Arsenal concluded their pre-season programme in emphatic fashion on Sunday, after they brushed past German outfit Cologne in 4-0 fashion. While many people will be delighted with the comprehensive score line, there were certainly other talking points after Robin Van Persie made his first appearance of the summer following his announcement that he wants to quit the Gunners.
Van Persie came on as a second half substitute and unsurprisingly, he failed to get a reception from the traveling faithful. Many were surprised that he took over the captain’s armband, after Thomas Vermaelen had skippered the side for the opening sixty nine minutes.
In fact, supporters seemed to pay more attention to Arsene Wenger’s new recruits. Having coincidently joined from Cologne earlier in the summer, Lukas Podolski certainly managed to impress against his former club as he proceeded to bag two goals. The German striker linked up superb well with fellow new signing Olivier Giroud and while his strike partner did not manage to get on the score sheet, he still showed glimpses of quality that bodes well for the forthcoming campaign. The other goals in the game came from Thomas Vermaelen and Gervinho, with another new player in the form of Santi Cazorla having a hand in the former’s effort.
Following on from RVP’s involvement in this game, it now remains to be seen where his future lies. Having barely played a part in the Gunners’ pre-season programme, the Dutch striker is surely not going to be considered for a starting place when the Premier League kicks off next week. At the same time, his future appears to be well and truly in limbo, with no club yet meeting the supposedly £20m price tag that Arsene Wenger has slapped on him. While Sir Alex Ferguson is still reportedly interested, a move is going to have to happen sooner rather than later with the end of the transfer window nearing.