Is Mourinho just winding up Wenger with Welbeck rumours?

Welbeck wanted by former employers?

Danny Welbeck may have only made a hatful of appearances for the Gunners in his two seasons at the club, however according to a few reports, his former employers, Manchester United, could be interested in re-signing their former prodigy. To emphasise the point it appears that the bookies have slashed the odds on him going back to Old Trafford. If you want to take the tip, then you should check out so at least you could use the bookies bonuses to make the bet rather than use your own money!

Although Welbeck has played for a few clubs (he was at Preston and Sunderland on loan) during his professional career, his two main employers have been Manchester United and Arsenal. Supposedly Welbeck’s former side, Manchester United, want the England international striker back, after he left for North London back in 2014. The striker’s £16 million move to Arsenal was met with much debate amongst the fans when he originally signed for the club, because many were not convinced by his abilities. Welbeck did not have the best time at United and was not really utilised to the best of his abilities, often playing on the wing for the Red Devils rather than his preferred striker position. For that reason Welbeck, who grew up at United and rose through their youth ranks, never really made it in Manchester. Instead he was deemed an expendable member of their team by then manager Louis Van Gaal, and Wenger snapped up a deal to bring the frontman to the club.

Personally I think Welbeck has done well for the Gunners and certainly adds something very different to usual frontman Olivier Giroud. Whilst Giroud offers good hold up play and a great ability of heading the ball, Welbeck holds both those qualities as well as a good dribbling and bursts of pace. For that reason, Welbeck seems like the striker Arsenal needs to lead the front line, however he of course spends too much time on the treatment table. This is a real shame for the Gunners but according to the Express, Welbeck’s injury concerns don’t keep United away from looking at their former player.

The Express believes that new Manchester United boss, Jose Mourinho, is a fan of Welbeck, who has shone with his performances for both Arsenal and England in the recent years, and now the Special One wants Welbeck to return to Old Trafford in the shirt of the Red Devils. United are arguably short up front with strikers, and their lack of goals last season certainly shows that. However Arsenal are also desperate for strikers and despite the Englishman’s barren time on the treatment table, the Gunners won’t be too keen on letting their number 23 go.

I don’t think Wenger will look to sell Welbeck this summer and if he has learnt anything over the most recent years, the Frenchman will know that Arsenal are no longer in the position of being forced to sell players in order to invest. Welbeck should remain with Arsenal because despite being out for another extended period of time due to injury, he still has a place in this Arsenal team to fight for and has shown that on his day when fit, he offers a very different approach to Giroud.

Despite the new rumours I dn’t believe that Mourinho would buy any player that is seriously injured, and perhaps this is just another one of Jose’s mind games against Wenger….

Arsenal expecting Xhaka to arrive in £33.8million deal

After last summers transfer window debacle, when Arsenal fans saw Arsene Wenger quickly sign Petr Cech, and then had a tortuous summer wating in vain for Karim Benzema (or any other accompished striker) to join the club. That ended in heartbreak as we all know, and most Gooners will blame Wenger’s failure to buy an established hitman as the reason we missed out on the title.

But this summer must surely be different, with even Wenger himself admitting that he needed to buy some competition for Olivier Giroud (Duh! We have been telling him that for years and he has only just noticed?) It looks like Le Prof has lined up his first arrival already as the Daily Mirror reported this morning:

Borussia Moenchengladbach midfielder Granit Xhaka is expected to arrive in a £33.8million deal, while Wenger is also after a striker with Danny Welbeck out for nine months.

Xhaka will be a welcome start to the summer for Arsenal fans, and the report also states that Wenger is targeting N’Golo Kante as well as another striker, with Wenger announcing that he has the full backing from Stan Kroenke to buy whoever he likes…within reason of course. Wenger said: “Stan Kroenke is completely behind myself and the board investing as much money as we want.

“It has to be in respect of a balanced budget, we have resources but the problem is finding players. Everybody has money in England and they’re all after good players.”

Yes Arsene, they all are I’m sure, but honestly Arsenal have the great advantage of being able to guarantee Champions League football next season. So stop talking Wenger and start buying!

Arsenal team for West Brom clash – Giroud to start

Arsenal fans were delighted to get our England international striker Danny Welbeck back from his long term injury lay-off recently, and the former Man United man came back with a bang and after the shocking form in front of goal we have seen from Olivier Giroud since the turn of the year it was no surprise to see Welbeck starting ahead of the Frenchman.

But that initial burst of form and confidence has faded somewhat and Welbeck has been as guilty as any Gunner of missing chances of late and has not scored since the win at Everton over a month ago. That, combined with the expected defensive set-up of West Brom at the Emirates tonight, leads me to believe that Arsene Wenger could bring Giroud back into the starting line up tonight.

His power, stature and hold up play could be a huge weapon against a physical Tony Pulis team and the French forward will be desperate to play well and get his first choice status back. I would keep Welbeck in the team but put him on one flank with Alexis Sanchez on the other and Ozil in the CAM role.

The only other change I would make would be Gibbs for Monreal who has gone off the boil in recent games and does not have the same attacking threat as the Englishman anyway.

Bellerin, Gabriel, Koscielny, Gibbs
Coquelin, Elneny
Alexis, Ozil, Welbeck

What do you think of this Arsenal line-up?

Which Arsenal stars should you be backing this summer

The European Championships are right around the corner, and after an exciting week of international fixtures, we thought we’d look ahead to the upcoming competition.

A number of Arsenal fans are set to take each other on for their respective countries, and I’m big on having a sentimental bet, and will be looking for some value to be had from the tournament.

Mesut Ozil has been on top form this season, but unfortunately there is not a market for who will create the most goals, so it could be worth looking towards the German side for the top goalscorer market. Thomas Muller is the favourite, and it is hard to disagree with that given his previous record in international competitions. With Ozil there to provide him with ample chances, the double for Muller/Germany in the outright market at 16/1 (17.0) is well worth a punt.

Petr Cech has been in his usual fine form this year also, and he will be hard to beat for even the strongest side. The Czech team do have a tough group with Turkey, Spain and Croatia to battle with, but I can’t ignore the valuable 7/2 (4/5) odds for his side to finish second in their group.

The real value for us Arsenal fans however, has to be the 50/1 (51.0) shot on the in-form Danny Welbeck to be top goalscorer during the tournament. He can be backed each-way, which will mean a return of £135 should he finish in the top four, or £645 should he top the ranking from a £10 each-way stake (£20 total outlay). England are sure-fire to make it out of the group stages, and should come up against one of the third-placed teams from another group, or even if they finished second in Group B, would then have to play against the runner-up in Group F, which is not the strongest group on paper.

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Arsenal internationals all good so far

The first round of games in the current international break are now over and the Arsenal fans that have been nervously fearing some bad news over an injury to one of the Arsenal stars involved can now relax and enjoy their Easter Sunday and scoff some eggs.

The England win over Germany last night was the last of the first lot and saw two Arsenal players starting on either side. Mesut Ozil completed 90 minutes for Germany and claimed an assist for the opening goal scored by Toni Kroos. He must have thought it had set them on the path to victory when Gomez doubled the lead before halftime but England produced a spirited comeback to win it and Welbeck had a great game in the left forward position.

Fears about the fitness of Theo Walcott were also eased as the Arsenal forward was named on the England bench by Roy Hodgson and even though he saw no action Theo will probably feature in their game against Holland at Wembley on Tuesday.

Earlier in the day Calum Chambers started for the England under 21 side which scored first but were pegged back away to Switzerland. That was a good result for the young lions, though, as it keeps them three points clear at the top of the group and Chambers was impressive for them at the back.

No injury problems so far and some good performances from Arsenal players. Keep those fingers crossed Gooners.

England Euro 2016 place BIG morale boost for Arsenal star

Having not played for Arsenal since before the end of last season, the England international forward Danny Welbeck was very likely worried that he might not make it on to the plane for the Euro 2016 tournament this summer as his return from that knee injury kept being put back and put back.

And even though Welbeck has been playing and playing well for the Gunners since his return, the form of other English strikers like Vardy and Kane and the increased amount of options available to Roy Hodgson these days meant that the Arsenal man’s place was still under a lot of pressure.

So the news reported by the BBC that he will start against Germany tonight is a big morale boost for Welbeck as it not only shows the faith that the England boss has in him but all but guarantees his place at Euro 2016. The Three Lions are away to the tournament favourites Germany and so Hodgson has picked his strongest available XI and Welbeck is one of them.

To be fair he does have a very good scoring ratio at international level as well as all that he offers with his pace and work rate. Good news for Danny and if it helps his confidence it could be great news for Arsenal in the coming weeks and months.

First Premier League start for new Arsenal star Iwobi

Arsene Wenger must have luiked what he saw from the young Gunner Alex Iwobi whern he started ahead of more experienced Arsenal forwards like Theo Walcott and Joel Campbell against Barcelona on Wednesday night, because today the boss has handed the talented youngstrer his first ever start in the Premier League.

Perhaps Wenger is hoping that the exuberance and fearlessness of youth is better than the pressure that the older stars seem to be struggling to cope with. We certainly need to get at the home team and get them on the back foot, because if we don’t I can see Arsenal struggling, especially in the latter stages of the match when the players start to feel the effects of two games in the previous six days.

THat is why I am a little surprised to see that the boss has only made one change from the Champions League starting line up and that was forced on the Frenchman due to the hamstring injury picked up by Flamini. So Coquelin comes in alongside the debut scorer Elneny and hopefully they can dominate the midfield and offer good protection to the back four.

Bellerin, Gabriel, Koscielny, Monreal
Coquelin, Elneny
Iwobi, Ozil, Sanchez

Subs: Gibbs, Mertesacker, Giroud, Walcott, Chambers, Campbell, Macey.

Arsenal team to face Swansea – Walcott dropped!

Arsene Wenger has been left with little choice but to change the Arsenal team that played so poorly and slumped to a damaging and dismal loss against Man United at Old Trafford. And he may well need to freshen up the legs of the team as well as the big games have been coming thick and fast.

The first player to be struck off the team sheet will surely be the England international Theo Walcott as he was as bad against United as I can remember. A bigger call but also one I think the boss could make is to rest the under performing Alexis Sanchez as well, although I would still expect to see him from the bench.

Perhaps it could be just what the Chilean needs to spark him back into action. If that happens then Welbeck will play on the left with Joel Campbell the other side of Giroud. In midfield I expect Wenger to stick with Ramsey and Coquelin even though neither was great at the weekend.

But I can see him changing the defence, with Gibbs and Mertesacker coming in for Gabriel and Monreal. He could also give Chambers a run out at right back but I think we will see Bellerin start there once again.

Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs
Coquelin, Ramsey
Campbell, Ozil, Welbeck

How do you like this Arsenal line up to beat Swansea?

Wenger blames Arsenal forwards for FA cup replay

After seeing Arsenal held to a disappointing draw by the Championship side Hull City yesterday, I left the TV in and waited to see what Arsene Wenger would say about the team, the result and the problem of another game to fit in as we head to an FA cup replay.

But the programme finished before the Frenchman emerged from the home dressing room, although his past match comments have now been reported on the Arsenal website, and from what the manager said I assume the extra time in the dressing room was because Wenger was giving his misfiring forward players a piece of his mind.

The boss certainly suggested that their failure to find the net was the main reason for the Gunners having to face another game against the Tigers. He pointed out the fact that Theo Walcott, Danny Welbeck and Joel Campbell are all full internationals and so his rotation should not have been a problem.

And while the Arsenal boss gave credit to the visiting team and their determined defending, while also recognising the excellence of their keeper Eldin Jakupovic, he clearly felt that we should have had more than enough fire power to win the game.

Wenger explained why we could only draw, “Because Hull defended well, because their ‘keeper played well, because our final ball was maybe not good enough and because when we could give the ball in the final third, we decided [to go for] an individual solution.

“The goalkeeper did well of course, but we had maybe 70 per cent possession and more than 20 shots on goal, and we didn’t score. We have to look at ourselves as well, even if you can give credit to their ‘keeper.

“The nightmare would have been to go out. The frustration is that we didn’t score and it’s not what we wanted, to have a replay, but between that and going out, we choose the replay. I am happy for the replay [as opposed to going out]. We need to be more efficient in the final third, because today we had more than 70 per cent possession and we will not have that on Tuesday night. That means we’ll have to be more efficient with much less of the ball.

“I played a team that, in my opinion, had the quality to win the game today. The Barcelona game was not in my mind today. I rested Ramsey and Ozil completely, because they’ve played many games since the start of the season. When I can do it, I do it. Mesut Ozil was a bit sick over the week, so I decided to leave him out completely. Ramsey has played many games, so that’s why I kept him out.

“A shame? No, because that would mean that the players in the squad are not good enough, which I don’t think [is true]. If you look at the players that played in our team, Ospina, Chambers, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, they are all internationals, [as are] Elneny, Flamini, then yes, Iwobi. People want you to give a chance to young players. When you play them, they say ‘it’s a shame’. Up front we had Walcott, Welbeck and Campbell, all internationals. People always want you to buy more and more players. When you play them, they say ‘why did you play them?’ I think the team was of quality and that’s not an excuse.”

Have Arsenal got a big problem with goals and with this extra game?

Arsenal XI for Hull in FA cup with EIGHT changes

There were always going to be some changes made to the Arsenal starting line up for this FA cup 5th round match against Hull City. Arsene Wenger has always used these cup games top rotate his squad and give sime valuable first team experience and game time to some of the lesser used members of the squad.

And with our opponents today having bigger fish to fry with their battle for promotion to the Premier League and a busy fixture list, the boss has a great chance to make changes and still have a great chance to win the match and qualify.

So with one eye on the Champions League home leg against Barcelona on Tuesday, I think that the Frenchman will make a massive eight changes to the Arsenal XI that started against Leicester City last weekend. The only players that I expect to keep their places are the two centre backs Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny and the England international Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, leaving us a line up like this.

Chambers, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs
Flamini, Elneny
Chamberlain, Iwobi, Campbell

What do you think of this Arsenal starting line up and what would be yours?