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3 takeaways from an Arsenal goal fest in Nurnberg

By Rob Worthington (Deputy Editor)

47 days since Arsenal last took to the field of play to pummel Everton 5-1 at the Emirates, the Gunners returned to the pitch to score 5 again.

It wasn’t the smoothest of rides for Mikel Arteta’s men, 2-0 down at half-time. But a Gabriel Jesus inspired side came to life in the second half to beat Nurnberg 5-3 in Germany.

As I delve into the Arsenal’s triumph, the entirety of this piece’s content must be caveated by the level of opposition the Gunners came up against today.

Nurnberg finished 15th last season in 2. Bundesliga, and despite having already played 3 games prior to today’s pre-season test against Arsenal, did not expect to get a result against the north London outfit.

Without further ado, here are 3 takeaways from the first 90 minutes of action we saw from Arsenal this season.

1. Deadwood – further confirmation of what we already know

Ahead of the game, I spoke with my fellow editors Alfie Culshaw and Daniel Finton about how we were excited to see some of the squad’s fringe players given some further chances in pre-season on the Arsenal Cannon Podcast.

How bad some of those players are had been easily forgotten. After spells away from the club, the likes of Hector Bellerin, Pablo Marì, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, and Reiss Nelson returned to start the match today.

To be frank, why they, among others, have previously been deemed unfit to play for Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal was quite blatant today.

With few rumours suggesting any particular outgoings are imminent, Arsenal’s sales team has a task on their hands to thin the squad further ahead of the new season. Some of the players confirmed what we already knew today, they’re not quite good enough for the Arsenal.

2. Jesus will elevate Arsenal

Moving on to a brighter point, a scintillating Arsenal debut for Gabriel Jesus. The Brazilian arrived in north London earlier this week after months of rumours linking to the club, and his first outing in red and white failed to disappoint.

After a sluggish first-half performance from Arsenal, Jesus rejuvenated Mikel Arteta’s side.

Within the first 90 seconds of his first appearance for the club, he grabbed a goal, neatly combining with Eddie Nketiah and smashing the ball into the near corner. He played a crucial role in 3 of the 4 following goals on the day too.

It was his mobility which caught the eye though. It’s been a long time since Arsenal have had a striker who can create something out of nothing, and Jesus can do just that. Again, only Nurnberg, but the signs are very positive.

3. The kids are alright

Every pre-season, Arsenal have a few up-and-coming talents excite the Gunners' faithful, and it would appear this one will be no different.

Relatively late in the match, Mikel Arteta made a number of changes to his Arsenal team, with Charlie Patino, Arthur Okonkwo, Flo Balogun, Salah Oulad M’hand, and new signing Marquinhos entering the fray.

A few of those players managed to catch the eye. Marquinhos looks a nimble athlete with an explosive turn of pace, Oulad M’hand appears creative even if not much came off for him today, and Charlie Patino oozes class.

Patino, who saw glimpses of first-team football last season, has that nonchalant ability to take an opponent out of the game with the slightest of body feints. He is a rare talent, and having bulked up a bit, expect him to feature fairly regularly this season, especially in the early stages of the Europa League.

An entertaining win for the Arsenal

It wasn’t plain sailing, but Arsenal managed to turnaround a two-goal deficit to make what was a difficult contest a relatively comfortable 5-3 win in the end.

Arsenal fans will be hoping for a bit more defensive solidity as pre-season progresses, but if Arteta’s side can maintain the attacking fluidity seen in the second half today, they’ll be a joy to watch this season.

It’s a pleasure to be reporting on the greatest football club on the planet once again.

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