By Bulldog Drummond
So what’s the news?
Sanogo has gone to Ajax, as Bellerin signs a long term contract. (Mr Wenger said, “Hector is a very mature, very focused player, and I am confident he will have a good season again.”)
Elsewhere, Jenkinson goes back to WHU, Cech to make his first appearance today, Dortmund don’t want to sell Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Arsenal ‘remain hopeful over Arturo Vidal despite Bayern Munich interest’ and Arsenal ‘enter into transfer talks for £40 million Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema’ (both from the Metro). Salt and pinches of might be in order.
Today is the second (or last, depending on which newspaper you read) prelim match before the Emirates Cup, and we can make a slightly better stab at the teams than for the last match not least because Arsene Wenger said after the last game,
“Today I left nine players out, they will be involved on Saturday. I will rotate a bit because the week after we play two games again.”
Bellerin Chambers Koscielny Gibbs,
Santi Cazorla Ramsey,
Walcott, Ozil Oxlade Chamberlain
Here’s the full squad, in case you want to slot anyone else in or guess the subs.
Chuba Akpom, Mikel Arteta, Hector Bellerin, Santi Cazorla, Petr Cech, Calum Chambers, Francis Coquelin, Dan Crowley, Mathieu Debuchy, Mathieu Flamini, Gabriel, Kieran Gibbs, Olivier Giroud, Alex Iwobi, Laurent Koscielny, Emiliano Martinez, Per Mertesacker, Nacho Monreal, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, MesutOzil, Aaron Ramsey, Jeff Reine-Adelaide, Wojciech Szczesny, TheoWalcott, Chris Willock, Jack Wilshere, Gedion Zelalem
So Cech will now play for Arsenal (or at least there will be some questions if he doesn’t) and will also presumably play in one of the two games next weekend.
Meanwhile because Arsène Wenger also said, ‘If I find an exceptional player to strengthen the squad, I will do it’ everyone is scrabbling around for players we are going to sign.
Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema is top of the blogs for chatter on the basis of that. “Arsène Wenger has refused to rule out a £40m Arsenal move to sign the France striker Karim Benzema from Real Madrid, but has denied that a deal is imminent,” is typical of the comments. Mind you he has refused to rule out becoming a window cleaner after he leaves Arsenal, but it doesn’t mean it is not going to happen.
“I don’t know where that story comes from, but that is not happening at the moment,” Mr Wenger said in Singapore, but I don’t think he was talking about climbing ladders outside houses.
Centre-forward has not been his priority – he has predominantly scouted central midfield and central defence – but that could change if Danny Welbeck’s knee injury persists or Theo Walcott does not reach agreement on a new contract.
And that’s about it except in the Telegraph which tells us that the debate about ticket prices has intensified since Man City failed to sell all their tickets for a match at the Emirates, and Arsenal fans gleefully took up all the spares. Which isn’t really news at all.
The pre-season series thus far – 2013 will appear sometime over the weekend.
- 1996: The pre-season games as Rioch was sacked
- 1997: Before the second double – (updated)
- 1998: Back to sausages after the caviar.
- 1999: Games against Monaco and Saint-Étienne
- 2000: The big transfers but a poor pre-season
- 2001: Campbell arrives, and the prelims to the third double
- 2002: Gilberto’s first game in the tri-team tournament
- 2003: Before being unbeaten (revised & expanded)
- 2004: The Preseason in the midst of the 49
- 2005: The end of Highbury and the Arsenal-Chelsea bust up
- 2006: Pre-season and the opening of the Emirates
- 2007: A hectic round of transfers and a full schedule
- 2008: Beating Real Madrid
- 2009: The media and Uefa against Eduardo
- 2010: Koscielny joins the crazy gang in Warsaw
- 2011: Chaos and disaster, but amazingly Arsenal pull through
- 2012: Nigeria abandoned, Akpom & Bellerin make their mark.