Arsenal kick off their latest Emirates Cup campaign against the French club Lyon tomorrow, hoping to lift our home ground trophy for the first time since 2010. And with a shorter than usual summer break for the players due to the Euro 2016 tournament next summer, tomorrow’s game and the one on Sunday against the Bundesliga outfit Wolfsburg have taken on a more important role than usual.
In public Arsene Wenger is not putting any pressure on his players to win the games or lift the trophy, insisting that although he does like the competitive nature of the games, it is much more about preparation for the season ahead than anything else.
The boss told Arsenal Player, “Personally I love the Emirates Cup because it’s competitive without having too much pressure on the games.
“It’s the first time that we reunite with our fans in our local stadium and I find that great. It’s always a sell-out, and gives opportunities to people who usually cannot come to watch the team.
“It is vital for preparation. The international players came back quite late on July 11, so when you think that they have less than four weeks to prepare for the first Premier League game, it’s very short.
“The Emirates Cup on a preparation front is very important.”
I would say that it could be crucial and in private I think the Frenchman feels the same way. It is important for us to play well of course and gain fitness but I also think we need to stay in the winning habit ahead of another pre-season game against Chelsea at Wembley.
Arsenal have momentum but it can so easily be lost and although we have shown the ability to bounce back from disappointing results in recent years, it is harder to do than staying on a roll. The last couple of Emirates Cups have seen us get in a winning position and blow it and that is not the feeling we want our squad to have as we approach the best chance of winning the Premier League in a long time.
So do you think it is vital for Arsenal to actually win the Emirates Cup this year?