Mikel Arteta admits that he and his teammates must knuckle down to the nitty gritty of pre-season training on the upcoming tour of Asia despite the obvious fanfare that will greet their arrival in the region.
Facing a hectic three-week schedule that includes matches in Indonesia, Vietnam and Japan the club have been left with no choice but to incorporate a ‘boot camp’ that is usually undertaken in the foothills of the Alps.
Underlining the necessity of taking the Japan camp seriously, the Spanish midfielder told Arsenal.com that the four-day period between facing Vietnam and Nagoya Grampus will come as a welcome break from entertaining supporters both on and off the pitch.
“It’s a big thing because this year we’re going to spend almost three weeks over there so it’s going to be half of our preparation,” he said.
“We know that we’re going to have to do a lot of activities over there but the training has to be quality as well.
“The boys are going to take those four days [in Japan] to increase the amount of work we do during the day. During the first eight or nine days of the tour, we haven’t got much time to train hard because we’ve got game after game and a lot of travelling as well.
“I think it’s important that when we get that break, we get a camp there and get ready.”
An announcement on Arsene Wenger’s final travelling squad is expected tomorrow. In the meantime, check out Jeorge Bird’s latest update here for a run down on which of the club’s youngsters might be handed a chance to impress.