Return not in the sense of the team coming back into form (though we did, in a way with that result against City) or returning to where we belong (up above them lot), but a return to where they were last pre-season, to Malaysia. It’s another opportunity not only for fans in Malaysia but also the surrounding countries to join in and witness our beloved team in person. Not many have the privilege to fly all the way to London to catch a game.
Arsenal directors (Mark Gonella and Angus Kinnear) are in Kuala Lumpur since yesterday and today officially announced that the first team will be here in the last week of July. They have deliberately chosen dates that are a period apart from the European Championship and hence no fears of first teamers not coming. Unless the Olympics wreck havoc on those plans. It was wonderful to listen to the remarks from the directors that Arsene Wenger and Robin Van Persie themselves requested that they return for another tour. The warmth that they received in the last visit being the instigator of that request.
Among the other comments worth picking up on are in the following points, though all of it are toeing with the company line and not really new stuffs that we haven’t heard before;
- Regarding Lukas Podolski. Arsenal always do things the right way and not in front of the public, especially when it comes to transfers. But rest assured that we’re doing our utmost in making things happen and we’re sure that things will fall into place sooner rather than later.
- We do admit that our focus in recent years have been on the relocation and building of a new stadium. We’ve lost out to Manchester United in terms of securing and expanding our global network especially in the areas of marketing. We are working very hard behind the scenes to make up for lost time. In some ways, this also applies to the playing squad as well.
- After our last tour, we realised the huge interest in Arsenal all around the world. We are committed to these tour plans and will continue to pursue it each season. We want to repay fans and show our gratitude for their continuous support to Arsenal Football Club.
The tour is still a good few months ahead and let’s not think that far yet. We are still in the mix of things in the Premier League and there’s still plenty of matches to consider. With Sp*rs losing yesterday, the game against Wolves is a chance for us to open up a 5 points gap to them. Which I think we absolutely have to take because then, it allows room for error. Not that I want/think that we should drop points in other matches but it allows for it nonetheless. God knows how sometimes we can have off days like that one we had at Loftus Road.
The win against City is made better by the fact that it changes the sequence of things for us. It was vital that we do not go back into a slump at this stage of the season and we needed to bounce back immediately after dropping 3 points against QPR. Previously we would have felt sorry with ourselves on go without winning another game for 2 or 3 matches. The trend being bucked lies truly in the fact that we defended better and we defended as a team.
Thomas Vermaelen is right. We always talk about how the famous back five (with David Seaman included) all had doctorate when it comes to defending. But they never did it alone. They had help from the midfield. David Rocastle, Paul Davis, Patrick Vieira and Emmanuel Petit just to name a few. It’s about everyone recognising their role and responsibilities within the team. Knowing when to drop back and cover for positions that team mate has left open. Something which can be harness with an ever present side.
What has been great to see in recent months has been the atmosphere at the Grove. Wojciech Szczesny spoke about it here. The fans there has been absolutely amazing. If it persists, no once could ever put the Grove and library in the same sentence, without a “not” in there. Players do respond to that kind of support. Cameras do not pan out to fans leaving early anymore because frankly, those numbers has dropped significantly. Something which I hope will continue.
Let’s end this with a few transfer related news. I have no idea where this come from. It’s an really rubbish piece. Per Mertesacker will not leave Arsenal next season, that much I’m certain of. Even if Jan Vertonghen was to join us, it would not be in place of Mertesacker. For all his faults, Mertesacker has blended into the Premier League very well and is an integral part of the squad.
Then Carlos Vela seeks a move away from Arsenal and name Spain as his preferred destination. He has done well this season with Real Sociedad on loan. He’s beginning to find the back of the net and that’s not a big surprise. In his last stint with Osasuna, he was putting away a couple and had a good season there. Primera Liga seemed to suit him more than the Premier League, a less robust league where flair is allowed much more time on the ball. I can’t see how he’ll fit back into our squad, so best of luck to him in Spain.
That’s all for ya lot. Enjoy the rest of your Tuesday.