel Almunia behind a very strong back four of Bacary Sagna, Johan Djourou, William Gallas – whose captaincy skills were backed by Cesc Fabregas and the manager before the match – and Gael Clichy. Denilson was surprisingly paired with Emmanuel Eboue in the centre of the park, flanked on the right and left by Theo Walcott and Nasri respectively with Robin van Persie and Emmanuel Adebayor starting up front.

I think it’s fair to say that the bigger name players were a little sluggish and lethargic in the first half – understandable given that most had only recently returned to training. Van Persie should have scored from a one-on-one situation with ex-Arsenal keeper Jens Lehmann while Walcott had a close range effort excellently saved by the same player. Aside from that, things were a little flat.

Indeed, it was not until the destroyers of Burgenland – Nicklas Bendtner and Carlos Vela – were brought on at the break that Arsenal’s attack began to click into gear. Even despite the changes it was Stuttgart who took the lead when Yildiray Basturk capitalised on some lose marking by Djourou to shoot through the defender’s legs and past Lukasz Fabianski.

But from that point on it was all Arsenal as Vela, Bendtner and fellow substitute Jack Wilshere all scored second-half goals.

The first involved a lovely pass from Bendtner and a neat bit of control and finishing from Vela, with both players switching roles for the second. The game was put beyond doubt when some lovely tenacity and skill from Gael Clichy allowed 16-year-old Wilshire to fire home a crisp shot.

You can see all the goals and highlights here.

All in all, it was another very encouraging performance from Arsenal. While the big guns were a little off the pace there is little doubt that they will come good once they get more training under their belts. What is encouraging are the recent performances from the players who are genuinely on the fringes of the first-team. Guys like Bendtner, Vela, Wilshere and Walcott are doing really well and their efforts will give the manager a welcome headache regarding his starting team for the first game of the season.

Following the match Wenger singled out the performances of both Vela and Bendtner as well as admitting that while he does not feel the need to sign another striker, he still feels Arsenal are one player short of the what they require for this season:

“Vela is integrating very well into the team. Bendtner was already a force at the end of last season and he will confirm that this year. Overall, we are still maybe one player short. But up front we don’t need anybody.”

Regarding the comment about not needing any more strikers, I totally agree. There is absolutely no need for Wenger to sign any more attacking players. Van Persie is world-class, Adebayor and Eduardo (when fit) are wonderful contributors to the side, Bendtner is a season older and stronger while Vela – as the manager says – is integrating well. Add to that the likes of Walcott, new signing Nasri and of course Tomas Rosicky and I think things are looking pretty good up top.

What is interesting about Wenger’s comments about being ‘one player short’ is that they came even after the announcement of the signing of Portuguese midfielder Amaury Bischoff – which suggests to me that there is more to come from Wenger. Whether it’s a midfielder or a defender who is brought in I’m not too sure, but I am pretty certain that Bischoff’s signing will not be the last. As always, we’ll have to wait and see what happens.

Just on Bischoff, it’s hard to know what sort of role he is set for this season. He’s been given the #28 shirt by Wenger and drafted straight into the first-team squad. I’ve little doubt that if Wenger thinks he’s good enough for Arsenal then he probably is, but I do get the feeling it will be something of a learning year for the Portuguese player.

So that’s about it. An impressive win over a decent side and a new signing – not bad for a day’s work. See you tomorrow.

Have your say on Arsenal v Stuttgart or the signing of Bischoff by leaving a comment.




  2. I was pretty blown away from the performance yesterday. We bossed it for the most part, and the kids are really coming on well. Trying to keep my feet on the ground, thats going to be a bit of a challenge though.I keep having to tell myself ” it’s just pre-season” All in all, it was my first glimpse of the Gunners back at it since May, cant hardly wait to get to Aug 16th.
    Go Gunners!

  3. Wilshere should be drafted into the first team staright away. I think Wenger plans to use Eboue as the Defensive midfielder. As Arsene said after the match we are just short of one player….Could it be Veloso,Inler or Michael Johnson ?

  4. Very impressed with nearly all parts of the team still without some big players.

    My one worry yet again was the Gallas performance ! He wanders away from defence dying to attack which is laudable but he is not as fast as he thinks he is ad left too many big holes right through the centre.

    Eboue ( although a cheat) has enough about him to fill in for Flamini…he has a great motor and some skill…but ?

  5. This is interesting for the young gunns.If these kids could be given chance & confidence they can make impact.This evidenced in their match vs Stuttgart,when introduced in the pitch things changed.As for signing BISCHOFF he is welcome,hope he gonna link well with Fabregas in the Midfield

  6. I’d just like to see what other gooners think about Bentley’s move to Spurs? I have to say I don’t like it one bit, purely because he is an excellent player who could have been an asset for us right now, and now he is playing for the boys down the road.

    As for Bischoff, Wenger must see something in him but for a 21year old who has played just 16 minutes at senior level for Werder Bremen, he probably doesn’t deserve to be drafted into our first team squad any more than some of our youngsters who have just as much experience if not more. Wenger must see him as a long term prospect so it probably isn’t worth discussing, but I’m sure we all hope there will be one more signing in midfield. Who would everyone like?

  7. SF its Jack Wilshere not Luke Wilshere, and the signing of Bischoff has disappointed me greatly and Wenger putting him in the first team squad straight away has disappointed me further. He managed 1 game last season. 1 game!! He is not good enough for Arsenal.!

  8. I’ve been thinking that Eboue might fit the “Flamini Role” well. Eboue didn’t quite fit in as a Defender, nor did he quite fit in as a winger. It seems like “Defensive Midfielder” would be the perfect medium. My biggest concern is all of his B.S. antics…

  9. Basturk’s goal went through Gallas’ legs, not Djourou’s. This is actually more distressing than if your report was accurate.

  10. jay, bischoff was not a regular in the bremen side because of injury, not lack of skill, wenger said it was a gamble based on his fitness, not his talent. i must say im worried about spurs(i hav said this earlier) bentley has joined them and now arsharvin has completed his medical at the lane…juande ramos must really want to win the prem this season…wenger needs to get players in though…seriously

  11. don’t worry another season for the scums in the lower table and their owners will learn for good that pumping money is no good ,shit*lane will still be shit*lane 🙂

  12. Clichy’s work for for young Jack’s goal was superb. If anything he left the Stuttgarts defenders he beat shocked.

    AW either put Jack straight into the first team squad, or hold off on playing him too much to protect him. The boy is GOOD.

    I like Nasri look already compared to Hleb. He had a nice dribble and a long shot too.

    With Bendtner’s link-up play and his better finishing, Adebayor’s offsides need to stop as they are becoming painfully obvious “chance wasters”.

    We have too many attacking options and a little crowded in midfield for Gallas to play CF. Stick to defending and stop exposing the defence. Half the team are better at scoring than you are.

    Finally a role for Eboue.I prefer Diaby but wold be confortable with eboue there. Compared to Flamini, he has a bigger engine, stronger, better defender, probably equal passing and more skilled. What a better way to protect the defense than a defender who can defend. Of course that goes for Song and Djourou but no one else matches Eboue engine. With all the slagging he is getting, he is pretty much dedicated to the Arsenal’s cause

    Well, time to look for my old helmet just in case a few stray eggs might be in the vicinity, LOL

  13. @ Everybody who let me know about today’s mistakes – Sorry. I had a bit of a shocker today lads. I continually call Jack Wilshere Luke because of this young man, and it was Gallas whose marking was loose, not Djourou’s.

    Apologies and hopefully tomorrow’s will be better 🙂

    By the by, Wenger’s comments regarding Bischoff’s signing as a gambling due to fitness issues is an interesting one.

  14. we certainly don’t need any more strikers and wouldn’t be surprised if ade is 3rd choice by the start of the season as big nick did look good and with vela they will carve up the cc this year for sure. Walcot played a blinder as well as clichy and I’m still not sure how he wasn’t in the french squad as his pace was unbeatable. Can’t wait for the emirates cupo next and cl draw is on fri.

  15. @ TT what did you mean by “the all knowing jay” – Ill be the 1st to say I was wrong and if he turns out to be great then ill take it back but TT tell me I have no reason to be disappointed, then Ill take ur point seriously!

  16. @ jay – With the risk of sounding rude, what TT means is that you’re not really in a position to say ‘he’s not good enough for Arsenal!’ when you/we’ve never seen him play.

    Wenger has said that Bischoff is a bit of a gamble because of his fitness worries – it’s clear that the manager sees a good prospect who has simply failed to have much game time because of his injuries.

    While you’re entitled to your opinion – indeed, I encourage it – I have to agree with TT on this one.

  17. I was just wound up with the quote “all knowing jay” thats all SF. I mean no need for it. Everyone has there opinion and me and you SF rarely agree lol but there was no need for the sarcasm in TTs comment!

  18. Yes, and Eboue has the added distinction of being the player most likely to kick an opponent! Actually, come to think of it he has competition. Eboue broke John Terry’s foot; Diaby kicked John Terry in the face. Who gets the job as Cesc’s enforcer? he he.

  19. We conceded a good number of goals last season due to poor defending, not by defenders, but by strikers and midfielders who were covering for CDs. I remember a few on Flamini, Cesc’s almost pulling down Babel, Bendtner, even Eduardo lost a ball where it hurts. Does anyone else think if our CD concentrate on defending and at most doing MF stuff rather than maraud forward every chance they get, would improve our defense tremendously? After all they are the best in defending and others are better in scoring, sort of like utilizing a player where he is more efficient. Some otherwise scuffed goal attempts could be taken by proper strikers and may actually go in. I think that could plug a leak to an extent and add goals.

    What do you guys think

  20. Cesc may not need an enforcer, as he himself was the enforcer-in-charge last season. He had 9 cards, Gallas and Eboue came second @ 5 each.

  21. FC Twente in the qualifiers – not the easiest but also not the hardest, we avoided Atletico Madrdid and Galatasaray. Jens Lehmann has said he thinks Manu Ade will make the wrong decision if he leaves Arsenal. Nice to hear that. Finally arsenal are finalising a £10M deal for Gokhan Inler. Van Der Vaart went to REal Madrdi for £7.1M how cheap?

  22. Jay- Nothing to worry about mate. We can beat this FC20 Specially with the second leg at the Emirates its a pontential banana skin since Mclaren knows Arsenal very well but his record against us is very bad.

    Middlesbrough 0 Arsenal 4 (League, 18/08/2001)

    Arsenal 2 Boro 1 (League, 29/12/01)

    Boro 0 Arsenal 1 (FA Cup, 14/04/02)

    Arsenal 2 Boro 0 (League, 21/12/02)

    Boro 0 Arsenal 2 (League, 19/04/03)

    Boro 0 Arsenal 4 (League, 24/08/03)

    Arsenal 4 Boro 1 (League, 10/01/04)

    Arsenal 0 Boro 1 (League Cup, 20/01/04)

    Arsenal 4 Boro 1 (FA Cup, 24/01/04)

    Boro 2 Arsenal 1 (L Cup, 03/02/04)

    Arsenal 5 Boro 3 (League, 22/08/04)

    Boro 0 Arsenal 1 (League, 09/04/05)

    Boro 2 Arsenal 1 (League, 10/09/05)

    Arsenal 7 Boro 0 (League, 14/01/06)

    Ade has changed his tune and denied all the crap that came out of his mouth. But that is normal when you have nowhere to go and the clubs intrested don’t want you any more.One year extention to his contract it means he is still open for a move next season but we will be stronger with him than without him and that is a plus.

  23. “MIDFIELDER Gokhan Inler’s agent is preparing to travel to London to discuss a possible deal with Arsenal.”

  24. I get the feeling Gallas is in his last season with us. He has been warming up the Captain armband for Cesc. and @ 33 yrs old at around the start of next season, with his massive wages (so I hear), he is the most likely candidate to be offloaded by AW. If AW had better CB cover, hi might have offloaded him this season.

  25. Next Season we should get Richards if Gallas goes, or even sign him in January and most fans cant wait for Cesc to wear the armband! Gokhan Inler will not be a bad signing! Fc Twente will be a good challenge, of course I expect us to win, but it could be a bit challenging. AW could be expecting youngsters like Vela, Wilshere and Walcott to produce in the 2nd leg!

  26. Please Mr Wenger, we need to win a major title this season. Do all you can to ensure it happens

  27. Im sure with the quality of the youngsters, the squad and the signings of Nasri, Ramsey, Coquellen and Bischoff and maybe one more we can get a title, not saying which one, could be FA, we could push through Europe or win the Prem, maybe our youngsters will win the cc. Who knows but im confident we will get a trophy this season.

  28. HT – Arsenal 0-1 Juventus (D.Trezeguet 37) I dont know what team is being played at the moment but Wenger has to do his magic subs!

  29. This game was a reminder of what to come and how teams will line up against Arsenal. Juventus reminded me of Boro last season they closed all gaps at the back and hit on the counter and as usual we don’t seem to have an answer for this tactics but with presence of Fabregs Clichy and RVP the result would have been different. I hope they will start today against Madrid.Madrid are not very defensive so we sholud see a good game.Despite the loss I thought we played well specially in second half Ade should’ve scored.He was booed and rightly so just to keep him on his best behaviour next time.Once he starts scoring then he will be forgiven and things will go back to normal.All players did well apart from the defence once again they showed some naive defending at times Trezeget keeped peeling off Sendreos and Jourou and they just couldn’t deal with him.

  30. It was a good game though we lost and due to a bad offside goal but then again the 1 that went in before didn’t seem offside. But for me the main player was gibbs as this was the 1st time i’ve seen him play and hardly put a foot wrong unlike eboue and I hope he’s offloaded soon or kept as a 2nd choice rb. wilshere played well and big nick had a few chances but vela was missing most of the 1st half but he’s got talent. I hope we don’t have another season of creating chances and not scoring and I’ve changed my mind on the whole diaby thing as he’s been playing better than denilson.

  31. Watchin Arsenal play Real.. we still need a holding midfielder. Diaby is not the man for the job, he loses the ball too easily and dribbles into trouble more then he takes pressure off the back four as Flamini did. Denilson had a good game but is not a ball winner. We still need that one player that can be the muscle of the midfield for the squad to be complete.

  32. The of yesterday angaist Juventus was nice but coach Wengar needs to amonish the supporting defenders. if not Arsenal won’t be successful again this season.

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