Arsenal: Lukas Podolski's Antics Are a Sign of Growing Team Spirit
The clips from Arsenal's preseason tour of Asia suggests that The Gunners are fostering a strong team spirit, which should serve them well in the forthcoming Premier League campaign.
In this latest film, the Arsenal squad comically imitate Lukas Podolski's characteristic cry of "A-ha." Podolski has become an integral part of the Arsenal set-up. His efficiency on the pitch is matched only by his effervescence off it. He is a bubbly, cheerful character and part of an increasingly influential German faction of the squad that also includes Per Mertesacker, Serge Gnabry, Thomas Eisfeld and Gedion Zelalem.
The squad is also knitting together thanks to the youthful British core. Last season, Arsenal handed the sextet of Kieran Gibbs, Carl Jenkinson, Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott new deals. The burgeoning friendship between Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jenkinson has already been the subject of this amusing video.
The growing spirit in the camp will no doubt please the Arsenal manager. Arsene Wenger seems convinced the tour has been an enormous success. Aside from the four victories, it has helped promote the club to a new set of fans. Wenger told Arsenal's official website:
[Off the pitch] it has been unbelievable. When you think of Indonesia, Vietnam and Japan and how popular football - and Arsenal - is around the world, it is a great experience for the players to realise that. The fans are always enthusiastic and in a very positive way. It is a massive surprise to us.
The targets were [two-fold]: one to have good preparation and two to give a great image of the club. I got congratulations from all the people I know here for the behaviour of the staff and the players. It is a great compliment.
The usually intransigent Wenger has grown to appreciate the value of a far-ranging tour. It's as much about fostering morale and togetherness as commercial revenue.
Arsenal will hope to reap the benefits of this fantastic trip both on the pitch and in the balance sheets.
James McNicholas is Bleacher Report's lead Arsenal correspondent and will be following the club from a London base throughout the 2013-14 season. Follow him on Twitter here.
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