Wenger to unleash ‘Top Quality’ Arsenal star on Hull City?

A lot of Arsenal fans and people in the football media, such as our old striker Ian Wright who is both, have been a little disappointed so far this season in how much we have seen from the big summer signing Granit Xhaka.

The Swiss international has started the two Premier League games against Leicester City and Watford and I think he did pretty well. Apart from that, however, Wenger has started with Xhaka on the bench and he did not feature at all against Southampton last weekend.

Most thought he was being saved for the Champions League but it was not to be, although he did come on and helped to steady the ship and drag Arsenal back into the game. This week the boss has been talking about his future being as a box-to-box midfielder rather than the deep lying one he was thought to be.

Wenger has also been talking up his ability ahead of this weekend’s clash with Hull, as reported by Sky Sports, so with Aaron Ramsey due back soon and with Santi Cazorla having played two hard games already this week, does this suggest that Xhaka will be unleashed against the Tigers?

The Arsenal manager said, “Every week he [Xhaka] is stronger and better. I think he will play a big part.

“He has the stature, the power the strength. Many players it took some time to get into the team, it happens.

“Look, in one or two occasions [he struggled]. I think he has adapted quite well. His physical strength and power allows him to pretend to play straight away.

“I prefer him as a box-to-box player. He has the engine to have an impact with his runs. He is highly focused. Elneny as well, both of them are focused and top, top quality.”

Would you start with Xhaka today? And if so, which position would you put him in?

Is Piers Morgan the reason Arsenal are stuck with Wenger?

Unless Stan Kroenke and the Arsenal board have a major turnaround in the next few weeks then it looks like Arsenal fans will be stuck with Arsene Wenger as the manager for one more year at least, for better or worse. But why are the Gunners willing to keep putting faith in a manager who has consistently failed to challenge for the title in over a decade of disappointment?

I have seen various theories, ranging from the old favourite about Kroenke knowing he is on a good thing as we keep getting into the Champions League without spending money to the suggestion that Arsenal cannot find the right man to replace him and are worried about us hitting the skids like Man United did with David Moyes.

I have just formed my own theory after reading the latest fevered dribblings of our shareholder Piers Morgan in a Metro report. Always willing to give his thoughts without knowing much about a subject, perhaps the fact that Morgan is always calling for Wenger to be sacked is working in the opposite way. His latest rant came about Wenger’s advice towards our new midfield star Elneny to be more intelligent in choosing when to shoot.

Morgan seems to think it is a good idea for our players to shoot on sight, even if they are not strikers and do not have a great strike rate. I personally think a good theory to live your life by would be to do and think the opposite of Piers Morgan, so could this be the real reason we are stuck with Wenger?

Are Wenger and the Arsenal players kidding themselves?

After seeing Arsenal slip up once again this season, with just a point away to West Ham when all three were required and looked in the bag when we were 2-0 up and just minutes away from the halftime break, most Arsenal fans have accepted what we already suspected strongly, that the Gunners would not be crowned EPL champions this season.

But Arsene Wenger and the Arsenal players are defiant and insist that it is not all over yet, although the crowd may be on the pitch. The attitude in the Arsenal dressing room was summed up by our Egypt international star Mohamed Elneny, with post match comments reported by Arsenal.com.

The midfielder said, “We will fight until the end, until the last game in the league, to achieve what we want. Let’s see the final outcome then.

“Today we wanted to snatch the win even though we were playing against a strong team. Maybe the final result is not this much in our favour, however we are doing our best in each game.

“We conceded two goals at a very hard time. We should have ended the first half 2-1 up but the equalising goal came at a very crucial moment.

“At the start of the second half we started organising our team to win the game and step up our performance, however we conceded a third goal so we tried and pushed to get an equaliser. We finally did that but we couldn’t snatch the win in the end.

“We are fighting for the league title, this is why we had to play in an offensive mode to win the game, but thanks God for the final result. The best is yet to come.”

Whilwe it is hard for us fans to summon up any optimism, I guess that Elneny is right. Stranger things have happened and although it is highly unlikely it is possible that Leicester could struggle today and go on a bad run. So while it is mathematically possible is it right for the Arsenal players and manager to still believe?

First Premier League start for new Arsenal star Iwobi

Arsene Wenger must have luiked what he saw from the young Gunner Alex Iwobi whern he started ahead of more experienced Arsenal forwards like Theo Walcott and Joel Campbell against Barcelona on Wednesday night, because today the boss has handed the talented youngstrer his first ever start in the Premier League.

Perhaps Wenger is hoping that the exuberance and fearlessness of youth is better than the pressure that the older stars seem to be struggling to cope with. We certainly need to get at the home team and get them on the back foot, because if we don’t I can see Arsenal struggling, especially in the latter stages of the match when the players start to feel the effects of two games in the previous six days.

THat is why I am a little surprised to see that the boss has only made one change from the Champions League starting line up and that was forced on the Frenchman due to the hamstring injury picked up by Flamini. So Coquelin comes in alongside the debut scorer Elneny and hopefully they can dominate the midfield and offer good protection to the back four.

Ospina
Bellerin, Gabriel, Koscielny, Monreal
Coquelin, Elneny
Iwobi, Ozil, Sanchez
Welbeck

Subs: Gibbs, Mertesacker, Giroud, Walcott, Chambers, Campbell, Macey.

Arsenal XI for Hull in FA cup with EIGHT changes

There were always going to be some changes made to the Arsenal starting line up for this FA cup 5th round match against Hull City. Arsene Wenger has always used these cup games top rotate his squad and give sime valuable first team experience and game time to some of the lesser used members of the squad.

And with our opponents today having bigger fish to fry with their battle for promotion to the Premier League and a busy fixture list, the boss has a great chance to make changes and still have a great chance to win the match and qualify.

So with one eye on the Champions League home leg against Barcelona on Tuesday, I think that the Frenchman will make a massive eight changes to the Arsenal XI that started against Leicester City last weekend. The only players that I expect to keep their places are the two centre backs Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny and the England international Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, leaving us a line up like this.

Ospina
Chambers, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs
Flamini, Elneny
Chamberlain, Iwobi, Campbell
Welbeck

What do you think of this Arsenal starting line up and what would be yours?

Arsenal line up for Chelsea clash with 2 HUGE comebacks

With Arsenal really needing to take all three points from the Premier League home game against Chelsea this afternoon, Arsene Wenger will have been hugely relieved to see two of the club’s best and most important players back in training this week.

And barring any last minute setback, both Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil will be fit to feature at the Emirates Stadium today. If that is the case you do not need me to tell you that the boss will put them straight back into the first team.

I also think that Arsenal fans will have to wait a little longer to see our new signing Mohamed Elneny make his Arsenal debut, as I think that Wenger will stick with the experience of Mathieu Flamini for such a key game. Other than that the only real decision for the Frenchman to make is who to play on the other side of our forward line, with Olivier Giroud sure to start in the middle.

For me it would have to be the pace, movement and finishing of Theo Walcott ahead of the fancy footwork and tireless work rate of Joel Campbell. So this would be my starting XI.

Cech
Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal
Flamini, Ramsey
Walcott, Ozil, Alexis
Giroud

Arsenal legend reveals Wenger transfer plans for title

A lot of Arsenal fans will already be thinking, perhaps with some real concern, that Arsene Wenger has already finished with his dealing in the transfer market during the winter window. We have yet to see the new signing in action but it does appear that just like last year when the Frenchman signed the Brazilian centre back Gabriel in January, Wenger has identified the part of the pitch where Arsenal are most in need of strengthening and done something about it.

Some Arsenal fans think that the boss should do the same with our front line and sign another striker, but former Arsenal centre forward Alan Smith thinks that the lack of top quality strikers available as well as the imminent return to match fitness of the England international Danny Welbeck means that is very unlikely to happen.

He also explained to Sky Sports why he thinks the Gunners do not really need to sign any more forwards, or any more players at all for that matter. The TV pundit has confidence that the talent available to Wenger in the Arsenal dressing room is enough and that the stronger team ethic and resilience on show over the last year or so means that the Gunners have the tools to win the Premier League without spending any more money this month.

Smith said, “Danny Welbeck is apparently only three weeks away and that will help them if he comes back in the kind of form he is capable of.

“Any manager would love to get in a world-class player to give the dressing room a lift, but it’s so difficult and I don’t think it’s going to happen.

“I think they’ve got enough. They didn’t have (Mesut) Ozil or (Alexis) Sanchez at Stoke and they were able to cope with that, and they’re due back soon so they’re not far off full strength.

“I think those are two good draws at Liverpool and Stoke. I know they could have won it easily at Anfield but in years gone by, they would have lost that game at Stoke.

“They didn’t use to be able to grind out those draws and wins in the difficult games. When they’re not at the top of the game and not playing that lovely football that we’re used to, they can get results.

“That’s the stuff of champions and you’ve got to have that if you’re going to win the league. That resilience will please Arsene Wenger.”

Do you agree with our former centre forward?

Wanyama to be NEXT Arsenal midfield transfer?

I am really not too sure about the Arsenal transfer rumour to be honest, especially if the talk about the young French midfielder Francis Coquelin being back in training and close to an Arsenal return are true.

But Metro are reporting that Arsene Wenger has not finished strengthening the Gunners in midfield this month and is planning to make the Southampton and Kenya star Victor Wanyama the second Arsenal signing of the January transfer window.

Arsenal have been linked with the powerful and combative Wanyama in every transfer window for years, dating back to when he was impressing north of the border with the Scottish champions Celtic. But after Wenger completed the transfer of one central midfielder in Mohamed Elneny, it seemed as though the Frenchman was done.

But the prof said today that he was still unsure about the best position of our new player and in Arteta and Flamini we have two player that might have reached their sell by date. So would the Saints’ star be a good player to sign this month and would Wenger sign two players in the same sort of position like this?

Arsenal to complete TWO midfield transfer deals this week?

If the latest Arsenal transfer rumours doing the rounds are not just hot air, then it could be that the current Arsenal captain Mikel Arteta could soon be leaving the club and going to join his former team mates Alex Song and the on loan right back Carl Jenkinson, as Metro is reporting that our Premier League rivals West Ham are keen to take the Spaniard during the January transfer window.

The fact that Arsenal are currently in the middle of a midfield injury crisis, with key players like Cazorla and Coquelin still some way from a comeback, saw Arteta used as a sub by Arsene Wenger in the FA cup win over Sunderland on Saturday. So Arsenal will not be letting him go just yet, but the boss could just be waiting until the deal to bring Mohamed Elneny to Arsenal from Basel to be signed, sealed and delivered and the report says that could happen this week.

If the Elneny transfer is sealed and with Mathieu Flamini and Calum Chambers fighting for a place in the first team as the holding midfielder, do you think Wenger might be willing to let Arteta go this month? He is not getting any younger and what are the chances of him getting much game time?

Wenger promises Arsenal fans plenty of transfer action

Don´t you just love transfer windows, Arsenal fans? No? What’s the matter don´t you like seeing all Arsenal’s Premier League rivals spending money like it is going out of fashion only to be told by Arsene Wenger when the window has closed and we have no new players that there was just no one out there?

Well at least it seems as though the Gunners will have one new signing to help us this month, with the Egypt international Mohamed Elneny’s transfer from Swiss champions Basel due to be confirmed in the next day or two. Wenger also spoke about the transfer market in his press conference today and as reported by the BBC the boss has promised us a lot of transfer action over the next few weeks. Don’t get too excited though Gooners, because he did not actually say it would be Arsenal doing the business.

The Frenchman said, “We hope to have things done this week. I’m optimistic.

“My prediction is that it could be one of the most active January transfer windows that we’ve seen.

“I would say for the media you could have some good news in the January transfer window. I believe many clubs will be active. You go from the clubs who are down in the table like Villa, who have to do something, to the clubs at the top.”

The thing we want to know is whether Arsenal will be joining in this time, or is Elneny going to be the only player Wenger signs?