Theo excited by Far East jaunt

The Gunners will move away from their typical pre-season routine

this year by traipsing across the globe to take to part in

friendlies in south-east Asia. Arsene Wenger’s side head to Asia

this weekend on a lucrative tour that will first see them head to

Malaysia to face an All-Star XI, before heading west to face

Hangzhou Greentown in China next Saturday. However, the Gunners’

jet setting does not stop there as they head to Germany to face

Bundesliga outfit Cologne the following week after a brief trip

back to north London. It is a far cry from Wenger’s typical

pre-season routine of taking his players to Austria and Walcott

thinks it is one that could take its toll on the players’ body. “In

previous years, we only went to Austria and Holland as well so it

didn’t take too much out of you,” he told “It will hit

you at some stage but we have just got to get used to that. “It is

still a long way until the season starts so we should recover by

the time that comes. “I’m not really thinking about it to be fair.

I am just looking forward to the challenge we’ve got and somewhere

different that I’ve never been before. “It will be a totally

different experience and the culture is so different out there.

“I’m really looking forward to the amount of support that’s out

there. “I’ve heard rumours that during our open training sessions

there is going to be 50,000-plus there so that is just amazing. “It

is nice just to see these people that you might not ever meet again

and if we can do something that will help the club as well as a

brand it will make us grow and have a larger fanbase.” Following

jaunts to the Far East and central Europe, Arsenal will host the

annual Emirates Cup competition at the end of the month where they

will face Boca Juniors and then New York Red Bulls. Club legend

Thierry Henry now plies his trade for the latter, which Walcott

thinks will make it an extra special occasion. Furthermore, the

22-year-old has intimated that the Frenchman may soon be joined in

the Big Apple by fellow fan favourite Jens Lehmann. “It is going to

be an interesting battle I think and obviously we get to see

Thierry come back as well,” he said. “I’ve heard a rumour that Jens

might have joined them – I don’t know if that’s true – but again

that is going to be great. “It will just be great to play at the

Emirates in front of the fans and hopefully show them what we can

do and that we’re ready for it. “We won’t treat it as a friendly –

we don’t really treat any pre-season game as a friendly to be

honest – we like to go out there and win. “And if we can win the

Emirates Cup that will be great and then hopefully we can move on

and try and win the league because that is the main one.”