Snippets from Le Boss at his press conference; On the title race…“It is very open, only Chelsea can lose it because they are in front and all the other teams can win it.” on why every other manager says they are not contenders…“It’s fear to fail”. On Sagna’s future… “No, he is not close [to signing]. It’s an ongoing process.”
Although there were no injuries due to Wednesday’s game, Cazorla is a doubt as he is in bed with Flo. Oops! Sorry flu! Flamini is back from suspension and raring to go. Just don’t get carried away again Mathieu!
Thanks to http://www.arsenal.com/
Robin van Persie
could be set for a dramatic return to Arsenal at the end of the season after his agent reportedly met with Arsene Wenger to discuss a move. Van Persie, who forced a move to Manchester United last year, enjoyed a superb opening season at Old Trafford – firing the club to the Premier League title. But the Dutchman has reportedly become frustrated with life under new manager David Moyes, and is now angling for a switch back to Arsenal.
According to Sky Italia
Wenger met Van Persie’s representative in London late last month where it was made clear that Van Persie wants to leave United – and go back to the Gunners.
The Chav’s despicable motor-mouth manager made a totally unwarranted attack on Le Boss, I’ll not dignify his words by repeating them here. Suffice it to say he got his comeuppance when City duly dumped his team out of the FA Cup.
Plenty of speculation about priorities prior to our 5th round tie with Liverpool. There’s bound to be a few surprises in the team selection.
Speaking ahead of the game Wenger said….“We have a very strong defensive record yet when we crack, we crack, but overall I must say defensively we have been very consistent and the real value of the team is the number of games that we have played [to get] that defensive record. On that front we have had a good stability.”
Arsene named the following starting eleven…
Fabianski, Jenkinson, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Monreal, Flamini, Arteta, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ozil, Podolski, Sanogo.
A closely fought match ended with a 2-1 win for the good guys, goals from the excellent Oxlade-Chamberlain, and a sweet strike from Podolski saw us through to a home quarter final tie against the other Scouse team Everton.
Liverpool manager Rodgers, along with most of the Liverpool pensioners masquerading as TV commentators, pundits and sports columnists bewailed the decision by top referee Howard Webb to deny Suarez a second penalty, for a challenge by The Ox. Perhaps if the Uruguayan striker had merely “gone to ground” instead of doing so only after a triple somersault with half pike Webb may have been tempted to award the penalty. Two Liverpool players were lucky to stay on the pitch, the carthorse formerly know as Gerrard, and Sterling. The former escaped with just one booking for two bookable offences and a series of debatable tackles, the latter who actually put his hand on Webb’s chest while complaining bitterly about a perceived wrong. The lenient Webb called over Captain Carthorse and told him to “talk” to the young winner.
One other match went decidedly in Arsenal’s favour when Le Boss politely but firmly put The Despicable One in his place following Saturday’s ridiculous outburst, “I do not want to go into those silly disrespectful remarks” said Wenger “I am embarrassed for him. Honestly. I am more disappointed for Chelsea than for me.”
The Cup win is now in the past, the quarter final is to far in the future, looming is the small matter of current European Champions Bayern Munich.
Olivier Giroud showed a degree
of naivety when he was caught in a tabloid sting, a “glamour” model Celia Kay “allegedly” entered his hotel room and the striker was photographed exiting the bathroom in his underwear. Giroud has publicly apologised to his wife, family and friends as well as to the manager, team-mates and Arsenal fans. Score a hat-trick on Wednesday Olly, and all will be forgiven….. at least by the manager, team-mates and Arsenal fans. Oh! In case you are wondering, this is what all the fuss is about.
Tuesday: Arsenal vs. Bayern Munich
The build up begins.
Wenger to make seven changes!
one headline screams. Well yes but, only to restore those players rested for the FA Cup tie and to replace the suspended Arteta.
Guardiola has problems as Ribery’s stand-in is ruled out!
Pep Guardiola will be forced to reshuffle his attack against Arsenal after learning his Bayern Munich side would be without both Franck Ribery and Xherdan Shaqiri for the Champions League tie. Shaqiri tore a muscle in his right thigh on Saturday and is expected to be out for at least three weeks. That could mean he is also absent for the second leg of the last-16 game, which takes place in Munich on March 11.
The Balotelli rumours persist, another report say’s Talks are “ongoing” between the player’s agent and Arsenal. Meanwhile, the asking price has been dropped to just €40 million and with Puma willing to stump up £15 million towards the fee Super Mario is beginning to look like a bargain.
A bright sunny day, at least it is here in Norfolk, a great game in prospect and endless speculation about the starting line-up. Will Giroud play? At home, not away! Will it be Wilshere or the Ox alongside Flamini?
As usual, the “experts” have written us off, as have the bookies, Ladbrokes quote 7/4 against a home win, 11/4 against a draw and 3 /4 on an away win.
In other news, Vermaelen’s agent has been quoted as saying our captain wants to leave the Emirates in the summer, That makes three defenders likely to depart, Sagna is no nearer to signing an extension and Fabianski has already signalled his exit. Injuries and loss of form have restricted TV to just a few appearances this season and last, so as long as Merts and Kos remain fit there seems little chance that Thomas will get much game time even when he regains fitness.
Sagna is out of contract in the summer and is free to “talk” to overseas clubs now. A report in Italy says Liverpool have made the player an offer in an attempt to poach Bacary from under the noses of Inter Milan. If this is the case then Liverpool stand accused of tapping up our right-back. Will UEFA do anything about it? Don’t hold your breath!!
Young right-back Hector Bellerin has been recalled from his loan spell at Watford and has been given the number 40 shirt and is currently listed as an Academy player. Sagna understudy?
Dream tie ends in nightmare for Wenger
Yes, as many of us secretly feared, our Champions League 1st leg tie with Bayern Munich turned out to be a bit of a nightmare. All seemed to be going well up to the point where Ozil’s weak attempt at beating Neuer, from the penalty spot, was comfortably saved by his former schoolmate.
That seemed to knock the stuffing out of Arsenal and give momentum to Bayern. Gibbs went off injured, Szczesny clattered Robben and was rightly red-carded. Even though Alaba hit the outside of the post with the resulting penalty Bayern had their tales up and the wind in their sails.
Down to ten men Arsenal, with the exception of Ozil, put up a defensive performance only bettered by the occupants of The Alamo, but like those heroes from the past, eventually they succumbed to superior forces.
2 – 0 down going into the 2nd leg at The Allianz Arena, a repeat of last seasons second leg would see us having to win on penalties. Would Ozil take one? Should Ozil take one?
Arsenal at home to Sunderland tomorrow offers the chance of redemption. A win and the resulting three points will help to put the Bayern game on the back-burner, at least for a while.
Everything is ready for the unveiling of the Dennis Bergkamp statue. It will take place outside The Armoury at 11.30 am on Saturday, Dennis will also make an on-pitch appearance at half-time. I’d prefer him to play the second half, but we can’t have everything.