Emirates Cup 2011 Preview

27 07 2011

Well another year has rolled around and once again the only piece of silverware in the Arsenal trophy cabinet is the Emirates Cup, to say last season was a little bit of a let down is putting it mildy.

However that doesn’t mean that my enthusiasm for this years competition is in anyway diminished, the line up this year is really quite impressive and with the inclusion of two teams from outside of Europe it looks like it is starting to live up to it’s billing as a world class pre-season tournament.

So who are the teams taking part in this years two day festival of football? Well we will start wth the hosts themselves. my much beloved Arsenal, they are joined by newly rich French heavyweights PSG, Argentine giants, Boca Juniors and the quartet is rounded off by another team from the Americas; New York Red Bulls who of course will be bringing with them someone the gunners faithful know and love the one, the only, Thierry Henry.

For those of us not lucky / rich enough to hold season tickets the Emirates Cup can be a great way of getting to see Arsenal at home. Tickets are reasonably priced at only £25 for adults and £15 for concessions for each day. There is also normally pretty good availability and I know more than a few people who have purchased theirs on the day(s) without issue.

Emirates Cup 2011 kicks-off at 2pm on Saturday 30th July with Thierry Henry’s New York Red Bulls taking on Paris Saint-Germain, followed at 4.20pm with the hosts Arsenal playing Boca Juniors.

Sunday’s fixtures also start at 2pm, when Paris Saint-Germain take on Boca Juniors. Arsenal and New York Red Bulls will bring the competition to an exciting climax, kicking off the final match at 4.20pm on Sunday afternoon.

Teams will be awarded three points for a win and one point for a draw. The competition also rewards attacking play, with teams being awarded one point for each goal they score. In addition, shots on target will be counted and will be used to decide the tournament winners if teams are level on points and goal difference.

Arsenal The winning team will be presented with the Emirates Cup trophy after the second match on Sunday 31st July.

I am really looking forward to seeing Gervinho in action again after his brace against FC Koln last Saturday and like many, many others I am really looking forward to seeing TH14 take to the field again, just a shame he wont be in the red and white 🙂

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Arsenal 2- FC Koln 1

24 07 2011

Those of you living under a rock may not have noticed that there was a match yesterday…

Granted it was only a pre-season friendly against FC Koln but I for one was very pleased to find that somewhere along the line Sky have decided to gift me ESPN without telling me…Thanks lads 🙂

The final result on the day was 2-1 to the Gunners and it was a fairly pleasing game to watch. Now I am sure that some smart arse (or two) is going to jump in and remind us that Cologne are hardly Barcelona; that may well be the case but this is a side that finished 10th in the Bundesliga and can boast the likes of Lukas PodolskiMichael Rensing and Milivoje Novakovič so by the same token they are hardly Hangzou Greentown either…

We started with what looks like it could be pretty close to our first X1 minus a couple of obvious absentees – Sagna and Fabregas. Nasri played and didn’t look too pained to be there earning his miserly wages and more interestingly I got to have my first proper glance at new boys Gervinho and Carl Jenkinson.

Jenkinson had a pretty good match throughout and to my mind looks like he should be stepping straight into the first team, he looked good on and off the ball, is tall (6’2 ) and strongly built and unlike a certain Mr Eboue seems more than able of delivering a good final ball into the box. The only thing that marred his otherwise great performance was an unfortunate own-goal that he is not likely to forget in a hurry.

I’m sure mos fans will agree with me that Gervinho looks like he may well be the real deal… well actually they probably wont, what with being the bitter, miserable sorts that most gooners are these days.

His movement and positioning were very good, he has pace to burn and unlike certain member of our team actually knows how finish, his first goal came thanks to a superb pass from young Jack Wilshere who turned in yet another excellent performance furthering yet again my own view that he could well help bridge the gap should Cesc head off this year.

For his second goal in the red and white shirt it was Walcott who turned provider with a neat pass which Gervinho did well to finish whilst bundling himself over the keeper in the process.

Watching Gervinho’s pace and movement reminded me just how much we have a missed a certain TH14 in recent years both for the aforementioned movement and hopefully the shedload of goals that he is going to bang in with reckless abandon.

In the words of the manager “He has shown his qualities. He has quick movement behind [the defence], the timing of his movement is great and he is easy to find. We have seen what he can bring to the team and he contributes to the high pace we have in the team.”

Roll on next weekend and the Emirates Cup….








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