20 players get a run out as Arsenal draw 1-1 with neighbours Watford (plus goal)


LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 14: Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal, Arsenal substitutes and members of the backroom staff look dejected during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Brighton & Hove Albion at Emirates Stadium on May 14, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Arsenal commenced their pre-season preparations with a discreet friendly match against Watford, which concluded in a 1-1 draw. Manager Mikel Arteta and his team have returned to the Colney Training Ground, displaying unwavering determination to mount a strong challenge for the Premier League title in the upcoming season.

Although not all players have resumed training yet, those who are present have been diligently working towards reclaiming their peak physical condition. The friendly encounter against Watford witnessed an unexpected turn of events as the Championship club managed to take the lead against the run of play late in the first half, as reported by Arsenal Media.

During halftime, Arteta made nine changes to the team, resulting in renewed energy and a change of fortune for the Gunners. It was Marquinhos who emerged as the hero, finding the back of the net and scoring an equalizer just ten minutes into the second half.

With the final score settling at 1-1, Arsenal had the opportunity to assess their squad and fine-tune their strategies in preparation for the forthcoming campaign.

In my view, the primary focus at this stage is for the players to regain their fitness, and the results of these friendly matches hold less significance. The priority lies in providing valuable playing time to as many players as possible, regardless of the final score. These matches also serve as an opportunity to experiment with various formations, incorporating both established and new players, with the aim of adding an element of unpredictability when the season commences.

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