LIFE AFTER VAN PERSIE? ARSENAL COMMENCES TRAINING FOR NEW SEASON WITHOUT WANTAWAY CAPTAIN
With a little under six weeks to go
until the season kicks-off, a new look Gunners coaching set-up led the
players who had avoided international duty over the summer.
Over a week after Robin van Persie's announcement
that he would not renew his contract at Arsenal and which was followed by an
astonishing open letter criticising the board from a leading
shareholder, Gunners returned to the relative calm of the
The fact that wantaway Dutchman Van
Persie wasn't present is not something that should fill fans with dread,
though, because he, along with new signings Lukas Podolski and Olivier
Giroud have been granted extra-time on holiday.
all present and correct was Arsene Wenger's backroom staff, including Steve Bould and Neil Banfield, who have both been promoted after Pat
Rice ended more than four decades with the club at the end of last
As for the
players, vice-captain, and the man expected to pick up the captain's
armband as and when Van Persie is sold, Thomas Vermaelen led the group,
which also included Abou Diaby, Mikel Arteta, Gervinho and Andre Santos.