Kieran Gibbs has called on Arsenal to “step up a few gears” at the Emirates Cup this weekend.
Arsène Wenger’s men won all four games on the recent Asia Tour, scoring 19 goals in the process, and confidence is high in the squad.
But with high-quality matches to come against Napoli and then Galatasaray, Gibbs says the team must be ready to go to a new level.
It's our target to treat the Emirates Cup like the season is fast approaching and really go through the gears. We're looking forward to it
“This is where we're really looking to start preparing properly, in terms of full competitiveness on the pitch,” he told Arsenal Player.
“It's our target to treat the Emirates Cup like the season is fast approaching and really go through the gears. We're looking forward to that.
“We missed it last year so it’s good to be coming back and getting a good pre-season game at our home ground. If you don't take it seriously then you're not going to take the season seriously. It's really important that we're fully switched on.”
Gibbs is also looking forward to being reunited with cult hero Emmanuel Eboue when Arsenal face Galatasaray on Sunday.
“What a character he is! He puts a smile on my face like he does to everyone he meets,” he said.
“I'm looking forward to meeting up with him because he was a good friend of mine when he was here and his house in London is quite close to mine. It will be good to see him.”Copyright 2013 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 31 Jul 2013