Arsene Wenger Updates
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The rivalry between Arsenal and Tottenham is certainly known to everyone in England. The North London derby is one of the most fiercely contested battles in the Premier league.

Arsenal boss Wenger claims current Tottenham dominance won't last
Hence, it was not a surprise when Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger stated that he does not believe Tottenham would be able to replicate the dominance they showed this season for long. Arsenal are very likely to finish below Tottenham in this Premier league season with the Gunners at third place, one place below Tottenham.

The Frenchman, however, stated that the season is not yet over and Arsenal would like to finish second behind Leicester. He also added that even if Tottenham indeed finish above Arsenal, it is an one-off case, an incident which has happened only once in around 20 years.

Wenger has been under tremendous pressure this season for not delivering the Premier league title. The fact that Tottenham will most probably finish above them has infuriated the fans even more, although it has been reported that the Arsenal manager will not be leaving the club at the end of the season.

Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas has stated that the best managers he played under are Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger.

Cesc Fábregas noted José Mourinho and Arsene Wenger as his favorite coaches
Fabregas played under Wenger at Arsenal since he was 16 before leaving the club in 2011. The former Barcelona midfielder stated that Wenger was more important because he gave him the opportunity to show what he can do at the tender age of 16.

On the other hand, Fabregas praised Mourinho because he believed the former Chelsea manager gave him the belief he was lacking when he signed for the Blues in 2014. The Spanish midfielder endured a lukewarm final season in his three year spell at the Nou Camp before returning back to the Premier league.

Fabregas was disappointed with the way he could not win the Premier league title with Arsenal. Hence, the fact that he won the Premier league in his first season back to England under Mourinho in 2015 made him grateful to the Portuguese manager even more.

The former Arsenal midfielder also played under the likes of Pep Guardiola, Tito Vilanova and Tata Martino at Barcelona.

Arsenal have endured an uninspiring season under Wenger this campaign. The Frenchman, to be fair even now, has his best chance to win the title since his last Premier league title win in 2004.

Wenger is the reason why I'm staying at Arsenal, insists Ozil
The Gunners are eleven points behind table toppers Leicester City with a game in hand. Even if the prospect of the winning the title is slim looking because of the form of Tottenham and Leicester are in, Arsenal still have an outside chance.

However, it seems one of their star players has been unhappy with the direction the club is heading in. Mezut Ozil has been Arsenal's best player this season with 18 assists and five goals and there were reports few days back that the German may leave if Wenger stays at the club beyond this season.

Ozil, however, has been quick to dismiss those claims and has stated that he would not leave the club. The German, whose contract runs till 2018, was linked with the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona. Arsenal are currently looking to offer an improved contract to the German International, who has been in fine form this season.

Earlier in the season, the former Madrid midfielder had commented that he has always been creating chances but his club's forwards have failed to make the most of them when asked about his increase in the number of assists this season. Somewhere below, that particular comment does have a hint of sarcasm directed at the quality of players around him.

However, it would be interesting to see whether the star midfielder would indeed stay at the club.

Arsenal Manager Arsene Wenger has stated that the added money received by the Premier league clubs would not help in reducing the ticket prices for the supporters in the future.

Wenger says increased TV cash will be used for buying players, not cutting ticket prices. 
In the past, Arsenal has always been criticized for charging their supporters a higher fee as compared to the other Premier league clubs.

Arsenal currently have the highest match day price and the season ticket price although their season ticket price consists of the cup games as well. With the arrival of the huge Broadcast deal for the premier league clubs, supporters were expecting a reduction in the ticket prices. However, Arsene Wenger disagreed with that logic.

The Frenchman stated that the recent added money because of the deal would be taken advantage of by the selling clubs. The extra television money would be used to increase the transfer prices of players as well their wages. Hence, it would be difficult to reduce the ticket prices for the supporters.

He also added that the recent splurge by Chinese Super league club Jiangsu Suning has also brought about added competition and if it sustains, it can pose a threat to the other clubs.

The Chinese club has already added three high quality players in their ranks with the acquisition of Ramires, Jackson Martinez and Alex Teixeira.

The Manchester United manager has found an ally in Arsene Wenger after the Frenchman slammed the football media and pundits for chastising his Manchester United counterpart with 'stupid' speculations. Wenger expressed his frustration by stating it is 'disrespectful' of Man Utd fans and media.

Arsène Wenger: "I have huge respect for Louis Van Gaal and I think what is going on there is disrespectful."
LVG has come under great scrutiny after a dismal start to the season. Despite spending heavily, the Red Devils are only fifth in the Premier League table, with nine points separating them from the League toppers- Leicester City.

However, the Arsenal boss believes LVG deserves more time at Old Trafford, and demands to stop the 'disrespectful speculation' regarding the Dutchman's future.

“I personally have huge respect for Louis van Gaal and I think what’s going on there is disrespectful. This guy has worked for 30 years in football and delivered an unavailable quality of work and I think it’s a bit disrespectful what is going on there.” Arsene Wenger said.

The experienced boss also mentioned that it is difficult for managers to work with their future already decided.

Arsenal are currently second in the Premier League table and are favourites to lift the trophy in May, assuming Leicester will run-out-of-gas in some period of the competition.

The fact that Jose Mourinho is one of the best managers in the world is undisputed. Couple of seasons ago, the Chelsea manager branded Arsene Wenger as a specialist in failure due to his lack of trophies for around 9 years.

Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho
Wenger has won two FA cups since whereas Mourinho has won the league title and League Cup. Hence, in terms of trophies in the last two years, failure cannot be termed to both of them.

The barren run without a trophy did make Wenger a laughing stock for many years. However, one should not forget the difficulties Arsenal were in after their move to a new stadium. In the initial years, the club had to reduce their expenditures, which affected their supremacy in the league. However, Wenger made sure the club still finished in top four and maintained their Champions League status.

Injury crisis has been like a perennial event for the club. but Wenger has been able to come out of it as a winner more often than not. In terms of recent decisions that have been huge hits, the case of Coquelin and Bellerin can be taken as prime examples. The manager may not have the killer instinct now in terms of winning league titles, but he sure knows how to get out of a difficult situation.

Mourinho on the other hand has always thrived when the club is in a good state. This is not to undermine the achievement of the manager but to just emphasize the fact that in terms of coming out of difficult situations, he has not provided enough evidence. A club in disarray has continued to be one under Mourinho. He was unhappy with respect to signings in his first spell at Chelsea.

The problems he faced at Real Madrid are all too well known. He did not stay there for a long time to fix the issue. There is a clear observation that Mourinho is the best man for short term success. The recent malaise at Chelsea proves that notion just about right. The current problems at the club just keep growing every week. Once a problem occurs at any of his clubs, he has not been able to fix it.

One of the biggest problems facing the owner would be the relationship between the manager and the players. Mourinho wants to stay but if the players do not play for the manager, it is always easier for the owner to sack the manager rather than sell all his players. Mourinho was supposed to be Chelsea's Fergie but it turns out, he still lacks that skill for longevity.

The emergence of Francis Coquelin as one of Arsenal's key players in the last campaign may stand second best only to the story of the rise of a certain Harry Kane. The decision of Arsene Wenger to call back Coquelin from his loan spell was vindicated as Coquelin went on to become a pivotal player in the latter half of the campaign for the gunners.

Francis Coquelin will be out for 12 weeks with a knee ligament injury
However, this was a player who was sent on loan to Charlton and was recalled back only because of an injury crisis at Arsenal. Coquelin could have been easily forgiven if he had felt he would never make it at Arsenal due to the increasing number of loan spells he had before returning back to his parent club. However, his return gave Arsenal that much needed physicality and aggressiveness which was lacking in that defensive midfield position.

For a club like Arsenal, who at the start of last season aimed for the title, it was laughable to have Arteta and Flamini as their two main defensive midfielders. Coquelin handled that problem pretty well last season and Wenger rewarded him by not signing another midfielder in this summer transfer window. The signing of Cech was considered as a statement of intent but what followed was embarrassing to say the least. Wenger failed to sign even a single outfield player in the summer transfer window.

The manager having faith in his current crop of players is a good sign, but the importance of refreshing your squad can never be underestimated. Wenger only has to look at the problems of his nemesis Mourinho for an answer. The most likely position to be hit was the defensive midfield position.

Surely Wenger cannot afford to think of Flamini and Arteta as able deputies for Coquelin. One was supposed to be a stop gap and the other is a make shift defensive midfielder. By not signing a good cover or an upgrade for Coquelin, Wenger actually put all his eggs in one basket. When that basket is someone who has never played for one whole season at a stretch at the highest level , bad things are just waiting to happen and the only one who should be rightly blamed is the manager.

The November crisis has struck Arsenal once again. Coquelin is believed to be out for at least 3 months. The injury to Cazorla and Sanchez is another headache for Wenger, However, it is the absence of Coquelin that will hit Wenger and Arsenal the most. The French international gave Arsenal that much needed bite in the midfield and now it seems that it would be the struggling Calum Chambers that would take that vital position. However, with the club staring at Europa league and the title chase not looking convincing, apparently Arsenal may have passed another big opportunity this season.

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Arsenal have struggled for trophies in the last decade but surely with a few players they almost signed, they would have been conquering Europe for many years.

Arsene Wenger on Angel di Maria
Angel di Maria is the latest name on the long list of players who Arsene Wenger admitted narrowly missed out on a move to north London.

The team may be top class and would most definitely be high on entertainment and slightly decrepit at the back, but would surely bring trophies and goals to the Emirates Stadium.

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Arsene Wenger [Image from flickr by Catatan Bola]
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is known for being conservative in making big signings. Since a number of injuries and uncertainty has build a pressure on Wenger, it is expected that Arsenal would be signing a few players.

Arsenal have been linked with more than a dozen of players. Arsenal are surely going to make some crucial signings this January, with midfield and defence being top priorities. Here are some of the players Arsenal should target in the coming January transfer window:

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Arsenal had just beaten a spirited West Bromwich Albion side 1-0 away from home, a decent and much needed win for the Arsenal.

As the final whistle blew, amongst the hardcore away support, an Anti Wenger banner was unfurled, thanking him for the memories but that it was time to say "Goodbye".

Arsene Wenger [Image from flickr by Ronnie Macdonald]
It publicized a debate that has been going on within the Arsenal fans for a number of years now, Should he stay or should he go?

Then last Saturday evening at Stoke train station, a group of fans booed and abused the man who had taken Arsenal from being a very decent side in England to being a club that people around the world know and respect.

I remember going abroad when we had Bruce Rioch in charge, every time I got into a conversation about English football it was always Liverpool and Man United that were the topics of conversation.

Despite Arsenal having won the Cup winners Cup a couple of years before, and getting to the final the following year, it seemed the good people of Europe did not think much of The Gunners.

Fast forward a couple of years into the Wenger era, and almost anyone who has even a passing interest in football knows who Arsenal are.

I'm not going to talk about the trophies here because we all know what he has won; instead I'll mention the brand, Arsenal FC.

He has turned the club from a team that was defensive, dirty, hated by everyone and was classed as a bunch of long ball merchants (basically Stoke) into a team that was suave, sophisticated, and elegant and winners.

Arsenal’s name for the First time I can remember was being mentioned alongside all the other great teams in Europe, every big name player was being linked with Arsenal, it was kind of surreal at the time as this was the same Arsenal that had the likes of Glenn Helder, Eddie McGoldrick and John Jensen playing for them not long before.

That was then, so what about now?

No one can deny the impact building the new stadium has had on Arsenal not only as a club, but as a business model. This has meant Arsene has been unable to compete with the likes of the "Sugar Daddy Clubs" like Chelsea, Man City, Man United in the transfer market.

I do not think any other manager in the world could do what Arsene has done, in terms of keeping Arsenal competitive with a big financial handicap.

So does all his previous success mean that Arsene is seen as unquestionable around the club, That he is some kind of a dictator?

Well for that fans need to look to the club ownership, if Arsene is like that then that can only be Mr. Stan Kroenkes fault, the question every fans should want to know is, Does Stan Kroenke want Arsenal to be a trophy winning team, or a self sustaining business model? (By the way the 2 are not mutually exclusive)

Fans have an absolute right to be ticked off, Questions need to be answered. Most expensive team to watch in the world, and why is the football is not good enough? Why is the injury record so awful? Why haven’t we bought players when they were needed?

The understandable fans frustrations are being directed in the wrong place though. As what has gone on so far can only be laid at the door of the Arsenal board, as it is they who ultimately set the goals, targets and steer the direction of the club.

Whilst Arsene is not faultless, calling for him to be sacked in December when we are only 3 points away from a top 4 place is foolish at best.

So I hope Gooners do get behind the team and the manager and be careful what they wish for.

Arsenal fans would do well to remember what happened to Charlton after Alan Curbishley was ousted due to fan power.

Article contributed by: Yusuf

Twitter: @aabbs7

Arsene Wenger had his side produce a master class display.  Aaron Ramsey scored a stunner as did German teammate Lukas Podolski. Newcastle are coming off the back of yet another Chelsea win at St James' Park. Quashing all talk of Chelsea emulating Arsene's golden squad. Heading into the Emirates, you just remember the classic clashes between the two sides over the years, both home and away.

Arsenal vs Newcastle
Wenger has the dilemma of which side to put out there. It was an impressive show and a combination of the German and Chilean would be worth a sight. Upfront the Gunners arsenal is well stocked with variety and quality. The back is the weak link as Arsenal seek to hold on until January for recruitments or will Wenger stubbornness let them soldier on.

Newcastle should be buzzing and would be fascinated to see how Arsenal will deal with Moussa Sissoko,  Papiss Cissè and young Ayoze Perez. The trio can cause havoc to a defense lacking in synergy, unity and consistency. With Laurent Koscieny set to return Arsenal may do with the French addition who will take on a couple of compatriots this weekend! Freshly claiming Manager of the month, could Alan Pardew claim another London giant?

History is against winning manager of the month, as the team's form usually takes a dip.

Key players:
Jan Alnwick- No goalkeeper made as many saves as him, and he played less than a full game. Maybe it was debut adrenaline!  Will he manage to excel again?

Aaron Ramsey- The Welsh star could have rediscovered his form while in Turkey. Should he manage to pass a fitness test will be integral in a Gunners surge up the table.

Article contributed by: Benedict Chanakira

Twitter: @bchanakira2

What we have learned in the season so far....

UEFA Champions League Trophy [Image from Flickr by: Daniel]
Just over four months since the inception of the European leagues we have managed to understand a few things:

Messi's brief moment in the lights was after the Argentine captain saw his hat trick against Sevilla take him to the top of the all-time top goal scorer as he overtook Telmo Zarra. The feat was one of few highlights as the headlines have belonged to Leo Messi's rival and current La liga top goal-scorer Cristiano Ronaldo. Out of curiosity, I went to look up how far off he is from Messi. Call it what you will but Ronaldo is a better la liga star as the Madrid man is 56 goals behind his adversary despite having played 113 less games. A superior strike rate of 1.12 compared to 0.9. Call it what you will but Ronaldo is a more lethal finisher in Spain than the league's own goal scoring king! Hail the Argentine who has set broken the Spanish leagues' record and sets his sight on the European record held by a Spanish legend! Be warned the Portuguese has peaked, as the the Messi GPS has been wandering.

Jose Mourinho [Image from Flickr by: Ronnie Macdonald]
Chelsea have been special, Jose Mourinho has rubbed off on his team as they continue their unbeaten start to not just the Premier league season but to their entire season. "Bus?" The blues are combining all forms of transport as you know them. Parking a bus when there is need to but also having the stylish Ferrari when needed. Cesc Fabregas has been the key to the stylish, panache, mercurial football that the side has shown. The Spaniard has been the key while combining with compatriot Diego Costa and Belgian Costa. The real star of Jose's army is none of the above stated stars, not even Oscar who has been a shining light but the giant of a man in the defensive midfield role who has quietly gone about his business anchoring and watching what tries to derail their crusade. It is inevitable the Blues will lose, but the question is; what will this group of players achieve?

The Bundesliga is a lovely league and has recently been dominated by two forces, Bayern Munich and Dortmund. The men in blue and yellow have struggled lately as they find themselves in the unknown, sitting two places above the relegation zone. This leaves only one real competitor for the title in Bayern Munich who continue to blossom. It seems the title is wrapped up there. Only one man can halt that challenge, some call him Lord Bendtner others Nicklas Bendtner. The Dane's international pedigree is impressive but can Wolfsburg finally get the best of the striker? Kevin has been the star of the show, and fans would hope  that he would finally come of age, consistently producing the goals. I call it the Bendtner effect. Without playing well at all, we have seen him scoop the Serie A title, FA Cup and who know maybe the myth is true... A Bundesliga league title!

Arsene Wenger's legacy of an unbeaten season will long live in the memory of not just Gunners' fans but that of football fans, a feat rarely ever seen. The manager however has not lived up to those expectations in a football sense. Arsenal have moved to a new stadium, nurtured some talented youngsters but have failed on the pitch. Settling for fourth every season, even a nine years barren trophy run which ended last year. The French man may have overstayed his tenure as that magical touch he once possessed has left. Its time Mr. Wenger found another challenge before arsenal slip into a new low. Losing to the weakest Manchester United in this era and then glowing about dominance in defeat show a massive drop in standards. Would a Jose Mourinho or a Pep Guardiola revel in such circumstances? The Spaniard was clearly not happy after a 4-0 Hoffenheim win. Wenger's time is up.

Southampton FC [Image from Flickr by: Ronnie Macdonald]
Credit to Southampton who have been fantastic. They face a tricky four, five weeks as they face Manchester United, City and Arsenal among the elite sides. This will test their mantle. The acid test, will they manage to come through it? David Moyes is n the road to redemption as he opened his la liga account with a 0-0 draw away at Deportivo la Coruna. This is a pivotal job for the former United manager as it will either redeem him or further alienate his coaching prowess from the world, who have seen him fail at Old Trafford. Luis Suarez has now settled in at Barca but the Premier League is glowing with the quality of two South American born forwards Sergio Aguero and Diego Costa. Who will grab the golden boot? Could Alexis Sanchez sneak in and claim it? A lot is left to be desired in what will be another great football season!

Article contributed by: Benedict Chanakira

Twitter: @bchanakira2

Ronaldo signed for Manchester United in 2003

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger talked about how close he was to sign Cristiano Ronaldo for Arsenal in 2003, before the Portuguese joined Manchester United.

Arsene Wenger said that his biggest regret since becoming Arsenal coach is "not to have signed Cristiano Ronaldo in 2003. "The coach gave a statement to the Daily Mail that the Real Madrid winger "was close to signing for Arsenal "and who ultimately signed for Manchester United.

"What I regret the most is not to have signed Ronaldo. I was so close to sign him and not only did I not get him, he signed for Manchester United, so that of course still hurts today".

In addition, Arsenal coach also surprised the British press by saying that his best signing was not Thierry Henry or any other offensive star to have incorporated into your step coach Arsenal.

"Lauren. I would never say who was the best player, but I think signings like Lauren are when you spot a player who no other team does. He was a right midfielder who also played at right back and became one of the 'Invincibles" he concluded.

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