Pre-Season almost over.

The meaningless pre-season tour to Singapore is over, the Emirates Cup done and dusted. Just one more pre-season game to go before the real business starts.

I know that “Selling Arsenal” is the reason for playing two friendly games in hot and humid Singapore and luckily we got away without any injuries, but was the long trip worth it? I have my doubts.

The Emirates Cup provided an opportunity to look at most of the first team squad and one or two others and at least it was played in the weather conditions likely to prevail once the Premiership gets started. Although the opposition wasn’t too hot, a more than comfortable 6 – 0 win against Lyon and a much tougher game against Wolfsburg which was won by the only goal in the match scored by Theo Walcott.

One Arsenal youngster was particularly impressive. Jeff Reine-Adelaide looks to have the build, pace and technical skill to make it big in the Premiership. It was from his pinpoint pass that Theo scored. He is only seventeen and a lot can happen in a couple of years but hopefully he can become a star in the not too distant future.

Now it’s on to what I hope will prove to be a more competitive game altogether. The Community Shield against the Chavs. Could this prove to be the match where Le Professeur finally puts one over the charming Senhor Mourinho? How sweet that would be.

Looking at the all-round performance, there is definitely a feeling of confidence in the squad, goals came from a variety of sources, the various combinations in defence all looked sound, Petr Cech had no hesitation in ordering his defenders about at corners.

The transfer window is still open, money is available and Wenger has admitted that he could still make a signing or two, if the right player/ players became available.

All in all the future is looking rosy, I think we could do very well in the coming season, I might just have a bob or two on Arsenal winning the Premiership.

Written by Norfolk Gooner.


85 Responses to Pre-Season almost over.

  1. aizedlittlemozart says:

    good post NG. Greetings one & all. Been a while but vet work has well & truly taken over.
    The varied midfield & attacking combinations were the most interesting aspects of the pre season for me. the team chemistry even without such key players as alexis, danny, ospina & of course ROSICKY was beautiful.
    The young guns were tasty also. Had a close eye on emi martinez, good frame, good shot stopper, woj has his work cut out getting his spot back.
    The signs are good looking, lets go out & smash all comers! The quadruple is on.

  2. Rasp says:

    Thanks NG, great assessment.

    I agree Jeff looks promising as does Iwobe and Hayden – I’m very impressed with these youngsters. I take back what I said about the EC being meaningless a few weeks ago, its a great showpiece for emerging talent.

    Hayden already looks a more mobile option to Arteta should Coquelin get injured or need a rest.

    I sign up to the thinking that we should only be looking at bringing in young talent (preferably snatched from Barca 🙂 ) or top quality. If no top quality is available in the areas we need it then let’s stick with what we’ve got.

  3. PV4 says:

    Like the look of ‘Jeff’ – mobile, strong and a quick brain. Akpom on the other hand looks like a pub player – head down, no vision. I hope we do not persevere with him. Maybe one or two more but I can’t see a ‘marquee’ as there are so few available. Plus, there is no point in buying if they are no better than what you already have. Feel confident that we will be in with a serious shout for the league.

  4. chas says:

    Cheers, NG.

    I think the trip to Singapore had some tremendously positive effects on team spirit.
    Also the hot and humid conditions would be ideal for players just getting back to full fitness with far less chance of muscle strains.

    The Emirates Cup games were both excellent and Jeff plus Alex Iwobi look exciting prospects.

    I can never get too excited by the Community Shield but then again, maybe beating City last year helped us take 4 points off them in the League.
    Maybe we can reserve judgement until we see the result. 🙂

  5. The Cockie Monster says:

    Cheers NG !.

    Three responses as I write and disagree with a couple of things!.

    1st ) I don’t agree that Singapore was meaningless as we have millions of fans overseas who will never get the chance to see our great club, in fact we have more fans outside of Great Britain than we have in Great Britain…probably a 100 million in Nigeria alone !… they deserve a piece of us !….did you see the crowd versus The Posh Scousers ( Everton ) ?……all red, apart from a hand full of Toffees !…..also, if we want to sell this club to keep up with Manshafter, Mansour City and Chavs, then we have to tour (and spend money on the team).
    Lets face it, Mansour City and Chavs weren`t much bigger than Totnumb before they had the money and now….whether you like it or not ….they, by spending, have won numerous trophies to get such overseas fans that they are now possibly as big as us and by them touring (whilst we were doing fitness training in Austria or where ever it was) , this gave them even more fans !.

    The Chavs and Mansour City are above us in the money league….I think it is Deloitte or Forbes stuff… only one way to get back to sniffing at Manshafters backside ( it will take a lot to overcome them !….years of winning trophies ! ) and get above them money scumbags is to win trophies and that will mean spending money on Super Quality players !.
    Arsene thinks he has enough quality, but we all know what a bad run on injuries will do to our season…..history doesn`t lie….don’t take a chance, buy some more SQ Players and virtually guarantee us to be competitive for the main prizes…EPL and CL !…..we are so close and we have the fcuking money ….so I think you can work it our !.

    2nd ) Akpom is only 19 !…..yes, he should have looked up a few times, but, he has skill and pace, the rest will come !.

  6. The Cockie Monster says:

    Anyone else think like me that Jeff resembled a young Mark 2 Diaby ?…….lets hope he has better luck on the injury front !.

  7. RedMJ says:

    I’m with Chas on the benefits of a tour to Asia or any other far flung corner of the world. In a former life I had the benefit of travelling all over the world “on business” and got tired of being asked if I supported MUFC as if they were the only team that existed in England. The EPL is a truly global business now and if we don’t compete effectively off the pitch our on pitch competitiveness will surely diminish. It is great to see so many fellow Gooners enjoying the team and the club as we fortunate enough to have been born in relatively close proximity to them can. Spread the word – world domination beckons!

  8. afternoon all,

    I’m glad to see that the word “meaningless” has generated a bit of controversy, it’s partially why I included it.

    I’m sure we sold a lot of shirts and raised the club’s profile quite a bit, and it was good to see the level of support from the locals. However, from a strictly football sense I think the word has some relevance.

    After watching yesterday’s game, I hope Man City spend £50 million on De Bruyne, there can be no surer way of chucking that sort of dosh down the drain. 😀


    Cheers Norfolk

    I agree with you my ‘in denial green fingered friend’. Life is meaningless. I learned this the day George Graham bought Chris Kiwomya.

    On the plus side, though it means nothing, I agree with Cornwall on the merits of touring, and though we should all embrace the ecstasy of the desolate, that Geoff geezer looks very good.

  10. Vintage Gooner says:

    Thanks NG for an interesting summation of post-pre-season which is filling the trophy cupboard already. Lets hope we can make it a full house with our third “not a real trophy” next week. Certainly it is setting us up nicely for the big kick off.

    I must agree also with Cockie M on the Singapore trip. One of the important money areas where we are improving very rapidly is marketing and I believe pre-season tours are vital to making further progress on this front. It will take a long time to get anywhere close to Man Ure but this approach together with more trophies can make a huge difference.

    I also am in complete agreement that one or two world class purchases each close season will be all that is needed to bring us right into the top world class bracket. I confess though that I initially read SQ purchases as squad and was about to strongly disagree because our cup brimmeth over with good quality squad players and then I realized in context this meant special quality!

    Finally a further word on Akpom. I fear that he is a very focused and very young centre forward and so may have being trying too hard to score. If he gets a chance to settle into his game then his pace and direct skills may yet surprise us. He is certainly worth persevering with at this stage.

  11. wally says:

    “I think we could do very well in the coming season, I might just have a bob or two on Arsenal winning the Premiership.”

    I’ll have some of that, please.

    Liking this squad very much.

    Normally i wouldn’t think much of preseason. That’s the opportunity to test pairings and combinations and see what works. However, getting over the hump that is chelsea could be significant, even in a pre-season match.

  12. RA says:

    Hi NG,

    A nice little Post, but the parochial use of the adjective ‘meaningless’ [having no purpose] is of course absolute twaddle! 🙂

    Cockie and then Chas, summed things up nicely, in that consideration has to be given to the desire of overseas fans and their desire to see their heroes in the flesh, (and why not?) then the club earns some sponsors cash to pay the over-inflated wages of your ‘reluctant to sign’ hero, Theo, and more importantly, the players can play games to get fit without risking muscle strains, rather than having to slog around a running track or do boring routines, and then all of us football starved fans get to see our squad in all their glory, and very enjoyable it was too.

    Every top club in the world does it – leaving you on a branch whistling meaninglessly on your own. 🙂

    ‘Meaningless?’ pah!

  13. The Cockie Monster says:

    Fcuk !……………..a few people agreeing with me !………..not on !, I have a reputation you know !. hahaha

  14. The Cockie Monster says:

    Cheeky fcukers !…… can you compare the two ?………….Rambo`s gave me a bona, where as Lamela`s rabona gave me a ……who gives a fcuk you spud bitch !.

  15. GoonerB says:

    I agree with Cockie 🙂

  16. The Cockie Monster says:

    Fcuk off Cottee !. 😆

  17. GoonerB says:

    Thanks NG

    Actually I really do agree with Cockie on the commercial front of these things.

    On the environment side and how it affects our pre-seasoning conditioning? That is slightly trickier. It could be as you allude to NG that the conditions took more out of them and or weren’t ideal for preperation as they don’t replicate the conditions we face in England.

    The other argument could be that the conditions enhanced their pre-season conditioning in a similar vein to how some athletes train at altitude to improve conditioning. I must point out I don’t know if this is the case though.

    Rushing out for a bit but have more to say and must come back to Red Arnie who replied to moi the other day. I don’t want him to think I am a rude git…Well I am really but maybe more I don’t want him to realise it.

  18. GoonerB says:

    Do you know it has just dawned on me that a certain someone lost in Cornwall has actually changed his blog name to get closer to me (Cockie / Cottee). Anyone else and I am ok with it (don’t mind a bit of stalking to boost my esteem) but, sorry Cockie, it has to be a restraining order for you.

  19. The Cockie Monster says:

    The Cottee Monster !. 😆

    I`m sure I saw this Pirate in Penzance last Friday !.

  20. RA says:

    Oh, come on out, En Gee, and face your detractors like a man!!

    Wimps do not write Posts – so come out fighting. 😀

  21. RA says:

    Cock Lost in Cornwall – is that a euphemism, Cockie? 🙂

  22. RA says:

    I did not realise that the Wormy One was a Tony Cottee look alike!
    Oh, my!

    Are they a similar height? [5’3″]
    That makes me well over a foot taller, and better able to reach a camel’s nether regions — don’t even ask! 🙂

  23. The Cockie Monster says:

    If you can find it Redders, there`s a reward !. 😀

  24. The Cockie Monster says:

    GoonerB before Transplant stole his teeth !.

  25. RA says:

    That’s dreadful, Cockie Doodle – GoonerB looks like every AA’ers worst nightmare! 😀

    Now, what does Transplant look like??

  26. Redders, you really should read all the comments. I defended my position @3.17 So there. 😀

  27. GoonerB says:

    Hahaha. Gone for a bit only to find my Dopelganger has been posted, although I would say I am a bit more towards the Brad Pitt end of things… least that’s how it seems when I look in that magic mirror that Transplant sold me. At least the monster put up his self portrait at 6.54 as well.

  28. Gooner B, just how close are you to Brad Pitt’s end? And why?

  29. On a slightly more serious note, I’m fully acknowledge the need and reasons behind Arsenal’s tour to The Far East. Money talks and money aside from being the root of all evil is what drives the club forward.

    I still don’t like the idea of traveling half way around the world to play non-competetive matches.

  30. Gööner In Exile says:

    Evening all, I enjoyed the games over the weekend and also what I saw of the Singapore Cup, the second being against PL opposition and therefore players at same stage of pre season training. Although I guess there’s an argument to say we may be a week ahead for the Charity Shield.

    I think we should get one thing clear these games are probably no better or worse than the pre seasons we used to have in Austria.

    Also next weekend looms large in our mind…..will the result define the season? The answer is of course no, much as last seasons win over a Man City didn’t define that one, so we should bear that in mind when we react next week, whatever the outcome

  31. utter tool says:

  32. chas says:


  33. Mickydidit69 says:


  34. Shard says:

    It never rains, it pours.. I’ve had major problems not just with my mobility, but also all day yesterday with my power connection, and the fact that I can’t get online with my phone because it has some malware with ads constantly popping up. So frustrated.

    Has Eddie been on? I need to ask her about tickets for Liverpool.

    Sorry. On to read the post now.

  35. Shard says:

    Thanks Norfolk.

    Our pre-season preparations were better than some of our rivals I think. It’s all fancy playing against Barcelona and Real Madrid on cricket grounds with 100k attendances, but really, I’m not sure those are ideal opponents for just building up your fitness.

    I’m not even sure they offer the same commercial opportunities since I believe the crowd in such games is always divided between all the other clubs. For example, Sterling getting booed at a City game vs Roma, by Liverpool fans. Arsenal may have had half the crowd in Singapore, but they were all Arsenal fans. Focused advertising, clear commercial benefits, and less glamourous opponents, which probably meant better football preparation. All in all, a productive pre-season campaign.

    It’s always fun to see youngsters in pre season. I thought Akpom tried too hard to impress, and especially to score. If we don’t sign another striker, there’s a chance he’ll get some game time. Jeff Adelaide was very impressive with his skill but I suppose he was just playing ‘loose’, unlike Akpom. I was most impressed by Iwobi. Didn’t have to do anything eye-catching (except scoring with a very good finish) but seemed to fit in with the side very well. Isaac Hayden has also long been touted as a potential first team player, and if there’s no further purchase in midfield, he could get some chances behind Coquelin and Arteta. (Especially if Flamini leaves)

    On to the last pre season game. But it is in no way meaningless, and definitely not a friendly. However, I’m just looking for a good performance from us, rather than it being a must win game. However, the confidence from a victory and a good performance could be important a week later and beyond.

  36. Eddie says:

    shard – I was looking yesterday and today. The only tickets available are £84 and £127. What do you reckon?

  37. Eddie says:

    found one for £64

  38. RA says:

    Micky @ 7:52

    . . .

  39. RA says:


    Your defense of the offending word at 3:17 —

    -“from a strictly football sense I think the word [meaningless] has some relevance”.

    Well, as a hard hitting, devastatingly incontrovertible piece of logic, I have rarely seen a counter argument so cuttingly anaemic. 🙂

    Nothing personal, Norfolkian, but, even as a barrack room lawyer, if I needed defending, I might have to look elsewhere, [maybe even Cockie or Transplant], rather than rely on you. 😀

  40. Shard says:

    64 please Eddie. If still possible.

  41. Eddie says:

    shard – yes, there are some left, but they are right behind the goal, are you sure? Go on the ticket website and check area 24 row 16 seat 753

    Don’t check areas reserved for Juniors

  42. chas says:

    I doubt he will be able to check that area if he hasn’t got a membership to log on with.

  43. Redders, I’m sorry that my lawering skills don’t come up to the high standards required to offer a defence for whatever criminal activities you are likely to be indicted for. I have to inform you that my services as an advocate are temporarily suspended due to industrial action by Barristers and othe court officials. Not that I’m either, just that I have decided to withdraw my labour in sympathy with them.

    You prefer Cockie and Transplant eh? Well good luck with that! I expect to read that you have been banged up for a long stretch in the very near future. 😀

  44. Eddie says:

    you are right chas.
    Shard – get my email from Rasp or Chas and I will give you my login details

  45. ahh Eddie… can I ave your log in details as well 🙂

  46. chas says:

    I was wrong – here you go………

  47. Shard says:


    I have asked for your email address but haven’t got a mail back yet.

  48. Shard says:

    Yes, I think that seat is fine. I don’t mind being right behind the goal.

  49. chas says:

    This looks about right. 🙂

  50. A man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do!

  51. Eddie says:

    shard – ok, I bought it for you now. We will need chas to tell us how to organise the membership card transit, but that can wait

  52. Eddie says:

    ng – nope 🙂 you are not trustworthy 🙂

  53. Eddie, that poor chap caught on camera is now only a shadow of himself. 😀

  54. chas says:

    GB version

  55. Shard says:

    Yaay.. Thank you Eddie.

  56. Shard says:

    Ok, not to get greedy, but is anyone else in a position to buy another ticket for me? In the same general area (block 24) if possible.

  57. GoonerB says:

    Afternoon all. I must say that I think we have had a very productive and impressive pre-season so far. The emerging youngsters look excellent and bode well for the future, but obviously a high stake EPL game is very different to a pre-season friendly even if the opposition are of decent standard.

    Can we win the EPL with what we already have? I would say the answer is yes. Could we still strengthen in certain areas and give ourselves an even better shout? Again I would say the answer is yes.

    Red Arnie did come back to me about Ollie. Don’t worry Red Arnie once the season starts I will support whoever wears the red and white (or yellow and blue), and in reality I quite like Ollie and think he adds something to our squad.

    My assertion has always been that I don’t quite feel he is a first 11 striker at the highest level (others I know disagree). As a squad striker at this level, I can go for that though. I may be wrong in this of course and historically certain teams will prove to be the champions even if their striker is not quite as good (when analysed on a one to one basis) compared to a rival clubs striker who came in as one of the runners up. The collective of the team / squad can overcome individual brilliance elsewhere.

    Rather than just Ollie pointing though my analysis is more about our collection of strikers that could play as the most advanced central forward (number 9 / striker). I am looking at Ollie, Theo, Danny, and Chuba.

    Ollie has had a regular run in the role so we actually know far more about him in this role than the others. The big if not only question is “is he good enough to be first choice at this level?”.

    The other 3 are not so proven in the role for various reasons. Theo and Danny because they haven’t had an extended run in the position. It is only extended runs that allow you to properly analyse a CF to rule out any anomalies such as a short lived purple patch, or at the other end of the scale a couple of slightly iffy back to back games. Chuba has played the CF role more than these two but only at the lower levels so we can’t know enough about him at this level yet.

    As I said we may have what we need already with these 4 but I have a gut feeling that this position could be AW’s most important decision this season. Another recruit affects at least one of these 4 so is potentially harmful. Going with what he has and picking one of them as first choice will also be harmful if it turns out we didn’t after-all have enough quality in this position.

  58. Eddie says:

    Chas – you must agree that THIS one is the best photo of the year

  59. A snort or two of coke, a couple of hookers, all in the privacy of his own home, sounds like a pretty normal Saturday night to me.

  60. Gööner In Exile says:

    Shard up until now I hadn’t looked at the game date to see what I was up to that day.

    I am it would appear working in London in the morning and have another day in London on Tuesday….which sounds like as good as an excuse as any to acquire ticket, which means I could get two tickets, and you and your friend could sit together and I’ll take the seat you’ve just got from Evonne. Someone needs to tell me when I can buy as ares member.

  61. Eddie says:

    GiE – that would be so nice for shard! Red members can start buying tomorrow at 10am. I don’t expect many ticks will be left, but worth a try

  62. Shard says:


    That is great! Thank you so much. Are you sure you’re ok with the seat that Evonne got for me?

    Tickets for red members go on sale tomorrow, Wednesday 29th July, at 10am.

    Please try and find tickets for the 64 or 70.5 pound seats. Hopefully that will be possible.

  63. Shard says:


    As I recall, Arsenal said they reserve some seats for sale to Red Members, across all price ranges. This used to be true some years ago. Not sure about now.

  64. Shard says:

    Also, all on AA. Please let me know if and when any of you will be free to meet. I will be in London from the 16th of August.

  65. Eddie says:

    NG – I agree with you about coke and hookers (never tried either, but I have heard it is all good stuff), but the red bra studded with little diamonds ??!! No, I am sorry that is really taking the biscuit by someone who is the chairman of the Lords committee for privileges and conduct which investigates breaches of conduct by peers

  66. Eddie says:

    shard – I hope you are right! After all you are coming half the way across the globe so it would be nice for you to go to a game, with the beloved 🙂

  67. Shard says:

    Haha Eddie. She was not happy when I said I’m getting one ticket for me booked anyway. Arsenal is first love 🙂

  68. Eddie says:

    well shard, I am not cold hearted but the sooner your sweetheart understands your priorities the better 🙂

  69. RA says:

    Norfolk, 🙂

    I am not sure which horrified me most – your use of Transplant’s name immediately followed by his more intimate name of ‘Stretch’ which the Cocker says is self-explanatory – or your admission @ 2:43 that -“A snort or two of coke, and a couple of hookers sounds like a pretty normal Saturday night for me.”

    Blimey, as you guys say, Norfolk the sin county of the East! 🙂

    You know, you might find it a bit more thirst quenching if you drank the coke instead of snorting it.

    [And I notice you never mentioned the red bra you wear!]

  70. Gööner In Exile says:

    Shard, I will try but can’t promise obviously, if I can’t get two at that price I could always wait for the exchange, although less chance of getting two together.

  71. Gööner In Exile says:

    Shard I’ll sit anywhere.

    If ticket is upper tier do you or your beloved have a head for heights? Unsurprisingly some of the upper tier tickets at the back are as cheap as lower tier at the front, but could be a long way back.

  72. Shard says:


    I watched the first of the 5-2 NLDs from the upper tier cheap seats. I had no problems and I wouldn’t mind taking those either.

  73. stevepalmer1 says:

    Evening all, Good read Norfolk, You sound like your not too keen on Pre season comps, In fact i got the impression that you felt it was a waste of time, Personally i feel that competitions, even light hearted competition such as what we entered and what we have won is all good, as it gives squad players and youngsters the chance to pick up trophies, A nice feeling to get used to in my mind.

    More importantly, what i am liking is how injury seems to be thin on the ground, what people have not seemed to have picked up on, is that we have changed some of the people and i imagine the way the treatment staff are working and as i say am liking the results at present’

    Of course we still have a tough game this weekend, players like Theo will be coming up against a tough defence so i wont harp on about how good our medical staff just yet.

    I feel that pre season training is worth while, travelling and playing a few youngsters builds comradely, and its also spreads Arsenals name far and wide, But that’s just me

  74. Readers, I’m afraid that WordPress let me down. They failed to publish the final few words of my comment. “….for a Peer of the Realm that is”.

  75. Gööner In Exile says:

    Shard, I’ll do the best I can. 😀

    And see you in August hopefully!

  76. LB says:

    “Wenger the Cheque Book Manager.”

    Don’t you just look at that accusation and slowly shake your head in disbelief?

  77. Shard says:

    Thank You GIE.

    Looking forward to it.

  78. Gööner In Exile says:

    LB it’s is true that we have a greater net spend in last two years than Chelsea.

    But to put that in perspective you would have to look at what Chavs paid before 2013 for some of the players that have given them income in that net spend calculation in the last couple of seasons which then gives an explanation of why they have been able to keep their net spend down.

    What people seem to miss is that we are spending money that Arsene has effectively enabled the club to earn, and that is why he will always be different to Maureen.

  79. Eddie says:

    in a nutshell – we are spending hard earned dough as opposed to robbing starving children in Russia. I like to make it a bit dramatic 🙂

    Chelsea’s loan policy is a clever way of balancing the books. They need to buy, no problem. Sell a couple of loanees and the net looks better straight away

  80. Eddie says:

    Arsene is so funny 🙂 :

    “I don’t rule it out and I don’t promise it.
    As I said recently in the press conferences, if we can still strengthen, we will do it.
    But we have what is needed inside to be competitive, so let’s first focus on that”. Having said all that he booked a taxi for Benzemas trip for a medical

    Diego Costa injured.

  81. Rasp says:

    Morning all …….

    ….. New post …..

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: