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Pre-season kicks off with a win + Arteta communication anticipation

Morning.

So we played our first game of pre-season last night, beating MK Dons 4-1, and scoring all the goals in the process. I watched the first half, didn’t see the second, and as ever with games like this there’s not a huge amount to be read into them. First and foremost this was a fitness exercise ahead of the weekend when we face Liverpool in the Community Shield. Still, there were a couple of interesting things.

We got our first look at William Saliba in an Arsenal shirt, for one. With all due respect to last night’s opponents, he’s obviously going to face much more challenging opposition in the Premier League, but you can see what’s going on with him. He’s tall, quick, and good on the ball, his passing was excellent. What I liked most about that was how much intent he put into those passes: the weight of them. Early days, of course, but positive.

Also, the inclusion of Ainsley Maitland-Niles was interesting in light of reports this week which suggested his move to Wolves was almost done. It doesn’t mean he won’t leave, but it suggests that there’s nothing quite as imminent as the stories would have you believe. If he was on the cusp of a move to…