It’s a massive preseason match that awaits AS Monaco. As part of the Emirates Cup, the Rouge et Blanc head to England to face Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium, this Wednesday at 7 p.m. (French time). Premier League runners-up last season, the Gunners will be a big test for Adi Hütter‘s side, ten days from resuming Ligue 1 against Clermont, on Sunday, August 13. A few hours before this clash, here is everything you need to know about Mikel Arteta’s men. Présentation.
📆 Découvrez le planning de la semaine de nos Rouge & Blanc avec en point d'orgue le déplacement à Londres pour y affronter @Arsenal ⤵
— AS Monaco 🇲🇨 (@AS_Monaco) July 31, 2023
A return to the top level 🔙
Plagued by lack of results since the departure of Arsène Wenger in 2018 -the best finish was fifth – Arsenal were back to their best last season. Led by Mikel Arteta, the Gunners finished second behind the champions Manchester City, making life difficult for them, and even taking an eight-point lead on the evening of the 20th matchday and marking a big victory in the derby against Tottenham (2-0).
Leaders from the third to the 34th matchday, it was then that their experience, the injuries of certain key players as well as the lack of rotation that made the difference against a Citizens side calibrated to win the Premier League title, as in their duel on the 33rd matchday. That evening, Pep Guardiola and his men proved unstoppable, easily winning 4-1.
An impressive summer of recruitment 🤤
To compensate for their limited ability to rotate, the leaders of the North London club then decided to strengthen during this summer transfer window. To date, three talented players have been brought in, namely Declan Rice from West Ham, Kai Havertz from Chelsea, and Ajax central defender Jurrien Timber.
A new chapter begins. pic.twitter.com/ha5Btd8I2h
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) July 15, 2023
In terms of departures, only Granit Xhaka is worth mentioning. Present in the team for seven years, the Swiss midfielder has indeed decided to change direction and join Bayer Leverkusen. He will be a significant loss as he had played 37 Premier League scoring seven goals and as many assists. For his part, the former Marseille man William Saliba, important in the scheme of Mikel Arteta, has extended his contract.
A rise in power in this preparation 📈
Returning to training on July 3 with a squad that has not changed much, the Gunners have already played five games, one less than AS Monaco. After two draws against Watford (1-1) and Nuremberg (1-1), they headed to the United States where they first crushed the MLS all-star team (5-0), before losing to Manchester United (0-2).
Finally, for their last match across the Atlantic, they managed to get the better of Barça, after a match full of goals (5-3). Kai Havertz notably stood out by scoring for the first time with his team, while Leandro Trossard added a double. It is therefore with confidence that they will approach the match against the Rouge et Blanc this Wednesday.
The Arteta influence, between verticality and pressing 🐾
With an average of nearly three goals per game (2.8), Arsenal have maintained their pace of last season and scored 88 goals – the best attack in their history over a season. And this performance owes much to Mikel Arteta. If his beginning at the club had been complicated, he managed to impose his methods and to emancipate himself slightly from the style of play of Pep Guardiola, his mentor.
Always a fan of playing a possession game (60% average last year), he has also added verticality and constant pressing, allowing the team to recover second balls (they ranked second in most tackles made in the opposing third behind only Leeds with 118).
Players to watch 👀
Martin Odegaard 🌟
Captain of the Gunners last season, the Norwegian is an essential member of the squad. Endowed with an excellent sense of passing (fifth-highest total of successful key passes in the league with 76), he finished top scorer for his team, scoring 15 goals. According to the DATA’FOOT Twitter account, he was the second most prolific midfielder in Europe, excluding penalties.
Bukayo Saka 🌪
On the left wing, the 21-year-old Englishman continued to rise last season, reaching double figures twice with 14 goals and 11 assists in the league. Brimming with liveliness, Bukayo Saka was one of the Premier League players to create the most plays leading to a shot (fifth with 161).
🥉 Third place in our Goal of the Season vote…
🔥 Bukayo Saka v Manchester United
Enjoy THAT strike from every angle 😍
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) June 13, 2023
Declan Rice 🐙
Arriving this summer from West Ham, the English international (43 caps, 3 goals) played two preseason matches this summer. A master in the recovery phase, he made 334 recoveries last season, the second highest total across the five major leagues, notes Opta.
Bonjour, Declan Rice a récupéré 334 ballons en Premier League cette saison, 2e meilleur total des 5 grands championnats derrière… Stijn Spierings (336).
— OptaJean (@OptaJean) June 29, 2023