Wenger says ignoring Costa the key to Arsenal beating Chelsea

Arsene Wenger is well aware of the qualities od Diego Costa, so the Arsenal coaches will have been working with the players, especially the ones on the defensive side of the team, on how to best cope with the Spain international and stop him from scoring when Chelsea come to north London in the Premier League today.

It is not just Costa’s abilities as a striker that is worrying the Arsenal boss, however, but his talent as a wind up merchant. The referee Mike Dean was largely to blame for our loss to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last season, as he failed to take action when Costa should have seen red for fouling Koscielny but then sent off Gabriel for his reaction.

BANG! Arsenal defence in shreds as Gabriel out for TWO months

I am not sure exactly what the Arsenal and Brazil international defender Gabriel thinks is bad news, but maybe he is just glad that the ankle problem he picked up in the dying seconds of our pre-season win over Manchester City is not as long term as the knee problem affecting his Arsenal teammate Per Mertesacker.

Earlier today Gabriel seemed to suggest there was good news about his injury, as he took to scoial media to say that he was feeling better and it was not a big problem. Maybe not as big as Mertesacker’s reported five months on the sidelines I suppose, but BBC Sport have reported that the Brazilian is going to miss 6-8 weeks, so I would say that is pretty bad wouldn’t you?

Welbeck, Coquelin and Gabriel back for Arsenal at Sunderland

As well as Arsene Wenger wanting his Arsenal players to focus on the job at hand of winning all of our remaining Premier League games and securing a top three finish, he himself has to make sure that they take each game as it comes. And his own task is setting the Gunners up with the best possible chance of beating the team in front of us.

That is why, I think, the Frenchman brought back Olivier Giroud and Per Mertesacker for the midweek game against West Brom. But the away game against a Sunderland desperate for all three points to get them out of the relegation is a different matter.

Will Gabriel injury be one too many for Arsenal?

You could not make it up! How often have we moaned about the Arsenal injury problems and how they have held back our chances of winning the Premier League once again? And here we go again, because although Arsene Wenger had prepared and planned to face Leicester City today with the extra pace of Gabriel to cope with Jamie Vardy, he has had to revert back to Per Mertesacker after the Brazilian was ruled out with a hamstring problem.

Arsenal team and tactics have a BIG surprise for Leicester

A lot of the build up to this potentially pivotal match in the race for the Premier League title has been about whether the pressure will be on Arsenal who are currently five points behind the league leaders and today’s opponents Leicester City, with both Arsene Wenger and Claudio Ranieri trying to play the mind games and insist that it is the other team that will be feeling the pressure.

Is language the only thing holding back Arsenal star?

If you ask most Arsenal fans which player they would lke to start in the centre of defence next to Laurent Koscielny against Leicester tomorrow then I reckon the cast proportion would go for Gabriel over Per Mertesacker. Even though the German has huge experience, including the small matter of a World Cup win, and has a great record in partnership with Koscielny at the back, we cannot help but feel nervous about his lack of pace being exposed, especially when you are up against a team like the Foxes that has great pace up front and plays on the counter.

Ox is IN and Walcott’s OUT for Arsenal at Bournemouth

Theo Walcott has paid the price for his struggles in front of goal for Arsenal recently, as Arsene Wenger has dropped the England international to the subs bench for the trip to Bournemouth today, with the improving Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain coming in to play in the wide forward role on the right flank.

The Ox has not had a great season so far but he has looked a lot better in the last few weeks and now he has a great chance to force his way into the first team on a regular basis. Let’s just hope he grabs the chance with both hands because Arsenal are badly in need of some goals and a win today.

Star says Arsenal showing fantastic fight and focus

It was far from easy for Arsenal at home to Newcastle United on Saturday. In fact it was the sort of Premier League game that the Gunners would probably have lost in recent years, but Arsene Wenger and the players have forged the team into one that is usually much more resilient these days.

And that was what we needed to prove once more as Steve Mclaren’s side gave Arsenal a real test of our desire, determination and the fighting qualities that make a team more than the sum of it’s parts. Our vice-captain and centre back Per Mertesacker was very pleased at the way Arsenal responded and managed to claim another vital three points, as he explained to Arsenal Player.

Arsenal boss considering Gabriel and Koscielny together

After the shocker that he had for Arsenal on Boxing Day when he was one of the players most at fault for the heavy beating the Gunners took at the hands of Southampton, a lot of people were surprised to see that it was the German centre back Per Mertesacker that was on the bench for the Bournemouth match.

But it was not down to poor performances that Arsene Wenger rested Laurent Koscielny. The France international defender has had a few niggling injury concerns in the last year or so and with just a couple of days between matches I assume the boss was making sure our best defender was alright for the rest of the season.