Thursday, September 25, 2008

Jack Wilshere = Liam Brady

Arsene Wenger feels Jack Wilshere has the potential to one day become an Arsenal legend like Liam Brady.

The 16-year-old scored his first senior goal as part of the youthful Gunners side - with an average age of just 19 - who ripped Sheffield United apart to win 6-0 in the Carling Cup at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday night.

"He is a quiet boy, very determined and focused. For the rest, the talent is there. You have seen that again," said Wenger, who has entrusted the future of the club to former midfielder Brady - an FA Cup winner in 1979 and now head of the Gunners Academy.

"When you are a manager of a boy like that who has the talent, you are always cautious to put too much pressure on him and too high a level of expectation.

"I believe it is all in there, but also that I have a responsibility to nurture him and get him in the right development over the next two or three years, that will be vital.

"From 16 to 19 is a very important age for the development of a football player - and Jack has skipped a few classes!"

Wenger added: "People tell me he is a bit like Liam Brady, because he has good balance and change of direction. I believe later [in his career] he will be a central midfielder or behind the strikers."

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Video Highlight - Young Guns Fire In Carling Cup

ARSENE Wenger enjoyed a night to savour as another generation of young stars stepped off the Arsenal production line to inflict a 6-0 drubbing on an experienced Sheffield United side today.

The youngest starting line-up ever sent out by the club -- with an average age of just 19 -- put the Blades to the sword with a pass-and-move masterclass that resulted in an embarrassingly one-sided League Cup third round tie in which Mexican teenager Carlos Alberto Vela claimed a hat-trick.

Danish striker Nicklas Bendtner, who scored both of Arsenal's first two goals, may be on the fringes of Wenger's first-team squad.

But this was proof that the Gunners' reserves of youthful talent run deep with Alberto Vela's hat-trick sandwiched around a 25-yard strike from 16-year-old Jack Wilshere.

Here is the highlight of the game.Enjoy it!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Young Defender Sign New Deal

Swiss defender Johan Djourou has pledged his future to Arsenal after signing a new, long-term contract at Emirates Stadium.

The 21-year-old Switzerland international centre-back joined the Gunners from Etoile Carouge in 2003.

Born in the Ivory Coast but raised in Geneva, Djourou has made four appearances this season - coming off the bench to replace injured Gael Clichy in the win over Bolton on Saturday which sent the Gunners top of the Premier League.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Luck Not With Clichy

Gael Clichy was lucky not to have suffered a fracture after the Arsenal left-back left the field at half time with the help of the medical staff, following a challenge by Bolton Wanderers striker Kevin Davies.

The Frenchman was taken to a hospital for X-rays and the North-London club, who won the league game at the Reebok Stadium 3-1 on Saturday, announced later that Clichy had not suffered a broken leg.

“Gael Clichy suffered only bruising to his shin during the game at Bolton on Saturday,” read a brief statement.

“He went to hospital for a scan but they found no fracture. As a result, Gael was able to join up the rest of the Arsenal squad for the journey home.”

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger, however, was not at all happy by the tackle from Davies, who only got a yellow card for the foul.

"It is a shin injury which means the tackle was quite high," he said. "Was it an accident? Was it mistimed? Only Davies can answer that.

"I did not really see the impact, so I have to watch it on video. We except the physical challenge and we respond well to it.

"We have no problem with a physical game. It is part of the charm of the game but kicking someone is not in the rules.”

Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas claimed that Davies should have been shown the red card.

"Last season we had a player sent off for much less than the challenge on Clichy,” said the Spaniard, who saw his Gunners team-mate Eduardo suffer a horrific leg break earlier this year in a league game at Birmingham City.

"After seeing the damage to Clichy's leg you have to ask why it wasn't the same punishment."

Review : Bolton 1 - 3 Arsenal The Great

Arsenal went top of the Premier League after coming from behind to beat bogey side Bolton 3-1 at the Reebok Stadium.

Kevin Davies headed the hosts ahead on 14 minutes before Emmanuel Eboue and Nicklas Bendtner netted in quick succession to hand the lead to Arsenal before half-time.

Theo Walcott, on as a substitute, created a third late on for Brazilian midfielder Denilson who secured all three points for Arsenal to make it four wins out of five so far this season.

Arsene Wenger's side will now stay top of the table overnight with Chelsea not taking on Manchester United until Sunday.

Bolton had won four of their previous five encounters with the Gunners at the Reebok and the match appeared to be following that rather well-worn script when Kevin Nolan forced a good save out of Manuel Almunia with a dipping 25-yarder early on.

That feeling continued when Davies opened the scoring on 14 minutes, the flat-track bully - so often a thorn in Arsenal's side - netting a simply executed goal by rising above Kolo Toure and heading Joey O'Brien's corner past Almunia.

But that was about as far as the story followed the script, as Arsenal immediately asserted themselves on the game and gained the upper hand during a thrilling 10-minute period of play which culminated with two goals in a minute.

Eboue registered his first goal in an Arsenal shirt when he slotted home from close range on 26 minutes. Replays showed the Ivorian was in an offside position when Bendtner's cute pass found him, but the linesman's flag stayed down and the goal stood.

And then just a minute later Arsenal took the lead, this time Bendtner sliding in to finish from Denilson's centre from the left.

Perhaps Bolton had not been prepared for the ferocity of the fight-back, but there was no doubting that it had been coming. The woodwork had twice been struck in the immediate lead-up to the goals, Adebayor hitting the base of an upright when put through on goal moments before the post denied Alexandre Song a header from a corner.

Bolton were simply blown away by Arsenal's fluent passing game but Gary Megson's side are a tough proposition, especially on their home turf, and they managed to carve out a couple of chances before half-time.

On both occasions, it was Nolan who went close to restoring parity, but the Bolton skipper was first denied by an excellent Almunia save before seeing a sidefooted volley bounce the wrong side of the post.

Bolton's frustration was borne out as the first half neared its conclusion, Davies lunging in on Gael Clichy with a shocking tackle that resulted in the Frenchman heading to hospital for a check-up and the Bolton striker picking up a yellow card. It could easily have been red.

Fortunately Arsenal confirmed later that Clichy only suffered minor injuries and was able to return to London with the rest of the squad.

Arsenal started the second half brightly, Song forcing Jussi Jaaskelainen into making a sharp save soon after the restart, but Bolton - backed by a constant wall of sound from what was a disappointingly small gate - began to come back into the game.

Mustapha Riga was introduced as a 56th minute substitute and summer signing from Levante nearly made a big impact soon after when Almunia had to be alert to tip his well-placed effort round the corner.

But Bolton's best chance of the game fell to full-back Gretar Steinsson, who was afforded a free header from a corner with seven minutes remaining. The Iceland international could only plant his header over the bar though.

Bolton were made to rue his profligacy as Walcott burst through the hosts' defence on 87 minutes before feeding Adebayor, who in turn centred for Denilson. The youngster had the easy task of sweeping home from close range to seal just the Gunners' second win in six attempts at the Reebok.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Wenger frustrated by draw

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger was frustrated after seeing his side salvage a late 1-1 draw with Dynamo Kiev.

William Gallas' late strike two minutes from time rescued a point for Arsenal in their opening Group G clash.

Dynamo threatened to cause a shock in the Ukraine when Ismael Bangoura scored from the penalty spot after Bacary Sagna was somewhat harshly adjudged to have brought down Ognjen Vukojevic inside the box.

Wenger admitted he had mixed feelings at the outcome of the game.

"My feelings are a mixture of disappointment and relief," Wenger told Sky Sports 3.

"We were a goal down with three minutes to go and we didn't lose.

"We had chances and didn't take them and then we just didn't create enough in the second half.

"Then, at any moment, you cannot afford to make a mistake and we did.

"At 1-0 down at least we found the resources to fight back to 1-1 because the players gave it everything.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Preview : Dynamo Kyiv vs Arsenal

Arsenal begin their Champions League campaign on Wednesday against Dynamo Kyiv, in the second part of their three match road trip. After an up and down Champions League run last year, Arsenal will hope that they can be much more consistent this year and take the next step up to lifting the trophy with the big ears. The Champions League schedule makers were kind to Arsenal when they made this game in September rather than the bitter cold Russian winter. This will not be a home game for Dynamo, because their normal stadium, the Olimpiyskiy Stadium, has been demolished so it can be improved in preparation for the next Euro`s in four years time, so the game will be played at Lobanovsky Dynamo Stadium.

Arsenal`s attack has been firing on all cylinders ever since they stuttered against Fulham. Since that game, in three games Arsenal has outscored their opponents 11-0. Last year in the Champions League, Dynamo Kyiv was the whipping boy in group F, losing all six games, including an 8-2 aggregate loss to Manchester United. Their goal differential was abysmal as well, giving up an astonishing 19 goals and only scoring 4. With Arsenal`s attack in perfect harmony as of late, Kyiv will have a difficult time improving on their defensive record from last year.

Dynamo Kyiv Team News:
Kyiv will be without Moroccan defender Badr El Kaddouri, who has to serve a one match suspension, but everybody else should be fit for the Ukrainian club.

Player to watch: Masksim Shatskikh

Arsenal Team News:
Clichy and Eboue have both been passed fit to be included in the squad, but Frenchman Samir Nasri has been ruled out for at least one more game. Silvestre is once again not fit to take part in the squad, and Eduardo, Diaby, Rosicky and Bischoff are all still out.

Almunia will start in goal, with Clichy, Sagna, Gallas, and Toure in the defense. Theo Walcott definitely will start alongside Eboue at side of midfield with Cesc Fabregas and Denilson in the middle of the park.. Adebayor and Van Persie will be the forwards.

Player to watch: Emmanuel Adebayor

Referee : Luis Cantalejo

Prediction : 3-0 easy win for Gunners!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Wenger - ADUG is The Biggest Threat

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has revealed that he is expecting a tough battle for the Champions League places in the Premiership this season, with Manchester City the team he believes are the most capable of breaking into the top four, due to the new found spending power under owner’s the ADUG.
The Gunners have never finished outside the top four under the guidance of Wenger, but the Frenchman has picked out City, along with North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur and FA Cup holders Portsmouth to mount a challenge to his squad at the Emirates Stadium this season, with Wenger claiming that City have an advantage because of the money they can offer to attract the top stars of the world.

Wenger told The Sun: “This year other surprise teams could come into it like Manchester City or Tottenham or Portsmouth. It is certainly very interesting and very tight.

“Manchester City, have an advantage because they do pay a lot of money.

“This year, for the first time, the January transfer window opens when we will have only played 19 games.

“I have played seasons here when there were 24 games before then - the second part of the season is longer now.

“Teams can get that little bit more balance by buying players in the transfer window.”

Monday, September 15, 2008

Gunners vs Devils : Who's Gonna Win?

Manchester United and Arsenal will battle for Portugal star Miguel Veloso in the January transfer window, according to the player's agent.

Paulo Barbosa claims the Premier League giants will launch a £22 million bid for the Sporting Lisbon midfielder.

The 22-year-old, who can play as a holding midfielder and in defence, was linked with a move to Tottenham Hotspur this summer.

Barbosa told the News of the World: “Arsenal and United are both always watching Veloso and making observations. He would cost either club at least 20 million euros.

"Arsenal want Veloso for the future and a deal could be done in the January window.

"But United are also watching the situation very closely."

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is thought to be interested in a midfielder after the departures of Alexander Hleb, Gilberto Silva and Mathieu Flamini.

Meanwhile, Sir Alex Ferguson is reportedly frustrated by Owen Hargreaves' frequent injury problems. The England midfielder missed yesterday's 2-1 loss to Liverpool with a knee injury while Michael Carrick suffered an ankle injury at Anfield.

Veloso, who was in Portugal's Euro 2008 squad, is thought to be keen on a move to the Premier League.

The midfielder, who joined Sporting in 2006, has also been linked with moves to Inter Milan and Real Madrid.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Adebayor and Van Persie goals beat Blackburn

An Emmanuel Adebayor hat-trick helped Arsenal beat Blackburn 4-0 at Ewood Park and move third in the league.

Robin van Persie opened the scoring on eight minutes after England hero Theo Walcott found him with a delightful pass.

Arsenal enjoyed good possession but Rovers pressed strongly for an equaliser before Adebayor got his first on the stroke of half-time, heading home a Denilson cross.

After the break, Arsenal again enjoyed better possession and Adebayor added his second from the penalty spot on 81 minutes after Stephen Warnock had been adjudged to have fouled Emmanuel Eboue.

He then got his hat-trick in injury time after rounding keeper Paul Robinson following an Aaron Ramsey through-ball.

Arsenal stamped their mark on the game with a marvellous goal in the eighth minute and Walcott was at the heart of the move.

The 19-year-old returned to the side after his superb treble for England and was full of confidence.

He cut inside and weaved his way past a couple of players before picking out van Persie in the penalty area.

The Dutch international showed the deftest of touches to beat goalkeeper Paul Robinson with a shot into the corner.

Hit back

Blackburn hit back and almost equalised two minutes later, only for Manuel Almunia to show superb reflexes and tip Roque Santa Cruz's effort over the top.

Arsenal were spraying the ball about well and van Persie came close to adding to his tally in the 29th minute but he found the side-netting with his effort.

Blackburn were making a decent fist of it, however, and Emerton made space in the 33rd minute only for Almunia to block his effort.

Five minutes later Gael Clichy did well to head away an in-swinging cross from Morten Gamst Pedersen.

Emerton then tried to pick out Santa Cruz, only for Kolo Toure to make a timely interception at the back post.

Arsenal responded immediately in the 41st minute but van Persie's left-foot effort was marginally off-target.

It was an open game and Pedersen whipped in a free-kick two minutes later that went wide of the post and Santa Cruz's header failed to trouble Almunia.

Arsenal added a second in stoppage-time and questions must be asked of the Blackburn defence.

Unmarked

Adebayor was left unmarked at the back post and took full advantage of the home side's carelessness by heading home a Denilson cross for his first goal of the league campaign.

The Arsenal fans were on their feet two minutes into the second half when Walcott skipped away from Ryan Nelsen and homed in on goal.

Warnock raced across to try to avert the danger but England's rising star still managed to sting Robinson's fingers with his effort.

Arsenal kept up the pressure and Toure found Walcott but his cross was headed wide by Adebayor.

Walcott then saw his shot spin off Nelsen for a corner following a flowing move that split open the defence.

Blackburn found themselves on the back foot again with both Toure and Emmanuel Eboue coming close to extending their advantage.

Toure was left frustrated at failing to score with a header while Eboue's effort from distance was gathered safely by Robinson.

Arsenal made it 3-0 in the 81st minute when Warnock was adjudged to have blocked Eboue in the penalty area.

Blackburn protested vigorously but Adebayor remained to cool to score his second goal of the game from the spot and seal an emphatic victory.

And the Togo international completed his hat-trick in stoppage-time with a cool finish after a splendid through ball from substitute Aaron Ramsey.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Walcott the SUPERHERO

On the night that Theo Walcott became English football's latest superstar, the hat-trick hero paid insisted Fabio Capello's side should no longer fear any opposition they face.

Walcott's hat-trick will go down as one of the most famous by an England player, along with those of Michael Owen, Gary Lineker and Geoff Hurst, as his goals inspired his country to the remarkable 4-1 win in Zagreb.

The 19-year-old sought not to dwell on his own performance but to praise the team as a whole and is certain they should be confident of beating any team that stands in their way.

"It just shows how together we are," Walcott told Setanta Sports. "We showed how strong we are as a whole unit. The football we were playing was absolutely brilliant and the goals we scored. We can do that against anyone.

"There were 11 stars, a whole team of stars. We've showed to everyone and the fans how strong we are as a unit. It was absolutely brilliant.

"The first two were very similar. I tend to cross things quite a lot. So I thought I'd be a bit more greedy this time.

"The third one with my left foot was just a brilliant ball from Wazza [Rooney], he was absolutely brilliant tonight.

"When you play for England you've got to put 100% in like everyone does.

"I'm just grateful that [Fabio Capello] has given me that opportunity and I've got to take that forward into each and every game and keep on improving.

"You always want to see fans happy. They were brilliant tonight. We just wanted to prove to everyone how good we are and if we keep playing like that we'll be fine.

"We're just going to keep taking every game as it comes, not get too ahead of ourselves. Just play the next game and then the one after that. If we keep playing like we did tonight it'll be absolutely brilliant."

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Cesc Get Angry With Spain Boss

Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas was left angry and frustrated despite helping Spain to a 1-0 win over Bosnia in their first World Cup Qualifying match.

He supplied the crucial pass to team-mate David Villa which led to the winning goal, and while he was celebrating with the rest of the team, coach Vicente Del Bosque took him off the pitch.

He understands that he may not yet have the level of fitness of his team-mates after a muscle injury interrupted his pre-season, but he was still annoyed that he was taken off for tactical reasons.

" I am annoyed as much with myself." he said after the game, "I am always substituted when we are winning, so as to change to a defensive formation. But i want to be seen as a complete midfielder, and to be recognised as being able to play both offensive and defensive football."

It seems that he will have to convince the Spanish coach, not the rest of the world.

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Arsenal Young 'Star' Ready to Shine!

Arsenal forward Theo Walcott insists he goes into England's clash against Croatia with no fear and will relish the pressure in Zagreb if selected.

The 19-year-old got his first senior start at the weekend for the win over Andorra, with his pace offering an option to Fabio Capello for the World Cup qualifier against Croatia on Wednesday evening.

Walcott feels his style will suit Capello if they use the counter-attack against the country which defeated England twice in their last qualifying campaign.

Capello also has the experience of David Beckham, who wished Walcott good luck before the Arsenal winger faced Andorra.

Walcott said: "A lot of young players have no fear, there are no pressures on them and they can go out and enjoy it.

"David came to me and told me to enjoy it and to play my football, then I'd be fine. That's true of a lot of young players.

"I've had a lot of experience at England level now, I haven't played as much as I'd wanted to. I've had a lot of experience at Arsenal too and deal with pressure.

"The main thing is to concentrate on your own performance within the team and you're fine with pressure."

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Saturday, September 6, 2008

Appiah attracting interest

The midfielder is a free agent following his departure from Fenerbahce last month and as such available for transfer.

He has had injury problems in the past but proved his fitness as he played for Ghana against Libya on Friday night.

Ghana lost the match 1-0 but Appiah produced an excellent performance to impress the onlookers.

Representatives from West Ham, Portsmouth and Arsenal were all watching on, while another top European side are also thought to be interested.

27-year-old Appiah recently admitted that it would be 'his dream' to play in the Premier League.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Arsenal Last Minute Transfers

Who do you think Arsene Wenger will sign during the last minute of the transfer window which less than 5 hours from now.

The candidates are  :

Salomon Kalou(Chelsea), Miguel Veloso (Sporting Lisbon). Gokhan Inler (Udinese), Xabi Alonso (Liverpool), Giovinco (Juventus), Metzelder (Real Madrid)

OR

Wenger won't but anyone during this summer deadline transfer??