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Aluko on Target But Blues Beaten at Arsenal
Saturday, 2nd Jul 2022 16:14

Sone Aluko was on target but Town were beaten 5-1 by a stronger than expected Arsenal line-up in a behind closed doors friendly at their Colney training ground this afternoon.

Both teams fielded different sides in each half with the Gunners side featuring those who weren’t involved in June internationals and a more senior team than had been anticipated, certainly in the first half.

Town had Wes Burns back after being given a break following his involvement with Wales, but Elkan Baggott, who had been away with Indonesia, wasn’t in either XI.

George Edmundson, Kayden Jackson and Tyreece John-Jules, who recently signed on loan from the North Londoners, are not yet ready for involvement having ended last season with ankle, hamstring and quad injuries respectively.

Arsenal took an early lead through Eddie Nketiah, then midway through the first half Sambi Lokonga made it 2-0. Nketiah netted his second and then a third to complete a first-half hat-trick.

After the half-time wholesale changes, Folarin Balogun made it 5-0 before Aluko pulled one back for the Blues with a low shot into the bottom corner from the edge of the area.

Town now travel to Loughborough University for a week’s training with manager Kieran McKenna having said there will also be a team building aspect to the trip.

“We’ll do a few bits, that’s obviously the point of going away as well,” he said following last week’s 5-0 win at Needham Market.

“We have great conditions at Playford Road at the moment, especially with the Suffolk weather.

“We have everything we need from a football perspective there, but what you don’t get is the 24 hours a day in each others’ company, the meetings early in the morning or late at night and we’ll do some team bonding and things during the day, which I’m sure in the course of the week will help develop our spirit and our culture.

“We’ll do some different things off the pitch, so we’re looking forward to this week and it’ll be good to spend that extra bit of time together where you really can connect with people a little bit more.”

Arsenal first half: Leno, Bellerin, White, Mari, Cedric, Partey, Maitland-Niles, Lokonga, Pepe, Nketiah, Nelson.

Arsenal second half: Okonkwo, Walters, Kirk, Awe, Sousa, Smith, Oulad-M'Hand, Patino, Hutchinson, Balogun, Flores.

Town first half: Walton, Donacien, Ball, Ndaba, Vincent-Young, Harper, Morsy, Penney, Chaplin, Hughes (Armin), Ladapo.

Town second half: Hladky, Woolfenden, Burgess, Leigh, Burns, El Mizouni, Evans, Humphreys (Armin), Edwards, Aluko, Pigott.


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Vancouver_Blue added 16:29 - Jul 2
Not a great result, but I don't read much into these games

martin587 added 16:32 - Jul 2
The two key factors in these games are match fitness and injury free.

TimmyH added 16:35 - Jul 2
'Stronger than expected Arsenal line up' - still looks largely 2nd string to me other than 1 or 2 forget this one :)

danger_matt added 16:41 - Jul 2
Playing quality opposition like this will be valuable learning. Test yourself against the best and you learn where you come up short.

leftie1972 added 16:43 - Jul 2
Have to disagree with you somewhat TimmyH. The first half side looks pretty well known to me apart from a couple of names I’m not familiar with. Eddie nketiah and folarin balogun are clearly in form and playing with confidence!

blues1 added 16:55 - Jul 2
Timmyh. 6 or 7 of that 1st half term are 1st team squad regulars. Why would we need to forget this result? Game had nothing to do with the result. Purely played to get another match under the belt. Clearly see you already reading something into preseason results. Results are totally irrelevant. Have no bearing on the season whatsoever.

Nobbysnuts added 16:57 - Jul 2
Best brush this one under the carpet and hope know one noticed..... not great

OwainG1992 added 17:05 - Jul 2
Look at that first half 11 for Arsenal!
Ridiculous quality compared to our decent league one team.
Minutes in the legs is the main thing.

itfchorry added 17:18 - Jul 2
When Mick went up to lift the FA Cup -


terryf added 17:23 - Jul 2

As most have said it's all about fitness and trying out different ideas at the moment.

If we can get in a couple of quality players in for lwb and cf we'll be fine. Just a little concerned about john jules quad injury. Could be a few weeks before he's up to speed.

Lets look on the bright side though we will not be playing Arsenal first match of the!!

Jeff_winger added 18:07 - Jul 2
Timmy H are you having a laugh.
There are players in that first half that have played international football for Spain, Germany and Portugal not as one off bit regular.

Their striker first half got 10 goals for arsenal first team last season.

This result is what I would have expected given their strength

TimmyH added 18:32 - Jul 2
Rumbled a few feather with that comment....half that 1st half side of Arsenal we know of the others defo 2nd stringers. I suppose we are to Arsenal now what we are to Needham Market last weekend, a good work out and no injuries but won't do much for the confidence.

JimInGreensboro added 18:57 - Jul 2
Did better'n Nodge the last time they played them. COYB!

runningout added 19:04 - Jul 2
You do have to take these defeats seriously and realise where we are lacking. Don’t respect anybody in any league or in any country. I’m sure our players are cheesed off at poor result. We maybe in League 1 but we have got to have better outlook

Kropotkin123 added 19:08 - Jul 2
Thought we beat Needham Market 7-0! :)

jas0999 added 19:28 - Jul 2
Although the 7-0 win last week was good and it’s always great to win, arguably KM will have learnt more from today. That was a strong Arsenal side, particularly first half. Today will have demonstrated where we need to improve.

chepstowblue added 19:44 - Jul 2
Let's keep telling ourselves its all about the result when we win and the minutes under the belt when we get a mauling. 4s,5s,6s and 7s are always likely against this type of opposition. Our consolation goal being the only surprise. Never nice to see but no big issue, and Bolton is all that matters. Hopefully they go a bit easier on us than last season !!

pg888 added 19:47 - Jul 2
Are people serious realise where we are lacking?! We effectively played a premier league 11 a week into pre season with a team that clearly isn’t our starting eleven….

blueboy1981 added 20:18 - Jul 2
As usual some people dismiss such a result - let’s just hope it has no bearing on what lies ahead - shall we ???

grumpyoldman added 20:37 - Jul 2
blueboy1981 after this result how far are we behind other teams in League 1? Until the league actually start they do not matter one iota to where we finish in the league

ringwoodblue added 21:07 - Jul 2
Don’t expect to win against such quality opposition but with defence being one of our key strengths, I think conceding five goals is a tad concerning.

blueboy1981 added 21:09 - Jul 2
grumpyoldman - NOW is no more than an indication, but with 16,000 Season Tickets apparently sold - many of those will expect to hit the ground running, early points matter otherwise confidence soon turns another way.
I hope for much like many, but yet to be convinced that enough has, or is being done, to escape at last from this ghastly Division 3.
There’s some tough teams around us that look more than useful, it doesn’t get any easier.
As yet, I’m not sure we’ve spent a Single Penny - but off loaded a few.
Is this all enough thus far ?? - time will tell, as always !!

TimmyH added 21:20 - Jul 2
and we know how many top sides play in the summer 'warm-ups' - not getting out of 1st gear!

Rolosmith added 22:16 - Jul 2
Some strange comments on here... Do you really expect a league 1 team, who finished mid table last term to actually compete with any Arsenal XI? Nketiah earns 100k a week... We have a league 1 squad and people need to realise we are a million miles from even being decent Championship side, let alone competing with a team who finished 5th in the prem last season. Get over it people!!!

peewee added 07:50 - Jul 3
Tho a win would of been nice but pre season is fitness/stress testing, long as it helps see overall that what matters

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