Arsenal sick of Bayern Munich, but scrape win in Shanghai
Gunners struck down by food poisoning on pre-season tour of China as Wenger admits schedule is not ideal
After their 10-2 humiliation at the hands of Bayern Munich last season, it's no surprise that the sight of the German side makes Arsenal sick.
But despite an outbreak of food poisoning in the squad the Gunners gained some kind of revenge over the Bundesliga champions by winning a pre-season friendly in Shanghai even though several players were laid low.
Describing the incident as a "nightmare", The Sun reports that Olivier Giroud and Per Mertesacker were both ruled out of the match because of the bug, while new signing Sead Kolasinac had to depart in the first half after being taken unwell.
Theo Walcott and Aaron Ramsey were also affected by the food poisoning outbreak but soldiered on, eventually helping the Gunners to a 3-2 penalty shootout win after the game had finished 1-1 in normal time with Alex Iwobi cancelling out Robert Lewandowski's goal.
"Giroud was sick and had to stay at the hotel. Kolasinac was sick as well. Walcott, Aaron, all had a little bit of food poisoning," explained Arsene Wenger, who had to play Mohamed Elneny in defence because of an injury to Laurent Koscielny.
And to cap an unfortunate start to the Gunners pre-season tour of China, Wenger revealed that assistant coach Steve Bould has been forced to return home. "Bould has a hernia on his neck... and he couldn't travel. He went home on Saturday. He's OK. He went home and he's good."
Arsenal only arrived in China at the weekend after starting their tour in Australia, and with the intense heat, not to mention the injuries and illness, the pre-season jolly is turning out to be quite the opposite for the Gunners.
Next they travel to Beijing to play Chelsea in a friendly, the same opponents who they will meet in the Charity Shield on 6 August, and Wenger was candid when asked to assess the benefits of such an arduous tour so close to the start of the new season.
"If you ask me is it an ideal way to prepare physically, I say certainly not," he said. "It was a shock to come from Australia where we were freezing when came out of the plane in Shanghai and we decided to work very hard on Monday and Tuesday and so I was a bit scared that we could have big problems… we can meet fans from all over the world and the bonding is easier because we live together for two weeks. On that front it can be positive. But the real answer will be given by the way we start in the championship."