By Chris Harris
Johan Djourou is ready to lay the foundations for a brand-new football season.
The Swiss defender got 45 minutes under his belt as Arsenal kicked off their summer schedule with a 2-2 draw at Barnet on Saturday. As ever it was a useful workout for Arsène Wenger's men but Djourou knows that the hard work really starts this week.
The squad flies out to Austria today for the familiar surroundings of their pre-season training camp. Friendlies against SC Columbia, Szombathelyi and Hannover have been arranged but the most intense work will be done on the training pitches. Djourou knows that this is the time to put the building blocks in place for a successful season.
"We need to get ready so Saturday's game was good because a team like Barnet is always going to come at you," he told Arsenal.com.
"But I think it is more like the real, real preparation in Austria because we get into a period where we are going to have hard training every day and more games coming up as well.
"The training camp will get us ready for the Premier League, for the start of the season. It is going to be really hard work and the games are coming up so we will start to build up the minutes we play. Instead of 45 minutes it will be 70 or 80 minutes to get us ready.
"It is all about everyone being ready for the start and not so much about the results. We have to get things right tactically and we will look back at last season, what went wrong, what went right and what we have to improve.
"We want to get everything right for the start of the season."Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source