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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Fabregas says its time to relax!

Captain Cesc Fabregas welcomed the opportunity to "relax" after Arsenal secured top spot in Champions League Group H with a game to spare.

Samir Nasri and Denilson scored to earn the Gunners a 2-0 win over Standard Liege which leaves them on an unassailable 13 points at the group summit, six clear of second-placed Olympiacos.

Fabregas told Sky Sports Xtra: "It's really good for the team because we still have a game to go and we can relax a little and give some rest to some players, and make sure that some of the players who don't play too much can get a game."

Arsene Wenger's side were made to work hard for their half-time lead, and Fabregas admitted: "It didn't go our way but we kept going, we believed and we were positive.

"We did not feel it was done, but for sure we felt more confident.

"We just tried to be professional because we knew sometimes it can happen that the other team gets frustrated and you receive some bad kicks.

"We just tried to play our football and that's what we did."

Midfield partner Denilson, asked about his goal, added: "It was brilliant for me, it was a brilliant match for me and a good win for us - I'm very proud of the group."

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Robin Van Persie injury a huge blow!

just to get the word out there, Robin Van Persie was injured last night while playing for his country. They say he could be out for as long as 2 months. now thats really bad news for us. Hope this injury wont be a major set back - like the one on Edurdo a few seasons ago.

The main question is who will fill up his boots? many of my friends were saying Wenger will give the chance to Vela. I think that Asharvin will be thrown upfront alongside Eduardo with Theo, Nasri and Rosicky on the wings. whats your take?

Get well soon, RVP we miss you already!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

60 qoutes from Wenger for his birthday

To commemorate the old boy's 60th birthday...

1) [Upon being asked what he does with his spare time] "I watch football."

2) "I tried to watch the Tottenham match on television in my hotel yesterday, but I fell asleep."

3) "When I first came to Arsenal, I realised the back four were all university graduates in the art of defending. As for Tony Adams, I consider him to be a doctor of defence. He is simply outstanding."

4) [On the qualities of Dennis Bergkamp] "Intelligence and class. Class is of course, most of the time linked to what you can do with the ball, but the intelligence makes you use the technique in an efficient way. It's like somebody who has a big vocabulary but he doesn't say intelligent words, and somebody who has a big vocabulary but he can talk intelligently, and that's what Dennis is all about. What he does, there's always a head and always a brain. And his technique allows him to do what he sees, and what he decides to do."

5) [After the Arsenal fans booed a 1-1 draw with Middlesbrough in November 1998] "If you eat caviar every day it's difficult to return to sausages."

6) "A company works best when everybody does the job he is paid to do."

7) "Sometimes now, when I watch continental games on television, I'm a bit bored. I'm thinking: 'Where is the intensity?'"

8) [In 2003] "It's not impossible. I know it will be difficult for us to go through the season unbeaten. But if we keep the right attitude it's possible we can do it."

9) [On Jose Mourinho after the then Chelsea boss accused him of being a voyeur] "He's out of order, disconnected with reality and disrespectful. When you give success to stupid people, it makes them more stupid sometimes and not more intelligent."

10) "A football team is like a beautiful woman. When you do not tell her, she forgets she is beautiful."

11) [In response to Sepp Blatter's accusation that big clubs were guilty of 'child slavery] "If you have a child who is a good musician, what is your first reaction? It is to put them into a good music school, not in an average one. So why should that not happen in football?"

12) [After the departure of Sol Campbell to Portsmouth] "It is a big surprise to me because he cancelled his contract to go abroad. Have you sold Portsmouth to a foreign country?"

13) "I believe the target of anything in life should be to do it so well that it becomes an art. When you read some books they are fantastic, the writer touches something in you that you know you would not have brought out of yourself. He makes you discover something interesting in your life. If you are living like an animal, what is the point of living? What makes daily life interesting is that we try to transform it to something that is close to art. And football is like that. When I watch Barcelona, it is art."

14) "When you represent a club it's about values and qualities, not about passports."

15) "If I go into a season and I say, 'For fu*k's sake, if we don't win anything, they will all leave,' I have already lost. The problem of the media is always to imagine the worst. The problem of the manager is always to imagine the best."

16) [After the success of the Great Britain team at the Olympics] "I didn't know the English were good at swimming. I have been in this country for 12 years and I haven't seen a swimming pool."

17) "The biggest things in life have been achieved by people who, at the start, we would have judged crazy. And yet if they had not had these crazy ideas the world would have been more stupid."

18) "There is no better psychological education than growing up in a pub when you are five or six because you meet all different people and hear how cruel they can be. You hear the way they talk to each other like saying 'You're a liar.' And from an early age you get a practical psychological education into the minds of people."

19) "I started at 33 as a manager and sometimes I felt I wouldn't survive. Physically I was sick."

20) "Politically, I am for efficiency. Economically first. Until the 1980s the world was divided into two, people were either communist or capitalist. The communist model does not work economically, we all realised that, but the capitalist model in the modern world also looks to be unsustainable. You cannot ignore individual interests, but I believe the world evolves slowly. The last 30 years have brought a minimum amount of money for everybody in the west, the next step, politically, would be a maximum amount of money earned by everybody."

21) "As long as no-one scored, it was always going to be close."

22) "If I asked you who was the best team in the world you would say Brazil. And do they play good football? Yes. Which club won everything last year? Barcelona. Good football. I am not against being pragmatic, because it is pragmatic to make a good pass, not a bad one. If I have the ball, what do I do with it? Could anybody argue that a bad solution like just kicking it away is pragmatic just because, sometimes, it works by accident?"

23) [In response to Sir Alex Ferguson's claim that he possessed the best team in the league despite Arsenal winning the title in 2002] "Everyone thinks they have the prettiest wife at home."

24) "Ferguson should calm down. Maybe it would have been better if he had put us against a wall and shot us."

25) "He [Ferguson] doesn't interest me and doesn't matter to me at all. I will never answer to any provocation from him any more."

26) [To journalists regarding Ferguson] "What I don't understand is that he does what he wants and you are all at his feet."

27) "Ferguson's out of order. He has lost all sense of reality. He is going out looking for a confrontation, then asking the person he is confronting to apologise. He's pushed the cork in a bit far this time."

28) [Upon being asked if he had received the apology that Sir Alex had announced he had sent to Wenger] "No. Perhaps he sent it by horse."

29) "I'm ready to take the blame for all the problems of English football if that is what he wants."

30) [After Jose Royes announced he wanted to leave Arsenal] "It's like you wanting to marry Miss World and she doesn't want you. I can try to help you but if she does not want to marry you what can I do?"

31) "Despite the global warming, England is still not warm enough for him."

32) "Gerard Houllier's thoughts on the matter [international football] echo mine. He thinks that what the national coaches are doing is like taking the car from his garage without even asking permission. They will then use the car for ten days and abandon it in a field without any petrol left in the tank. We then have to recover it, but it is broken down. Then a month later they will come to take your car again, and for good measure you're expected to be nice about it."

33) "Gerard is an open-minded and passionate man. I am the opposite: stubborn and stupid. But sometimes stupid behaviour makes you win."

34) "I do not think about the national team too much because footballistically it is not of too much interest."

35) [On losing the lead of the league in November 2004] "It's like a child who is used to having ice cream whenever he wants. When it doesn't come when he asks he tends to get confused and nervous."

36) "Any man who concentrates his energies totally on one passion is, by definition, someone who hurts the people close to him."

37) "We were considering him [Ruud van Nistelrooy] and Francis Jeffers and, in the end, we went for Jeffers."

38) "Maybe people will be surprised that I have signed an Englishman but I looked at his quality and not his passport. Francis is a 'fox in the box'."

39) [On Ruud van Nistelrooy in 2003] "He can only cheat."

40) "I think in England you eat too much sugar and meat and not enough vegetables."

41) "I lived for two years in Japan and it was the best diet I ever had. The whole way of life there is linked to health. Their diet is basically boiled vegetables, fish and rice. No fat, no sugar. You notice when you live there that there are no fat people."

42) "One of the things I discovered in Japan was from watching sumo wrestling. At the end you can never tell who has won the fight, and who has lost, because they do not show their emotion because it could embarrass the loser. It is unbelievable. That is why I try to teach my team politeness. It is only here in England that everybody pokes their tongue out when they win."

43) "What's really dreadful is the diet in Britain. The whole day you drink tea with milk and coffee with milk and cakes. If you had a fantasy world of what you shouldn't eat in sport, it's what you eat here."

44) "If you do not believe you can do it then you have no chance at all."

45) [On Arsenal's recruitment policy] "If I give you a good wine, you will see how it tastes and after you ask where it comes from."

46) "I don't kick dressing room doors or the cat or even football journalists."

47) "At some clubs success is accidental. At Arsenal it is compulsory."

48) "Nobody has enough talent to live on talent alone. Even when you have talent, a life without work goes nowhere."

49) "You have to be a masochist to be an international manager."

50) "For me, when you change more than three players in a team, you always take a technical risk because you change the deep structure of the team and the deep balance of the team, mentally and technically."

51) "We do not buy superstars. We make them."

52) "The real revelation of a player's character is not in his social life but in how he plays. In my social life I can hide my real personality."

53) [After Martin Taylor snapped Eduardo's leg in half] "The guy should never ever play football again."

54) [On how long Tomas Rosicky would be ruled out for at the start of his 18-month recuperation] "Days not weeks."

55) "I am in a job where you always look in front of you. Unfortunately, the older you get, the less distance there is in front of you."

56) "We try to go a different way that, for me, is respectable. Briefly, these are the basics. I thought: "We are building a stadium, so I will get young players in early so I do not find myself exposed on the transfer market without the money to compete with the others. I build a team, and we compensate by creating a style of play, by creating a culture at the club because the boy comes in at 16 or 17 and when they go out they have a supplement of soul, of love for the club, because they have been educated together. The people you meet at college from 16 to 20, often those are the relationships in life that keep going. That, I think, will give us strength that other clubs will not have."

57) "What motivates me is an ideal of thinking about how football should be. And to try to get near this way of playing. And to try to improve all aspects of my personality that can help me get near this ideal way of playing football."

58) [On Emmanuel Adebayor's stamp on Robin van Persie] "I watched it when I got home and it looked very bad. You ask 100 people, 99 will say it's very bad and the hundredth will be Mark Hughes."

59) "I did not see the incident."

60) "I do not like to make a fuss, it'll just be another day. I want to stay 59."

Pete Gill

Birthday Boy Wenger

Happy birthday, Arsene Wenger.

On this, his 60th birthday, he planned to leave the Champagne on ice. Nothing to celebrate, no parties. Just another quiet, diligent day of total immersion in football affairs, a club Annual General Meeting, plenty of football talk, study, intensity and reflection in the life of the sport's most Buddha-like, private and enigmatic man.

And maybe an evening at home in Totteridge watching television - football again, of course, but this time from the new Europa League.

He will not speak of bus passes or retirement. He rarely speaks of anything else but football. He is a man dedicated to his one undying occupational love affair.

For him, football is not only a job. It is the food of his life and it gives him romance, the source of his flights of fancy, his dreams and his ambitions.

He has been manager of Arsenal for 13 years and more - a record - but little is known about him in any real depth. He has managed to keep private his private life.

Although we think we know him well, from what everyone can see in the stadium, at the training ground and in front of the media, we hardly know him at all.

We know he is always late - up to an hour or more sometimes - for many of his appointments and keeps people waiting. We know his football beliefs.

We know his delight in the purity of perfect geometric passing moves, attacks that crackle with the electric fusion he learned of and studied for his degree at Strasbourg University, where he also gained a master's in economics.

We know of his passion and his temper when he is enflamed by football matters, bad results, poor performances, disagreeable decisions by referees and violent tackles.

We know of his dry humour when he is in a playful mood, toying with news conferences and group interviews.

We know he follows world affairs and watches the news, applies his intelligence to understand the money markets, patterns of footballer migration across continents and that he studies the sciences of physical well-being that underpin his teams' athleticism, pace, strength and durability.

We know his first Arsenal players thought he was a geography teacher who had taken a wrong turn to end up at Highbury - and ended up teaching them stretching exercises and giving them diets that extended their careers while he prepared his spending plans for the French revolution that was to transform Arsenal from a football club as English as suet pudding into a cosmopolitan collection of men who delivered Afro-European football with a suave style that has bewitched London's chattering classes. What would Wenger have done with Charlie George?

A man for all seasons | But who will follow Arsene?

He has said he will carry on working for as long as he can, certainly beyond 2011 when his current contract expires. He is sure to be asked about this at the AGM where the atmosphere is likely to be very different to that last May, when a few disgruntled shareholders dared to ask questions loaded with personal prejudice and some with spite.

This week, he said: "From now on, I have to assess (myself) every two years because, the way I work, it's hands-on - it's not to delegate a lot - so it is hard work. As you get older, everybody will tell you there is a massive contrast between how you look and how you feel.

"I would want to work as long as I lived but adapted to my potential. It doesn't always need to be physical work. Sometimes, it can be more intellectual... you cannot be 75 on the pitch."

Age, he has said, is a state of mind: "People at 40 can be young physically, but old mentally and, in this job, it helps that you never have any certainty. You always question and you always have to question yourself. I believe that's the basis of staying young in your head."

These are the words of a scientist, a thinker. He comes from Strasbourg and he is an Alsatian, one of those Europeans whose origins and history blend Teutonic strength with French flair, and sometimes a touch of Swiss solitude.

Think of the charm, humour and singularity of Roger Federer, from nearby Basel, and there is a kindred spirit.

Both are capable of tantrums, now mostly controlled - though Wenger does still have his Basil Fawlty moments in extreme anxiety on the touchline, and both are devoted to fulfilling their talents in a way that satisfies their craving for perfection: in style as well as substance.

Wenger may have studied as a scientist, but he has used science to serve his art. And though that combination may have made him Arsenal's most successful and greatest manager, it has yet to propel him beyond football.

He remains enigmatic, a reclusive student of his football, a brilliant coach and exceptional manager, but not a man whose wit or wisdom has expanded beyond sport.

And what will Arsenal do when he is gone? He has built a club around him in his style and, to some extent, his image.

Surely, it would be impossible to find an Englishman to follow him. Is there a Wenger protégé, perhaps Thierry Henry, as he has suggested, who has the attributes to carry on the project?

On his 60th birthday, it is the big question: who follows Arsene? And it would be his best present to himself if he found the answer...

Tim Collings, Goal.com UK

Monday, October 19, 2009

Why Wenger Rejected Joining Read Madrid

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has conceded that Real Madrid were a big attraction when they tried to lure him away in the summer.

Wenger admits he has a soft spot for the Spanish champions, but in the end says he could not leave The Emirates.

One reason he is so committed to the Gunners is that he made a promise to his current batch of youngsters that he would remain in charge.

He told L'Equipe: "Real is the club of my childhood. When I was a kid, watching those guys in white, winning everything, then of course I am attracted by that club, but I have a pact with the young players of my team, and I want to succeed with that bet.

"I identified what was important in my job: freedom. Here, I have it.

"I could have earned bigger wages at Real, but I earn a good living in London. At my age, money can't play a key role.

"If I left for Real, I would have tried to filter through my philosophy, reorganised everything. I could have given foundations to the club's structure.

"That would not have prevented me from signing Ronaldo or Kaka. But that team is only built on bought players, while Real has a tradition of a beautiful game.

"They have to do what has been achieved at Barcelona through young players: creating a culture."

Wenger also revealed his belief that his current side could win this season's Champions League.

"People say I love a 'romantic' game, which is a kind of searching for beauty. You need such an ambition at the start.

"However, I am not a champion for beauty and only for beauty. Pleasure also comes from winning. I advocate extra soul: a team built patiently, with young players dedicated to remain together for five or 10 years, and that can identify with the culture of the game and the club.

"My team is ready to play a Champions League final. Why not winning it? We have more assets this year than the last one, because we have more certainties and more mental strength.

"Maybe I am more a builder than an investor. Actually I am realistic. When I made them build Emirates Stadium, I told myself: 'How could we stay at the highest level playing with the best players, against the best clubs, respecting the well-balanced finances at the club?' To me, the only solution was creating a team of young players, little by little, to lead them to high level."

He also pointed the finger at teams like Real and Manchester City for spending huge money on their sides.

"That is not idealism," he said.

"We are very close to making it in the Champions League with a very young team, respecting a well-balanced budget, facing clubs that do not necessarily respect that. Playing when you lose €150million, to me it is cheating."

Wenger also revealed why he had not bought either Xabi Alonso or Gareth Barry in the summer.

"I have been criticised for not hiring Xabi Alonso or Gareth Barry. But if I signed them, I would have killed Song, Diaby and Denilson," he insisted.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Nasri Set For Return

Samir Nasri believes he should be back in action for the Premier League clash with West Ham on 25th October.

Nasri has yet to play this season after breaking his leg over the summer but Arsene Wenger recently revealed he was closing in on a comeback.

Nasri is happy with how the recovery is going and hopes to return to the Gunners squad as soon as possible.

He may not be ready to feature in the home game against Birmingham this weekend or make the trip to AZ Alkmaar in the UEFA Champions League.

However, the Frenchman is confident he will play some part at Upton Park later this month and is looking forward to linking up with his team-mates in a new-look formation.

"I'm due to rejoin the Arsenal team this weekend, or at the start of next week," Nasri said in The Sun.

"I think I will be back in action against West Ham on the 25th.

"The new style of play suits us. Cesc Fabregas has a bit more freedom in midfield, and the rest of us link up well with him."

Friday, October 2, 2009

Nicklas Bendtner Car Crash Photo

Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner believes it is a 'miracle' that he walked away almost unscathed from a car crash last week.

The Denmark international was on his way to training on Sunday when his Aston Martin left the road and collided with the hard shoulder fence and a tree.

Bendtner missed the midweek UEFA Champions League victory over Olympiakos after being left badly shaken by the accident.

The only physical injuries he sustained were cuts and bruises to his knees and shoulder and he is hoping to return to action against Blackburn on Sunday.

However, Bendtner admits he is lucky to be alive after the incident and feels a higher power was at work in preventing more serious injuries.

"Someone took care of me out there on the road. I don't know what or who, but in a larger picture, there simply was someone who helped me. I firmly believe that it just wasn't the time for me to leave this life," he told the Daily Mirror.

"The police and everyone else at the scene told me I would have been dead if I hadn't been wearing my seatbelt.

"They also told me I would have been dead if I had been driving a car with a less impressive safety record. They actually called it a miracle that the accident didn't end with me dead, or at least severely injured.

"It was a huge shock. But I do not need a psychologist to find myself after the accident. I went out driving in my other car the day after, and it was no problem.

"I feel fine, although my shoulder is very sore. I have also got a number of cuts and bruises, and my knees were smashed together when a small tree came in through the car door.

"My knees are really bruised, but there is nothing broken or torn inside.

"I have been training alone, have been well examined and have had plenty of massage on my back, which has been hurting a lot. But I am training with my team-mates again, and the plan is I can play on Sunday."

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Eduardo Ban Revoked

Arsenal striker Eduardo just wants to focus on Wednesday's Champions League clash against Standard Liege after his two-match ban was annulled by UEFA.

The Croatia forward was initially suspended for allegedly diving to win a penalty against Celtic in their Champions League qualifier at the Emirates at the end of August.

Eduardo successfully converted the spot-kick himself and the Gunners went on to win the game 3-1.

Scottish FA chief executive Gordon Smith was quick to call for action against Eduardo and UEFA subsequently began an investigation, which Gunners boss Arsene Wenger lambasted as a "witch-hunt".

The Premier League club lodged an appeal against the ban which would have ruled the player out of the games against Standard Liege as well as the home match with Olympiacos in a fortnight.

However, UEFA have now announced the ban has been quashed and the 26-year-old has welcomed the end of the episode.

A statement from the Croatia international on Arsenal's website read: "I'm very pleased that we have finally arrived at the truth. All we needed to do was to prove what happened and we have managed to do that. This decision makes me feel a lot better.

"I certainly feel relieved now. I have had great support from my family, friends and of course everyone at the club.

"Now I just want to forget about this and think about our match against Standard Liege on Wednesday. I was always prepared for the match in Belgium because I had good feeling and I always remained positive about the outcome.

"Now we have a final result, I can now look forward to helping the team on Wednesday night.

"All I remember of the incident is that as soon as I had possession of the ball I headed towards goal at full speed. I was very close to the Celtic keeper and felt contact on my foot and then lost my balance. I know perhaps more than anyone else that when you have contact at speed it can be dangerous.

"I just want to say that I'm a fair player. To score goals you must take your opportunities and I'm not the type of player who needs to be dishonest to score goals."

The north London club had been furious with the initial ban and welcomed UEFA's action.

A statement read: "We are grateful that the appeal body focused on the evidence and made the right decision in this case.

"We were able to show that there was contact between the goalkeeper and Eduardo and that the decision of the UEFA disciplinary body should be annulled.

"We fully support the drive for fair play in football and believe it is important that UEFA provide clear and comprehensive standards that will be consistently enforced going forward.

"We are glad to put this incident behind us and concentrate on the games ahead."

UEFA had earlier announced their final decision on www.uefa.com, saying: "The UEFA Appeals body today accepted the appeal lodged by Arsenal FC against the two-match suspension handed to striker Eduardo.

"Following examination of all the evidence, notably the declarations of both the referee and the referees' assessor, as well as the various video footage, it was not established to the panel's satisfaction that the referee had been deceived in taking his decision on the penalty.

"Therefore, the decision of the UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body of 1 September, in which the player was suspended for two UEFA club competition matches, is annulled."

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Van Persie Hits Out At UNPROFESSIONAL adebayoh

"I am sad and disappointed by my former team-mate Emmanuel Adebayor's mindless and malicious stamp on me during today's match," he said.

"We are both professional footballers and I know that the game is physical, I too have made hard and sometimes mis-timed challenges but never with the intention of hurting an opponent. He set out to hurt me today.

"I knew he was aiming for a collision because he changed the angle of his body to allow contact to be made. He moved backwards when his natural momentum would have taken him forward. I find that deeply disrespectful. He has shown a real lack of class today, to me and the fans.

"I do feel lucky that I have not suffered a greater injury. The contact was only centimetres from my eye. I have not received an apology from him, there were no words exchanged afterwards. He had his own agenda today and that is bad for football. It's bad for the game we all love.

"I want to make it clear that this has nothing to do with the result of today's match. We do not hide from that disappointment but I need to speak out about his behaviour."

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Tomas Rosicky is Back BUT Andrey Arshavin is now Injured & Wenger is not Happy!

Tomas Rosicky started for the Czech Republic against San Marino and played 56 minutes. He has not played for his club since January 2008.

Cezh coach Ivan Rasek revealed: "I'm happy above all that Tomas could play, that he was ready for the game.

"I had a deal with Wenger to keep Tomas on the pitch no longer than an hour."

Meanwhile, Andrey Arshavin completed 90 minutes for Russia in Wales but aggravated a groin injury that will keep him out of this Saturday's visit to Manchester City. Arsene Wenger is not incredibly happy.

"He should not have played," he said. "He will be out for Saturday and Wednesday and certainly Wigan. He had a groin problem which I took him out after Manchester United. He should not have played. You can say a lot, but it doesn't do a lot."

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Bilic Knows That Eduardo is NOT a Diver!!!

Croatian coach Slaven Bilic has blasted England skipper John Terry over his comments about the Eduardo diving affair, and said that he has known Eduardo for years, and he does not dive intentionally.

“If anyone knows him (Eduardo) I know him. He is no diver. He is a good guy, a sportsman, a professional and a role model of fair play. Sometimes he waits for a contact. Maybe it wasn’t a penalty against Celtic but you can’t say there was no contact,”

Beckham Defends Eduardo

David Beckham spoke out today in defence of Arsenal forward Eduardo da Silva, who recently received a two-match European ban from UEFA as punishment for diving during the Gunners' second-leg Champions League play-off tie against Celtic at the Emirates on August 26.

The England midfielder, who could line up opposite Eduardo in a World Cup qualifier on Wednesday, is unhappy with the 26-year-old Croatian's widespread vilification, and believes it is important to remember how the former Dinamo Zagreb standout fought back from a horrific leg break which kept him out of action for a year.

"There has been far too much talk about diving," said Beckham.
"No-one wants to see it and it is disappointing when it happens. But it happens every week and Eduardo is not the first person to have done it.

"The whole thing should be put to bed.

"Eduardo is a great player. It is not that long ago that he suffered an horrific injury.

"You don't know what was going through his mind. He might have been trying to get out of the way of a tackle so he didn't get injured again."

It's unclear how these words will go over with England manager Fabio Capello, who is known to take a dim view of diving and has admitted to admonishing his own teammates during his time as an Italian international for unsporting behaviour.

The former Real Madrid boss has similar expectations for his current squad, revealed Beckham.

"The manager has high expectations of the players, on and off the pitch," he said.

"You always have to behave in the right way, whether you are playing or just walking round the hotel."

Beckham's former manager, Manchester United's Sir Alex Ferguson, announced his satisfaction with UEFA's verdict last week and insisted steps should be taken to prevent simulation throughout Europe.

"Something should be done and we hope the message gets across," said Ferguson. "It was a high-profile game and something has to be done."

Meanwhile, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been very vocal in his opposition to the decision, branding UEFA's investigation a "witch-hunt".

As a result of the ban, Eduardo will miss Arsenal's group stage ties against Standard Liege and Olympiacos.

Jeremy Brown

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Transfer Deadline News

09.14: Stoke City chairman Peter Coates has confirmed the club are still in talks with Danny Collins and also hope to bring in a loan signing.

Danny Collins, eh? It doesn't get much more exciting than that.

08.51: A bit of news you may have missed from last night - Eidur Gudjohnsen has agreed a move to Monaco from Barcelona.

08.43: Busy day at Pompey - SSN claim Nicky Shorey is on his way down to Fratton Park for a medical after agreeing a deal to move from Aston Villa.

08.34: A cookie to Portsmouth, for they have completed the first deal of deadline day - the man joining the south coast basket case is Hassan Yebda, a midfielder who has joined on a season loan from Benfica.

08.27: Speaking of City and SSN, the yellow news ticker chug-chugs into glorious life to 'confirm' word in some of the papers this morning - namely that City are in talks with Spurs over David Bentley.

08.26: Our old friends at Sky Sports News reckon Richard Dunne is at Aston Villa today for a medical ahead of his move from Manchester City.

08.12: Harry Redknapp will no doubt be doing some ducking and diving and dealing today, and while the move for David James seems to be a source of some friction between he and Daniel Levy, a move for Niko Krancjar looks as if it's in the bag.

Redknapp told The Sun: "I'm really delighted. I signed him for Portsmouth and he's a fantastic player and a great lad.

"I've already got two fantastic Croatian players - Modric and Vedran Corluka - who can help him settle in."

08.09: Lots of stuff in the Gossip Column this morning, including a review of the the busy day approaching at White Hart Lane, while there's some doubt about the comings/going at Everton and a whole bunch of other stuff.

08.02: Morning all, and welcome to the final Transfer Blog of this window. Now, don't get too emotional - we'll be back in January, and until then you can sit back and enjoy the football.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Arsenal Transfer News - Eboue to Follow Toure

Arsenal's coffers could be swollen by as much as £25m in the next week with Emmanuel Eboue poised to follow Kolo Toure out of the Emirates.

Toure's transfer to Man City is near completion with the defender scheduled to undergo a medical in the north-west later today. According to The Sun, Arsenal will receive £17m for the 28-year-old.

Meanwhile, The Times reports that 'Fiorentina have agreed a five-year contract with Emmanuel Eboué, but the Italian club's £5.2 million offer for the midfield player is some way short of Arsenal's £8.6 million valuation.'

If the Gunners' negotiations are successful then Arsene Wenger will have raised approximately £50m in three weeks following the £25m departure of Emmanuel Adebayor to City earlier this month. It is surely no coincidence that the three Africans have been described as a close-knit unit in the Arsenal dressing-room or that Wenger has tolerated their departures ahead of a season that will be interrupted by the African Nations Cup in January.

It does, though, remain unknown just how much of the money recouped in transfer fees will be put at Wenger's disposal for new additions.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Latest Arsenal Transfer News - Kolo Toure Fee Agreed. Whats Wenger Thinking??

The morning reports are rather unsettling as they state that Arsenal and Machester City have agreed a 15 Million pound sale for Kolo Toure. What the fuck is wrong with Arsenal/Arsene? I mean really now!

The "In Wenger We Trust" brigade must seething in anger at this bit of news. The Arsenal board have apparently been feuding on the sale of Emmanuel Adebayor and although in truth many fans were too see him leave including yours trully, the sale of Toure is unmitigated. If last week Manchester City weren't a threat to Arsenal, this week they are.

The problem is not that Arsene Wenger/Arsenal are selling players. It is instead the opposite of that. They are not buying anything. As I watch the careless deconstruction of my favorite club by my favotite manager in my favotite league, I have to wonder if Arsenal have given up hope on challenging for anything. Arsenal only brought Thomas Vermeulen and even that was not a sigining to bring relief to fans.

Sir Alex Ferguson, in his infamous "small club" interview stated that Arsenal of the "big four" face a bigger challenge this season. While Robin Van Persie was agititated with the team's lack of signing. How True. How sad.

Arsenal and particularly Arsene Wenger have been too quite in the transfer dealings. No word on bidding or negotiations, no hint of movement inside to the club. Arsenal lost Melo, then decided not bid and buy Cana who went to Sunderland instead. All the while the only talk we hear is one of players moving OUT of the club. Apparently some Italians teams are sniffing around Ashburton Grove looking to entice Eboue and Gallas away.

I hope I am wrong and Wenger surprises us, but I am not holding my breath.

Though this might not happen since Toure is leaving. But can we certain of that. I believe i speak for most fans when I say, "Wenger say something, Anthing Damnit".

Bleacher Report!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Arsenal Transfer News - Toure to Go

The Sunday Times claim that Manchester City want to sign Kolo Toure and 'expect' to recruit Arsenal defender, Joleon Lescott and John Terry before the transfer window closes next month.

According to the newspaper, 'Occasional Arsenal captain Toure has been seduced by City's standard double-your-money offer and following a season in which he was not consistently Arsene Wenger's first choice should be sold for around £15m.'

Toure's future at Arsenal has been in doubt for some time, with the defender understood to have handed in - and then withdrawn - a transfer request in January. More recently, he said he was back in love with the club. "People know I love the club, nobody can say I don't. I believe you can only truly love one club in your career and my club is Arsenal," he told The Daily Mail in May. On Thursday, his brother Yaya predicted he would stay at the Emirates.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Ashley Cole Should Just Shut Up

Ashley Cole hopes Manchester City force his former club Arsenal out of the top four of the Premier League.

The Chelsea and England defender angered Gunners fans when he moved to their fierce capital rivals in 2006.

Cole has now admitted that he would rather see City, who have spent heavily on a host of stars over the summer, finish above his ex-employers.

"I have friends at City and I hope they do really well - and that they finish above Arsenal," said the full-back.

"I think it's going to be hard for City but they could do it. They may click straight away and it's magic. I hope they do."

Cashely Cole is a loser, shut up!!!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Good riddance to bad rubbish - ADEBAYOR TALKING TERMS - REPORT

Emmanuel Adebayor is reportedly in Manchester discussing terms on his £25m move to City from Arsenal.

The Guardian online claim that the Gunners have agreed to sell the Togo striker, who is 'discussing terms on a five-year contract worth between £150,000-170,000 a week'.

News broke on Monday afternoon that City had opened talks with Arsenal about Adebayor, who has reputedly had a difficult relationship with Arsene Wenger since angling for a move last summer.

Adebayor would become the ninth striker on City's books and comes hot on the heels of the signings of Carlos Tevez and Roque Santa Cruz.

Adebayoh to Sign For Man City

Manchester City are reputedly determined to push through the transfer of Emmanuel Adebayor by offering the Arsenal striker a double-your-money deal at Eastlands.

Just over 48 hours after City announced they were no longer pursuing Samuel Eto'o, it is understood that talks between Arsenal and City over Adebayor opened on Monday afternoon. Neither club has yet to comment on the speculation but it's believed that City have offered £20m for the Togo striker.

Determined to hold out for £25m, Arsenal are mindful of AC Milan's interest in Adebayor and one complication in the proposed deal may be the player's reputed preference for moving to Italy. Whether that would remain the case in view of the wages apparently on offer in Manchester remains to be seen. According to The Daily Mail, 'The Togo forward is expected to open talks on a five-year deal worth £170,000 a week' and 'the deal could even be completed today'.

If those figures are correct then the total cost of the deal would be in excess of £70m - a staggering outlay given that the club have already spent over £100m in transfer fees alone this year after completing the purchase of Carlos Tevez on Monday.

The newspaper goes on to speculate that Arsene Wenger is willing to sell because 'has grown tired of what he perceives to be Adebayor's poor attitude'. It is more likely that Wenger is willing to cash in on Adebayor in order to fund further redevelopment of the Gunners' rearguard while pursuing Bordeaux's Morocco striker Marouane Chamakh.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

AC Milan To Offer £20m Plus Mathieu Flamini For Emmanuel Adebayor - Report

Despite reports suggesting that Arsenal striker Emmanuel Adebayor was set to reject a move to AC Milan, the Italian club still seem ready to make an offer for the player, according to The Mirror.

The Serie A club are now, according to the British tabloid, ready to offer £20 million in cash as well as defensive midfielder Mathieu Flamini in exchange for the Togolese striker.

The offer, if made, would no doubt interest Gunners boss Arsene Wenger, who is in desperate need of a battling central midfielder, and could welcome Frenchman Flamini back to the club.

The Gunners however, have reportedly tabled an offer for Fiorentina midfielder Felipe Melo, who impressed during Brazil's Confederations Cup triumph in South Africa.

The future of the Brazilian midfielder has been in the balance for a long time following his impressive displays for both club and country, and it is believed that Europe's major sides are trailing him, with Arsenal and Juventus reportedly the front runners.

Flamini meanwhile has found life hard since leaving the Emirates Stadium, struggling to establish himself in the Milan first team until the second half of the season, and only getting his opportunity when other players have been injured.

The 25-year-old might be interested in a move back to north London to work once again with the man who discovered him, and in turn, could be exactly the player Arsenal fans want at the club.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Now What's Freddie Ljungberg Saying? Eish...

Former Arsenal star Freddie Ljungberg has admitted that he is concerned about his old club and that the Gunners’ results over the last few years have made him sad.

The former Swedish international, who now plys his trade in the MLS with the Seattle Sounders, has told the Sunday Mirror that their financial situation is a worry.

“The feeling I get is the financial situation is a bit tight - what is the state of the club?” said Ljungberg.

“Nobody's come out and said why they're not spending. Everyone is asking that.

“I get sad just to look at the results in the last few years.”

The 32-year-old enjoyed phenomenal success during his nine years in north London, winning two Premier League titles and three FA Cups.

Indeed, the Swede was part of the 2005 FA Cup winning side, which was the last trophy Arsenal won.Having now gone four years without any silverware, Ljungberg insisted this was not good enough for a club of Arsenal’s stature.

"When I played there, they always said if you don't win a trophy every year then it was not good enough,” he explained.

“I hope they turn it around.”

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Some disturbing Arsenal Transfer News

Cesc Fabregas has voiced his frustration at Arsenal's "impotence" after a fourth successive season without a trophy.

The Gunners have failed to win any silverware since lifting the FA Cup in 2005, much to the annoyance of captain Fabregas.

And the midfielder, part of the Spain side stunned by the USA in the semi-finals of the Confederations Cup in South Africa, admitted Arsenal's shortage of success was affecting team spirit.

"The absence of titles at Arsenal is what angers me the most," he is quoted as saying in The Sun.

"Cristiano (Ronaldo) said he's leaving Manchester United because he had nothing else to win. For me right now it is the exact opposite, seeing the impotence.

"This year we wanted it, we were giving everything - but we couldn't reach the level that everyone expected of Arsenal.

"When you win, you're well. But when you don't, everyone is in a bad mood. For four years now, we've needed a title to regain our belief in ourselves."

Fabregas stopped short of saying he wanted to leave Emirates Stadium but insisted he needs to be "happy" during his career.

He said: "If I have to say I want to leave I will do it face to face. If one day I'm not happy, I am the first who will tell the manager.

"I admire Arsene Wenger but each of us has his own life and looks after his own interests.

"My seventh season is about to start. It's a lot when you're just 22. When you stop to think, you see that time flies.

"In football, you have to learn fast and take the best decisions for yourself and try to be happy."

The playmaker moved to Arsenal as a teenager from Barcelona but admits his family, all Barca fans, would not prevent any possible future move to Real Madrid.

He added: "Of course my family would understand if I signed for Real Madrid because they love me, they want me to be happy and what is best for me.

"They'd support me - whichever club I joined. My family will always be there for me - whatever decision I make.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Deplorable Behaviour From Man UTD Fans..

A Manchester United fan in Nigeria killed four people when he drove his minibus into a crowd of Barcelona supporters after his team lost the Champions League final.

The crowd in the town of Ogbo were celebrating Barcelona's victory after the match when the bus drove into them. A police spokeswoman said 10 people were injured and the driver was arrested.

"The driver had passed the crowd then made a U-turn and ran into them," she said.
Barcelona beat Manchester United 2-0 in what was hailed as a dream final between two of Europe's best clubs. Both teams have large fan bases in Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Gooner Riview!

Later this year a comprehensive insight into Arsenal's 08-09 season will be available on DVD, titled The Gooner Review. The Gooner Review is a feature-length documentary on Arsenal's 2008 - 2009 season created by the fans, for the fans. Endorsed by Arsenal legend Bob Wilson, the film will feature interviews from members of supporter's associations, ex-players, Gooner celebrities and fans that travel thousands of miles just to see their beloved team play in the Emirates. Unlike any film made about Arsenal before, the Gooner Review will follow the ups and downs of an Arsenal fan's season, and give the definitive account of what it means to support Arsenal.

Anyone who joins The Gooner Review Club on www.thegoonerreview.com can vote on who should be in the film, what questions we should ask and which interviews we should keep in. Members also get the chance to be in the film and to come to the gala premiere, as well as getting a free Gooner Review hat!
Weekly Podcasts are also available on the official Gooner Review site, with fans and former players' views and opinions on recent games and current Gunner activities. For all true Gooners, become apart of The Gooner Review today!

More info is available on the official site



Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Summer clearout inevitable after another trophyless season

Arsenal’s dreams of lifting silverware are over for another year after what was the most disappointing evening since the Champions League final in 2006. Everything changed with just one slip and had Kieran Gibbs kept his footing we could be talking about a trip to Rome based on the start Arsenal made. As much as it pains me to say it though, that one unlucky moment aside, Manchester United were the better side over two legs and I was very impressed by how they neutralised Arsenal’s passing game. Other than being very disappointed in the result my biggest fear now is that some of our star players will walk away in search of a club that actually wins the top prizes.

For the majority of the season we have heard rumblings that Emmanuel Adebayor, Robin van Persie and Cesc Fabregas could be leaving in the summer. The Adebayor rumours have quickly resurfaced after our exit from the Champions League so I wouldn’t be surprised, or disappointed, to see the lazy Togolese international turn up in Italy or Spain next season. To lose Adebayor wouldn’t be the worst situation in the world as I believe he isn’t any better than Nicklas Bendtner right now, the Danish striker having come on leaps and bounds since the New Year.

However the other two I mentioned, Fabergas and van Persie, would be huge losses should they decide to continue their careers elsewhere. Fabregas is Arsenal’s big hope, he is the one Wenger expects to become a world beater very soon and if they were to lose him then Wenger’s position may come under serious threat. The reality is that there is a chance Fabregas will leave in the summer having had a taste for success with Spain in the European Championships the 22-year-old understandably wants more. The fight will come if Barcelona try to bring the central midfielder ‘home’ and Wenger has to try to persuade Fabregas that he will achieve the success he desires at the Emirates very soon.

The same problem will come if van Persie wants to leave having heard him say this season that he would like to achieve more in his career. The Dutchman has been excellent for the majority of the season and it is no wonder Barcelona have been linked with him in the red tops. His failure to sign a new deal with the Gunners is also a concern, leaving the door open for him to walk away come the end of next season.

Arsenal needed to win that game on Tuesday night, not only for the chance to lift the European Cup but to also persuade some of our top players that it is worth sticking around. A lot of footballers have become mercenaries with their only interests coming in the categories of success and money. Loyalty is rare in this day and age, Cashley’s departure being a prime example of that, and if they don’t get either the money they want or the success they desire then many players will have no problem packing their bags and leaving.

I hope I am wrong about the three I have mentioned but their failure to really come out and say they want to stay with Arsenal for the rest of their career doesn’t give me much hope. It seems a safe football bet that Wenger will have a busy summer not only trying to bring in some new players but trying to keep the good ones we have.

Tribute to a true gunner!

Nairobi - An Arsenal fan in football-mad Kenya hung himself following his team's 4-1 aggregate drubbing by arch-rivals Manchester United in the Champions League semi-final, police said on Wednesday.

Suleiman Alphonso Omondi, a 29-year-old Kenyan living in the capital Nairobi's Embakasi neighbourhood, hung himself in his Arsenal shirt late Tuesday after the match, police said.

"We were watching the match at Bamba 70 pub, and when Arsenal was defeated, Suleiman just walked out in protest and he was crying," Calvin Otieno, one of his friends, said.

"We didn't know he was going to hang himself until Wednesday morning when we received the reports and came here to find his body at the balcony," Otieno said outside the deceased's home.

Arsenal slumped to a 3-1 defeat at home in the second leg of the Champions League semi-final, capping a disappointing season for the Gunners who were already out of the Premier League title race early in the season.

Football-related domestic tragedies are frequent in the region, where English clubs enjoy passionate following and European games draw more attention than national and continental games.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Could Fabianski cost Arsenal their Champions League semi-final?

As many of you will have already heard Lukasz Fabianski could be more than likely to deputise for Manuel Almunia in another semi-final for Arsenal. This time, in the first leg against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Wednesday 29th April, in what will be the Gunners' biggest game of the season so far. Having seen his horror show in one semi-final already, could the Polish shot-stopper be Arsenal’s biggest problem in trying to reach a second Champions League final?

Arsene Wenger’s youth policy has become well-known in the footballing world for creating young men who seemingly have little fear and are already prepared for any situation that comes their way. However, Fabianski is the exception that breaks that rule after ‘bottling it’ against Chelsea on Saturday.

Much like yourselves I have seen the 24-year-old a few times this season and always thought he gave a very good account of himself, looking confident coming for crosses and producing some great saves along the way, most notably the one he produced against Wigan in the Carling Cup this season. On the big stage though he looked like a rabbit caught in headlights in one of the worst goalkeeping performances I have seen for quite some time.

Almunia’s potential replacement looked a shadow of the man we have seen and in gifting Didier Drogba the winner he will have done major damage to his reputation amongst Arsenal fans who will now have little or no confidence in him. Despite his poor display though I believe Fabianski will bounce back, the only problem is that he will need time, something Arsenal don’t have with the game at Old Trafford being just eight days away.

With the game against Liverpool to come, along with Middlesbrough at home on Saturday, there isn’t enough time for the Poland international to get his confidence back. From the outside that looks to be his problem, a lack of confidence and belief, along with an annoying habit of rushing out of his goal.

It's a safe football bet that Old Trafford will be a cauldron of noise next Wednesday, a place where a young goalkeeper will struggle to find any friends on a season-defining night. It looked as if Fabianski cracked under the pressure, another aspect that will make the Champions League semi-final almost impossible for him.

Arsenal are almost guaranteed to come under some kind of pressure at some point next week and will look to their goalkeeper to organise the defence and be calm when dealing with difficult situations. I fear that instead of finding that goalkeeper though they will find a young man looking out of place and someone who Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo will be licking their lips to face.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Asharvin Focus

Arsenal didn’t have the best start to the season and found themselves out-with their normal top four position for a large chunk of the year, however they have now regained fourth spot and are looking onwards and upwards. It is true that their resurgence has started to come at a time when many of our players have started to return from injury, but one man has stood head and shoulders (not literally) above all of our players and that is new signing Andrey Arshavin.

Arshavin has not been at the club for long but looks like potentially being one of the most talented players to ever pull on an Arsenal shirt. The tricky little Russian has all the qualities to be a true Arsenal great including pace, skill, excellent shooting ability, fantastic awareness and absolutely no fear.
If only we had signed him in the summer we could still be in with a realistic chance of winning the Premiership. He seems to bring a lot of the attributes that we are missing in the team to the club, in particular the ability to create chances from nothing and produce that little bit of magic that helps to breakdown teams.
For Arshavin to really be an Arsenal great he needs to help bring the league title back to Arsenal, something we have not seen for far too long now. Next season is a huge season for Arsenal as we really need to start winning trophies, but now for the first time in a few years nearly all of the building blocks seem to be in place for Arsenal to last the distance and be crowned Premiership champions.

A crucial aspect, like it is every year for Arsenal, is if we can keep our players fit. We seem to pick up a ridiculous number of injuries to key players which if we can avoid, at least to the extent we have seen of late, then we definitely have the first team and the squad to go all the way.
by Danny Watson, a professional sports writer who blogs about football news.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Cesc Fabregas looks destined to leave Arsenal for Spanish pastures

Another day and another story emerges over the future of Cesc Fabregas at Arsenal, with the Gunners skipper once again linking himself with a move back to Spain. It has been obvious for a while that Barcelona and Real Madrid are interested in the 21-year-old as he continues to develop into a world beater. However what hadn’t been made clear was Fabregas’ position on a move, but for the past few days the Spaniard has been talking a lot about leaving the Emirates Stadium, leaving me with that sinking feeling.

I had the same feeling about Thierry Henry the year he left for Barcelona and was starting to get it this time last year when Mathieu Flamini and Alexander Helb were being linked with a move away. Now I will admit I am a bit of a pessimist when it comes to players staying with Arsenal and hold my hands up as being one of those fans that felt we were going to lose Patrick Vieira every season. Hopefully this is another Vieira situation where our central midfield king is linked with a move away but stays until his time has run out in north London.

The loss of Fabregas would be a catastrophe for a number of reasons and whilst he has said that if Arsene Wenger asks him to stay he will do so, a move back to Spain looks to be becoming more and more tempting. For example, Fabregas was allowed to under-go his rehabilitation in Spain, despite Arsenal’s normal protocol being that players should stay with the club’s physio Colin Lewin and the club’s doctor. Those of you who read the Sunday newspapers will also know that according to reports, Fabregas’ attitude has been changing since he came back from winning the European Championship and it hasn’t been for the best.

The loss of Arsenal’s crown jewel would certainly be a dark moment for the club and would in all likelihood spark the fire that could see a number of other players leave. At the moment Fabregas is the great hope that a lot of people are relying on to turn things around for Arsenal. However, even if Fabregas was to stay on would someone with another inflated ego be good for the club? I don’t think so and as such perhaps the Gunners would be better off taking the huge sum of money they would get for him and investing it in someone else. Obviously that is a worse case scenario but if the Spaniard keeps dropping hints that he wants to return to his home land you can bet that Barcelona and Real Madrid will be beating down Wenger’s door with their chequebooks come the summer.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Clichy loss may not be the worst thing to happen to Arsenal

The transfer circus is beginning to pick up pace again as we head towards the next transfer window and whilst many rumours are utter rubbish, such as Jeremie Aliadiere returning to the Gunners, others look a little more plausible. One such story doing the rounds at the minute is that AC Milan are preparing to make a bid for Gael Clichy. The rumour being bounced around, depending on where you get your news from, is that they will offer Arsenal between £12 and £15million for the French left-back.

I will admit that I am a big fan of the 23-year-old and believe he has done really well since taking over from Cashley at full-back. However, would the sale of Clichy be the worst thing that could happen to the Gunners this summer? Left-back is a position where Arsenal are lucky enough to have plenty of options and should Clichy leave I believe the likes of Armand Traore or Kieran Gibbs would do just as good a job given enough time.

Traore has spent this season on loan at Portsmouth and when I have been fortunate enough to see him play, he has looked like he is developing into a good player. However, my number one choice to fill in for Clichy would be Gibbs. The 19-year-old has been exemplary in the games he has played this season and arguably has been the best player on the pitch in some of Arsenal’s FA Cup matches this year.

When Arsene Wenger took over at the club he said it would take ten years to develop English players with the technical abilities he desired and I feel Gibbs is a prime example of that. Wenger, as we know, is always keen to give the youngster a chance and I believe Gibbs could become the next England left-back given the time.

Clichy has hinted that he could be tempted with a move to AC Milan and if it potentially came down to a choice of concentrating efforts on persuading him to stay or Cesc Fabregas, I know who I would choose.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Football fans unite! Thanks to a new marketing partnership between the Premier League and VisitBritain, the much revered Barclays Premier League Trophy will be displayed on VisitBritain’s stand at the Best of Britain and Ireland 2009, a brand new consumer event which takes place at London’s ExCeL Centre on Saturday 28 March and Sunday 29 March.

On Saturday 28 March, fans can see the trophy up close and personal, and even have their photograph taken with it, allowing them to follow in the footsteps of some of our greatest sporting heroes. The majestic Barclays Premier League Trophy is made of solid silver and silver gilt and has been won by four clubs since the league began in 1992: Manchester United, Blackburn Rovers, Arsenal and Chelsea.

Britain & Ireland have sporting legacies that attract visitors from across the globe. Pay tribute to the hallowed turf of our homegrown world-class sports destinations, and share in the glory of the countries’ achievements at the Best of Britain & Ireland 2009. The show will look forward to 2012, and celebrate past Olympic success with British Paralympic gold medalists Heather Frederiksen and Chris Holmes joining visitors during the weekend.

Football fans will find plenty of inspiration for active breaks in the UK and Ireland at the show. The event will be centered on six themes, including one dedicated to Active Britain & Ireland for sports enthusiasts. The Blue Badge Guides will take visitors on dedicated trails, including a must for sport fans: Mud, Sweat and Beers – team thrills and extreme spills, which will showcase the best active offerings from the exhibitors.

The show’s Active theme will showcase sporting activities and tours throughout the UK & Ireland. Exhibitors such as Soccer Destinations organise visits to the great soccer stadiums at Old Trafford, Stamford Bridge or Wembley and will be showcasing its flagship event, the Shrewsbury international tournament (taking place 2-7 August). Those interested in the history of the Beautiful Game should visit Stamford Bridge and Emirates Stadium stands. Staff will be on hand to give advice and information on their museum tours.

Fans keen to find great accommodation for away games should visit the array of hotels’ stands at Best of Britain & Ireland, including Choice Hotels, Best Western Hotels or, for a sophisticated touch, Classic British Hotels, to find out about their best deals. And what’s football without a beer? Don’t miss ‘The Best of British Ale’ session held by Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA).

Best of Britain & Ireland 2009 will also be featuring other sporting exhibitors, such as Twickenham World Rugby Museum and Stadium Tour, where visitors can experience the ‘Scrummaging Machine’ to test their own strength; Lords and Royal Ascot, where visitors can learn the etiquette behind one of sport’s most glamorous events and London’s Premier Sports Museums & Tours including Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum, which will be building up to the centenary celebrations of Fred Perry’s birth.

Anyone wishing to take up the rare opportunity to see the Barclays Premier League Trophy up close and find inspiration for more active holidays should book their visit to the Best of Britain & Ireland – now! Adult tickets cost just £10 each and £15 for a pair. Children under 16 and freedom pass holders get in free. For more information and to book tickets, please visit: www.britainandirelandevent.co.uk.

If you are intrested in attending please send me an e-mail on thmurapa@gmail.com & i will organize a 30% discount on ticket prices!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Gunners given best passage to reach FA Cup final

Arsenal’s 3-0 victory over Burnley on Sunday lunchtime means that Arsene Wenger’s side are just one step away from reaching Wembley and a semi-final with London rivals Chelsea. Of course they will have to beat Hull City first which, given the sides previous meeting at the Emirates, is not guaranteed. However the Gunners should be confident that they can overcome the Tigers next Tuesday after a comfortable victory at the KC Stadium back in January.

Arsenal were once again impressive in the world’s oldest cup competition on Sunday, with Eduardo looking an even better player than he did before his horrific injury. Whilst Burnley were poor though there were some encouraging signs that things are on the up in front of goal and in Kieran Gibbs Wenger has yet another quality left-back. Carlos Vela was impressive as well, although I bet we all wish he could transfer some of those excellent cup goals into league ones.

After the win on Sunday we also discovered who we could face after the quarter-finals and I believe Chelsea are the perfect opponents for Arsenal. Obviously with Manchester United seemingly unstoppable at the minute it was key to avoid them to keep Arsenal’s FA Cup dreams alive.

Whilst on paper Everton were the weakest of the Gunners potential semi-final opponents Arsenal have had trouble with David Moyes men in recent times and are the kind of side that can unsettle Wenger’s men on their day. The most recent example being our 1-1 draw at Goodison Park in January where Arsenal were fortunate to get a point.

As such I fancy Arsenal’s odds against Chelsea more than if they had to face United or Everton. The win at Stamford Bridge earlier in the season was the most comfortable I can remember and I haven’t seen any marked improvement in the Blues since then, despite the arrival of Guus Hiddink.

The Blues are no longer the unstoppable force they once were and with their attack often looking fairly toothless you’d fancy Arsenal’s current all conquering defence to keep the likes of Nicolas Anelka and Saloman Kalou at bay. Obviously the ace in the hole for Chelsea is Didier Drogba who on his day can unpick any defence and has done so against the Gunners on a couple of occasions.

The FA Cup is always unpredictable and on any given day Arsenal could easily be capable of lifting the trophy and having already beaten Hull, Chelsea, Everton and United this season Arsenal have as good a chance as any side of taking that walk up those steps to claim their prize.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Premier League - Arsenal profits rise to £24.5m

Arsenal have recorded pre-tax profits of £24.5 million for the six months ended November 30 2008, up £4.5m from the same period in 2007.

The robust performance strengthened the position of the club's current ownership, which is under takeover pressure from Red and White Holdings, led by Russian tycoon Alisher Usmanov, which recently upped its stake to 25 per cent.

The rise in profits came largely from increased revenue from the sale of Arsenal's old Highbury stadium as flats, with the club's property business bringing in a profit of nearly £5m following the sale of 186 apartments for £76.7m.

However, Arsenal warned that not all properties had been sold and that progress was slowing due to the recession and collapse of the housing market.

Arsenal saw an extra £3.3m matchday turnover as the Emirates Stadium hosted an additional Carling Cup fixture, while ticket prices rose 2.8 per cent. Broadcasting revenue also rose to the tune of £4.5m.

Chairman Peter Hill-Wood said: "I am pleased to report that the six months to November 30 2008 has produced another strong set of financial results.

"Profits were ahead in both our football and property businesses and combined to deliver an overall pre-tax profit for the group of £24.5m compared to £20.0m for the equivalent period last year.

"I believe these results are all the better for having been achieved against a background of what is clearly a very difficult economic climate.

"Clearly there are some significant challenges ahead of us, both on and off the pitch, over the closing months of this financial year and beyond."

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Welcome Back DUDU!!!

Arsenal match-winner Eduardo scored twice on his first appearance for almost a year and then hailed his achievement as "the best day of my life".

The Croatia forward has been out since February last year following an horrendous leg break but proved his fitness on international duty in midweek.

That convinced manager Arsene Wenger to hand him a recall in place of Robin van Persie for Monday night's FA Cup fourth-round replay against Cardiff, and the Frenchman was rewarded with a fine first-half effort and a second-half penalty which Eduardo 'won' and converted.

Nicklas Bendtner and Van Persie also got on the scoresheet as Cardiff were comprehensively outclassed. But the night belonged to Eduardo, whose return was greeted with gusto by the Emirates faithful.

"It was the best day of my life," he said.

"It was a special moment to score, very emotional. I celebrated by kissing my wedding ring - because my wife and daughter and family supported me right through this."

Wenger, meanwhile, paid tribute to the striker's reserves of mental strength.

"Everybody is very happy for him. This is the kind of game we love to play, and it was good to see them play with the handbrake off," he said.

"He played a big part in that, and I'm very pleased for him.

"He's been extremely strong mentally. I've never seen one minute of doubt in his mind, not one minute where he said 'I don't want to do this'.

"He is always wanting more. This guy is small but he has the mental strength of a mountain."

The night was not without its worries - Eduardo came off with a slight hamstring complaint - but Wenger insisted he could yet prove crucial to the Gunners' season.

"He had a slight tightness of the hamstring, but we expect it will be a small thing.

"We'll know at the end of the season how important it [his comeback] is, but I'm very happy to have him back. He can play as a striker, on the flank, behind the striker, up front on his own. That is important for us."

Despite leaking four goals, Bluebirds goalkeeper Tom Heaton - on loan from Arsenal's Barclays Premier League rivals Manchester United - put in a fine display.

He made a stunning double save from Carlos Vela and Nicklas Bendtner - both from virtually point-blank range - but was in top form throughout to ensure Cardiff did not go home on the end of an embarrassing scoreline.

Boss Dave Jones said: "All I can take from tonight is that Tom played very well. If it wasn't for him it could have been a cricket score.

"I'm glad the game is over, because we didn't do ourselves justice tonight whatsoever.

"Sometimes when you come to an Arsenal or one of the big clubs you just have to suffer for 90 minutes - and tonight I think we suffered for 90 minutes. I don't think we did ourselves any justice.

"If I could have substituted 10 of them I would have, because we just didn't perform."

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Wenger must start delivering or follow sclolari

To be honest i feel wenger is getting too comfortable and taking us for granted. His bunch of kids have failed us and to be real i forsee us playing thursday nite football. Im sorry for being crude but guys lets face reality. For the past two seasons all we have been doing is going down and if this continues till the end of the season, here is what i would say - Wenger has to follow scolari. He can take diaby and eboue with him. We are tired of seeing man utd scums getting all the trophies..

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Andrei Arshavin's transfer to Arsenal was not completed before the transfer deadline on Monday, according to several reports.

The deal was officially ratified by the Premier League on Tuesday afternoon, but several newspapers claim that Zenit St Petersburg's paperwork was not filed before the 5pm deadline on Monday.

The Guardian suggests that some of Zenit's forms were not submitted in time, while there are 'suggestions that there was a slight issue with Arsenal's submissions'.

The Premier League offered a suitably ambiguous statement about the deal, with a spokesman saying:

"Substantively the deal was done before the deadline. It was lodged with us prior to the transfer window closing and we were satisfied that the deal was done it time."

Furthermore, an FA spokesman said: "We have been liaising with the Premier League and are satisfied that everything is in order."

The Daily Mail suggests that several of Arsenal's main rivals are 'sure to demand a more detailed explanation' of why the deal was allowed to go through, if the paperwork was not filed in time.

Deals that have not strictly complied with transfer deadlines have been allowed to go through in the past, such as Benjani's move from Portsmouth to Manchester City last January (a deal that was not confirmed for several days), as well as the swap deal taking Ashley Cole to Chelsea and William Gallas to Arsenal in 2006.

Source football365.com

Monday, February 2, 2009

Asharvin Update!

Arsenal have been told by the Premier League that they will have to wait until Tuesday for the Andrei Arshavin deal to be ratified.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger had earlier told Sky Sports News that the deal would go ahead.

Wenger was quoted as saying: "We will make an announcement tonight. Yes, it will be a positive announcement. Yes, it will go through."

It is understood that Arshavin would wear the number 13 shirt vacated by Alexander Hleb when he joined Barcelona last year.

The transfer looked likely to proceed in a relatively straightforward fashion when the Zenit St Petersburg midfielder was pictured in Hertfordshire this morning, having flown into the country on Sunday.

That appeared to be a signal that Arsene Wenger's interest in the player was about to yield results, but sources close to the deal then revealed that Arshavin was on his way back to a London airport and the transfer was on the brink of collapse.

But negotiations continued behind the scenes - with the asking price, personal terms and a possible payment from Arshavin to Zenit all mooted as potential sticking points - and a final deal may still be struck.

For more information please visit www.football355.com

Transfer Deadline - The very Latest - Part 2

16.11: Lordy, now there's talk that Manchester City have met the absurd £25m asking price for Roque Santa Cruz.

Aldershot have completed the double loan signings of Andy Lindegaard and Alex McCarthy.

16.10: West Brom have signed defensive midfielder Youssouf Mulumbu on loan from Paris St Germain for the rest of the season.

16.07: There are officially 53 minutes to go but we suspect that won't be the end of the matter.

15.56: And now Arsenal and Zenit St. Petersburg have agreed a fee for Andrei Arshavin, though the deal has yet to be completed because of that pesky payment the Russian club wants from the player. They apparently want 50% of his signing-on fee.

15.54: Finally, things are happening. Liverpool and Spurs have agreed a fee for Robbie Keane so he has just over an hour to complete the move.

15.46: And there it is - Ryan Taylor has moved to Newcastle and Charles Insomnia has gone to Wigan, who have thrown about £3.5m at the Toon too. The Frenchman says he is joining Wigan for 'European football'. What kind of porkies did Steve Bruce tell him?

15.28: Wigan chairman Dave Whelan expects the Charles N'Zogbia/Ryan Taylor swap deal to go ahead today. Presumably, Newcastle are signing Taylor purely to stop him scoring against them.

Elliot Omozusi has returned to Fulham from his loan spell at Norwich, and the Cottagers have sent Australian defender Adrian Leijer there instead.

15.19: Ten minutes after SSN bod Andy Burton told us that Spurs have rejected the chance to swap Darren Bent for Obafemi Martins, his colleague David Craig revealed that the whole story was utter nonsense. Brilliant stuff, boys.

Doncaster Rovers have completed the signing of Hibernian midfielder Dean Shiels for an undisclosed fee.

15.13: Arsenal youngster Henri Lansbury has joined Scunthorpe United on loan.

15.05: Fulham have signed Julian Gray on a permanent basis (well, until the end of the season) from Coventry after a loan spell.

15.01: Middlesbrough have apparently turned down a new offer from Portsmouth for Gary O'Neil. Sensible.

14.58: Leeds United have signed highly-rated American striker Mike Grella on a permanent contract.

14.46: Oldham striker Chris O'Grady has joined Stockport County on loan until the end of the season.

14.43: Now Sky Sports are reporting that Andrei Arshavin's move to Arsenal is still on and is "very close". The deal could hinge on money Zenit believe they are owed by Arshavin himself.

14.41: League One side Hartlepool have signed Norwegian striker Rune Lange from Valerenga on a short-term contract until the end of the season.

14.31: Calum Davenport is having a medical at Sunderland so the West Ham defender could soon be partnering Tal Ben Haim.

For more please visit www.football365.com

Transfer Dealine Day Events - The Very Latest!

14.18pm: The Premier League has announced it will grant applications from clubs to complete transactions after the 1700 deadline today if there is email confirmation from the two clubs involved that a deal has been agreed in principle. The club signing the player must also satisfy the board that the prevailing weather conditions have prevented the signing from being completed by the deadline.

14.14pm: Everton have signed Brazilian striker Jo on loan from Manchester City for the rest of the season. The £18m man scored just one Premier League goal for City.

14.13pm: The Ledley deal might not be done yet but Stoke have signed Henri Camara on loan from Wigan until the end of the season.

14.07pm: The Joe Ledley to Stoke deal we mentioned earlier looks to be on - a fee of £7m has been mentioned.

14.05pm: Blackpool have completed their seventh signing of the January transfer window with Francesco Carratta joining on a free transfer.

14.04pm: TalkSport (yes, we know) claim that Liverpool will only sell Keane if they bring in a replacement first. The name of Javier Saviola was being mentioned this morning.

14.03pm: SSN are following 5 Live in saying that Santa Cruz is unlikely to join City as they failed to meet a £25m asking price set by Blackburn.

14.00pm: Brighton have completed the signing of Oldham striker Craig Davies for an undisclosed fee.

13.43pm: That Dos Santos to Pompey deal could be off because of concerns about the Mexican's fitness. Is he still hungover after that Xmas party?

13.19pm: Liverpool have confirmed that they have given permission for Robbie Keane to talk to Spurs but no fee has been agreed. A Liverpool official has said: "We've allowed Robbie to talk to Spurs but we've not yet finalised a deal with them for the player."

13.14pm: BBC Radio 5 Live is reporting that Blackburn striker Roque Santa Cruz is staying at Ewood Park and not going to Manchester City.

13.06pm: 'Arry Redknapp's camapign to wind the clock back 12 months to Tottenham continues apace with Giovani Dos Santos apparently having a medical at Portsmouth.

12.57pm: Portsmouth have signed another. Angelos Basinas has arrived from AEK Athens on an 18-month deal.

12.54pm: Word on players moving to Stoke. Cardiff's Joe Ledley, Wigan's Henri Camara and Burnley's Chris McCann are the names being bandied around this afternoon.

12.53pm: As well as Michael Mifsud, busy Barnsley have also siged Andranik Teymourian on loan from Fulham and winger Adam Hammill on loan from Liverpool.

12.52pm: Sky Sports News are claiming that Inter Milan want either David Bentley or Jermaine Jenas from Tottenham in a swap deal with Ricardo Quaresma.

12:46pm: Hereford have signed Hungarian goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi on loan from Liverpool.

12:40pm: Keeping up? The latest from the forum is that 'Reliable sources at the Arsenal Supporters Trust have informed us that Andrei Arshavin is currently at Highbury House, the turquoise carbuncle of an office building the club use near the stadium above the North Bank bridge, the non-matchday box office and the All Arsenal Store. Significantly, it also houses the directors' boardroom.'

12:37pm: Sky now claim that Robbie Keane is at Tottenham and is having a medical.

12:35pm: Wycombe Wanderers have signed highly-rated Crawley Town striker John-Paul Pittman for an undisclosed fee.

12:26pm: Wolves have completed the signing of Hearts captain Christophe Berra on a four-and-a-half-year contract.

Bristol City have turned down an undisclosed bid for striker Dele Adebola from Championship rivals Nottingham Forest.

12:09pm: Brighton & Hove Albion have persuaded Jim McNulty to join the club from League One rivals Stockport County.

12:07pm: Sky Sports News are now also claiming that Arsenal's talks with Arshavin are continuing. This is bonkers.

The station has defied the Forum by insisting that a medical did not take place earlier this day and claims that Arshavin is still at a London airport awaiting developments...

12:05pm: Coventry City frontman Michael Mifsud has joined Championship rivals Barnsley on a loan deal until the end of the season.

12:01pm: Cardiff City have confirmed that they have lodged a £3million bid for an unnamed striker, reported to be Steven Fletcher.

Watford boss Brendan Rodgers is confident that Tommy Smith will remain with the Hornets, despite Championship rivals Cardiff making a £1.6million enquiry.

12:00 noon Only five hours left in the transfer deadline.

11:58am: On-loan Sunderland striker Djibril Cisse has rejected reports that he is looking to engineer an early exit from the Stadium of Light.

11:52am: Sunderland defender Michael Liddle's loan deal at Carlisle has been extended until the end of the season.

11:50am: Finally some official word from Arsenal!

'Due to adverse weather conditions, the FA Cup fourth round replay against Cardiff City scheduled for February 3rd at 7-45pm has been postponed.

'A date is yet to be determined but match tickets for this fixture remain valid.'

11:48am: News from Radio Five Live is that, wait for it, talks between Arsenal and Arshavin are continuing.

And that Keane is on 'the verge' of going back to Tottenham.

11:38am: As reported earlier... Sky are now saying that Deadline Day is set to be extended. Premier League, the FA and FIFA are apparently in talks over an extension beyond tonight's 5pm deadline...

11:36am: Man City keeper Kasper Schmeichel is looking for a loan move away from the club.

11:34am: Latest claims from the Famous Football365 Forum: Ricardo Quaresma has been spotted at the Emirates, Keane deal is 'done', Arshavin may have failed a medical...

11:32am: Sheffield Wednesday have signed Michael Gray on a permanent basis from Championship leaders Wolves.

Bristol City have turned down a bid from their Championship rivals Nottingham Forest for veteran striker Dele Adebola.

11:24am: Inter Milan have left Ricardo Quaresma out of their updated Champions League squad, prompting reports he could be offered to Tottenham in exchange for midfielder Jermaine Jenas.

11:20am: Huddersfield are set to snap up French forward Jonathan Tehoue.

Barnet have made a double transfer deadline day swoop by signing Mark Hughes and Matt Lockwood on loan.

11:05am: SSN update: Robbie Keane is on his way to London (No idea how; perhaps he can ski).

11:03am: Coventry striker Michael Mifsud is set to join Barnsley on loan.

11:02am: Hang on a moment, you might want to cancel your plans for tonight...

There's a rumour going round that the Premier League is considering extending transfer deadline day because of the weather conditions. Good grief...

11:00am Only six hours left in the transfer deadline.

10:52am: Newcastle United have reportedly firmed up their interest in Michael Johnson by lodging a bid for the Manchester City midfielder.

Coventry City have completed the signing of Livingston defender James McPake for an undisclosed fee.

Scunthorpe United manager Nigel Adkins has confirmed his interest in signing Barnsley striker Kayode Odejayi.

10:47am: Norwegian forward Rune Lange hopes to complete a move to Hartlepool after visiting the League One club.

10:40am: SSN claim that Spurs have tabled an improved bid for Robbie Keane and that Liverpool have promised to give them an answer by 12pm. The offer, though, is cash-only offer...

10:32am: Schalke striker Kevin Kuranyi believes that the Bundesliga club are ready to let him leave the Veltins Arena after being linked with a possible deadline-day move to Blackburn.

10:30am: Middlesbrough have offered a new contract to goalkeeper Ross Turnbull.

10:27am: Veteran Roma defender Christian Panucci will remain at the club until the end of the season, according to his agent.

10:11am: Man City striker Jo has arrived at Everton ahead of the completion of a loan deal.

10:06am: Peterborough United have signed Manchester United defender James Chester on a month's loan.

10:00am: Only seven hours left in the transfer deadline.

9:55am: Hibernian are braced for a busy day of transfer activity after offers were received for Rob Jones and Steven Fletcher.

9:52am: Sky are now saying that Arshavin deal is off as Arsenal are not prepared to meet Zenit's valuation and the station is reporting that he is returning to Russia. If, that is, he can find an airport that is open...

9:46am: Norwich City have signed Rangers forward Alan Gow on loan until the end of the season.

9:31am: Portsmouth manager Tony Adams insists he is not worried despite reports saying Avram Grant has been linked to his job.

9:29am: Stoke City boss Tony Pulis says he is 'desperately' trying to add to his squad before the transfer window shuts and has been linked with several players, including Guirane N'Daw and Gary O'Neil.

8:53am: Bayer Leverkusen rejected a bid from Espanyol before allowing Theofanis Gekas to join Portsmouth on loan.

8:47am: Reading have reiterated that there have been no firm bids for Premier League target Stephen Hunt.

8:39am: Seems as if Andrei Arshavin has managed to make it to England despite the snow. SSN report that the Russian playmaker is in Hertfordshire - presumably that means near or at Arsenal's training base. Added to that they've now televised pics of him at a hotel about a mile from the hospital where Arsenal hold their medicals.

8:25am: Skysports.com reports that Tottenham Hotspur are set to sign Inter Milan winger Ricardo Quaresma on loan.

8:16am: Zenit St Petersburg have snapped up Celtic target Szabolcs Huszti from Hannover.

8:11am: Sky Sports News are saying that Aaron Lennon could be part of the deal that sees Robbie Keane go back to Spurs.

8.02am: Christian Panucci's agent has claimed the Roma defender has turned down the chance to move to Hull City.

Nottingham Forest are set to seal the signing of Hibernian captain Rob Jones.

Fulham are believed to have lodged a bid for highly-rated Spanish forward Alvaro Negredo.

7.50am: The Daily Andrei Arshavin Update Ahoy!

Sky Sports News claims that the Russian left Zenit's training camp last night in a private jet to fly to Arsenal to complete personal terms.

That's the encouraging news, Arsenal fans.

The bad news is that SSN say that a fee has still yet to be agreed with Zenit and that it was Arshavin's personal decision to leave the camp...

7.40am: Gossip of a different kind...

The Sun is repeating yesterday's story that Tony Adams is on the brink at Portsmouth and Avram Grant is poised to replace him.

One interesting new claim in the story is that, with Pompey still trying to sign players yesterday. 'Adams has been used to persuade players to join the club before being given the push'. Yikes. Now that's ruthless.

7.32am: Some of the overnight completed deals you might have missed:

Sunderland have signed Manchester City defender Tal Ben Haim on loan until the end of the season.

Shay Given revealed on Sunday night the prospect of "going places" with Manchester City persuaded him to move from Newcastle.

Portsmouth have signed Bayer Leverkusen striker Theofanis Gekas on loan until the end of the season, with a view to a permanent deal.

Norwich City have snapped up Celtic striker Chris Killen on loan for the rest of the season.

7.31am: Fulham are believed to have lodged a bid for highly-rated Spanish forward Alvaro Negredo.

7.30am: The headline news so far is that Robbie Keane is apparently heading back to Tottenham from Liverpool.

There is some confusion about how far the proposed deal has progressed, however.

While The Guardian says a £15m bid has been made, The Daily Telegraph says it has been rejected. 'Although Anfield sources said they would consider selling the player if Spurs increased their offer considerably, Rafael Benitez's confidence that Keane will remain a Liverpool player after the 5pm transfer window closes this evening looks well placed,' it reports.

The Independent, however, claims that it's a done deal:

'Tottenham Hotspur last night clinched the £15m deal for Robbie Keane to return to White Hart Lane. Negotiations with Liverpool concluded around 11pm with Spurs confident that their former striker will sign today before the 5pm transfer deadline'

Reports also claim that Liverpool are in for Javier Saviola and that Tottenham want Internazionale striker Mario Balotelli.

7.24am: Gossipy news in very brief:

Charles N'Zogbia is believed to be having a medical at Wigan ahead of a £6.5m move.

Newcastle and Sunderland have both been rebuffed in their attempts to sign Sami Hyypia from Liverpool.

Pompey have rejected an attempt - believed to be by Bolton - to sign Sean Davis.

The Times claims that 'Hull City are in talks to sign Christian Panucci, 35, on loan after the former Chelsea defender fell out with Roma last week.'

For More Please visit www.football365.com

Friday, January 30, 2009

Arshavin Now - A step away from Emirates

Arsenal have moved closer to signing Andrei Arshavin after the Gunners had a work permit for the Russian playmaker granted by the Home Office.

While a resolution to the increasingly-tedious saga is still not yet in sight, Arsenal's decision to request a permit is the most promising indication yet that they will sign the 27-year-old from Zenit St Petersburg before the transfer window closes on Monday.

Arsenal have yet to comment on the development, but Arsene Wenger has told the club's official website that he wants the deal sorted, one way or the other, before tomorrow's game with West Ham. It remains unclear whether a fee has been agreed between the two clubs, with Zenit thought to be holding out for an up-front payment of £15m for the player.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The very latest arsenal transfer news - Arshavin Focus.

Arsene Wenger declared the on-going Andrei Arshavin transfer saga was "of little interest" as he focuses on getting the best out of his current Arsenal squad ahead of the Barclays Premier League trip to Everton.

While Wenger remains keen on signing the Russia international, suggestions from Zenit St Petersburg that a deal is imminent were rebuffed by the Gunners boss.

The Russians, whose domestic campaign is now completed, appear to have softened their stance over the original £20million fee demanded for the 27-year-old playmaker.

However, Arsenal remain resolute in their offer of £12million plus add-ons and, as yet, no further improved bid has been tabled - despite what Zenit may claim, as a club statement last night suggested personal terms with the player were now the only obstacle to overcome.

Wenger, though, insists all the talk and speculation is irrelevant as he looks to keep his side's momentum running after eight unbeaten Premier League games and climb back into the top four - and the title race.

"It is not true a fee has been agreed. We are not close to concluding any transfer; Arshavin or anybody else. At the moment it is all quiet," Wenger said.

"For me, it is of little interest. I can understand that when the transfer window is open, it makes headlines.

"I like quality football, and for me that is more important than having one more player here."

Wenger added: "Time is getting short and at the moment I am more focused to win the game on Wednesday.

"We know we are in front of a big game and the most important thing is to focus on that.

"For me, it is not a distraction because what is important is the team continues to focus on the championship, the FA Cup and the Champions League."

Nevertheless, Arsenal remain hopeful a deal can be concluded before the transfer window closes in six days' time.

"I am only responsible for the statements we make, but I cannot be responsible for the statements that other clubs make," said Wenger.

"Zenit look to have different voices coming out of the club and I am not sure if it always the official voice. I believe what I see and what I hear directly."

Arsenal have also been linked with a move for Manchester City's England defender Micah Richards.

However, Wenger today maintained: "I like the player, but I have not gone for him, no."

The Gunners boss believes such continued speculation has taken the attention away somewhat from his team's improvement in recent weeks.

Arsenal head to Goodison Park three points behind fourth-placed Aston Villa, yet only two wins away from overtaking leaders Manchester United, who do still hold a game in hand.

"I feel it has overshadowed things, yes, but let's be quiet, focused and continue on," said Wenger, whose side must face Cardiff again in a fourth-round replay next week at Emirates Stadium following Sunday's goalless draw in Wales.

"We are in a strong position in the Premier League, the Champions League and the FA Cup - so let's take advantage of that and let people talk.

"Our job is to focus on what we want to achieve.

"We got fair criticism this year, but we have overcome that and we are now hungrier than ever.

"It is a good opportunity to show that."

Regarding Arshavin, Zenit general manager Maxim Mitrofanov told Bloomberg: "He doesn't want to compromise. He said playing in England is his dream and now it only depends on money for him."

Mitrofanov insists there are no other options for Arshavin, adding: "If he doesn't go it will be a difficult situation - he doesn't want to go on loan and nobody except Arsenal wants to buy him."