The 2013 Emirates Cup ended in disappointing fashion for Arsenal as a Didier Drogba-inspired Galatasaray side came from behind to win 2-1 against the Gunners in the tournament’s final fixture, and, in doing so, claimed the trophy.
There were very few positives to take from the weekend from an Arsenal perspective, although Aaron Ramsey was largely impressive in midfield in the first-half today, whilst several youngsters who remained with the first-team from the Asia Tour received run-outs at some stage over the weekend, with Gedion Zelalem making his first appearance at Emirates Stadium as a 61st minute substitute.
The 16 year old midfielder, who was hugely impressive during the games in Asia, played some neat, short passes and again emphasised his tactical awareness and appreciation of space, but wasn’t heavily involved overall.
He was joined on the field for the last ten minutes by striker Chuba Akpom, but only after Drogba had scored his second goal to put Galatasaray ahead and continue his phenomenal scoring record against the Gunners. Akpom also featured as a late substitute in the 2-2 draw with Napoli yesterday, but on both occasions was forced to operate in a wide role, indicating that he may have to bide his time for regular substitute appearances following the acquisition of Yaya Sanogo.
Sanogo himself was not overly impressive on his Arsenal debut, as, despite playing a couple of impressive passes and demonstrating his adroit link-up play, the French striker squandered several inviting opportunities to score his first goal for the club.
Serge Gnabry, meanwhile, started against Napoli and played the first 56 minutes, indicating that he may well be part of Arsene Wenger’s plans for the first half of the campaign at least, especially with Ryo Miyaichi having suffered another injury which is likely to keep him out for two weeks.
Ignasi Miquel, too, could be part of the squad this year given the current lack of cover at both centre-back and left-back, but the young Spaniard doesn’t seem eminently suited to the latter role, and was caused numerous problems by Drogba today.
Goalkeeper Damian Martinez was on the bench for both fixtures and remained unused throughout, but will also be hopeful of earning a permanent promotion if the club do not sign a new goalkeeper before the transfer window closes.