Colorado Rapids 0-3 Arsenal: Five things we learned as young Gunners win pre-season opener


Arsenal got their pre-season campaign off to an ideal start with a 3-0 win over Colorado Rapids.

The Gunners played a youthful side and did not call on the big guns until late on.

But they barely had to get out of second gear, with a comfortable win and some impressive individual performances.

Bukayo Saka, James Olayinka and new-boy Gabriel Martinelli all got on the scoresheet for Unai Emery’s men.

Mesut Ozil, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette all had late cameos with the game already won.

Here’s five things we learned from their pre-season opener in the United States.

Arsenal ran out 3-0 winners in their pre-season opener against Colorado Rapids

Calum Chambers has a future at Arsenal

He wore the armband which perhaps shows what Unai Emery thinks of him.

Surely with Arsenal ’s defensive issues and after Chambers’ impressive season on loan at Fulham , he has a future at Arsenal.

He is definitely worth a go. Solid, dependable, good character. What’s not to like?

Gabriel Martinelli (middle) bagged a goal on his Arsenal debut

Gabriel Martinelli is a prospect

Amid all of the furore over Arsenal’s transfers – or lack of them – the 18 year-old from Brazil looks a nice prospect and a potential snip at £6m.

Martinelli started brightly on the right wing in what often looked like a 4-4-2 but was tenacious, busy and strong. He was rewarded for his lively display with a 60th minute goal

Unai Emery’s side were backed by plenty of fans in the US

Arsenal fans have such a passion

The Dick Sporting Goods Park has an 18,000 capacity, a big chunk was Arsenal fans and many had travelled over from England with familiar chants of “Ooh to be a Gooner” ringing round.

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This lot will fight for their club, makes themselves heard and their demand that the owner shows he cares has not gone unnoticed or unheeded by the hierarchy.

Tyreece John-Jules was amongst the young prospects to impress

The kids are alright

It was a very young team with seven teenagers in the starting line-up and yet they looked physically strong, well disciplined and well drilled tactically.

They were not overwhelmed by more experienced opponents and, at this time when Arsenal have limited funds to spend, it would be fantastic to see a new generation give the fans something to cheer.

There has not been a wave of kids since George Graham brought through the likes of Rocastle, Keown, Adams, Hayes and Thomas in the 1980s.

Arsenal need a similar success rate now.

Eddie Nketiah proved why he should remain part of the first-team plans

Eddie Nketiah should not be loaned out

There has been talk about the 20-year-old being loaned out and he nearly joined Augsburg in January to get games. No doubt about it, he was frustrated not to be allowed out.

But there is a reason behind Unai Emery’s decision and that is Nketiah is clearly making enough progress to stay and be in Arsenal’s first team squad.

He has grown in both stature and confidence, is an excellent finisher with a good touch. No wonder Bristol City want him on loan, but is that the right choice?

Yes, he may struggle behind Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubamyeng but it looks like Arsenal are looking for a winger rather than a centre forward because Nketiah is coming through.

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