Friday, March 1, 2024

Cech and Wilshere buoyed by squad fitness

Petr Cech says he’s really pleased with the way Arsenal’s pre-season preparations have panned out over the last week.

The Gunners tour of Singapore ended with silverware as they overcame Everton 3-1 in the final of the Asia Trophy but it’s the way the squad have worked on the training ground that has impressed the summer signing.

Speaking to the club’s official website Cech, who made his Arsenal debut yesterday, noted:

“The main importance was to get fit and to play well, to get ready for the Premier League and the early competitions. It was the first game for me and the first game for some other lads, but I really enjoyed the team effort we put in and in the end we had a very good game.

“I’m very pleased because the first game is very important and I obviously wanted to have a successful debut. I’m happy – my first game and my first trophy. If it can continue like this I will be delighted.”

“It’s been a great week because we’ve been working hard,” added Cech. “We had two very positive games, and we can go back home to London happy and glad with what we achieved here. The main target was to get fit and it’s important that even when you are tired you win games.

“Everything has been great but [the most memorable moment was] probably my debut. When you play your first game, everybody has a big expectation and you win a game, [so] it is something to always remember.”

Jack Wilshere was similarly ebullient about the fitness of his team mates as goals from Theo Walcott, Santi Cazorla and Mesut Ozil sealed the win over the Toffees.

Playing up the individual conditioning programme prepared by Arsenal’s fitness team, the England midfielder says he’s closing in on peak fitness.

“I thought we looked really fit today, as we did against the Singapore Select XI,” he noted.

“It was a different test – Everton started well. They liked to keep the ball, so we didn’t really want to give the ball away and, if we did, we wanted to win it back straight away.

“We did that brilliantly. They started to tire in the second half and our fitness levels really showed through.

“I’m feeling good. I’ve been back in training for two weeks now. I’ve played two games and there are another two games coming up next weekend after another tough week of training, so I’m feeling good.

“I think you feel better day by day. The fitness staff here are really good. They make the sessions individualised, so they know what you need in your position.

“Each session gets harder and harder. I’m feeling better and better and hopefully that can continue.”

Having returned to London Arsenal’s players will be given a couple of days before they get ready for the visit of Lyon and Wolfsburg in this weekend’s Emirates Cup. After that it’s Chelsea in the Community Shield and then the big kick-off against West Ham.

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Emirates Cup and Community Shield please.

Cliff Bastin

First team ever to win the pre-season treble.


Premier League and Champions League after that….maybe we shouldn’t be too greedy and demand the League Cup as well.

Le Jim

I assume at this stage, the FA Cup is obligatorily given to us, so we don’t need to mention it anymore?


Very pleasing to see how sharp we looked yesterday. Ozil looks really strong and has total confidence back it would seem. I’m expecting him to tear the premier league a new one this season!

David Seaman's Ponytail

Fitness, for me has been one of the most crucial factors since 2004 that has stopped us competing as highly as we would have with a fully fit squad. I believe of the previous arseblogs said about how le prof is starting to realised the importance of weight traininv along with cv work and it really shows, as we are getting a lot less injuries now and the team look fitter than ever!

That performance yesterday showed how good a fully fit Arsenal team is and that wasn’t even full strength. It’s looking good for the season!

Arse Sutra

When we win the title with the current group of players , it will be a slap on the face of every pundit who said we need minimum 3-4 signings ….
And keeping the English folk like Jack , Ox and Gibbs fit throughout the season will play a pivotal role ……

captain gooner

Whatever we’re aiming next season, let’s just hope we start the season well & continue it until the end. Hope we can be upfront challenging chelski & even better than city and manutd.

Яков Аршавин

And don’t forget that the FA Cup belongs at the Emirates


It would be really great if we would start the season with 3 (preseason) cups already in our bag. That would definitely give us a strong winning momentum to start our season’s adventure again! Thumbs up!


Considering the conditions I thought we played at a reasonably good tempo in Asia this week. I’d say we’ve “banked” a lot of fitness running around in the humidity so hopefully we can call on that when the season starts in ernest.

I wouldn’t mind popping into cryo sleep for a couple of weeks tho.. I just can’t wait for the season to start

Yaya Binks

Jack said ““They liked to keep the ball, so we didn’t really want to give the ball away and, if we did, we wanted to win it back straight away.” There’s only a handful of games each season where we do press and hurry teams to win the ball back quick and keep them constantly on the back foot, when we do that we totally boss the game and score several goals but we don’t do it every game and i think we need to start doing it because when we do the opposition finds us totally unplayable. Makes me… Read more »


i definitely agree we need to do it more often, i remember back in the day when we had henry, pires, bergkamp and vieira and we’d win most games in the the first half (if not in first 20 minutes) because we’d press and counter from the first minute, with giroud leading the line our counter attacking football is not as deadly as it could be which is why i hope we sing a new striker or play theo in there…

idibia clement

Can’t wait to raise my first EPL cup since becoming an arsenal fan…

Nigerian Kanu

Me too. My fellow Nigerian gooner!


Petr Cech is magic, he wears a magic hat, and when he saw the Singapore preseason whatchamcallit trophy, he said I’m having that.

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