Arsenal’s pre-season 2017/18 – what we know so far…

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Seeing as this season is agonisingly painful, we – the ever-optimistic team at Arseblog News – thought we’d look ahead to the summer and Arsenal’s preparations for the glorious quadruple-winning 2017/18 campaign.

As things stand we’re channelling our inner Donald Rumsford…

“There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don’t know we don’t know.”

So…without further ado. A timeline. Of sorts.

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Sunday, 21 May
Arsenal vs Everton [final day of 2016/17 Premier League season]
Emirates Stadium, London

Thursday, May 25
New Puma home kit rumoured to be launched [via @FootyHeadlines]

Saturday 27 May
FA Cup Final
Wembley, London

Thursday 1 June
Arseblog News’ 6th birthday…jelly and ice cream for all!

8-15 June
World Cup qualifiers and international friendlies

W/C 12 June
Pre-season training begins for non-international players

14 June
Premier League releases fixtures for 2017/18 season

17 June – 2 July
Confederations Cup in Russia
Featuring – Russia, Australia, Germany, Chile, Mexico, New Zealand, Portugal, Cameroon
Matches to be played in St Petersburg, Moscow, Sochi, Kazan

Thursday, 13 July
Arsenal vs Sydney FC
ANZ Stadium, Sydney

Saturday, 15 July
Arsenal vs Western Sydney Wanderers
ANZ Stadium, Sydney

Wednesday, 19 July
Arsenal vs Bayern Munich
Shanghai Stadium, Shanghai

Saturday 22 July
Arsenal vs Chelsea
Bird’s Nest Stadium, Beijing

Saturday, July 29
Arsenal vs TBC
Emirates Stadium, London

Sunday, July 30
Arsenal vs TBC
Emirates Stadium, London

Saturday, 12 August
Premier League 2017/18 season starts

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Arsenal have averaged 6.3 friendlies in their pre-season preparations over the course of the last decade so it’s possible that the club might organise another game between the end of the Emirates Cup and the start of the new season. In recent years we’ve ventured to Scandinavia. That said, the club will probably wait and see whether we qualify for the Champions League and if there’s a potential qualifier to play.
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So there you go…a few ‘known knowns’ and ‘known unknowns’. Of course, what remains is a lot more ‘known unknowns’ and a fair few ‘unknown unknowns’ as well, including…

  • Will Arsene Wenger sign a new contract?
  • Will we recruit a sporting director?
  • Will there be a St Totteringham’s Day?
  • Will Steve Bould finally have the hair implant op he’s been waiting for?
  • Will Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil sign new contracts?
  • Will the black and pink third kit burn our eyes as much as we think?
  • Which player will anger Shad Forsythe the most by returning the tubbiest?
  • Will we let Yaya Sanogo join Real Madrid on a free?
  • Will the likes of Jack Wilshere, Kieran Gibbs, Wojciech Szczesny and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain be offered new deals?
  • What percentage of the first team squad will go to Las Vegas on holiday?
  • Who will take over as head of the Arsenal Academy?
  • Will Vic Akers ever not wear shorts?
  • Will Petr Cech rap Ice Cube’s 1992 ‘Check Yo Self’ at teammates on the massage table?

We’re off for a lie-down, writing this has made us tired.

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28 Comments on "Arsenal’s pre-season 2017/18 – what we know so far…"

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canon 10000

Gosh I need a lie down too. How about something happy for a change blogs? Can we not find anything jolly these days?

I see you forgot to post a puppy picture at the end…

AFC

Yes, and I just saw that we’re playing TBC back to back at the Emirates end of July; what are they thinking!?

Mein Bergkampf

Anyone else reckon we should do an FA Cup semi final song just for the hell of it?

Rich

We’ll sell our best player.
We’ll dilly then we’ll dally then on August 31st at midnight we’ll have signed precisely no one.
Kroenke won’t care, Arsene will continue to make the same mistakes and Arsenal fan tv will throw a which bell end can throw the biggest wobbler competition.

santori

That’s a bit rich.

We haven’t had need to sell our best assets for several seasons now.

Wenger has also bought players VERY early. Granit last season at premium pricing.

Its convenient to try and criticise Wenger with red herrings perpetuated by the media because you may feel frustrated but it is thoroughly not reflective of reality.

We may have to sell our best assets this summer but how we respond in kind will dictate the way forward for both Wenger and eventually the successor.

If we seek to add in players of close to equal caliber for the two departing, it will show good intent to compete.

If Wenger (or whoever) falls back on short changing with internal development on potential and a lesser light from market, then I’d make the assertion that the club is not showing enough ambition.

But over evidence of last 3 or 4 seasons with large spending (plus FA cups), the Cech season not withstanding, I would say your comment is not accurate to say the least.

Self meditated bias.;)

Rich

That’s why on August 30th we were scavenging around trying to tie up deals for Perez and Mustafi?
Hardly the actions of a man with a clear concise plan.
The year we just bought Cech cost us the title by being reliant on injury prone midfielders.
Our refusal to pay up for Suarez and Higuain was staggering, leaving us to panick buy Ozil on the 31st of August when we’d already let two world class strikers out of our clutches.
When Liverpool said Cavani’s just moved for £55-60mill and we value Suarez in the same category, had our goal been to get a winning team we’d have just paid the money.
This isn’t me being captain hindsight, it’s just clear that we’re trying to extract value over the concept of obtaining a winning team

Godfrey Twatsloch

I think Wenger bought som fine players leading up to this season. Players who’ve under performed which has been hugely disappointing but none the less they’re good players. I don’t see how anyone can fault him for that.

Godfrey Twatsloch

“panic buy Özil”

A player who could have had his pick of clubs anywhere and chose to sign for us. You say panic buy I say poppycock.

Andy Mack

Rich, when you’ve spoken to Suarez agent, he says Suarez really wants to join you and it just has to be an offer over £40m BUT you then find that Suarez really doesn’t want to lose his ‘loyalty bonus’ from Liverpoo by putting in a transfer request and pushing through the deal, Do you really wan to pay £55m+ for him?
Irrespective of that, he’d have been off to a big Spanish club at the first opportunity anyway, as his Spanish wife was really homesick…

Giroud\'s Abs

Looking forward to seeing The Arsenal when they come down under in July! Haven’t seen an Arsenal game since the Emirates cup back when Hleb and Song were still on the team sheet.

Ausdrexler

Got my tickets for both matches!

Burger

I have my tickets for the Wanderers match too.

After 10 years supporting, this will be my first time seeing The Arsenal live

Steve

Been a Arsenal supporter since they beat MU in the FA Cup in the seventies, had my ups and downs like all of us… but 1 day it will all come true… 3 trophies in 1 season!!!!.
Being a Kiwi, I am really excited about going to see them in Aussie land… Providing the PM doesn’t have any more PMS moments and not allow us there.

John

Inner Donald Rumsfeld?

Martin

Thanks for that blogs. I needed a laugh. What flavour ice cream are you providing and have you a personal delivery service ?

Goontang

Tickets to both sydney fixtures secured. Taking the week off work. Finally dont have to travel to london to see my boys! COYG!!!!

Mustafi love but it\'s over now
Mustafi love but it\'s over now

Fuck it i’ll gaze into my crystal ball then: yeah, nah, nah, thick and lustrous, nah, many will die needlessly, yaya, he’ll visit on a day trip but nah, half-arsed ones, just the french ones (including arsene), Thierry, he’ll try khakis and hate it, and seems inevitable

Goonerrific

Great name, shit post

Ben

I just say I’m glad the team is finally coming to Australia, but bugger me, could have arranged to play someone decent… The two Sydney teams are nothing really to get excited about. I went to the MCG to watch Man City and Real Madrid – 95,000 people… we needed to have arranged something a little closer to that type of game to draw a bigger crowd and lift the profile of this great team in Australia. At least I get to see them again, just hoping a few big names travel with the team.

Dave

Will Arsene Wenger sign a new contract? Most likely
Will we recruit a sporting director? Not likely
Will there be a St Totteringham’s Day? at this rate not sure
Will Steve Bould finally have the hair implant op he’s been waiting for? Hope he does
Will Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil sign new contracts? very much doubt so
Will the black and pink third kit burn our eyes as much as we think? as long as team plays good i dont care about kits
Which player will anger Shad Forsythe the most by returning the tubbiest? Wilshere
Will we let Yaya Sanogo join Real Madrid on a free? and watch him become the new Anelka
Will the likes of Jack Wilshere, Kieran Gibbs, Wojciech Szczesny and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain be offered new deals? probably
What percentage of the first team squad will go to Las Vegas on holiday? 99%
Who will take over as head of the Arsenal Academy? Arsene Wenger will want to coach them too
Will Vic Akers ever not wear shorts? Can Mourinho stop being an obnoxious brat?
Will Petr Cech rap Ice Cube’s 1992 ‘Check Yo Self’ at teammates on the massage table? he will

David Hillier\'s luggage
David Hillier\'s luggage

Looking at that schedule, I seriously doubt Sanchez’s or Ozil’s contracts will be looked at until after the squad get back form the Asia tour given both will be away in the confederations cup. Also, Australian gooners, I doubt you’ll be seeing either player in Sydney – we usually give players two weeks off after a tournament (even the confederations cup) so its highly likely they’ll join up with the squad in China instead.

Ausdrexler

Yay Arsenal on Australia!!!

TPz07

Donald Rumsfeld? Or was there a joke I missed?

GraeB

Good to know we face Bayern Munich early season – certainly doesn’t look like we’ll get them in Champions League.

Crystal Palace ball gazing –
Bemoan loss of players on extended breaks after Confederations Cup
Lose opening game at home to Chelski
Go on 10 match unbeaten run to get to top of league
Lose 3 players to injury for rest of season (Cazorla, Mustafi and Welbeck)
Promising run of games sees us lose to Watford, Stoke, WBA and draw with Brighton
Calls for Wenger to resign (or if he left, to re-sign)
Complete first clean sheet of season in goalless draw with Leicester
Buy another injured player in January window
Win the odd game before season-ending run of victories and talk of building for 19/20 season

Even I’m thumbing down this post, don’t worry.

Hi-brid

Pre-season training starts 3 weeks after the last league game of this season? Seems early.

santori

We may lose Both Ozil and Alexis this summer which will make it interesting indeed.

I think provided this season does not end an unmitigated disaster (outside top 4), there is reason to consider extending Wenger for one more season to see through the summer patch and hand over a better shaped squad to his eventual successor.

As far as both our key players are concern, I feel we have a slightly better chance retaining the German.

However the list of clubs able to lure either player is a short one.

Assuming we do not cave in to old habits/ and pressure and sell on to a peer rival in league (City, Chelsea, a United willing to pay silly money), I can’t see too many options for both Ozil and Alexis on the continent (proviso they don’t go to China)

Barca may be out for Alexis (or maybe they will find humility and come back in for him). I doubt he will want to go to rivals RM. Juventus may be a possibility if they can muster sufficient funds (or swap say Pjanic). More likely we are looking at Bayern (with their aging wide men in Ribbery and Robben) or PSG.

The situation seems the same for Ozil. Even if we have been deemed a ‘disgrace’ by certain fans and the media, there are not that many teams on the continent who are more attractive destinations or who will consistently perform on as high a level.

Again Juventus is a possibility if we discount both RM and Barca. Maybe back to Germany and Bayern (If he should not mind the attention from German media and the pressure that will come with it). Potentially more likely a high paying PSG.

With this in mind, if the club can engineer viable swap deals in the eventuality we have to sell on these players, it could also help our rebuild somewhat as aside from replacing both key players, we may also face need to add in deep midfield and fullback (potentially Lback for me if Wenger should recycle Calum back to his natural position at Rback)

But I also think we should consider selling on Walcott who is only going to see his pace wane with age. He has come up with the goals now and again but I feel we lack nuance with him (particularly considering his age now)

Kylian Mbappe is an exciting prospect (who plays on Left flank) with potential to convert to CF. He likely won’t be cheap (depending on other suitors and if Wenger can assert sufficient soft power)

But there are also others to consider like say a swap deal (say at PSG) for Lucas Moura (in effect the Brazilian Walcott) or maybe even if say Draxler is yet to feel settled.

Whatever the case, it will take a savvy hand to negotiate the summer to stretch our money and reinforce a number of positions with not numbers but actual quality (technical upgrade IMO)

In that Wenger whilst he can be suspect tactically (to the point of naivity at times…idealist), is one of the best operators in the market.

This should come into strong consideration if proviso he can at minimum provide his Top4 finish (and hopefully of curse the FA cup)

I suspect we (and he) will know better how competitive we will be in the final scheme of things with the two match ups against City forthcoming.

bazza_wicks

best thing there for a smile jelly and icecream as long as its not strawberry

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