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Arsenal New Season Preparations

Hello again. I trust you are all OK?

Pre-season is now in full swing in Asia after victory vs Malaysia XI, 4-0 thanks to goals from a Ramsey penalty, Walcott, Vela and a rare goal from Rosicky. A 1-1 draw vs Hangzhou Greentown followed.

Pre-season is always a nervous yet exciting time for everyone, from the fans to the players to the board. It is the time to see how well new players cope and adapt to different styles of play with their new clubs and fans get too see their new heroes in action for the first time.

These coming few months should tell Arsene Wenger what needs improving, and how much money he needs to spend in order to improve that position and make the team as solid as possible.

Looking back at last season, I think the place that needs improving most is defence.

With Gael Clichy being sold to Manchester City, we must and should be looking at how to replace him. Do we buy a left back in the transfer market such as Leighton Baines? Or do we move Thomas Vermaelen across?

My favoured option would be to buy someone because last season showed just how much we missed Vermaelen’s presence at centre back when he was out of action for virtually the whole of last season. We can’t afford to take that risk again if we want to win trophies, keep Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri, attract other top players and become one of the most successful clubs in Europe and the world. That shows just how important he is at centre back.

The biggest problem however, which has been mentioned by sky sports countless times, is the mental stability within the team. At times we go seven or eight games without defeat, we then suddenly lose one or two and our heads drop. This means we go a few games without victory and we lose ground in the title race and lose focus in the FA cup and champions league.

If we want to become Champions League and Premiership winners on a regular basis, then we must pick our heads up immediately after a defeat and get on with things.

If you are reading this now and thinking, ‘what about goalkeepers? Surely they are a problem?’ then your answer is that I do not believe Arsenal have a problem in terms of goalkeeping at all. As a goalkeeper myself, I know full well (and I am sure other goalkeepers can back me up on this) that a goalkeeper is only as good as the defence in front of him or her.

Look at Chelsea for example; there goalie is Petr Cech but look at the back four in front of him in the likes of Ashley Cole, John Terry (he is a prick I know but there is no doubting his talent) and David Luiz.

Man United also had a strong back four last season when Van Der Sar was in goal. They had Vidic, Ferdinand and (another prick) Evra. All good quality players in front of a talented goalkeeper.

If you look at Arsenal, we had a very talented goalkeeper in Wojciech Szczesny in goal, but in front of him was Djourou who had just returned from a lengthy injury, Squillaci who looked unstable and unsettled, Koscielny who was young and not much of a presence. At wing back we had Sagna and Clichy but when one of them wasnt around, we had BIG problems. Eboue to start is not a natural right back anyway and cannot defend to save his life, and Kieran Gibbs who, as much as I like him, is unreliable and tries too hard to push forward. As much as I like and will support all those players, that happens to be the harsh reality.

Now do you see what I mean by a good goalie always has a good back four in front of him?

Finally, I would just like to thank everyone who read my last post and gave me a few tips on how I can improve.

Anyway, that’s enough from me and I will hopefully write again soon!

Take care

By Liam Mercer

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Posted by on July 17, 2011 in My Blog Opinions, Pre Season

 

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Arsenal Squad to Asia Confirmed: Almunia, Bendtner Left Out

Today, Arsenal have confirmed the squad that will be travelling to Asia for a pre season tour. There are no real suprises, however Manuel Almunia and Nicklas Bendtner have been left out of the squad, fuelling speculation the pair are on their way out of the Emirates. Youngesters included are Emmanuel Frimpong and Ryo Miyachi. New signing Carl Jenkinson is also included. Emmanuel Eboue, Cesc Fabregas, Abou Diaby and Lukaz Fabianski are all left out with injury. Gervinho has not completed his move to the gunners yet and therefore will miss the trip. Samir Nasri has been included in the squad, despite speculation that Manchester City have secured his services.

Here is the full squad list:

Wojciech Szczesny
Vito Mannone
Sebastien Squillaci
Johan Djourou
Kieran Gibbs
Carl Jenkinson
Laurent Koscielny
Andrey Arshavin
Marouane Chamakh
Ryo Miyaichi
Armand Traore
Thomas Vermaelen
Bacary Sagna
Theo Walcott
Alex Song
Jack Wilshere
Tomas Rosicky
Denilson
Aaron Ramsey
Emmanuel Frimpong
Samir Nasri
Carlos Vela
Robin van Persie

 
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Posted by on July 9, 2011 in Pre Season

 

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Injury News: Fabregas out of Asia Tour, Eboue Doubtful, Miyachi In Squad

Wenger, speaking to arsenal.com has said Cesc Fabregas will not be travelling with the Arsenal squad to Asia due to a muscular problem. Emmanuel Eboue is a doubt for the trip after injuring his calf. He said,

“We will take the strongest possible squad, Fabregas will not travel because he still has a small muscular problem. He will stay and practice here. There is a doubt about Eboue who has done his calf.”

Wenger has also said Ryo Miyachi will be in the squad for the tour. The Japanese forward enjoyed a impressive half season on loan for Dutch club Fenyoord, and has impressed Arsene Wenger so far in pre season training, which started on Monday. He said,

“He is on the plane because he is quality, We want to give him a chance to show his quality and I think everybody will be curious to see him play in Asia.

“I rate him personally [and] it’s a good opportunity for him to show that he has the talent to play for Arsenal Football Club. He has an opportunity to show that [he is good enough for the first team].

“He has done extremely well at Feyenoord and we have so many good reports. It will be interesting to see him play.”

 

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Key Dates For The New Season

July 13: Pre-season friendly – Malaysia XI (a) 1.45pm

July 16: Pre-season friendly – Hangzhou Greentown (a) Kick-off TBC

July 23: Pre-season friendly – FC Cologne (a) Kick-off TBC

July 30: Emirates Cup – Boca Juniors (h) 4.20pm

July 31: Emirates Cup – New York Red Bulls (h) 4.20pm

August 5: Champions League Play-Off draw

August 13: Start of 2011/12 Premier League season

August 16/17: Champions League Play-Off first leg

August 23/24: Champions League Play-Off first leg

*note all times are in UK time


 
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Posted by on June 4, 2011 in Pre Season, Schedules

 

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