Daily Archives: July 14, 2012
The last time I saw Arsenal football club play football, the stakes were higher than Sergey Bubka’s pole vault record for Ukraine.
While the two Manchester clubs played other opposition with the hope of winning the Premier League, Arsenal had their own fish to fry, as Tottenham and Newcastle fought tooth and nail for the coveted Champions League places.
Ex-Gunner Emmanuel Adebayor didn’t help Arsenal’s cause with his early goal but the Gunners didn’t really care as Martin Fulop gifted Yossi Benayoun with his easiest finish in his short Arsenal career.
God bless their souls, both Fulop and Benayoun.
Two quick-fire West Brom goals silenced the Arsenal faithful but that cuddly maverick Andre Santos waltzed forward before blasting a shot pass the hapless Fulop. To crown a 10/10 performance against Arsenal, the goalie flapped a corner kick to the path of Laurent Koscielny and his cheeky back heel was enough to make Arsenal the third best team in the land.
Two months after that fateful afternoon at the Hawthorns, Arsenal will kick off its pre-season campaign by taking part in the Markus Lieherr Memorial Cup at St. Mary’s, Southampton’s home ground. The mini-tournament, which will feature three games lasting 45 minutes each, and Arsenal play Anderlecht at 6.45 pm before playing the hosts, Southampton, at 8 pm.
As expected, those players nursing their Euro 2012 hangovers will remain at home but the club has published its list of Gunners that will participate in the mini-tournament.
Gunners like Le Forehead, Johan Djourou, Marouane Chamakh (yes, he’s still around), Andre Santos, Kieran Gibbs, Kyle Bartley, Vito Mannone, Henri Lansbury, Kyle Ebecillo, Francis Coquelin and Thomas Eisfeld will be in the playing squad.
So much has been said about that Eisfeld bloke, in regard to his performances for the Reserves last season. Unfortunately, the game is going won’t be shown on DsTV, so Nigerian fans like us will have to make do with Arsenal’s live Twitter feed and the match report afterwards.
However, you can keep up with the games through Arsenal Player.
The club has also announced a new ticketing category in their aim to restructure ticket prices for the forthcoming season.
A new Category C has been introduced, which makes the cheapest ticket prices at the Emirates for £25.50. This is a 27% reduction on the lowest tickets for last season which stood at £35.
However, Category A matches have averaged a 23% increase to probably compliment for the reduction in the newly created category. The club also published its category listings for the home fixtures in 2012.
Categories announced thus far are:
18th August Sunderland
15th September Southampton
1st December Swansea City
8th December West Bromwich Albion
27th October Queens Park Rangers
10th November Fulham
26th December West Ham United
29th December Newcastle United
29th September Chelsea
17th November Tottenham Hotspur
The folks at the Arsenal Supporters Trust are satisfied with the changes made as well. They stated that they have been hoping for lower prices on many home Premier League games and the announcement is an important step forward in enabling many supporters who have previously been unable to afford tickets to attend matches at The Emirates Stadium.
Despite the fact that Arsenal has been delivering any silverware of late, their ticket prices have been on the high side, so this new category will be welcomed with open arms by the fans.
Elsewhere, Theo Walcott has spoken on his excitement in Arsenal’s proposed tour to the Far East. The speed merchant stated that it was a great feeling seeing these fans because they never really get to see the team in person.
From a player’s perspective, Walcott stated that the players get to see a different side to the game, seeing fans who may never be able to come to Emirates. He said that it makes their dreams come true and that is what we want to do.
Despite waxing lyrical about his love for the fans and the team, Walcott’s future remains shrouded in mystery. Like Robin van Persie, Walcott has one year left on his deal and he hasn’t signed a new contract yet. Walcott is a 23-year-old player that has his best years ahead of him, and it would be a shame if he decides to follow the footsteps of Mr. Ambition.
Like van Persie, Walcott has had his share of shoulder injuries that was a major concern for his career at some point, but the “loyal” Arsenal chose to stick by him. Wenger’s undying faith in Walcott also saw the winger drafted into the first team in Andrey Arshavin’s stead and he hasn’t looked back.
In terms of productivity, Walcott is currently in a progressive curve, as his output continued to improve with each passing season. After missing out on the 2010 World Cup squad, the winger smashed in 13 goals and supplied 11 assists. Last season, he scored 11 goals ans had his fair share of assists as well.
Should Walcott decide that he’s too big for Arsenal, he should remember that the squad won’t break sweat because there’s a raging bull…Ox raring to go. Gervinho’s starting berth from the left may be threatened by Podolski’s arrival but the Ivorian winger is also adept on the right flank as well.
I’d prefer Walcott to stay because he offers a lot of dynamism to Arsenal’s attack. His blistering pace is a constant thorn in the flesh of opposition defenders and he has an exquisite finishing ability as well. I’ll keep you updated on the Theo Walcott saga in the coming weeks but it’s time to enjoy the beautiful game because it’s back.
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