Arsenal Commence Pre-Season By Winning A Cup
A mixed response to yesterday’s poser on whether fans would forgive and forget Robin van Persie’s outburt if he stayed at Arsenal. One of the commenters made a good point that if it were to happen, it would provide a massive lift to the side – that boost would help us in getting off to a good start in next season’s campaign. It’s in Robin’s hands though, we must wait and watch.
And who says Arsenal don’t win anything? The Gunners got their pre-season preparations underway by winning the Markus Liebherr Memorial Cup in Southampton yesterday, even though young Kyle Ebecilio’s penalty miss in the shoot-out handed a 5-4 victory to the hosts in the second game. The highlights aren’t available on Arsenal Player yet but the YouTube channel of Saints carries the goals.
In the first game against Anderlecht, good work by Carl Jenkinson down the right set up a chance for Henri Lansbury, who finished nicely. It’s the kind of goal Arsenal could do more with, cross from the full-back met by a runner from midfield. With Lansbury re-appearing on the score-sheet for Arsenal, this will again open up debate on his future with the club.
It’s a headache for Arsene Wenger – Henri Lansbury may not be the most skillful player but he has a directness and desire that allows him to regularly get into goal-scoring positions, like he did in yesterday’s match. But his loan-spell at West Ham was not hugely impressive as Sam Allardyce used him sparingly. Still, he’s a Gunner through and through, whether this will be enough for him to earn a place in the squad this year remains to be seen.
The second match against Southampton was reportedly a more energetic affair. The hosts took the lead but Gervinho equalized after cutting in from the left. Hopefully the goal will give the Ivorian some much needed confidence. He’s capable of a lot more and personally I believe he’ll have a big impact at Arsenal this season. Interestingly, the through pass for Gervinho’s goal was provided by Andre Santos who played in midfield. As many of you suggested at the end of last season, perhaps the Brazilian will find more opportunities playing further up the field rather than at left-back, if Kieran Gibbs can remain injury free.
I’m also interested in the match video to see how Kyle Bartley and Marouane Chamakh performed. The future of both these players is very much in the air at the moment and their performances in pre-season will provide an indication of whether they’ll be involved for us next season. It will also be enjoyable to watch youth players like Ebecilio, Eisfeld, Olsson and Aneke playing with the senior team members.
The next pre-season friendly involves a wait of ten days, when Arsenal take on a Malaysia XI in the first match of the Far East tour. Surely Robin van Persie’s future will be sorted out before that. Even if we are in a much stronger negotiating position having already signed two strikers, a quick decision would stop the constant speculation and allow players, management and fans to look forward to the future.