Last week we saw Arsenal somewhat bizarrely set up in a 4-4-2 formation.
It’s not so much that the Gunners don’t have the players to play that way, it’s just that Mikel Arteta has not and probably will not ever field his side like that ever again.
So with that in mind it was reassuring to see the Spaniard return to his tried and tested 4-2-3-1 on Saturday at Ibrox with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang up top.
Despite the heat and Arsenal’s relatively low fitness levels there was also plenty of pressing from the Gunners which is perhaps a sign of what’s to come.
Set piece problems
Arsenal added to their coaching stuff earlier in the summer after the departure of set piece coach Andreas Georgson who joined Malmo.
“Yeah, we had a situation in the summer with Andreas [Georgson], where he had the possibility to leave to his country,” Mikel Arteta explained.
“He had different reasons to do that and I understood that situation, so we needed to recruit somebody.
“After looking through what the best solution would be, a person that I know was on the market, was available, is someone whose expertise are incredibly useful and valuable for us. He’s joining us. His name is Nicolas Jover and I’ve worked with him before at City.”
The Gunners were much improved at defending set pieces last season but struggled when it came to scoring from corners and free kicks.
A similar story played out over the past two pre-season friendlies with Arsenal conceding three goals from set pieces.
Jover will have his work cut out ahead of the new campaign as he looks to improve Arsenal’s set piece strategy.
Faith in the goalkeeper
Arthur Okonkwo started his second consecutive pre-season game and will be hoping to be third choice shot stopper this season.
The youngster made an error in his first match against Hibernian but recovered against Rangers to put in a decent performance.
This was a more senior first team line up than the previous match, with the likes of Omar Rekik and Harry Clarke not involved altogether.
Arteta’s decision to start Okonkwo and give a second half run out to Karl Hein will benefit the confidence of both players, as they look to battle it out this season.
Newcastle are confident of signing Joe Willock on loan, football.london understands.
The Gunners are open to letting the midfielder leave but are keen on preserving his market value, with a new contract not off the table yet.
Willock returned from a groin injury to play a part in the second half against Rangers.
He played in a deeper midfield role and thoroughly impressed, but it remains to be seen whether he will get any first team opportunities this season following the imminent arrival of Albert Sambi Lokonga.