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News & Notes: Arsenal Coming this Summer, China Gets Blanc’ed, National Team Callups

Could these two sides meet in the Bird's Nest this summer?

scours the news to present you with some of the most interesting football stories in the Chinese news, here are a few bits and pieces that we’ve come across recently:

  • Arsenal has never been into worldwide summer tours, manager Arsene Wenger always preferred the calm of an alpine training camp in the month’s before the EPL season, however it seems he’s finally giving in to the need to market the club globally by travelling overseas in the summer months.  Last year, the club came to China, playing a friendly against Hangzhou Greentown in Yiwu and it appears this year the club will make a full tour of Asia, with stops in a number of cities including a lone China stop in Beijing, making them the first team to announce their intentions to come to China this summer.  Rumors persist that this match will take place in the Bird’s Nest a few days before the start of the London Olympics and as a further promotional tool for those games the Gunners opponent will be….Manchester United.  A match between these two sides in Beijing is sure to be a ticketing bonanza, stay tuned for more news about Arsenal’s summer trip and the others that are likely to take place.
  • France was planning to meet up with China in a final tune-up before the start of Euro 2012 this summer, the French FA and the CFA were close to finalizing the match that was to be played on June 5th, however France manager Laurent Blanc has nixed the game saying that playing China would be meaningless and that it wouldn’t be good enough prep for his team.  France has a history of playing China before major competitions, doing so before Euro 2008 and World Cup 2010 (a shock 1-0 victory for China with the winner coming off a Deng Zhuoxiang free kick).  Perhaps they fear playing China has brought them bad luck or perhaps it’s just that Blanc recognizes what almost everyone else does, China’s national team is in the doldrums these days.
  • Speaking of the national team, if you forgot they had their final World Cup qualifying group stage game against Jordan at the end of this month, you wouldn’t be the only one.   The match, a home tilt against Jordan, is meaningless as China has been eliminated and Jordan has already secured their spot in the next stage.  Jose Antonio Camacho’s roster looks a lot like something his predecessor Gao Hongbo would have put together, experimental in many places and relying heavily on Guangzhou Evergrande talent, an unusual move.  Perhaps someone should let Camacho know that China doesn’t have a Real Madrid or Barcelona that you can rely solely on for talent.  Anyways, here’s the roster (players in italics are players who’ve yet to be called up during qualifying)

Guangzhou Evergrande:  Feng Xiaoting,  Sun Xiang,  Zheng Zhi,  Gao Lin,  Zhang Linpeng,  Zhao Xuri,  Qin Sheng,  Peng Xinli
Liaoning Whowin:  Yu Hanchao, Yang Xu, Zhang Lu
Jiangsu Sainty:  Liu Jianye
Shandong Luneng:  Hao Junmin, Zheng Zheng, Yuan Weiwei
Tianjin Teda: Chen Tao, Yu Dabao
Shanghai Shenhua:  Feng Renliang
Hangzhou GreentownJiang Bo
Guizhou Renhe:  Yu Hai
Dalian ShideLu Peng
Henan Jianye:  Zeng Cheng, Zhao Peng
(China League)Shenyang ShenbeiJin Jingdao
(China League)Shanghai East AsiaWu Lei

Brandon Chemers aka B. Cheng aka A Modern Lei Feng – is a name which may be familiar to many in the Chinese blogosphere. He currently serves as Editor-in-Chief for Wild East Football and is one of the lonely souls writing about Chinese football in English for the last 10 years. Chemers' credentials are second to none – his former blog focused not only on the fortunes of his beloved Beijing Guoan FC, but a multitude of other aspects of Beijing life. He’s deservedly built a reputation in the Chinese blogosphere as an insightful observer of not only Chinese football, but also the wider picture of life in modern China and its many layers. For WEF, beyond writing about Guoan, he often focuses on fan culture and the business of Chinese football.

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