Writer: Tim Stillman
Date:Monday July 30 2012
Arsene Wenger has publicly confirmed that a new broom will be sweeping through North London this summer, having taken the unusual step of naming and shaming his dogs in the window. It`s something of an open secret that there is driftwood to clear from the squad, with Vela and Almunia already having been moved on and Denilson extending his loan at Sao Paulo.
However, the Gunners boss did hint that Andrey Arshavin may still have a future at the club- at least in the short term. "Bendtner, Squillaci and Park will be on their way to go somewhere. Arshavin it depends, we have to sit together and talk. He could still have a future at the club." With Benayoun gone, Walcott still stalling on a new deal and Gervinho set for another schlep to the African Nations in January, keeping Arshavin could make some sense. I imagine the conversation would focus on the Russian`s contentedness to be a squad player for the final year of his deal, or else as to whether he might like to lay off the steak and kidney pies and try doing a couple of laps of London Colney.
Meanwhile, Arsene also admitted that new signings Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud might not be ready for the new season. Due to the cancellation of a friendly in Nigeria, the Gunners now have only one friendly left and the likes of Mertesacker, Koscielny, van Persie, Podolski and Giroud haven`t played a single minute. With Ramsey at the Olympics and Sagna, Wilshere and Rosicky injured, it leaves a huge hole in Arsenal`s pre season integration.
"I decided to have one game behind closed doors to try and get a good opponent but at the moment it will be behind closed doors against ourselves. I have organised a training camp in Germany ahead of the Cologne game. It is a little bit unusual for us." I have to say I`m really not sure why so many players were left behind. They didn`t necessarily have to play 270 minutes, but surely a few minutes against either City or Kitchee would have done them some good. The chance to train with their teammates at least would have had some benefit. I understand that pre season is a time when you need to see what your young players are made of, but was finding out once and for all that Miquel and Eastmond aren`t going to make it more of a priority than getting Mertesacker and Koscielny in synch with their fellow defenders?
Date:Monday July 30 2012
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