Jack Wilshere is looking forward to this weekend’s Emirates Cup tournament after missing out last season, and feels it is a good opportunity to lift a trophy in front of the fans.
The pre-season tournament has become a success in recent years however it was unable to be held last year due to the London Olympic Games.
The two day tournament will feature the likes of Napoli, Galatasaray and Porto however the Gunners will face just the former two (fixture list below). The competition will provide more opportunities for the youngsters to impress again while Wilshere also sees it as an opportunity to step up the fitness levels for the senior players too.
The New York Red Bulls are the current holders of the Cup after their 2011 triumph, however the Englishman believes they must give the fans a reason to celebrate and push on with their pre-season preparations.
He told Arsenal’s official website:
We missed it last year. It seemed like something was missing from pre-season.
It’s a good cup and the fans love it. It’s a chance to lift a trophy too and there are always good teams there. You get that good block of pre-season in and you build your fitness up ready for that.
We’ve got Napoli and Galatasaray this year so it’s going to be a test. That’s when you really up your fitness.
The Cup will certainly provide plenty of excitement and a chance for the fans to see some of the clubs exciting young talent on display as well as the stars.
The likes of Chuba Akpom, Serge Gnabry and Gedion Zelalem will be looking to impress and further exert themselves on Arsene Wenger’s first team plans. There will be, however, a sour note for Gooners who were hoping to see Higuain in an Arsenal shirt as the Argentine striker will ironically play for his new side Napoli against the Gunners this weekend.
Here is the Emirates Cup fixture list:
Saturday 3rd August 2013
Galatasaray vs FC Porto (2pm)
Arsenal vs Napoli (4:20pm)
Sunday 4th August 2013
Napoli vs FC Porto (2pm)
Arsenal vs Galatasaray (4:20pm)