In the last of Arsenals pre-season friendlies, the Gunners face FC Koln away at the RheinErgie Stadium in Germany. Although relegated at the end of last season, Koln are likely to put up a fierce battle against Arsenal, and it should prove to be a truly entertaining match. Kicking off at 4pm - GMT, this is really the match to see how Arsenal will shape up at the start of the 2012 season.
It has come to light recently that Robin van Persie will play at least 45 minutes of the match, and it appears he will captain it - much to many fans upset. The whole van Persie saga has upset a large ammount of people, leaving them fearing the same situation as the beginning of last season, in which Arsenal lost two of (arguably) their best players, leaving their squad weak and ill-prepared. This season however, should not begin the same. With the additions of Giroud, Podolski and Cazorla, the Gunners will be ready whether van Persie stays or goes.
It is becoming increasingly likely that van Persie will stay however, following the withdrawals of both Manchester City and Serie A giants Juventus, leaving only Manchester United left with (public) interest. In many fans oppininons, what van Persie did was un-forgiveable, but the simple fact is that he is still one of the worlds best strikers, and therefor why shouldnt he be able to stay at Arsenal?
The only real issue is Captaincy. Arsene Wenger will have to think long and hard about whether (if he stays) van Persie is still right to wear the arm-band. As a leader for the team, I think he is the right man for the job, but as a figure-head for the club? Definitely not. After all, he said it himself, he does not agree with the direction in which the club is moving. Taking it all into account, I believe the right choice is, without a doubt Thomas Vermaelen, Arsenal's very own Attacking midielder. As both a team leader, and a club figure head, he is 100 percent suitable, after stating that he plans to see out his career at Arsenal, he more than earned the fans love and respect, as well as the players.
The Arsenal vs FC Koln match will not be broadcast on ESPN until 5;15 (GMT) the live stream will be available on Arsenal Player.72658