Some Arsenal fans and football pundits were left a little confused in midweek after Arsene Wenger chose to hand a rare start to Olivier Giroud. Not because the French international forward is no good but because he finally got a start in a match that was probably the least suited to the big man´s talents as a player.
After starting him against PSG though, we all expected him to be in the line up for the game against Bournemouth in the Premier League today, as it looks to be the ideal sort of encounter for Giroud, against a deep lying and determined defence, but Wenger has surprised everyone again and left Olivier on the bench. ...........Read more
It is not a 100 percent accurate way of telling which Arsenal players will be in the starting line-up, but almost every time Arsene Wenger chooses one of the Gunners to do a press conference with him then that player will be in the team.
Yesterday the Arsenal boss spoke to the football media as Arsenal prepare for the Champions League away tie with Ludogorets and it was the two goal hero from Saturday’s win at Sunderland, Olivier Giroud, who fielded questions alongside Wenger, as the match preview in The Mirror shows. ...........Read more
We saw last week in the draw against Boro how much Arsenal can miss the creative spark of Sanri Cazorla in the middle of the pitch, making the harsh red card shown to our summer signing Granit Xhaka even more annoying. The Spaniard is still not fit to play after picking up an injury and the Swisss international is serving the final game of his ban so once again Arsene Wenger is forced to go with Elneny and Coquelin in midfield. ...........Read more
According to reports in today’s newspapers, Manchester United have identified Arsenal star Aaron Ramsey, as a potential target to bolster their midfield.
Reports suggest that new Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho is on the lookout for a new midfielder. After missing out on new Manchester City player Ikay Gundogan and the potential deal for Henrik Mkhitaryan still some way away, Mourinho has lined up Ramsey as his next port of call, should the bid for Mkhitaryan fail. ...........Read more
Arsene Wenger made nine changes to the Arsenal starting line-up for the FA cup match against Burnley on Saturday, but it was still a pretty strong Arsenal side and two of those changes were first team players making their return from injury.
We also saw Mohamed Elneny make his Arsenal debut, while Per Mertesacker was banned after being sent off against Chelsea, so all those changes were not really down to the boss playing a weakened team. So if the boss does make the seven changes that I expect him to for the visit of Southampton today then he will still be selecting his strongest 11 players. ...........Read more
Arsene Wenger is having to walk a fine line with his Arsenal team selection today. The Frenchman must balance the need to get through to the next round of the FA cup and stay on track for a record three trophy wins in a row, with the need to treat the Premier League title race as a priority.
He also needs to weigh up the benefits of playing a strong side against the desire to rest some key players like Mesut Ozil agead of the game against Southampton in the league on Tuesday. It is all about risk and reward really and the boss suggested in his press conference that because Arsenal really need a win after three games without one he would be leaning towards as strong a team as possible. ...........Read more
Towards the end of the FA cup clash between Arsenal and Sunderland at the Emirates stadium, the poor old Black Cats of Sam Allardyce looked like they did not know what day it was. The Gunners were in full flow and could have scored a hatful of goals as the likes of Aaron Ramsey, Joel Campbell, Bellerin, Giroud and all ran rings around the tiring visitors.
But it was not always so comfortable and the Arsenal players had to dig deep into the resources of energy and application after a slow start and a mistake gave Sunderland the lead about halfway through the first half. They had other chances as well, including a header that came crashing off the bar early in the second half. ...........Read more
Maybe the fact that the ringing endorsement of two Arsenal stars came from TV pundits that used to play for big Premier League rivals of ours should give them a lot more credence. To be honest, Arsenal fans are much more used to hearing some heavy criticism aimed at various Gunners in the press, so it was certainly a surprise.
Maybe Steven Gerrard and Rio Ferdinand were caught up in the excitement of the former Arsenal striker Ian Wright, who was busy dancing around the BT sport studio as Wenger´s men pulled off an amazing Champions League result to seal out progress into the next round. ...........Read more
Well Arsenal fans we did it! Did you really believe? The players certainly did and I have to give Arsene Wenger full credit for getting the Gunners in the right frame of mind. This result and they way it was done could well give the team a huge boost that sees go from strength to strength in the Premier League as well as the Champions League.
Even after a tough start when Olympiacos put us under real pressure, the players stood firm and never let the hostile atmosphere get under their skin. So once Arsenal had started to take the game under control about halfway through the first half, we never let it go. ...........Read more
While a lot of the talk and emphasis from Arsenal as we prepare for the crunch clash with Olympiacos in Greece tonight has been on the attacking side of our game, the Gunners cannot abandon the other side of the game. So it will be a big night for the back four and the keeper Petr Cech because an Olympiacos goal means we have to score at least three times.
But with all the focus on Arsenal creating and scoring goals against the Greek champions, I think the mist important position in our team is that of the defensive midfielder. I assume it will be Mathieu Flamini with Aaron Ramsey in the box-to-box role and it is vital that the Frenchman has a good game. ...........Read more