Arsenal with just TWO changes for Basel in Champions League

There has been a lot of speculation about how many changes to the Arsenal starting line up Arsene Wenger will make for the second Champions League group match against the Swiss champions Basel tonight, even more so with Francis Coquelin reminding the Gunners boss of how injury problems have plagued the club in recent years.

Apart from having to replace the defensive midfielder though, with Granit Xhaka the obvious choice, I think we will see just one other change from the 11 players that started and did so well against Chelsea in the Premier League at the weekend. Arsenal do have an EPL match on Sunday to consider but after that is the international break and the trip to Burnley is a game we expect to win anyway.

I think Wenger will want to continue the good form and momentum that Arsenal have been building and that would surely be easier if you keep the same players on the pitch, especially when all of them are playing well and looking like a solid unit.

The only other change I think Arsenal will make is to bring Ospina in for Cech after his heroics in the first group game away to PSG. Is this how you would set up for Basel?

Arsenal star still considering SHOCK transfer exit!!

Arsenal fans and Arsene Wenger will have to wait until after the current Premier League season draws to a close, for better or worse, before we have a clearer picture of which players may be still in the Arsenal squad for next season, and the next couple of months and the eight Premier League games left for us to play could have a big say on this.

That is definitely the case with our Colombian international keeper David Ospina, as a report in the Daily Star explains that the current first choice between the sticks is leaving a decision on his future until the summer.

You would definitely say that the last few weeks have increased the chances of him staying at Arsenal, because the injury to Petr Cech has given him a chance he was not likely to get before and he has used that chance to remind us all just what a class act he is.

Ospina said, “Since Petr joined we have built a good friendship.

“However, we are still competing for the spot.

“I don’t want to think about the summer. I’m focused on the present and my present is Arsenal.

“We will see how this season ends, then we will see what happens with my future.”

I wonder if Ospina is thinking about what he can learn from the Arsenal number one if he stays and balancing that against the likely chances of him actually playing. Could it be as simple as whether the Gunners are in the Champions League or not? Or is it a simple choice for the club between him and Wojciech Szczesny?

Is Wenger right to reject this Arsenal transfer bid?

The next game up for Arsenal in this tough period we find ourselves in looks a little easier than the previous three against Liverpool, Stoke City and Chelsea. But even though our FA cup opponents Burnley are one division below the Gunners, they are in very good form.

Arsene Wenger is sure to have one eye on the Premier League match with Southampton three days later and so the Frenchman is sure to rotate quite a few of his first team stars, including handing a rare start to the second choice keeper David Ospina who The Sun reports that the boss has turned down an offer for from the Turkish club Besiktas.

The thing is though, should a second string Arsenal get knocked out of the FA cup on Saturday, how many more chances is the Colombian international going to get this season ahead of Petr Cech. Besiktas have offered a loan deal but surely we could push them for close to the £3 million we paid for him and bring Szczesny back from his loan spell in Serie A with Roma.

Is it right for Wenger to keep Ospina against his will when we have Szczesny who wants to be here?

Cech the TOP MAN for Arsenal v Newcastle

The most important thing about this latest Premier League game for Arsenal was the result and we managed to get the three points from Newcastle that kept us ahead of Leicester City and Manchester City in top spot, but it was not a vintage performance from the Gunners by any means.

We were not as bad as we had been in Southampton on Boxing Day but the whole side looked a bit tired and they struggled to get any fluency going, which is why the former Chelsea keeper Petr Cech was well worth his Man of the Match award and why Arsene Wenger was full of praise for his number one after the match.

The Frenchman told Arsenal Player how he was delighted for big Pete who extended his Premier League record with another clean sheet after some crucial and very good saves. And Wenger explained that he expects many more from Cech in the future.

The Arsenal manager said, “It was a performance that was more mental [strength] and solidarity than fluency and brilliance but overall I like that we have shown this kind of quality.

“We played against a very good Newcastle team. but we found the resources to score. We scored from a set piece and it is important when you want to play in the front to score from set pieces. We have been solid defensively, especially Petr, and it is enough to win these games.

“If Cech goes on like that he will add a few more clean sheets to his record because he has shown he is real top, top class. When you achieve a record sometimes in the next game you relax a little bit and to not lose concentration and to still turn up with two quality saves in the first half and second half was huge for us.

“[Grinding out results] is vital because it gives confidence to the team. There are moments in the league where we have to hang on, and to have the memory to win games when we didn’t play so well will give them the strength to do it.”

After another brilliant and match winning performance from the keeper, however, the question is will Ospina get to play the FA cup game next weekend?

Four changes for Arsenal v Olympiacos in Champions League

Even though Arsenal are right up against it after losing the first Champions League group game two weeks ago and even though we do not play again until late on Sunday, Arsene Wenger is going to rotate his starting XI for the second group game against the Greek side Olympiakos tonight.

I think the Frenchman will make four changes, which might sound a lot in a game we simply have to win, but there are good reasons for all of them. David Ospina was promised plenty of game time by Wenger in the summer to stop him leaving and so he is likely to feature in most, if not all, of our cup games.

Mertesacker has just played two games in a row after just returning from injury while Gabriel has had a little rest so I see the manager changing them. Francis Coquelin is fit again and even if we wanted to give him a little more time the knocks picked up by Arteta and Flamini will not allow it.

Finally I think we will see Alex Oxlade.Chamberlain coming in for Aaron Ramsey on the right, both to give the Welshman a rest and to give the Arsenal team more pace and threat in wide areas. What do you think of the four changes Arsenal fans?

BOOM! Arsenal have already COMPLETED Cech transfer!!

There is no explanation of why there is yet to be an official announcement about this transfer from either Arsenal or Chelsea, but it has been reported by the usually fairly reliable source of the Daily Mail that the transfer of the Czech Republic number one Petr Cech from Stamford Bridge to the Emirates stadium has been completed.

The paper says that the transfer is costing the Gunners a transfer fee or around £11 million and the keeper will earn around £100,000 a week. It also looks like this will mean that David Ospina will leave Arsenal in the summer transfer window, in order to get the regular first team football his ability deserves, with the Poland international Wojciech Szczesny staying as our reserve and possibly cup keeper.

Good luck Ospina and welcome to Arsenal, Petr Cech.

NO Thanks! Arsenal to snub Real Madrid star’s transfer

Even if the Arsenal transfer rumours that this week suggested that Arsene Wenger had all but secured the transfer of Petr Cech from Chelsea are wide of the mark, I cannot see that the Gunners will be doing with Real Madrid this summer, at least not in the keeper department anyway.

Arsenal have already been linked for their long serving number one Iker Casillas and now a Metro report claims that it could be their Costa Rican international number one Keylor Navas that will be heading to north London in the summer transfer window.

The report claims that Madrid want just £7 million for the 28-year old stopper they signed for about the same amount last summer, after Navas had a very impressive World Cup tournament in Brazil. But he has failed to replace Casillas and that is exactly why it would be daft for Arsenal to sign him. Our own summer signing David Ospina has done what we wanted in challenging and replacing Wojciech Szczesny for the top spot and the only reason we would sign another keeper would be as a clear improvement. Navas is not that player so thanks Madrid but no thanks!

Arsenal star NEEDS loan move

Szczesny Out and Cech In for Arsenal?

It seems as though the possibility of Arsenal signing Petr Cech is growing by the day. After reports of the Chelsea goalkeeper’s willingness to make the move to North London surfaced, the Daily Mirror is now reporting that Arsenal have already started talks with Chelsea in regards to a £10million deal for the iconic shot-stopper.

In addition, there have also been numerous reports linking Wojciech Szczesny with a loan move to Southampton, who will be without first-choice keeper Fraser Forster for the majority of next season as a result of the Englishman sustaining a long-term knee injury. Saints boss Ronald Koeman will reportedly make an official move once the transfer window opens and the Pole is understood to be willing to make the switch, having realised that his first-team opportunities will be limited, especially now that Petr Cech is likely to arrive.

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has stated that he would like the Czech Republic international to stay in West London but has admitted that he will not stand in his way should he choose to make the move to Arsenal, considering that Cech has put in a decade of loyal service to the club and has been one of the pillars of a team that achieved so much success over the years.

Quite honestly, it will be the most ideal scenario for Arsenal if we manage to send Szczesny out on loan and bring in Petr Cech. While I don’t really have any issues with David Ospina being the Number One at the moment, I guess Le Prof does not want to miss out on an opportunity to sign a truly world-class keeper, and who can blame him?

Also, I really like the idea of a loan move for Szczesny as I’m sure most Arsenal fans would not have completely given up on him. He’s still very young for a goalkeeper and I’m certain that experience will stop him from making costly errors. But as of now, signing Petr Cech will most definitely be a shrewd bit of business from Arsene Wenger.

Arsenal to let star join Premier League rivals on LOAN! WTF?

I do hope that this latest Arsenal transfer rumour is some sort of wind up. Or perhaps if it is going to happen it is because Arsene Wenger has found something better for the Gunners as letting our Poland international keeper Wojciech Szczesny go to strengthen another Premier League club, especially one who beat us twice this season, seems a bit daft.

A Metro report claims that Szczesny will be playing for Ronald Koeman at Southampton next season in order to provide cover for their England international Fraser Forster who looks set to miss quite a bit of the season with the knee injury picked up last month.

It would apparently be a loan deal, suggesting that Wenger has not given up on Shezzer just yet but while it would help the player and the Saints, I cannot see how it would help Arsenal unless it would give Martinez a chance to show what he can do.

If Wenger is planning to sign a new number one such as Petr Cech, then Ospina would be number two, though, and so I don´t get the loan deal. Do you?

Szczesny told plainly his Arsenal career is OVER!!

Wojciech Szczesny is still in possession of the number one shirt at Arsenal, but that is not likely to make the Poland international feel much better about life right now, as he has lost the honour in everything but name. Shezzer may look set to make up for last year´s FA cup disappointment by starting in a Wembley semi-final and hopefully a final in May, but that could be his last act as a Gunner.

That is what his fellow Pole and former Liverpool keeper Jerzy Dudek, he of the wobbly legs in the 2005 Champions League final, thinks anyway. In a Daily Mail report Dudek advises the Arsenal man to move on for the sake of his career, declaring that Wenger´s preference for David Ospina is clear.

As if that was not painful enough for Shezzer to hear, Dudek also declares that our keeper is now only third in the international pecking order for Poland, behind his former club team mate Lukasz Fabianski and Artur Boruc and is almost certain to miss out for their Euro qualifier against Republic of Ireland on Sunday.

Dudek said, “It’s a serious matter. Fortunately, we have two other goalkeepers who are able to provide an adequate level in our goal.

“In excellent form is Lukasz Fabianski and, on the other hand, Artur Boruc is very experienced. I think [Adam] Nawalka [Poland manager] will wait to make the decision until the very end.

“Wojciech is the least likely to play in the match with Ireland. If I were in his place, I would wonder whether there are still opportunities to arise at Arsenal and wouldn’t wait as long as Fabianski, because you can see that Arsene Wenger is firmly set on David Ospina.”

So is the former Liverpool stopper right and is it really the end of the road for Szczesny after nine years in north London? We will have to see what happens but if Dudek is right and Szczesny is sat on the bench for Poland this weekend, he will surely start to think hard on his future as a Gunner.