Hello again. I hope you’re doing well this fine Wednesday.
Tonight sees Arsenal’s first really interesting pre-season game against Jens Lehmann’s new club Stuttgart. Arsene Wenger is expected to field a fairly strong squad against a side who won the Bundesliga just two seasons ago. They will put up a good fight and it will see how Samir Nasri and Carlos Vela go if they are selected.
I’m not sure whether I’m going to watch the game – a 5.15am wake in Australia for a pre-season game is not exactly my cup of tea – but if I do I’ll be sure to give my opinion on it tomorrow. If not I’ll be checking out the highlights when they become available on the Arsenal wesbite and have a say on it regardless.
One player who has not yet featured in any of the pre-season games thus far but could well start against Stuttgart is Robin van Persie. You certainly won’t need to be told that the Dutchman has spent a great deal of time on the sidelines in the past two seasons. But to his credit, van Persie is viewing the new campaign as a fresh start and hoping that he can have a more consistent impact for Arsenal this time around:
“This is a new year with new chances. Hopefully I can be injury-free this year. Last year I played 16 games and scored seven goals — that is nearly one out of two. It is not too bad. I just want to have the same results this season with a few more matches.”
It’s an interesting point he makes about his goals-to-games ratio. As he says, 7 goals from 16 games is pretty bloody useful and if he can double (or triple! – wishful thinking?) the amount of games he plays then all of a sudden that is looking like quite a handy figure. Especially if Emmanuel Adebayor has another 30-goal season which he surely must be aiming for.
Whether van Persie does get goals or not the simple fact is that if he can remain fit for the bulk of this season then he will have a huge impact on Arsenal’s chances of winning silverware. He is arguably the most naturally gifted player in the side and his mere presence on the pitch makes opposing managers and players worry that little bit more.
He looked sharp for Holland at the Euros and hopefully he can continue that form into the start of the season. Glory beckons for Arsenal and van Persie if he can pull it off.
In other news today Arsene Wenger has been chatting about how highly he rates 16-year-old Jack Wilshere.
I must say that if the confidence he has shown in the first two games of pre-season are anything to go by then young Wilshere could be set for big things at the club. However, as the manager points out, he still has a long way to go before he can be relied upon by the first team. A lot will be down to the attitude and dedication he can shows on the training ground and out on the pitch when he is given the chance. Good luck to him though.
To finish off today’s post is the Weekly Wednesday Poll. And here it is:
|Who would you like to see start alongside Cesc in central midfield?|
|A new signing|
It’s a pretty interesting one, I reckon, and I’ll be very keen to see the final results. As always, I’ll let you know what they are in tomorrow’s post.
Enjoy the Stuttgart game if you get to watch it. Go Arsenal!
Have your say on Arsenal v Stuttgart, van Persie, Wilshere or the Weekly Poll by leaving a comment.