Friday, 26 July 2013

Arsenal Finish Their Asian Tour With a 2-1 Win And Latest Arsenal News

Arsenal played the final game of their Asian tour against Urawa Red Diamonds in Japan today and ended up winning 2-1 to make it four wins out of four on the trip. It was the closest of the four games after they had scored seven goals in both Indonesia and Vietnam and had beaten Nagoya Grampus 3-1 on Monday.

Arsene Wenger started with a strong team but as usual on this tour he made plenty of changes throughout the game. The Arsenal goals came from Lukas Podolski and Chuba Akpom with their opponents getting an equaliser in between those two goals. Podolski took his goal nicely after Theo Walcott set him for a volley inside the area and Akpom took advantage of some dreadful defending to net the winner with less than 10 minutes to go.

There's no real point in going into how the team played or which players looked better than others as the point of these games has been to get the team fit for the new season. Of course the club wanted to put on a show for their fans in all three countries and they did just with four wins and 19 goals in the four games. If the purpose of the tour was to raise the club's profile in Asia and help to increase their fan base then it has been a huge success. The team got a great reception wherever they went and the players seemed to have a really good time on the trip as well as getting some hard pre season work done. 

It's back to England for the players now and next up is the Emirates Cup next weekend. They play Napoli on Saturday before playing Galatasaray on Sunday in what should be two pretty tough games. In the Napoli game the Arsenal fans will more than likely get a chance to see the one that got away when Gonzalo Higuain plays for their opponents.

I was all for the club signing Higuain but it appears that Luis Suarez is the man they want and continue to pursue. There's some disagreement between Suarez's camp and Liverpool over the clause in his contract which allows clubs to talk to him when they bid over £40 million. Apparently the Suarez camp are of the opinion that the £40 million is akin to a buyout clause, but Liverpool believe otherwise. It could all get very nasty and legal teams are bound to be called in at haste.

Who knows what the outcome will be or how long it will take to sort it all out but it's becoming a very unseemly business altogether. I have no desire to see Arsenal's biggest transfer target ever having his future decided in the courts. If it does go that far though I can't see how he could remain a Liverpool player.

I don't envy the situation Liverpool are in either and it has it's similarities with the one Arsenal were in with Robin van Persie last summer. All the cards were in Van Persie's hand though as he only had one year left on his contract and would have left on a fee transfer a year later if he hadn't been sold. Liverpool can afford to keep Suarez for another year and still get a very good price for him with two years left on his contract at that stage.

Suarez has made his desire to play in the Champions League a priority and Arsenal will more than likely offer him that opportunity this season. Liverpool claim that they won't sell Suarez to a rival but it's not so easy to see them in the same bracket as Arsenal at the moment. Liverpool have a fantastic past but they are currently suffering for some disastrous spending when Kenny Dalglish was their manager. Arsenal may not be where they were a few years ago either but their chances of being genuine contenders are an awful lot better than Liverpool's.

My biggest worry at this point is that Arsenal won't get their man and have no back up option if they don't. So many current Arsenal players have come out on the tour of Asia and said that the club need to strengthen to move on to the next level and it's blatantly obvious that they need to. Most of the deadwood has been moved on and only a few unneeded players remain at the club which means it's time for the new signings to start arriving.

There's only three weeks to the start of the season and still Arsenal have not spent one red cent on a new player with only Yaya Sanogo arriving on a free transfer. Some of the younger players have looked good on the Asian tour but the team needs the finished article added to it right now.

Finally for today one of the papers has claimed Cesc Fabregas has told friends in England he wants to join Manchester United. I cannot believe that Cesc would ever consider playing for another English club besides Arsenal and Arsenal would surely step in if Cesc became available. I will completely lose my belief in mankind if Cesc was to choose United over Arsenal given the choice.

I believed him when he said he would have spent his entire career at Arsenal if Barcelona had not come in for him and that he is an Arsenal fan. I know how modern footballers are but I still think Cesc is different and he took a pay cut to move from Arsenal to Barcelona. My belief in him might be born from my blog originally being called "Cesc Is God" when it started out and his departure from Arsenal was a huge blow to me. 

I said I would never place my faith in a footballer again and I won't but Cesc returning to Arsenal might just restore some belief. If he were to go to United though I just don't know how it would effect me, but it wouldn't be good.

If you haven't done so already why not join my fantasy league for the new season with the code 23040-7359 after you have set up your team. Those who were in it last season will automatically be in again but there's room for loads more teams. There's €50 from my pocket for the winner which may increase if I can get some sponsorship or if everybody keeps clicking those ads on my blog. If you do join up feel free to tell me on Twitter (@JamrockRover) or in the forum on the fantasy site so I can get to know who I'll to pay the money to and good luck.

That's it for today.

See you tomorrow.

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