Here are three things that could have been missed from the draw against FC Nurnberg in Arsenal’s first game of pre-season.
Mikel Arteta’s side were held to a 1-1 draw in Germany during their opening game of pre-season ahead of the 2023/24 campaign. The Gunners took the lead in the first-half through Bukayo Saka when he unleashed a low driven shot into the bottom corner. Arsenal looked a lot more comfortable in the first 45, than the second when Nurnberg found an equaliser through a Karl Hein mistake.
The game was mainly an opportunity for the players to get a step closer to full match fitness and here are three things that could have been missed from the 90 minutes…
Martin Odegaard’s limp
Arsenal’s captain, Martin Odegaard was due to start the match as he was in the starting line-up ahead of kick-off. However an injury in the warm-up would mean Fabio Vieira would take his place. Mikel Arteta wasn’t too worried in his post-match press conference regarding the injury, however the player was seen limping as he left the ground yesterday evening which will be a concern for the Gunners.
Martin Odegaard played every Premier League game, bar one, last season and he was one of Mikel Arteta’s most consistent players so having him available and fully fit from the start is very important.
Who got the best reception from the fans?
New signing, Kai Havertz easily got the best reception from the fans when he was introduced onto the pitch at half-time. The German by far got the loudest cheer as he entered the pitch to make his Arsenal debut after signing from Chelsea for a fee of £65million earlier last month.
However it was Folarin Balogun who also received a large amount of support from the Arsenal fans in Germany yesterday. While he was warming-up in the first-half waiting to come on, his name was very loudly being chanted by the fans in the stadium which I’m sure he would have enjoyed. The young striker should have scored in the second-half after he hit the post and missed another great chance late on.
Ethan Nwaneri’s excellence
At just 16-years-old Ethan Nwaneri didn’t look out of place in the senior team and that’s the best compliment I can give him. He looked really comfortable in the midfield, pulling off tricks and making some excellent passes/runs. I can definitely see now why Mikel Arteta was desperate to give him his Arsenal debut at just 15-years-old.
Keeping Ethan Nwaneri at the club beyond this season is a huge plus for the club after fighting off competition from Chelsea and Manchester City.