Arsenal news

Gazidis: Arsenal could tour Asia again

July 20, 2011
By ESPNsoccernet staff

Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis believes the club could go on another Asian tour soon follow a successful trip to China and Malaysia.

Arsenal's Asian fans
GettyImagesArsenal's Asian fans were given a treat this summer

The club played two pre-season friendlies, beating a Malaysia XI 4-0, and drawing 1-1 with Hangzhou Greentown and, despite manager Arsene Wenger's previous misgivings about a long-distance tour ahead of the new season, Gazidis is confident it will happen again.

Speaking to the Arsenal official website, he said: "I certainly don't think it can be a one-off. I do think we have to regularly go out and engage in this way. You can see the hunger for it. We'll see. We haven't done our debrief yet.

"There are so many things that I think this tour has delivered. First of all, an engagement with what we have all seen is a massive international fanbase. You can see what it means to these people. When you see the fans we have here, it is impossible to say they are not Arsenal fans. That engagement has been remarkable.

"I think another thing, for the players, [is that] the atmosphere in the team has been really, really good as well. This has been an incredibly positive and uplifting experience. It's a great place to be.

"I also think from the point of view of our preparation and our focus for the season, it has been tremendously positive as well. I think Arsène has had a positive experience.

"There are some technical aspects that you lose. You lose two days travel for a start. In terms of all the metrics and science of preparation, you probably wouldn't say it is ideal but there are incredible intangibles that you gain from it. And I think having done it, we have seen many of those intangibles become more tangible."