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China Man City Arsenal on Pre-Season tour 2012

July 28, 2012

Afternoon Gooners…

The pre-season tour continued in Beijing’s Bird’s Nest Stadium where four years ago the Olympics were held, coincidently being played on the very day that the London Olympics are due to open. The fans all 60k of them that were in the Bird’s Nest Stadium were about to see the current Premiership Champions take on another English club from London with a history. Both Arsenal & City are in this part of world to raise their profile. A part of the world where Manchester United and Liverpool have huge following. I still feel (as mentioned in my last blog) that if your going to try to sell merchandise out in the Far East, you flogging a dead horse when dodgy copies are so easy to get.

A giant of English football was about to take on the financial dopers of the English game. I heared the speech given by Jacques Rogge at the opening ceremony of the London Olympics, I like to quote a bit of the speech.

In a sense, the Olympic Games are coming home tonight. This great, sports-loving country is widely recognized as the birthplace of modern sport. It was here that the concepts of sportsmanship and fair play were first codified.


I congratulate all of the athletes who have earned a place at these Games. And to the athletes, I offer this thought: Your talent, your dedication and commitment brought you here. Now you have a chance to become true Olympians. That honor is determined not by whether you win, but by how you compete. Character counts far more than medals. Reject doping. Respect you opponents. Remember that you are all role models. If you do that, you will inspire a generation.

You see I agree whole heartedly with this. It’s about Sport, the taking part. Football, as well as some football fans have lost sight of this.  It seems money can buy you everything in today’s game. In the Olympics the UAE and Russia cannot just go out and buy the best athletes from around the world the bring home the medals, it does not work. However, if there athletes compete, do their best and give it all they can, then they have surely brought pride to their Country.

The very media that write and talk about all the sporting aspects of the Olympics, are the same people that champion Chelsea and Man City and what they are doing.

Yes we all want our clubs to win trophies, but I just don’t see the point in buying silverware. Two clubs, Chelsea and Man City, with a long history of failure and also rans, going nowhere. The along comes the money men and it all changes. Now they are the biggest of clubs able to purchase the best of the best, even though as a business neither can afford these players transfers or wages and run at a huge loss.

Arsenal are run in the way that Jacques Rogge mentioned and yet are almost lampooned for taking the stance the Olympics is built on.  I can’t do anything about, but I don’t have to be happy with it. Far from happy with it.

Arsenal are on this tour missing at least ten of their top players, Man City had left quite a few behind as well, both sets of players missing catching up on training or injured.

The team : Fabianski; Jenkinson (Eastmond 65 min), Bartley (Miquel HT), Vermaelen,  Gibbs; Diaby (Coquelin HT), Song (Eisfeld 77), Arteta (Oxlade-Chamberlain HT);  Walcott (Chamakh HT), Gervinho (Aneke 65), Santos (Afobe 58).

Arsenal started strongly and were taking plenty of long-range shots to test the City man mountain Pantilimon in goal and could not get past him. Arsenal once again playing neat passing football. Santos and Walcott had shots in the in the opening 30 mins, then Theo again shot  wide. Santos had a go, but it was saved. The game looked a much more uptempo affair than the game in Malaysia

Against the run of play, City scored twice in two mins as first Zabaleta finished a neat move at the far post, where Jenkinson could have done better and  then  Toure scored when Kolarov’s low cross was pulled back to goal by Aguero.

Arsenal did all they could in the second half to try to get the game back, but City were solid and Arsenal’s best chance came from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain when his shot struck both posts. So City took this match 2-0 and Arsenal now move on to Japan and play the Kitchen Sink, where the squad can get more match fitness and get stronger for the real stuff when it starts on August 18th. There were times while following the match first on Twitter, I though they (City) were already three points clear of Arsenal in the title and knocked us out of the FA Cup for good measure. Such was the displeasure at Arsenal losing a friendly match.

At the end of the day this was only a friendly match and I would still say the same if it were Arsenal that won.

Interviewed after the game Arsene Wenger, seemed to get irked by the questions put to him about the future of Robin van  Persie and said that the club had not yet  received a single  bid for RVP. The media do ask some quite silly questions at times, all done in the hope that one of them will get a scoop. Have they not been watching Wenger in his 15 years in charge, you’d think they would have learned by now.

Still no new arrivals to the squad though the two that are making the most noise are Cazorla (Malaga) and Sahin (Real)… Time will tell… I think Diaby has looked good so far and should he stay injury free and play in the next few friendlies (I think AFC are trying to arrange one more) then maybe Arsene will keep the money in the bank.

Right I’m off for a bike ride

Thanks for reading


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