Does Koscielny have any real competition for the Arsenal captaincy?

As Arsenal waved goodbye to Mikel Arteta at the end of the season, we were also waving goodbye to our captain. Arteta’s retirement now raises the question of which Arsenal star will wear the armband next season with the ambition to lead the team to success.

Arteta took over the captains armband from Thomas Vermaelen in 2014, when the Belgian left the Gunners for Barcelona. Arteta became the 4th Arsenal captain in as many years following on from the departures of Fabregas, Van Persie and Vermaelen and finally seemed to be a player with true leadership qualities and a wealth of experience on the pitch. It was always in the back of our minds however that Arteta would of course be likely to retire fairly soon after he took the captains armband, due to both injures and age. That time has now come and Arsene Wenger will be looking to appoint a new leader going into next season.

A few names have been thrown around and whilst Wilshere seems to be a popular name due to his passion and commitment to Arsenal football club, his reliance to be on the pitch lacks due to injury and so Wenger may not opt for the young Englishman in fear of a repeat of what happened to Arteta. Of course Arteta was injured for the majority of his captaincy at the club and then took up getting his coaching badges meaning he was missing as a captain on the pitch, for the large part of the past two seasons. As a result a number of different captains were named according to the match day squad, a popular candidate being The BFG, Per Mertesacker.

For Mertesacker to then be a favourite to be named as the permanent captain next season therefore would not be a surprise. He has leadership qualities and a commanding voice on the pitch, whilst his ability to read the game is supposedly second to none. However according to the Metro, Mertesacker is unlikely to be named as captain, with Frenchman Laurent Koscielny being the most likely choice for Wenger.

Koscielny joined the club in 2010 and although he seemed to be a rookie buy at first, the French international has developed into one of the best central defenders worldwide. He has a strong voice on the pitch and is sure to take command and control of the players around him, hopefully leading the Gunners to success come the end of the season.

I have always felt that a defender should be made captain in a football club due to their general rough and tough nature and strength in leadership and commanding those in front of them. Defenders, aside from goalkeepers, also arguably get the best view of the game going on in front of them and are therefore able to lead players knowing that they have a good idea of understanding the play occurring in front of them. Koscielny has plenty of years experience with the Gunners and has remained committed to Arsenal despite attracting offers from several top European clubs in his time. Therefore I think Koscielny would be a perfect fit for the next Arsenal man to lead the Gunners out.

Do you think Koscielny should lead the team out next season or is another player a firm favourite to take the armband?

Which Arsenal player will bring back the Euro16 winners medal?

Arsenal have six current players (I haven’t included Granit Xhaka) set to feature in this summers Euro16 tournament in France, but which one is most likely to bring back the trophy and the bragging rights to the Gunners dressing room?

We have Petr Cech appearing for the Czech Republic, and also the departed Tomas Rosicky. We also have (the nearly departed) Wojciech Szczesny in goal for Poland, but I think we can safely exclude them from the possible winners. If you do want to take a chance on them then Poland are around 50/1 and the Czechs are right out at 100/1

This leaves four more Gunners and they are in three of the first four favourites for the trophy. England and Jack Wilshere are currently priced at 8/1, while Mesut Ozil’s Germany are the second favourites at 4/1, while we have both Laurent Koscielny and Olivier Giroud in the France side, who are 7/2 favourites playing with home advantage.

All Arsenal fans will be keen to see how Jack Wilshere shapes up on his return from injury for England, but I don’t think you will find many supporters outside of England that will actually believe that Roy Hodgson’s side could emerge victorious exactly 50 years after England won the World Cup.

So, depending on your opinion of what’s the best football live betting site in UK, you should check out the best prices on France and Germany, although, again, looking at it from an Arsenal point of view, France may be playing at home, I wouldn’t fancy any team to win a trophy with Giroud as their main striker, lol. Would you?

So I am going to go with the World Cup Winners and our very own super assist-king Mesut Ozil to bring back another trophy. I think I will also have a little punt on Ozil to win the Player-of-the-tournament (around 25/1) if he carries on providing chances like he did all season for Arsenal, even if they weren’t converted!

Arsenal injury news a HUGE blow to Premier League challenge

At least the injury situation at Arsenal Football Club has been better this season than it has in recent years. And the fact that many of the injury problems that our players like Jack Wilshere, Francis Coquelin and Santi Cazorla have had have been impact problems, so it does look like Arsene Wenger and the bringing in of a couple more fitness and conditioning experts has had a beneficial effect.

But we still have yet to see the unlucky Jack Wilshere play this season and have missed big players like Alexis Sanchez for significant periods. Perhaps the biggest loss, however, has been the absence of Santi Cazorla in the middle of the pitch.

The little magician had really flourished in his new deeper lying position and together with Francis Coquelin to add steel and Mesut Ozil to unlock the opposition defences our midfield was the thing steering us to the title. But the latest injury update reported by The Mirror suggests that the Spaniard has suffered a setback on his road to recovery and his Achilles problem could keep him out for the rest of the season.

That would be a massive blow, especially as Wilshere looks no closer to a comeback either. So unless Ramsey or Elneny up their games considerably, will injury problems wreck yet another Arsenal title bid?

Arsenal’s BIG problem at CAM with Rosicky AND Ozil injuries

It feels at Arsenal that our injury problems are like buses in that they always seem to come at once and so we often see a certain position severely weakened as Arsene Wenger loses two or three players in the same area of the pitch at the same time.

It has been central midfield for most of the season but at least the return of Ramsey and then Coquelin and the transfer addition of Elneny has eased that particular problem. Now, though, it looks like the prof could be faced with a bit of a crisis in the Central Attacking Midfield role.

Luckily enough we have not missed having the option of Jack Wilshere and Tomas Rosicky too much because Mesut Ozil has been in great form and has stayed fit, but the Daily Mail has some worrying news for us this week. Apparently the German has been nursing a foot injury and even though he has been back in the team since it kept him out of the Stoke match, it is not fully fixed.

So the Arsenal medical staff have changed his training routine and are being very careful with Ozil as they try to keep him fit enough to keep playing. With Rosicky being cursed with yet another long injury as soon as he returned to the side and with Wilshere still not ready to come back, have Arsenal got a huge problem looming?

Arsenal star calls for Wenger to extend contract

It was being reported in the football media a few days ago that Arsenal were already preparing to offer the manager a new contract, despite Arsene Wenger having signed a three year extension just last summer. So even though the Gunners are going great guns and looking as though this might be the year we finally regain the Premier League trophy, most Arsenal fans think this news is a bit premature.

One Arsenal fan who definitely does not think this way is also an Arsenal player, and Jack Wilshere has declared that he would be perfectly happy if the Prof was somehow able to stay in charge of the club forever. A report by The Mirror explains that the England international has nothing but respect and gratitude for his mentor and as we have heard from many Arsenal players in the past, he sees Wenger as something of a father figure.

The 23-year old midfielder said, “He’s been great for me. People have criticised him in the past but for me, he’s been fantastic.

“I’ve had a lot of injuries but he’s stood by me. It was 16 months out at one point and that is tough for a player mentally. To come back and I played a few games in the reserves and then he put me straight back in.

“He’s always stuck by me, we’ve got a great working relationship and we talk about my injury, football, life in general – he’s a good person and all I can do is thank him. I want to see him at Arsenal forever.”

It is great to hear about how much the Arsenal players think of Wenger and if that can go hand in hand with trophy success then I think we would all be happy for the Frenchman to stay in charge. But surely he must win the EPL this season when we have been handed the best chance in a decade. If not, will Arsenal really give him a new contract?

Arsenal starting XI for FA cup final with Walcott IN!!

So this is it Gooners, Arsenal’s last game of the current season is very close now and Arsene Wenger needs his players to dig deep for one last performance against Aston Villa at Wembley to make sure that history is made by the club and the manager today.

So as Wenger aims to become only the second manager to win the famous old trophy six times and the only man to do it since the war, his team selection today could be the most important ever. And with the Gunners having the chance to go past Man United to be the most successful club in FA cup history, we need him to get it right.

But I still expect the Frenchman to stick with Szczesny in goal and bring Theo Walcott into the attack. After the England flyer’s super hat-trick last weekend, he surely cannot leave him out. The really hard decision is who to leave out of the midfield, as Coquelin, Cazorla, Ozil, Ramsey and Wilshere are fighting for three places.

Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal
Coquelin, Ramsey
Walcott, Cazorla, Alexis

That would be my pick. How about you?

Only FA cup trophy will make season a success says Arsenal star!

This is no time for Arsenal fans or the players and manager to be feeling as if the season has been a success, even though the Gunners improved our position in the Premier League table. At least not until the FA cup is confirmed as coming back to north London with us this evening.

That is the reasoning of the England international Jack Wilshere anyway, who has suffered another season of disappointment on the personal front. As reported by the Daily Mail, Wilshere feels that Arsenal could and should have finished the season as runners up to the champions Chelsea.

He also thinks that failing to lift the trophy at Wembley today would represent a season that fell below what the club required and is hoping that Arsene Wenger gives him the chance on the pitch to ensure that we fans are left with a positive outlook on the season.

He said, “I think that will define if we have a good season or not. Okay we did finish third in the league which is progression from last year (when) we finished fourth.

“We wanted to get to second this year but unfortunately we couldn’t manage that so now we’re looking to finish the season off with the cup and it would be nice to do that.

“I really want to play. It’s probably the biggest game of the season. I’ve been injured for a lot of the season so it’s been frustrating and I’ve worked really hard to come back.’

“I feel really good. Of course it’s down to the manager but hopefully I will play.”

I hope that he does after the brilliant performance and fantastic goal he produced in the final BPL game of the season last weekend.

FOUR star Arsenal marching on to Wembley

It was starting to get a bit twitchy for Arsenal fans in recent weeks, even though the point against Sunderland on Wednesday had made sure that we would finish above Man United and go straight into the Champions League group stage, no passing go and no playing two play off games.

So the Gunners were under pressure to beat an in form West Brom today, or we were for about five minutes until Theo Walcott picked up the ball on the right of the penalty area and unleashed a fearsome shot that gave Myhill no chance. Arsenal were already looking good and confident and that early goal settle any nerves.

For the rest of the first half, Walcott along with Mesut Ozil, Santi Cazorla, Alexis Sanchez and especially Jack Wilshere, ran rings around West Brom and added another three goals. Wilshere scored himself with a superb volley from the edge of the box before Walcott completed his hat-trick.

We eased up in the second half and allowed West Brom to score from a corner but Arsenal still controlled the game and were unlucky not to score any more, especially after Ramsey came on and hit the woodwork twice. But as preparations for a cup final go, that will do nicely thank you very much. And with Aston Villa slipping to a 1/0 home defeat against Burnley, that trophy is looking closer than ever.

SHOCK Arsenal starting XI for Sunderland clash!

With Arsene Wenger having spoken about consistency and cohesion in the build up to this last but one game of the Premier League campaign, most people were not expecting many changes to the Arsenal team. And with the Frenchman having selected the same line up for the last six league games in a row, it could easily have been seven.

But a touch of flu for Laurent Koscielny means that Wenger is likely to start Gabriel and I do not think the changes will stop there. I am actually expecting Wenger to pull a bit of a surprise on Sunderland and their manager Dick Advocaat who will surely have prepared his team to nullify our passing and creative game.

The Arsenal boss has good options and I would not be surprised to see him use them as this would also give some key players a rest in a hectic week. Perhaps Walcott of Alexis could replace Giroud, while we have Wilshere and Gibbs gagging for some game time.

One change that most people are expecting is to see Ramsey go back into his best position in central midfield but what else do you expect to see?

Wenger says Arsenal will NOT sell to Man City

Arsenal fans have had more than enough of seeing the likes of Nasri, Clichy, Cole and van Persie being sold to Premier League rivals over the last 10 years, especially when all of them have gone on to help their respective sides to win the trophy that we have not lifted since 2004.

So it is good to hear that Arsene Wenger is as determined as the rest of us not to have to endure that sort of pain anymore. There have been Arsenal transfer rumours this week that Manchester City are hoping to sign Jack Wilshere as part of a big summer of rebuilding, but Wenger has told them not to bother, as reported by the Daily Mail.

The Arsenal boss said, “You can imagine my answer, we are not in a position where we have to sell our best players.”

Wilshere is one of a number of Arsenal stars that will be available for selection again after their respective injury problems, although whether he, Diaby, Arteta or Debuchy see any action against Burnley on Saturday is doubtful. But Arsenal fans will not be seeing the last of Wilshere this summer, that much is certain.