Redknapp Says Wenger Is Right In Avoiding Pre-Season Tours

Well, not in so many words, but the Spuds manager talked about the problems he has been facing on the club’s tour of America and we can pretty much see it’s not a good idea.

Speaking about the training sessions he said,

I would be a liar if I said it was the perfect way to prepare for the new season, because it is not. We have found it difficult to get the training sessions in that we want.

Just like Arsene prefers Austria, Redknapp seems to have a liking for Scotland.

If I had my way, I would be in Scotland having a couple of games, or down to Devon, where we used to stay at [the former Formula One world champion], Nigel Mansell’s hotel and play Plymouth, Torquay or Exeter.

Sadly for the Tinies’ manager, he doesn’t have the same degree of authority over even the football related matters.

But that is the game now – we just go where we are told. Teams go all around the world now – Everton were in Australia.

This pre-season United haven’t impressed on their tour of America and neither have City or Tottenham. All of them have key players missing due to the World Cup and I’ve a feeling we will see them struggling a bit at the start of the season. United have, over the years, developed the ability to catch up even when the start is slow but I’m not sure City or Spuds will be able to do that.

Of course, all these clubs desperately need the money as neither is as well managed as Arsenal so they don’t really have a choice in this matter. You could say Citeh don’t need the money but they do need to build an image around the world, something their history hasn’t done for them.

I think Arsenal have found the perfect solution in the Emirates Cup. It allows the club to play a couple of competitive games, generates revenue, and we don’t have to go half way around the world. Instead we can get some good pre-season training.

The only aspect where we might be missing out on is the development of the commercial market in America and Asia. I’m not sure how big an impact these tours make on the commercial sales but hopefully Gazidis will be aware of the details and will make sure it’s not a big loss.

There are those who don’t understand the value of pre-season (Even I don’t know much about it but am happy to trust Wenger’s judgement on the importance of this trip to Austria). They might certainly think it’s a wasted opportunity. I can’t say much to that but from what I’ve seen in the pre-season games so far, it seems Arsenal are preparing well. City and United couldn’t even keep the ball moving. Obviously, it’s still early days and it would be stupid to predict the future based on these games but I do feel we have a good chance of getting off to a flyer. Time will tell.

28 Responses to Redknapp Says Wenger Is Right In Avoiding Pre-Season Tours

  1. John Muhindo says:

    His an economist, and he enjoys a club which will keep running when it is financially sound.That is Mr wengers approach when handling issues. Those who do not understand him do abuse him. Thanks Redknapp for acknowledging his vision.

  2. Nate Geesaman says:

    As an American Arsenal fan, I can say that I don’t think they are missing out on much fan base by not touring the U.S. or other big foreign market for preseason.

    Arsenal win their fans by playing the beautiful game how it should be played and I love that no matter where their preseason is. Winning a trophy would do more to expand their fan base than a preseason tour that showcases fringe players.

    • desigunner says:

      I tend to agree with you because I’ve been in India and now in the US and support Arsenal for the beautiful game and the principled behavior in all aspects. The club doesn’t need a preseason tour to get my support.

      However, I do feel there is another category of fans out there who are probably not as involved with the game/club as you or I are but still contribute to the revenues. Perhaps, it’s these fans that such tours target.

  3. pete says:

    when all this tosh about beautiful game, preparing well etc leads to a trophy, then we can say better managed.
    Until then – no trophy in 5 years is not exactly the best management.

  4. AJ says:

    Pete, a village is missing its idiot since this morning. Kindly report back to duty. The cows wont milk themselves.

  5. pete says:

    AJ, if what happened over 5 years ago is OK for you, then be happy with it mate.
    The village might be missing the idiot, but the cabinet is missing the trophies.

  6. Ken says:

    Hong Kong gunner here, I agree that tour to Asia won’t have significant impact of fans base although I would love to see Arsenal live without going to England.

    I think signing an Asian player will have bigger impact, you can see that with Park success in ManU they become even more popular in Asia. I can also say Birmingham is becoming better known after the Hong Kong owner bought it. Not that their fan base will increase significantly, but with the football pundit or news keep bombing up stuff with Birmingham, their profile will only increase in Asia.

    It did sound silly, but with limited Asia players reaching the really top level, we do support Asian player even if they are not our own countryman. So may be Wenger should really consider Honda.

    • desigunner says:

      Interesting thought about signing Honda. His salary could probably come from the marketing budget!

      It’s not silly at all. I think it’s quite understandable that Asian players get a lot of support throughout Asia. But I’m not sure Wenger would take a football decision based on the marketing impact. It just doesn’t seem his type of approach, although that doesn’t mean the approach is wrong or anything.

  7. pkgooner says:

    i am a gooner from pakistan, i love the philosophy of the game of trophy for 5 years may hurt someone it is a fact that arsenal has more fans worldwide now than their invincible era.

  8. Tommo says:

    We’re very lucky to get the emirates cup.

  9. SA Gunner says:

    I think the way which we play our game is a factor, but unfortunately its not the best way to bring in the support. Arsenal’s support boomed over the last 15 years due to Wenger’s innovation, signing of players from Africa and France and of course making contemporary history with the invincible season.

    For us to expand on our base we need something big, like the European Cup. If we can get it the world will go Gunner crazy yet again.. that I can assure you.

    • desigunner says:

      No one can deny that Trophies make a big impact on the support base. A Champions League title will surely do wonders in that regard.

  10. achgunners says:

    my fellow arsenal fans have voiced their concerns rightly. we surely don’t need a pre-season full of travelling…it will only bring in more fatigue to the players…we rather train the right way with the right players somewhere in europe itself…about the fanbase well arsenal should send in scouts and organise academies worldwide…i think that should help…

    • desigunner says:

      I think Arsenal have started some work in India, there were some kids who were invited to visit. Similar efforts around the World will add to the brand value and fan base for sure.

      Recently, Man City paid for an astro-turf pitch on the roof of some school in NY I think. Such initiatives will also make a difference.

  11. kiwigooner says:

    If Asia and the US are so important to Aresenal’s commercial machine, why not invite some of their top team to the Emirates Cup?


    • Dean says:

      I don’t think the football seasons between the continents run concurently. Kinda makes inviting teams from those leagues difficult, but it’s a nice idea, kiwigooner.

    • desigunner says:

      US is right now in the middle of the MLS season. I don’t know about Asia but as mentioned by Dean the season in Japan and other countries might also have different schedules. Not sure if they would like to add travel in the middle of their seasons.

      We could invite them in their off-season and have some games with our reserves/B-team. That will add some value to the reserves as well.

  12. mcmellish says:

    Coming from Australia, i don’t think (although i would love one) a tour down here would increase fan base mainly because Australia is a country dominated by other sports. So most of the fans that they would be fishing for, those that love football (soccer), would already know of Arsenal and would have already made their minds up on who to support (Liverpool seems to be the most popular of the english teams). The only clubs that i can see gaining anything from touring down here are the teams with Australian players ie: Everton and Blackburn.

    • desigunner says:

      You make a fair point but it can be seen the other way around as well.

      For instance, football (soccer) is not in the top 3 or 4 sports in the US either. But with big teams visiting the major cities the sport is gaining in popularity. There has been a lot of talk here about the Kansas City Wizards crossing 50K mark in attendance for the United game. It was a big achievement for the Wizards.

      The other advantage is that when people are slowly getting involved with football(soccer), the clubs that are there initially are likely to gain a strong foothold. So these tours are like a long term effort that could eventually yield good returns.

  13. Manav says:

    Arsenal FC’s annual pre-season tours to the Austria have quietly helped establish a tradition that’s a testimony to Wenger’s intelligence. This might be just another one of his master-strokes.
    Austrians themselves admit that they are a winter sports nation who are “not that much into football”.
    This ensures that the squad can train & play in a calm, serene atmosphere in the Alps, away from all the crowd & the limelight that they inevitably get exposed to by August. I feel that such a quiet, non-commercial approach to pre-season preparation may actually be helping Arsenal in some less apparent way.
    As for the commercial benefits from tours to Asia & North America, I don’t really know the exact magnitude of the financial gains which arise from such exercises since they should be different for clubs of different statures. As for image-building, I feel Arsenal don’t need to do something special or particular for that because we are already a world renowned club with a loyal global fan base.

    • PETE says:

      What less apparent way would that be then?

      A less trophies way ?

      Wake up and smell the coffee.

      Apart from the simplified and village idiot comment, you have all conveniently changed the subject – that being that Old Mother Hubbard has found more in her cupboard than in the Emirates trophy cabinet recently.
      Although those ladies are good aren’t they !!!

      And you have gone a bit quiet AJ – or are you busy milking the cows?

      • Manav says:

        Lesser trophies?? Certainly not!
        What I felt, I wrote. Since I don’t know the precise reasoning behind Wenger’s Austria obsession, I can’t really say what kind of value addition it does to the team. I’m simply trusting the Professor on this.

        As for that quote, it didn’t come from the mouth of a “village idiot”. It was the mayor of Vienna who said it on TV during Euro 2008. I still remember it because I was surprised by how candidly he said that in front of some 40-50 football fans.

    • desigunner says:

      Thanks for the info/quote on Austria. I hadn’t thought of it that way. It would be easier to focus on the job at hand (training, developing match fitness, working on tactics, etc) at such a place.

  14. […] Redknapp Says Wenger Is Right In Avoiding Pre-Season Tours Well, not in so many words, but the Spuds manager talked about the problems he has been facing on the club’s tour […] […]

  15. […] seems clear is that none of these teams have been able to train as well as they would have liked. Redknapp openly admitted this but I’ve not seen similar comments from others. Nonetheless, no one has claimed that their […]

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