Gambling on Welbeck Pays off for Wenger

Worth of a Gambling Kingz Review

The chance that Arsene Wenger took when splashing out £16m on Manchester United misfit Danny Welbeck was worthy of a review by the online casino experts at Gambling Kingz but now, after four goals in his first five Arsenal appearances, including a hat-trick in Champions League against Galatasaray, it is starting to look like money well spent.

Panic Buy

Having led the Premier League for much of last season only to fall short following injuries to Aaron Ramsey and Theo Walcott amongst others, Wenger convinced himself that he wouldn’t let that happen again this year. Already looking thin in the striking department, however, the broken Tibia suffered by Olivier Giroud in August again left Arsenal exposed in attack and Wenger was forced to act. Although comparatively small beer by modern price tags, £16m did feel like a large sum to pay for Welbeck but, with limited options and time running out in the transfer window, Wenger was forced to pay up. That deal is now looking like very good business.

Image courtesy of vagueonthehow

Welbeck Unproven

Although a regular member of the England squad, Welbeck had over the last few years struggled to make a mark at Manchester United, falling down the pecking order behind the likes of Wayne Rooney and Robin Van Persie and being sent out on loan to Sunderland and Preston North End. The arrival of Luis Van Gaal and the millions that he was willing to invest in order to bring the most talented attacking players in the world to Old Trafford signalled the end for Welbeck. Although he was good, he wasn’t deemed to be good enough for United: his goals/ game ratio in all competitions over the last few seasons bears this out.


Danny Welbeck Wayne Rooney Robin Van Persie
Goals Games Ratio Goals Games Ratio  Goals Games Ratio
2009/10 4 19 0.21 34 44 0.77 10 19 0.53
2010/11 6 28 0.21 16 40 0.40 22 33 0.67
2011/12 12 39 0.31 34 43 0.79 37 48 0.77
2012/13 2 40 0.05 16 37 0.43 30 48 0.63
2013/14 10 36 0.28 19 40 0.48 18 28 0.64
Total 34 162 0.21 119 204 0.58 117 176 0.66


Coming Good at the Right Time

Despite history suggesting that Welbeck may not have the ability to succeed at the highest level, his time at Arsenal so far has been a triumph and he looks to be full of confidence. In his first game after leaving Old Trafford Welbeck led the line superbly for England, scoring both goals in their 2-0 win over Switzerland and, in scoring his first ever senior hat-trick in the Gunners 4-1 win over Galatasaray, he has single-handedly resurrected Arsenal’s flagging Champions League hopes. The faith and belief that Wenger has shown in the 23 year old seems to have done him the power of good and he will be hoping that his gamble pays off in the long term. With a few more performances like Wednesday night’s it won’t take long to repay the £16m fee.

More proof that UEFA have it in for Arsenal and England?

As a follower of Arsenal Football Club and the England national team, I have long since got used to disappointment and a general feeling that things would not be going my way. And like most football fans, I have a tendency to bias and see the things that happen to my teams through spectacles of the rose tinted variety.

But sometimes things happen which seem so unfair that I feel it cannot be just coincidence, especially when they keep happening. And the news today, reported by The Independent, that Arsenal are being charged by UEFA for the throwing of flares onto the Emirates pitch by Galatasaray fans, has really got my back up.

For me it seems to be just one more piece of proof that UEFA do not like us for some reason and I think that applies to all English clubs and then extends to our national team and FIFA. I don’t know why it is but we keep getting turned down for major international tournaments even though we are always the best option, with infrastructure, transport and everything they want. But no, let’s do it in Russia or the desert instead.

Back to Arsenal and it is almost impossible to believe that we have had three Champions League red cards already. THREE. And maybe by the letter of the law they could be seen as right, but not when Felipe Melo gets away with an off the ground lunge, two footed and with studs up. What was that about? The TV commentator said that it was because the refs are more lenient this season. Really? Where was that leniency when Debuchy and Ramsey got the softest of second yellows to leave us with 10 men in both games against Besiktas? So it’s selective leniency then. Thye same happened to Man City against Roma, when the foul on Aguero for the penalty clearly denied a goal scoring opportunity and the defender was the last man.

One more example before my rant is over and this one still gets my blood boiling when I think about it. Any guesses? It was the `joke` sending off of Robin van Persie against Barcelona in 2011. For having the audacity of shooting at goal no less. The referee HAD blown his whistle for offside a fraction of a second earlier, but there was no time for the striker to stop, even if he had the super powered ears to hear it over the noise of around 90,000 screaming Catalans. Again, the ref can point to the rule book, but you don’t ever see any other players sent off in similar situations.

So am I just being paranoid or do you think there is a definite inconsistency in how the officials deal with us and the other teams in Europe?

Is Sagna right to blast Arsenal fans for `greedy` slur?

I am not sure if it came as too much of a surprise to Bacary Sagna that some of the Arsenal fans took his decision not to sign a new contract with the Gunners. The fact that he also decided to move to one of our biggest Premier League rivals, Man City, must have made him think of the recent sagas with the likes of Samir Nasri and Robin van Persie, but maybe not.

Because the France international seems to have been taken aback by being accused of greed by some Gooners. And when you read what he says in an interview with John Cross of The Mirror, it appears that the Frenchman has a good point. Sagna reminds us that, although his contract with his new club represents a huge jump in his weekly wages to £150,000, he stuck with the Gunners for seven seasons on much less money than he could have got elsewhere, with no trophy to show for it until the FA cup win at Wembley last season.

Sagna said, “First of all, I want to clear something up. I keep reading many things about me, about my salary and me being greedy. But I’m not.

“I stayed six or seven years with the same salary at Arsenal. It’s clearly not for the money. Personally, I just wanted a change.

“I wanted a boost in my career and I think it was the right time to do it. It was a difficult thing to do, very difficult. For me, Arsenal is my family, it’s home. It’s the club that made me grow as a player and as a man so it was not easy at all.

“But I will say it one more time – I just needed a change.”

We should remember how quickly Ashley Cole abandoned the club and the manager who developed him, when his wage demands were not met. Then you have players like Nasri and Fabregas who made it very difficult for the Gunners not to sell them, for whatever reasons.

So I think Sagna is right to be upset about the accusations of being a mercenary that have come from a seemingly small section of Arsenal fans. I still think he should have stayed with us, because Pablo Zabaleta will make it very hard for him to get a game, but I cannot condemn him for his decision. Can you?

Sagna scares Arsenal fans with exit talk!!

Arsenal have seen many players from their successful squad from the previous decade move on from the club, with Robin Van Persie being the last man that was a winner in the Arsenal squad. Such players like Theo Walcott, Tomas Rosicky and Bacary Sagna have all been with the club for quite some time now, however none of them have been successful with Arsenal as of yet and it’s a great shame considering their dedication to the club, especially the latter two who are coming towards the end of their respective careers.

And it’s the latter man, Bacary Sagna that is the focal point here because in light of Arsenal’s promising season, the Frenchman has dropped a bombshell that he could leave the Gunners soon. Whether it would be in January or come the end of the season I think it would be a great shame to see such a fantastic player leave, one who has been consistent and dedicated to Arsenal for many many years, joining the club back in 2007. Sagna was speaking on French television show ‘Club du Dimanche’ on beIN Sport, admitting he could leave North London.

He said, “I’m still talking with Arsenal about a contract extension. I feel good here, I like everyone in Arsenal and I hope that something good will come out from our talks. If I can sign a contract as a free agent from January for another team? It’s an option for me. I have positive feelings in Arsenal, I love this club and I still hope to win a major trophy here. But, that’s true, Arsenal lost a lot of good players, almost a whole competitive team since 2007 and Arsenal could have been better with all these players.”

From his quotes it seems that he is still very much committed to Arsenal and this campaign, however it’s also clear that consideration towards leaving the club is beginning to creep into the Frenchman’s mind. As already stated I think it would be a massive loss to the club if Sagna was to leave, especially on a free transfer and so that why along with Rosicky, it’s vital the club begins serious contractual talks with the pair as soon as possible. Both hold experience and quality and in Sagna’s case, with Jenkinson still not quite up to scratch, we need the right back more than ever.

Latest Arsenal team news and Preview for Man Utd match

Arsenal fans have never been this optimistic coming into a game at Old Trafford for a very long time. This not only stems from the fact that we are 8 points above Manchester United, but also the fact that Fergie is finally gone and Wenger has to tactically outsmart Moyes rather than him.

Although I’m more confident than I’ve ever been going into this fixture, I still feel Man Utd are an extremely strong team that could devastate us if we are not careful. They are extremely strong in attacking with Rooney in some good form at the moment. Van Persie will still be a massive threat especially when aiding their midfield and drawing our defenders away causing openings.

We’ll need to take advantage of our strength in midfield and really dictate the game to United. We don’t want them to push us back. We need to play the game our way and with our wealth of technically superior midfielders, we can hopefully do that. This game will be a big test for Arteta who will have to deal with the physicality of Fellaini. Özil will also have a big part to play and needs to make sure he stops Carrick from switching play and passing it to Rooney/Van Persie. He’ll need to put in a strong defensive performance to ensure that we aren’t exploited without the ball.

Line up:
Sagna – Mertesacker – Koscielny – Gibbs
Arteta – Ramsey
Rosicky – Özil – Cazorla

We’ve fortunately got Flamini and Wilshere back from injury and they should both be in the squad. However, with an international break looming, we can afford to start our strongest line up. But it’s good to have the options on the bench and we can certainly look to shore up the midfield if we’re in front by substituting either Cazorla or Rosicky for Flamini.

Wilshere is versatile enough to be either an attacking or defensive substitute. He can take the ball away from danger with his brilliant dribbling and could be crucial on the counter if we’re dealing with too much United pressure.

This is going to be a difficult game for us but I believe we can take away a very positive 1 – 1 draw. That keeps us 8 points in front of Man Utd as well as staying at the top of the league going into the international break. A win would be great but I don’t think we should push for it too much, especially after what happened at the Emirates against Dortmund.

If Arsenal beat United will they still sell us their striker?

An interesting transfer rumour has emerged today to suggest that Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger will consider a move for Manchester United and Mexico front man Javier Hernandez after he has hinted he could leave in January if he doesn’t begin to play regularly for United.

Ahead of the clash between the two clubs this weekend, the news suggesting that The Gunners may be looking at one of the United players will certainly spice up the atmosphere that little bit more, if it wasn’t already high enough regarding the presence of Robin Van Persie.

A few days ago former Gunner Carlos Vela told the world media that Hernandez may consider leaving United this January, and the report which was posted by Sky Sports News was then retweeted by Chico’s official twitter account. It stirred up the rumours and Arsenal were linked immediately to a potential deal, but today further suggestions in the Daily Mail and Metro Sport have continued with the story.

Arsenal definitely do need another striker in the squad to either be backup or support for Olivier Giroud in the attack. Of course Hernandez wouldn’t be too happy to play back-up because that’s the reason he wants to leave Manchester United; however I think as he offers something very different to Giroud, he would definitely be a good addition and would be likely to get much more game time with the Gunners. At a relatively good price and no doubt reasonable wages, we would be getting a top class striker who is a real goal poacher in attack. The main question is, would United sell to us? I don’t think so.

Arsenal to test Liverpool with £49m Suarez bid?

The Telegraph is reporting that Arsenal may go back in for Suarez with one final record breaking bid of £49 million. It will absolutely shatter Arsenal’s transfer record and finally put an end to this summer’s terrible transfer business at the Emirates, if it is accepted of course.

This report comes just one day after it was claimed by journalists in Uruguay that Suarez has told them that he was going to stay at Liverpool for the sake of the club’s fans who he does not want to let down. Amazingly he apparently also said that he may agree a new contract with the club and put an end to the saga that has dragged on for well over a month.

If we are going to go back in with a final bid then we had better do it fast. The Premier League is only two days away from starting and we have nothing new to add to our squad. We were supposed to be close to sealing the transfer of Bayern Munich midfielder Luiz Gustavo which is a step in the right direction but sealing the transfer of Suarez will lift the club just in time for the new league season.

I hope Suarez is not considering signing a new contract up north as we really need a marquee signing this summer. Not only that but he can guarantee regular goals and can be just as important to us as Robin Van Persie and Thierry Henry were in their time at the club.

If we still have that £70M to spend that we were promised at the start of the summer, a £50M signing of Suarez and then Luiz Gustavo could mean that is all of our business for the summer. Two players are better than none though and I hope to see them both in an Arsenal shirt by next week.

Should Arsenal offer former star Song a lifeline from Barcelona?

When Alex Song left for Barcelona last season, although many were sad to see him go as well as angered, a lot of people also agreed that we wouldn’t really miss him in this Arsenal team. I must agree and say I don’t think we have missed him as much as I expected to. Simply because we have been the same defensively with and without him, so that proves how much of an effective defensive midfielder he was.

I’ll be honest and admit at one point I thought we’d miss Song much more than we would Van Persie because although Van Persie was in his prime and playing magnificently every single week, I thought he was an inch away from injury and also I felt RVP was replaceable (except we never did), whilst a true DM is difficult to come by these days.
Alex Song himself wasn’t really a true DM, often making effective runs forward, whilst also picking up a few assists, which also often meant we were left open at the back, so overall his departure wasn’t too much of a disappointment, especially when you look at the money we got for him. However a year on and Song could be in for a move away from the Spanish Champions:

His cousin Rigobert said, “Barcelona put so much effort into signing him last summer, and Alex turned down many great teams in order to sign with them. But this season he has only been a substitute. He is not happy. At Arsenal he was a leader on and off the field – he doesn’t feel like this in Spain and it makes him feel bad.”

I think Song will push through a move away if he can, and it’s very likely that Barcelona would be willing to sell the Cameroon international. I also think Song has quickly turned into another player who left Arsenal thinking the grass is greener on the other side, only to realise they made the wrong move and regret leaving Arsenal. If Song was available for around £10 million I’d definitely look into him, however I suspect Wenger will think otherwise. Do you think we should take him back?

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!

What would Arsenal do without Santi Cazorla?

There has been a lot of talk surrounding Arsenal’s Spanish magician Santi Cazorla and although he has confirmed that he is happy to remain with the Gunners, you can never be too sure in football these days. Now I don’t want to cause a major debate or argument because it’s highly unlikely that Cazorla will be joining the much interested Atletico Madrid, however should another offer come around can you be certain he won’t leave?

Before we go any further here are the quotes, in which he states his response to the on-going reports surrounding the Spaniard with a move back to his homeland with Athletico Madrid.

Cazorla said, “There has been a lot of speculation about a move to Atletico Madrid but I’m very happy at Arsenal, I have a contract there and I start training on Monday. Perhaps I will return to Spain one day, but right now it’s very unlikely.”

So we can all be relieved at the fact he won’t be leaving us for his currently interested suitors however there is a few things I wish to pinpoint about these quotes and what it would mean for Arsenal. Cazorla is in his prime right now and at 28 he will soon be approaching his last big contract, which is usually offered around 29 or 30. Also at that age, it tends to be the last few years of your career at the very top level and if I’m correct Cazorla is yet to win anything at club level. If an offer came from Barcelona or Real Madrid, I could see him seriously considering it and as a very talented player I would not be surprised if this happened.

Now like I said, I don’t want to cause controversy but I’m simply saying that any move away from Arsenal this summer by Cazorla, or in fact any other top player at the club, would be the final nail in the coffin confirming that we have no real statement of intent or ambition, and lastly that we have simply become a selling club.
Ever since the Invincibles squad began to depart, every player to leave has gathered success one way or another and ultimately the latest departures of Van Persie, Nasri and Fabregas has labelled us as a selling club and one in decline and if anything that’s what I fear most because it could lead to a spiral of events that leaves us down with the likes of Liverpool for some time.