Asia Tour Insider - Days 13 & 14

Tour Insider

Days 13 and 14 of the Arsenal Asia tour were non-stop with training and fan events, but that didn't stop Thursday evening's open training session being full of vim and vigour.

A sizeable, vocal crowd occupied one of the lower tiers of Saitama City Stadium, and they were treated to an entertaining series of drills - there's no doubt the players have visibly gained in sharpness over the duration of this two-week tour.



An exuberant Gunnersaurus threatened to steal the show early on - Arsène Wenger was among those impressed by his new repertoire of dance moves - but as soon as the small-sided games began, the players were the main attraction.

They finished with free-kick practice. Bacary Sagna took the gloves and made a few decent saves as the likes of Lukas Podolski, Olivier Giroud, Aaron Ramsey and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain rained in shots.

It brought an end to a busy day in Saitama. After the morning's closed training - which consisted mainly of running and sprinting - the players had lunch before being split into groups for the various fan and sponsors events.

The manager, Jack Wilshere, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Ryo Miyaichi took part in a coaching session for Nike next to Saitama City Stadium, while Theo Walcott, Wojciech Szczesny, Kieran Gibbs, Giroud, Tomas Rosicky and Ramsey were across town at an Emirates Soccer Clinic for local kids aged nine to 14.



Back at the hotel the rest of the squad were either guests a fan party, or found out more about the local culture. After learning about the art of samurai in front of the Arsenal cameras, Per Mertesacker and Podolski gatecrashed the fan party - wearing full samurai costume - and then proceeded to demonstrate their newly-acquired skills in front of 200 excitable local supporters.

The previous day had been purely about football - two training sessions with massages and recovery for those who needed it.

Tonight is the players' final evening in Asia - the whole party will head back to London immediately after the final whistle on Friday.

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