By Walter Broeckx
And so we are entering the final day of our Asia tour already. Today another game and more about that in a few moments of course. But first let me see at what the tour has brought us so far.
Looking at the pictures, the first two visits were more of the sight seeing type and the selling of the image of the club. The fans both in Indonesia and Vietnam responded in an amazing way to the visit of the club we love and they also seem to love. I think the running man will be the ultimate example of love and devotion for the club. And the way the players responded and gave the running man not only the run of his life but also the day of his life is something that brings a warm feeling to the heart.
The games or should I say “show” was highly entertaining. I think lovers of beautiful football in Asia will have been charmed by our performances. I know the opposition is not of PL quality but still we did put up a nice show with high scores in the first two games. The third game against a team that is in the middle of their competition was also a good game. We had enough chances to again win it with a higher score but maybe because of the building up the training work the freshness was a bit gone at times.
Let us have a look at the players; I’m not going to talk about the established players now but focus more on the youngsters. Akpom (spelled correctly this time?) has shown that at 17 years old he seems to be a highly promising attacker. Even being sick didn’t stop him from scoring a few goals. I don’t think he is already ready to go in to the PL this season but maybe a good loan spell to a club that is playing some football could help him a lot. Of course Wenger might decide to keep him at Arsenal and work on him in the training ground and bring him in the League cup games and then later on loans him out. But sure looks promising.
Other youngsters like Eisfeld and Ollson had their chances but didn’t catch the eye that much. Certainly their performances (which weren’t bad mind you) were somewhat overshadowed by the ssssshhhhh man as some other blogger called him the other day. And with this ssssssshhhh he meant that we shouldn’t praise him too much as it might put the other big clubs “on alert” or even on “red alert” [and let us not forget full red alert] as the common parlance of the football blogging community would have it.
What can you say about Gedion Zelalem apart from that he looks to be something special? But I will join in the sssssshhhhh action from the rest and not turn too excited about him.
So all in all the football was good, the players were fine and some caught the eye. And today we will be playing the final game of the tour against the Urawa Red Diamonds.
What do we know about them? Well as good as nothing. I think that red is their main colour. Don’t know if they have anything to do with diamonds but their name seems to point at it. Oh and we do know that currently they are 4th in the J-League. Five points behind the leaders who are Hiroshima. Interestingly the team that are in 3rd place the Yokohoma Marinos just played Manchester United and the Japanese team won with 3-2.
By not having anything interesting to say about our opponents let us focus on Arsenal. Some players had a minor injury and were doubtful for this game. Koscielny, Szczesny and Oxlade-Chamberlain didn’t play against Nagoya and have some knocks and bruises. Koscielny is the biggest doubt and in case of doubt at this point of the season: don’t play him at all would be my way of thinking. And I think the same goes for Szczesny and The Ox. Just let them rest and heal their wounds a bit. The season is still in front of us and will be long and hard so better not to take any risks at the moment.
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So I think the starting line up will be very similar to the one we used against Nagoya. And that would mean this formation
Jenkinson – Sagna – Per – Gibbs
Arteta – Ramsey – Rosicky
Theo – Giroud – Ryo
I think we will give Ryo another start, after all this is Japan and focusing on having Ryo out there is maybe a wise move. My biggest worry is that the Japanese camera men will all be zooming in on Ryo at every convenient and inconvenient moment of the game. And it drove me nuts in the earlier game and I fear a repeat of this. Please could someone inform them that we would rather see the ball moving while it is in play than looking at a player who isn’t even near to the ball. Cross our fingers.
And after the interval we will see the likes of Jack working further on his fitness after his ankle operation at the end of the season. And Podolski to carry a bit of the weight of the team amongst the youngsters. And well probably we will see the ssssshhhh player making his appearance at some time. And probably we will see him doing his passing routine on a few occasions where one masterful pass opens up a complete defence. I’m starting to drool already.
The final game in the Asia tour is about to start in a few hours time. I ‘m looking forward to it because well I look forward to each Arsenal game. Hope we finish the tour on a high so the players can fly home in a really good mood and spirit. And that the spirit was good can be seen on this short clip
- Is football as we know it about to change dramatically?
- There is a good reason not to buy anyone this summer.
- Nagoya Grampus – Arsenal, again, again and again
- The drive to stop chanting in the stadia (warning, contains a number of naughty phrases)
- Only 28% of last season’s red card decisions were correct.
- Vapour transfer or real? The Suarez deal
- Untold knows all about our incoming transfers…er…
- How is your love for the Arsenal
- Woolwich Arsenal: The club that changed football – Arsenal’s early years
- Making the Arsenal – how the modern Arsenal was born in 1910
- The Crowd at Woolwich Arsenal FC: crowd behaviour at the early matches
The sites from the same team…
- Referee Decisions – just what are the refs up to this season?
- The Arsenal History Blog from the AISA Arsenal History Society