Arsenal has gone home on a positive note after what manager Arsene Wenger called a “very difficult” pre-season Asian tour in sweltering temperatures.
The north London side returned home on Saturday and will play several more friendlies before its league opener against Aston Villa on August 17, but has yet to sign a big name in the summer transfer window.
“We are well advanced in our preparation,” Wenger told Arsenal’s website as he looked to the season ahead, but said it may take time to recover from the gruelling Asian tour.
“It depends now on how quickly we’ll recover from that trip because it was very difficult,” he said.
The Gunners won all four of their Asian tour matches, although they struggled in the final match against J-League side Urawa Reds on Friday, squeezing a 2-1 victory. Wenger enforced an intense training camp in Japan, with two tough sessions a day in temperatures of 30 degrees Celsius (86 F), and at least 75 per cent humidity.
The French manager had already guided his 24-strong squad through even hotter conditions in Indonesia and Vietnam.
During its two-week tour, Arsenal blew away an Indonesian All-Star XI 7-0, and pummelled Vietnam’s national side 7-1.
It took a 3-1 win over Japan’s Nagoya Grampus, which Wenger successfully coached for 18 months before moving to Arsenal in 1996.
Against Urawa, an 82-minute winner from 17-year-old substitute Chuba Akpom secured a late victory for Arsenal. — AFP