LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 14: Gervinho of Arsenal celebrates his goal with Jernade Meade during the Markus Liebherr Memorial Cup match between Southampton and Arsenal at St Mary's Stadium on July 14, 2012 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images)
Well, guys, it's over. Arsenal's long two year pre-season trophy drought has finally ended, after they won the Markus Liebherr Memorial Cup. Henri Lansbury scored against Anderlecht, and Gervinho managed to score too, which surprised many. Arsenal gave up a header, though, so I think it's fair to say STEVE BOULD OUT!
The highlights and full match are slowly going up on Arsenal Player, if you want to watch more than the goals.
One player who played yesterday was Kyle Bartley, and, we should be seeing him a lot more in the coming weeks as he's been given a first team role. Jorge Bird at Arseblog News talks about Bartley, who becomes the fourth player in recent years to benefit from a loan out after Wojciech Szczesny, Alex Song and Jack Wilshere.
One player that we didn't see was the on-trial M'baye Niang. After reading the French Football Weekly profile of him, I'm disappointed he didn't play, as he sounds like an intriguing prospect. Apparently Niang has impressed the Arsenal staff so far, and with Newcastle lurking, I'd expect Arsenal to try and make this trial a permanent deal.
Niang, though, will not be a replacement for Robin van Persie, because, according to Gilles Grimandi, Arsenal signed his replacement in Olivier Giroud. To me, this looks like a "come on, European clubs, bid for him"; otherwise, I can't see an Arsenal official saying "every player has his price". As Thomas wrote earlier this week, PSG's purchase of Zlatan and Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva could work out in Arsenal's favour.
Finally, to complete the van Persie segment, here's a shameless plug of my earlier piece about how Arsenal should replace van Persie with a playmaker, not a striker.