Arsenal will conclude its preseason tour and training in Germany with a stop in Cologne for a friendly against FC Cologne. This is a great opportunity for both teams to work out their preseason kinks, as well as for German fans to see Lukas Podolski return to face his old club as he suits up for Arsenal.
Arsenal comes into the match winless since July 24th, when it defeated Malaysia XI. But Gunner fans should not worry, the preseason friendlies are just how they sound. Opportunities for younger players to get a shot to show that they can play in the English Premier League.
With the Barclays Premier opener scheduled for August 18th, this will be Arsenal’s last chance to get its squad ready for the long and grinding season.
For FC Cologne, this a great experience for its club. Not only does it get to host one of the most popular teams in the world, it gets to give its team an incredible growing experience. It should also be an exciting match for their fans.
After a disappointing 2011-12 season, FC Cologne was relegated from the Bundesliga. The Billy Goats hope that a match against Arsenal can get their club turned around and headed in the right direction.
Where: Cologne, Germany
When: Sunday, August 12, 2012
Time: 12:00 P.M. ET
Robin van Persie Is in Germany
Even though his future with the club is uncertain, Robin van Persie is in Germany training with his Arsenal teammates and coaches. Keeping Van Persie would be huge for Arsenal, which has had a nice summer transfer window.
It is uncertain if Van Persie will suit up and play in the friendly, but since it is the final the tune-up for the Gunners, I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw the Dutchman and his captain band out on the pitch for Arsenal.
It would be in Arsenal's best interest if it decided to keep Van Persie. With the recent signings that Arsenal has completed, this squad has a chance to compete for an EPL title. If it does lose RVP, it will hurt its chances—especially if he ends up at one of the Manchester clubs.
FC Cologne Needs this Match
FC Cologne needs to build excitement around a squad that was relegated last year. Fans did not take being relegated too well. Watch this video to see their reaction.
To make matters worse for the Billy Goats, their best player, Lukas Podoiski, left the team and joined Arsenal. Part of the agreement between the two clubs over the Podoiski transfer was this friendly.
It will be great for Cologne, which is trying to get its squad back on track through rebuilding, but it also is important to try and spark fan excitement following a rough year.
If Cologne wants to be successful, it must generate revenue so that it can go out and sign players who will help the club compete at a high level.
One way to do that is ticket sales. This friendly is sure to draw a high number of fans to the stadium. Not only is Arsenal one of the most popular teams in the world, it is coming into Cologne with one of the best German players in the world.
These preseason friendlies are always so hard to predict and this one is no different. Arsenal is going to win with ease, but it is nearly impossible to project how long it will keep the pressure on.
Since this is Arsenal’s last preseason game, I expect it to play its best squad a little more. With all the new signings recently, this is a perfect opportunity to give the players a chance to gel together.
Arsenal wins 3-0.