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Arsenal 0-1 Monaco: Sound and fury

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Well, that wasn't nearly as fun as yesterday was.

Michael Regan

0-1 Radamel Falcao 36'

The past two days really show you what the preseason is. Yesterday we played well, scored a ton, and everyone had a bunch of fun. Today we played poorly, didn't score at all, and it wasn't all that fun. But the real difference between the two was fitness and preparation. Yesterday's squad was primarily made up of guys who didn't go to the World Cup, and instead spent all summer training and preparing for the season. They've been together for a while, and it showed. Today was mostly players who will be starting for us when the season gets underway, and the squad included several players who haven't been in the Arsenal camp all that long, for whatever reason. And it showed.

And this is why preseason results, good and bad, signify nothing - or at least not very much. Laurent Koscielny and Calum Chambers have never played together before and they've been training together for less than a week. On a free kick (the result of a Flaminian tackle by Jack Wilshere) Koscielny played Falcao offside, and Chambers played him on. So Falcao had a free header, and there's your goal. In a month, they'll know each other better, and if they play together again, that mistake will be less likely to happen.

That's an example, but you could see over the past two days how disjointed things can be when everyone's not on the same schedule. We have two weeks to get there before things start to actually matter.

I guess we should also talk about Martin Atkinson? Arsenal should have had a penalty and a chance to get the goal that would have won the all-important Emirates Cup, but instead of a spot kick and a red card to Monaco's keeper, Atkinson gave the foul outside the box and an inexplicable yellow card. The foul was about a yard into the box, and the keeper was the last man, so it was the wrong call on two counts. It was baffling. If this was an actual game, I'd probably be putting on camo face paint and looking up Atkinson's address.

But it was the Emirates Cup, so who really cares?