Djourou: Smells like team spirit

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It would appear that Arsenal’s recent tour of Asia has been as much a hit with the players, coaching staff and board as it was with the club’s fans in Malaysia and China.

While CEO Ivan Gazidis has spoken positively about spreading the club’s global status while simultaneously persuading Arsene Wenger on the need to balance pre-season training with marketing opportunities, players from Andrey Arshavin to new boy Carl Jenkinson have also expounded the benefits of the week long adventure.

Adding his voice to the positive feedback Swiss centre-back Johan Djourou also reflected on the boost to squad morale that has come with experiencing a new part of the world under the Arsenal banner.

“It brought the players closer together and that is good,” he told Arsenal Player. “On the pitch, the players will be closer.

“The mood is great and you can see that with the players. It was massively different to Austria. For us, it was great to see something different.

“Austria is more settled and we know that we are going to the hotel, training and that is it. We did more in Asia with the team so it was great.”

Arsenal have spent the week training in more traditional climes at London Colney as they prepare for their next test against Cologne in Germany on Saturday. On their return the build-up will then turn to the Emirates Cup and a fixture with Benfica before a potentially tricky Champions League qualifier against as yet unknown opponents.

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