I have long been on the record as disliking friendlies. I dislike them for many reasons - but mostly, I dislike them because many fans regularly read far too much into them, and invest them with far more importance than they could ever possibly be worth.
At least preseason friendlies are necessary - they're tuneups for the season, they help players shake the rust off and get their timing back, and get everyone on the same page. Even still, though, drawing conclusions from a preseason friendly is useless - remember when NYRB beat Arsenal back in July? - so I'd just as soon they fly under the radar and happen in relative quiet.
With that in mind, I'm here to promote the Emirates Cup! he said, fully recognizing the dissonance. The Emirates Cup is held every year at the Emirates, and features three non-Arsenal teams in a...well, not a round-robin tournament, because not every team plays every team, but a few games before the season starts if nothing else. This year's Cup field is comprised of Lyon, Villareal, and the biggest and best draw from a banter perspective, Wolfsburg, current home of The Greatest Striker To Ever Live, one Nicklas "10 points from a possible 9" Bendtner.
The way this tournament is set up it will truly favor the unique abilities and off-the-charts skill of Mr. Bendtner. In addition to the usual three points for a win and one point for a draw, teams will get one point for each goal they scored, and the total number of shots taken will be used as a tiebreaker in case it's needed.
So, with all those goalscoring and shot-taking incentives on the table, look for Nicklas Bendtner to own this tournament - I expect at least 35 shots from Nick, and probably 12-13 goals, but I'm probably being conservative. The inaugural MVP trophy from this tournament will henceforth be known as the Nicklas Bendtner MVP Award, and future winners of this award will be judged by the same high standard Bendtner sets in this year's tournament, which will be a very, very high bar indeed.
The Emirates Cup will be held the weekend of July 25/26. Welcome back, TGSTEL.