by Nia Griffiths
Arsene Wenger has revealed that he’s a big fan of the Emirates cup because not only does it reunites the fans in their place of worship for the first time in months, but it also gives the players key game time.
The (nearly) annual friendly tournament which takes place at the Emirates is not only a decent day out for the fans who don’t have season tickets and therefore don’t usually get a chance to see the team play, but also a chance for the squad to take part in a little friendly competition.
This year, Wolfsburg, Villarreal and Lyon will be competing, with Arsenal’s first match kicking off on Saturday against Lyon.
Speaking about his adoration of the Emirates Cup, the boss said, “Personally I love the Emirates Cup because it’s competitive without having too much pressure on the games.”
For the past few of seasons, Arsenal have lost out on our own cup to New York Red Bulls (2011), Galatasaray (2013) and Valencia (2014). There was no tournament in 2012 but I’m sure we would’ve lost that too.
On what it means for the fans, Wenger said, “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.”
However, as previously mentioned, the cup isn’t just great for the fans, it’s also a key part of the players training regime before the new season.
“It is vital for preparation,” the boss said. “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.”