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ARSENAL IN 2008: Lewin gets England job and Gunners rule in Amsterdam

PUBLISHED: 10:00 26 December 2008 | UPDATED: 15:44 07 September 2010

Jem Maidment looks at the close season and high hopes as a new season approaches JULY Long-term club physio Gary Lewin leaves the club after nearly 22 years in the role to take up a new job at the Football Association. He s the best in the business – i

Jem Maidment looks at the close season and high hopes as a new season approaches

JULY

Long-term club physio Gary Lewin leaves the club after nearly 22 years in the role to take up a new job at the Football Association.

"He's the best in the business - it will be Arsenal's loss," says Paul Merson. Arsenal confirm the signing of Marseille playmaker Samir Nasri. "Arsenal is a club that leave a trace for life," he said after completing his move to The Emirates.

He is joined by Portugal Under-21 midfielder Amaury Bishchoff, who arrives from Werder Bremen. Wantaway midfielder Hleb finally leaves for Barcelona - and incurs the scorn of fans by kissing the Barca badge as he signs on at the Camp Nou.

Jack Wilshere, 16, scores twice in a 10-2 friendly win over a Burgenland XI. "The fact he is out here tells you how highly I rate him," says Wenger.

Arsenal win the Emirates Cup, beating PSG and Inter.

AUGUST

The Amsterdam Tournament is won after victories over Lazio and hosts, Ajax.

Arsenal struggle to a 1-0 home win over newly-promoted West Bromwich Albion on the opening day of the league season, courtesy of a debut goal from Nasri. Sections of the crowd, however, make their displeasure known at Adebayor after he publicly courted a summer move to Barcelona.

The following week Fulham shock the Gunners with a 1-0 win at Craven Cottage. A 6-0 aggregate win over Steve McClaren's FC Twente sees Arsenal through to the Champions League group stages.

Eyebrows are raised when veteran Manchester United defender Mikael Silvestre is drafted in on a two-year contract.

SEPTEMBER

Arsenal start September with a magnificent 4-0 win at Blackburn and follow that up with a 3-1 defeat of Bolton at the Reebok to go top of the league.

Wenger hails it as a "convincing, united and classy performance". Walcott becomes a national hero with a hat-trick in England's 4-1 win in Croatia.

A young Arsenal side, prompted by the outstanding Wilshere, batter Sheffield United 6-0 in the Carling Cup.

But the following Saturday, with the senior players restored, Hull stun the Gunners with a 2-1 win at The Emirates.

"Human beings are not always machines," Wenger offers limply, "the desire was with Hull today."

Stan Kroenke, the American billionaire who owns a 12.38 per cent stake in he club, joins the board of directors.

The Gunners return exceptional financial figures at the annual meeting. Turnover increases by £22.3m to £223m, with pre-tax profits at a record £36.7m, an increase of just under £10m. On the pitch, the month ends on a high - Porto leaving N5 at the wrong end of a 4-0 scoreline.


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