Saturday, August 30, 2008
Gilles Grimandi and Arsene Wenger are both reported to have been scouting Ligue Un again, but this time their eyes are cast over talented midfielder Blaise Matuidi.
Matuidi was one of the first names on the teamsheet for St.Etienne last season, and is regarded to have a promising future in France. If Wenger were to bid for the 21-year old then the figure involved would need to be large.
Matuidi is a French U21 international, and is expected to step up to the full team in the near future.
He seems like a typical Wenger signing. In England he would be thought of as a low-key recruit, he is young, has great potential, and not to be forget,he is FRENCH.
The Gunners are classically the most thrifty of the Premier League's so-called Big Four, as they rarely invest in the transfer market to the extent that Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool do.
While the official line from Ashburton Grove has always been that the funds are there for the mega-money buys, Wenger's consistent miserliness has cast a deep shadow of doubt over the club's actual financial position.
But Fiszman, speaking at the Champions League draw last night, stressed that the manager has full control over how his kitty is spent.
He said: "If Arsene said to us, ‘I want this guy and he’s £30million, can I buy him?’ the answer is, ‘Yes’.
"Absolutely yes. It would be no problem. It’s not our decision who he spends on nor will it ever be. We back him totally."
It is widely believed - and, indeed, has even been mentioned by Wenger - that Arsenal's lack of outlay on players stems from the recent construction of the Emirates Stadium.
The venue, which succeeded the old Highbury ground and has a capacity of 60, 355, was opened in 2006 and cost over £430million.
But Fiszman dismissed the notion that the club are hindered by outstanding construction costs, pointing to the increased revenue brought in by those extra 22,000 seats.
He said: "That’s total c***. Explain how the stadium bleeds us if it’s producing an extra £30m a year?"
And yet still Wenger refuses to spend big, despite the obvious need for an experienced midfielder in his young squad.
After two entertaining yet trophyless seasons, some have suggested that the Frenchman is more concerned with maintaining a stylish brand of football than winning silverware.
But Fiszman insisted: "Absolutely not. We want to win and win badly but Arsène believes in creating teams the way he does.
"There's a dual problem for him. If we were to buy names, you are talking about relatively mature players who need to be integrated into the way Arsène plays. They don't know our style and it also impacts on the youngsters who've been brought through."
Arsene Wenger is used to leaving transfer deals to the very last minute. On deadline day last year the Arsenal boss tied up a £2million deal for versatile midfielder-come-defender Lassana Diarra. According to the Frenchman's latest comments, further summer tranfers could be sealed in a similar manner on Monday.
"Last year it was at midnight - and we are ready to stay up all night this time if it is needed," Wenger told Sky Sports. "We have still a long time to go," he said.
"For a while they all talk the talk and nothing happens, then in the last four or five days every half-an-hour there is a headline saying someone has signed somewhere... When you have experience of transfer dealings, you know that as long as something is not signed you know it can change very quickly so you can look very silly, so you don't want to come out and announce it."
Regarding the number of players he is looking at, he mentioned:
"If we find the right players we will do it, one or two. However, I believe it's more interesting for us to focus on our strengths and quality rather than looking outside. I know it makes headlines, but it doesn't make you win games,"
Friday, August 29, 2008
Last season's losing finalists Chelsea have been pitted against Italian side Roma, Bordeaux and Romanian champions CFR Cluj.
Fernando Torres will come up against his old side Atletico Madrid after Liverpool were paired with the Spanish side, Marseille and PSV Eindhoven in Group D.
Arsenal will be confident of progressing after being drawn against FC Porto, Fenerbahce and Dynamo Kiev in Group G.
United and Celtic locked horns in the group stages two years ago, with both sides claiming one win apiece in the two meetings, and it will be Gordon Strachan who pits his wits against former boss Sir Alex Ferguson again.
Bruce Rioch's Aalborg and Spanish side Villarreal make up the rest of Group E.
Elsewhere, Group H looks the toughest one to call with nine-times winners Real Madrid, returning Italians Juventus, Uefa Cup holders Zenit St Petersburg and Belarus champions Bate Borisov making up the group.
Barcelona have been handed a favourable draw in Group C, as they face Sporting Lisbon, Basel and Shakhtar Donetsk.
Rome's Stadio Olimpico will stage the final on 27th May 2009.
The first set of matches are due to be played on 16/17 September.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
The Gunners - who were already leading 2-0 from the first leg in Holland - impressed from kick-off and it was no surprise when they went ahead through French midfielder Samir Nasri after 27 minutes.
Captain William Gallas added another at the start of the second half, before England hopeful Theo Walcott got the goal his all-action display merited and Nicklas Bendtner tapped in late on to make it a miserable return home for former national-team head coach McClaren, who must now make do with the UEFA Cup.
Arsenal: Almunia, Sagna, Gallas, Djourou, Clichy, Walcott, Fabregas, Denilson, Nasri, Van Persie, Bendtner.
FC Twente: Mihailov, Wielaert, Tiote, Franco, Braafheid, Denneboom, Heubach, Brama, Janssen, Elia, Huysegems.
This is all the goals
1) First goal by Nasri
2) Second goal by Gallas
3)Third goal by Bendtner
4) Fourth goal by Walcott
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
The Switzerland defender is set for a medical at the San Siro on Tuesday morning, bringing an end to an often error-prone five-year stay at the north London club.
Senderos, 23, made 115 appearances for the Gunners after signing from Swiss club Servette for £2.5m in July 2003 and was part of his country's disappointing Euro 2008 campaign when the joint hosts went out in the group stage.
Senderos joins another Premier League cast-off at Milan, with Andriy Shevchenko undergoing a medical ahead of completing a return to the Italians from Chelsea.
The centre back's exit leaves Arsene Wenger's squad even more threadbare. The French boss has brought in experienced compatriot Mikael Silvestre from Manchester United to add cover for his young defence.
But Senderos's exit is likely to rule out a loan deal for compatriot Johan Djorou, who had been linked with a move to French club Rennes.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Brede Hangeland's first-half goal helped Fulham to overcome a flat Arsenal side and secure a 1-0 Premier League win at Craven Cottage.
Roy Hodgson's side controlled the game for long periods, and scored the decisive goal on 21 minutes when defender Hangeland was allowed to finish from close range.
Fulham have added steel over the summer, and look a tougher prospect than last season after making their visitors look far from title contenders.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has often voiced his worries about the match immediately following an international break, but midweek exertions could not be blamed for this failure.
The Gunners looked clueless in midfield without the injured Cesc Fabregas, while Emmanuel Adebayor and Robin van Persie struggled to gel up front.
New signing Samir Nasri showed signs of life, as did Theo Walcott - playing on the right flank - but the central pair of Denilson and Emmanuel Eboue disappointed.
Arsenal's back-line cannot blame injury or inexperience for their defending of Hangeland's goal.
Jimmy Bullard swung in a corner from the left, seemingly too close to Manuel Almunia's goal.
But neither Almunia nor William Gallas moved to intercept the ball, and the giant Norwegian stuck out a long leg to prod the ball in from a couple of yards.
The goal came between Arsenal's best - perhaps their only - opportunities of the first half.
Van Persie volleyed just wide from a Nasri pull-back on 19 minutes then, two minutes after the goal, Adebayor leapt majestically and headed onto the post from Bacary Sagna's cross.
Having survived those scares, Fulham began to exert a measure of control over the game - so much so that the crowd greeted each pass with a gleeful 'olé' during one lengthy spell of possession.
Fulham might have extended their lead in the early stages of the second half. Bobby Zamora turned a high-speed Seol Ki-Hyeon cross goalwards from 10 yards but sent the ball over on 59 minutes.
Then Seol found Zamora, who declined to shoot and teed up Simon Davies instead, but the Welshman's shot flew high and wide.
Van Persie supplied a reminder of his quality with a powerful low shot that flashed just wide from the edge of the box, but his set-piece delivery was generally poor.
Four times the Dutchman wasted free-kicks in shooting range, while Adebayor found himself so devoid of ideas by the end he resorted to diving blatantly in search of a penalty.
Last season Fulham repeatedly threw away good positions late in games - costing them 13 points - while Arsenal sometimes seemed to score as many goals in the last 10 minutes as in the other 80 combined.
But, for all the understandable nerves from the home fans, Fulham's lead never looked in serious danger.
Fulham: Schwarzer, Pantsil, Hughes, Hangeland, Kallio (Baird, 73), Davies, Bullard, Murph (Teymourian, 82), Gera, Zamora, Ki-Hyeon (Dempsey, 77).
Arsenal: Almunia, Sagna, Toure (Song, 77), Gallas, Clichy, Walcott (Bendtner, 65), Eboue, Denilson, Nasri, Adebayor, Van Persie.
Friday, August 22, 2008
The classy playmaker missed last weekend's opening-day win over West Brom and he will be sidelined for Saturday's trip to Fulham.
Fabregas is making good progress on his fitness and Wenger is hopeful he will be fit to tackle FC Twente in next week's UEFA Champions League qualifier at Emirates Stadium.
There was also good news on some of those who missed last week's season opener, including Cesc Fabregas.
"Well Cesc is doing very well in training," Wenger told the club's official website. "He won't be ready for Saturday but has a chance to be okay for Wednesday.
"We don't want to gamble on him for one game, we have to be patient."
This gotta be a good news right? With Fabregas' return, The Gunners attacking option will be much more better from the previous match against WBA. Hope he will be totally fit and play at his best. Gambate Cesc!
After springing a major surprise by signing Manchester United left-back Mikael Silvestre from one of his title rivals on Wednesday, Wenger is in the mood to produce another with Barry, so long mooted for Liverpool, a prime target.But Aston Villa, who have fought long and hard to keep Barry, would have to lower their £18million valuation by around £3m or so for Wenger to get his man.
After seeing Mathieu Flamini, Alexander Hleb and Gilberto Silva all depart in the last three months, Wenger is keen to bring in a midfielder who has experience.Asked about Barry, Wenger said:
“There is always interest. I cannot tell you much more. He’s one of the players we follow.
“I find Barry a good player. the problems with players who are 27, 28, is that you pay big money but you get nothing back, no resale.”
And, even though Barry has played for Villa in the Uefa Cup, meaning he would not be eligible for the Champions League until February, it would not necessarily put Wenger off.
The Arsenal manager, who is expecting Alex Song, Abou Diaby and Tomas Rosicky back soon, added:
“We’re not quite as short as we were, one more is possible. It wouldn’t be a problem.
“Once somebody cannot play for you in Europe, it devalues the player for the season. It doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t buy him.
“The transfer window? You see I can surprise you sometimes, because there was one in who you didn’t suspect.
“There still might be one more player in a position you know.” Silvestre is the first Manchester United player sold to Arsenal since striker Brian Kidd in 1974, and Wenger revealed he had tried to get him years ago, finally hijacking Manchester City’s bid to get the French defender at the last moment last night.
Wenger, asked if this was one of his best transfer coups, said:
“I don’t know yet, we’ll see in a few months.
“I believe he is a good player. I wanted already to take him a few years ago when they extended his contract with Manchester United. He can play centre-back and left-back. He has a great team attitude and we’re a bit light experience-wise in the dressing room.
“How easy is it to do business with Manchester United? Easy. And we are very pleased to have got him.”
Wenger, who did not speak to United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, said that there were no conditions preventing the transfer.
“If you tell him he can go for that price and without any restrictions, you cannot stop him,” said Wenger,
“He’s 31, for a striker that’s quite a reasonable age, but for a central defender he’s still good. Central defenders can play until 34 at the top level without any problems.”
Wenger pounced with Silvestre having a medical with City, the player then coming to London after hearing of Arsenal’s interest.Asked how late he came in, Wenger said intriguingly:
“You might find out why, very soon. He was in advanced talks with Manchester City already.Barry is a good signing for now. Silvestre also can be a good player in Arsenal. Wenger surely won't do any mistake in taking player to be in his team. What do you think gooners?
“I don’t know whether he finished the medical or not, he can explain to you, but I heard he was completely free.”
The 18-year-old left-back has moved in search of first team football after the Gunners secured the services of Mikael Silvestre from Manchester United.
Traore moved to Arsenal from Monaco in 2005 and has gone on to make 18 first team appearances, including a start in the 2007 Carling Cup final. But Traore is now fully focused on playing for Portsmouth and working under Harry Redknapp.
"Harry Redknapp is a good manager and the fact that he told me he had confidence in me; that was a big reason for me to come here, " Traore told the official Portsmouth website.For me.it is good for Traore for getting some experience before he is ready for Arsene Wenger's first team experience. Good Luck to him! SO,What do you think gooners?
Thursday, August 21, 2008
The French defender was sidelined for much of last season due to injury before returning to action in March.
He has been linked with a move away from Old Trafford this summer and the likes of Roma and Bordeaux have both expressed an interest.
A number of Premier League clubs including Manchester City have also been connected with Silvestre but United have now allowed him to join fierce rivals Arsenal.
Silvestre signed for United from Internazionale in 1999 and made almost 250 appearances for the club.
He will now look to rediscover his best form at Emirates Stadium and challenge Gael Clichy for a place at left-back after signing a two-year deal with the Gunners.
Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger said:
“We have a strong squad but a young squad and Mikael’s versatility, experience and calibre will provide the extra depth we need to reinforce our challenge for honours this season. His defensive adaptability will serve us well and it’s a big plus that Mikael has top level experience and a great understanding of football in the Premier League.”
Mikael will join up with his team-mates immediately and will wear shirt number 18.
What do you think Gooners? It's kinda shock right?
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Spurs have tracked the Russia playmaker all summer and a deal still could be done, although Zenit St Petersburg are holding out for around £20million.
And his agent Dennis Lachter has now revealed Arsenal made an enquiry about the plaer earlier in the summer.
'Wenger was serious about buying Arshavin,' Lachter told the Daily Express.
'If Andrei could have tempered his financial appetite, it was quite possible he would be playing at the Emirates right now.
'Arsenal were prepared to pay about £15million for him.
'(Arsene) Wenger is indeed a cunning fox who always says one thing and does the other. He wanted Andrei, but Arsenal are the only top English club who do not pay large salaries.'
So,what do you think gooners? Is Wenger made the right decision or should Wenger just follow the player's demand?
The 31-year-old left-back was granted an off-season free transfer from Old Trafford, after making just six appearances last season, and was on the verge of agreeing a deal with Manchester City when Wenger made contact with him.
Silvestre responded by ditching plans to complete a medical with City and is reported to have headed straight to London to open talks with Wenger.
The France international, who had been at old Trafford since his move from Inter Milan nine years ago, had previously rejected a move to Portsmouth.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
The Togo international, who scored 30 goals last season, was the subject of much transfer speculation during the summer, with AC Milan and Barcelona both showing a strong interest in the £35million-rated striker.
However, the 24-year-old - plucked from Monaco in January 2006 - announced on the eve of the new campaign he would be staying with the Gunners and had agreed terms on an improved deal, which has now been sealed.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Arsene Wenger insists he will not be under pressure as Arsenal manager - even if his trophy drought extends to a fourth year.
The Frenchman has failed to taste success since lifting the FA Cup in 2005 and his young side could struggle to end that barren run this year, despite opening the season with a 1-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.
Arsenal amassed 83 points in finishing third in the Premier League last year but with the club struggling to replace Alexander Hleb and Mathieu Flamini, both sold to Champions League rivals, that target appears distant.
Wenger is aware of the growing unease among sections of his own supporters at the club's lack of conspicuous success but insists the League or FA Cup remain well down his list of priorities.
Instead, he believes success - or otherwise - should be gauged on whether he leads the north Londoners to a top-four finish.
"For me, when you're in a big club, the important thing is that you are fighting for the title," he said. "Is finishing 12th and winning the League Cup a successful season for us? I don't think so.Wenger remains bullish about his team's prospects this season, but Arsenal looked red raw against newly-promoted Albion and were fortunate to escape with an opening day victory.
"You see the real quality of a team after 38 games - in the League Cup, or the FA Cup, if you win five games you can be in the final. Does that tell you the real quality? No, because real quality only comes out in the championship. "If you don't win the league, of course you are frustrated but the levels are very high - possibly the highest in the world - and two or three points is not a big gap. We finished with 83 points last season and everywhere else in Europe, that would have made us champions."
Having started fluently enough - Samir Nasri converting Denilson's pass for a debut goal following his move from Marseille - the hosts quickly became bogged down and goalkeeper Manuel Almunia was forced into two sprawling saves to protect their advantage.
The Gunners manager hopes to add to his squad this week, with Xabi Alonso, Yaya Toure and Gokhan Inler both reputed to feature on his wish list, and is refusing to panic despite his team's tentative start.
"I'm not worried," he added. "I don't think we were sharp enough to finish what we created. I also believe that with everyone fit, we can create more clear cut chances.
"I am confident in us. We lost only three games last season and we have a stability in our club which means we can keep improving.
"I know we are not making headlines with big names but it is what we produce on the pitch which is important."
So guys, What do you think with Wenger's statement? Do we need desperately to win something this season or we can wait until Wenger achieve the 'sucessful'.
Arsenal and Middlesbrough have confirmed that full-back Justin Hoyte has moved to the Riverside for an undisclosed fee, thought to be £3m.
He will be paraded before of the visit of Tottenham after flying through a whirlwind round of negotiations and a routine medical.
The 23-year-old has inked a four-year deal with Gareth Southgate's side and will be desperate to experience regular first-team football after waiting in the Arsenal shadows. With Luke Young departed to Aston Villa, Hoyte is set to be thrown into Southgate's starting XI soon.
The official Arsenal website states:
"Former England Under-21 international Hoyte progressed through the Club’s youth ranks after joining Arsenal at the age of nine. Justin made his first team debut in May 2003 in a Premier League match against Southampton at Highbury and went on to make a total of 68 first-team appearances during his time with the Club, including 15 in the 2007/08 campaign.
"Everyone at Arsenal would like to thank Justin for his contribution towards the Club and wish him the best of luck at Middlesbrough."
Boro have also confirmed the move via their official site, confirming: "Boro have completed the signing of right-back Justin Hoyte from Arsenal.
"Hoyte has successfully passed a medical and agreed personal terms in a deal that was completed earlier today."
Boss Southgate said yesterday of his target:
"Justin Hoyte has got fantastic potential. He's already a very good player and we've done research, we know he's a good professional in terms of his lifestyle."
Arsene Wenger - whose injury-hit squad had battled to victory in the first leg of their Champions League qualifier against FC Twente in Holland during the week - was in the end no doubt happy enough with the final result.But the Gunners boss knows it will take more than such average performances over the next nine months to secure a first league title since 2004.
As expected, Arsenal were soon on the offensive, and forced a succession of early corners.
It proved to be a dream start for Nasri. The ball was worked quickly through the right side of the penalty area to Denilson, who cut the back into the path of the French winger and he calmly guided his shot low into the far corner.
Arsenal were soon rampant again, as Emmanuel Adebayor chipped the ball over for Theo Walcott, whose goalbound close-range header was blocked by Baggies defender Paul Robinson.Gunners captain William Gallas was allowed space some 30 yards out - and his low, rasping drive was only just wide of Scott Carson's right-hand post.
West Brom were struggling to get a foothold in the game and Arsenal surged forwards again in the 18th minute.Right-back Bacary Sagna let fly with an angled drive, which deflected off Meite and almost into the far corner.Nicklas Bendtner headed wide from a near-post corner as the Gunners threatened to extend their lead once again.
There was finally some respite for the battered Baggies when they forced a corner in the 27th minute.However, the delivery was poor and eventually the ball went out harmlessly for a goal-kick.
Manuel Almunia was eventually called into action on the half hour when Ishmael Miller flicked on a long ball into the path of Do-Heon Kim.The Korean held off his marker and drilled in a low shot from the edge of the box, which the Arsenal keeper had to turn behind at full-stretch.
Johan Djourou then did well to get back ahead of Miller as the West Brom striker looked to sneak in behind the home defence.This was now the best spell for the newly-promoted Black Country club.However, the visitors were still unable to create another decent opening as the interval approached.
Adebayor sliced wide from an acute angle when the ball broke kindly to the big African in the left side of the penalty area.
On 50 minutes, there was a big let-off for Arsenal.First Miller's close-range effort was blocked by the legs of Almunia after he had sprung the offside trap, before Djourou cleared Robinson's follow-up shot from in front of his own net.
Arsenal could then have made it 2-0 moments later when Adebayor got clear into the left side of the area once more - and this time bent a low, curling effort just wide of the far post with the keeper beaten.After the Gunners had dominated the opening half, this was now a much more evenly contested match-up.
The Baggies continued to press and Arsenal sensed they needed the cushion of another goal.
Substitute Robin van Persie's far-post header from a cross by Adebayor was straight at Carson.The Dutch forward almost netted an acrobatic strike when he turned in the six-yard box to poke a left-foot effort just wide, but in the end 1-0 to the Arsenal proved enough for victory.
Baggies fans, meanwhile, could console themselves that, for today at least, they are only three points behind the leaders.
Arsenal: Almunia - Sagna, Djourou, Gallas, Clichy - Walcott (Toure), Eboue, Denilson, Nasri - Adebayor, Bendtner (Van Persie)
West Brom: Carson - Hoefkens, Barnett, Meite, Robinson - Brunt (Beattie), Morrison, Greening, Kim, Cech (MacDonald) - Miller (Bednar)
"I was not involved in the talks about Barry," he continued, "I was not involved in the talks about Alonso and Arsenal. If you want to talk about these players you must talk to the chief executive of our club who was handling the discussions.
"If you want to talk about football, then you talk with me."
"We will see what happens in the future with that situation, but clearly our squad is better."
The fact that Benitez has now specifically linked Alonso with a possible move to Arsenal underlines that he would have been happy to sell the Spain international to the Gunners for the right price.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
3rd August: Arsenal 1 Real Madrid 0
6th August: Huddersfield 1 Arsenal 2
8th August: Ajax 2 Arsenal 3
9th August: Sevilla 1 Arsenal 1
13th August: FC Twente 0 Arsenal 2
West Bromwich Albion:
29th July: Northampton 0 WBA 1
1st August: Hereford 1 WBA 2
2nd August: Swansea 0 WBA 0
5th August: Walsall 2 WBA 0
9th August: WBA 1 Real Mallorca 1
However, Toure and Nasri are set to return for the Premier League opener against West Brom. "Kolo could be back in the squad," Wenger said on Thursday. "He is not completely 100 per cent at the moment. He is still recovering a bit from pre-season problems. But hopefully Nasri can be back in the squad."
Wenger revealed: "A reasonable target for Fabregas is the second leg of the Champions League game. Diaby will take four to six weeks and we don't know about Senderos yet.
With Fabregas and Diaby unavailable, youngsters Aaron Ramsey and Denilson could staet again in the central midfield berths.
West Bromwich Albion
Albion are also without Luke Moore (thigh), Robert Koren (knee ligaments) and new signing Gianni Zuiverloon, who is in Beijing on Olympic duty.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
With summer signing from Marseile, Samir Nasri, in line to make his full Arsenal debut after recovering from thigh and knee niggles, much interest will be focused on a player Wenger believes can make an impact in Hleb's old role. Arsenal will be looking to him to create chances and add guile. Wenger has said he expects Nasri to fit smoothly into the Gunners' "collective game."
West Bromwich Albion
Jonathan Greening was the one Albion player to be on the field for every minute of their Championship winning season. And the ex Manchester United and Middlesbrough midfielder has grown in stature since being given more responsibility as Albion's captain. He was usually dictating the play last season, setting up plenty of goals, and it will be interesting to see whther he can be as effective back at the higher level.
Probable line-up’s: -
Arsenal (4-4-2): Almunia, Sagna, Toure, Gallas, Clichy; Eboue, Denilson, Ramsey, Walcott; Adebayor, Van Persie.
Albion (4-5-1): Carson; Hoefkens, Barnett, Meite, Robinson; Brunt, Kim, Morrison, Greening, Cech; Miller.
"I would spend £30m on one player," "but I have the quality. I have [Robin] Van Persie, [Emmanuel] Adebayor, [Nicklas] Bendtner – who I have been patiently building up to be at the level I want him to be. I have Carlos Vela, Eduardo Da Silva."
Wenger partially contradicted himself when he said: "I am able to make signings at very high prices but you have to have the cohesion in the way you buy. Man United is in the bracket of £20m-£30m, Chelsea is in the unlimited bracket. We have to be in our bracket, we have to be very shrewd. When we bought Adebayor, who was thinking Adebayor was a great player? We bought him at the time at €4.5m(£3.5m). It is not just the price of the player, it is about how good he becomes.
"I have the money available to buy the players but we go into the competition with the target of balancing the budget, which I think every manager should do. Three or four years ago we embarked on a different policy. We have opted for stability with young players who have the spirit of our game, the spirit of our club. I believe we can show we are more united, that should be one of the advantages we have.
"The quality of a manager is spotting players when they are not necessarily stars. Big signings reassure [fans], but good performances are better."
Nasri should replace Emmanuel Eboué on the flank but with Cesc Fabregas and Abou Diaby injured Wenger is likely to retain the midfield pairing of Aaron Ramsey and Denilson.
Albion will, said manager Tony Mowbray, seek victory. "You have to have a belief that you can win. Otherwise, why bother turning up?"
Arsenal are without a trophy since lifting the 2005 FA Cup but Wenger said: "Every season is the season you have to win something."
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Boro revealed on Tuesday they had submitted a bid for the 23-year-old right-back, who would be a replacement for new Aston Villa recruit Luke Young.
Chief executive Keith Lamb told www.mfc.co.uk:
"We have agreed a fee with Arsenal and we have now been given permission to speak to Justin, which we will be doing in the next 24-48 hours."
Hoyte joined Arsenal as an 11-year-old and made his first-team debut as a substitute against Southampton in 2003.
However, he failed to establish himself as a first-choice pick for Arsene Wenger and joined Sunderland on loan for the 2005-06 season.
Hoyte then returned to the Gunners and provided injury cover the next season, becoming the first Englishman to score for Arsenal at the new Emirates Stadium against Charlton in January 2007.
Last summer Hoyte was linked with Villa, but Wenger announced he would not be sold and would compete with Bacary Sagna for the right-back spot.
The defender, who has also made 18 appearances for England Under-21s, was an unused substitute in last night's Champions League qualifier against FC Twente.
Young moved to Villa Park last week, a year after joining Boro from Charlton.
Second-half goals from William Gallas and Emmanuel Adebayor secured Arsenal a 2-0 Champions League third qualifying round first leg victory over Dutch side Twente.
Gallas bundled the ball home from close range after 63 minutes and Adebayor effectively killed off the hopes of former England manager Steve McClaren's new side ahead of the second leg with another strike eight minutes from full-time.
The Gunners were far from at their fluent best as a much-changed and youthful line-up struggled for long spells of a low-key match in Twente's temporary home in Arnhem.
Cesc Fabregas, Kolo Toure, Abou Diaby, Tomas Rosicky, Philippe Senderos, Eduardo da Silva and Samri Nasri were all ruled out through injury, so Arsene Wenger was forced to hand a hurried debut to £5million summer signing Aaron Ramsey in midfield.
Two teenagers started the game, while there were a further four on the bench and Arsenal's inexperience showed at the start as they struggled to impose themselves.
Romano Denneboom should have given Twente a 25th minute lead but he snatched at a 15-yard shot after coasting past Denilson and Gael Clichy with ease and his shot drifted well off target.
Marko Arnautovic was next to miss a clear opportunity as he was played in one-on-one with Manuel Almunia but stumbled at the vital moment and allowed the keeper to block his hurried effort.
Arsenal gradually found their feet and should have broken the deadlock on 39 minutes when Bacary Sagna could only find the side-netting from close range after the keeper had spilled a thunderous shot from Clichy.
However, they were ahead just after the hour-mark in scrappy fashion as Gallas bundled the ball over the line with his body after the Twente defence had allowed a poor Robin van Persie free-kick to bounce inside their six-yard box.
That moment of fortune seemed to demoralise the home players and Arsenal doubled their advantage 20 minutes later in more clinical fashion.
Adebayor turned onto a long ball over the top and then had the simplest of chances to score as he latched on to a return pass from Walcott and swept home with eight minutes remaining.
FC Twente 0 Arsenal 2FC Twente: Boschker, Wielaert, Cheik Tiote, Franco, Braafheid, Wilkshire, Brama, Arnautovic, Janssen, Elia, Denneboom. Subs: Paauwe, Zomer, Huysegems, Heubach, Wellenberg, Gerritsen, Chery.
Arsenal: Almunia, Sagna, Djourou, Gallas, Clichy, Eboue, Ramsey, Denilson, Walcott, Adebayor, Van Persie. Subs: Fabianski, Vela, Wilshere, Bendtner, Hoyte, Gibbs, Randall.
63' - Van Persie swings in another poor free kick but Twente fails to deal with it and Gallas gets in front of his man to scuff home a shot that creeps past Boschker! Certainly not the prettiest goal you'll see in this seaosn's Champions League, but it will probably see the Gunners through to the group stages!
82' - A long ball is sent forward and Walcott taps it across to Adebayor - who had rolled his marker with ease - and the Togo striker knocks his finish underneath Boschker to put this tie beyond doubt!
Gareth Southgate’s side have been linked with the Arsenal defender for much of the summer, and now chairman Steve Gibson has confirmed an offer has been made for the 23-year-old.
"We have submitted a bid and that's with Arsenal," Gibson told Sky Sports.
"We are waiting for Arsenal to respond. We have a fantastic relationship with Arsenal. They are good people there and we would never fall out with them.
"But we have given it our best offer and we hope that it happens. If it doesn't we move on."
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
The Frenchman looked set to start alongside Cesc Fabregas in the centre of midfield but due to the injury, Wenger will be left with little option other than to field young Brazilian Denilson against West brom on Saturday.
"Diaby will not be available for the start of the season," admitted Wenger.
"So we will have to work on some things which I saw on Friday night [against Ajax]. It worked well with Denilson and Fabregas.
"You cannot say after just one match, you need a run of games to see if it [the partnership] will work, but I am confident it will."
However, the injury will not just be a disappointment for Arsenal, but for Diaby himself. With the departures of Alexander Hleb, Gilberto Silva, and Mathieu Flamini it looked set to be the season that the young Frenchman could finally make his mark at the Emirates. He will, however still be hoping to improve on his total of 28 games and four goals from the previous season, once he returns to action.
McClaren watched countless Premier League matches during his 16 months in charge of his country but not much of his time was spent mulling Arsenal since the Gunners have few English players in their first-team squad.
Only winger Theo Walcott is likely to be wholly familiar to the Englishman when the Dutch club he joined in June hosts Arsenal in one of Wednesday's 15 third qualifying round matches.
McClaren hasn't sounded entirely confident of beating an Arsenal side that reached the Champions League final just two years ago and finished third in last season's Premier League after producing some of the most thrilling football in English topflight history.
Twente isn't expected to do much in Europe and, even with the riches on offer to the 32 teams who make the Champions League group stages, McClaren seems to be looking at the match more for what it means to the club's season as a whole.
Twente has never won the Dutch league, which is traditionally dominated by PSV Eindhoven, Ajax and Feyenoord, and counts just two Dutch Cups as its major honours. So McClaren is hoping a match against the likes of Emmanuel Adebayor, Robin Van Persie and Cesc Fabregas could help lift his players for the coming domestic season.
"Playing Arsenal will be a great experience for the players and if they don't become better players after playing against Arsenal, they shouldn't be in football," McClaren said. "That's how you learn. That's how you grow and playing against one of the best teams in Europe, obviously the players will grow from that."
But a win against Arsenal would go some way to rehabilitating McClaren's reputation, even if the Gunners did overturn any deficit in the second leg on Aug. 27.
Arsenal, though, is a Champions League regular and is likely to be too strong for a team making its tournament debut after winning last season's Dutch league playoff.
With Abou Diaby injured, Denilson could play in central midfield alongside Fabregas - who starred in Spain's Euro 2008 final win over Germany - after the pair impressed together in a pre-season friendly against Sevilla.
"You need a run of games to see if it will work, but I am confident it will," Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said of the partnership.
Wenger added that he had been too busy to buy the extra midfielder he says he needs since the out-of-contract Mathieu Flamini opted to join AC Milan in the off-season.
"We are a body short, but it is not necessarily to play alongside Cesc. He can play alongside anybody," Wenger said. "We try to find the right player. My target is always to spend the right money on the right player, therefore the timing on your buy is also important as well."
Sunday, August 10, 2008
The 22-year-old – currently playing for Norwegian side Stabaek on loan from IK Start – has been attracting interest from across Europe, with French and Spanish clubs as well as Italian side Milan being mentioned as potential suitors.
Now IK Start sport and media director Svein Mathisen has revealed that The Gunners have invited the promising star to North London to see if he suits their ideals.
“He is invited to Arsenal for training as well,” Mathisen was quoted as saying by VG Nett.”This is, however, poor timing as he has a game for Stabaek on Sunday.”
It now remains to be seen whether Rovers will make an offer for the player, or if indeed he will travel to Emirates Stadium. Either way, Mathisen says his club have not received any firm offers for Annan yet.
“No, we have not had any bids yet,” said Mathisen. “Currently, it is only agents who have enquired about prices.
“We are demanding nothing though.
“We are awaiting bids and will of course get as high a price as we can.”
The Gunners have been keeping close tabs on 'La Formica Atomica' and they are ready to try and pick the Old Lady’s pockets for their target.
The Juve youth product has been in stunning form and he is using the 2008 Olympic games as a shop window.
However, that window seems firmly shut as the Bianconeri are not willing to let him go.
Calciomercato claims that the Gunners are ready to swoop with a €7.5m offer for the 21-year-old prodigy.
A number of clubs including Palermo wanted Giovinco but Juve stood firm and resisted offers as the player is considered an important part of the team’s future.
Arsene Wenger’s penchant for signing youngsters is showing no sign of changing as he is also looking to sign Udinese’s Gokhan Inler.
The player’s agent recently revealed there was contact with Arsenal, but so far nothing has been written in stone.
Giovinco is likely to be used as a first choice player in Claudio Ranieri's side and he is being regarded as their heir to Pavel Nedved's throne when the Czech midfielder hangs up his boots.
Arsenal went into the break with a two goal deficit, and would need to turn up some serious heat to be in contention in the second half, along with actually putting chances away, a knock on from last season that cost the side so dearly. However the Amsterdam outfit came out strongly in the second half, and themselves could have added another half way through. It was fairly much at this point Arsenal finally started to show something of real promise. A wonderful move rounded off with an Eboue cross headed home by Emmanuel Adebayor. Arsenal were back at the races! The equaliser owed lady luck some debt, when an underhit backpass was intercepted by Adebayor, who sprinted to the byline, appeared to allow the ball to go out, not spotted by the officials, before whipping the ball across for Bendtner to tap in. The Gunners were now in complete control, and the winner was more inevitable than predictable. Denilson with some great work to find Adebayor who slipped the ball home for his second and Arsenals third.
Arsenal top the table at the half way mark with six points, three for the win, and a further three for each goal scored, Ajax will be second having scored twice, with the other game ending goalless meaning Seville and Inter have a single point each.
Arsenal: Almunia, Sagna, Toure, Gallas, Clichy, Denilson (Wilshere, 84) Fabregas (Ramsey, 84) Eboue, Walcott (Bendtner, 67) Adebayor, Van Persie (Senderos, 84)
Friday, August 8, 2008
The pre-season competition sees Arsenal join Mourinho’s side Inter Milan, along with hosts Ajax and Sevilla, face-off in two knock-out games, but the draw ensures Wenger and his Portuguese counterpart’s team will avoid each other.
Wenger and Mourinho enjoyed a fractious relationship during the latter’s reign as Chelsea manager, with a number of high-profile disputes seeing Mourinho charged by the Football Association for inappropriate comments.
“I can understand your question because we had some battles,” Wenger said. “Unfortunately, Chelsea won many times.
“But I would have loved to play against Inter because they are a great side and it’s always interesting before the season to starts to measure against the top teams in other countries.
“It gives you a little bit of a view of how well you can do in Europe if you qualify and that’s why it’s very interesting to play different teams.”
Mourinho agreed, saying:
“Now that we are in different countries, we agree more times. I agree totally.
“I chose that for my pre-season we would play against Bayern Munich; now we have two different teams with the Spanish and the Dutch.
“After that, we go to Portugal and I think it is very, very important to play against different philosophies, different football, different tactics… make difficult things for ourselves.
“I don’t like friendly matches or pre-season to win 10-0. I like games against good teams.”
Thursday, August 7, 2008
Huddersfield Town 1-2 Arsenal
Arsenal have defeated Huddersfield away from home to secure the first ever Herbert Chapman Trophy.
Arsenal enjoyed a bright start with a fairly youthful side. Wenger presumably rested members of the established first team so that they are fresh for the Amsterdam Tournament this weekend, the players who started today will no doubt, play a part in the club's Carling Cup campaign.
In the opening ten minutes, Ramsey and Walcott linked well, and the young gun of the moment, Jack Wilshere, played in Carlos Vela only for the Huddersfield glovesman to pull off a routine save.
Kieran Gibbs looked comfortable in the left back position and he enjoyed an overlapping move.
Huddersfield though started controlling play due to the obvious inexperience of Arsenal's teenage midfield of Ramsey and Randall. Arsenal's defence started giving needless balls away and it was The Terriers fault for not punishing these errors.
Apart from a few decent efforts from Theo Walcott and Jack Wilshere, the score remained nil-nil at half time and if the score remained a draw at full-time, penalties would have to split the teams.
At the break, Arsene brought on Jay Thomas, Emmanuel Frimpong, Sanchez Watt, Jay Simpson, Nacer Barazite and goalkeeper Mannone, with Vela, Walcott, Ramsey, Wilshere, and Fabianski all coming off.
Barrett broke the deadlock for Huddersfield in the second half with a deflected shot getting past the Italian keeper Mannone. The Arsenal defence did not deal with the ball properly and the Terriers finally punished their visitors.
Sanchez Watt shortly equalised for Arsenal with nice play from Jay Simpson coming in from the right. Nacer Barazite made it 2-1 with a crafty Dutch turn leaving his marker and shooting from far outside the box. The goalkeeper reacted quickly and dove for the ball but all he could do was palm it into his own net.
Wenger's young guns were left to lift the glass trophy at the end, and captain for the night Johan Djourou was visibly pleased.
Arsenal: Fabianski (Mannone), J Hoyte (Rui Fonte), Djourou (Bartley), G Hoyte (Frimpong), Gibbs, Lansbury (Nordveit), Ramsey (Emmanuel Thomas), Randall, Wilshere (Watt), Walcott (Barazite), Vela (Simpson).
Huddersfield: Goodwin (Mirfin), Cadameteri (Jevons), Collins (Berrett), Glennon (Smithies), Holdsworth (Clarke), Lucketti (Williams), Roberts (Worthington), Skaz (Parker), Butler (Kamara), Beckett (Codman).
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Wilshire, who featured in the Emirates Cup, has been handed Gilberto Silva's old No19 shirt after the Brazilian's departure for Panathinaikos.
The attacking midfielder joined Arsenal as a nine year-old in October 2001. Last season he scored 13 times in 19 Under-18 league outings and also netted twice from two reserve team starts, all while still a schoolbo
The French prodigy arrived at the Emirates earlier this summer after protracted negotiations between the Gunners and Olympique Marseille, which eventually resulted in an undisclosed deal being struck.
The 21-year-old made his debut for the Premier League giants against Stuttgart and has featured in the Emirates Cup - the friendly tournament in which Juventus, Real Madrid and Hamburg are also participating.
Nasri is thrilled with the way things are progressing, and said via his personal website:
"Playing at Emirates Stadium and giving all my heart to Arsenal makes me feel very happy.
"I've been able to see in the last few weeks the passion that surrounds the club. It's a family.
"I'm delighted and hopeful this will be a good season. I've been able to get to know my team-mates during the preparation.
"Besides, I love the way Arsenal play and the team-spirit as well. All the young players appreciate each other and you can feel it on the pitch."
Monday, August 4, 2008
Arsenal are reported to have made an approach to sign Xabi Alonso but been deterred from making a formal offer due to Liverpool's exorbitant £18m valuation of the Spanish midfielder.
Arsene Wenger has made no secret of his wish to purchase an experienced midfielder - a description that certainly applies to the 26-year-old Alonso - before the transfer window closes at the end of the month, but, for the moment, a deal remains a distant possibility. 'Rafa Benítez's price tag has deterred Arsenal from returning with a firm offer for a player they value at closer to the £10.5m Liverpool paid Real Sociedad for him four years ago,' reports The Guardian.
Although Benitez's plan is to balance the £18m signing of Gareth Barry by selling Alonso for a similar fee, Wenger hopes the price for the Spaniard will drop significantly before August 31. Juventus, the only other club to have expressed an interest in securing Alonso's services this summer, have since announced that they will not sign the midfielder.
He insists he is as committed as ever to Arsene Wenger's side but admits that the rumours have not helped his relationship with the fans.
While he has been cheered by the majority of the club's supporters in the ongoing Emirates Cup, there have been some dissenting voices. Now Adebayor intends to win them over.
'I'm very happy. As a footballer a lot of clubs will look for you but this club is one of the biggest in the world, there are lots of young players and I have a big chance to have a good career at this club,' he told Sky Sports.
'When there is a lot of speculation they (the fans) believe what they read in the newspapers. The most important thing is to keep on enjoying your football.
'Some of the fans will love you and some will hate you but I'm in a good position and most fans love me. For me, what happened this summer is over.
'You have to come on the pitch, enjoy your football and show them you have desire to play for their team.
'Today I am where I am because they gave me a lot of chances.'
Another Arsenal forward, Croatian striker Eduardo, earned an unequivocal ovation from the crowd when he was paraded ahead of tonight's glamour tie against Real Madrid.
He has not played since suffering a sickening leg break against Birmingham last season but is already targeting a first-team return before the end of the year.
He said: 'I was in Brazil for my rehabilitation and for four months I have worked hard every day for six or seven hours.
'For me it is hard because I like playing and five, six, seven or eight months without playing is very hard for a player.'
Asked when he would be match-fit, he said: 'I would like to play tomorrow but I don't know. Before Christmas maybe.'
Emmanuel Adebayor went some way to winning back the hearts and minds of all Arsenal fans with the goal which beat Spanish giants Real Madrid in the Emirates Cup on Sunday afternoon.
The Togo striker - who was Arsenal's top scorer with 30 goals last season - had been the subject of fevered transfer speculation during the summer, only to dismiss it all as pure conjecture when announcing he would sign a new contract extension with the Gunners.
Before on Saturday's opening game against Juventus, some sections of the Emirates Stadium faithful had let their frustrations be known, which manager Arsene Wenger later described as 'disappointed love'.
However, the 6ft 3ins striker was all smiles again as he converted a penalty five minutes into the second half - and kissed the badge in celebration with the fans behind the goal.
In Arsenal's opening game against Juventus on Saturday, which was lost 1-0, Wenger had opted for a youthful starting XI.
However, Sunday's team was much more familiar - led by captain William Gallas, as Robin van Persie and Adebayor also came in, and there was a full home debut for summer signing Samri Nasri on the left of midfield.
Euro 2008 winner Cesc Fabregas was given some more rest, and centre-back Kolo Toure, recovering from a mild bout of malaria, was another first-team absentee.
Before kick-off, injured Arsenal striker Eduardo - who broke his leg at Birmingham in February - was given a rousing reception as he walked onto the pitch unaided to salute the Emirates Stadium crowd, and the Croatian international could be back in contention by October.
Real had the likes of Chelsea target Robinho, Guti, captain Raul, one-time Arsenal forward Julio Baptista, former Manchester United defender Gabriel Heinze and former Liverpool goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek in their team.
Arsenal started brightly with Adebayor and Van Persie working the ball well on the edge of the penalty area before Theo Walcott's low, angled drive was well held by Dudek.
Then, a swift counter-attack set up Denilson 20 yards out, but the young Brazilian's strike was blocked.
Adebayor should have put the home side in front on 32 minutes when Van Persie floated over a cross from the left - only for the Togo frontman to plant his header wide from six yards.
Javier Garcia then came within inches of giving Real the lead when he whipped a 25-yard effort just over Manuel Almunia's crossbar.
Dudek scrambled an angled volley from Denilson behind and then tipped over Adebayor's looping header as Arsenal looked to get themselves ahead before the break.
The Gunners did take the lead four minutes after the restart when referee Mark Clattenburg ruled Michel Salgado had barged over Van Persie in the penalty box and pointed to the spot.
Adebayor made no mistake from 12 yards - and ran straight to the Arsenal fans behind the goal, kissing the club badge on his shirt.
There was an injury worry for Real when, on the hour mark, Holland international Wesley Sneijder had to be carried off on a stretcher after appearing to twist his knee in an awkward fall after a tackle.
Young Mexican Carlos Vela and Emmanuel Eboue were sent on, for Van Persie and Walcott, as Wenger freshened up his frontline.
Adebayor came close to making it 2-0 when he charged through the Real defence and into the box - only to slide the ball wide from six yards.
The Togo striker was, though, now back on side with the home faithful, who were chanting his name once more.
Arsenal's victory saw them finish third in the final Emirates Cup table, with Hamburg - now managed by former Tottenham boss Martin Jol - securing the trophy after they beat Juventus 3-0 in the day's other match.
Sunday, August 3, 2008
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has conceded that his side are short in midfield, but remains completely confident in his young side and revealed no transfers are imminent
The Gunners lost for only the second time in the two seasons they have played at the Emirates Stadium against Juventus this afternoon, falling 1-0 to an offside David Trezeguet goal in their first game of the Emirates Cup.
They play Spanish champions Real Madrid tomorrow and the knives are already being sharpened as the young Gunners lacked the nouse to push Gianluigi Buffon to make any challenging stops throughout the 90 minutes.
Criticism of Wenger's transfer policy has been rife all summer, and while he admits the side are a little short, he remained loyal to his own philosophy.
"We are not close to signing anybody and I will focus on the players I have," he told the club's official website. "If we can find someone, then we will do it. If not, I am happy as well.
"Experience-wise we are a bit short in midfield, but we will see. With Diaby not being injured, Denilson being available, we have quality in there. Today we did not have Rosicky, Fabregas, Eduardo, van Persie and Song. They are five top-class players."
"We had a very young side, especially in the first half, and played well.
"We were unlucky to concede the goal and maybe lacked a bit of experience to score, as well as some physical match sharpness.
"There were some heavy legs, but it will get better over the next two weeks."
Of impressive 16-year-old Arsenal youth product, Jack Wilshere, Wenger said:
"Do not be impressed by his small size because he is not phased by the physical challenges.
"He really looks mature on the pitch, but he is 16 and we have to respect his development. However, do not reproach me now about not playing English players."
The manager also moved to alleviate pressure being put on Emmanuel Adebayor who, despite recently renewing his contract, was booed by some sections of the crowd this afternoon for tabloid rumours that had, all summer, suggested the Togolese hit-man was holding the club to ransom for a new deal, with Barcelona and Milan waiting in the wings.
"I feel our fans are behind him; I feel that was more disappointed love," he explained. "To me, face to face, he always told me he wants to stay at the club, and it finished like that, so I believe what he told me.
"He is not going anywhere - even if you come with a 747-plane full of money."
Emmanuel Adebayor may have agreed to extend his stay at Arsenal, but the Togo striker could yet still face a bit of work to win over some sections of the Gunners faithful after receiving a mixed reception.
And a youthful Gunners side were unable to send their supporters home with a smile on their faces as France striker Trezeguet, who also had a goal disallowed, turned in a low, 25-yard free-kick from Marco Marchionni.
In the day's earlier game at Emirates Stadium, Real Madrid beat Hamburg 2-1 with goals from former Manchester United striker Ruud van Nistelrooy and Daniel Parejo.
Friday, August 1, 2008
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has admitted he has "taken a gamble" on new signing Amaury Bischoff due to the young midfielder's fitness issues.
The Gunners announced the signing of the Portugal Under-21 international from Werder Bremen on Wednesday afternoon and Wenger admits that after two groin operations, it will be at least two months before the 21-year-old is ready for action.
"Amaury is a young, promising player who we have taken a gamble on because he has been out for a long time," Wenger told arsenal.com.
"We have to get him to a very good [fitness] level.
"He has talent but we'll have to wait two or three months to get him competitive. He has had two surgeries on his groin so it is a gamble on his talent."