Arsenal delighted at HUGE Barcelona transfer boost – Messi next?

The Arsenal transfer rumours have been growing steadily ever since the young Spanish right back Hector Bellerin was drafted into the first team last season because of an injury crisis and started to show just how good he can be.

So with the club he spent most of his youth career with, Barcelona, being well known in the past for pinching Arsenal stars like Thierry Henry, Marc Overmars and of course that infuriating saga over another of their former players Cesc Fabregas, Arsenal fans had good reason to worry that we might lose our brilliant Bellerin to the Catalan giants.

Now, though, the just turned 21-year old has given Gooners everywhere even more reason to love him, as he is reported in The Mirror dismissing the reported interest from his former club and pledging his future to the Gunners. Even the recent struggles of the Arsenal team have not made him think about leaving, as Bellerin seems to be loving life exactly where he is at the moment.

He said, “I left Barca without looking back. I left focused on London and Arsenal and I am really happy there.

“I signed a new deal last year and there’s still a lot in front of me. It’s true that on a club level things aren’t going as we wanted and that’s complicated things, but personally I am really happy with how things are going

“My future is there and I am happy where I am. A lot of things can happen in football, but I am at Arsenal, giving my all for the club. I am not thinking of going anywhere else.”

Good lad Hector, now if you could just pass on to your old mate Lionel Messi how good it is to be an Arsenal player, that would be great.

Koscielny comeback the key to Arsenal beating Barcelona?

Make no mistake Arsenal fans, we have very little chance of getting past the current La Liga and Champions League holders Barcelona and into the next round. Even if we do manage to win the match it will not be enough unless we score at least three goals and win by two.

A 2-0 scoreline would, at least, take us to extra time and you can just about see Arsenal managing to score two or three against Barca if the likes of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez are on the ball. It is at the other end where our biggest problem lies though, as Arsene Wenger explained in a report on the Arsenal website.

He said, “I believe that the key for us will be a solid defensive performance. The advantage in our position is that the task is clear – we have to attack.

“We will do that but with the magicians of Barcelona will have to make sure that we give a remarkable defensive performance.

“We fought very hard to be in the Champions League. We made a miracle [against Olympiacos] so now we are in a position where we have to deliver something special. I’m convinced that for the rest of the season, it would be a big boost for us to have a great game here.

“At the moment, we are not favourites – we deal with that. But no matter how big the chance we have is, I think the Premier League is quite open, much more than people think it is. In the Champions League at the moment we have a very small chance but let’s give our best on Wednesday – you never know.”

The boss knows that it will take an amazing defensive performance from the Gunners to stop the Barcelona front three of Messi, Neymar and Suarez, who have already scored more than 100 goals between them this season. So it was great news this week that our best defender Laurent Koscielny is fit again after a short injury lay-off.

Koscielny’s co9meback has perhaps doubled our chances to around 10 percent but will his inclusion in the starting line up prove to be crucial or just a side note?

Arsenal and Cech’s BIG reasons to believe they can stop Barcelona scoring

Arsenal fans are under no illusions about the size of the task facing the Gunners in the Champions League this evening, with Barcelona having claimed a historic second continental treble last season and with their front three of Messi, Neymar and Suarez in devastating form both individually and as an attacking trident.

But if anyone should feel a bit less fear about facing the Barca front three it is Arsenal and particularly our new keeper Petr Cech. The Czech Republic international has an amazing and encouraging record against the best player in the world and the winner of the Ballon D’Or, as he has faced Messi no fewer than six times while playing for Chelsea and the little Argentinean has never managed to beat Cech.

Messi even missed a penalty against the big keeper in a Champions League semi-final and that suggests that the complex that the Barca striker might have could really be there. As reported by The Mirror though, it is not just Messi that has struggled against our number one, as between then the Barca forwards have played 11 games against Cech and only managed to score two goals.

That certainly gives us reason for hope, although none of these games involved Arsenal. However, when Suarez was sweeping all before him in a Liverpool shirt, he did not enjoy himself against us, managing just two goals against the Gunners during his four seasons in England and neither of those goals helped his side to a win over us.

Can we keep this remarkable record going tonight?

BOOM! It’s Barca! But it´s not all bad for Arsenal in UCL

Okay Arsenal fans, there is no way that we can say that we wanted to be drawn against the Catalan club Barcelona for the knockout phase of the Champions League. They are the holders after all and with the fearsome front three of Messi, Neymar and Suarez breaking all sorts of records last year, Barca managed to also win La Liga and the Spanish cup to give them a terrific treble.

So the Gunners are right up against it, no doubt. But we should not assume that the last 16 will be as far as we go for a sixth season in a row. Barcelona are a top class side and they are rightly one of the favourites, but they are not unbeatable.

Are they better than Bayern Munich? Sometimes yes and sometimes no and Arsenal have already beaten the German champions this season and we did it when they were absolutely flying and in their very best form. And there is no reason to assume that Barcelona will be in their best form when the Champions League games come around.

They have already struggled a few times this year, such as the weekend just gone when despite being at full strength they were held at home by Deportivo and that was their third draw in a row. They were absolutely torn apart by Bilbao in the Spanish super cup.

Do not write Arsenal off yet.

YES! World’s best WANTS Arsenal transfer! But…

Arsenal fans have long thought that Arsene Wenger was, let’s say careful, with the club’s money and treated every penny spent as if it was coming out of his own bank account. We also accepted, by and large, that Wenger’s hands were tied, financially speaking, while the cost of building the Emirates stadium was paid off.

That is done though and he is still not spending anything like what our Premier League rivals are spending and nowhere near the amount available to him, so when you read the report in the Daily Star about the shocking and exciting possibility that the best player in the world, Lionel Messi, might want top sign for Arsenal, it is tempered a bit by the news that Messi is looking for a massive salary.

The report claims that the Barcelona and Argentina forward is keen on a move to the Premier League and we are his first choice but the weekly wage of £600,000 mentioned would appear to be a deal breaker. Unless, of course, that this very situation is the reason why Wenger has been sitting on and adding to the club’s massive cash reserves.

Realistically though Arsenal fans, what are the chances of us seeing the mercurial Messi in an Arsenal shirt?

Arsenal have found their perfect striker

The win against Stoke highlighted the triumph of class over brute force. It also highlighted the worth of a certain player called Theo Walcott in his striker role.

Walcott has always been acknowledged for his versatility and speed. When be burst onto the scene as a youngster, he was a speedy winger who could trick any defence. But the question always remained top of his agenda – could he become a top striker like his idol Thierry Henry?

If statistics are to be believed, and for all those number minded, Walcott has scored 11 goals in his last 11 league starts. And most of these were in the striker role. Alhough Walcott always maintains that he wants to play anywhere in the three positions upfront, he could be a perfect fit for the striker role.

Still doubting? There was a first-half hat-trick against West Bromwich Albion on the final day of last season. He picked up two as a substitute for England against San Marino.

There could easily have been two or three more against Stoke. Critics may point that the numerous chances he missed overshadow his goal. But, the finish was so expertly taken that it could give any centre forward a run for his money.

Still have doubts? His run of 11 goals in 11 previous starts put him only third behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in Europe. Not bad company to have, is it? And if you take off the five Ronaldo scored in his last game, you have Walcott on par with the best.

Agreed that statistics tell only half the story but no one could argue that Walcott can’t cut it out as a striker. Had it not been for injuries, he would have been more prolific than these numbers indicate.

But, this is no reason to rejoice. There is still so much work to do before we see Walcott-the striker. Fans can get carried away by that goal; supporters can get carried away by the stats; but he’s still got a lot of ground to cover.

For the rest of season, Wenger will alternate Walcott with Giroud till Danny Welbeck comes back from injury. There is potential and room for improvement. But every Gunners fan will wonder if they have heard these words too often over the years about Theo. Maybe more goals and improved accuracy by Walcott will be an answer to all those doubts.

Alexis success convinces Barca star to seek £26m Arsenal transfer

The way that Alexis Sanchez has not just settled into life as an Arsenal player, but blown everyone away, Gunners and the football watching public alike, has been pretty incredible. And it has not gone unnoticed on the continent either, especially in Spain’s La Liga where the 25-year old forward used to ply his trade.

Only this week there was an article in one of the Catalan newspapers berating FC Barcelona for their decision to let the Chilean live wire leave for London in the summer. They compared Alexis to three of the current Barca front line, Munir El Haddadi and Sanro Ramirez and Pedro, declaring that Barca had been daft to allow the Chilean to leave as he has scored almost three times as many goals this season as all three of those Barca forwards.

But the reason Alexis wanted to leave was because of the competition to play, with Lionel Messi, Neymar and now Luis Suarez ahead of him in the pecking order. For the last few years, Alexis and Pedro had contested for that wide forward position and according to a Metro, the two could soon be competing again for a place in the Arsenal starting XI.

The report claims that Pedro has been so impressed with how well his former team mate has settled into life at Arsenal and the Premier League, that he wants a taste of it himself. And the paper claims that Arsene Wenger is aware of the situation and is readying a £26 million bid to bring the Spanish striker to the Emirates in January.

Gunner reveals fitness worries over Arsenal star man Alexis

It is perhaps a bigger concern for Arsenal fans and Arsene Wenger than it would be at most clubs, because of the crippling injury list that the club has had to cope with in recent years, including the way last season’s Premier League title challenge fell away when we lost the likes of Theo Walcott.

And the flying England forward who is just coming back from that long term injury has told Talksport that his new team mate Alexis Sanchez is giving his team mates and manager a little cause for concern about his own fitness.

Theo revealed that the Chile international is not only determined to play in every minute of every game for Arsenal, but he does not even want to miss any training, including his reluctance to even take a day off when he is supposed to.

Walcott said, ““In training he doesn’t even want to do recovery days. That’s how much he loves football.

“All the guys have told him he needs to chill out because, at Christmas when all the fixtures come along, it’s going to catch up with you.

“He doesn’t care, he just wants to play and win. He’s a good leader, and something that we haven’t had in the Arsenal team before. He’s a dream to play with.”

It is up to the boss to make sure the undoubted star of the season for the Gunners so far does not burn himself out of course, although you see the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo playing in every game and never getting subbed. JUst take it easy will you Alexis, because Arsenal need you!!

Arsenal missed out on Eto’o by a whisker

Back in 2000, Arsenal had just come second in the Premier League, but we were a massive 18 points off Manchester United, so Arsene Wenger went looking for firepower. The Frenchmand had signed Thierry Henry and Dvor Suker the previous summer, and that summer ended up getting Wiltord and Pires among others. It didn’t win us the title, but it cut the deficit to 10 points, but it could have been so different.

The new Chelsea striker Samuel Eto’o was looking for a new club that summer, having been loaned out by Real Madrid and realising he was not going to break through. He went to Real Mallorc for four seasons before hitting the big time and moving to Barcelona, but he has revealed that he was on the verge of signing for Arsenal before the Mallorca coach Luis Aragones stepped in and hijacked the deal.

Eto’o said, “I was about to sign that very afternoon at Arsenal and maybe I would never have been the player I am today.

“Luis picked me, then I ended up joining Barcelona. That decision changed everything.”

The Cameroonian striker went on to great things, 9including Champions League wins with Inter Milan and Barcelona, but to say he might not have been as good a player if he came to Arsenal shows that he knows nothing about Arsenal and Wenger in those days. I think he would probably have become a better striker under Le Prof. He might have become a better person as well, because his character has often been questioned during his career.

After hearing that Arsenal missed out in Ibrahimovic when he was young, and now Eto’o, who’s next, Messi?

Why Arsenal could get Villa from Barcelona for pittance

When Arsene Wenger was trying to find a player for Arsenal to sign in January, it was hard to find somebody available who had the right quality to improve the Arsenal team. The player he wanted was the Barcelona and Spain striker David Villa. Terms were agreed between the clubs and the striker apparently, but the Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova vetoed the transfer.

It just goes to show the arrogance of the Catalan club, that they are now demanding top transfer fees for the 31-year old, despite his injury problems and the fact that he will be available on a free transfer next summer. Well they are not going to get it, and Arsenal might be able to sign the striker for next to nothing before the end of the transfer window.

The reason for this is that a clause in Villa’s contract states that his wages are due to rise from around £115,000 a week to nearly £200,000 a week for the final year of his deal, as reported by AS. Barcelona are stocked with strikers. With Messi, Neymar, Pedro, Tello and Alexis Sanchez all fighting for a place, they now want Villa to leave.

If you were Villa, and had been denied the move you wanted in January on the whim of the manager, who then hardly played him, would you be keen to help out the club? Me neither. If Barcelona want his wages off the books, they are going to have to accept a low transfer fee. If I was Wenger, I would offer £2 million. Villa will probably accept something like his current wage, if it means he is playing at a Champions League club to keep his hopes of playing for Spain in the Rio 2014 World Cup. I think he could really add something to our title challenge.