So a 2-0 win over Barnet yesterday saw our first run out of pre-season end up relatively successfully. There’s some concern over Denilson who was on the end of a late tackle and had to be stretchered off but it’s not anything too serious apparently.
The first goal came from Emmanuel Adebayor as a relatively strong first team played the first half. The second goal came in the second half from young Dutchman Nacer Barazite as more youngsters got a run out. We’ll have to wait for some of the bloggers who were actually at the match for their feedback on the players but there’s really not a whole lot you can read into performances at this early stage. If you want to watch highlights and an interview with Arsene Wenger then click here.
It’s Wenger’s post-match comments that make for the most interesting reading this morning. He more or less confirmed that JosÃ© Antonio Reyes would be leaving, saying that even global warming couldn’t make the weather good enough for him to stay in England. When asked about his own contract, he said:
I have shown my commitment in the past and I never worry about the weather. My future is not only linked with the players, but the whole club. It is to the fans and the young players who I have brought and told I will look after them, so it’s a much bigger picture than that. You will see soon if I sign a new contract.
The strongest hints yet that he’s planning on putting pen to paper. Of course it is the first time we’ve heard from him since the sale of Thierry Henry so it’s bound to be the strongest hint yet. And speaking of the ex-captain the boss reckoned that Thierry couldn’t wait for this team to win trophies, saying:
Thierry Henry had played eight great years at the club and, at 30, maybe he didn’t have the patience to let the young team develop. You can understand that. We have the potential to cope without Thierry. We will focus more on team play and sharing the responsibility.
I also think there are some players will take on more responsibility – like (Robin) Van Persie, like (Emmanuel) Adebayor, like (Theo) Walcott, like Eduardo, who has just joined us. There are certain players who raise their game when you have a departure like that.
As well as that he addressed the Cesc to Madrid rumours and by the look on his face from the interview above I don’t think there was anything too serious in it. The question about further signings doesn’t seem to have come up, which is a bit of a shame, but at the same time he’d have told us something cryptic which would have had people chin-wagging all week to try and work it out. He did say that with the departure of Henry, who he had expected to stay, he knew he needed to sign a striker, which we assume is Eduardo. The Crozillian was there yesterday but he didn’t play. Fabianski and Nordtveit made their Arsenal debuts in the second half.
Our next game is against Genclerbirligi in Austria on Thursday. There’s a team for whom the songs just roll off the tongue, eh?
About Freddie Ljungberg the boss said:
At the moment Freddie stays at the club. I expect him to be here at the start of the season because he has not left yet and I’m 90 per cent sure he will be. In Freddie’s case it’s a bit special like it was for Thierry. If he had wanted to go we’d have let him. But I’m happy for him to stay.
And that’s about that for this Sunday. Before I get a lot of emails about it just let me say that I’m not in the slightest bit interested in the stories about Thierry Henry’s marriage.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend.