May 19, 2013 by
If things go disastrously wrong for Arsenal on the final day of the season, Arsene Wenger will find out first hand what the Europa League is like. He has criticised UEFA and the way the competition is set up, however, because the two finalists this year, Chelsea and Benfica, both dropped out of the Champions League at the group stage.
“Their target at the start of the season was the Champions League, not to win the Europa League,” declared Wenger.
“We raised that question many times at UEFA. Is it right to reward teams, basically, for failure?
“The teams who go through in the Champions League to the last 16 don’t have a chance after. If you go out in the last 16, you don’t drop into the Europa League. If you don’t qualify, you have a chance of winning the Europa League.
“If I had won the Europa League like Chelsea, I would have been happy as well. It is a trophy, but overall it raises a question.”
You can understand his point and his frustration, especially as Arsenal have been without a trophy for eight seasons now. In every single one of those seasons, Arsenal got through the group stages of the Champions League, so have never had the opportunity to win the Europa League, despite doing better than the teams who came third, like Chelsea.
You would think that Arsenal would have had a good chance of winning it if we had, so that is a bit of a wind-up. Maybe we will have a chance next season, depending on what happens today, but I seriously hope not.
May 17, 2013 by
Arsenal are closing in on a deal to sign young French striker Yaya Sanogo from French club Auxerre. Arsenal have been linked with lots of players already in the last few weeks but the deal for Sanogo is the only one that Wenger has commented on himself.
Wenger admits that the deal is in it’s final stages and it is very likely that there will be a new French striker at the club next season.
Sanogo was hailed as one of the world’s future stars when he was young because of the way he dominated the youth leagues and even the international youth competitions with his unmatched scoring records and ability.
He holds lots of records in youth competitions for the amount of goals he has scored and he has begun to show his ability in the Auxerre team this season by scoring 9 goals in just 19 appearances and a lot of those appearances were off the bench.
Despite him being destined for great things, he suffered a double leg break when he was 18 years old and was out of the game for nearly 2 years which severely halted his progress.
Arsene Wenger along with most managers in Europe had his eyes on Sanogo when he was 16 and he looks to have won the race for his signature. A lot of other clubs would have lost interest in him when he suffered the leg break but Wenger kept to his goals and now he is about to sign him.
Arsenal could have a deadly strike force in the future in the shape of Yaya Sanogo and Joel Campbell who are both around the same age and are admired greatly by Arsene Wenger. Joel Campbell has spent the last 2 seasons on loan but he could be about to break into the Arsenal first team because of his impressive performances.
May 16, 2013 by
Arsene Wenger and his Arsenal players took a giant leap towards continuing the fantastic record of the Gunners with the Frenchman at the helm. They might not have won a trophy for eight long years now, but if they handed out cups for getting in the Champions League, the trophy cabinet at the Emirates would be heaving.
By beating Wigan Athletic by a healthy four goals to one at the Emirates last night, and relegating Roberto Martinez and his FA cup winners, Arsenal are now just two points behind Chelsea with an inferior goal difference of just one. Chelsea have to play the Europa League final against Benfica from Portugal tonight in the Amsterdam Arena and they are guaranteed a top four finish already.
That makes the likelihood of them winning the final game of the season against Everton at Stamford Bridge a lot slimmer, although the bookies have them at odds of 8/13 in the betting with Unibet (Check out their new 3 strikes bet!). The draw at 14/5 or an Everton win at 9/2 look a lot more appealing to me, especially as the Toffees will want to give David Moyes a good send off. Benitez and the players will have exhausted themselves to win the Europa trophy last night and will struggle to produce the same form just a few days later after celebrating their last-gasp win.
If Arsenal beat Newcastle United on Sunday, which is at 8/15 on, they will definitely finish above Tottenham again. That is why the odds of being in the top four are 4/11 on, while Spurs are at 23/10 even though they are strong 1/3 favourites to beat Sunderland at White Hart Lane.
Bookies still think Chelsea will finish third, with odds of 4/13 on that they will do so, but if Arsenal beat their result and overhaul them, the odds of 13/5 look very tasty. There is a chance, if Chelsea draw and Arsenal win by a single goal, that the two teams could finish on the same points and the same goal difference and goals scored. There would then, apparently, be a play-off to decide who finishes third and avoids a qualifying Champions League tie. I’m afraid I cannot find any odds for that happening.
Because of the recent run of excellent for for the Gunners, which has got us into this position in the league, any talk of Arsene Wenger leaving the club this summer has gone away. The odds of the Frenchman being in charge at the start of the season are a measly 1/25 on. In the world of modern football and with recent events at City and United in Manchester, Wenger is now the longest serving Premier League manager by a country mile.
Hopefully that continuity and the recent form will help us push on next season and finally end that trophy drought. The odds of that happening are 9/4.
May 13, 2013 by
As an Arsenal fan, I don’t know whether to be pleased or worried about Wigan Athletic beating Manchester City to win the FA cup at Wembley on Saturday. All we heard from former players was that a Wembley final saps the strength from your legs much more than a normal game.
That is why most people were surprised that Roberto Martinez put out as strong a side as possible and they really went for it. It must be a fantastic feeling for everyone at the club, but they would all admit that Premier League survival is more important. Martinez has vowed to get his players fully focused on beating Arsenal at the Emirates tomorrow, because no other result will do for them.
Is it realistic, though? I know that players can sometimes run on adrenaline, but against the Gunners at the Emirates, where they are likely to be chasing just to get hold of the ball? Not only will they have tired bodies, but the elation and emotion of winning the FA up will have taken it’s toll mentally.
I think they were really brave at Wembley and fully deserved the win. It would be a shame to see them relegated in the same season, but, unfortunately for them, Arsenal need a win too and will be taking no prisoners. If we can get an early lead tomorrow, it could be a long, hard night for Wigan and a heavy defeat.
May 09, 2013 by
We have been promised that the financial shackles at Arsenal would be off `very soon` for some time now, but this summer it actually looks like it will happen. Although not officially confirmed by the club, it seems to be an open secret that Arsene Wenger will be handed around £70 million to spend in the summer transfer window. It could be even more, now we are hearing about a whopping shirt deal with Puma.
The Puma deal will not start for another year, but there could well be a down payment, which could leave the prof with nearly £100 million burning a hole in his pocket. The timing could not be better for Arsenal; with the departure of Ferguson bound to have an effect on Manchester United and Roberto Mancini and City seemingly losing their way. Mourinho may well be going to Chelsea, but that is no guarantee of success, just ask Real Madrid.
Tottenham seem to be headed for crushing disappointment again and they will find it much harder to hang on to Gareth Bale this summer if they are faced with the Europa League again. They might have a lot of money from his sale, but they will struggle to attract the top players without a Champions League place.
If Arsenal and Wenger add some top quality players this summer to complement the strong core already in place, it could be the start of another great period of success for Arsenal. God knows we have waited long enough. Wenger has a year left on his contract, so next season will be crucial in deciding whether he is the man to take us forward, or if it is the end of an era in north London as well as Manchester.
May 07, 2013 by
Arsenal are today closing in on moves for several strikers as they aim to spend money this summer to restore faith in the fans. The moves are being completed quickly in case of the clubs failure to qualify for the Champions League and then a possible failure to attract the players they want.
Stevan Jovetic from Fiorentina is looking like the most likely of the deals to happen as the two clubs ave been in talks for around a month now, apparently, and an agreement with the club and the player are seemingly complete. Jovetic would be a welcome signing in North London as he is a tricky attacking player who has excellent technical skills and as he has proved recently he can be a prolific goalscorer. I feel as though he would link up excellently with Theo Walcott on the wing or even in the centre, he is a similar player to Cazorla as well but he is more advanced on the pitch.
Edin Dzeko from Manchester City also looks to be on his way out and Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger may be interested if he can get the Bosnian at a bargain price. Dzeko showed excellent goalscoring ability earlier in the season but has since been dropped again in favour of Tevez and Aguero. I think there would be no need to buy Dzeko unless Giroud was on his way out of the Emirates, This may be the case as Wenger would not want two similar strikers in his squad like Giroud and Dzeko.
It is also being reported that Arsenal are going to make an unexpected move for Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski. It was thought that Lewandowski was close to signing for Bayern Munich or Manchester United but if Arsenal have made a late bid it must be a spectacular one. This would be a great statement to the fans if a deal for the Pole really is on the cards and may change people’s minds about Arsenal.
May 04, 2013 by
This season, especially in the second half of it there have been lots of reports that Bacary Sagna will be leaving Arsenal this summer and that Arsenal will not offer him a new contract when it comes to expire. The question is, do Arsenal fans think it’s time for him to move on after six year at the club in which he has not won a single trophy?
One of the big contenders for Sagna’s signature are PSG but negotiations are apparently breaking down and starting again every few days. If the Frenchman is sold, who can be bought to replace him or will anybody be bought to replace him? Carl Jenkinson should be moved into the right back position permanently if Sagna leaves because he is a future England international and can offer something that Arsenal full backs have not since the 90′s, competent defending skills.
Jenkinson can offer a balance with the defence and create a new tactic and alter the way the entire team plays, for example Monreal on the other side can bomb forward and leave a gap in the defence without being worried because Jenkinson would slide over into the centre and the other two centre backs would reshape to form a 3-man central defence. When this happens any counter-attack which seems to catch Arsenal out so often will face more resistance as Jenkinson has the defensive ability to operate as a centre back and a right back in the same match.
But the fact still remains that if Sagna leaves and Jenkinson takes a first team place, the club will need cover for the position. Sebastian Corchia has been linked with the club in recent days and could be available for 3 to 6 million pounds. Corchia would be a gamble but e could show potential to become a world class right back with the proper guidance and training.
Would you happily wave goodbye to Sagna and what do you think about Carl Jenkinson and Sebastian Corchia?
May 03, 2013 by
Ever since Olivier Giroud got sent off against Fulham, Arsenal fans were clamouring for Lukas Podolski to be given the centre-forward role for the future, but after the German was hardly seen in the game against Man United, perhaps the enthusiasm has waned.
But Arsene Wenger seems convinced that the German international is the right man for the job going forward, despite his no-show in last weeks game. Wenger said: “He has the qualities because he is a good finisher,”
“He has a good technique and because we have a game based on very quick combinations, I believe he can be a part of that. Overall I am convinced in the coming games he will show it.
“A definite decision has not been made, but if there is an opportunity then there is a good chance I will do it.”
There is the problem with some surgery that Podolski needs in the summer, but if he can play through the pain (and improve after last week!) we all know he has the talent to be a brilliant centre-forward. Surely he has to better than Giroud in the end?
Or should Walcott be given another chance to shine?
May 02, 2013 by
In the last few days there have been reports of a former Gunner returning to Arsenal in the summer, in the player of a certain Cesc Fabregas. I, as like most people would be absolutely ecstatic if Fabregas was to return to Arsenal in the summer and who knows it may happen. But this time it’s another ex-arsenal player that’s in the headlines for a return.
Carlos Vela is a player that has had rumours of a return surrounding him for the majority of the second half of the season, mainly due to his impressive form in Spain, and it’s the constant rumours that make me believe that maybe there is some real truth in this story.
I always liked Vela; I felt he brought something different that was special to the Arsenal team; however it was unfortunate that it seemed he was inevitably going to be sold after so many loans. It was best for both the club and for the player but personally I was sad to see such a talent go. Now after a full permanent deal in Spain with Real Sociedad, Vela is showing the true form that got Arsenal fans excited for his future time and time again.
Vela has managed to notch 13 goals so far this season and his performances have been purely brilliant, leading to the suggestion that Wenger will look to activate a buy back clause implemented into the Mexican international’s contract.
On a return Vela was today quoted saying; “Going back to Arsenal? It could happen at any moment, but I don’t want to think about it. My life is at Real Sociedad, and it is with that shirt that I want to play in the Champions League next season.”
Now of course he never actually states that he will be returning to Arsenal but he certainly doesn’t seem put off by the thought. He says Champions League qualification is important and of course we can’t even be certain of providing that yet, but I really do think there’s some genuine truth here.
Wenger always knew he was a good player and you can’t say he was sold because he simply wasn’t good enough. There were some elements of that and yes he probably isn’t good enough at the present moment to be Arsenal’s number one striker, that’s almost a fact however I think he could provide very admirable back up to a striker and it only adds to our options. Last season Van Persie was on fire and you’re never going to knock him out the team, whilst Chamakh, Walcott and Gervinho all played a part in attack, but now with the team arguably being short of strikers I think the 24 year old could once again walk out in an Arsenal shirt. At £3 million, Carlos Vela is a steal and in my opinion, he’s definitely someone we should look at in the summer, should our other targets fail in the attacking positions.
April 30, 2013 by
Arsene Wenger has shown the kind of loyalty to Arsenal that we wish a lot of his players had dome in recent years. It must be difficult for the Frenchman, because he seems to keep producing top class players only for them to leave the club in search of more money or guaranteed silverware.
If the stories in today’s papers are right, Wenger could soon be following the likes of Ashley Cole, Gael Clichy, Samir Nasri and Robin van Persie. Paris Saint-Germain have money to burn thanks to their Qatari owners. They are about to wrap up the French title, having spent millions on players. They also gave Barcelona a scare in the Champions League quarter-finals.
Apparently, Carlo Ancelotti will be leaving at the end of the season and, according to the French media, the owners of PSG are confident that Wenger will be the new man in charge next season. The Frenchman is supposed to be contracted to Arsenal until 2014 and has never walked out on a contract before, but maybe he will change his mind, especially if we fail to finish in the top four.
Many Arsenal fans have been calling for Wenger to go all season, so if he does, who would we get in his place?