Theo Walcott is excited for this weekend’s friendly against Premier League runners-up Manchester City, and is eyeing a key battle with his old team mate Gael Clichy in Helsinki, Finland on Saturday.
The Arsenal winger has looked lively in the Gunners pre-season preparations scoring a fluky cross-cum-shot against Galatasary in last weekend’s Emirates Cup final match and finding himself in plenty of goal scoring situations through this summer’s fixtures.
The Gunners stepped up their preparations with matches against the Turkish side and Italian outfit Napoli in the preseason tournament after a grueling Asia Tour that saw the north London side battle the humidity and quick, fit Japanese teams. Walcott feels this weekend’s clash against Manuel Pellegrini’s side will be the toughest test and help them gauge where they are at preparation-wise ahead of the new season starting in just over a week.
Walcott told Arsenal Player:
I think that will be the ultimate test.
Man City are very strong this season. They know what they want to do but we know how strong we are. It will be a chance for us all to experience the tempo of the Premier League and what it’s going to be like.
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It’s going to be a good test but everyone will be ready for it. I think the boss will maybe think of the team that he will start with [against Aston Villa]. I’m looking forward to that game against my old man Clichy. I’ve always loved playing against him so I’ll give him a call before!
The Gunners will get a real eye opener with City bolstering their attacking line substantially this summer. Arsenal’s defence has been weak during pre-season and they will need to cut out any silly mistakes ahead of the clash this weekend.
The season starts on the 17th, just nine days away and still no senior signings. The likes of Walcott, Giroud and Podolski will have to step it up substantially ahead of the new campaign, especially the Englishman who has missed a bunch of sitters in recent matches. He’s getting himself into promising positions but is missing the extra bit of composure the Gunners require – Walcott must be clinical this season.
Arsene Wenger will have to field a strong side against City and we will get a taster of things to come either positive or negative.
Personally I don’t have the best of feelings about the friendly, what do you think Gooners? Will Wenger get what’s coming to him for not strengthening?