Arsenal recently concluded their 2013 tour of Asia after having spent two weeks in the continent.
It was the second time in two years that Arsenal have toured Asia, having been there in July 2012.
The tour this year took them to three countries, with Indonesia being their first destination before they proceeded to Vietnam and then concluded the tour in Japan.
Although this tour is seen as part of Arsenal's pre-season preparation, it was also an avenue for Arsenal to promote their brand in the Far East.
The tour has come and gone here are four positives Arsenal fans should take from the just concluded tour.
Olivier Giroud can score goals
Many Arsenal fans did not see Olivier Giroud as the perfect replacement for the departed Robin van Persie last season and their fears were compounded even further when he failed to score in any of Arsenal’s first six Premier League games.
He finally scored in his seventh league game at Upton Park against West Ham United and went on to finish the season with an impressive tally of 11 league goals and 17 in all competitions.
Giroud has been in impressive form in Arsenal’s pre-season games with six goals in four games and he now he seems to have fully adjusted to life at Arsenal.
In an interview he gave to Arsenal’s official website, he spoke of how his improved understanding with his team-mates has positively impacted on his game. Giroud is a typical old fashioned striker, an original No. 9 and although Arsenal are actively pursuing the signing of Liverpool striker Luis Suarez, who has a completely different playing pattern to Giroud.
Giroud will still has a big part to play for the Gunners in the coming season and his impressive goal tally will help improve and build his confidence.
The Arsenal academy still produces talent
Arsene Wenger is a manager that has a track record of discovering, developing and nurturing young talents. He is always ready to give them an opportunity to play and he has shown this in Arsenal’s tour of Asia where youngsters such as Chuba Akpom, Serge Gnabry and especialy Gedion Zelalem have had hugely impressive displays.
Zelalem is a 16-year-old midfielder and he seems to have caught the eyes of most Arsenal followers more than any other player in the entire travelling party.
The young midfielder reminds Arsenal supporters of a young Cesc Fabregas and if Arsenal nurtures him to an extent where he is able to achieve his full potentials, he could become unplayable. Fellow midfielder Jack Wilshere has been impressed with Zelalem’s performances.
According to the Mirror, Wilshere was quoted as saying: "He sees passes that not a lot of players can. You think “what’s he doing?” and suddenly someone is in. He is only 16 and he is an exciting player.
"He’s so comfortable on the ball, even in training he’s a nightmare to play against".
Arsenal may have just unearthed another real gem in Zelalem
Perseverance pays off
Vu Xuan Tien did not just want to get a glimpse, he wanted an unscheduled meeting with the entire team. According to the Arsenal official website, Tien who would later be known as “Running Man", chased the Arsenal team bus for about 5 kilometres and kept running despite bumping into different barriers.
He was eventually invited onto the team bus as a reward for his perseverance and unwillingness to give up. As reported in the Mirror, Arsene Wenger made reference to the “Running Man” in one of his press conferences in Vietnam. Everywhere the Arsenal team visited during the tour, they were followed by large crowds of supporters who wanted to get a glimpse of their heroes.
Wenger said Tien’s tenacity had inspired his players as they suffered tough training sessions in high humidity in Vietnam. The Arsenal team has clearly learnt a thing or two from Tien and, hopefully, they will learn to dig deep and never give up easily in the 2013/14 season when Arsenal will commence their quest to end their eight year trophy drought.
Arsenal have money to spend
Before the team departed for the tour of Asia, there had been indications coming from inside the club that money was available for spending this summer. Not many people really believed this because they had heard this story in previous seasons without the promise being fulfilled.
While on tour Arsenal showed their sign of intent for the coming season by placing two bids massive for Liverpool striker Luis Suarez with the second being a staggering £40,000,001 bid for the striker.
This second bid shattered Arsenal’s current transfer record by over £20m.
Although these bids were rejected by Liverpool, who still insist Suarez in not for sale, it showed that Arsenal were ready to end years of mediocrity by being very competitive in the coming season and would leave no stone unturned until they achieved their aim.
They have been linked with other big names like Marouane Fellaini of Everton, and Arsenal fans will be hoping both deals can be completed as soon as possible to enable these players integrate into the team in pre-season before the season fully commences in August.
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