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Arsenal vs. AC Milan, Celtic, Lyon

Ashburton Grove



On Sky

Emirates Cup Preview

After a handful of low key warm-up matches at Barnet and in Austria, the pace picks up for the squad with the fourth edition of the Emirates Cup. While the first three games of this preseason have been fairly pedestrian, Arsenal will need to be sharper in order to lift the the Emirates Cup for a third time in four attempts. Even though the Gunners have yet to be scored on this preseason, the defence has been unconvincing at various times. A strong preformance in this tournament will go a long way in calming some of my fears.

Vital Quotes:

Here is the boss on what this tournament tells him: 'You will see some young players like Emmanuel Frimpong and Jack Wilshere, also the new players like Marouane Chamakh and Laurent Koscielny,' said Wenger at the press conference on Friday.

'It will be good to see them in a competitive environment. That will be interesting.'

Wenger added: 'I will also learn what condition we are in physically, because we have worked quite hard and with two weeks to go it is important that we can last in the games.'

'The third point is how ready are we with our team play? How sharp is our passing, and quick movement off the ball?'

Arsenal Team News:

With only two weeks to go until the start of the league season at Anfield, Arsene already has some injury worries. Bendtner should have never played at the World Cup, and his hamstring has never fully recovered. He will be out for 2-3 weeks. Song and Diaby have brought back 'slight knocks' from their summer endeavors, and Denilson has yet to feature this preseason. Cesc Fabregas is still on holiday after a tiring shift of bench warming for Spain, while van Persie is on a well deserved holiday.

Player to watch: Jack Wilshere

I know this isn't really a creative pick, but Jack was the star of last year's tournament and I hope he can continue to impress in front of the home crowd. His two goals against Ranger was a special moment for everyone in the stadium.

AC Milan, Celtic, Lyon Team News:

Here is a link to the squads for our guests this weekend.

Player to watch: Pato & Lisandro Lopez

There will be plenty of exciting players on hand, but Alexandre Pato and Lisandro Lopez are the two I will have my eye on. Neither we're called upon by their countries for World Cup duty, so they'll be rested and ready to go for the coming season.

Match Prediction

I expect two wins this weekend for Arsenal. We are a better team than Celtic, as we proved in the Champions League qualifier last August. And Milan are just an older version of the team we beat in 2008. Unfortunately, I believe Lyon would have been a much better and more exciting test than the two teams we are scheduled to play.

Next Fixtures:

7/8 (Sat) - Legia Warsaw (a)

The matches will be on Sky in England/Ireland and GolTv in the United States. I hope everyone enjoys the weekend's festivities!

The Journalist

Writer: Brice Coffer Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday July 31 2010

Time: 3:23AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
so it all starts today :) as usual, start of season optimism is dominating my thoughts. i feel this is the season for us, wenger has made two good acquisitions, hope for another CB though. c'mon gunners!!!
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31/07/2010 11:51:00

My first chance to see the Arsenal live this season. I can't wait.
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31/07/2010 12:07:00

Yeah!!! Can't wait. Shame that we have to start with so many out injured, already. But then, it won't be Arsenal otherwise, would it. Wishing the team a good (much better) season, this time out.
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31/07/2010 12:48:00

Let's get this season up and running then!! C'MON YOU REDS!!
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31/07/2010 13:28:00

Looking forward to seeing the boys today, can't wait. Not too bothered about the scorelines, but winning the tournament would be nice. Just wanna see the lads build up their fitness levels, and please God....NO MORE INJURIES !!!!!!
Cockney Rich
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31/07/2010 13:30:00

Celtic has started brightly. They're not letting the ugliness of the Lyon kit distract them.
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31/07/2010 14:40:00

Arshavin looks like he is up for this one :)
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31/07/2010 17:20:00

I enjoyed that match. Typical Arsenal goal, typical Arsenal shooting, typical Arsenal defending. Ahhh it's good to be back. lol. Btw, can anyone reliably inform me, why in all that's holy is Mark Randall still earning a living playing for Arsenal? He's yearly contribution appears to be making a few cock ups in pre-season freindlies before vanishing into obsceurity before coming back next year having made no valid strides in his footballing education. Or in simpler terms ... he is sh**e.
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31/07/2010 18:10:00

Im guessing its due to our lack of players. Had Denilson, Bendtner, van Persie, Csec, Diaby and Song been there he wouldn't have got a look in, Even Eastmond, Lansbury and Bartley are injured.
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31/07/2010 18:32:00

JET was on the bench, why not bring him on? Randall is one of the most distinctly average players I've ever seen. On a more positive note the two new boys looked excellent. Vermaelen and Nasri looked really hungry. Vela was impressive when he came on, and Gibbsy seems to have picked up where he left off. All very promising despite the annoying goal.
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31/07/2010 18:39:00

Besides the queestion wasn't really why did he play, more why is he still even at Arsenal?
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31/07/2010 18:48:00

Hey guys I'm new to this site but i'm really looking forward to being a member of Vital Arsenal.Though back to the article,I am a little disappointed with the draw against Milan and Randall's performance.On the bright side Super Sam and Chamakh looked in good shape and Wilshere put up a convincing performance.
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31/07/2010 18:51:00

Hey guys I'm new to this site but i'm really looking forward to being a member of Vital Arsenal.Though back to the article,I am a little disappointed with the draw against Milan and Randall's performance.On the bright side Super Sam and Chamakh looked in good shape and Wilshere put up a convincing performance.
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31/07/2010 18:51:00

Sorry for the double comment!
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31/07/2010 18:52:00

Welcome Abhi, hope you have a long and enjoyable stay :)
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31/07/2010 19:04:00

Now that was vintage Arsenal. In every sense of the word.
Our new signings performed very well. Seems like the stat about the obscene no. of interceptions Koscielny made last season is true. However, his defending does seem extremely high risk - if he misses an attempted interception, it could spell trouble for Vermaelen. That said, seems like a great signing.
Chamakh looked like he was meant to play for us - extremely good link up play, and always made himself available.
Wilshere seemed to dawdle on the ball a bit too much. Tempo is CRUCIAL to our game and he needs to play faster, decisive football if he wants to become a regular in our side.
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31/07/2010 19:25:00

I don't think I can disagree with any of that sunaadh. Wilshere is an exetremly talented footballer, but he is still very very young, and like Frimpong today, they both just looked exactly like the thing they are, very talented, very young footballers. A bit of experience will go along way to making this two awesome footballers.
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31/07/2010 19:30:00

Yeah I agree with all that's been said so far. The goal we conceded was so frustrating! We had 3 CBs on the pitch and we still couldn't organize ourselves well enough to deal with it! I was especially pleased to see Frimpong play well today. We always knew he was great in the challenge, but it was good to see that he didn't surrender possesion cheaply in a more high-paced game. He showed a bit of naivity in some of his tackles, but that may have been from the understandable over-eagerness to impress. I think he would've convinced AW to make him Song's deputy this season.
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31/07/2010 20:01:00

Ahh! Its been soooooooo loooooong ! Phew!!!
shady gunna
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01/08/2010 00:45:00

Great to hear from Wenger's post-match that Aaron's doing well in his rehabilitation. The boss said, "He started to have a very little jog last week but no ball work as of yet. Short term he will not be available, he will be available again this season but if he is back in November he will have done well. Let's count three months from today."
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01/08/2010 01:26:00

but seriously, barca's antics have been despicable.. Almost felt like commitng murder when i saw cesc uncomfortably being forced to wear their shirt. Shouldnt uefa do sumthin?
shady gunna
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01/08/2010 02:32:00

Koscielny looked a decent player yesterday and he seemed to enjoy playing alongside TV5. Wilshere has benefited from his time at Bolton, and Chamakh already looks to be loving it at Arsenal. Some nice signs of things to come with Gibbs making an effortless return. A fantastic way to spend a saturday. Shirtsleeve order in the Herbert Chapman for much refreshment, then a short stroll to see the boys. Happy days. I enjoyed it so much, I'm gonna do it all over again today.
Cockney Rich
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01/08/2010 05:28:00

Nobody seems to be mentioning Walcott, I thought he did really well when he came on, took on players, utilised his pace....
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01/08/2010 12:01:00

Theo looked sharp but I am really concerned we're just going to get more of the same from him, i.e. lots of pace but not much intelligence or control. He really needs to vary his game and stop just relying on his pace. I can't believe Arsene hasn't pointed that out to him.
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01/08/2010 12:11:00

DBerg & Gooner_Vin, I really like Theo but I have very serious doubts about him EVER making it with us. I have said on here before, that to me, he looks like an athlete who has found himself in a football team. He is a very intelligent young man, I just don't think that he has a ' footballing brain '. I wonder sometimes that if he hadn't have cost 12m, would he still be with us ???
Cockney Rich
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01/08/2010 12:30:00

Yeah I just about agree with your description of him as "an athlete who has found himself in a football team". What worries me more is that I really don't get a sense of determination for improvement when I hear him talk. He's a very mild, well-mannered guy and so maybe he's just not showing it, but he really seems very blase on the subject. Rather than the price tag, I'm worried that it's the ease with which he gets love from the fans, just for being English, and the extreme faith that Arsene has shown in him, which is responsible. Unusually for someone with such little arrogance, I think he's suffering from a great deal of complacency. Hopefully his missing out on the WC will help, and Arsene will need to strike a balance between supporting him and not playing him when he fails to perform.
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01/08/2010 13:02:00

Sorry if I'm repeating myself. But I find Sagna's left foot and Vela's right really fascinating right now!! :D
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01/08/2010 17:43:00

I think that 2nd half was just about the perfect stereotype of a Walcott performance: - very dangerous, caused massive problems, but couldn't find the quality when it mattered most. I'd just like to see some Rooney-style anger at himself when he messes something up. Vela's looking very hungry though, and as Lou said he's using his right foot! It's not looking too bad either... I hope Almunia's performance has put AW off looking at Schwarzer, because that really wouldn't be an improvement.
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01/08/2010 18:15:00

Oh and I think we've learned that Vermaelen has to play. It doesn't matter whether it's with Djourou or Koscielny, but we looked very, very uncertain without him. I'm already missing Sol.
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01/08/2010 18:20:00

I hope today wasn't an indication of how we're going to defend again next season. I lost count of the amount of times Celtic had more players in our box than we did.
Little Dutch
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01/08/2010 19:03:00

I totally second CR, I guess its only because Walcott cost us so much that he is being given chance after chance. He's an average player who puts in superb performances for us in the big matches. Thats about it.
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01/08/2010 19:46:00

Didn't have a problem with Walcott today, he set up 2 goals and was dangerous. Because we don't care about defending it puts pressure on our attackers to deliver and finish every chance we get and allows the pundits to claim we pay the price for being wasteful.
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01/08/2010 20:19:00

Imagine if Theo didn't have his pace as an asset; would he be a PL player?
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01/08/2010 20:30:00

Thought i would compliment arsenal on a good 'attacking' display today, wilshere was quality would be unfair if wenger chooses his foreign lot over him this season and walnut needs to learn how to cross a ball or give a good final product, that was lennons problem 2 seasons ago and he has got better and is a much better player than walcott now so if walcott can do that he will be the complete player. Your defence looked dodgy last 20 aswell need another cb in my opinion.
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01/08/2010 22:04:00

"Imagine if Theo didn't have his pace as an asset; would he be a PL player?" Would he be a professional footballer at all?
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02/08/2010 00:30:00

It's a moot point isn't it? Yes Theo's chief attribute is pace but it's a very good one. That's like saying, "Would van Persie be a Premiership player if he didn't have such a good left foot?" Fact is, Theo actually uses his pace very well and makes very decent runs, he needs to sort his final ball but I think there is so much focus on the lad that he is overly scrutinised. None of our attacking players are faultless on their final ball. I also agree with iceman, that the team puts a lot of pressure on itself by utterly refusing to defend properly. Also in mitigation, Arsenal don't get too many players attacking the 6 yard line, it's often only one player (Chamakh or Bendtner), the rest sort of linger around the edge looking for bits and pieces. It usually means Theo has one player to pick out amongst a sea of defenders.
Little Dutch
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02/08/2010 08:47:00

Possibly, but Theos first touch can be so bad its embarassing. Maybe he is just to fast to be able to control it too.
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02/08/2010 10:34:00

LD, yes Theo does at times have " one player to pick out amongst a sea of defenders ", but he still feels compelled to play the ball into the box on those occassions. He needs to play with his ' head up ' and see the game. I wish he would come inside more and run at the CB's as opposed to being shepherded towards the touchline by a savvy full back. He could be so much more effective with a little more thought process and awareness. His attitude of " I've got the ball...right..head down and run towards the goal line " is largely wasteful most of the time. He is a nice kid, but after years of coaching from AW, he still has problems passing, crossing and finishing. I seriously doubt that he will ever make it with us as I just can't see a ' footballer ' in him. However, I really do hope that he proves me wrong.
Cockney Rich
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02/08/2010 10:42:00

It's just that Theo's completely predictable right now. As soon as he gets the ball, he feels he has to instantly run at 100 miles per hour and it doesn't appear that he's in control of what he's trying to do. At the highest level, speed without control won't get you far. I feel for him because I don't think he's a winger and it's probably the first time he's playing there and having to learn at the highest level. I remember watching a 17 year old Thierry Henry playing for Monaco on the wing and relying mostly on his blistering pace and we all know what a player he turned out to be so let's hope Theo can learn quickly. I'd like to see him play up front off RVP or Chamakh.
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02/08/2010 15:36:00


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