Unai Emery gives Wenger credit – but wants a new Arsenal future

Unai Emery is a quarter of the way into Arsenal’s first season without Arsene Wenger for absolutely yonks, and although the Gunners brought in five new signings, Emery has still got Wenger’s core for his squad and has somehow got them on a 13 game unbeaten run.

So it is interesting to read his answer when he was asked whether this is Emery’s Arsenal or still what he inherited from Arsene Wenger. “I don’t know,” the Spaniard replied. “but for me it’s very important that every day we continue improving things. But the most important thing, before I came here, this team, this club and these players had a lot of positive things and I want to share with him this capacity and this work in the past year. And then, give them my personal style and ideals also. But learning and doing things together with the past and in the present.

“Then, we want to write a new future here, to create a new future. But we are at the beginning but we need a lot of time more in the present and in the future but we think of each match. Tomorrow we have a chance to improve more things and to show every supporter our mentality, our ideas and our performance against a very big team. But thinking that we are in one process and this process is in our way because we can and we want to write a new history here. I want to do a big history.”

Well he has started well, and if after today’s massive test against Liverpool we are still on our unbeaten run, perhaps Gooners can start dreaming again!

Cazorla fitness a blow too far for Arsenal?

Arsene Wenger was already aware that he would be missing quite a few of his key players when Arsenal kick off the new Premier League season against Liverpool next weekend. Because of their prolonged involvement at Euro 2016 with Wales, Germany and France, Aaron Ramsey, Mesut Ozil and Olivier Giroud were due to come back to London Colney too late to feature in that first game.

Then we got the bad news about Per Mertesacker having to have an operation on his knee as well as the concern that an ankle problem would keep Alexis Sanchez out as well, so it was already looking like a tough start for the Gunners, but that is now even worse after the manager explained that our Spanish midfield maestro Santi Cazorla was not going to be ready either, as reported by Metro.

After the Spaniard’s first pre-season appearance in America Wenger said, ‘At the moment he is not completely there on the fitness front. That’s why I took him off at half-time.

‘He’s a bit behind the others physically but I think he will be alright, maybe not on Aug. 15, but at the end of August he should be alright.’

So not only do Arsenal have that difficult opening game to navigate without Cazorla, but we may not have him for the next game against Leicester and maybe even the trip to Watford, so is this one fitness blow too far for Arsenal to cope with?

Can we expect another Arsenal v Liverpool thriller?

The Premier League season kicks off in exactly one months time, and we start our campaign with a home tie against Liverpool FC.

The last time the two teams met, it ended with a third equalising goal of the game scored bye Joe Allen, denying the Gunners the full three points they had been hoping for.

The Reds led twice during the first half, only for our side to level the scores four and six minutes later, in what was a highly intense and exciting match-up.

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Infographic supplied by Sporticos.com

There hasn’t been a huge number of signings for either side this summer, with Granit Xhaka the only signing added to the first-team squad, and three prospects in Marko Grujic, Joel Matip and Loris Karius all arriving in hope of making their mark in the coming season.

The latter could be thrown in at the deep end against our club, and conceding any less than the three let in by Simon Mignolet against us in January could give them a shot at earning some points.

Arsenal are expected to be without Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey, Olivier Giroud and Laurent Koscielny due to their late return from international duty with the European championships, while Alexis Sanchez is also a doubt for the match.

We are believed to still be in the market for a CB and CF this summer, and with the two Frenchman missing, it highlights the need for those arrivals to be settled in before the tie with the Merseyside mob.

With it being the opening match of the season, I would expect this match-up to be a cagey one, and would not expect a very attacking set-up from the off. Both sides will be keen not to lose, and without Ozil and Sanchez, we could be lacking creatively…

Do you still expect a win over our rivals? Would you take a draw to start off?

Why Arsenal should sign Benteke from Liverpool

Arsenal will almost certainly be looking to sign a striker during the summer transfer window, probably two really, unless Arsene Wenger has another of his stubborn moments when he sees the current Arsenal players as being so good that we don’t need any more fire power even though everyone else and his dog thinks we do.

I think that the Gunners could do a lot worse than bring in the Liverpool and Belgium striker Christian Benteke and I will tell you why, even though he has had a bit of a nightmare since joining our Premier League rivals Liverpool. The fact is that Benteke has already proved himself in the Premier League and the fact that his performances and figures were extremely good in a struggling Aston Villa side is just one of them.

This week Benteke has bemoaned his treatment at Anfield under Jurgen Klopp, as reported by The Sun, and while I can sort of understand the German manager’s frustration with his forward I do think he has handled him wrong.

Players are different and need to be handled differently and it seems obvious that the Belgian needs an arm around the shoulder from his boss rather than a public dressing down and the Arsenal boss is well known for treating his players that way.

I think Arsenal could get Benteke at a knock down price and I think he would be so happy to be valued rather than slated that he would soon find his best form again and at 26-years old we would get him in his prime. Would you like to see Arsenal sign this currently struggling but undoubtedly talented striker?

Liverpool v Arsenal betting preview – Back the Gunners to win in a canter!

The Gunners travel to Anfield today to take on Liverpool for the first time since Jurgen Klopp’s arrival on Merseyside, but the manager is yet to turn the Reds into a team to be feared.

Arsenal, on the other hand, are sitting pretty at the top of the Premier League table, are the real team to be feared currently, if you discount the shocking defeat to Southampton on Boxing Day. That loss was sandwiched between seven wins, and this tie looks set to go in our favour also.

Liverpool are without key stars Dejan Lovren, Martin Skrtel, Jordan Henderson, Philippe Coutinho and the ever-injured Daniel Sturridge, leaving the side short of options for the crunch tie.

Our beloved side do not (ever) travel with a fully fit side either, and will be missing influential stars Alexis Sanchez, Santi Cazorla and Francis Coquelin, but our wealth of midfielders still leave us with options to turn to.

The safe money should go on Arsenal to win at a round-about 13/8 (2.62), but I am always looking for more value to place my money with. Away win and both teams to score at 4/1 (5.0) looks a great bet when you consider the Reds have scored in every competitive match at Anfield since September, but with so many injuries, including Coutinho, the handicap market is more tempting.

I will be placing a tidy bet on Arsenal -1.0 on the Asian Handicap market, which is just over 3/1 (4.0) with a number of firms and don’t forget to claim some fantastic free bet offers to boost your betting balance before parting with your money…

For those who don’t know the market, -1.0 on the Asian handicap means if the team you backed wins by one goal, you get a full refund, but a win by more will pay out as a win. Watch Arsenal win AND make a fortune! Happy days….

Arsenal to announce Benzema signing TOMORROW?

This would be a great piece of timing for Arsenal if it happens, quite apart from the fact that completing the transfer of Karim Benzema from Real Madrid would be a fantastic bit of business from the Gunners. If the Italian journalist Emanuele Giulianelli´s latest update on the saga, reported by Metro, is true then it should give the Arsenal players and fans a huge boost.

The reporter claims that Arsene Wenger has all but sewn up the deal abd that the Gunners have laid on a private jet to bring the striker to London from Spain tomorrow, where he will be put up in a hotel and get his medical done before signing on the dotted line.

And as long as there is no setback, our new signing will then be announced and unveiled at the Emirates Stadium shortly before the Premier League clash with Liverpool gets underway. Imagine the boost to the home ground atmosphere that will produce. How could we lose after that?

Wenger explains why Arsenal did NOT want Sterling transfer

I am not sure whether the Arsenal boss would say the same thing in private, but speaking in public today he did not condemn what many football experts see as a hugely inflated transfer fee of nearly £50 million for Raheem Sterling.

Arsene Wenger is famous for his views on the crazy price of transfers in modern football but as he explained in a report on the Arsenal website, the owners of Man City can easily afford to splash top dollar on players, unlike Arsenal.

But even though Wenger expressed his belief that Sterling is a real talent, he also revealed that the Gunners were never going to try to challenge for his transfer, and not just because of the massive price tag. The boss explained that he was more than happy with the many options at his disposal in the same sort of area of the pitch that Sterling operates in.

The Frenchman said, “It looked a done deal for a while, because Sterling said he wanted to leave. For me Sterling is a top-class player. It’s a good buy for Man City. An expensive one, but they can afford it. Personally I like him. I didn’t make a bid because he plays in an area where we have plenty of players. We have Welbeck, Walcott, Chamberlain. Sanchez, Wilshere can play there, Gnabry. He’s a wide player basically, or behind the striker.”

It remains to be seen whether Sterling will be worth the money to Man City but I can certainly see why Arsenal did not go for him. The question is, who does Wenger think we need?

Arsenal set for £50m Sterling transfer battle with Chelsea?

Although Arsene Wenger said in his Arsenal press conference yesterday that he did not want to discuss his interest or possible summer transfer swoop for the Liverpool and England star Raheem Sterling, he did not deny it either. The Frenchman only said that he did not want to discuss it as the two clubs have got a big and potentially decisive Premier League game at the Emirates tomorrow.

So the smart money thinks that the Gunners will be trying to sign the £50 million rated forward this summer but it will not be easy as a Metro report reveals.

It is not just Liverpool and their determination to keep hold of Sterling and their unwillingness to sell to a direct rival that stands in Wenger’s way. The report claims that Jose Mourinho also wants Sterling at Chelsea and is preparing to fight us in the transfer market for him. Mourinho has a good relationship with Rodgers, who worked under him during his first spell at Chelsea, but then Arsenal have Theo Walcott to offer as bait, so who will win this massive transfer tug of war?

Now TWO English rivals to bid for Arsenal star

After the Arsenal and England star Theo Walcott failed to impress in his first international start for 18 months against Italy last night it made it all the more likely that Arsene Wenger might be ready to call it a day with the player we signed as a promising teenager back in 2006.

With Walcott nearing the final year of his current Arsenal contract and no signs of an easy renewal between club and player on the horizon, and with not many games left of the season for Walcott to convince Arsene Wenger to keep him in north London, the summer represents our best chance of getting a decent transfer fee.

And there is interest in him, according to a Metro, as Jose Mourinho and Chelsea have joined Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool in preparing to offer Walcott the chance to remain in the Premier League.

I am sure Wenger and the Arsenal fans would much rather see Theo move to another country if we are to sell him, but unless a good enough bid comes in from abroad, we might not have a lot of choice. Will Wenger really let Walcott join former Gunners like Nasri, Cole, van Persie and more go and play for a direct Premier League rival?

Why Arsenal might get Suarez for £40m after all

What a great transfer coup this would be for Arsenal, and a good hard kick in the teeth to Liverpool at the same time. The Anfield club really made the most out of their chance to put down Arsenal Football Club after our attempt to sign their Uruguayan international striker Luis Suarez in the summer of 2013.

Arsene Wenger famously offered one pound over £40 million, believing that this would trigger a release clause in the controversial forward’s contract. Suarez thought the same and wanted to make the move to north London but eventually left Liverpool for Barcelona and Spain’s La Liga for a lot more money last summer.

And now a Metro report claims that he might not be staying at the Nou Camp for too long. The man who took him to Barcelona has been sacked and Suarez has struggled to settle and has been dropped by the manager Luis Enrique. Rumours from Spain suggest that Barca may be ready to accept a cut price offer for him and that means that Arsenal and Wenger could really have the last laugh on the scousers.