Considering Arsenal’s long hunt for silverware, Gunners supporters will be delighted in the manner in which their club have started their pre-season campaign. Arsene Wenger’s men managed to lift the Markus Liebherr Memorial Cup at the weekend after starting their preparation for the new season in positive fashion.
The competition, which included two other sides in the form of Southampton and Anderlecht, was not the conventional pre-season tournament as all the games were just 45-minutes long. However, the Gunners did not let this deter them, firstly recording a victory over Anderlecht before then drawing with the newly-promoted Saints. While they did actually lose to Southampton in a penalty shootout – they were still awarded a point for their efforts in getting to that position. This proved enough to win the tournament, courtesy of Anderlecht’s 1-0 win over Nigel Adkins’ men.
It would be fair to say that Arsene Wenger opted for a more youthful approach in these fixtures, with the likes of Henri Lansbury, Carl Jenkinson and Kyle Ebicilio all featuring for the Gunners. While Gervinho was also involved in the competition, a lot of Arsenal’s first team were rested after being given extended holidays following Euro 2012.
Wenger will certainly be hoping that his younger players will step up to the mark this term, with the Gunners still reluctant to spend in the transfer market. Even if Robin Van Persie is sold on this summer, it is unlikely that Wenger will invest in a major signing and it is therefore up to the existing players at the Emirates Stadium to impress.
Following on from this tournament, there is great expectation resting on the shoulders of Lansbury in particular, who has impressed significantly during various loan spells over the years. At 21-years-old, it is certainly starting to become make-or-break for the youngster.