Arsenal’s pre-season suffered a bit of a knock as they fell to Brentford in a 2-1 friendly defeat, in a game which many people didn’t even know was happening. The Gunners were coming off the back of an 8-0 demolition of Boreham Wood, and while we can’t take all too much from pre-season, it’s certainly interesting to see that they were turned over by a Championship side who aren’t even considered to be realistic promotion contenders this season.
News of the game was leaked a few hours before kick-off with the Gunners supposedly stating that they wouldn’t be revealing details of the friendly because according to them, it wasn’t official. New boss Unai Emery used the game as an opportunity to give most of the squad a run-out, with several high-profile players featuring in the encounter.
Brentford went 1-0 up and apparently played some really good football across the 90 minutes, only for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to level things up with a delightful effort. Aubameyang seems to be in fine form prior to the season kicking off after he scored a hat-trick against Boreham Wood, and with a summer of rest courtesy of him not competing at the World Cup, he could be a real force to be reckoned with in the Premier League this year.
The Bees eventually went on to win the game and while Arsenal may not consider it to be a serious friendly, the Championship side certainly should. It’s interesting to weigh up what pre-season means for a lot of teams, because on one side the Gunners won’t really care about this, whereas on the other, Brentford will probably see this as a big confidence booster.
Arsenal will have to prepare for a very different task in the lead-up to the domestic season kicking off, with champions Manchester City being their first game of the league season.
All eyes will now turn towards the transfer window once again, as the Gunners attempt to add to their ranks even more so than they already have. They’ve strengthened their midfield and their defence is already looking a lot better, but Emery likely won’t be happy until he feels like he’s got great strength in depth to choose from.
Does this result matter at all?