Thursday, 18 July 2013

Giroud and Akpom impress -Wenger "alert" over Fabregas -Vermaelen woe -Suarez latest

Morning Gooners

Another great workout for the squad yesterday with a good result to match. Scoring seven goals is becoming a theme and not something I could ever get bored of. I think the thing I was most impressed with was the fact we imposed ourselves more on our opposition during the first half. Against the Indonesia Dream Team I thought we should have had more efforts on goal in the first 45. But yesterday proved to be different.

And if Arsene Wenger thought the prospect of signing more top class striking options would disappoint Oliver Giroud, he was wrong. The French striker rose to the occasion with a first half hattrick. It was like he was sending a message to the manager that he's prepared to fight for his place.

Pre-season is all about getting match fit and developing relationships with your team mates. Gone are the days when it was all about fitness. The players are expected to keep themselves in top physical condition during the "off" months of the year and come back in a good condition. Clearly that doesn't always happen.

Arsene Wenger wouldn't have learnt too much about his first team players in the game with Vietnam he didn't already know. However it was certainly a chance for the younger players on the tour to make their mark. Chuba Akpom again impressing with two goals. Also to get on the score sheet was Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Ignasi Miquel.

So all in all a good work out. Our next game isn't until Monday in Japan, so the players will get some down time in between training.

Meanwhile the club has been quick to dismiss talk of Santi Cazorla joining Atletico Madrid. There had been reports in his home country that the Spain midfielder had agreed personal terms with the Madrid club. But even if he has - highly unlikely - Arsenal don't want to sell.

The Luis Suarez transfer saga rumbles on. The Daily Mirror reporting we're in pole position for the 26-year-old Uruguayan as Real Madrid won't offer more than £25m for him.

And The Times suggest it is because Real Madird have upped Gonzalo HiguaĆ­n's asking price to €40 million (£37m) that we've gone cold on a deal for the Argentina striker.

Meanwhile the manager has revealed that Thomas Vermaelen could be out of action until October with a stress fracture. It means that he really needs to add defensive reinforcements. We cannot start the season with just Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker as our only two senior central defender.

And finally Arsene Wenger has admitted he's "on alert" should Cesc Fabregas decide to leave Barcelona this summer. However the Spain international has indicated that he'll stay at Barca next season.

That's it for today. Back with more tomorrow.

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