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Discussion Starter #1
We have just 5 weeks now, until we begin the defence of our Double crowns...

In that time we will be playing, of course, a number of pre-season games as AW fine-tunes the squad and prepares them for another record-breaking season!

We'll keep all the friendly match news, reports and score updates in this thread OK?

Arsenal's Pre-Season Fixtures 2002-2003

Wednesday July 17th:
Stevenage Borough Vs ARSENAL

This game is the Paul Fairclough testimonial, Paul was the manager of Stevenage when they did so well against Newcastle in the 1997 FA Cup. He's now an Arsenal scout.

Tour of Austria:

Friday 26th July:
NEUBERG (Austria) v ARSENAL

Saturday 27th July:
RAPID VIENNA (Austria) v ARSENAL

Thursday 1st August:

ARSENAL to play
ROMA (Italy) and
PANATHINAIKOS (Greece)
in a 3-team tournament being held in Austria.

Saturday 3rd August: 1860 MUNICH (Germany) v ARSENAL
The final game of our Austrian tour.

Sunday 4th August: BEVEREN (Belgium) v ARSENAL XI
Always nice to play our nursery club. Who knows, maybe Tomas Danilevicius (remember him??) will play for them!

Tuesday 6th August: BARNET v ARSENAL
Back to North London for our last warm-up against our local friends, Barnet.

Then....

Sunday, 11th August:
The FA Community Shield

ARSENAL vs LIVERPOOL
at the Millenium Stadium in Cardiff.
 

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Mate are we going to see any new signings this season because they just dont seem to be coming....

Any news on the BIG TONY or for that matter Keown???
 

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Some pointless games just for confidence (Neuberg, of the Austrian Regional Leagues), some to promote friendship (Beveren), and some to pose a real challenge to us (1860 Munich, Roma, PAO).

I hate the idea of the 45-minute games. What's the point? It doesn't allow the team to prepare for the new seasonl, because stamina doesn't come into it, and so doesn't test the players physically.

Tomas Danilevicius scored that amazing goal against Barcelona from 25-yards, in the Amsterdam tournament, didn't he? I did wonder why we didn't keep him in our reserve team, because he looked good enough.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The 45-minute games can be useful for tactical reasons, I reckon.

Tomas had passport problems and was ushered out of the back door, just like Silvinho... :eek:
 

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no signing so far
looks bad

hopefully we dontr see any injuries from the friendlies
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The Stevenage game is on Wednesday, I'll put some info here when I get some.

Keep your eyes open around the internet for pre-season updates because they are often hard to come by!

I know that the guys started back on Tuesday 9th July, minus Tony Adams, Bob Pires, and obviously Freddie.

I think that Freddie is doing some light work in Halmstads next week. Any info Waks?

Gio did some light fitness work.
 

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Mate any idea when gio will be back in 1st team action?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Here's the match report from Arsenal.com:

Stevenage 1-6 Arsenal

STEVENAGE BOROUGH 1
Robin Trott 40


ARSENAL 6
Juan 27
Edu 57
Liam Chilvers 68
Jermaine Brown 75
Paulinho 82
Graham Barrett 83

The World Cup may be over but it seems the Brazilians don't know how to stop partying, as our trio of Edu, Juan and Paulinho all hit the target in a 6-1 victory.

Our first pre-season game, a testimonial for former Boro manager Paul Fairclough, saw new signing Pascal Cygan pull on the red and white for the first time, and he was solid and impressive for the first 70 minutes of his Highbury career.

The tall Frenchman dealt ably with long balls into the area, and his passing was always accurate.

Also on display was our new home shirt, with the new sponsors name, pulled on for the first time in this match.

But it was our attacking force which was to grab most of the headlines.

Young left-back Juan, playing on the left of midfield for the first half, opened the scoring with almost half an hour on the clock with a hard, low drive from outside the area.

But 15 minutes later Stevenage equalised thanks to a scrambled goal from a corner. Any number of players got a touch to it, but the final touch belonged to Robin Trott.

Half time saw Arsenal make substitutions en masse, and a number of younger players got their chance. But the goal deluge began with the experienced Edu, who - with probably his last touch before being substituted - fired in an awesome long-range shot.

Eleven minutes later it was the turn of the English to get on the scoresheet, when Liam Chilvers drew the Boro 'keeper and chipped over him into the top corner.

With 75 minutes on the clock David Bentley put in a corner from the right and Jermaine Brown was there to head it goalwards.

And another seven minutes later the Brazilians took over again when Paulinho fired a shot which the diving 'keeper could only get a finger to.

And almost immediately from the restart Graham Barrett was free on goal and lobbed a shot from the edge of the box.

In the end this was an easy game for the Gunners, and a gentle warm-up for the new season ahead. As well as the more experienced players on display, our youngsters show that the future is looking even brighter for Arsenal.

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I've seen the goals, and Edu's was the best one.

A great start to pre-season! :)
 

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I like seeing all those youth players in the line up. I am looking forward to seeing Paulinho and Juan break into the first team.
 

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GarethUK said:

I think that Freddie is doing some light work in Halmstads next week. Any info Waks?
That's correct, he will stay in Halmstad for some time before going back to England.
Unfortunatly I have some bad news about Freddie...
He is extremly depressed after his injury setback and sad that this was the worst time in his life... :(
I just hope he will get his positive thoughts back and come back better then ever...
 

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SV Neuberg - Arsenal....

Anyone knows the result yet? I hope we won. :)
It`s always fun with the friendly games, to see how our team will do, and what players that plays, and things like that.

I`m sure that we won today, and i hope many of the younger players played.

By the way, did anyone see England`s last match in the U19 euro championship? Was Pennant good then too?

He was very good in the match against Germany...
 

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I found it myself. :)

We won 8 - 2 if someone doesn`t know yet !!!

Don`t know who scored or played yet.
 

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well i am more looking forward to the tournament in austria as it should be quite hard.

actually it was 7-2.
:D
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SV NEUBERG 2-7 ARSENAL
Pre-Season Friendly
Oberwart Stadium, Oberwart
Friday July 26th
Kick-off: 7pm

THIERRY HENRY netted two goals in just 45 minutes in his first appearance since the World Cup in the opening match of our Austrian tour.

Henry played one half along with fellow French internationals Patrick Vieira and Sylvain Wiltord and scored with two clinical finishes to help us to victory against Austrian Division Three side Neuberg.

England internationals David Seaman, Sol Campbell, Ashley Cole and Martin Keown were rested after their exploits at the World Cup, but there was plenty of quality talent on show at the picturesque Informstadion in Oberwart.

Dennis Bergkamp, Ray Parlour, Edu, Matthew Upson, Lauren and new signing Pascal Cygan all featured for 45 minutes as well as rising stars such as Jeremie Aliadiere, Jermaine Brown and David Bentley.

And Aliadiere will certainly have impressed boss Arsene Wenger after scoring twice and creating three more during a thrilling second half.

However, first blood went to the Austrian side who started the game full of passion and perhaps slightly over-enthusiastic in the tackle.

Jure Zilic handed Neuberg an early lead when he fired in from 12 yards after a neat through ball from Andreas Steiner.

Two quick goals gave us a half-time, lead, though and it could have been even more as we gradually took control.

Bergkamp netted the equaliser with a close-range header after Brown had nodded the ball selflessly across the face of goal.

Within seconds Wiltord had scored as he calmly converted having been released by Upson’s long ball.

There were wholesale changes at half-time to ensure every squad member was involved and it certainly paid dividends as Neuberg tired.

Aliadiere quickly grabbed his first with a neat side foot low into the corner from 12-yards and then turned provider with a superb cross which Henry converted with ease.

It was Henry for the fifth when the French striker turned neatly in the box and fired home, while Edu tapped in another after more great work from Aliadiere.

Aliadiere completed the scoring near the end to make it seven-up in southeast Austria.

Mention must be made to Neuberg’s second goal from Zilic as the striker looped the ball into the net from the half-way line and celebrated with similar extravagance.

It was tough luck on young keeper Craig Holloway – who played in the second half in place of Stuart Taylor - to be beaten by such a pinpoint accurate shot.

But it was an entertaining evening in glorious sunshine for the capacity crowd, including hundreds of loyal Gunners fans making the trip abroad.
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Ali played very well! i think he could be a very fine striker. henry and berggy both are scoring well, alongside wiltord who did pretty good.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Just a quick article relating to the Austrian Tour; from Soccernet:


Arsenal embark on tour of Austria
By Michael Hart

Arsenal enter a new era tonight as they begin preparations for the defence of the Premiership title in the opening match of their Austrian tour.

Arsene Wenger: Looking to youth
(AlexLivesey/Allsport)
The game against Neuberg is an historic occasion for the Gunners because, for the first time in nearly 20 years, there is no Tony Adams cajoling team-mates through the rigours of pre-season training.

Arsene Wenger, under whose guidance the ex-Arsenal captain won two of his four Championship medals, is keen to assess the mood and spirit of the title holders as they enter the post-Adams era.

'What is important about my squad is that, with or without Tony Adams in the dressing room, they have already shown me that they want to be winners,' said the Arsenal manager. 'They have slowly learned to live without him because of his injuries in recent seasons. He played only a handful of games last season, for instance.

'He's had an enormous influence over the years and I'm sad he's decided to retire but we have other strong characters now in the squad. Players like Patrick Vieira, Thierry Henry and Sol Campbell can be equally influential.

'As well, we still have some of the backbone of the original squad. Players like David Seaman, Martin Keown and Ray Parlour have a proven record of reliability and slip naturally into the leadership roles.'

Wenger has taken a squad of 28 players for the five-match tour of Austria. The only notable absentees are Robert Pires and Freddie Ljungberg, both recovering from surgery, Jermaine Pennant, representing England in the European Under-19 Championship in Norway, and Moritz Volz, captaining Germany in the same tournament.

Wenger's touring squad includes Giovanni van Bronckhorst, recovering from a cruciate ligament operation, and Francis Jeffers, who has had surgery on an ankle problem.

Both missed much of last season and, although neither will be ready for the big kick-off, they have resumed light training.

The potential absence of three senior midfield players during the opening weeks of the season has added extra urgency to Wenger's search for players to reinforce his squad.

He has already bought French centre-back Pascal Cygan, a £2.1million capture from Lille, and has made no secret of the fact he needs to make further signings. But, in a contracting European transfer market, this is proving increasingly difficult for all the major clubs.

So, sensibly, Wenger will use the two-week Austrian tour to examine the potential of some of the Highbury youngsters who may be called up for first-team duty next month.

Those on tour include two 17 year olds - goalkeeper Craig Holloway and striker David Bentley. The other teenagers on the trip are French youth international striker Jeremie Aliadiere, the Brazilian defender Juan, the Danish Youth international Sebastian Svard and Jermaine Brown, a prolific goalscorer at Under-19 level.

Some of Arsenal's future stars are expected to play against Neuberg, an Austrian Third Division team, in Oberwart tonight. The other fixtures are: Rapid Vienna (tomorrow), Roma/Panathinaikos (1 August, both 45-minute matches), 1860 Munich (3 August).

'My intention is to play the full first team in the final match against Munich,' said Wenger.

That will leave Wenger just eight days for further fine tuning before the meeting with Liverpool in The FA Community Shield at Cardiff 's Millennium Stadium on 11 August.
 

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The game against Rapid Vienna was terminated after 69 minutes (0:0) because of riots of Rapid-Ultras, probably the most primitive beings on earth. :wallbang:

Next time play against Vienna's number 1, Austria Vienna, and not against those idiots from Hütteldorf.

Shame on you, that you didn't manage to score against them!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
There were disgraceful scenes as Austrian fans started fighting with the police... There is a history of violence between them apparently.

Wenger wants more safety guarantees before agreeing to continue our program out there now. If he abandons the tour, how will it affect our pre-season preparations?? :mad:


From Soccernet:

Gunners are caught up in riot
By Mark Ryan in Eisenstadt

Arsenal players Thierry Henry, Sylvain Wiltord and Ray Parlour had to run for safety last night as hooligans rioted, causing the abandonment of a pre-season friendly with Rapid Vienna.
Manager Arsene Wenger told his team to make a dash for cover as rival groups of Vienna thugs fought in the small Austrian town of Eisenstadt.

Violence erupted midway through the second half, with planks of wood and missiles being thrown in the stands. The referee suspended play after 66 minutes with the game goalless. Several hundred Arsenal fans were present, although not involved in the trouble.

There was an 11-minute holdup before Wenger spoke to the referee. Play then resumed for a minute before both teams made a sprint for the dressing-rooms.

Wenger said: 'I was worried from the moment we came into the ground. It was an extremely hostile atmosphere and the lack of security was worrying. We agreed to play on until we reached the far end of the stadium where we could run to safety.'
 

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Gunners call off friendly

Arsenal have cancelled Monday night's friendly against Austrian minnows TSV Hartberg following the violence which marred their match with Rapid Vienna on Saturday.

The Gunners saw their pre-season work-out in Eisenstadt abandoned after 69 minutes when Rapid fans clashed with police and the players were forced to take cover.

Local fans fired rockets on to the field and, as police moved in to stop them, they were pelted with bottles and seats.

Arsene Wenger's side will still take part in Thursday's tournament in Kapfenberg which includes Roma and Panathinaikos.

The Austrian Bundesliga have admitted they were considering sanctioning future high-profile friendlies in order to prevent a recurrence of the shocking scenes.

'The problem is that such friendly games are usually promoted by private organisations and not by the clubs,' said Bundesliga spokesman Christian Kircher.

'We have to think about introducing guidelines for such games.'

The Austrian Football Association have moved quickly to isolate the incident, mindful of the damage it could cause to the joint Austrian-Swiss Euro 2008 bid.

'In the last year in Austria there were more than 280 games in the Bundesliga, in the national cup, in the Champions League, in the UEFA Cup and in the World Cup qualification. There was never a problem like there was on Saturday,' read an AFA statement
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i think safety is first
wenger did the right thing
i hope the tournament in austria wont be called off though
i would really like to see us beat roma
 

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Sorry this is a bit late but I've just come back from holiday. I was actually at the Stevenage game. I was travelling up with a few friends and we had no idea how to get there. Luckily for us on the motorway I noticed Francis Jeffers in his Porsche and the team bus in front of him. So we decided to follow Jeffers who by the way was travelling 10 mph over the speed limit whilst on his mobile. Anyway we followed him all the way up to the stadium, honking are horn at him the whole way up, he responded once by giving us a thumbs up, which is was quite chuffed about.:)
Anyway we didn't know where to park was we tried to sneak in with Jeffers' Porsche and the team bus, but unfortuantely it didn't work we were stopped and told to go to a car park.
I got my ticket for £10 and I was standing in the front row next to the corner flag. 10 yards away from me was John Fashanu, so I got his autograph for some reason. The match was very entertaining and I touched Bergkamp on the shoulder when he was taking a corner. The match ended 6-1 as you all know, Edu's goal was the best. Cygan was impressive, he dealt with everything that came his way. Aliadiere was a dissapointment he missed some very easy chances and to me he doesn't look like breaking into the 1st team next season. The two players who impressed me the most were Juan and Jermain Brown. After the match I shook hands with Edu and Oleg as they were getting back on the bus and I saw David Dein so I went up to him and I asked him if we were signing Van Bommel and he said, 'I can't tell you that, you'll have to wait and see.'
 
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