Hi everyone. I am back from my holiday and am here to bring you updates on what was a busy week at Arsenal for many reasons.
Let’s start with the Emirates Cup last weekend. Arsenal came from two goals behind to draw 2-2 with Italian side Napoli on the opening day of the tournament. Arsenal’s goal’s came from French duo Olivier Giroud and Laurent Koscielny. Galatasaray beat Porto 1-0 in the opening game of the tournament leaving them top at the end of day 1.
Porto beat Napoli 3-1 in the first game on day 2 of the cup and that meant Arsenal simply had to beat Galatasaray in the final game of the tournament to lift the Emirates Cup for a 4th time. All was going to plan at half time, as the Gunners lead 1-0 thanks to a bizarre goal from Theo Walcott. Unsurprisingly, Didier Drogba, a player that haunted the Gunners during his successful career at Chelsea, spoiled the party by scoring two late goals which gave the Turkish side the trophy.
Transfers - Until the transfer window shuts, there will be plenty of speculation about who is coming and going from each and every club in the league. Arsenal appear to be the main club that have plenty of players leaving, but none coming in. A week on, Yaya Sanogo remains Arsenal’s only signing of the summer. With a week to go until the Premier League season kicks off. Rather disappointing it must be said. Let’s hope that we won’t be let down come transfer deadline day.
Whilst nobody has joined the club, some have left in the past week. Gervinho signed for Roma in a deal believed to be worth around £8m. The Ivorian international had a disappointing 2 seasons at the club. Consistency was his issue and he seemed to lack confidence in front of goal, which isn’t much use when your job is to stick the ball in the back of the net.
Another striker that has failed to find form in England is Marouane Chamakh. He appears to be staying in England, with newly promoted Crystal Palace closing in on a deal to sign him. He reportedly had a medical at Palace on Friday.
Spanish youngster Ignasi Miquel joined Championship club Leicester City on a season-long loan deal, leaving the Gunners very short at the back. The only fit CB’s Arsenal have right now are Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker. If one of those gets injured, Bacary Sagna will have to step in. If he gets injured as well, I really don’t know. It is a position Wenger needs to address fast.
In terms of incomings, there are possibilities. Much of the talk in the back pages has been about Luis Suarez possibly joining the club from Liverpool this summer. Suarez stated his desire to join Arsenal in an interview given in the media, but Liverpool insist he isn’t for sale. Arsenal seem intent on continuing their pursuit of Suarez though. If no big names are brought in then the fans will not be happy after a summer full of promises from the club.
Rumours online are suggesting that Bayern Munich’s Luis Gustavo could join for £14m. Some rumours today suggest that the deal is close, but rumours are rumours until they’re signed. Plus the source for that ‘deal’ is The Metro, which isn’t the most reliable source either. Time will tell.
There are also players that have been on / currently are on trial at the club. Alharbi El Jadeyaoui had a 2 day trial at the club earlier this week. He is currently contracted to French Ligue 2 side Angers. Colombian midfielder Sebastian Perez is currently on trial at the club and featured in today’s friendly against Manchester City.
That brings me nicely onto that topic. Arsenal played Manchester City in their final pre-season friendly today in Helsinki. Arsenal won 3-1 with goals from Theo Walcott, Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud putting the Gunners in a comfortable position before Alvaro Negredo scored a consolation goal for City in the 79th minute. An impressive result, but it doesn’t change the fact that Arsenal need to strengthen their squad by the start of September.
UEFA Champions League Draw:
The draw for the play-off round of the Champions League qualifying stages was made on Friday. Arsenal were paired with Turkish side Fenerbahche. Not the easiest draw we could have asked for, but I believe we have enough in us to get through over two legs. I hope we do anyway!.
Arsenal will play the away game first on 21st August and then face them in the return leg on 27th August. It will be a busy month for Arsenal with Aston Villa and Fulham just before each of the two legs and then Tottenham at home on 1st September, it won’t be easy for Arsenal.
Tags: Aaron Ramsey Alharbi El Jadeyaoui Alvaro Negredo Arsenal Didier Drogba Emirates Cup FC Porto Fenerbahce Galatasaray Gervinho Ignasi Miquel Laurent Koscielny Leicester City Luis Gustavo Luis Suarez Man City Napoli Olivier Giroud Pre-Season Roma Sebastian Perez Theo Walcott UEFA Champions League