October 13, 2022
Arsenal please stop playing Premier League rivals in friendlies

Arsenal have landed in Orlando for the second leg of their pre-season tour for games against Orlando City and Chelsea. This begs the question: why are we playing against other Premier League teams, especially rivals?

An argument can be made that ‘iron sharpens iron’ and that there’s no way to get back into the English top flight than seeing the teams you’ll see during the season. However, the intensity is too high for meaningless matches.

Pre-season friendlies against our Premier League rivals not necessary

When it was announced that the Gunners would face their London rivals in Orlando, I immediately thought back to a Ruben Loftus-Cheek tackle on Thomas Partey just a year ago. It was a dirty challenge for a game that meant anything, let alone a pre-season friendly. That reckless tackle left the Ghanaian sidelined to start the 2021/22 campaign and Arsenal suffered.

Last weekend against Everton in the Charm City Match was just as intense and physical as a typical game against the Toffees. Dirty tackles like James Tarkowski’s late-game challenge on Reuell Walters, grabbing Jesus’ collar as he ran, and many players doing dubious challenges for the intensity of the game left many questioning why. why we are doing this.

The club can very easily play against quality opponents without the potential injuries of a familiar foe. The game against Nuremberg in Germany was far from the intensity of this match and yet it was still a good opportunity for the players to put their legs under them and the new signings to acclimatize.

If we want to face quality opponents in the pre-season, we have to organize matches with some of the best teams from other European countries. There is no need to risk it in meaningless games against English teams who naturally have an advantage.

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