Monday, 30 July 2012

Wenger admits trio are off -Crucial 48 hours for Cazorla -Afobe's loan?

Morning Gooners.

So the club's tour of Asia has come to an end with a draw in Hong Kong against Kitchee. We went behind twice but goals from Theo Walcott and Thomas Eisfeld saw us finish the tour with one win, one draw and one defeat.

The first half was incredibly poor. We couldn't get our passing game going and the home side certainly came out of the blocks firing. But the second was a much better 45 minutes for us. If it hadn't been for some unlucky finishing, we might have won the game. I liked the look of Chuks Aneke - he seemed to always have time on the ball and Gervinho who by the looks of things is going to have a better second season than his first.

The problem the manager had with this game especially was it was less than 48 hours preparation time after the match in China with Manchester City. And some of that time was spent flying to Hong  Kong. Throw in the commercial and sponsors activities and there was very little time to get on to the training pitches to prepare.

I think it's good that we're breaking new ground and letting our fan base in Aisa see the team in the flesh. However I'm not sure how good it is preparation wise for the forthcoming season.We've left our two new signings (Podolski and Giroud) in London with want away captain Robin van P€r$i€. Two of our best defenders (Mertesacker and Koscielny) are also at Colney and then there are the injured: Rosicky, Sagna and Wilshere.

The manager has organised a training camp in Germany for us to attend prior to our game with Cologne but there is just one game left in pre-season as a strong opposition couldn't be found to play us this weekend coming in a behind closed doors game.

It all leaves preparation for the forthcoming season a little bit short, which the manager has admitted.

He said:

"The players who were out here will have had enough games but some players will have only one game. 
"I decided to have one game behind closed doors to try and get a good opponent but at the moment it will be behind closed doors against ourselves. 
"I have organised a training camp in Germany ahead of the Cologne game. It is a little bit unusual for us."
There is not much that can be done about it now. We're heading into the season not where we want to be physically and in terms of team cohesion. But there are still 20 days before we kick off the 2012-13 campaign at the Grove.

The manager has admitted for the first time that three of his fringe players are to leave the club. We all thought Nicklas Bendtner, Sebastian Squillaci and Ju Young Park wouldn't be part of his plans for the forthcoming season. But now he's said it.

The Frenchman admitted:
"Bendtner, Squillaci and Park will be on their way to go somewhere.  
"Arshavin, it depends. We have to sit together and talks. He could still have a future at the club." 
I think the Arshavin situation is an interesting one. If he is motivated correctly, he would make an excellent impact substitute. I don't think there is anyway he'll get near the starting line up baring injuries and suspensions because his work rate is just not up to it. But he could prove to be a useful squad player.

Meanwhile it appears we're heading into a crucial 48 hours in our bid to sign Santi Cazorla. Malaga need to sort out their debt problems before the end of the month to continue to participate in La Liga next season.

Arsenal have made a £16m bid for the Spain international who has agree personal terms with us already. The deal will be one of Arsene Wenger's priorities when the team arrive back in London today.

Elsewhere, the Daily Mirror report that Bolton are keen on signing Benik Afobe on a season long loan. I've been impressed with what I've seen of him on tour. However I'm not sure the Championship is where he needs to be. A loan at a Premier League club would probably be a better option.

And finally, if Robin van P€r$i€'s future is not all about the money - why are his people asking for him to be on the same £220k a week Wayne Rooney is on at Manchester United?




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