Today we take the pitch against Cologne in our last pre season friendly. Arsene’s pre season routine has been upset by the tour of the Far East and the games played there excluded a number of first teamers and most importantly our new signings were left at home to settle in to London life, and find their way around London Colney.
The games in Asia came early in our pre season preparation, clearly we were not match fit, and the games were used as part of the pre season training regime.
The trip meant the cancellation of the Emirates Cup and so we are left with one game to show where we are before the start of the new Premier League campaign.
I have no idea how we will start today, and I don’t think Raddy will be any the wiser come next Saturday for the real kick off against Sunderland. Thats good for two reasons:
1) It demonstrates a new strength in depth.
2) Our opponents will not have a clue either.
I guess the big question is will van Persie feature, my guess is he won’t want to, but Wenger might just make him. If van Persie refuses or plays without commitment it will make it clear to us whether we should keep him or not.
The defence pretty much picks itself when Sagna is fit, but I think today we will see a half each at right back from Jenkinson and Coquelin, for me I hope it’s Jenkinson.
The midfield three of Arteta, Song and Cazorla again picks itself.
It is up front where the questions are asked, any three of Walcott, Podolkski, Giroud, Gervinho, van Persie and Oxlande-Chamberlain could start, and it wouldn’t be beyond the realms of possibility for Arshavin to feature at some point.
This is the final assessment of the team before next Saturday but we should remember it is still a pre season, anything that happens today does not set the tone for the rest of the season, unless of course its a 10-0 win and then I will be rushing down to my local Bookies to put £100 on Arsenal to win the title.
I might just do that anyway as the squad is looking talented and has an experience to it that we have not seen for sometime. I never had an issue with the youngsters we signed and played but there were times where I worried that they were learning off each other and that meant they were going to suffer in their development, the arrival of Arteta, Santos and BFG brought an experience to the squad, this has been added to further by the arrivals of Podolski and Cazorla. These older players who have seen a lot more in football can help the youngsters and bring more responsibility to the team (and also remind them just how lucky they are to turn up at a club with the facilities of Arsenal).
Enjoy the game.
(PS Thanks for the title Chas)
Written by Gooner in Exile
And here are the thoughts of oz gunner who also had a great title
RVP’s attitude stinks but we’ve got Cologne
Today we play our last pre-season friendly, and all I can say is…about bloody time. It’s as though the off season gets longer and longer. Will he sign or won’t he? Will RVP be here for the start of the season or is he off to Man United/City/Juve/whoever will pay his high demands? Song to Barca or just his agent trying to get him a new bumper deal? I for one am sick of it. Let’s play some football!
I’m not too sure what to expect from today’s game and whether or not we can take much from the starting line-up. I think Arsenal will keep his cards to his chest and use it as one last chance to get some run in to player’s legs. I can’t wait to see Giroud, Podolski, and Santi get a run out and just what they are going to bring to the team. I’d like to see Gnabry and Eisfeld continue with their emergence and get a little game time because both have come with big wraps this pre-season.
How or what involvement RVP has on the game could answer a few more questions. If he sits on the bench for most/all of the match I think we will all start to think it’s a bit like the Cesc scenario, with us protecting him for potential buyers. Personally I think we hold all the cards in this. Man United can’t come up with more money (it’s just all masking their terrible share price drop and keeping the fans of their backs), so he will have to have a blinder of a year otherwise teams won’t be willing to hand over the money for his wages next season. Here’s hoping he has a change of mind and re-signs mid-year and we win it all.
Anyway let’s all enjoy the run out.
Prediction: 0-3 We will be too strong for the division two team
Written by oz gunner