The Gooners started their preseason, on July 19, with a 2-0 victory against Borewood. Some players from the starting XI that did not feature in the World Cup had a few minutes on the field. But this fixture was predominately an opportunity for the French tactician to monitor players from the academy.
Compared to the previous season, Arsenal F.C.’s preseason schedule will be much shorter. According to Arsene Wenger, much of the reason is due to the 2014 World Cup. Players such as Mesut Oezil and Laurent Koscielny will be returning from their small holidays after the international tournament. Wenger does not want players to be physically overwhelmed prior to the start of the season. Nevertheless, Arsenal have a busy schedule ahead of them.
Arsenal are scheduled to play in New York, United Sates on 23 July. They will face Thierry Henry’s New York Red Bulls. And it seems that the Gooners have been preparing for this match– and I am not referring to their finishing in front of goal. The club uploaded a video on its YouTube channel, showing a few players practicing their New York accents by repeating famous New York quotes. One cannot help but notice that acting was the last career path these players are cut out for.
The video starts with Kieran Gibbs telling us about the 9 year trophy drought Arsenal faced ere to last seasons FA Cup win. “Forget about it!” A quote made famous by the 1997 film Donnie Brasco.
It continues with Carl Jenkinson, Serge Gnabry, and Mathieu Flamini giving us impressions of other quotes made famous by American films. My favorite is Jenkinson’s attempt at Robert De Niro’s best line in Taxi Driver, “You talkin’ to me?” (Somebody give this guy an Oscar!) I recommend the video to those fans stressed out about the upcoming season.
Following the match against the New York Red Bulls, Arsenal will return to London to finish the preseason with back to back matches. On August 2nd and 3rd, the Gooners will face Benfica and AS Monaco respectively.
Although the preseason ends there, Arsenal will have no time to relax. Seven days after they face Benfica, Wenger and his players will have another chance at silverware when they play against Manchester City for the Community Shield. The Community Shield may not be a major trophy, but winning it would be a positive start for Arsenal and its fans. Plus, what Arsenal faithful does not want a second trophy in the same year?
From then on, Arsenal will hopefully be in season form, since the season begins six days after the Community Shield match. The first fixture will be at home against Crystal Palace on Saturday, 16th August. It may not be a difficult start, but we all remember what happened last year’s first match against Aston Villa. I am sure Wenger has found time for practice while preparing his accent for New York.