It’s officially game day as Arsenal travel up to the Black Country in order to take on Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux. It’s not exactly a stretch to suggest that this is one of the biggest games of the season for the Gunners, as they attempt to give their hopes of European qualification a boost. Prior to the game, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta spoke with the media to preview the encounter.
While the start to Arsenal’s Premier League return after the restart was shaky, the last few games have seen them rise back up and put in a few really good performances. Of course, they’ve still got a long way to go before they can be viewed as serious European contenders, but there appears to be a bit of a spring in their step right now – and it’s been a while before we’ve been able to say that.
The expectation was that Arsenal would come flying out of the blocks against Norwich City, mainly because they really had to if they wanted to keep their European hopes alive. Sure, they’ve got their FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City to look forward to, but the Premier League still feels like a more realistic avenue for them if they’re serious about playing in either the UEFA Champions League or UEFA Europa League next season.
Arsenal have intensified their interest in signing Thomas Partey from Atletico Madrid this summer, according to David Ornstein of The Athletic.
The 27-year old midfield powerhouse has played 42 times for Diego Simeone’s side in all competitions this season. He scored three goals and provided no more than one assist, but it’s hardly relevant for a player whose primary duty is to protect the back line by positioning himself directly in front of them and fight for every ball.
This season mostly seems like a complete fiasco for Arsenal. They are nowhere near where they wanted to be in the Premier League table, they’ve been ousted from the Europa League at the hands of Olympiacos. We’ve seen some truly woeful performances from some players, and while the futures of some of the best are hanging in the air at the moment, there is very little hope the club will be doing any significant business in the transfer market this summer.
Arsenal signed William Saliba from Saint-Etienne last summer for a reported fee of £27 million, with an agreement in place for the player to remain at the Ligue 1 club on loan for the 2019/20 campaign.
The French top flight has been ended prematurely due to the Covid-19 pandemic with the 19-year-old playing 12 games. The cup finals are, however, still to go ahead, with Saint-Etienne poised to face champions Paris Saint-Germain for the Coupe de France trophy on July 24th. Saliba was due to arrive to north London at the end of June, and as Saint-Etienne head coach Claude Puel had planned for the defender to play in that final, talks were held between the clubs over a loan extension which would allow it; but in the end, an agreement wasn’t reached.
There’s no rest for the wicked in the Premier League as teams up and down England’s top flight attempt to push forward towards a positive end to the campaign. One team who is caught up in that mire is our beloved Arsenal, and while it may seem unlikely, it does still feel like there’s a chance they could end up qualifying for some form of European competition next season.
The next step towards doing so will come against Norwich City who, as we all know, have their own set of problems to deal with.
Arsenal are apparently contemplating a move for VfL Wolfsburg striker Wout Weghorst. That, at least, is what the press in Germany are saying at the moment.
At the age of 27, Weghorst is Wolfburg’s top scorer this season, with 20 goals from 42 appearances in all competitions for his current club. Standing 6’5″ tall, he is obviously a threat from the air, but he’s quite good with his feet too. He passed through the ranks at several Dutch clubs before eventually moving to the Bundesliga side from AZ Alkmaar in 2018, and he has managed to earn four caps with Netherlands so far.
While the FA Cup may not be viewed as a competition that has all too much of a spark left these days, we still think there’s something to be said for just how much the fans enjoy watching the drama unfold. This past weekend, we saw four fascinating quarter-final matches take place as Arsenal, Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United all booked their place in the final four.
Arsenal were able to book their place in the semi-finals of the FA Cup last weekend as they scored a dramatic late goal to see off the challenge of Sheffield United at Bramall Lane. In the wake of one of his biggest wins as manager so far, Gunners boss Mikel Arteta took the time to speak with the media as the club – and the fans – look ahead to another appearance at Wembley.
On showing character:
Yes, I am very pleased with the result. This is a really difficult place to come and win and. After conceding so late, that reaction is not easy. We went for it again, we scored the goal and now we’re back at Wembley.