Happy Friday all. I’ll start today with more from one of the breakout stars of last season’s Premier League – our very own, jet-heeled, cockney-Catalan, Hector Bellerin.
The former La Masia youngster, who nailed down the right back role last season, as Mathieu Debuchy spent prolonged periods on the sidelines through injury, has been reflecting on his debut campaign and in particular, his goal against Liverpool.
Speaking to Arsenal Player, he said:
I remember that we were all pretty pumped up in the warm-up. We knew it was a hard game, it was an important game, probably one of the most important games of the season. I remember there was a special atmosphere in the dressing room and we knew how much we were playing for. Everyone in the dressing room was so excited to play the game. Usually when I play I don’t think that much but when I saw that I had the chance to shoot, I shot. I could hear everyone standing up and cheering for the goal.
There were so many players between me and the goal that I couldn’t really see the ball. When I saw everyone standing up and cheering for the goal I couldn’t believe it. Did I really just score against Liverpool at home? It was a great feeling and the fans’ response to make us keep pushing so we got two more goals straight after was something that you feel. You feel the adrenaline that they give you and make you push forward. That’s one of the best feelings I’ve had in my career, scoring the first goal against Liverpool, at home at the Emirates. It was just amazing but the response from the fans and my team-mates made it even more amazing.
Looking back on that game, Bellerin’s goal was obviously vital to our victory. After our dominant, high-tempo start, Liverpool had come back strongly with Patrik Berger’s son Lazar Markovic, fluffing a great opening for the visitors when he over-hit a simple square pass to Raheem Sterling.
Thankfully, we survived and nearing half-time, Hector picked up the ball on the right, fooled the Liverpool defence with a brilliant body-swerve before curling home delightfully with his left peg. I remember thinking at the time, ‘would Bacary Sagna have had the composure and trust in his weaker foot to have scored that goal? Or any of the other right-backs we’ve had in recent years?’
The last one by my reckoning, would have been Lauren. But he would have spanked it inside the near post. The point being, for all of Sagna’s defensive grit, he never convinced in the opposition half and always looked cumbersome in possession. Bellerin by contrast, has the technical quality of a midfielder on the ball and is improving his defensive game all the time. Needless to say, Debuchy faces a real battle to win back his place in our staring line-up.
Moving on and Lukas Podolski’s agent has spoken about his client’s impending move to Galatasaray and revealed Arsene Wenger wanted the 30 year old to stay but couldn’t offer any guarantees over game time.
Nassim Touihri told Bild:
We had very good talks with Wenger. He wanted to keep Lukas, but couldn’t give him a guarantee that he will be starter. That’s why we agreed on a transfer.
Which is hardly surprising given the options available to the manager at the moment. This deal looks like it will be announced imminently, which will free up the number nine shirt nicely, for Yaya Sanogo.
Finally for today, five of Arsenal’s first seven top-flight games will be shown live on television in the upcoming campaign, after the club announced it had received notification of fixture rescheduling from the Premier League. Only the home game against Stoke and the trip to Leicester kick-off at 3pm on a Saturday before the start of October.
See you on Saturday peeps.