Gazidis promises Wenger support to make Arsenal great again

At times over the past few years, like when Arsenal lost at home to Aston Villa in the opening match of this season, it looked like the Gunners would never get out of the trophyless rut we found ourselves in. And the only way the fans could see of changing that was for Arsene Wenger to end his long reign as manager of Arsenal Football Club.

It looks like we just needed to have a little more faith in our Frenchman, as he guided the Gunners to a serious assault on the Premier League and provided us Gooners with the FA cup for a long overdue celebration. That has vindicated the faith the club’s owners have put in him to bring the glory days back, but we still have a lot of work to do.

With teams like Man City, Chelsea, Liverpool and Man United making the English BPL the hardest fought in the world, Arsenal cannot afford to sit around clapping themselves on the back. If Wenger is going to make his new three year contract count, he needs the financial backing of the club, not just enough for one top class player. Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis has promised that the boss will get it as well, after talking about his delight and relief at the cup final win.

He told Arsenal Player, “I think we went through all the range of emotions. We’ve probably lived 1,000 lives and I can tell you that to come through that with the strength of character and discipline the players showed was really encouraging.

“We have a good platform to build on – today’s a great day for us to celebrate and we should do that as the Arsenal family.

“But tomorrow we start work again and we’ve got to use this to progress the club, to take it forward. This was a very big step, to have the players understand what it takes to come through that kind of adversity, to get over the line whatever it took is a big step and now we need to take the next step.

“It was very big. It really colours the season. You come out and think we were seven points away from winning the double and that gives you encouragement to move forward and make the improvements we have to make. We know we’re still a work in progress but this is a big step, a big platform and we can build on this, and we will.

“I thought it was a great day for Arsène. He’s been through a lot and you can see that he lives this club – you can see how much he loves it and how much it means to him.

“To see him soaking wet and getting thrown up in the air – he was probably a bit nervous about that – but it was fantastic, it was really great.”

With the players and manager rediscovering the knack and hunger for winning and Gazidis promising to back Wenger with transfer funds, what can we expect from Arsenal next season?

This FA cup win is best of all for Arsenal boss

After a nine years wait since Arsenal last won a major trophy, it was hardly a shock to see Arsene Wenger nad his players explode with delight when the referee blew the final whistle at Wembley on Saturday. Any trophy celebration is going to be great, but you felt that there was more to this one.

The way the players celebrated with the boss showed that they felt they owed the Frenchman something and he has admitted, in an report, that this cup win was the most important of the five FA cups he now has with the Gunners. It is not because the fifth one equals the record of Alex Ferguson and Man United, although that must give Wenger some pleasure, but you feel that we needed to get this first trophy of the new era out of the way.

There were key moments in the game which the boss has pointed out. Having the mental strength to get going after the shocking start, when the Gunners could have folded was one, while Santi Cazorla’s fantastic free kick came just at the right time for Wenger to be able to deliver a positive halftime speech and keep the momentum of the comeback going.

He said, “The mental aspect is very important in a game like that when everyone expects you to win. When you are 2-0 down of course you are under pressure – everyone thinks you have won the game before it started. But the cup final in England is special, you saw it last year and saw it again this year. It was an important moment in the life of this team, because to lose today would certainly have been a major setback. To win will be a good platform to build on to come back even stronger next year.

“It was more important today than all the others. We have made twice the double, so you have already won [the league] so you are not under the pressure that we were under today. I have won it now five times, it is not too bad!”

Now for the Premier League, Arsenal.

There is a feeling going around Arsenal Football Club at the minute that we are one Wembley cup final away from completing a good season. Although the Gunners have finished in the same fourth place as last time, a win at Norwich on the final day will give us 79 points, which would have seen us finish second last year. And an FA cup to end the trophy drought will put a smile on every Gooner’s face.

But the Arsenal keeper is not content with this. Wojciech Szczesny was reported by talking about this season and the regrets he has that Arsenal could not keep up the form that saw us in with the first realistic title challenge in years.

The Poland international is keen to record one more clean sheet to give him the Golden Glove award over the Chelsea stopper Petr Cech. But he is not that fussed about his personal rewards and is desperate to give the fans a trophy to celebrate. Unfortunately, it is not the BPL one that it should have been.

Despite his disappointment, though, the Arsenal number one thinks that the team have shown a significant improvement and should be fighting for the title next season. He is keen for Arsene Wenger to make a few quality signings to push the Gunners on, but he feels the core is already there.

Szczesny said, “I think it’s good to sign off with a win and sign off in front of our fans but with two games to go we had nothing to play for at home and I think we shouldn’t really be in that position. We should be fighting for the title.

“Of course [there’s a sense of what might have been]. I believe that we should be in a position to challenge to win the Premier League and maybe Sunday would have been a completely different atmosphere if we had kept going the way we were at some point.

“I never considered fourth place before the start of the season as a successful season and a good position. I play for Arsenal Football Club because I want to win the title every year.

“Obviously at some point, when you lose games and you lose the chance to fight for the title, then the new challenge is to secure the Champions League spot and that was the aim this season, but I wouldn’t have taken it before the season.

“We dropped some important points and lost games and had to finish fourth when we weren’t probably the favourites to finish fourth. At least we managed to do that for our fans and hopefully we’ll manage to get the FA Cup for them.

“I think the squad is stronger and I think everyone can say the squad was strong enough to challenge for the title.

“It didn’t happen for us this year but one thing we have learned is that that we are good enough to challenge next year, and hopefully add a little bit more strength as well with a couple of new players coming in.

“Hopefully we will be stronger and, if we manage to keep the consistency for the whole season, we’ll be up there.”

Will Arsenal be where our young keeper wants them to be at this time next year, or have we blown our big chance?

Walcott targets Goals and Glory for Arsenal next year

It was reported this week that the Arsenal and England striker Theo Walcott was taking his recovery fron injury very carefully. The 25-year old is determined to do things properly and not to risk any setback to his return from the anterior cruciate ligament problem he picked up in the FA cup win over Tottenham.

But he is desperate to get back onto the pitch, as he told The disappointment of this season has spurred the flying forward on to greater things, or so he hopes. And Walcott is not just targeting a good year on a personal level, as he wants to surpass the 21 goals he scored last time, but he is desperate to help Arsenal to more trophy glory.

Theo feels that he and his Arsenal team mates have let Arsene Wenger down in recent years and they are all keen to make up for that and restore the Frenchman’s tarnished reputation by winning things. Obviously he would love to be able to help on that score in the FA cup final at Wembley in a couple of weeks, but he feels that the team is showing the form that should see us end that trophy drought. And he also believes that, as long as we do win the final, it could be the first of many trophies in the years to come.

Let’s hope he is right.

Man City man backs Arsenal to lift FA cup!! Is he fishing?

If Samir Nasri gets his wish, and Arsenal win the FA cup, it will mean that those Arsenal players that he abandoned have had a more successful season that him, for the first time since he left in 2011. His new team Man City also won nothing last season, but they still finished above us in the Premier League.

The reason Nasri says, in a Telegraph report, that he is really hoping that the Gunners knock down theur last obstacles to a trophy, is that he feels that Arsene Wenger has been treated badly by the media, the Arsenal fans and especially by the Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho.

I would have to agree with him, although I am a bit less in agreement when he says that money was not the reason he left Arsenal to join Man City. Nasri does let himself down a bit later when he talks about what anyone would do if offered triple their current salary.

Anyway, if Arsenal do win the FA cup, as we should, I wonder if Nasri might start to think he made a mistake. We were above his team for most of the season and we know that it could have been so much better, was it not for the dreadful injury problems. I wonder if Nasri is already thinking about winning over the Arsenal fans in case he gets a chance to come back…..hmmm

Has Wenger finally accepted the FA cup is HUGE for Arsenal?

It is an ever growing concern that this season is slowly turning out to be ever so similar to those that have passed before. We have been in the running and likely contenders for at least three competitions out of the four before slowing progressing into a period of decline that eventually leaves us trophy-less for another successive season.

Although no Arsenal fan obviously wants that to happen, whether you’re full of optimism or not, you cannot help but view our chances with a growing pessimistic mindset. Personally I think, albeit hanging on its last thread, that Arsenal could still possibly win two trophies and at very least the FA Cup. However a double of the FA Cup and Premier League now seems increasingly unlikely after our recent run. But it isn’t impossible and something that the Gunners could still realistically achieve with a lot of hard work.

But if not, and Wenger believes he must sacrifice one for another, then I think we should go for the FA Cup this season. By that I don’t mean we throw away our Premier League campaign entirely because by the looks of things there could still be a big fight for a top four spot and Champions league football but instead play our main strengths in the FA Cup.

Most notably there is still a good two months in the Premier League season in which Arsenal can jump positions all across the table before the standing league positions are confirmed. Whereas the FA Cup offers an opportunity of a few more games before hopefully holding success at Wembley. Arsenal’s squad is becoming increasingly thin and the available players seem to be slowly getting through a tough period of time, however a semi-final place awaits the Gunners if they progress past the Toffees in tomorrow’s game.

The fact is with Arsenal at the moment, it isn’t about winning the most glamorous and award winning status, with Arsenal it’s all about the experience of winning and what it feels like to be winner. The FA Cup offers this exactly for the Gunners. Wenger has said this week that he will not let the upcoming trip to Bayern affect his team selection, I just hope he means it.

I’m sure some people will have the approach of just filling a team with stars no matter their fitness or mentality is okay but they could be unfortunately reminded that sometimes football just isn’t that simple. If Wenger believes the squad only has enough in its locker then I think we should focus on the FA Cup.

Sagna confidence great news for Arsenal title hopes!

Following on from the disappointing 1-0 defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford, Arsenal fans were left questioning whether their team was beginning to do what was seen to be the inevitable by some critics, and fall down the Premier League table.

Of course the majority of Arsenal fans are still optimistic and confident that Arsenal will go on to win something this season, after seeing the way that we have played so far this campaign, however what a lot of people forget is that football can change in an instant and that’s exactly why most supporters of ‘the beautiful game’ see Arsenal as outsiders to possibly challenge for a trophy.

I must admit that I am still fairly cautious at the moment towards what I should expect from the Gunners this season because with all honesty I still think we are a little bit short in terms of a quality squad and we certainly lack in the confidence when it comes to the long haul campaign, so unfortunately I think we could fall at a hurdle during some part of the season. But what matters most right now is that going into the international break, the team remains confident in itself and believes in what we can achieve, because if we believe then the likelihood of achieving grows to a far greater extent.

We ended the run in before the international break with disappointment, though. Manchester United away was always going to be a difficult game and despite their position in the table, as always it was going to be a tough test for the Gunners. For the first time in years however, we arguably matched their quality and weren’t ‘beaten in the tunnel’, lining up with a few world class players ourselves. But even then it wasn’t quite enough and we bowed out of the game of two halves with no points to our name.

Defender Bacary Sagna was one of the high performers in the game against United, playing several key crosses as well as keeping his defensive duties very well. The Frenchman is now one of the club’s most experienced players both in terms of how long he has been with the club as well as at the age of 29, he has the experience and leadership qualities to be respected on the pitch. But it’s off the pitch in which he does the most talking and Sagna said after the United game:

‘We wanted to finish [the week] on a good note, we didn’t, so it’s a bit hard to take. That is football; I think we learn about our team, about football as well. But I want to think positive, I want to keep looking forward, I want to think we are first and we want to stay first. The best way to do it is to respond well on the next game. Now we are going into the international week and we are going to be ready to start again from the Southampton game.’

Arsenal definitely need to get a response against Southampton when club football returns to Europe because if we fail to obtain all three points in that game, we could see our already slender lead drop even further, possibly to the extent where we lose first place. Under normal circumstances, Southampton would seem like a relatively easy game; however with the Saints high up the table in the Champions League positions on 22 points, Arsenal will need to watch their backs and this again will prove to be yet another tricky test for the Gunners!

Monreal confident of an Arsenal trophy or even a double!!

Nacho Monreal may have only just joined the club at the start of the year, back on the January transfer deadline day 2013, but he is fully aware of the fact that Arsenal have gone an extended period of time without a trophy. 10 years ago, Arsenal were competing in every single competition they were eligible for and competing to a standard that it looked like we might win it every single time. Perhaps that wasn’t always the case, however it can definitely be suggested that we were far more confident in our ability and capable of achieving success back then, than we have been in recent seasons.

However this season is very different because almost two months into the season and we are already seeing positive signs coming from Arsenal, especially in the league as we currently remain in first place.

Monreal certainly has quality, proven by being an active member of the Spanish national team for the last few years, however what’s surprising to me is that compared to previous years, we actually have players of Monreal’s quality sitting on the bench because we have even better players already out on the field. Its things like this that make the fans confident for success and it seems like Monreal himself has been joining in with the optimism, by stating this should be Arsenal’s year of return to the glory days.

The 27 year old told Arsenal Player: “I would not say just one [trophy], I would say a few. The Premier League is very difficult, the Champions League, these are major trophies but we are on a good run. The players’ confidence [is different this season]. You can tell that they are very enthusiastic, very happy, the results are going our way and logically that makes everything easier. We have a happy group and that is very important to playing football well.”

This high run of form has shown off our true capabilities with this squad and what we can really achieve. The difference between being realistic and exaggeration is key, however I firmly believe that if the club can keep this run up or at least the standard of performances, then we definitely have a chance of competing amongst the best clubs for the best trophies this season, and if not then we can always have a punt at one of the domestic cup competitions in England this season.

Arsenal should consider West Brom a warning not a stumble

Arsenal have been flying high in the Premier League so far this season because despite losing out to Aston Villa on the opening day of the season, the Gunners have turned it around to become one of the league’s most in form teams. In fact Arsenal’s performances so far this season have given real belief that Arsenal have the ability to come out on top this season ahead of everyone, rather than just the other half of North London. Winning the league is no mean feat and although the club’s top spot was thrown into doubt yesterday, with a difficult game against WBA; Arsenal managed to pull through with a well fought out draw.

A good second half performance from Wilshere got us the goal, whilst Szczesny and Gibbs were very effective in making sure the score line wasn’t even less in our favour. The game did bring round a few concerns however ultimately I feel that there isn’t too much to worry about.

The main problem from this is the concern that yesterday’s result is a massive two points dropped and the result leaves the Gunners level on points with Liverpool. But what the main concern seems to be is the issue regarding consistency. Arsenal have greatly struggled with consistency in the past, however so far this time around it hasn’t been too much of a problem and in fact I’m confident in suggesting that the latest result against West Brom won’t cause too much of an upset to Arsenal because it could mean we possibly go onto greater things by turning up the tempo once more.

Although I think this title aspiration is ambitious and optimistic, I’m certainly not putting it past Arsenal and if they can truly regain glory this season whether it be in the Capital One Cup, FA Cup, Premier League or even the Champions League (perhaps a little too ambitious now), then it will be pure greatness just for the fans and the players, but for everyone associated with Arsenal in anyway. One thing is for sure, and that is not to let the West Brom game dash your hopes because there is certainly another spring in Arsenal’s step!

Were Nasri and RvP right about Arsenal all along?

Has it ever occurred to you that those players that have left Arsenal over the last few years, when the club was on the brink of regaining success, were perhaps right in what they said about the club upon their departure, and ultimately were right to leave this football club – That is if it is still called Arsenal Football Club and not Arsenal Financial Company.

Without looking at the long list of players that have left Arsenal over the last 5 years or so, because honestly it would be extremely long and probably play on your emotions so much you wouldn’t be able to complete this list, let’s just pick out a few key players. Robin Van Persie, Samir Nasri, Cesc Fabregas, Gael Clichy, Alexander Hleb, Kolo Toure and Emmanuel Adebayor are the players we are going to look at because they all had a say on the club after their departure.

Firstly Fabregas is a player that I’m not particularly angered by leaving. He had always said he wanted to return to Barcelona one day and ultimately when the chance come he took it, after delaying the move for several years. I respect his decision and it’s more a feeling of anger knowing we lost one of our best players in the turn of the decade rather than he left us when we needed him most.

Then we come onto the Manchester City boys. Two of them have since departed from Manchester to join the likes of Liverpool and Spurs, but Nasri, Toure, Adebayor and Clichy all left for money. They were drawn in by the millions on offer, and honestly who would turn that down? We also must realise that they also went there because they knew they had a greater chance of success. City were building something special and aside from Adebayor, they have all gone on to gain glory.

Hleb is a player that regretted his move away from Arsenal and has spoken on several different occasions that he feels it’s one of his biggest mistakes, but aside from that he too was successful after moving away from Arsenal. He was even part of the Birmingham squad that won the Carling Cup against us! Hleb’s move was probably based around the dream of the club that is Barcelona and although he regrets it now, I’m sure he was probably right in the moment.

Lastly on to RVP, and he has turned into the most hated footballer and rightly so. Surprisingly he didn’t leave for money as he turned down City, although I’m sure he is still on a big wage package, but most importantly he did leave for trophies and look what he got. A Premier league title in his first season just goes to show that although he is wrong to force a move to a rival, he got success and that is all that’s important to him. Loyalty is nothing and as a professional you want to win trophies.

Were all these players right about what they said, with Arsenal lacking ambition and so it was best for them to move on? Although I don’t condone what they did you have to admit they were right. It’s a sad fact to admit, especially with RVP after carrying him and Nasri for creating him but seriously you can see why they left, Arsenal just don’t seem to have ambition. Even now we have money to spend, we are dithering and haggling over prices while City continue to snap up talent. Please prove me wrong Wenger!