Asia Tour Insider - Day Eight

Tour Insider

Day eight of the Asia Tour was purely about football for the players, as the training camp stepped up a notch while commercial and off-field activities takes a back seat for a few days.

The players train twice a day at the moment, from 10.30am to 1pm, and then again between 5.30pm and 7.30pm. The sessions are behind closed doors at the Mizuho Rugby Stadium, about half an hour from the team hotel in the centre of Nagoya.

The rest of the day is downtime - and in these 30 degrees plus temperatures in Japan, that is much needed.


Bacary Sagna relaxes after training

Bacary Sagna takes a break during training


In the evening the players generally relax in their rooms, but they all eat dinner together as a squad.

Following dinner on Friday, Arsène Wenger and Boro Primorac met up with their former players as the Nagoya Grampus team of 1995 and 96, plus some of the old back room staff, came to the hotel for a reunion. It was the first time in 17 years that many of them had seen their old boss, and the 20-strong group shared stories and memories about the old days over drinks.

One of those former players of course, is now the current Grampus Nagoya boss - 'Piksi' Stojkovic - and he and Arsène spent well over two hours chatting in the hotel lobby.

The rest of the Nagoya old boys will be playing this Monday as well - in an exhibition match held just before Arsenal's clash with the J.League side.

But for the Gunners, it's all eyes on the third pre-season fixture of the summer, and with Grampus Nagoya deep in the middle of their league campaign, the match should give Arsenal a clear indication as to how their preparations are going.

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