Has Arsenal keeper target snubbed Gunners?

Arsenal target Julio Cesar doesn’t seem keen on joining the Gunners this summer because he has been repeatedly asked by journalists and associates where he will be next season to which he has claimed that he won’t be joining the North London club.

Cesar has been QPR’s best player all season despite not being able to save them from relegation. He has been injured at times and Robert Green has had a fantastic season when called upon but the Brazilian has been nearly immaculate in goal.

The signing of Cesar, who is a champions league winning world goalkeeper of the year 2010 was a great boost to QPR at the start of the season and people in the footballing world expected them to have a good season with the likes of him in the team.

Arsenal have been searching for a new goalkeeper for the last few months and Julio Cesar was one of the first names on the list. Arsene Wenger would be very interested in him because of his experience, leadership and ability between the sticks.

Despite the interest in Cesar, he himself has never expressed any interest in joining Arsenal and continues to reject any reports linking him with the club. He said earlier in the season that he would like to stay in England if a top club were to snap him up because his family likes it here and Harry Redknapp has told him that he can leave QPR to move wherever he wants.

Cesar will want to prove his worth to the Brazilian management over the next year so he can secure the goalkeeper position in the Brazil squad for the 2014 World Cup which is of course in Brazil.

He only recently regained his place in the squad because of his outstanding performances for QPR and he will be able to secure the position permanently if he carries his good form into next season while playing in a top league such as the Premier League.

Wenger – We knew it would be hard but the points are vital for Arsenal

Arsenal may have scored after just 20 seconds in yesterday’s derby at Queens Park Rangers, but they then had to defend for the next 93 minutes to hang on to the crucial three points, even more so after Tottenhams last minute winner against Southampton.

Arsene Wenger admitted he thought it would be a tough match. He said after the game: “We scored early and started well. After that, QPR played with quality and pride. They were fearless. You could see that this side had played with special pressure and fear in recent months. They had the quality to stay in the Premier League and they made life difficult for us.

“We had good determination and focus. We lacked a few final balls in the final third. But I expected a difficult game and I was not disappointed. Sometimes when a team goes down they played well in the game after and win. You could see that as Reading won away from home. We need a special focus to win this game.

“The pitch did not help. I believe that QPR are a better team than people expects. But we did not give many chances away. Overall we played a little bit conscious that points were vital and we could not make any mistake. It was detrimental to our offensive game but we had a sound defensive game today.”

Wenger was obviously in a good mood after the grinding result, and he was asked if he could remember Arsenal ever scoring a quicker goal than Walcott’s, and he quipped: “No. I can’t remember. Unfortunately I waited for the second goal but it never came!”

Let’s hope we don’t have to wait so long for the second goal in our next game against Wigan. Why can’t Arsenal win a game convincingly for a change instead of making us suffer every week!

Djourou – Arsenal must beat Man City as we haven’t won Third Place yet

Johann Djourou is aware that Man City will not be easy opponents for Arsenal tomorrow, but he doesn’t see any reason why the Gunners can’t win the game and finish City’s title challenge.

“They’re a very good team and have showed it,” he said. “They’ve had a little dip recently though, and we can definitely beat them at Emirates – that’s not something I have any doubts about. They have quality all over the pitch though and will give us a good game – they are still fighting hard for the title, but we can’t worry about that.

“It’s just about getting the points we need and winning the games we have to win. This is a big game for both of us, but it’s down to us to beat them and show how good we are.”

Although last weeks reversal at QPR was a slight setback, he doesn’t think that will affect the outcome of tomorrows match.

“It was a tough game and I do think you have to give a lot of credit to QPR – they played very well and had to give everything because they’re fighting to stay in the division,” he said.

“From our point of view it was disappointing though – we’d put in some great performances before that game and missed something this time.

“You don’t want these things to happen, but that’s sport – this time we were beaten by a team that seemed to want it a little bit more. Now we have to concentrate on beating Manchester City and keeping third place, because it’s not done yet.”

It certainly isn’t! And if Sunderland can take some points off Tottenham today then Arsenal simply have to take advantage. As well as getting the pleasure of stopping Samir Na$ri from winning any trophies!

Is Chamakh on the same planet as us?

The Arsenal striker Marouane Chamakh was photographed smoking a Sisha pipe after the Gunners 2-1 defeat by QPR at the weekend, but even worse he was celebrating with one of the players that scored for Arsenal’s opponents during that game!

He is earning 70,000 pounds a week for doing very little but sitting on the bench, but Chamakh still seems to think that when Lukas Podolski arrives at the Emirates next season he still has a chance of getting in the first team.

Chamakh was reported as saying: “Am I going back to Bordeaux? For now, no. I have spoken to Wenger and I will stay at Arsenal. I think he trusts my work and I will have opportunities in the first team.

“I left Bordeaux to improve as a player and I think I can continue for this club. My agents have been ordered to reject bids that come from other clubs because I want to prove I can be useful for the Gunners.”

Is he living in cloud-cuckoo land, or is he just happy to be drawing his (massive) wages and go out partying with his mates every weekend?

Arsenal to try again for Joey Barton if QPR get relegated?

Despite the English hardman Joey Barton’s antipathy towards many Arsenal players, Arsene Wenger is still a great admirer of his “English grit” and has decided to try and sign him again this summer if QPR get relegated.

Barton again put in an excellent performance against the Gunners yesterday as QPR put a block on Arsenal’s attempt to make it eight wins in a row in the Premier League, and it looked like Wenger’s team was being “bullied” by Mark Hughes tactics.

Barton revealed that Arsenal were in talks to sign him last summer, although that was strenuously denied by Wenger, and the QPR star has revealed that he has a clause in his contract to allow him to move on for free if the team get relegated back down to the Championship.

Barton said after yesterday’s game: “I bet Wenger regrets not taking me on last summer, but if my current team go back down then I may grant Arsenal the chance to use my exceptional talents next season.”

Many pundits think that Arsenal are too “nice” or “fragile” to win a trophy, but surely with Barton in the team they could have been a little more resilient?

QPR vs Arsenal Preview – Wenger focused on all three points

Arsenal are now ready to attack the 31st matchday of the season and go head to head with QPR on away territory. The Lotfus Road stadium is well known for being one of the toughest grounds to win on, but Arsenal need to do so in order to keep a safe distance in front of arch rivals Tottenham.

The Betting odds are clearly in Arsenal’s favor after such an impressive run by the Gunners and they have a 1.57 odd of winning the match while QPR has a massive odd of 5.50 being seen as an underdog. The odds are also in favor of Arsenal’s skipper Robin Van Persie who has the best rate to score, with a 1.66 odd of putting the ball in the net against the less famous London side.

Wenger also seems to think that the Gunners are going to go all out in the weekend against QPR and that motivation is the key even though the odds are clearly in their favor.

“I see us fighting like mad to win the game. That is all I see, I don’t see further,” commented Wenger.

“We are focused on QPR, believe me. We know that is always a tricky game for everybody and that is what is important to us.

“QPR is a side which has quality players and is in a difficult situation.

“Certainly you expect them to fight not to go down, but I believe the key will be on our side – no matter what QPR’s quality or problem is, it will be important for us to go out and show how much we want another win.”

“Our sport is fragile and we have learned something this season from a very difficult period. Urgency and focus are vital to keep your level up.

“What we can hope for is to be third. We can be fourth, we can be fifth, we can be sixth, we want to be as high as possible and that depends on our consistency now.

“We are in a position that nobody expected us to be in and we want to strengthen that position from now on. That depends on our performances.”

We don’t know yet if Arsenal will win or not, but let’s hope that they will because it’d be a true shame for the Gunners to lose the third spot after fighting so hard for it, and after what happened last season this is the least they deserve after how much they worked to recover from last season’s disappointment and the summer transfer window, don’t you think so?

Wenger – We just focused on not making a mistake at the back!

Arsenal made hard work of beating the newly-promoted QPR yesterday but finally managed it thanks to Robin Van Persie’s record breaking goal and the team gave Arsene Wenger something to smile about after the game.

He was especially pleased that the Gunners kept a clean sheet, and even more so because Chelsea, Tottenham and Man United all made slip-ups. “Yes, many teams dropped points.” Wenger said. “For us, it was a bit of a repetition of the Wolves game because we didn’t manage to score more than one goal. Then it’s down to not making a mistake at the back and we had to be patient to take our chances. I feel when the repetition of the games is so high, you can’t make a difference with the pace of the game, you have to take your time and focus on not making a mistake. That’s what we did quite well, and Robin van Persie again scored the goal that won us the points.

“It is a good QPR side. They have a good midfield, they played well and they always looked capable of creating something. It is one of the good teams we have seen this season.”

Wenger wasn’t quite so happy about the injury to Thomas Vermaelen, and indicated that it was now urgent to get some defensive reinforcements.

“He has a calf strain, so maybe at midnight I will try to find a left back! It is serious enough for him not to play on Monday [against Fulham] or against Leeds for example. We now have three left-backs out. Francis Coquelin came on in this position and did quite well, but he is a central midfielder.”

But all-in-all it is the three points that count, and Arsenal have gone into the New Year back where they belong; in the top four.