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The Emirates Cup

The Emirates Cup

So another pre-season competition comes and goes at the Emirates stadium. What has now become a key aspect of Arsenals pre-season preparations was held over the weekend and as usual it has thrown up a few interesting headlines, however what we always have to remember this is only there for the purpose of getting the squad fit and ready for the new season.

This year, against PSG, Athletico Madrid, and Glasgow Rangers, the Arsenal won the overall competition, which is always nice, but the headlines are all about one player. Jack Wilshere was without question the star of the show, he won the man of the match for both games the Arsenal played and deservedly so. Certainly against Rangers he was the stand out player. However for me certain others did themselves justice. Aaron Ramsey looked to have stepped up a level and I can see him play at least 30 games this year, including a much bigger number in the Premiership. Arshavin looks to be getting ready to be a serious player in this years league campaign, I can see him score over 15 goals this year easily. Eduardo is slowly getting fitter and stronger, and could easily score 20+ goals in the upcoming season. So one thing that that this competition showed is that Adebayor may not be missed one little bit.

The Emirates cup was also the first time the home fans saw Thomas Rosicky for well over a year. And it was really good to see him back. I am still not 100% sure he will make it back to the little superstar he once was, I think we will need to remain very patient, give him time and our support. If he can get back to what he once was he will be a real asset to the Arsenal because he is a very special footballer.

One other thing I could not help but notice was the way Arsenal played. It was clear that Arsene send them out to play a different formation. A form of 4-3-3 was used as opposed to the previous preferred 4-4-2. There was definitely a strong emphasis on the 3 central midfielders, and various players were used in that position. It makes sense as it uses something we have a lot of. So for the first game of the new season, away at Everton, I would not be surprised to see Cesc, Song and Denilson start, with three up front. One thing that could come from this is that the likes of Arshavin, Walcott and Nasri could start to play a little more inside, drifting all over the place. Fluidity and movement could be words we hear a lot of when the so called experts start to talk about the Arsenal.

Finally, and back to the star of the show, Jack Wilshere. Please Jack be patient. Arsenal fans please be patient. Yes I am as excited, yes he looks to be special and yes I love any player that little bit more when he comes through the ranks. Jack appears to have it all before him. But the hype could become very silly and in some ways has already started. For the season ahead Jacks goals should be 10 games for the first team, winning the FA Youth Cup (again), and maybe playing for the England under 21’s. However if I heard he was being loaned out to a Championship club, I would not be surprised or disappointed. A club like Ipswich would be really good as I think he could learn so much from such an experience for young Jack.   


© 2008 Paul Kavanagh. All rights reserved.