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 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.
March 03, 2013 by
The Arsenal striker Lukas Podolski has been involved in plenty of high profile and high pressure games in his football career. He has played in two World cup semi-finals and the final of Euro 2008 when Germany lost out to Spain. With over 100 international caps and lots of experience, the striker is a great man to have in the dressing room for a fierce local derby, and he has issued a word of calm in the build up to the game against Tottenham today.
Spurs are hot favourites to finsh above Arsenal according to The Sports Geek, but Podolski doesn’t think it will be decisive: “It is a big game, but it will not decide who will play in next season’s Champions League. We have 11 matches to go and every match is like a final, and we must fight to get into the Champions League next season. This is important to us.”
Of course the players will be desperate to perform well and get a good result, but they also need to stay as calm as possible and play our game. They should be confident going into the match because of the previous two games both finishing 5-2. Podolski scored in his first North London derby, and will hopefully start today. His talent and his cool head could be crucial in the cauldron of White Hart Lane, and he is really looking forward to getting the chance to prove it.
“I like derbies. It will be a tough match but we want the three points and we have the quality to win there.
“It is something special when it is a derby, for the fans and for the club. When you play away at your rivals you must fight for the three points.”
Podolski knows that Arsenal have played with nerves at the start of some big games this season, and is trying to get his team mates to play with more freedom, because we are brilliant when we do, and more than a match for Tottenham.
February 20, 2013 by
Everybody knows that Arsenal are having a tough season, and it got a whole lot worse last night. The 3-1 home defeat by Bayern Munich left the Gunners almost guaranteed to suffer another season without any silverware, unless Wenger can orchestrate a miracle in Munich. The odds against us getting through to the last eight are 25/1. Please remember that if you are crazy enough to back Arsenal to get through make sure you use UK responsible gambling resources!
The only thing that Arsenal have to play for now is a top four spot which will guarantee a place in next season’s Champions league. Wenger has achieved this year after year, but we are currently sitting in fifth, four points behind Tottenham and five behind Chelsea. With 12 games of the season left there is plenty of time, and Arsenal made up a bigger gap last year, but the bookies have Tottenham as slight favourites to keep their spot this time around. They are slightly odds on at 4/5 while Arsenal are 11/10 to do it.
It seems as if the nerves of the Arsenal players and fans are starting to give the bookies second thoughts. Wenger’s press conference rant will not have helped either, as he has always been calm and authoritative before. Maybe they are not convinced that Wenger can get the Arsenal team back up and feeling positive and confident after such a disappointing week, although we are still heavy favourites to beat Aston Villa at the Emirates on Saturday.
However disgruntled the Arsenal fans are, however, the bookies feel that the board will not sack Wenger, as the Frenchman is still 4/11 on to be in charge of the Gunners at the start of next season.
November 18, 2012 by
The Arsenal winger Theo Walcott got a rare start in a League game yesterday against Tottenham, but he was instrumental in helping the Gunners to a 5-2 and even scored the final goal when moved into the centre-forward position towards the end.
Tottenham took the lead early on but Arsenal took over after Adebayor was sent off (even I took advantage as I was given some free football bets and backed Arsenal to win after Adebayor gave Spurs the lead!) and Walcott believes that the Gunners fully deserved all three points.
“I think the better team won,” he said. “They did have some good patches but in the grand scheme of things I think we deserved to win.
“We were very ruthless going forward and had five different goalscorers, which hasn’t happened for a while.
“It’s funny that it’s the same scoreline as last year – who would have thought that?”
Walcott was then asked if confidence had been very low in the Arsenal dressing room after their recent run of bad results, and he replied: “It has been up and down,”
“I am starting to get back into the team, and we have people like Santi Cazorla who has shone in his first season in England, Olivier Giroud is starting to show what he can do, Lukas Podolski is getting goals which is very useful and we have Jack [Wilshere] back.
“I think the confidence has always been there. But this was a massive win for us.”
Let’s all hope that, like last season, the 5-2 win over our greatest rivals will help us kick on and salvage something from this season (Fourth place and a League Cup trophy anyone?)
August 06, 2012 by
If Arsene Wenger is playing poker with Rennes about the transfer of Yann M’Vila to Arsenal or if he is waiting to see what happens with Nuri Sahin from Real Madrid, he is in danger of losing out on M’Vila. Tottenham are reported to be preparing a bid for the defensive midfielder, and have already been in contact with his representatives, according to the Metro.
Many Arsenal fans believe that Wenger was playing down Arsenal’s interest in the combative French international because he thought that Rennes were trying to spark off a bidding war and push up his price. The rumours coming out of the Emirates that it was disciplinary issues that had discouraged Wenger seemed way off the mark, as he has always been able to deal with supposedly troublesome players before.
French media outlet Le 10 Sport reports that Spurs are set to offer around £10 million for M’Vila, while Rennes are going to hold out for at least £12 million. This still sounds quite cheap for a player with M’Vila’s quality, but there are also reports that Zenit St. Petersburg and Inter Milan are interested. Maybe Rennes are up to their old tricks again.
M’Vila has told his club bosses that he wants out whatever happens, but would he really move to Tottenham?
June 02, 2012 by
Arsenal have lost the race for Vertonghen’s signature to their cross-city rivals Tottenham, after the Belgian international declared that he has almost agreed a deal with the Spurs.
Arsene Wenger was looking to increase his squad value ahead of the next season when the Frenchman will be looking to have a say in the title fight. According to Vertonghen, his signature is now impossible for Wenger, as the defender will be heading to Tottenham this summer.
“I would like to play in the Premier League. I am not in contact every day but I think it could be very close now, maybe a couple of weeks or maybe days.”
“I probably know which team I will be going to, yes. I know where I want to go and I think it is clear to everybody.”
When asked if the side were Tottenham he answered: “Yes.”
“For me it is important the connection with the club. They give me a very good feeling about everything.
“They invited me over and they also really want to close a deal, which is what gave me a good feeling.
“They showed me everything about where they want to be in the next few years and that is what I like most.”
Arsene Wenger continues his pursuit, and according to recent rumours the French manager is now looking to replace Vertonghen with Montpellier’s center-back Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa on the transfer shortlist.
The Frenchman is also looking to improve on his midfield and on his attacking sides, as the injury situation with the midfielders at the club is not looking good right now and Robin Van Persie’s contract has yet been extended, so Wenger will want to secure his team’s performances for next season.
June 02, 2012 by
Brazilian club Internacional’s president Giovanni Luigi has snubbed the link which has been created in the English press between London side Arsenal and a possible move for Brazilian star Leandro Damiao.
According to the official, there has been no official contact for Damiao but the ones Tottenham and PSG made, which were snubbed.
“For Damiao we never received official offers from Italy, only informal contacts, no proposals on paper,” Luigi told calciomercato.it.
“The only bids were received from Tottenham and PSG, but we rejected them because our intention and hope is to keep the player at least until December 2012.
Arsene Wenger is in big need of a good target man facing the horror of losing Dutchman Robin Van Persie, and it seems that although he’s not yet in for Damiao, Montpellier’s striker Olivier Giroud could be very close to a move to London this summer.
Arsene Wenger’s luck with Brazilian players seems to have run out, because the Frenchman also seems to have lost the race for Sao Paulo’s talented 19-year-old Lucas Moura after the price for the attacking midfielder skyrocketed following interest from Chelsea, Inter Milan and Real Madrid.
May 08, 2012 by
The Belgian international Jan Vertonghen has been fully expected to arrive at Arsenal after spending the last few months telling the world that he was leaving Ajax, and would prefer to move to Arsenal above all other destinations.
Recently though the versatile defender has been revealing the possibility of a move to Arsenal’s great rivals Tottenham, and it now seems like that is indeed going to be his destination.
Vertonghen was reported in today’s Metro as saying: “Ajax was the perfect club for me but Spurs will be very close in nearing that already, they buy young, eager and offensive minded players.”
“It would be terrible if my departure would be a long one as Ajax would keep asking for a great price ‘close to the bone’. Of course I want Ajax to become financially better but the amount Tottenham are willing to pay, maybe with a little bit extra is very reasonable.”
So it seems that Arsenal are definitely going to lose out to Tottenham for Thomas Vermaelens international team-mate. Oh well, back to the drawing board!
May 08, 2012 by
The player who is considered to be the next probable Arsenal signature, Jan Vertonghen, has admitted that he needs to make a decision, as according to the defensive star rumours about transfer bids from Tottenham, but also from other teams are true.
“I have to make a choice. There’s something going on with Tottenham, but there are more clubs interested in signing me.
“The most important thing for me is that I get regular playing time. Plus I need a stable environment.
“More and more clubs in England seem to realise that you can go a long way with ‘good football’.
“Arsenal started with it, and teams like Newcastle, Tottenham and Manchester City are playing good football as well now.”
The defender still seems to be favoring a move to Arsenal according to his statement, but after Wenger’s recent statement where the Frenchman declared that he’s an interesting player – BUT he’s a defender. It’s tough to anticipate whether the Frenchman will decide to buy him or not. With Djourou, Vermaelen, Koscielny, Mertesakcer and Miquel all roaring to play in the center of Arsenal’s defense, it’s hard to see where Vertonghen could fit in even though he’s a highly skilled footballer. Unless of course Wenger has already sourced a buyer for Djourou?
Where would you put the defensive star in Arsenal’s line-up?