It is getting down to the nitty-gritty for Arsene Wenger and his Arsenal players now. The Gunners may not have a realistic chance of the title but we are very much involved in a real Premier League tussle. With an FA cup trophy to defend and a poor home result to overturn in the Champions League as well, the manager knows he must rotate his squad while still fielding a team that will do the job for Arsenal.
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The recent poor form and all the subsequent criticism that has been aimed at the Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker make this Arsenal transfer rumour even more important. And it appears that Arsene Wenger and his transfer team are running out of time so stop the defensive transfer target Winston Reid from signing a lucrative new contract with his current club West Ham.
His manager Sam Allardyce claimed the other day that there was a bumper contract on the table for the New Zealand international and today Metro are reporting that the West Ham chairman has declared himself confident that they will persuade the centre back to stay.
None of the fans from rival clubs to Arsenal will like this and I expect they will point to all sorts of reasons for the stats on Francis Coquelin not really being a true reflection of reality but you cannot argue with the plain facts, reported by The Mirror, that the 23-year old is absolutely smashing the other players in the same position since Arsene Wenger brought him back from the loan spell at Charlton.
Anyone with any connection to Arsenal Football Club will already have been very impresses with the performances or arguably the best signing made by Arsene Wenger since Thierry Henry. And one of the players that used to share the pitch with our record goalscorer, the Brazilian midfielder Edu, thinks that we ain’t seen nothing yet from Alexis Sanchez.
The former Gunners midfielder has also backed his former boss, as reported by the Daily Star, and called on the Arsenal board and fans to keep showing faith with the only living boss to have steered their team to an unbeaten season in the English top division, something that Edu himself was a part of.
I understand that the buck normally stops with the manager and a lot of Arsenal fans will surely think that Arsene Wenger has a lot to answer for this morning. The players were not properly motivated and our tactics just fell apart. And keeping the terrible Mesut Ozil on for the whole game was just bizarre.
But Ozil was far from being the only Arsenal player that had a shocker. Not one of them played well in fact. Welbeck and Sanchez dropped deep and came central to rob us of any width, the full backs neglected their defensive duties, Koscielny and particularly Mertesacker made bad decisions and just defended poorly in general.
Oh Arsenal fans, can you just imagine how much it would wind up our old rivals Man United and how much ammunition it would give Gooners to use on their fans if this Arsenal transfer rumour was to come true. A Metro report claims that it has news from Italy that Arsene Wenger is willing to break the bank to get the France international star Paul Pogba from Juventus this summer.
It must have been a bit of an eye opener for the Barcelona and Spain international star Pedro Rodriguez as he watched his former team mate Alexis Sanchez explode into his career with new club Arsenal and take the Premier League by storm.
And with his current Barca contract due to expire at the end of next season, the speedy striker apparently fancies getting in on the action. According to a Metro, Pedro is keen on following the Chilean international to England and so will not be renewing his contract.
Not only is it looking like Arsenal will be battling with Manchester United until the end of the season for a top four finish in the Premier League, but the football fates have matched the Gunners up with our old enemy for a place in the FA cup semi-finals.
But there is no fear in the Arsenal camp about the upcoming clash at Old Trafford, if the recent comments by our French international centre forward Olivier Giroud are anything to go by. The 28-year old was understandably in a buoyant mood after scoring both goals against Middlesborough to get the Gunners into the quarter-final but that is not the reason he is so confident about Arsenal’s chances in the cup and league.
The hopes of Arsenal being able to challenge Chelsea and Man City for the Premier League title this season are now slimmer than a supermodel with dysentery, but there are still 39 points to fight for and we need to keep winning to make sure that we are in the top four when the season draws to a close.
But starting now, the Gunners have the added complication of an FA cup quarter.final away to Man United, and hopefully more FA cup games to follow, as well as at least two more big games in the Champions League to think about. But one Arsenal star is not worried at all that the Gunners squad will struggle to cope with the workload.
Arsenal are apparently close to sealing the deal for out first signing of the summer and it is a big one. The 21-year old Palermo striker Paulo Dybala is a seriously hot property and was expected to be the subject of transfer bids from some of the top clubs around Europe at the end of this season, but a Metro report claims that the Gunners could disappoint them by agreeing a deal with the Italian club this week.