Arsenal’s 1-0 defeat to Monaco in the Emirates Cup was down to the team’s lack of physical preparation, according to Arsene Wenger.
With a squad coming back in dribs and drabs after the World Cup, there’s a big gap in the levels of fitness, and the manager says it was a ‘warning’ with the new season just two weeks away.
Speaking the press after the game, the boss said, “It is a good warning to us that we are not completely ready on the physical front yet.
“We had to dig deep but in the end it was not good enough. We have made a demonstration that in 24 hours a lot can change in football. As much as our performance was sharp, creative, dynamic and mobile yesterday, today it was static, lethargic and not convincing at all.
“I feel that many players had not recovered completely physically and that we were not completely ready.”
The manager singled out Olivier Giroud as an example of the fitness issue, saying, “Giroud was not ready today – I don’t know if I will play him in the Community Shield.
“Giroud had only three weeks’ rest and he will be back, he is working very hard in training but needs more time.”
With players like Mathieu Debuchy and Laurent Koscielny in the same situation because of their World Cup commitments, and the German contingent of Mertesacker, Ozil and Podolski still away on their break, the early part of the season may well prove to be more challenging than we might like – especially with a Champions League qualifier to contend with.
There were no post-game comments about transfers, but Arseblog News is aware that the club are still on the chase for two new signings, including a centre-half and a midfielder.
However, the manager’s comments about the second half of the window being busy suggest he may be ready to bide his time over the new arrivals.