Arsenal set for Nagoya friendly

AFP-JIJI

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is preparing for a homecoming of sorts when he brings his Premier League team to Japan for a friendly against Nagoya Grampus, club officials said.

The match will take place at Toyota Stadium on July 22 and will be the first time an Arsenal first team has played a match in Japan in more than four decades.

Gunners boss Wenger, who coached Nagoya for 18 months in the mid-1990s, helped guide Nagoya to the runnerup spot in the J. League and won the Emperor’s Cup during his time in Japan.

“Nagoya is a special place for me,” said Wenger in a statement issued by Nagoya in Japanese. “I have so many sweet memories of my life in Japan, sharing our successes with Grampus.”

“I cannot believe that we can play against Nagoya Grampus, which I coached for two years. I’m really happy about it. I’m looking forward to seeing my friends again.”