Arsenal F.C. are in the midst of their Preseason Asia Tour and things are going quite well at the moment. The Gunners took on the Indonesian Dream Team yesterday in front of over 50,000 lively fans in Jakarta. They won by a score-line of 7-0, and there were some fine goals in the bunch. It was good to see the senior players taking control of the game, as well as some of the young guns getting on the score sheet. This tour might be seen as only a public relations move to some, but there are some important factors at play for the team.
Preseason tours might not be glamorous, but they are a very important part of the preparation for the upcoming campaign. After coming back from holiday, some of the players need to get the rust out of their legs and get back to match fitness. It’s also an opportunity for some of the younger players to stake their claim to the first team.
The preseason can have an impact on a player’s whole season, and the first team will be looking to solidify their positions in the club. Players who know they will be starting come August can’t relax on this tour. Even professionals can lose their touch a bit, and after some time off, this is a great opportunity for them to get sharp again. Jack Wilshere is finally able to participate in a preseason tour after being plagued with ankle injuries for the past few years. This preseason will give Wilshere a big boost, and I believe this will be his best season yet because of his presence at the tour.
When young players are given an opportunity by their coach, they must go out and impress. Thomas Eisfeld, Kristoffer Olsson and Chuba Akpom all scored today, some of them in fine fashion. These young players have a lot of potential and it is reassuring to see budding talent in the academy. They will all be pushing to get into the first team this season, and are provided with a fine opportunity to showcase their talent to Arsène Wenger in Asia.
All in all, it’s great to see the players having fun while getting good work in, and what better place to do it than a country where there are so many passionate Arsenal fans. I watched the first 30 minutes or so before my stream cut out, but every time there was a cheeky pass or a chance on goal, the crowd went crazy. It seemed like a great atmosphere to play in and hopefully there was some valuable experience gained by the players.
Whether it’s established players looking for fitness and form or young players out to prove themselves, Arsenal’s preseason tour will influence their domestic campaign. It’s up to the players to realize this opportunity and put in the work if they want success.