Markus Liebherr Cup: Anderlecht vs Arsenal, Southampton vs Arsenal – Preview

The boys have been back in training since the beginning of the week and pre-season is now under way. With the exception of the Euro boys of course, who have an extended rest. So, tomorrow sees our first friendly of the season and it’s a very light entry back into football. The Markus Liebherr Cup at the St. Mary’s stadium in Southampton.

Who is Markus Liebherr?

Markus Liebherr, who died of a heart attack in 2010, was a German-born Swiss businessman and a part of one of Europe’s top family business dynasties. His holding company bought English Football League side Southampton in 2009.

What happens on the day?

The Gunners will go head-to-head with Anderlecht at 6:45 pm. Before that contest, the procession of the Olympic torch will go around St. Mary’s Stadium. Arsenal will take on the Saints at 8 pm to bring the competition to a close.

How are points awarded?

Southampton – newly promoted to the Premier League – kick things off against Rangers at 5.15pm. Three points are given for a win, two for a victory on penalties and one for defeat in a shoot-out.


So with so many players involved in the European tournament this summer and Aaron Ramsey in the Olympics, who will be playing in the tournament? Fabianski is the only first team goalkeeper on our books who hasn’t played in the Euros, with Almunia being released – we do have a few other keepers who may get a run out – Shea, Martinez and Mannone.


Jenkinson – Djourou – Vermaelen (c) – Gibbs

Arteta – Song

Miyachi – Diaby – Santos


This is the strongest squad I can put together excluding all the people involved in the Euros. We have four strikers at the club in Bendtner, Chamakh, Park and Vela whom I believe are all in the process of being sold, so they won’t be involved either.

We may not see the team above, we may see a few youngsters supplemented into the line up – although with Ramsey at the Olympics, Frimpong & Wilshere still injured and a lot of players released, and a lot of youngsters involved in the Under 19’s internationals, it means that we may a very interesting mix of players playing this weekend.

Our beloved Debs will be attending the night in Southampton, so she is our guru in the crowd and she’ll be giving us the low down on Sunday.

In the meantime, in the world of football, it’s d-day for John Terry as he gets his verdict of his race case. Up in Scotland, Rangers’ fate will be decided by the rest of the SPL and first division. Wigan’s Hugo Rodallega is now Fulham’s. A piece of good business for Fulham is you ask me. It’s all happening today, Friday 13th… Let’s see what the day has in store…

Til tomorrow…

  • paul

    Why’s Wenger dragging out the Van Persie saga? This should;ve been sorted before the Euros. The same happened with Fabregas and Nasri last year has he not learnt from his mistakes? This man lies to the fans every season. No wonder he won’t leave Arsenal as he’s on £7.3m a year. Question for Arsenal fans do you think he’s justifying his salary. That’s why you can’t ship out the deadwood because Wenger gave them big contracts because he thought they’d come good. He said Denilson would become a world class player. Wenger’s tactical deficiences are the reason Arsenal haven’t won silverware in recent years. As the games moved on he has failed to adapt.

  • Patrick

    The question of who should be the next captain is a difficult one as there is no guarantee that any player will now see put the end of his contract. Both Wilshere and Vermaelen have said that they’ll be “Gooners for Life” in the past couple of months, but who really believes this if we remain without silverware and richer, more successful clubs come calling, either from home or abroad in the coming years? Who is likely to remain as first choice in his position, not look to move and also be free of injury? Given his years, I’d plump for Sagna, but who knows if he’ll ever be the same. Jack might take time to recover and I hope he doesn’t suffer a setback. In any event, he’s too young to be skipper. Cesc was mistakenly given this position by Wenger at far too young an age and was then expected to carry the team on his own, when he should have been learning from more experienced players. We overplayed him and forced him to play through injuries as we previously did with both Henry and Vieira so he always seemed to miss more games than he should have at the end. I hope we’ve learned the lesson with Jack, but nothing surprises me any more. One final question that puzzles me- why are we now expected to cure our woeful defending with Bould in charge? Did neither Wenger nor Rice know how to coach defensive play, free kicks, corners, high balls into the box or how to deal with counter attacks, because we’d committed too many defenders forward? This went on for years, with Gallas charging forward thinking he was Billy the Kid every time we conceded a goal, now Vermaelen, Song, etc and we’ve been conceding goals like this for several seasons- why?

  • Berth

    Never knew Debs was a she. Hope we get the season up and running with a good start. Dev your line-up suggests a false 9.

  • walid

    please tell me what channel it will be on 6 hours left!? thanks in advance

  • devday


    Arsène Wenger has named a young squad for the matches at St Mary’s, although the likes of Gervinho, Johan Djourou, Marouane Chamakh, Andre Santos, Francis Coquelin and Kieran Gibbs are all included in the 23-man squad.

    None of the Club’s players who featured at Euro 2012 are in the travelling party as they are yet to return to training.

    But those Arsenal fans attending the tournament will have the opportunity to see Kyle Bartley, Vito Mannone and Henri Lansbury back in Arsenal colours again after successful loan spells at Rangers, Hull City and West Ham respectively last season.

    There is also the chance to see some of the Club’s rising stars in action, such as Dutch midfielder Kyle Ebecilio, exciting Swedish teenager Kristoffer Olsson and German star Thomas Eisfeld.

  • devday

    Unfortunately there is no live coverage!

  • Joe

    Last season we were never in the running for a major trophy, not even amongst the also-rans. For me, that was the way it would be almosr before a ball was kicked. Why? A squad that was clearly inferior to the best both in quality and depth. The Head-in-the-Sanders come up with a dozen other reasons – no time to bed in the newcomers, no Jack, lots of injuries, etc, etc – anything to avoid the painful truth: the players we had simply weren’t good enough to win anything. To tell the truth, they over-achieved. Or (to be even more accurate), our rivals for third spot – Chelsea and Spurs – under-achieved. Now, for sure, both are going to strengthen. Massively. So will the two out-of-reacher – City and United. Massively. As will Newcastle and Liverpool. Massively. Arsenal? Well, Plod and Giroud might just about make up for Robin (if he goes). As for the rest, it seems we’ll be making do with what we have. Where does all the money go?

  • Barron

    As for pointers as to how this team are evolving, we have just signed 2 strapping 6ft plus forwards. We have an Ox ready and waiting. Goonerholic recently speculated we maybe moving a bit away from tippy tappy Barca style – in the direction of Wengerball ver 1. I think there could be some truth in this -look at our new assistant. Could we be embarking on a mission to mix raw strength with skills, pace in a devastating pressing game? We are now in the post Cesc Nasri era well into a new cycle. We still have players with great passing skills, and vision to go with it,so we will still be able to have that side to our game, especially in Europe. But maybe, some of the players we already have may be more suited to a new version of our game than in the Cesc era? Maybe there will be a different emphasis on coaching. Maybe we do not need a Verthongen, just Bould to really bring on who we already have – and we have some monster defenders! Just speculating, but I cannot wait to see some of our youngsters coming more into the team. Maybe in the past, we have relied too much on youth, but now, there is plenty of experience in most areas to help them through. Do not let the media / doom mongers / would be owners fool anyone, we have a very very exciting future whoever we buy or sell. This team will be skillful, creative, powerful, and will not be so easily out-muscled by certain teams with help from certain refs.