Walcott: Arsenal are clicking when it matters most – and deserve Top Four

The Arsenal winger Theo Walcott has finally reached his target of 20 goals this season, and feels that the club has finally achieved some consistency after having trouble finding their form earlier in the season.

Although he has reached a personal milestone he is more worried about the club’s position right now. “Twenty goals was my target for the season. I said a few weeks back that I was short on goals but I wanted the team to be where we should be rather than reaching my personal goals.

“I really want us to get Champions League football because we deserve it. We have been up and down this season, and so have a lot of clubs, but we are getting the points on the board now when it matters.

“Every game this season is very difficult – for example, Tottenham only scored their winner in the last five minutes against Southampton.

“Every game is tight and everyone is fighting for their lives. We know teams will have to come at us but we have great strength on the counter-attack and hopefully we can utilise that.”

All eyes will be on Wednesdays crusial decided between Chelsea and Tottenham, and if the Blues can keep their excellent run going and get at least a draw at Stamford Bridge, then it is simply up to Arsenal to win their last two games. I hope they don’t make us suffer as much as they have done in the last few matches!

Was that Van Persie’s last 90 minutes at the Emirates?

Yet again Robin Van Persie has led from the front scoring two goals to put Arsenal back into a winning position against Norwich, and yet again the defence has let him down.

There rarely looked like there was any cohesion between Wojciech Szczesny and his defence, which was only compounded when Francis Coquelin replaced Bacary Sagna after half an hour.

I know attack is the best form of defence, especially when playing Sky Poker no deposit online, but when you are 3-2 up in a football match against a lowly team like Norwich with so much at stake, why didn’t Wenger put ten men behind the ball and crowd out the Arsenal defence and midfield.

Why do we always try to score another one? Surely a tactical change in such an important winning position would not have been booed by the fans, who are aware that we just had no win by any means possible.

So if Tottenham (or Newcastle) overtake Arsenal into Third position, we can kiss goodbye to Robin Van Persie, and without Champions League assured it will be a lot harder to attract star players to the Emirates to strengthen the team, especially if we need to replace Van Persie.

Four games Wenger had to make certain of Third Place and we only managed a measly three points out of the twelve on offer. Who are we supposed to blame for such a spectacular collapse once again?

Djourou – Arsenal need to return to our best to beat Chelsea

Chelsea have a massive game against Barcelona in tonight’s Champions League semi-final and then have to face Arsenal at the Emirates this coming weekend, but Johann Djourou says that the Gunners can’t just assume that Chelsea will be tired and take it easy against Arsenal.

He said: “They still want to have Champions League football next season as well so we know it is going to be a tough game,”

“Obviously they have a lot of fixtures, the two Barcelona games are [either side of Saturday’s derby] but we don’t really concentrate on that. We have to be focused on our game and be focused on what we do best.

“We need to play football the way we did against Manchester City and Wolves, that is the sort of situation we have to get back into. We have to show that again. Unfortunately it wasn’t the case against Wigan but we have to be sure it is there on Saturday.”

Arsenal are still favourites for the Third Champions League spot ahead of this weekends game, and Djourou knows that another win will be a massive step to cement their place in that position.

“Of course we are and we would rather be in that situation,” he said. “It was a disappointing result, we know that, and now we have to dig in and just go forward because Saturday is around the corner and we have to make sure we are ready for that.”

I know that there are still a few games after this one against Chelsea, but this one is really a cup final as it could put our neighbours out of the race for Third Place and take us one step closer to safety…..

Szczesny – Arsenal have the momentum and can win every game

Wojciech Szczesny is in confident form after seeing Arsenal have a fantastic treble of wins against Tottenham, Liverpool and AC Milan, who are all quality sides, and he now believes that the Gunners can now go on and easily qualify for the Champions League.

Szczesny said on Arsenal.com: “I think we have sent a message to all the other teams that when we play at our best we can beat anyone in Europe,”

“I think teams will struggle against us if we keep playing like that. Hopefully next season in the Champions League we can achieve a little bit more than we did this time.

“It has been a great experience for many of us. For some of us it is our first season in the Champions League and I am sure we will use that next year to get a little bit further.

“For the players our ambition makes us really want to be there. This club deserves to be in the Champions League and we showed here that with performances like that we should be here every single season.

“I am confident we will get there in the end. The aim is to win every single game and if we can do that then good things will come for us.”

“Our momentum keeps going,” Szczesny continued. “We have won a couple of good games in the Premier League recently against Tottenham and Liverpool and we got a great win here.

“It wasn’t enough but we still have the momentum and believe that we can play really well for the rest of the season.”

After a good six day rest, Arsenal should now be fighting fit to face Newcastle on Monday. The injury list is going down and there is good reason to think that Szczesny could be absolutely right.

Come on you Gooners!

Wenger – Arsenal MUST finish in Top Four (so we must beat Man Utd!)

Arsene Wenger has responded to the strange comments by Peter Hill-Wood this week that it would not be a problem if Arsenal missed out on a Champions League place, despite the Gunners qualifying every year for the last 15 seasons.

Hill-Wood said: “We have been planning for not qualifying every year, so it is not a disaster, but it would be nice if we could.”

But Arsene Wenger disagrees and said on Arsenal.com that it indeed WOULD be a disaster if the club fails to make it 16 years in a row.

“For me it would be a disaster because I want to play with the best,” he said. “We want to be in there, in the top four, and to play in the Champions League. Anything else would not be good enough.”

But it is not looking good right now. If Chelsea beat Norwich this morning they will move seven points ahead of Arsenal in fourth place, and don’t forget that if Liverpool and Newcastle win as well then Arsenal will turn out tomorrow as low as seventh in the table.

This will make a win against Man Utd imperative if Arsenal intend to stay in the race for the Champions League. Arsenal bounced back earlier this season at Chelsea, and us fans can only hope that they can do it again tomorrow despite having a makeshift defence…..

Arsenal Official Admits Preparations For CHL Miss

Arsenal’s chairman Peter Hill-Wood has admitted that there’s a possibility for the Gunners not to catch a Champions League spot at the end of the season and that the board is preparing financially for that exact possibility.

“We are hanging on in there, no more,” he told the Daily Star of the club’s current position.

“From a financial point of view, not qualifying for the Champions League is quite a blow.

“We have been planning for not qualifying every year, so it’s not a disaster, but it would be nice if we could.”

The Gunners aren’t looking grate at the moment and even though they have a bucket-load of injuries Wenger doesn’t seem to keen to make any decisive transfers and would rather bring players in on loan.

Even though they were expected to bring a host of top players at the club being linked with rising stars like Gotze, Hazard, M’Villa or with established top players like Podolski, a move is yet to be done and the transfer window is once again getting closer and closer to the finish line leaving Wenger with no choice but to do the most from what he’s got at the moment and pull out a top 4 finish.

Wenger Declares Premiership And Champions League Fight Is On

Arsenal’s manager Arsene Wenger praises the team which got the Gunners out of the bad spot in the first half of the season, Swansea. The first leg against Swansea from the beginning of the league was seen like a true turning point for Arsenal who managed to come back from a string of losses and very bad games and build on the win they got against Swansea.

Frenchman Wenger also declared that Arsenal will battle for all the titles available and that they will have to do their best to fight for the Premiership, Champions League and FA Cup.

“They pass the ball well and ­remind me a little bit of Blackpool last year. They play with ­freedom, a positive style ­going forward.

“They are a bit more cautious than Blackpool because Blackpool were really a very offensive-minded team.

“And they don’t concede goals, they have a kind of ­conservative possession.

“They are brave but not ­adventurous because they go through their wingers and they keep possession. They do not throw all their bodies forward.”

“We have still three challenges in front of us and there are only two teams who have that in England.

“Champions League, FA Cup, league championship … only Chelsea and Arsenal can still do that.”

Arsenal seemed to be fatigued lately but perhaps Henry’s arrival will fuel up their wish to fight and they will manage to have a good performance against Swansea.

Wenger Doesn’t Want A Transfer Window

Arsenal’s manager Arsene Wenger seems to think that having the January transfer window opening should be out of the question for the Premiership because it makes things very difficult.

According to the Frenchman it’s hard for both players and managers to keep a hold of their players and have them motivated throughout the first half of the season knowing that January will eventually come and get the players out of trouble if they’re not playing.

“I am for scrapping the January transfer window.

“Either you leave it ­completely open or you close it completely, but now it’s in-between where everybody becomes nervous in November until the end of January.

“It not only makes the ­manager’s job harder but it’s harder for the club as well.

“Even for the players, too, because this way it means at the start of the season you can have players saying, ‘If I don’t play, maybe I will leave in January’.

“So they are already less ­committed to the cause. It gives them an opening.

“We have gone from a ­period where you knew if you didn’t play you had to be committed.

“When we played we had to be ­committed to a club for your whole life.

“Maybe it wasn’t right but if you didn’t play you had no other option but to fight for a place.

“Now we’re in a ­position where the ­players can have a quick and easy way out if it is difficult. When I arrived in England, the window was open until the end of March.”

“It’s harder to do deals in January because, if you’re buying a player who is available because he isn’t ­playing, then in the Premier League the level is so high now it takes that player three, four months to ­adjust.

“Most of the time, a player doesn’t leave in the middle of the ­season ­unless it’s a ­massive club who comes in and he plays at a small club.”

Wenger is right to a certain level because it might indeed be difficult to keep a player motivated when he knows he’s got the option of leaving in a very short time, but it also comes as an aid for clubs in situations where the club has so many injuries that only a transfer window can save them from being relegated.

Wenger Found The Best Way To Score Against Milan

Arsenal’s manager Arsene Wenger wants to go all out on Thierry Henry and make the most of the two months the French striker has to spend on the Emirates Stadium before returning to MLS side NY Red Bulls.

The French manager is going to use Henry in the Champions League as well and has already made plans to add him to the Champions League squad.

“Yes, he will be [in the squad],” said the Frenchman. “I have given Vito Mannone out on loan to Hull and Thierry will take his place.

“He has good memories of playing in Milan, where he scored three goals against Inter Milan. It is logical [to include him].”

Henry has two months to prove his worth once again to the Gunners, and if he still has anything to prove he’s expected to do so starting with the match against Leeds United from the FA Cup when Arsene Wenger will want to rest some of the most important players in the squad and use those who haven’t been playing too much lately.

Henry is the first transfer of the winter for Arsenal but might not be the last as Wenger plans to bring another striker who might stay for a more lengthy period with the Gunners.

Walcott’s new contract depends on Champions League Qualification

Just about every Arsenal fan in the world is aware that Robin Van Persie has refused to discuss a contract extension at the club until next summer, but the England winger Theo Walcott is in exactly the same situation and Arsene Wenger is hoping that he can secure his signature before the end of the season.

The Telegraph reports this morning that Arsenal and Walcott’s representatives have begun preliminary talks although they stress that there has been no initial demands from Theo or any solid offer put on the table by Arsenal yet either. This is contrary to some reports that appeared in the tabloids stating that Walcott had demanded a rise to 85,000 a week for a four-year contract.

It seems that neither side is in a hurry to complete a deal and a relaxed air is over the talks after some positive comments in the press by Walcott. “The atmosphere in the dressing room is fantastic — the best it’s probably been for a long time,” he said. “We are a bit more of a team, we work harder when we haven’t got the ball.”

But with Arsenal’s qualification for next season’s Champions League far from guaranteed as yet, and Arsenal’s contract negotiator Dick Law tied up with Thierry Henry and the transfer window, there is not going to be much going on with the Walcott talks until the middle of February when hopefully the Gunners will be safely tucked up in the Top Four and in a stronger bargaining position.

There is a widespread belief that Walcott is much more likely to re-sign than Robin Van Persie.