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Time to flock back to the stadiums

Arsenal returns to action today as we take part in the Markus Liebherr Memorial Cup with 2 matches of 45 minutes action. First against Anderlecht, then against Southampton. It will be a chance to see some emerging talents and Steve Bould sitting beside Arsene Wenger, delivering messages to the boys. But more importantly, it means club football is back.

Almost 2 months of break has passed, while interjected by an enthralling European Championship, I have missed The Arsenal. It won’t be the first choice line-up and the team still doesn’t know whether their captain will remain for the upcoming season but I’m still glad to see them back in action. As can be seen here, it will be a mixed selection of experience, returning loanees and the next generation.

For Kyle Bartley, Henri Lansbury and to a lesser extent, Vito Mannone; it’s a chance to show that they still have a future at Arsenal. Perhaps not particularly in this match alone but over the course of the season. A lot of attention is placed on Kristoffer Olsson, although that may be down to my perception and the fact that I’ve got a fair few Swedish friends that I follow on Twitter. However, I’m not too sure of Arsenal’s description of Thomas Eisfeld. A “German star”? Too soon.

There’s not really much that can be said of tonight’s game. I think we can safely assume that 2 different sets of players will take to each game with the others gaining some minutes as substitutes. For the senior players, it is more of an fitness building exercise rather than for result/performance. But for the junior players, it will be about their performance. Hopefully there will be some who will shine tonight.

In other news, Arsenal have announced its new ticket pricing scheme for the upcoming season. 3 categories instead of just 2 from previous seasons. I’m not sure about the categorising method used, strange that 5th place Newcastle only classed as ‘B’, the same as the recently promoted West Ham. No doubting that a match against the latter team will have more attendees due to the proximity. Perhaps that is what also went through the team that decided on the grading.

I won’t go into the dissection of those prices in details because I’m sure it has been covered in real depth by other blogs. Instead, I’ll just touch a little bit on international fans like myself. Red member is probably what we have, apart from the those really rich ones that can have a season ticket despite not being in the country for most of the time. The new pricing will mean a larger outlay, when people like me go for a match. Chances are, more tickets for the category C matches will be snap up, thus making it harder for a red member to get one. Which leaves the category B and A which are more expensive and against bigger/better teams. The former negates the latter.

In any case, we’ll see how that goes in the coming season. At least, there will be more bums on the seat for smaller games. Thus, helping to generate better atmosphere and support for the The Arsenal. No trouble for big games to achieve that. Plus, we all know how the team have shown in recent seasons that we need more push against smaller teams that the bigger ones.

That’s about it for today. Welcome back Arsenal.

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