Arsenal’s pre-season games used to be very low key trips around Europe to prepare for the Emirates Cup each year, but since Silent Stan took over the club they have been more about increasing our fan base around the world. This summer the Gunners will be going to Singapore for the first time in 24 years to compete in the Barclays Asia Trophy, where we will face stiff opposition from Everton, Stoke and a Singapore Select XI.
“Fans in Singapore should expect our most competitive ever Barclays Asia Trophy,” said the Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore. “Arsenal have always been one of the most thrilling teams in the Premier League — they have some wonderful players and I’m sure they’ll delight their many fans from across Southeast Asia. Everton under Roberto Martinez continue to play an exciting brand of football, while Stoke City mix flair with a never-say-die attitude.”
“We are very excited to bring the competition to Singapore for the first time,” Scudamore continued. “We know Singaporeans love their football and that they are huge fans of the Barclays Premier League. Our aim is to put on a tournament worthy of the Singapore’s 50th birthday celebrations and for that reason we have three teams who epitomise the best of our League.”
The official Arsenal website gave these facts ahead of the trip. “It will be the first time Arsenal have participated in the tournament, and the Gunners’ first visit to Singapore since 1991.
“The knockout competition will take place over two matchdays on Wednesday, July 15 and Saturday, July 18, with a final to determine the winner and a play-off to decide third place. There will be two matches on each day.
“The Barclays Asia Trophy has been held biennially since 2003. This year will be the first time that Singapore – celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2015 – has played host to the tournament.”
Arsene Wenger also seems pleased with the quality of our opponents, and admitted he would be taking some youngsters over there for the experience. “We are happy to be participating in this Barclays Asia trophy,” Le Boss said. “We have not been to Singapore yet while I have been manager and that’s why we are very happy to go there.
“It will be a typical English Premier League competition in Asia and we know that English football is very popular in Asia, and that’s a good opportunity to show how much we respect Asia as well.
“Strong competition is what you’re looking for, to prepare well with the right intensity in the games to have a look at everybody as well. We have young promising players who can be a name after the competition. It’s a good opportunity as well for Singapore people to see these players.”
These games are just three weeks before the beginning of next season, and it will be about getting the players fit and ready for the new campaign, but looking at our opponents there is no reason why we can’t win it!