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Friday, December 30, 2011

Arsenal set to crush Leeds

This Emirates clash is a repeat of last season's third round tie in which Leeds very nearly caused one of the shocks of the round as they came away from the Emirates with a very creditable 1-1 draw.

It could have been so much better for the Yorkshire side, though, as the Gunners had to rely on a controversial last-minute penalty from Cesc Fabregas to salvage the draw and set up a replay at Elland Road. Those looking at the FA Cup betting odds will know how tight the game was.

As was predicted at the time, that was Leeds' best chance at beating Arsenal gone as Arsene Wenger's side ran out comfortable 3-1 winners in the replay but they get an unexpected chance to cause an upset again next month.

At the time of last year's game, Arsenal were arguably in a better shape than they are now as they were well in contention at the top of the Premier League and playing some fantastic football to boot. This year, Wenger's side have recovered after a poor start but are off the pace in the title race with a top-four finish looking like the best they can hope for this term. Fans of Betfair football should remember this.

However, they should still have far too much in this one for an inconsistent Leeds side, who remain very much in the play-off hunt but look unlikely to challenge for automatic promotion.

With the match from 12 months ago fresh in the memory, Leeds will have belief that they can cause an upset and approach the tie with nothing to fear but a repeat of the 1-1 score from a year ago is hard to envisage with a comfortable home win expected.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Van Persie Matches Henry's Record

Robin Van Persie's tremendous year saw him equal Thierry Henry's goalscoring record over the course of a calender year and Vc bet are putting him as favorite to win the Premier League top scorer award.

His 34th goal of the 2011 came from the penalty sport at Aston Villa on Wednesday night which set Arsenal on the way to a 2-1 win.

He has drawn level with Henry's best year who went on of course to become Arsenal's all time leading goalscorer.

Van Persie might have equalled Henry's record but he hasn't yet broken the Premier League record which was set by Alan Shearer back in 1995, when he score 36 goals with Blackburn

That would mean RVP needs to bag a Hat Trick in the Boxing Day fixture with Wolves. With the rate he is playing at It wouldn't be a bad place for you to put one of your victor chandler free bets on this weekend. But for now he has been speaking of how happy he is to have matched Henry's tally.

That return pulls him level with the best Henry managed during his time in England, with the Frenchman going on to become the Gunners' all-time leading scorer.

He said: "It is a big honor to equal Thierry's record because he is probably the best player Arsenal ever had.

"To achieve what he did in a year is really special. It makes me proud.

"I think it has helped that I haven't missed a single Premier League game and featured for 90 minutes in most of them.

"It is a big honour to equal Thierry's record because he is probably the best player Arsenal ever had."
Robin van Persie Quotes of the week

"When you have a good run, and you feel fresh and fit, you try things, you take more risks here and there than, for example, if you are just coming back from injury.

"You always need a couple of games (to get fully sharp) when you're back from injury.

"As a striker I think it is really important to have a go. If you look at my performances, I take more risks now because I know with the team behind me I will always get more chances.

"It's not that I only get one chance normally, I always get one, two, three, sometimes four chances in a game. That sort of tells me that I can take a risk here and there.

But Van Persie stressed: "It (the scoring records) is not my main target. The main target is to win games and to help my team out and to have a good run.

"After losing to Manchester City, it is always really important to bounce back after a defeat. Great teams do bounce back and that's what we had to do at Villa on Wednesday.

"Now we have Wolves on Tuesday, then afterwards QPR both at home, so hopefully we can have a good run again."

Hopefully RVP can stay fit and continue this sensational form for the entire season.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Van Persie Needs a Helping Hand!

Robin Van Persie has been simply sensational so far for the gunners this season and his goals and leadership has carried the club through it's most turbulent time over the last 20 years, as we can see with the victor chandler review and the stan james review.

Since the 8-2 drubbing at Old Trafford, Wengers men now sit 5th in the table and are well in the hunt for that Champions League place, but what is of real concern is the feeling that aside form the goals of RVP, where else are the goals going to come from?

The game at Manchester City on Sunday pointed this out to me more than ever before. I just couldn't see who else could get on the score sheet. I might be being over critical, but nobody looked threatening in front of goal, and we struggled to make many clear cut opportunities.

At the moment, there is a positive atmosphere around the Emirates. That's because we have turned a corner and that we have our savior fully fit and scoring goals. But things could turn ugly again if we were to lose him.

Van Persie has struggled to stay fit for an entire season since he has been at the club, and he might even have a couple of off days which is normal. I know RVP thrives on being the main man, but I hope Wenger can find a proven goalscorer in the January transfer window to ease his load.

I know Wenger likes to look for those players with plenty of potential but right now we need someone with experience of the big stage and someone who can fit straight into the team.

Other than this, we can only hope that the likes of Ramsay, Walcott and Gervinho can get on the score sheet to ease the pressure of RVP during the tough christmas period!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Wenger refuses to rule out January shopping

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has hinted that he may be forced into the transger market in January should the right players become available.

Follwoing the protracted departures of Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas last summer Wenger had to rush his summer shopping, with deals for the likes of Andre Santos, Mikel Arteta and Per Mertesacker completed with hours , even minutes to spare in some cases.

All that upheaval led to a unsettled start on the pitch, with that now infamous 8-2 defeat at Manchester United the nadir.

They remain outsiders in the Premier league betting given the flying start by Manchester City, but such is their form and experience at the competing at the top of the table, they should not be discounted.

In Robin van Persie they have a striker in the form of his life and is just three goals short of equalling Alan Shearer’s records of 36 goals in a calendar year. Van Persie is a safe choice is you want to bet on the top scorer.

However, the Dutchman has struggled with injuries in recent years and such is the reliance on him at present (though Wenger won’t admit it) a further knock would seriously damage The Gunners’ chances.

Therefore the London club may yet be tempted to do some January shopping, despite the winter window being a notoriously hard place to shop, especially for someone like Wenger, who is resistant to paying over-the-top transfer fees.

"We lose players like Chamakh and Gervinho to the Africa Cup of Nations so hopefully, touch wood, we do not get any injuries to our strikers. But if an opportunity turns up in that department then we will buy,"

"Economically the whole environment has changed and people suffer more. The clubs will suffer more financially and it's much more difficult. Maybe we will have some opportunities because we are in a good financial situation."

Monday, December 12, 2011

Van Persie shows his class

One of the signs of a great striker is the ability to be ruthlessly clinical and score a goal with their first or only opportunity of a game.

Such ability allows a side to get points when they are not playing well, or when games are tight, and converting defeats into draws and draws into wins are the foundations by which trophy winning campaigns are built on.

That is why Robin van Persie is so valuable to Arsenal and coveted by some of the game’s biggest clubs.

The Dutchman has now scored 33 goals this calendar year, just three behind Alan Shearer’s record of 36. He is also unsurprisingly therefore one of the favourites in the premiership top scorer betting.

His winner on Saturday against Everton will surely be near the top of the list if those goals were sorted in terms of technical brilliance.

Up until the 70th minute Arsenal had struggled to break down a well organised and dogged Toffees side, who had even started to come out of their shell.

However, van Persie then showed stunning technical ability and skill to allow Alex Song’s chipped pass to go across his body before firing in a fizzing left-footed
volley that smashed into the far post and into the net.

It was the type of skill another legendary Dutchman – Marco van Basten – became famous for and if van Persie continues the way he is he will certainly find himself placed alongside the legendary former AC Milan and Ajax striker in the Holland half of fame.

The win send Arsenal back into the top four and if you bet on the Premier League the Gunners have suddenly emerged as an outsider after recovering from a horrific start to the season that culminated in that infamous 8-2 to Manchester United.

It seems unlikely that van Persie will be able to keep up this form for the entire season so Arsene Wenger will hope his other strikers can provide some support. But all successful sides need a talisman and van Persie is fitting that bill perfectly at present.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Arsenals Hard Work Has Paid Off In Champions League!

While the rest of the Premier League big guns are facing immense games in the Champions League this week, Arsene Wenger and his Arsenal team will be kicking back and relaxing in their final group game against Olympiakos. Sportsbook guardian betting certainly didn't expect this at the start of the season!

With Arsenal having qualified as the group winners already some gambling guardian offers are tipping them to go far in the competition! Wenger wont admit of course but he will be delighted with the situation and it will give him an opportunity to ring the changes and give some of his younger players some valuable experience.

Wenger loves to expose his youngsters to the big occasions and he will have complete belief in them getting a result. The atmosphere at Olympiakos will be sensational, so what a learning curve it will be if he does play his young players. If they manage to handle that kind of situation, they will be well prepared to manage similar situations in the future!

As good as this opportunity to play a young team will be, I think Wenger will be most pleased at the fact that he can rest some of his regular players and in particular Robin Van Persie!

Full credit to Wenger for taking the Champions League seriously! The likes of United, City and Chelsea could be guilty of taking their eye off the ball! United in particular have played weaker teams in crucial games and they could pay the price for it! Now Wenger will reap the rewards which could really benefit his squads Premiership campaign!

Arsene has already said it will be a catastrophe if Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United fail to qualify for the next phase and he's right! But at the same time it just goes to prove that the group stages of the Champions League isn't as easy as people think, and Arsene Wenger should be credited for once again taking his Arsenal team to the knock-out stages!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Can Arsenal claim the FA Cup in the 2011/12 season?

At the start of the Premier League season my hopes were not set high for The Gunners; this being due to some miserable performances alongside some uninspiring signings.

In the past few weeks my opinion has changed dramatically, especially so when regarding the signings that current boss – Arsene Wenger – made during the summer transfer window of 2011.

The signing of Ivory Coast international Gervinho from French outfit Lille has to be the London club’s most impressive signing. Wenger paid a fee thought to be in and around the region of £10.7 million for the talented Ivorian.

So far, Gervinho has caused all sorts of problems to each of the opposition he has come up against. The various opponents that Arsenal will face in the FA Cup will certainly be wary of the pacey winger. Those following the latest FA Cup betting should remember this.

The Gunner’s last outing in the FA Cup didn’t end too brightly as they were beaten in the Sixth Round by Premier League rivals Manchester United 2-0 at Old Trafford with a goal from Brazilian international Fabio in the 28th minute, and English superstar Wayne Rooney following up in the 49th minute.

Wenger must have been devastated with this result as Arsenal have not won a cup since the FA Cup back in the 2004/05 season where they beat Manchester United 5-4 in a grueling penalty shootout.

In this season’s FA Cup, another player that is going to be on the minds of opposing managers will be English international Theo Walcott.

His sublime pace is sure to frighten the life out of each of the teams Arsenal happen to play during their FA Cup campaign.

With Arsenal desperate for a trophy, they have every chance of going all the way and tasting glory at Wembley.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Arsenal through to knockout stages

Arsenal have become the first English club to reach the last 16 of the Champions League following their 2-1 win over Borussia Dortmund at the Emirates stadium on Wednesday evening.

The Gunners had to qualify to be in the group stage of the competition and did so following two tricky legs against Udinese. However, their progression to the second round has proven much easier, as they go through to through as group winners with one game to spare.

Arsene Wenger's side have now reached the last 16 of the competition for the ninth consecutive year, but were beaten at that stage last season by champions Barcelona. The best European football betting shows they should do better this time around.

Wenger is delighted with the ease of his side's European progression and is hoping they can go a long way this season.

"I am surprised that we are the first English team to qualify," he added. "When we drew Udinese in the qualifier, you couldn't bet exactly that we would go through like we have done so overall I am happy."

The win against the German side extends Arsenal's unbeaten run to nine games now, which includes their 5-3 over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and the away victory at Norwich at the weekend.

The Gunner's return to form has also coincided with the impressive spell of Dutchman Robin Van Persie. He has now scored 31 goals in his last 34 games for the North London club. The 28-year old was the hero once again against Borussia Dortmund with his two goals ensuring the three points from the game.

Arsenal's final game in Group F is against Olympiakos on December 6.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Wenger surprised by swift progression

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger says he is totally surprised that his side qualified for the Champions League knockout stages ahead of the more fancied Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United.

The Gunners sealed their spot in the last 16 of Europe's premier competition for the 12th consecutive season with a 2-1 win over German champions Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday night.

Captain Robin Van Persie was once again the star of the show for the North London club, bagging himself a brace before Shinji Kagawa scored a late consolation goal for the visitors. People looking at the betting will have been impressed.

Many predicted that the Emirates Stadium club wouldn't even qualify for the group stages after they struggled through the playoffs against Udinese at a time when the team were playing so badly that some fans were even calling for Wenger's head.

"When we drew Udinese in the qualifier, you couldn't bet exactly that we would go through like we have done so overall I am happy.

"We came through a very difficult period because we were united and we worked hard together."

Back then City, United and Chelsea looked in top form but following some shrewd deadline day signings, Wenger has turned his side around and are now back in touching distance of the top four after a nine match unbeaten record. Fans of mobile betting should bear this in mind.

The Frenchman himself admits that he is surprised by his team's progress and even more shocked that they are the first English to qualify for the next stage.
"I am surprised (that we are the first English team to qualify)," Wenger said.

"Manchester United could have qualified (by beating Benfica on Tuesday) and of course everyone expects Man City to qualify.

"We were in a difficult group and I am very happy to see where we have come from.”

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tough Test For Arsenal!

It has to be said that Arsenal have been playing very well in their last few games, but your gambling guardian are still not convinced that they can keep up their current form, and they face a tough test against Borrusia Dortmund tonight at the Emirates!

Sports betting promotions favourite Robin Van Persie is in the form of his life and Arsenal are hugely reliant on his goals, but as the Norwich game showed on Saturday, the defense still looks far from convincing! They have almost accepted the fact that they will concede in games and simply go out to score more goals than the opposition!

This has recently been working for them in the Premiership but tonight will be difficult! Dortmund went to Bayern Munich at the weekend and won 1-0 and so I am sure Arsenal fans heading to The Emirates will not be taking anything for granted.

They snatched 3 points from Arsenal in the opening group game thanks to that Ivan Perisic belter in the last minutes, and they are desperate for the 3 points tonight.

Hopefully, the return of Thomas Vermaelen will tighten things up at the back and hopefully he can help Per Mertesacker to get to grips with the English game. But he should be comfortable tonight as he knows exactly how German teams play having spent most of his career their!

Arsenal will still have enough to win the game, but they will need a big European performance and the goals of Robin Van Persie!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Arsenal hopeful on Van Persie deal

Arsenal have admitted that they do not expect to speak to hold contract talks with Robin Van Persie until the summer, but have maintained their confidence that he will stay with the club.

The Dutchman – who has emerged as Arsenal’s most important player this year – has a contract until 2013 at the moment, although with rumours of his departure, the club are keen to extend it.

However, those who bet money on Premier League football note how Van Persie has said that he doesn’t want to discuss the issue until the end of the season, perhaps giving him time to assess whether he wants to finish his playing career at Arsenal or not.

Chairman Peter Hill-Wood explained: “He doesn't want to talk about it and we're not troubling him. We'll approach him near the end of the season.”

“We hope he will sign a new contract - I don't see why he should not. He was quite difficult at Feyenoord, but we have had no trouble with him. I can't believe he is unhappy with us.”

Considering how important Van Persie is to the club right now – he is the captain and leading scorer – Arsenal are prepared to be patient in terms of a new deal.

They should perhaps use it as motivation to be in a promising position in the summer, thus making it easier for the 28-year-old to commit his future for the club.

After the departures of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri, the last thing the Gunners need is to lose Van Persie too. Hopefully, they will have a successful season, perhaps win some silverware and then the Dutch international will commit.

He will certainly be in action this weekend against Norwich as Arsenal look to continue their improved run of form. Going into Saturday lunchtime’s clash at Carrow Road, Arsene Wenger’s men have won five domestic games in a row.

Those looking at football betting tips note how this has helped them move up to 7th in the Premier League table and they will be hoping for further progression this weekend with three valuable points.

With a Champions League game to follow on Wednesday, Wenger would like a trouble free 90 minutes, perhaps with the game won in plenty of time so he can rest a few players, including talisman Van Persie.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Arsenal hoping they are not a one man team

A large part of the recent Arsenal revival this season has been down to the blistering performances of their Dutch hit-man Robin van Persie, so this week the news that he will put off talks over a possible contract extension until the summer will leave the Gunners' fans with mixed feelings.

On one hand they will be delighted that he has not rules out the possibility of elongating his stay in North London, but they will be simultaneously concerned over the level of power enjoyed by individuals over their clubs in the modern game – a point highlighted by the summer exits of Samir Nasri, Cesc Fabregas and Gael Clichy.

Having been signed by Arsene Wenger from Feyenoord back in 2004, in the last seven seasons he has never given any indications of being unhappy at the Emirates – and since being made club captain at the start of the season following Fabregas' departure in August, no one can have doubted his commitment to the team's cause. Anyone following the latest Champions League betting will know how crucial he is to the side.

However, the run of form that he is currently enjoying is actually a double-edged sword. Whilst his goals propel them towards a top-four finish in May – a necessary part Wenger's plan to encourage his talisman to extend his contract – his value to the club markedly increases every week that he bails his team-mates out of trouble.

To put this into context, without the Dutchman's goals or assists, over the course of 2011 Arsenal would have won only five league games; that they have actually claimed 14 scalps from their domestic counterparts speaks volumes as to van Persie's importance to the club.

Arsenal's chairman Peter Hill-Wood remains upbeat about the club's chances of hanging onto the prized asset next summer however, stating yesterday that: "We hope he will sign a new contract - I don't see why he shouldn't."

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Oxlade-Chamberlain trusts Wenger

Arsenal youngster Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain insists Arsenal is the right club for him to develop in to a top star.

The former Southampton youngster has made an impressive start to life at the Emirates Stadium scoring in both the Carling Cup and Champions League – becoming the youngest ever English player to score in the competition.

Those who watch football live at the Emirates have certainly been impressed with the youngster, who was a rare bright spot at the start of the season when the club made a poor start to the campaign.

However, their football scores have picked up in recent weeks, rising up to seventh with a run of just one defeat in 11 games across all competitions, including four wins on the bounce.

Chamberlain hasn't always started games in recent weeks but insists he realised he is at the gunners for the long-term.

"It is a work in progress and I don't think there's any need to rush into things. I trust the boss (Wenger) and he is going to develop me,” said the 18-year-old

"I knew that when I signed here it would be hard for me and that maybe in my first season I wouldn't get a lot of game time.

"But I'm learning so much in training from the likes of Robin van Persie and the rest of the boys - and the manager as well.

"I have only had a few appearances, but I have scored two goals and I am happy with that."

Oxlade-Chamberlain added: "I think there's a lot more to come from me so I am just going to keep working hard, keep learning in training.

"It is down to me, I have got to put pressure on the boss to select me."I can only do that by training well and, when I do get my chance, impress him.

"The boss has said it is up to me, he is going to work with me the same way I have to with him."

Wenger looking to boost midfield options

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is allegedly eyeing up midfield reinforcements after being robbed of Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas in the close season. Although the Frenchman brought in Yossi Benayoun on loan from Chelsea as well as Mikel Arteta from Everton as cover during the last transfer window, he is believed to be keen to bolster his ranks and has started looking into the possibility of recruiting Borussia Mönchengladbach's Marco Reus.

The German international has drawn comparisons with Mario Götze – the teenage superstar plying his trade at Borussia Dortmund – but given both the relative statures of the two Bundesliga outfits, Reus would be available for around half the price. People bet on Premier League games should remember this.

Wenger was first made aware of Reus through their former goalkeeper Jens Lehmann – now living in Germany following his retirement from the game – but Mönchengladbach's coach Lucien Favre admitted to being reluctant to let him go.

"Lehmann has advised Wenger and after that Arsène contacted me. I told him Reus is a very good player – I cannot lie – but I do not want to lose him," he said.

Over the last two years in the Bundesliga, Reus has thrived under Favre's management and after scoring 11 goals last season and earning his first full international cap, is starting tongues wagging all across Europe. Both technically-gifted and tough in the tackle, he has drawn comparisons with Everton's Jack Rodwell – who himself has just earned his first call-up to a full international squad. Anyone looking at the Premier League best odds will know he is what Arsenal need.

Arsenal certainly aren't letting the departure of Nasri and Fabregas bother them this season, and after a disappointing start have recently finally hit upon a rich patch of form which culminated in a thrilling 5-3 win over London rivals Chelsea last week. That result leaves them level on points with Liverpool and breathing down the necks of the teams occupying the top-four spots in the Premier League.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Emirates revival continues

It’s hard to guess just which aspect of Saturday’s 3-0 win over West Bromwich Albion will have pleased Arsene Wenger the most: the fact that in securing the three points he moved his side level on points with Liverpool and within touching distance of fourth place, or that in doing so his side managed to secure back-to-back clean sheets for just the second time this season.

The return to fitness of Thomas Vermaelen has been a stabilising factor in this recent improvement in defence – the Belgian started their home matches against Marseille in mid-week as well as against West Brom on Saturday – and now with Ramsey and Song employed to provide extra cover for their under-fire back-four, this has allowed Theo Walcott and Mikel Arteta to supply ample service to the mercurial Robin van Persie. Anyone who has placed a football bet will have been impressed.

Back in August, shut-outs against Newcastle and Udinese acted as a smokescreen for the seemingly disastrous run of fixtures to follow, culminating in Arsenal losing against their bitter North London rivals Tottenham on October 2nd to sit in 15th place with just seven points from their opening seven games.

However, now on a run of five straight league wins and with Norwich, Fulham and Wigan lined up as their next Premiership opponents; Wenger strikes a far happier figure than the one that was left seething on the touchline as his paper-thin defence shipped eight goals at Old Trafford and four more at Ewood Park a fortnight later.

During every season, most sides in the Premiership will experience a "blip" – a run of poor results which both appears and disappears without obvious rhyme or reason – Wenger will be both pleased to have got his out of the way early, and relieved that it has not inflicted irreparable damage to his side’s aspirations of qualifying for next season’s Champions League.

Wilshere gives Arsenal boost

England midfielder Jack Wilshere has given his club Arsenal a real lift by revealing he intends to stay at the club for the rest of his career.

The 19-year-old, who has yet to play this season due to a foot injury, has established himself in both the Arsenal and England team over the past 12 months, emerging as one of the country’s brightest talents.

The Gunners began the season as outsiders in the premier league betting after selling key players Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas over the summer.

Fears remain over manager Arsene Wenger’s ability to the rest of his stars, with Robin van Persie’s future in doubt as he is yet to sign a new contract.

Wilshere though appears to have eased some fans concerns by committing the rest of his career with the Gunners.

"Can I promise I will be at Arsenal for ever? I can promise that, yes.

"I've been at the club since I was nine and I've learned to love it.

"From the (Patrick) Vieira days, to (Dennis) Bergkamp, (Cesc) Fabregas, I've watched them come through and move on.

"But now there's a crop of new players, (Aaron) Ramsey, myself, Kieran Gibbs, hopefully we can really create something special.

"I love the club and I want to be part of its future."

Wilshere also took to Twitter to update his followers over his progress in recovery from injury, adding: "As I said had 6 week X-ray earlier and all going well. I can start to work a bit harder now."

The news is music to the ears of Arsenal fans who, despite being delighted with the upturn in the club’s football scores (four league wins on the bounce, just one defeat in 11) remains fearful that they can no longer offer the highest wages and so players are at risk of being poached by the likes of big-spending Manchester City. Wilshere’s commitment, they hope, is a sign to current and prospective Arsenal players that they still mean business.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Walcott: we have our confidence back

Arsenal winger Theo Walcott is confident the Gunners have found their form after their scinitliating 5-3 win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

The Gunners fought back from 2-1 down to claim a spectacular victory against the title contenders, with a Robin Van Persie hat-trick and efforts from Walcott and full-back Andre Santos enough to take the spoils at Stamford Bridge, and rounds off a remarkable recovery after the London club suffered their worst ever start to the Premier League under boss Arsene Wenger.

Defeats against local rivals Tottenham and an 8-2 humiliation at the hands of Manchester United compounded a summer exodus lead by Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas to leave Wenger’s job looking in doubt, but a run of form that has seen the Gunners win five of their last six Premier League games to move them up to 7th in the league table.

Now Walcott believes Arsenal can use the momentum gained from their excellent run to challenge for honours, but insists they are not getting too carried away just yet.
"We are not looking too far ahead," Walcott said. "We don't want to say where we're going to finish at the end of the season, but the way we're playing at this moment in time we believe we can beat anyone.

"We're enjoying our football, our run is great now and we're just going to keep on continuing that... everyone is buzzing at the moment. We were disappointed to go 2-1 down just before half-time [against Chelsea], but before that we were playing some great football.

"It seemed that every time we went forward it looked like we were going to score and it could have been 8-7. It was just one of those crazy games that I'll never forget." He added.

Key to Arsenal’s resurgence has been the form of Robin Van Persie, who has found the net ten times already this season with football betting tips indicating he will end the season as the league’s top scorer. Wenger admitted the Dutchman was “on fire” at the moment”, but refused to comment on how contract talks with Van Persie, who has entered the final two years of his current deal, were progressing.

Wenger praises Van Persie

By Will Taylor

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was full of praise for star striker Robin Van Persie for his incredible scoring form of late.

The Dutchman has been in imperious form so far this campaign, and added to his growing goals tally with a stunning hat-trick against Chelsea in the Premier League at the weekend.

Many football betting pundits have been critical of Arsenal this season, with the heavy defeat to Manchester United being the club's real low point.

But they have enjoyed an upturn of fortunes of late, with Van Persie's goal scoring exploits a key reason for their successes.

Wenger said: “Robin is on fire at the moment and his class means he is taking advantage of being in a team that wants to attack a lot and create chances.

“The intelligence of his movement and the accuracy of his finishing is exceptional.”
The Gunners launched an impressive fight back at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, coming from behind to win 5-3.

It would have been easy for them to fall apart once more when trailing, but lead by the inspirational Van Persie, the club recorded another win to continue their recent turnaround in form.

After the game Wenger expressed his delight to get the win, and was complimentary of his side's performance.

He added: “We needed a win here and we kept going to win the game.

“I felt that we had a good team performance and great spirit because when we went 2-1 down just on half-time it's very difficult.”

Van Persie's hat-trick adds to a staggering run of scoring form that has seen him net 28 goals in just 27 Premier League matches.

And just lately, he has been more than just a regular contributor of goals, scoring braces against the likes of Bolton, Sunderland, and Stoke.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Arsenal get Van Persie boost

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has given their supporters a boost by revealing that contract negotiations have been opened with Robin Van Persie.

The Dutchman has been in fine form for the Gunners this year with nine goals in 13 appearances.
In addition to that the number of high profile departures in recent months has meant he has rapidly become the last symbol of resistance between the club and the new-moneyed elite (i.e Man City) that are hoovering up players left, right and centre.

Now, it has to be said that opening negotiations and actually having the player sign a new deal are two very different things. However, it is at least a sign the striker is open to the idea of staying when previously he had given off hints of discontent and the looming shadow of City and a 50% wage increase became more menacing.

But Wenger knows how important Van Persie is to his current side and their premier league odds would take a real hit if he left. As a senior player – and captain – he is the man the Frenchman hopes will guide his young players through a tough period which has seen a number of incoming and outgoings and the club struggle to maintain their admirably self-sustaining business model in the wake if the craziness at the Etihad.

Wenger was speaking at the club’s AGM, where he also launched a passionate defence of both the club and his management in difficult financial times where the club’s football scores have deteriorated.

The gathered journalists though were more interested in Van Persie so when quizzed on the issue, he said: "He has 18 months to go and I'm confident he'll sign a new deal. I'm always confident."

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

New Gunner Aims for CL Success

Arsenal new boy, Per Mertesacker, has sky-high hopes for the Gunners, despite a difficult start to the season, which has seen the Londoners lose four out of their first nine games.

The German international, in a conversation with Sky Sports News, told of his desire to “go through” in the Champions League with Arsenal. “I'm very confident, I think we can do this”, the gigantic (6ft, 6in) defender said.

Mertesacker's team are certainly on track to qualify from Group F of the competition, after securing narrow victories over Olympique de Marseille and Olympiakos, and drawing with luminous Europeans, Borussia Dortmund. People following the FA Cup betting will know Arsenal are still fighting on four fronts though, so things could be tough.

Arsenal currently stand in pole position in their diminutive league, at the halfway point of the group stages. However, any hint of collapse could permanently ruin their Champions League campaign.

Wenger's team are only one point ahead of Marseille, and just four points from third place, Olympiakos. Dortmund, pending a dramatic fightback, appear doomed, with just one point from three fixtures.

The Gunners will play Marseille for the second time in just under a fortnight, on November 1, in what promises to be a crucial tie for both sides.

Marseille, despite losing 1-0 to Arsenal, last week, are no pushovers. The Phoenicians, as the French side are known, crushed Dortmund 3-0, at the end of September, a result that extended their unbeaten run in Europe to two games.

Returning to Mertesacker; the defender intimated that Arsenal will be forced to use upcoming games as a surrogate pre-season, given that most of the Gunners' new arrivals turned up late in the transfer window. People following the Carling Cup betting will know this.

“We have no time to do lots of work together, but we have to use games and work hard as a team”, the 27-year-old said. “I think we are doing well."

Chu-Young poised for Premier League after League Cup goal

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed that South Korea international Park Chu-Young is ready for the Premier League.

The striker played the full 90 minutes in the Gunners’ 2-1 Carling Cup win over Bolton, grabbing his first goal for the club in the process.

Wenger admits that Chu-Young, who signed from Monaco over the summer, needed to time to adjust to the pace of the English game, and didn’t play to his best in a previous Carling Cup encounter with Shrewsbury, his first live football of the season.

However, after a few more weeks training the 26-year-old is set to give Arsenal a much needed boost in the Premier League.

After a shaky start to the season the goal-scoring exploits of Robin van Persie have helped pick up some valuable points in recent weeks, but Chu-Young’s presence will give the Dutchman some much needed support. Plus with the league out of the question, you can bet on the FA Cup and Carling Cup taking greater priority for Wenger this year as he bids to end his six-year trophy drought.

Speaking after the Bolton game Wenger said: "Compared to the player who played in the first match [against Shrewsbury] where he was a bit inhibited, tonight I felt he played with freedom and has showed what a good player he is."

"He had a very, very good game. His movement was exceptional and his finishing is absolutely fantastic,"

"He is ready to play in league games.

"We want to just keep going and I think it is down to us to change the mind of people," the Frenchman continued.

"We have a good spirit, a good attitude and there is still some room for improvement of course. We are getting better and better."

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Vermaelen deal welcome relief for Wenger

The news that Thomas vermaelen has signed a new, long-term contract at Arsenal is a welcome boost for Arsene Wenger after what has been a difficult first two months of the season for the Gunners boss.

Vermaelen's time at the Emirates has been dogged by injury but he showed enough during his first season in the Premier League in 2009-10 to earn a place in the PFA Team of the Season that year and weighed in with eight goals to help the Gunners finish third. Those following the latest football odds will know the side need him to shore up the defence.

He has only managed two Premier League appearances so far this term and Wenger has certainly missed the Belgium international as Arsenal have struggled at the back.
The 8-2 shocker at Manchester United was definitely the low point but other damaging defeats at Blackburn and local rivals Spurs have left many pundits suggesting
they are now the real outsiders among the likes of Tottenham, Liverpool and even Newcastle to secure a top-four finish.

But the imminent return of centre-back Vermaelen will come as a welcome relief and is sure to add solidity to a back-line that has leaked far too many goals this season. People who bet Premier Leauge money should bear this in mind.

Vermaelen's long-term commitment is also a shot in the arm for Wenger, who is still hoping Robin van Persie will follow suit and pen a new deal at some point over the next 12 months.

Wenger knows exactly how important he is to his plans and was delighted with the development.

"Our plan is always to sign top-quality players and with Thomas extending his contract, we have done just that," he said.

"Thomas is a special player, who has always made a huge contribution on the pitch and we are looking forward to him being a part of our future at Arsenal Football Club."

Sunday's 2-1 win over Sunderland has lifted the gloom at the Emirates somewhat and, following Vermaelen's new deal, a win in Marseille in the Champions League will raise the mood further.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Van Persie Integral to Arsenal Fortunes

By Lee Clarke

Arsenal were lucky 2-1 winners at The Emirates Stadium on Sunday afternoon against a Sunderland team who will feel aggrieved to leave North London without anything to show for a rejuvenated performance.

One thing that did strike home to me whilst watching the game from the comfort of my living room however was just how ordinary The Gunners would be minus their new captain marvel, Robin Van Persie.

It may come as harsh reality for Arsenal fans but without RVP as the teams talisman their side is quite simply distinctly average.

Van Persie is a crowd pleaser and if Arsenal have any chance what-so-ever of qualifying for European competition through the league they will need to keep their Flying Dutchman fit.

The 28 year old netted a brace in Sunday’s win the first coming after just 27 second and the other a superbly taken free kick which nestled past Simon Mignolet in the top corner of the net.

Many of those looking at football betting tips have always seen Van Persie as a tremendously talented footballer with a unique eye for goal but the key for Arsenal will be to keep him fit for the majority of the season.

The club can ill afford to see RVP miss any games with the only other strikers at the club being Gervinho who hasn’t yet hit the ground running in English football, and South Korea captain Ju Young Park who has barely figured yet this term.

With Arsenal’s other attacking options playing in fits and bursts and seemingly when it suits them it would appear that Van Persie is thriving in his new role as the team’s leader and main goal scoring threat.

The likes of AndriyArshavin, MikelArteta and Theo Walcott, whilst all clearly exceptional talents on their day have of late been unfortunately for Gunners fans inconsistent and frustrating at best and with fan favourite Jack Wilshere out for months rather than weeks RVP will be relied upon to keep the fans on side.

Losing fan favourite CescFabregas during the close season was a massive blow to the Gunners as it would be to any team in Europe to lose a player of such ilk. One thing is for sure though and that is if Arsene Wenger can keep Van Persie fit and firing a poor start could yet be turned into a good season.

Admittedly Arsenal’s problems don’t lie solely on Van Persie’s doorstep and those who like to bet money on the Gunners will agree with that.

For starters Arsenal have to get better at the back. In WojciechSzczesny the club have an ever improving goalkeeper who at late as been keeping his side in games for long periods. The back four

Wenger admits Van Persie contract fear

It is the latest bout of bad news Arsenal fans did not want to hear.

Just minutes after Robin van Persie struck two vital goals in a win over Sunderland, boss Arsene Wenger confessed that the Dutchman might not sign a new deal at the Emirates and become the latest big name player to leave.

“Unfortunately the ideal situation does not exist often,” said Wenger.
“The ideal situation is that he [Van Persie] extends his length of contract but, if he does not, we have to respect that. What is important is that he plays like he plays.”

Wenger was also quick to play down any question marks over Van Persie’s commitment adding:“It depends what you call commitment.For me commitment is not how long you are at the club, it is as long as you are there you give 100 per cent until the last day of your contract.”

That sounds like a cryptic hint from Wenger that he expects the former Feyenoord player to leave.

Van Persie has responded by insisting that he is committed to Arsenal, but going by Wenger’s definition of commitment he most certainly is. He has never given anything less than 100% for the club in his eight years and is arguably in the former of his career.

However, the decline in Arsenal’s fortunes – from favourites in the champions league betting to mid-table battlers - is there for all to see and you can understand why he may want to look elsewhere.

A footballers career is short and at 28 he knows he is reaching his peak. With Arsenal in lower mid-table and Man City top of the league, is it any wonder many are tipping him to take the double-your-money offer allegedly on the table from Sheikh Mansour?

Arsenal’s only hope is that success on the pitch persuades Van Persie to commit a few more seasons to the club, but if the campaign so far is anything to go by, I would Bet on the Premier League star plying his trade in a sky blue shirt sooner rather than later.

In-form Van Persie committed to Gunners

Arsenal's in-form captain, Robin Van Persie, has once again come out to play down reports linking him with a move away from the club. The striker has been one of the rare shining lights to come out of Arsenal so far this season, with his form apparently catching the already interested eye of Manchester City, joining a raft of high profile players to leave the club since the end of last season.

The Dutchman's contract at the Emirates is entering its final 18 months, prompting a series of reports that the striker could be set to exit the club. Van Persie had been relaxed over talk regarding a contract extension, which only added fuel to the flames, although chose to commit himself to the club, speaking in last weekend's programme notes ahead of the Sunderland victory. Those looking at the Premier League betting predictions will have taken note.

"I want to say something about my commitment to Arsenal because there have been many stories in the media lately," he said.

"I am committed to Arsenal, and that's how it is, despite people [in the media] making up stories."

Van Persie's importance to Arsenal was evident again at the weekend, where the striker's brace helped the Gunners to an important 2-1 victory against Sunderland. The striker grabbed his first goal in the opening minute, scoring with just 29 seconds on the clock. The Dutchman then added his second with a stunning free-kick past the helpless Simon Mignolet in the Sunderland goal. People who bet on Premier League games should remember this.

If Arsenal are going to turn their season around, then Van Persie is going to be an integral part of the Gunners' hopes. The Arsenal fans will be desperate their captain finally ends all the speculation though and sign that all important contract extension.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Wilshere blasts Wenger critics

Arsenal midfielder jack Wilshere has hit out at the criticism of Gunners boss Arsene Wenger, describing it as a “joke” that the Frenchman has come under fire after their poor start to the season.

Wenger recently celebrated 15 years in charge of the club but has only won two of their first seven Premier League encounters, including the 8-2 thrashing at the hands of Manchester United last month and last week’s 2-1 defeat by local rivals Tottenham Hotspur.

Wilshere, who is sidelined with an ankle injury that will keep him out of action until at least February, believes that despite his side’s slow start they can still finish in the top four come the end of the season.

"We started a bit slowly but we still feel we can finish in the top four." He said.

Wilshere is one of a growing injury list for the Gunners while a summer exodus including Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri undermined their start to the season, but Wilshere insists that he can fill the void left by Cesc Puma boots, and he has no plans to leave having recently penned a new five year deal.

"No disrespect to Manchester City but Arsenal is the perfect home for me right now.” He commented.

"Some players have got their price but, to be honest, that's not the way I look at the game.

"All I think about is playing at the highest level and in the top competitions so I can measure myself against the best in the world.

"I really am happy at Arsenal at the minute. Obviously, I want to win things and I want to do it with Arsenal."


Friday, September 30, 2011

Gunners suffer Wilshere blow

Arsenal can't seem to catch a break at the moment and their fortunes regarding injuries and suspensions have not taken a turn for the better, with news their star midfielder Jack Wilshere is set for five months out on the sidelines.

The England international has undergone surgery on the ankle injury at a London hospital and although he was believed to be set for a return during the busy Christmas period, the 19-year-old is now more likely to be back for February and not the festive period. Those looking at the Premier League betting predictions should bear this in mind.

With the loss of midfielders Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri in the summer transfer window, Wilshere was expected to come to the fore after some outstanding performances for the Gunners in the Premier League and Champions League last term.

The talented playmaker received some of the highest accolades from people in the game, including Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola, who highly rates the Three Lions midfielder.

However Wilshere's development will have to be put on hold for the immediate future with his rehabilitation from the surgery and his easing back into first-team action. People who bet on Premier League weekend games should remember this.

Speaking after his operation on the stress fracture on his right ankle, Wilshere appears to be upbeat on his recovery and is already looking forward to putting on the red jersey next year.

He said on the club's official website: "I've had the operation this morning and all went well. My ankle is a little bit sore, but I'm already looking forward to working hard to get fit and playing again.

"I would also just like to say thanks for the many messages of support I have received from you - the fantastic Arsenal supporters. See you all soon at the Emirates."

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Wenger concedes Wilshere blow

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has admitted his side have suffered a big loss with the news their star midfielder Jack Wilshere is set for a five month absence with an ankle injury.

The England international underwent an operation on the fracture in his right ankle on Monday and has now begun his rehabilitation, which won’t see the 19-year-old play until next year with a possible return in February if all goes well. Fans of football betting will hope he is able to fully recover.

With the loss of midfielders Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri in the summer transfer window, the Gunners now find themselves thin on the ground in the middle of the park.

Wenger was able to sign Mikel Arteta and Yossi Benayoun before the end of August and the pair will be invaluable to the north London outfit in the absence of Wilshere, who even at a young age has become a key player for the Gunners.

The promising midfielder, who gained some decent experience on his loan move to Bolton Wanderers before breaking into the Arsenal first-team, dictated the tempo of games he featured in and Wenger has admitted he is limited for options without the youngster. Those following the football odds will know this could be problematic.

He said: "It makes us a bit shorter in midfield and it puts more pressure on our midfielders to perform week in week out because there is less room for rotation.
"But every club can be tested on that front so it shouldn't be any excuse at all. He can come back strongly and help us finish the season well."

Monday, September 26, 2011

Van Persie stalls on new contract

Arsenal striker Robin van Persie has admitted he will delay any talks of prolonging his contract at the Emirates until the future of the club becomes a little clearer.
The Dutch international scored his 100th goal for the Gunners on Saturday in their 3-0 over Bolton in the Premier League, and has now made 238 appearances for the club.

After a disappointing start to the season, Arsenal lie 12th in the Premier League table, and have only picked up two wins from their opening six fixtures. Those looking at the betting odds will have expected the side to have done better.

After the sale of Cesc Fabregas to Barcelona, and Samir Nasri to Manchester City in the summer, it has been reported that Van Persie is waiting to see how the club's immediate future unfolds, after a disappointing start to the new season.

The 28-year old was signed by manager Arsene Wenger from Feyenoord in 2004, and has since become one of the leading strikers in Europe. He was appointed captain at the club by the Frenchman this summer, following the departure of Fabregas back to Barcelona. Those following the Betfair odds will know the side have to keep hold of their best players.

The striker's contract does not expire until 2013, however, Wenger will not want to leave contract discussions going into the last year of the contract, to avoid the risk of losing the player on a free transfer once it expires in 2013.

However, Van Persie is not quite ready to discuss any future contract talks just yet.

"I still have almost two years left here, so for the moment that's fine. But I don't know, we will have to look," he said.

"I'm happy with my contract, I'm good. That's how it is, I can't say much more. I can't look into the future."

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wenger defiant

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has issued a defiant warning about his future following his side's 3-1 victory over Carling Cup over Shrewsbury on Tuesday.

The Frenchman has come under major criticism in recent times after his team extended their run of trophyless seasons to six and compounded this by struggling in the early part of this campaign, including an 8-2 defeat to rivals Manchester United.

Wenger was recently given the dreaded vote of confidence by the club's chief executive, Ivan GAzidis after Gunners shocking 4-3 defeat to Blackburn at the weekend and things looked bleak at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday night after the away side took the lead but goals from Kieran Gibbs, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Yossi Benayoun sealed the victory. Those following the free sports betting wouldn't have been surprised by the result.

Despite the win, questions understandably remain over Wenger's position but he insists he has no intention of leaving the club.

Wenger is renowned for his stubbornness but insists he is taking his club down the right path and has rejected calls to bring in a defensive coach such as Martin Keown.

"I have just completed 30 years of coaching. I don't want to answer this kind of question. I am completely focused on doing well," he said.

"I can understand that people are unhappy and criticise, but you know as well as I know people are very quick to go overboard."

However, those looking at the mobile sports betting will know that Arsenal already look to be out of the title race and could face a struggle to qualify for the Champions League unless they are able to turn things around soon.

Wenger comes out fighting

For 15 minutes or so on Tuesday evening Arsenal fans were beginning to wonder whether their already poor start to the season was about to become traumatic.

The wounds from that 8-2 mauling at Manchester United and 4-2 loss at Blackburn were yet to heal when League Two Shrewsbury took the lead the Emirates Stadium in the Carling Cup third round.

Thankfully for the nervous red and white hordes the night took a turn for the better thanks to goals from Keiran Gibbs, Alex Chamberlain and Yossi Benayoun.

However, it wasn’t exactly the morale boosting performance Wenger had hoped for following the Ewood Park disaster at the weekend.

Earlier in the day Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis had dismissed suggestions the club would consider sacking the Frenchman after 14 years in charge at the London club.

Fuelled by that vote of confidence, Wenger was in equally bullish mood immediately after the game, stating his intention to stick around for a while yet.

“I can understand that people are unhappy and criticise, but you know as well as I know that people are very quick to go overboard,” said Wenger.

"When we do well we take all the plaudits, so we have to take all the blame when it doesn't go as well - but we have, on both sides, to take some distance.

"I am not bothered at all by this speculation.

"I have had 14 years at this club and kept them 14 years in the Champions League. I hope it lasts another 14.”

That determination to fight on will be a boost to Arsenal supporters, who thought they saw a beaten man on the touchline at Ewood park on Saturday. Despite the tough recent run Wenger is still a coach of the highest order and although his hesitancy in the transfer market has perhaps proved costly, there is no better manager out there at present who can get Arsenal out of their current predicament.

The title is out of their reach, no question. If you are going to bet on the Premier League it is only worth looking at three clubs - United, City and Chelsea – given the mega-money at their disposal.

Champions League qualification – and the riches that brings – is vitally important given the club are still repaying the cost of their new ground. But with Spurs and Liverpool also fighting hard, the Gunners’ poor start may already prove critical.

However, it is an end to the club’s now six-year trophy drought that is an attainable target and one Wenger needs to achieve if he is to relieve the pressure on his shoulders. Something to consider if you want a bet on the FA Cup.

As much as the cash-cow of the Champions League is important, the sight of an Arsenal captain lifting a trophy – a first at the new stadium – would do much to dissipate the clouds of discontent circling above north London at present.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Wenger not under pressure

Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis has dismissed claims that Arsene Wenger is under pressure and insists he has the full backing of the board.

It has been suggested that the Frenchman is under pressure after a disappointing start to the season as well as his reluctance to spend money in the transfer market.
Wenger's position has previously been thought to be untouchable but after failing to win a trophy for six seasons may of the fans have started to question his role and this has only been heightened with the Gunners struggles so far this term. Those following the mobile betting will know how poor the side have been.

However, Gazidis insists he and his fellow board members are fully behind the veteran coach and are sure he is the right man to turn the club's fortunes around.

He told Sky Sports News: "No, he shouldn't be worried. What I think Arsene is concerned about is what we have to do to set our course straight on the pitch.

"Arsene has been an incredible manager for this club, he is one of the most in-demand managers in the world, and we are very fortunate to have him tied down to a long-term contract. We are lucky to have someone who cares about the responsible development of the club.

The South-African-born CEO was also quick to quash rumours that Wenger had lost his desire to coach and was thinking about leaving his post. The betting online still indicates he will stay.

The 61-year-old has now been at the club for 15 years but 47-year-old Gazidis insists the manager is still hungry for success.

"The portrayals of him as being a broken man could not be further from the truth. Arsene is incredibly focused on what he needs to do and addressing the issues that he has seen" he added.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Gunners desperate for a response

To lose 8-2 against one of your fiercest rivals is bad enough but to force to wait two weeks to try and put it right must have been torture for Arsenal and their fans.

Players will tell you that after a defeat they want to play the next game quickly in order to get the loss out of their system. So the international period has allowed the memories of that Old Trafford mauling to fester. Only time will tell whether that will be a positive or negative thing for Arsene Wenger’s men and whether their lowly position in the premier league betting stakes will improve.

One undoubted positive though is the presence of new signings. Flush with cash from the sales of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri, Wenger was busy on deadline day, completing deals for Mikel Arteta, Yossi Benayoun, Per Mertesacker ,Park Chu-Young, Andre Santos.

Fresh faces at anytime will re-invigorate a club and Arsenal will be no different, especially after a difficult summer. The fans will also be boosted and many will hope the enforced break can act as a clean slate, a chance to start the season again.

Arteta and Mertesacker in particular are crucial to Arsenal’s success this season and if you want to bet on the Champions League heading to the Emirates they both need to have excellent seasons and surpass most expectations. The German brings welcome leadership and experience to a back four too prone to lapses in concentration. Arteta meanwhile has big boots to fill in the absence of both Fabregas and Nasri. He hasn’t been in the best of form in recent seasons but Arsenal’s style of play suits him down to the ground and the chance of a fresh start and a new club could be just what he needs to get back to his best.

Swansea City are the next opponents for the Gunners, a team who like to play a similar brand of football. After losing to two newly promoted sides at home last season no one will be taking the game for granted. 

But with new players on board and a 8-2 defeat to exorcise, the fans must be confident of a morale boosting victory to kick-start their stuttering season.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Wenger should go for Carling Cup win

After so much criticism regarding a lack of success you have to wonder what attitude Arsene Wenger will have towards the Carling Cup this year.

It has been seven long years for Arsenal since their last trophy and they blew a massive chance in the Carling Cup final last year, when a blunder from goalkeeper and defender gifted the game, and the silverware, to Birmingham City. It was a huge Carling Cup betting upset.

Over the last decade Wenger has consistently used the Carling Cup to blood younger players and bring through a new generation of Arsenal stars – but given the criticism of himself and his team this year maybe he should go at it all guns blazing.

Winning a trophy, even not the most prestigious trophy in English football, would at least shut up some of his critics who have been calling for his head following a poor start to the season and some debatable last-minute moves in the transfer market.

There are more question marks over the youngsters at Arsenal than ever before as Wenger's continued mission to 'buy youth and develop them' has led to the Gunners reserve and youth players coming under the microscope.

With a lack of squad depth, and the number of younger players out on loan, Wenger might not have the luxury of blooding a full inexperienced team in the Carling Cup – and this could have big benefits overall. Those placing a Carling Cup bet should remember this.

A strong Arsenal side marching their way to lifting the Carling Cup at Wembley come next year would see Wenger get himself back in the good books of many fans and, more importantly, it would finally get that lack-of-trophies monkey off his back for good.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Wenger at a crossroads

It’s no secret that this season could end up being one of the most challenging of Arsene Wenger’s fifteen year tenure at Arsenal, but the fact that there are now certain sections of the Emirates that have lost faith in their manager and actually want to see a change at the top of the club’s hierarchy should be viewed as very worrying indeed. Wenger has always invested in youth, but now there seems to have been too much spending with the future in mind, and not enough thought given to the short-term – and that timescale is now the one which is threatening Wenger’s job.Those who bet on the Premier League certainly doubt the Frenchman's abilities to turn things around.

The fact that Arsenal chose to spend £15m on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – an eighteen-year-old of undoubted promise, but who surely cannot be relied on to offer a consistent supply to the likes of van Persie and Gervinho – speaks volumes of where Wenger’s priorities lie. He clearly envisages leaving some manner of a legacy behind, but in this day and age it is the six years without delivering a trophy that people are going to remember.

Even with Fabregas amongst the Arsenal ranks, there was a feeling that the team lacked a leader in the vein of Patrick Viera, but following their former captain’s departure to his native Barcelona, the armband has been left to Robin van Persie. Despite his obvious talent, he also has some well-documented injury issues and will therefore struggle to lead his team from the physio’s table. Also, by the nature of his role as the team’s star striker, he also plays with his back to his men and will be unable to grab the game by the scruff of its neck when the going gets tough.

So the solution for Wenger seems obvious: buy a striker to cover van Persie when he is injured; buy a leader in midfield to rally the troops – and buy them now whatever the cost.Are Yossi Benayoun and Mikel Arteta the answer? Creative yes, but driving leaders? I don't think so.

In an age of instant gratification, where those who watch live football at the Emirates demand results now Wenger perhaps sees himself as a prophet. But the bad news is that such people are so rarely appreciated in their own time – and should things not improve soon, Wenger could well end up with his head on a plate.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Arsenal's most crucial 24 hours awaits

Transfer deadline is usually a quiet time for Arsene Wenger. The Frenchman more often than not gets his business done early by the time the bi-annual mad scramble begins.

But in this most disastrous of starts to a season Wenger knows he must deliver ahead of Wednesday's deadline or risk the rest of the campaign imploding all around him. Those who bet on the Champions League are already placing Arsenal as vast outsiders.

If you look on the bright side, you could say that things can't get much worse than a 8-2 defeat at Manchester United – the history books now tell us that. But what it also did was highlight the glaring deficiencies in the Gunners line-up. Well, to many of us we already knew where their weaknesses lay but Wenger now surely can't keep on stubbornly denying anything is wrong. I wouldn’t bet on relegation coming to haunt the club, but for a team that usually keeps such high standards, their recent fall from grace is alarming.

A defender is needed desperately, someone with some grit, determination and leadership. Wenger may want to build a team like Barcelona but even they have Carlos Puyol directing things at the back.

There is a huge Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas shaped hole in the midfield and with £60million in his back pocket following the sale of those two players he has no excuses about not finding a replacement.

Finally, a striker is urgently needed to provide back-up for Robin Van Persie. The Dutchman is a proven world-class talent but is too injury prone to be relied upon for a whole season.
Wenger though is notoriously - and I have to say to a certain extent admirably – careful with money and last minute shopping is exactly the sort of situation he hates being in.

Clubs, scenting a few extra quid, will inflate transfer fees, sensing the club's desperation. Will Wenger swallow his pride and cough up the extra cash required to plug the gaps? Or will he stubbornly prefer to keep what he has got in order to maintain his prudent approach to the transfer market?

It's going to be a fun 24 hours.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Barca finally get their man

Barcelona have completed the signing of Cesc Fabregas from Arsenal.

The Spanish midfielder returns to his boyhood club after passing a medical and signing five-year deal worth an estimated £35 million.

Fabregas was unveiled in front of a large crowd at the Nou Camp and the Spanish and European champions have inserted a $200 million clause buy-out clause into his contract.

The 24-year-old’s transfer brings the curtain down on one of the longest running transfer sagas that has seen the Catalan Giants trying to sign their former midfielder for a number of years.

The Arsenal captain has been unsettled by the transfer speculation during the summer and has finally prized his way from the London club.

Fabregas, who leaves Arsenal on good terms, paid tribute to his Gunners manager Arsene Wenger after departing the Emirates Stadium.

He said: “The relationship was fantastic. I spoke to him on Friday to say goodbye and I got very emotional because he’s been like a father-figure to me.

“I couldn’t even talk at one stage when I wanted to say how grateful I was for what he has done for me.”

Fabregas could not be the only player leaving the Emirates this week, with the possible sale of fellow midfielder Samir Nasri.

The French midfielder has been linked with a move to both Manchester clubs this summer and could be on the verge of joining City.

Those looking at football betting tips regularly note how Roberto Mancini has been a long admirer of Nasri and has admitted his interest in the Gunners playmaker.

Nasri has upset the Gunners faithful after calling them disrespectful following chanting during the goalless draw with Newcastle in their opening Premier League fixture.

Meanwhile, Arsenal have been charged with failing to control their players during the game at St James Park.

The Gunners saw Gervinho sent off on his English football debut after clashing with Magpies bad boy Joey Barton.

Midfielder Alex Song has also been charged after appearing to stamp on Barton during the first half of the clash.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Work begins now for Wenger

So the Fabregas shaped cloud that as hung over Arsenal for the past two years has lifted. He has gone, the cash is in the bank, now the club can try and move on.
I can appreciate Arsene Wenger's desperation to keep his skipper, such is his pivotal role in the team. Plus the way Barca have perhaps gone about their hunt of the player leaves a lot to be desired. Those who bet on the Premier League will know this.

In similar circumstances to when Ronaldo left Man United for Real Madrid, the big two in Spain feel they merely need to utter the name of the player they want for their club to go on bended knee and allow them to take them off their hands. "I wouldn't sell them a virus," was one of Fergie's more memorable quotes about Real, though he eventually gave in. As it is, Wenger had to do the same.

But such was the damaging affect this saga had on the club I do think Wenger could have done with jettisoning Cesc a lot earlier than he has.

After all it leaves him just two weeks of the transfer window to find a replacement and convince others, like Samir Nasri, that the club still has ambition to win trophies. Arsenal also face a tricky Champions League qualifier against Udinese -fail to make it through and wagging fingers will be aimed in Wenger's direction for not strengthening the team early enough. The Premier League best odds show they face problems.

Had he sold Fabregas in June, midfield re-enforcements will have been bought an acclimatised and you never know Nasri may have signed that contract that's been sat on the table for so long.

But if anyone is going to ignore the advice and feelings of others in Arsene Wenger. The man grows more stubborn as the years go on and the louder the calls are to spend, the less likely he appears willing to. Maybe the short, sharp shock of Europa League football will be enough to jolt him to action, which is what will happen should they lose to Udinese.

Looking at past form, I have my doubts.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Newcastle,Arsenal and Joey Barton haven't changed.

The match at St James' Park on Saturday couldn't have been more different to the equivalent game we were treated to last season. The TV schedulers, desperate for a repeat of last February's 4-4 goalfest, were left disappointed.

But the supporters probably left the ground anxious that the same old failings from either side are still apparent, meaning transfer window activity is urgently needed for both sides.

Prolific Twitterer Joey Barton may see himself as some sort of re-formed intellectual, who won't listen to anyone else's opinion 'unless you've played the game', but it doesn't take an ex-pro to see his old failings are still there.

To balance it out he was, crudely, stamped on by Alex Song, but his later reaction to Gervinho's dive, before diving to the ground a few minutes later, proves he he just can't keep out of the headlines, no matter how hard he tries.

He remains vital though to the way the Magpies play, his delivery, from dead balls and open play, will set up the majority of their goals. However, his success last season relied on Kevin Nolan and Andy Carroll converting those expert deliveries. Despite bringing in Demba Ba and Yohann Cabaye – the later of whom did show promise – they do not replicate the triumvirate that proved so successful during the first half of last season. The Geordie fans are right to feel anxious and hope for reinforcements ahead of the deadline if they are to avoid being near the top of the relegation betting tables.

Arsenal meanwhile, continue to demonstrate the same old failings that have hamstrung their bids for trophies in recent years. Easy on the eye yes, but when sides defend in numbers, they lack the zip and drive to break down teams. The game dropped to walking pace at times, with the Gunners still trying to score the perfect goal. I wouldn’t bet on the Premier League coming near the Emirates any-time soon without new signings

Their lack of discipline, stretching back to the days of Vieira and Petit, is also still apparent, with Alex Song surely about to receive a retrospective fine and ban for his ugly stamp on Joey Barton.

With Barcelona set to fill Arsenal's bank account still further with the Fabregas money there can be no hiding for Wenger.

He has the cash, he can see the weaknesses, it is now or never.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Arsenal's start to define their season?

It's the same old story as the season approaches where the Gunners are concerned. Yes, that's right, Arsenal have been accused of being embroiled in a crisis before the season has even started. However, the North London outfit is not a club to be discounted so rashly, since the Gunners still possess a very strong squad, even if Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas do decide to depart the club.

Regardless of this fact, the Gunners still know that a defining moment of their season will come in the first few games, during which the true strength in depth of the squad and overall quality of the players it possesses will be tested early on, with a pair of tough games against Liverpool and Newcastle, fixtures that they may not end up winning, but which need to bring solid performances in order to silence the doubts surrounding the club and particularly its leadership. Anyone looking to bet on Premier League should bear this in mind.

If the Gunners do start poorly, it's quite likely that the club will put a lot of pressure on Arsene Wenger to go out and spend big bucks on the sort of players he has previously suggested would be merely desirable, but may soon find are necessary to help the club continue to progress. The Premier League betting offers reflect this.

With Arsenal fans still reeling at the way the club collapsed after their inexplicable defeat to the now relegated Birmingham in the Carling Cup final, a game that seemed to be nothing but a curse on both clubs as they struggled to pick up points after the game, Wenger knows that he has hard work ahead of him if he wishes to keep fans firmly onside and supportive of a project that has flattered to do anything other than look pretty so far. If the Arsenal manager fails to lead the club to a decent start, he may find that his team is entering a season to forget.

Wenger reflects on Oxlaide-Chamberlain capture

Arsenal have secured the services of Alex Oxlaide-Chamberlain from Championship side Southampton.

The 17-year-old has signed a long-term deal at the Emirates Stadium for an undisclosed fee, believed to be in the region of £12 million plus any add-ons.

The winger played 44 times for the Saints, scoring 10 goals, and was influential in the club’s promotion from League One last season.

Oxlaide-Chamberlain follows in the footsteps of England international Theo Walcott, who also came through the ranks at St Mary’s to seal a deal with the Gunners.

He has also featured for England Under-18’s, 19’s and 21’s during his short career and joins with a glowing reputation and plenty of potential, which has delighted Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.

"We are delighted that Alex has decided to join us,” he told the club’s official website.

"He is an exciting young player who will provide us with creativity and offensive quality. Alex is a versatile player who can play in a number of positions. He can play as an attacking centre midfielder, or wide left and right.

"Alex is a perceptive passer of the ball and has a great understanding of the game and looks to be a very good team player."

Despite Wenger bringing Oxlaide-Chamberlain to the club, the Gunners are still fighting to keep hold of the wantaway pair of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri.

Fabregas continues to be linked with a move back to boyhood club and European and Spanish champions Barcelona, with the Catalan giants likely to conclude a deal next week once they have had a bid accepted.

As for Nasri, football betting pundits note how the French midfielder could well stay in the Premier League with Manchester City still wanting to seal his signature. Nasri played a key role last term and would be a huge blow to Wenger’s plan for next season.

Another player heading for the exit is Nicklas Bendtner, who has been told he can leave the club.

The Denmark striker, who has endured a contrasting career with the Gunners, has asked for a move to Stoke.

Potters manager Tony Pulis is interested in a deal but Bendtner’s wage demands and transfer may be out of Stoke’s price range.

However, despite the likely departures, Wenger has attempted to sign a defender after having a bid rejected for Everton defender Phil Jagielka. Scott Dann, Gary Cahill and Ryan Shawcross have also been mentioned as the London club look to strengthen their defensive options, which have been criticised in the past.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Oxlade-Chamberlain in Arsenal medical

Arsenal are set to complete the signing of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain after it was announced that the Southampton winger was undergoing a medical at the Emirates.

The 17-year-old is set to sign a long-term deal at the club after the two clubs agreed a £12m fee for the highly-rated youngster.

Oxlade-Chamberlain will become Arsenal's third summer signing, following the arrivals of Gervinho from Lille and Carl Jenkinson from Charlton Athletic.

Oxlade-Chamberlain is in a similar mould to that of current Arsenal winger Theo Walcott. He too started his career at Southampton and Arsene Wenger is clearly a fan of their youth system.

Oxlade-Chamberlain can play in a more central role to Walcott though and is known just as much for his passing as he is his pace.

With this signing, Wenger has continued the trend of signing youngsters to build a team around. This is despite calls to sign more experienced players in a bid to win some silverware.

However, those looking at Bet365 Free Bets will tell you that Oxade-Chamberlain is an excellent young player with a big future. He can now continue his progress at Arsenal.

The move is expected to go through today or tomorrow. Those looking at Bookmakers Free Bets will certainly be interested to see whether Wenger sees the 17-year-old being involved in first-team football in the upcoming campaign.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Wenger urgently needs defensive recruitment

Arsene Wenger undoubtedly is a intelligent man, he wouldn't have got where he is today without being one. And as football managers go, he is one of the more studious.
So why then has not yet addressed the yawning chasm in his side's defence?

The club's prudent approach to finances is well documented and should be applauded, but there is cash there for Wenger to spend on a defender, and it one badly needed. People looking at the weekend Premier League betting will know this.

The main targets appear to be Gary Cahill, Chris Samba and Phil Jagielka, the sort of vocal, no nonsense stopper the club needs to toughen up that now notoriously soft centre.

But Wenger is again unwilling to pay the money. A £12million bid for Everton's Jagielka was rejected last summer, so why with the player now tied down to a new longer term contract did the club return this year with a £10million bid?

British players carry a premium, it is frustrating and unfortunate but in his efforts not pay over-inflated fees I get the impression Wenger is cutting his nose off to spite his face.

This was demonstrated in their two recent friendlies in the Emirates Cup. The Gunners twice took the lead against Boca and NY Red Bulls but sloppy defensive lapses, the sort we have grown familiar with, cost them the win and led to the supporters jeering at the final whistle. Those following the Premier League promotions will be worrying where things are going.

To hear your own fans boo in a pre-season friendly is a clear sign something is not right and Wenger needs to act before the poisonous atmosphere is dragged into the new season – especially as they have a vital Champions League qualifier to come later this month.

But the louder the calls come the more Wenger digs his heels in. You wonder whether it would take something catastrophic – such as the absence of Champions league football - to finally force the Frenchman to act.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Can Arsenal end the hurt?

Arsenal have endured six years without winning any silverware but Jack Wilshere reckons they are only one or two faces short of being real Premier League title contenders for the coming season.

The young midfielder has seen Arsene Wenger sing Gervinho and Carl Jenkinson during the summer transfer window so far, but more worrying for Wilshere and the Gunners fans is who might leave.

Gael Clichy has left for Manchester City, while Samir Nasri continues to be heavily linked with a move away from the Emirates to City or their rivals Manchester United. People looking at the football betting will be wondering what's going on.

Add onto this the fact constant speculation regarding Cesc Fabregas leaving to rejoin boyhood idols Barcelona refuses to go away and it looks like the Gunners captain could be on his way before the season starts.

Arsenal have not won anything since 2004 and that remains a constant source of ridicule from rivals fans and discussion among football fans and pundits. The football odds show they will challenge again, but they need to find something extra.

Wilshere claims the Gunners "have to win things this year" if they want that monkey off their back and, despite possibly losing two of their stars, he reckons a couple of new faces could mean Arsenal lifting the Premier League title come the end of the season.

"If we had a few more faces we could really push on. If we get a few more players we can really challenge for the title," Wilshere claims.

"Around March and April we have to stay really strong. We are confident we can be up and around it then so we have to remain strong at that crucial time."

Arsenal were booed by their own fans as they failed to win the Emirates Cup at their own ground in front of their own supporters at the weekend – which does not bode well for Wilshere's prediction they can win the Premier League title.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Can Arsenal find that one defender needed to reach the summit?

Arsenal have proved time and time again over the years that they can be nothing short of brilliant when going forward in attack, but, at the same time, Arsenal have apparently done all they can to prove how inept and downright awful they can be defensively, a trend that new boy Carl Jenkinson managed to demonstrate all too neatly in the Gunners' recent friendly game against FC Cologne.

With Arsene Wenger having announced that he is now quite simply desperate to sign a new defender who can bring a little more stability and security to the back line, and perhaps aid the development of the club’s promising young goalkeeper, who may be talented but still has a lot of work to do in order to bring his distribution skills up to the level expected of a world class goalkeeper, Gunners fans know all too well that the manager's failure to find a decent defender in the current transfer window would leave Arsenal well short of possessing the required talent to win the Premier League next season. Those looking to bet on Premier League winner should bear this in mind.

However, if Arsenal do decide to buck the trend and splash the cash on Chris Samba or Gary Cahill, they would be instantly handed the chance to be able to defeat the more physical sides in England who have been able to bully them into submission in recent years. The Premier League best odds reflect this.

If, and only if, this happens over the coming weeks, then summer 2011 perhaps won't be viewed as a complete failure for them after all, even if Cesc Fabregas does leave to follow his heart and play for Barcelona.

With Wenger a manager now under more pressure than ever before, only time will tell as to whether Arsene knows, or Arsene only used to know when it comes to signing top players who can turn the Gunners into genuine title challengers.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Eboue set for Galatasaray switch

Arsenal defender Emmanuel Eboue is close to leaving Arsenal after the club agreed a deal to sell the Ivorian to Turkish club Galatasaray for around £4 million.

Eboue has been a consistent performer for the Gunners since joining from Belgian club Beveren in 2005, but Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is said to have run out of patience with the 28 year old after he gave away a vital penalty which lead to Arsenal conceding two late goals and dropping two valuable points from a winning position.

Wenger is still in the market for defensive back up after a series of errors at the back last year, with those who get free bets backing Everton’s Phil Jagielka to arrive at the Emirates despite Arsenal having a £10 million bid for the England international turned down last week.

Eboue is not on Arsenal’s tour of east Asia, with a calf injury cited as the reason for his absence, although talks between the player’s agent and Galatasaray are expected to get underway this week.

Also on his way out of the Emirates is Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, who is on the verge of completing a £1 million switch to Championship side Ipswich, while Wenger is still hopeful of shipping out Danish international Nicklas Bendtner and goalkeeper Manuel Almunia as the Arsenal boss goes in search of raising funds to bring in players that will help end the club’s current six year trophy-less run.

Neither Almunia or Bendtner were on the Gunner’s trip to Germany last week or are they currently in Asia as Bendtner discusses terms with Borrusia Dortmund while Almunia has attracted interest from Atletico Madrid, Malaga and Fenerbahce.

Gael Clichy has already departed for Manchester City in a £7 million move, while Denilson has been farmed out on loan to Brazilian side Sao Paulo, while Ivorian striker Gervinho arrived from Lille earlier this month.

Those who bet with paypal believe Arsenal will struggle to break their trophy-less duck this season, especially with the danger of losing Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas threatening becoming a reality.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Are Arsenal more suited to Europe?

It has been six years since Arsenal have won any trophies but maybe their style of play is suited to the Champions League more than the Premier League.

The Gunners have not won anything since the 2005 FA Cup and since that date they have come up short in both the Premier League and the Champions League competitions.

The argument thrown at Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is his reluctance to spend big money to bring in huge stars to the Emirates, while there remains the constant criticism aimed at their defence and goalkeeping situation. Those looking at the Champions League betting will wonder why things haven't been changed.

Former Gunners legend Patrick Vieira, who was part of the famous 'Invincibles' side, reckons the team now play better football than the Arsenal side he was in – but their lack of physicality means they will not win the Premier League.

The fluent, attacking brand of football that Wenger has his team playing is possibly more suited to the Champions League rather than the physical rigours of the English Premier League.

But after slipping down to fourth in the Premier League last season, it means Arsenal now have to qualify for the Champions League – making it even harder to win that competition.

Vieira reckons the passing and movement of the current Arsenal team is "better" than it was in his day but they are just lacking the "physical" and "intimidating" characters they had. Anyone placing a Champions League bet should bear this in mind.

"Since I left Arsenal, there are new players, a new generation and maybe a new philosophy because Arsenal play better football than we used to do in my time," the Frenchman said.

"I honestly believe that the Arsenal team now are playing better than we were then. The difference is we put silverware on the sideboard."

Chelsea seem to be the English side most desperate to win a Champions League trophy, as it is the one competition they have not won in Roman Abramovich's time in charge.

New boss Andres Villas-Boas has come out recently and pledged his intention to bring the Champions League trophy to Stamford Bridge in his first season in charge.