After years of stubbornly refusing to venture further than the Alps it appears the success of recent pre-season tours of the Far East have forced Arsene Wenger to accept that there are benefits for his squad, even if they aren’t necessarily on the playing side.
While it’s obvious that the trips to Asia are first and foremost undertaken for ‘brand-awareness’ purposes the boss admits that experiencing different cultures and grasping the club’s global status is a useful educational experience for the younger players.
“First of all, it’s always nice to see that you are loved and famous all over the world,” the manager told Arsenal Player.
“When you live in your bubble you don’t always realise just how big Arsenal is.
“It’s a good period for them and I believe that for a young boy to discover different cultures and different ways of thinking, having an exchange of experiences with other people who have a completely different culture, can only benefit them.
“Also on that front, to live together within a completely different environment for a couple of weeks will profit the team as well.”
Arseblog News is all for holistic growth and whatnot, but it’s probably fair to say the boss would prefer to stay in Europe. What with Twitter, international football and staying in hotels before every game, both home and away, the squad are hardly sheltered from their fame or each other.
On the plus side for Wenger (and probably at his instruction), while the two previous tours of Asia have been whistle-stop affairs – the last involving three games in five days in Malaysia, China and Hong Kong – the latest incarnation will last a full two-weeks (inclusive of travel) and feature a comprehensive training camp in Japan.
Presumably the inclusion of such a camp will negate the need for a further star jump session betwixt the cow bells of the Alps and will stand the boys in good stead ahead of the Emirates Cup (*chance of silverware klaxon*) and the final pre-season game against Manchester City in Finland.