Arsenal - Emirates Cup 2009
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Emirates Cup 2009

I was in a less familiar and slightly more international crowd at the Emirates Cup last year. After chatting with a Juve-supporting Italian couple from London behind me in the queue outside the shop entrance, I picked up the stuff I wanted to get and lined up again at the cashier counters after a few German youngsters who had flown in to London to support Hamburg. Sitting next to four pretty animated Spaniards, in their white replica shirts and also 'Real Madrid: Campeones 31' T-shirts, in the East Stand then completed my experience in the quite special crowd that the Emirates Cup drew to the Grove for the second time in a row.

This summer, you might see a similarly diverse crowd there as the third Emirates Cup is going to be held from 1st to 2nd August. Again, Arsenal have invited three leading teams from three nations to make it a good spectacle in the otherwise painfully boring summer. Although we're not talking about competitive action, for three years in a row, the combinations of names have looked capable of at least matching the appeal of a typical group in the Champions League group stage. Our experiences also tell us that these teams came to us to test themselves against other quality sides and did manage to serve up some good entertainment to the crowd and TV audiences for a pre-season tournament.

Come August, Glasgow Rangers will be the first Scottish team to grace the Emirates Stadium. Atlético Madrid will be the third Spanish side to participate in this pre-season tournament, after Valencia and Real Madrid. Paris Saint-Germain won't be new to us, their last visit coming from the inaugural edition of the same tournament in 2007. But I guess their participation comes as no surprise since they're sponsored by the same airline that supports this tournament and our stadium with cash (hence Hamburg last year presumably).

The club's Chief Executive Ivan Gazidis said he was 'delighted' because 'Atletico Madrid, Rangers and Paris Saint-Germain all have great pedigree and will contribute to an exciting weekend of pre-season football.

'Following the huge success of the Emirates Cup tournaments in 2007 and 2008, we are delighted to once again be offering supporters the opportunity to watch two high quality matches each day over a weekend, for as little as £25 a ticket per day.

'The tournament will of course, also provide a very competitive level of preparation for all the teams ahead of the 2009/2010 season.`

The fixtures are as follows:

Saturday 1st August 2009
Rangers v Paris Saint-Germain (2pm Kick-off)
Arsenal v Atletico Madrid (4.15pm Kick-off)

Sunday 2nd August 2009
Atletico Madrid v Paris Saint-Germain (2pm kick-off)
Arsenal v Rangers (4.15pm kick-off)

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The Journalist

Writer: Gooner Lou Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday May 8 2009

Time: 4:36PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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After many barron seasons of not having pre-season matches at home The Grove cup is pretty nice. I have a couple of Rangers supporting friends, might see if they wanna come down for this!!
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08/05/2009 16:51:00

Hopefully I will be there.
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08/05/2009 17:07:00

I don't watch Scottish football except the old firm games really. Rangers' approach looked a bit negative to me - their UEFA Cup final performance against Zenit last year springs to mind. Atletico and PSG play football and I can't wait to see Aguero play against us!
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08/05/2009 17:11:00

Not a great line up is it? Has the gloss worn off of this for the continent's bigger sides or have the club tried to fix it so we have a better chance of winning?
Little Dutch
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08/05/2009 17:36:00

i think its because the big teams are taking advantage of the lack of a summer international competition and touring
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08/05/2009 17:51:00

Looking forward to watching Atleti and I'll be in Europe in the summer so I've already started planning to be there for this two-day tournament.
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08/05/2009 18:11:00

This is looking like a pattern. Arshavin supposedly has a virus and won't play against Chelsea on Sunday:
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08/05/2009 18:17:00

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08/05/2009 20:40:00

Lads, Rangers will flood the place :-)
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08/05/2009 20:42:00

I thought that LD. Lame lineups comparing to the first 2. Valencia & Inter. Real Madrid, Hamburg & Juventus. Although i would quite like to watch Aguero & Forlan
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09/05/2009 01:00:00

Quite a few clubs have organised this sort of 2-day tournament these few years. Wembley is copying our successful model (which we copied from and improved on Ajax tbh) - the Telegraph says they've got Barca, Celtic and Egyptian & African Champions Al-Ahly. So I guess it also explains why it's a challenge to get real top teams to come to the Grove:
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09/05/2009 07:05:00

Oops sorry, and Spurs at Wembley, their favourite stadium.
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09/05/2009 07:06:00

I was a little disappointed about the lineup. It won't be the same buzz as going to the Juventus and Real Madrid games last year. I am looking forward to seeing Aguero. Though somebody reliable at News of the World told me he would be playing in an Arsenal jersey come August 1st ;)
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09/05/2009 08:40:00

Someone, please gimme whatever GK is having! It beats funny ciggies anyday.
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09/05/2009 10:18:00

watched rangers today - they are the epitome of anti-football, none of their lot would get in our under 19 team
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09/05/2009 23:41:00

Looking forward to The Grove Cup, i'm already trying to store up enough "good behaviour" points which will allow me to go to both days.
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10/05/2009 05:17:00

aahh, A wife problem. Cut the lawn.
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10/05/2009 10:41:00

The gloss has surely worn off. The pedigree of these teams are not close to the other clubs that have visited in the past. I will still watch it, if its on TV in my part of the world, but its not as exciting.
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12/05/2009 13:46:00

The gloss has surely worn off. The pedigree of these teams are not close to the other clubs that have visited in the past. I will still watch it, if its on TV in my part of the world, but its not as exciting.
Report Abuse
12/05/2009 13:46:00

It's not a terrible line up though and all the teams have history and a pedigree behind them. Yes previous tournaments had "higher" class teams but I doubt many teams would turn down the opportunity to play at the Emirates, considering how gracious we have been to visiting teams this season (Villa, Hull, Utd, Chelski etc) lol
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13/05/2009 09:13:00


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