Arsenal Depot

A depository for musings on Arsenal FC

Players To Watch As Arsenal Start Pre-Season Today

Arsenal return to football today in the Markus Liebherr Memorial Cup in Southampton, two months after the final day scramble against West Brom to seal third place. Granted that most first teamers haven’t joined up with the squad yet, but there are still a few senior members around and a couple of players knocking on the first-team door plus some promising young talent and the returning loanees.

Unfortunately the game will not be televised live so we’ll have to make do with updates on Twitter and wait for the highlights on Arsenal Player on Sunday. From a senior team perspective, the players to watch out for will be Gervinho, Kyle Bartley and Marouane Chamakh.

Most supporters regard Gervinho’s first season at the club as being poor. It’s true his goal return wasn’t spectacular and his decision-making and final pass let him down consistently. Nevertheless, Gervinho didn’t too badly in comparison to Theo Walcott on the other wing – in the Premier League, the Ivorian created a chance every 56 minutes as compared to Walcott who created one every 85 minutes. And having started 13 games less than Theo, Gervinho still managed 6 assists compared to the Englishman’s 8 (stats courtesy His form dropped before and after the ACON, but the Ivorian showed glimpses of coming back to his best towards the end of last season and I am really looking forward to seeing how he goes this time around.

With Arsenal trying their best to find a new home for Sebastian Squillaci and Ignasi Miquel likely to be loaned out this year, the returning Kyle Bartley has a good opportunity to impress Le Boss. His last season at Rangers was marred by injury and while his performance were hardly spectacular, he certainly was a key member of the Scottish sides’ defense. Whether that is enough for the Premier League remains to be seen but if his performances in pre-season are impressive, he could force his way into the reckoning alongside Johan Djourou as back up to our three main central defenders.

With Van Persie’s departure imminent, Chamakh might still have a future at Arsenal. The Moroccan hardly got a chance last season with RvP in blazing form, although it’s fair to say he looked lethargic and short of ideas when he did come on. The main issue with Chamakh is that he doesn’t have enough skill on the ball to merit a regular starting place in a team that relies heavily on link-up play. Having said that, he certainly has (or had) an eye for goal – perhaps the opening up of competition for the striker’s role might motivate him. Today’s game could provide a sign of whether the player is likely to stay, or move away.

Of course, the media are still speculating on Robin van Persie’s status at the club. While one report suggests that Manchester City have opened the door to sign him by offloading Adebayor to the Spuds, another indicates that Robin’s outburst was only a tactic by his agent to secure a better deal. Although the latter provides hope for Arsene Wenger, it would be most unlike the Dutchman to make a u-turn now. But if he did, would we Gooners forgive and forget?

Post your thoughts. More tomorrow.


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12 thoughts on “Players To Watch As Arsenal Start Pre-Season Today

  1. Baruga on said:

    if he changes his mind we will not forget

    • Clauddd on said:

      You should forget, theres nothing more disrespectful to a player of the football club you support, than having a grudge against a player and especially a captain of your team. Its comments and actions like that which give arsenal fans the bad reputation we have for supporting.

  2. bacary on said:

    As skeptical as I am with Arsenal blogs, I’ve enjoyed reading yours.

    Gervinho: he’s only got a bit of fine tuning in the confidence department to do, as he has the pace, vision, and technique to be successful. He will shine with double digit goals this season.

    Chamakh: he’s past his prime, and he will be sold or loaned.

    RVP: Everyone would forgive and forget that he released that statement should he sign a new contract and score 20 goals next season, and they should do. He’s a professional, and as long as he’s signed to the club he will play with the passion he always has.

  3. Aussie Jack on said:

    I can`t see the Arsenal fans , in the main, treating van Persie with anything else but the disdain he deserves should he stay at Emirates. They don`t forgive and forget easily.

  4. I hope Gerv will try his best 2 bounce back 2 his Original form, he’s got pace n driblin skills. As 4 chamak he stepd up 2wards d end of d season I hope he surprise us d fans. RVP my gues he’s gona b wearin Red and white next season as he is runin out of options nw, he’s nt any teams top priority 4 now, so I advice he sticks 2 our love dan sum who wil use him n dump him. I hope wenga add sum flavour 2 our already solid team wit afellay n m’villa and we r good 2 go. In Arsene I trust please do d ryt tin, Thumbs up 2 u 4 d addition of Giroud n Podolski dats a gud sign dat we wil b d ones 2 smile at d end of dis season.

    • ondgooner on said:

      Why can we not write in proper understandable English anymore? All these short hands and so-called modern writing makes it difficult to follow & interprete in a logical sequence your train of thought.
      This is no text message and you are not therefore writing short to save space and money! Thank you

  5. T_Isaaq Gooner on said:

    I know Chamach really want to stay & prove himself but please he has to go.
    Fact is even the bad boy Bentner is way too good than him. A.W if we’re not buying anymore strikers its best he(Chamack) goes or loaned & Bentner comes back. To Le Boss, this coming season we dont need experiments if we’re to anything, like sticking to players like Maroune.
    Was hopping it’ll be televised (the game)

  6. Omomayowa on said:

    If he make a u-turn,we av to forgive.we may not forget because is not easy to forget.unless he av a great impact and big commitment for his u-turning decision.

  7. ondgooner on said:

    Of course he would be forgiven as without SIN there can be no FORGIVENESS! He was in the wrong with his ill-adivised statement but if he turns around and say, ”hey guys, you know what, sorry for what I said said”, who are we not to forgive and let by-gones be by-gones?

  8. Gary on said:

    I think a lot of fans agree with Van Persie’s comments about the direction of the club. If he was to come out in a few weeks after a few signing and say ”the club have changed my mind with these signings I see some ambition and I want to stay’ wouldnt this show all along that he was a committed arsenal player who just wanted the club to improve. He deserves a good contract and as long as he doesnt hold the club to ransom with the financial demands I would forgive him and probably agree with him

    RVP spent last season leading our team and saw that it was our defensive play that let us down. Even now we haven’t added to the midfield or defence and this must frustrate a player who is tallented enough to play for any team.

    Yes Podolski and Giroud are great signings but where is the back up right back or the back up DM we have been looking for?

    RVP has reached the point in his career where he knows he has maybe 5 years left to really acheive something. He has given the fans a full years notice that he is going. He hasn’t said anyhting about forcing a move or refusing to play and I think he would give his all for the club in his final season. Arsene has probably known this about RVP for a lot longer and if he didn’t know the player was that unhappy he should ask himself why not as he is RVP’s mananger and interacts with him on a daily basis.

    This is a make or break season for Arsenal and for Wenger. We stand at a crossroads. We need to make a number of big signings (that isn’t necessarily big cost but big impact) to turn us from also rans to contenders. We have spent 7 years slipping behind and need to address it before it is too late. Liverpool may never address it because it’s been to long.

    We mustn’t quibble over 3 or 4 million this summer. We need to set our targets on the 3 more players we need, sign them and develop the squad over the next few years into winners.

    If we signed Lloris and M’Villa and found that second right back option I can see RVP taking notice and saying ‘you have given me a chance to win things here.’

  9. zubby on said:

    I say sell rvp now and lets move on. Are we so sure he will be injury free this season? Considering his injury records, Wenger should buy a new strike or put his Afobe and The Ox.

  10. If Robin van persie make a u turn bak 2 arsenal fc,it wl b a huge boost 2 d entire team n d gooners family. Wel arsenal fans wl neva 4get d face off btw Rvp n d club manage bt wl eventually 4give him. I hope he makes dis significant u turn. Gunners 4 lyf.

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