Wenger tells Arsenal to keep it simple…and SCORE!

It is hard for us Gooners to find many positives in the fact that Arsenal are currently languishing a hefty looking 11 points behind the current Premier League leaders Leicester City, even though we do have a game in hand that, if won, would reduce the gap to eight points with seven games for both sides to play.

Arsene Wenger has found at least one positive though, and that is that the situation leaves the players with no grey areas and no questions about what is needed from now until the end of the season, namely to win every single game and hope that the Foxes and the spuds drop enough points to make it count.

The boss also spoke to Arsenal.com about what we need to see from the Gunners in today´s game against Watford. He wants his team to play with the belief and verve that we showed away to Everton before the international break. And while he would like them to keep their heads if things do not go our way from the start, it is obvious that Wenger knows how vital an early goal could be.

He said, “To make it even more simple we have to win the next game and see what happens. That’s what we want to do.

“There will be twists and turns but what we have learnt is that everybody can drop points against everybody, so we want to focus first on our own results. Once you’ve done your job you can hope that the other results go for you.

“At the moment I believe that, with the confidence we have built up at Everton, the most important thing is just to focus on the process of doing our job and see what happens.

“It was needed. We came out of a very difficult period where there was a big difference between the chances created and the number of goals we scored. We paid for that. At Everton we scored early so that helped the whole team to focus on the process and not play with the anxiety of scoring or not scoring.

“We came out of a very difficult week with some positive vibes. We came out of the games with some credit and more confidence as well. We want to play with that passion and style until the end of the season, in every single game.

“It’s very unusual because we have a big deficit between chances created and the number of goals we’ve scored. I’m convinced that if we keep the quality of the game high, as we did in the last two games, [the goals] will follow as well.

“Sometimes [missing chances] creates a level of anxiety among our fans and among our players as well. But we know our chance in this league is based on starting strong, staying strong and finishing strong, and playing with passion as well. Let’s forget the questions and focus on the process of playing our game.”

I agree with Wenger that a good start and an early goal for Arsenal should see us to a good win but I also worry that a few missed chances and some frustration could see us draw or even lose. So what is it to be Gooners_

‘Realistic’ Arsenal hoping for a helping hand

With nine games left for Arsenal to play in the Premier League, which is one more than Tottenham and Leicester have, there are still enough points to make it possible for a late comeback in the title race. So while Arsene Wenger is dead right about not giving up, he does know that the Gunners will have to be pretty close to our best for the rest of the season, as reported by Arsenal.com.

And even that might well not be enough unless both of the clubs currently above us in the EPL table do not suffer a bit at the same time. So the boss is being realistic about our chances and is hoping that some other teams can do us a favour by taking points off our title rivals.

First of all, however, is the small matter of winning away at Everton today and with very little time to rest and recover after the trip to Barcelona, Wenger is just hoping that the Arsenal players have the energy and focus they need.

He said, “I would say we have to go step by step. Let’s get back to winning habits first, that starts tomorrow… if we win tomorrow, we’ll see. That’s our target.

“But at the moment, the only way to achieve something special is first to be realistic and humble enough to deal first with Everton.

“Things will change until the end of the season, that’s for sure. We have to take care of our own destiny, and that’s by producing the performances we expect from ourselves.

“It’s very tight, but I believe the Premier League is far from over. We are in a position where we hope for the best. I agree that a negative result would be very bad for us, but we focus on a positive result. We know now is the time for us to produce the result we want.

“We also have to look behind us because things can change very quickly. We want to move forward, but I’m conscious that our position is not secure, even where we are.”

So which is the more likely outcome for Arsenal this season? Another fight for fourth place or a late run for the finish line and the Premier League trophy?

Arsenal BRILLIANT so Bring On Chelsea!!

Wow that was some pretty good stuff from Arsenal, especially when you consider that we were playing in the very tough climate and conditions of Singapore and against a decent Premier League side that is theoretically further along in their pre-season preparations than us.

However, Arsenal never gave them a sniff as we passed the ball around with slickness and accuracy. With the likes of Cazorla, Ramsey and Ozil in the centre of the pitch backed up by a fired up Theo Walcott and Jack Wilshere on the flanks, Arsenal ran rings around our opponents and were cruising in a 3-0 lead thanks to Walcott, Cazorla and Ozil when they did get what turned out to be a consolation goal.

Now we have a couple of games in the Emirates cup but it looks like we are going to be sharp and ready for action when we take on Chelsea in the Community Shield in a couple of weeks. Bring em on I say!

Wenger backs Arsenal star to make Lineker eat his words

Gary Lineker may try his best to be impartial and unbiased while being the front man for Match of the Day for the BBC, but when it comes to Twitter, the former Tottenham striker has no reason to hold back and launched a sarcastic dig at the Arsenal and France centre forward Olivier Giroud last week.

He tweeted, “Playing in front of Arsenal’s midfield should guarantee a minimum of 25 goals a season for a striker of note. Alas….”

To be fair to Lineker, you could not find many Arsenal fans to stick up for Giroud after one of his worst showings in an Arsenal shirt against Besiktas in Istanbul, but in his first game back we could maybe be a little more patient with last season’s top scorer.

So as a report in The Independent shows, Arsene Wenger took the opportunity to hit back at the TV presenter after the big French forward had come on and changed the game at Everton on Saturday, suggesting that his improvement year on year could well see Gitoud with that 25 goal tally at the end of this season.

Wenger said, “How can he [Lineker] be sure that Olivier is not that man?

“He scored 16 in the league last season and when he came on he was for me very convincing. You should not set any limits on a player. For me there has been an improvement and I am convinced the goals will come.”

And the boss also offered further support for Giroud, who is a confidence player, by declaring that he turned down the chance to sign Mario Balotelli from AC Milan.

He went on, “We have Yaya Sanogo, we have Alexis Sanchez who can play centre-forward, we have Theo Walcott who is coming back. It does not make any sense to sign Balotelli.”

So will Giroud repay the faith Wenger has put in him and can he score enough goals to make Lineker eat his words?

Bring on Besiktas roars battling Arsenal star!!

After Arsenal looked silky smooth as we eased to a comfortable Community Shield win at Wembley against the might of Man City, the start of the season proper has been problematic to say the least. A scrambled winner saved us from a shocker against Crystal Palace before we ground out a draw in Istanbul and narrowly avoided defeat at Everton.

So are the Arsenal players feeling the pressure a bit and worrying about our form? Not on you Nellie, at least not if you ask our England international midfielder Jack Wilshere anyway. The 22-year old, who is well aware of what a big season this is for him personally as well as for the club he loves, has been speaking about his confidence ahead of the second leg with Besiktas, as reported by The Daily Mail.

Wilshere himself has exemplified Arsenal’s battling qualities this season, which has shown the Gunners with nore backbone than in recent years and a steadfast refusal to give up. And that is why Jack is full of confidence that we will be in the draw for the group stages of the Champions League.

He said, “This was a fantastic point and now we have a big game on Wednesday and this will give us great confidence going into that.

“We have got great character, great togetherness and some leaders out there that keep us going.

“We also have great players to go with that.

“We never give up and at this level that is massive. We have always shown over the years that Arsenal are going to battle like mad right until the end.

“There have been a few games where we have been behind right until the end but have kept going.”

Although Arsene Wenger will deny it, Arsenal have been a bit too easily outfought in recent years, relying on technical ability and passing skills rather than the ability to battle. But if Jack is right and we can now add steel to the silk, surely Arsenal are a good bet for major honours this season and success for years to come, don’t you think?

Wenger – Everton bullied Arsenal last year!

Arsene Wenger believes that Arsenal’s last visit to Goodison Park at the end of last season was one of the low points of the year, and gave the Gunners a shock in the race for the coveted fourth place in the Premier League.

“In the quality of our performance, and even more than that in our mental resistance, the mental steel on the day [the defeat to Everton] was one of our low points,” Wenger said on Arsenal.com

“At the start I played with Arteta and Flamini in the middle of the park. We did not have Ozil, we had Ramsey on the bench, just coming back from injury. We played with Podolski, Giroud, and we were a bit bullied. At the back we had Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Monreal and Sagna. It was an off day, as well physically.

“I was worried afterwards because it was not in our hands anymore. It was in the hands of Everton. It was only their defeat against Crystal Palace at home that allowed us to get there.

“It was very tight last year. We finished with 79 points and I think it’s the first time since I arrived in England that you finish fourth with 79 points. You can look at the tables – that never existed before.

“Even if the Premier League was more interesting than ever last season, the top four teams took more points together than in any other year. For Everton, it’s the first time a team on 72 points didn’t get in the top four. It was very difficult.”

So that tells me that Wenger will be playing most of his biggest strongest players in tonights game.

Who would you pick this time around?

Picture to give every Arsenal fan a warm glow!!

The new season has hardly got started, with Arsenal having played just one Premier League game so far, but we are already having a mini injury crisis. When I looked the other day, there were six first team players supposedly on the sidelines and there had been no mention of Abou Diaby in any of the matchday squads, ominously.

diaby training
So when I saw this picture on Arsenal.com today, I breathed a huge sigh of relief. With Mikel Arteta out and still no movement from Arsene Wenger in the transfer window for that tricky deep midfield position, having the lanky Frenchman available again really could be like having a new signing.

And with just over a week to go before the transfer window shuts and a hugely important second leg Champions League play-off game with Besiktas coming up on Wednesday, Diaby should soon be appearing on a football pitch near you. If he is fit enough, I expect to see him start against Everton on Saturday, but it is probably more likely that he will come on as a sub and perhaps start on Wednesday. That European game is the one that we really need to be positive in and it is at the Emirates, whereas Everton away is one where we need to be solid and make sure we don’t lose. Maybe that job is more suited to Mathieu Flamini. Who do you think should play?

Arsenal debate – How much will Walcott be missed until comeback?

Arsene Wenger has given an Arsenal injury update on the progress and prognosis of the recovery of Theo Walcott. And while the news on Arsenal.com is good, with the lightning fast England star getting close to a comeback, it does seem like Arsenal will have to do without him at the start of the season.

Wenger said, “He’s progressing very well. He’s worked very hard during the summer and we expect him to be back in full training at the end of August.

“That’s [return date] difficult to predict. Once he’s back in full training it can be very quick. He has a good basis, which is what he’s working on now.”

So assuming the boss is not being extra cautious and we get him back earlier, the game at the Emirates against Man City on 13th September, after a two week international break, looks the most likely date. So Walcott will miss the Champions League play-offs, but should be back for the first group stage match if we are in it.

He will also miss the Community Shield against Man City, the Premier league games against Crystal Palace at home, Everton away and Leicester away. It could have been much worse for us, but we still need the players coming back from Brazil to get back up to speed quickly. And we really need Alexis Sanchez to hit the ground running.

How much do you think we will miss Walcott?

Will Arsenal activate Remy’s buy-out clause?

The Queens Park Ranger manager Harry Redknapp has admitted that it would be difficult for the Hoops to retain the services of Loic Remy this summer. The France International is currently on a season-long loan at Newcastle United but has 3 years left on his QPR contract. It is understood that Arsenal want Remy, and Redknapp said the London club could take advantage of a buyout clause in Remy’s contract. When asked if Arsenal had made an offer, ‘Arry said, ‘I don’t know the answer to that to be honest.

‘I think he must have a buyout clause. I would imagine he has a buyout clause but I don’t know how much.’

Redknapp’s team have already booked a place in the Championship play offs and could be a Premier League club again next season. It is believed that the 27-year old would rather not go back to the club that paid 8 million pounds for him last season. Bayern Munich and Everton have also been credited with an interest in QPR’s record signing. Everton is believed to be tracking the Frenchman as an alternative to on-loan Romelu Lukaku who might be leaving in the summer.

‘Someone said Everton were in for him too,’ Redknapp added, ‘But I don’t even know what the deal is or what his buyout clause is.

‘I would think it would be difficult to keep him but I don’t know.

‘Tony (Fernandes, QPR Chairman) speaks to him. He’s got a good relationship with him.

‘He’s a good player – we’d love to have him back.

‘I thought he would score goals in the Premier (League) so it’s not surprised me that he has.

‘Newcastle have struggled but if he went to a team that created more and won more, I’m sure he would have scored 20 goals this year.’

Frenchman Remy scored 6 goals in 14 league games for QPR last season but could not keep the Hoops up. This term he has banged in 13 goals in 25 Barclays Premier League appearances.

Should Arsenal take Gareth Barry on a free transfer?

Well, I’m not sure this is the kind of news I want to hear but it has been reported that Arsenal wants the on-loan Everton midfielder Gareth Barry. While the deal is still a long shot, due to Roberto Martinez’s desire to keep Barry, the Englishman might actually want to move to the Emirates in the summer.

In all likelihood, we are going to the Champions League (at the expense of Everton), and the experienced midfielder might be tempted by that fact.

On the other hand, a starting place in Arsene Wenger’s side is not guaranteed as Wenger probably wants Barry to act as cover for the crocked Jack Wilshere and Mathieu Flamini.
Gareth Barry is not the usual kind of signing that Arsene Wenger chases as the veteran is already 33 years old but it is understood that Wenger is a long time admirer of the central midfielder.

Barry’s contract at Manchester City is winding down and Pellegrini has no plans whatsoever of offering him a new one. Martinez is likely to fight tooth and nail to keep a man who has been part of the spine of his Everton side this season. Barry, alongside Romelu Lukaku and Barcelona’s young winger, Deloefeu have been central to the Merseyside club’s push to reach the Champions League.

Barry possesses excellent leadership skills as he captained Aston Villa in his time there and has shown that he is still a top player during the course of this season. He has amassed 670 senior appearances in a career spanning 16 years.

Barry would have been a good signing if we didn’t have Matthieu Flamini (30), and Mikel Arteta(32) on the books already. We are definitely not short of experience in that department. What I think is needed is an injection of youth and vigour. Toni Kroos, Cesc Fabregas and Bayer Leverkusen’s Lars Bender are all available this summer and I think we should pursue one of them instead. What say you?