by CARL ELDRIDGE Pack your stars 'n stripes and your handgun...the Royal Arsenal are set to play in the US of A. Arsene Wenger has resisted the temptation (maybe it wasn't even one) up until now preferring instead to take the Gunners to Austria for training camps and then playing low-key pre-season friendly matches in nearby locations (countries) such as Poland.
But all that is about change and as well as America expect the rip-roaring Reds to pitch up in the Far East, too. How do we know that the shift in policy is upon us? Tom Fox, Arsenal’s Chief Commercial Officer, tells us so.
Asked if we will they ever travel to the United States as a club, he told arsenal.com: “The questions is when, not if . And when we do that we will do it in a way that demonstrates our commitment to come in and engage fans in that market in a way that is enduring and that adds value to our football club long term.”
Fox goes on to say that global tournaments aren’t the only way to introduce new fans to football. He added: “If you look at the U.S. leagues. Major League Baseball has played games outside of the U.S., the NFL and NBA have both played regular season games outside the U.S.”
“We want to expose this club to as many fans of sport and football as we can around the world. One terrific way to do that is to take the team and to show that team live and in person.”
I'll have some of that, pardner - wonder if my away season ticket will cover the games across the pond?
Cracking cup tie at Leeds last night and I was delighted to find the Peacock pub was still standing (smack bang opposite the ground) after being wrongly informed it had been bulldozed. Had a few in there before moving to the White Hart (not a great name for a pub I am sure you'll agree) and then to the ground to join the travelling fans behind the goal. Decent win and the complete opposite of the Ipswich games in terms of desire and concetration but the victory does mean you'll need to set your alarm clocks in the next round - noon kick-off!
After three away games we now face four home matches on the bounce with Wigan, Ipswich, Huddersfield and Everton all arriving at the Ems before the Geordies away. And we then have three more games on our own patch with Wolves, Barca and Stoke the visitors...if we beat Huddersfield and are drawn at home in the fifth round of the FA Cup then that'll be four.