WATCH: Arsenal in the Emirates Cup – the best bits

The football season is agonisingly close, the red half of north London is getting ready to party and, Lyon, Wolfsburg and Villarreal have descended upon the capital. 

All of the above can mean only one thing – it’s time for this year’s Emirates Cup!

Before anyone starts slagging off glorified pre-season events just remember that not all tournaments are created equal.

And as campaign curtain-raisers go the Emirates Cup is one of the best of its breed.

Hosts Arsenal have held the event since 2007, winning the prestigious trophy (too much?) on three occasions.

Here are a few of their best bits ahead of the latest edition:

Alexis Sanchez makes his Gunners debut, Sanogo steals the show

Cast your minds back to last summer. Arsenal fans were eagerly anticipating the debut of Chilean striker Sanchez.

Little did they know another man was set to shine in their 5-1 thumping of Benfica.

Step forward four-goal hero, Yaya Sanogo.

The Incredible Gooner Wave

OK, this one is a little dubious but if it’s good enough for ArsenalFanTV to feature as a highlight…

Gooners get a bit of stick for their, shall we say, occasionally lackadaisical support.

But look at how much fun they’re having here.

That winning feeling part I

Arsenal won the inaugural tournament in 2007, seeing off Inter Milan and Paris Saint-Germain on their way to racking up a 10-point haul (more on the scoring system here)

A young Nicklas Bendter impressed (yes, really) with his goal against PSG one of the high points en route to lifting the trophy.

A terrace hero is born

Jack Wilshere has since cemented his hero status among Gooners by very publicly slagging off Tottenham but it was the Emirates Cup where he first came to prominence back in 2009.

His brace in a 3-0 win against Rangers put Arsene Wenger’s side on course to win the competition for a second time.

Saluting a legend

Not many Arsenal fans begrudged the New York Red Bulls when they won the Emirates Cup in 2011.

But a large part of that is down to the fact that the MLS side featured a pretty special player among their ranks.

Record goalscorer Thierry Henry received a rousing reception upon his return to north London and went on to score against his former club and lift the trophy. Legend.

What are your Emirates Cup highlights?

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William Geldart

Having graduated with a degree in English Literature from the University of Wales, Bangor, William contributed to a number of online football blogs before finally finding his pot of gold at the end of the rainbow alongside the rest of the Ladbrokes News team. Now indulging passions for football, horse racing, greyhounds, boxing and political betting. Supports Wycombe Wanderers and can be spotted at various lower league and non-league grounds across the country.