Arsenal have confirmed that the first team squad will spend four days in February training in Dubai as they take advantage of the Premier League’s first winter break.
The Gunners had to wait until they beat Bournemouth before announcing the plan as a potential FA Cup 4th round replay would have taken priority instead. Any concerns about security, initially raised following heightened tension in the Middle East, have since been allayed.
“As we prepare for several key fixtures, we are looking forward to a change of routine with some warm-weather training,” said Mikel Arteta.
“Dubai is a fantastic place and the football facilities there are first class. It will do us good to experience a change of environment before we enter a crucial part of the season.”
It’s the second year in a row we will have visited Dubai. We travelled there last March when a fixture hiatus allowed us to organise a friendly against Al Nasr. On our return, our season pretty much fell off a cliff. Here’s hoping that doesn’t happen again.
On our return, we’ll face Newcastle at the Emirates and then the first-leg of our Olympiakos Europa League tie.