Football: Arsenal look to have gem in Schwarz: Clive White reports on an impressive start for a Swede in the Makita Tournament

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The Independent Online
IT WAS hardly a victory to set beside the previous one - by the same score - against an Italian team in Copenhagen three months ago, but there was still satisfaction to be drawn by George Graham, the Arsenal manager, from winning the Makita Tournament for a third time, other than putting another pot in Highbury's trophy room.

It came for the Cup-Winners' Cup holders almost exclusively in the shape of Stefan Schwarz, their new pounds 1.8m Swedish signing who, on his Highbury debut, provided an overall performance this weekend that made him a comfortable winner of the Player of the Tournament award.

It is not always that Graham's new signings meet with instant approval from the home crowd but after miskicking in front of goal in the second minute of Saturday's match against Atletico Madrid (prompting comparisons with the profligate Scandinavian, John Jensen) he quickly established himself in midfield and almost put the Dane to shame with a neatly clipped shot which hit a post against Napoli.

Even allowing for the fact that he had more to prove than the rest, he showed strength in the tackle and an awareness, fore and aft, that should serve the Gunners well this season.

Whether he will prove to be the catalyst for a more prolific Arsenal, Graham felt unable to say, but he believed that he was a 'general' and a 'winner' of the kind that Manchester United possessed in their midfield.

Schwarz apart it was a classic 'one-nil to the Arsenal' team performance right down to the Ian Wright goal, scored from the spot in the 60th minute after Roberto Policano was penalised for pulling Alan Smith's shirt.

Usually the tricks got a good deal dirtier than that, as was reflected by three first-half bookings in as many minutes, but for the most part it was just plain dull. Graham blamed the Italians' approach. 'It's fairly difficult to be entertaining when only one team wants to win the game,' he said. 'There was no end product from them. With all the talent they've got, there's got to be something wrong.'

Arsenal, however, were not without their own problems, notably in attack, while in the first half, in particular, he once again saw an English side suffer by comparison with the continentals for technique and simple passing ability.

Wright, like Campbell, sporting a shaven head and apparently also a Harley Davidson tattoo on his thigh, was rarely motoring, doing his best work from a stationary position, when bagging the winner from the spot, as he did in the shoot-out against Atletico.

Arsenal (4-4-2): Seaman; McGoldrick, Adams, Bould, Winterburn (Morrow, 8); Selley (Jensen, 69), Hillier, Schwarz, Merson (Campbell, 69); Smith, Wright. Substitutes not used: Miller (gk), Linighan.

Napoli (4-4-2): Taglialatela; Matrecano (Luzardi, 72), Grossi, Cannavaro, Policano; Buso (Pari, 67), Bordin, Pecchia (Tarantino, 76), Rincon; Agostini, Carbone. Substitutes not used: Di Fusco (gk), Altomare.

Referee: K Morton (Bury St Edmunds).

Chelsea, the Cup-Winners' Cup contenders beaten by a 10-man Napoli side on Saturday, claimed third place with a 1-0 win against Atletico Madrid, Paul Furlong scoring his sixth pre-season goal.

A Napoli director, Vincenzo Pinzarrone, has been arrested on charges of possessing forged Italian treasury certificates worth dollars 2.3m. The certificates were intended to help finance Napoli's purchase of Andre Cruz and Alain Boghossian.

(Photograph omitted)

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