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Arsenal recruit Olympic gold medalist Michael Johnson 0

Posted on April 21, 2015 by Nemanja Lazarevic

Olympic gold medal winner Michael Johnson has been added to the coaching team at Arsenal Football Club in an attempt to improve the development of young players at the Emirates.

The highly rated athlete has been tasked with improving the speed and strength of footballers in club’s youth academy, making sure they make the transition to first team football as smoothly as possible.

Johnson won the 200m and 400m gold medals at the 1996 Olympic Games, before defending the 400m title four years later in Sydney. The famous sprinter also boasts eight World Championship golds, and he is keen to get his new job started.

Can Aaron Ramsey shine playing alongside Francis Coquelin next season? 2

Posted on April 21, 2015 by Crippy Cooke

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been playing Santi Cazorla in a deep-lying role alongside Francis Coquelin to protect the middle of the park, while allowing Aaron Ramsey to operate higher up the pitch. The Gunners have been in fine form of late with the system, but it’s a not a long-term solution for the midfield.

The 24-year-old’s best position is in a deeper role, where he can pull the strings and dictate the play. Cazorla is certainly doing more than a good job of it of late, but his Welsh counterpart was a Player of the Year nominee in 2013/14 for his performances in the role. Wenger knows this, and should be considering a swap of positions for the two players for next season, which could see Arsenal’s midfield as one of the best in the league.

Mesut Ozil finally showcasing his Real Madrid form 1

Posted on April 21, 2015 by Crippy Cooke

Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil has been in great form since his return from injury, but was truly outstanding creatively against Reading in the Gunners’ FA Cup semi-final win. The German international was pulling all the strings in the midfield, but was ultimately let down by poor finishing from his teammates.

Ozil was heavily criticised following a poor debut season at the Emirates, but has been key to their successful Premier League campaign this time round, and continues to impress in the side now. Against Reading, the 26-year-old made both assists as Arsenal won 2-1 at Wembley, but also created nine chances, made 114 passes, and had 137 touches over the entire game.

Danny Welbeck fails to take rare opportunity as a centre-forward in FA Cup semi-final 0

Posted on April 20, 2015 by Crippy Cooke

Arsenal striker Danny Welbeck was given a rare start spearheading the attack in the Gunners’ FA Cup semi-final clash against Reading on the weekend, but the England international couldn’t prove his worth, as a dogged royals defence kept him at bay for the majority. He played 70 minutes before being replaced by Olivier Giroud, who put in a much better showing in the 50 minutes he was afforded.

Welbeck had just one shot against Reading, making 26 touches, and made 17 passes. Compared with Giroud’s 4 shots, 41 touches and 28 passes, and the French international showed who is the better pick at centre-forward currently. He also has scored more goals in the last five weeks than Danny Welbeck has netted in the Premier League all season.

Wenger admits “risk” in starting Mathieu Debuchy for FA Cup semi-final 0

Posted on April 20, 2015 by Crippy Cooke

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admitted starting returning defender Mathieu Debuchy in the FA Cup semi-final “was a bit risky”, but the gamble ultimately paid off with the Gunners reaching the final against Aston Villa at Wembley.

“It was a bit risky. Bellerin has played recently with some ankle problems and Debuchy was back so I thought it was a good moment to do it. Debuchy had cramps just before the end of the game but I couldn’t change him. He is a French international and must be capable of playing in a semi-final against Reading,” he said.

Arsenal to face Aston Villa in FA Cup final 0

Posted on April 20, 2015 by David Nugent

Arsenal will face Aston Villa at Wembley in May in the FA Cup final, after the Villans recorded a surprise 2-1 win over Liverpool in the second semi-final on Sunday.

Confident

Arsene Wenger’s team will be confident of recording their second consecutive FA Cup final victory over the side from the Midlands. On paper Liverpool looked like the tougher opposition for the final, but relegation-threatened Villa raised their game to defeat the Merseysider’s.

In a strange way maybe playing Brendan Rodgers side in the final would have been better for the Gunners mind set.

Szczesny feared the worst when Reading fought back 0

Posted on April 19, 2015 by Crippy Cooke

Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny admits he was somewhat fearful of Reading when the Championship side fought their way back in this weekend’s FA Cup semi-final. The Royals put in a fantastic performance against the Gunners, but were robbed in extra time following an error from goalkeeper Adam Federici.

Prior to that, Reading kept themselves in the game, played some good football, and created chances of their own to score. Ultimately they fell shot in the end on Saturday evening, but Arsenal’s Wojciech Szczesny was taking nothing for granted until the final whistle went, as the Polish shot-stopper was very wary of Reading’s threat.

Wenger admits Arsenal were ‘lucky’ in FA Cup semi-final win against Reading 0

Posted on April 19, 2015 by Crippy Cooke

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admitted his side were perhaps “lucky” to see past Reading in the FA Cup semi-finals, with an error from goalkeeper Adam Federici gifting the Gunners an extra time win they hardly deserved. The victory sees them into the FA Cup final, where they will face Liverpool or Aston Villa, but this weekend’s clash almost mirrored last season’s FA Cup semi-final fixture against Wigan, that saw Arsenal having to win on penalties.

Arsenal through to FA Cup final after extra-time win 0

Posted on April 18, 2015 by David Nugent

The first real threat on goal came on five minutes, as Danny Welbeck latched onto a Kieran Gibbs lofted ball, but Adam Federici did well to come out and deflect the ball off the England international for a goal kick.

On seven minutes Alexis Sanchez saw a shot from just outside the area deflected wide of goal for a corner kick. The resulting corner saw Per Mertesacker’s header saved well down low by Federici.

On nine minutes the Royals threatened as Jordan Obita’s effort from the edge of the area was comfortably saved by Wojciech Szczesny.

Jack Wilshere ‘could be available for Saturday’ 0

Posted on April 18, 2015 by Crippy Cooke

Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere could well feature for the Gunners in their FA Cup semi-final clash against Reading on Saturday evening, with the England international having return from his latest injury.

“We have a big squad available for selection and we just have Arteta (match fitness) and Oxlade-Chamberlain (groin) unavailable. Everybody else should be alright. (Jack Wilshere) has improved physically and I think he is available for selection on Saturday,” said Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.



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