Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Wenger "working" on Cazorla deal -M'Vila and Niang to follow -Henry's return

Morning Gooners.

Pre-season preparations well and truly got away with a very fortunate victory over a Malaysia XI. For a start you cannot read too much into games at this stage of the season. No trophies are won in July. These games are all about fitness and getting a feel of the ball.

It was however a good work out on an awful pitch. We couldn't play our crisp passing game. In fact passing the ball from one man to another was quite difficult on that surface. It was a very bitty game. We had few clear cut chances and those we did create we couldn't find the final ball to beat the keeper.

From watching the game, it was clear that physically we're lacking the ability to play 90 minutes with one team yet, or even 45 minutes for some players. The only player who lasted the whole game was Vito Mannone.

However some of those who were given a run out last night have only been back in training for a few days, so we can't expect too much from them. Last summer there was a totally different set of circumstances - no european championships and no Olympic games - which meant we were able to field much stronger teams.

And considering three of our best defenders and our two new signings are still in north London and not on tour, I though the youngsters did very well to get us the victory last night, even if it was a shot which took a fortunate deflection which won us the game.

Afterwards Arsene Wenger said:

"We played two sides and I felt both did well. The first half was played at a high pace and overall it was a good workout for us against a good Malaysian team.  
"My friend does a good job here because every year they play faster, quicker and stronger. We had to be patient to win the game. But the result was less important than the workout.  
"I think we got the quality of the game we wanted and that is very positive. We got through it without any injuries and it was a good game."

I thought that Abou Diaby and Gervinho played well in periods during the first half, as did Kieran Gibbs and Andre Santos. And in the second period I was impressed with Alex Oxlade Chamberlain and Rio Miyaichi.

The squad left Malaysia immediately after the game and boarded a six hour flight to China, which is where we'll play Manchester City on Friday.

Post match Arsene Wenger was asked about his attempts to bring Spain international Santi Cazorla to the club.

He said:
"We are not close to signing Cazorla. We are still working that out."
The Sun report a bid will be submitted to Malaga in the next 48 hours to bring the midfielder to north London. And they don't believe our spending will end with the successful capture of Cazorla.

Yann M'Vila is still being talked about and an improved offer for Caen's 17-year-old attacker M’Baye Niang are both possible targets.

If we signed all three, we would be in a much stronger position to challenge for silverware this season.

The Sun also report that Arsene has asked for a deadline from the club of August 5th as to whether Robin van P€r$i€ will stay or be sold.

Elsewhere, Wenger reveals the club has fined Emmanuel Frimpong over his inappropriate tweet which haas now seen him charged by the Football Association.

And Thierry Henry has said he will speak to Wenger about returning to the club in some capacity.

Finally, the club has announced that Laurent Koscielny has signed a five year extension to his contract. Which is great news.

That's it for today. More tomorrow.

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