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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Wilshere backs Wenger to carry on

Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has insisted that Arsene Wenger is still the right man to lead the club despite the constant speculation regarding his future.
The Gunners have struggled so far this season, suffering a number of disappointing defeats, most notably in the League Cup where they were eliminated last week by League Two Bradford City.
The results have prompted a lot of questions about the Frenchman’s future in North London and some fans and soccer betting news reporters now feel that Wenger’s time at the club could be up, following seven years without winning a major trophy.
Wilshere was one of the few Gunners players to perform at Valley Parade and after missing all of last season through injury, the 20-year-old has certainly impressed since returning to fitness.
Despite his young age, the playmaker is now seen as one of Arsenal’s most important players and has regularly credited Wenger with constantly helping him to realise his massive potential.
Wilshere has now reiterated his belief that the 63-year-old is the right man to guide the team and has backed him to lead his side out of their latest slump.
 “For me, there is no question he is the right man. You cannot start questioning him because we have had a few bad results. The players have to look at themselves," Wilshere said to Premier League betting news reporters.

"Every year he has been in the Champions League and there is no other manager who has done that. He brought the Total Football, if you like, to Arsenal - the passing game.”
"He has also been great for me, has shown great faith in me from when I was young. He stuck with me when I was injured and has still stuck by me."

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Arsenal would benefit from midfielder Strootman inclusion

If Arsenal’s recent performances have told us anything, it is they desperately need some midfield nous in their ranks. Losses to Swansea, Olympiacos and the humbling to Bradford City in the League Cup could all have been avoided had a strong body sat in the centre of midfield.

Boss Arsene Wenger has failed to deliver in bringing up a defensive midfielder through the ranks. The perpetually injured Abou Diaby has never risen to the standard needed for a title-challenging side while Francis Coquelin is too inexperienced for that role.

Not since Gilberto Silva have Arsenal had a proper holding midfielder that can retain the ball, instruct the midfield and break down attacks simply with his positional play. Rarely do we see the crunching tackles Patrick Vieira and Gilberto used to combat opponents, Wenger instead opting for quieter players who, although gifted on the ball, have no idea how to structure a midfield.

When Vieira left, Gilberto filled the hole before it was time for Mathieu Flamini to step up with Cesc Fabregas alongside. Arsenal’s inability to secure Flamini’s services effectively ruined Wenger’s plans for a side ready to win trophies back in 2007/08.

Since then the squad has mentally weakened and, heading into the January transfer window, something must be done to strengthen the midfield. One man who Wenger should look to bring in is Kevin Strootman, PSV’s 22-year-old midfielder, who has all the qualities of a hardened DM having learned from the best in the business: Dutch team-mate Mark van Bommel.

With 15 international caps to his name Strootman has perfected the driving midfielder role that has made Yaya Toure and Xavi Alonso such great successors in the Premier League.

Wenger must sign in January and Strootman is the man to fill a desperately needed gap in their midfield. If the bossfails to spend Arsenal may fall outside the top four this season, meaning he ability to attract world-class players would be lost.
Check the Betfair FA Cup  markets before the third round in a fortnight’s time or if you want to have a flutter on Leeds v Chelsea, makes sure you check out the latest Capital One Cup Betting.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Wilshere calls for patience as he continues return to form

Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has called on the club’s fans to remain patient with him as he continues to rediscover his form following his injury nightmare.
The playmaker was out of action for almost 17 months due to a stress fracture on his ankle, a problem that  not only saw him miss an entire Barclays Premier League season but Euro 2012 and perhaps more significantly, the once in a lifetime opportunity to play at the Olympics.
Both the Gunners and England have certainly struggled without his vision and flair, but he made an immediate impact on his return to the side, earning the man-of-the-match award during his first start back against Queens Park Rangers and online betting markets quickly speculated about what impact he could have on Arsenal’s title chances this season.
The excitement around him understandably grew but expectations were lowered when he was sent off against Manchester United earlier this month.
However, this didn’t dissuade Three Lions boss Roy Hodgson from bringing him back into the squad for the recent friendly with Sweden and Wilshere impressed after coming off the bench on the hour mark in Stockholm.
The 20-year-old admits he is pleased with how his comeback has gone so far but has called for patience as he continues to settle back into top flight football.
"I don't how long it will be before I can say 'I'm back.' I'm not really sure,” Wilshere said. "This is my first long-term injury. We will see. I'm sure you lot (the media) will notice when I'm back to my best!”
"I'm getting there. I don't feel 100 per cent yet and everyone can see that. I feel better and better as every game goes on.
"I need to get some games under my belt and properly get back into the swing of things but it's great to be back. Seventeen months on the sidelines is tough for anyone," he added.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Wenger Taking a Chance on Walcott

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has revealed that he has no plans to sell Theo Walcott in January, even thoughhe could potentially leave on a free transfer in the summer, if he has not signed a new contract by then.
Few would question Arsene Wenger’s pedigree in the transfer market but his commitment to hold on to Walcott, despite the possibility of missing out on a substantial transfer fee, could begin to call his judgement into question. "There's a risk, yes, but that we are ready to take," said Wenger.  "We started the season with this squad and we want to finish the season with this squad."
Having sold Robin Van Persie to Manchester United in the summer, Arsenal have looked short of firepower at times this season, with Walcott posing their main threat in front of goal. If Wenger were to lose Walcott in January, as the latest  betting suggests,  it would potentially mean that he has sold his top goal scorer two years running and could leave the Gunners facing another season of mediocrity.
It is hard to know what constitutes success at Arsenal these days but, if they are to achieve it, Wenger seems to be pinning his hopes on the young Englishman;  "A successful season is more important for us than this risk that is only a financial risk, apart from the losing the player," said Wenger. "If we sell him, we lose him anyway. “
Arsene Wenger has bought and sold enough players during his time at Arsenal to know what Theo Walcott is worth and the extent of the risk that he is taking in keeping him.  If Walcott can continue to produce the goalscoring form that he has shown in the early part of the season then Arsenal will surely pick up enough results andscores to challenge for the Champions League again. If, however, the goals begin to dry up for Walcott and he is allowed to leave for free in January then the Emirates faithful will surely begin to ask questions of Wenger’s decision-making.

Arsenal bosses must prove true to their word

Upon revealing Arsenal’s eye-watering new £150m sponsorship deal with Emirates airline, the club’s chief executive Ivan Gazidis has reassured fans they will see investment into the playing squad.

“The deal is all about football,” Gazidis said. “It is all about giving us the resources in what we believe is a responsible and well managed way … so that we will have additional money in this financial year which will be able to invest in the summer.

“[Manager Arsene Wenger] will have more resources available.”

Yet despite the chief exec.’s words that Wenger will be allowed to spend more money on new signings, very few supporters will be taking his words on face value.

For Gooners have for a long time now come to terms with the fact their club is being run by businessmen, not football people. Their new, glossy stadium may be the jewel in north London’s crown but it has come at a major cost, with Arsenal without a trophy to boast of since the FA Cup in 2005.

Indeed, it appears focus at Arsenal is more about securing revenue streams, expanding the brand into global markets and fleecing the fans of every last dime they have. The Emirates already boasts the most expensive season tickets in the country yet does not showcase trophy-winning football.

No, while the Emirates Stadium project has evolved, Wenger has had to keep afloat an inconsistent team continually depreciating in quality; replacing major stars like Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie with Marouane Chamakh and Park Chu-Young.

A fresh link to former terrace hero Thierry Henry in the gossip columns  may be romantic, but in a realists eyes it us yet another example of Wenger’s penny pinching.

The frustration on the terraces is building and has been for years, and while this recent news may just calm the nerves of Arsenal fans in the betting world, if Gazidis does not prove true to his word there will be serious discontent among the most optimistic of supporters.

Want to lock-in a profit if a result is going your way? Then make sure you choose the new Betfair Cashout feature.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Arsenal trophy void set to widen

The gap between Arsenal’s 2005 FA Cup triumph and their next taste of silverware appears destined to expand into the foreseeable future after their shareholders’ meeting last week exposed the full extent of the club’s frugal attitude.

Both majority shareholder Stan Kroenke and squad manager Arsene Wenger outlined the need for financial stability as the driving factor for future success, but at a cost – it appears – of present-day glory.

Kroenke, in a statement following the meeting, said: “Arsenal is a tremendous club with a track record of consistent performance at the top level. That is very rare, but we have managed it. I know that will continue as we move forwards. We have an exciting future and our goal is to win trophies.”

Meanwhile Wenger told shareholders at the meeting: “There are five trophies. The first is to win the Premiership, second is to win the Champions League, third is to qualify for the Champions League, fourth is to win the FA Cup, and fifth is to win the League Cup.”

The rhetoric of these two statements must worry Arsenal fans who crave for a trophy like the haul they won a decade ago. While Kroenke outlined ‘consistent performance at the top level,’ Wenger’s statement that Champions League qualification is more important than a domestic cup is very concerning.
Granted, the Frenchman has kept the club in Europe’s elite competition for more than a decade, ensuring the hefty flow of TV money keeps moving, and the latest champions league group stage betting suggests they will make it to the knock-out stages this time around.

Both men have outlined the niggling concern that they see second-best as good enough because financially it keeps the club healthy. Kroenke may say he wants trophies but selling his best players and not giving Wenger the funds to reinvest is not the way about it.

Wenger has kept the club afloat during the paying-off of the new stadium with young talent just about good enough for fourth place. Now, however, there is a distinct rut in the playing squad and Champions League qualification may not even be achieved this year – mostly thanks to the frugal fiscal determination of Kroenke and co.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wenger looking for improvement

Arsene Wenger has called upon his team to forget about the poor performance at Norwich City over the weekend by defeating Schalke 04 at the Emirates Stadium in the Champions League this evening.

The Gunners were far from at their best against Norwich and created very little in the 1-0 defeat, which saw them fall ten points off the top spot in the Premier League. Even people who play Pub Fruit Machines would have told you that Wenger’s side were not good enough in Norfolk.

 However, you cannot fault them in the Champions League so far as it has been two wins from two for Wenger’s men.

The Arsenal boss said: "We have a good opportunity, we play at home against Schalke and since we know that we won in Montpellier, our qualifying will depend on how well we do at home.

"Schalke are a solid side with good organisation.

"Up front of course they have Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Jefferson Farfan, that we know are well, Ibrahim Afellay and Julian Draxler. They are dangerous and play a lot on counter-attacks."

The North Londoners know that this is likely to be the toughest game in the group stages so far as Schalke are also unbeaten in the Champions League. A victory here would put them in superb shape to reach the knockout stages and quickly get rid of the memories from Saturday evening.

Nothing proves there is a good spirit in a squad more than bouncing back after a defeat and taking all three points, especially against a team of the Germans quality.

Aaron Ramsey has been in good form in Europe’s elite club competition as well and he was on the score-sheet in the 3-1 win over Olympiakos.

The Welshman is likely to feature this evening and he has said: “When you have an upset like that you want to get back out there as quickly as possible and put it right."

Ramsey was one of the players that did not have a good game at Carrow Road over the weekend and he will be desperate to come out and show the Emirates faithful just what he is capable of doing on the biggest stage.

It is all set for a superb 90 minutes of football in North London.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Burton hails Wilshere return

Arsenal reserve team boss Terry Burton believes the imminent return of Jack Wilshere to the first team has given the whole club a massive lift.

After years of excitement surrounding the player, the talented youngster finally established himself in the Gunners’ side during the 2010-11 season, making over 40 appearances in all competitions.

He also broke into the England set-up and was seen by many as the man to add some much needed quality to the Three Lions midfield and carry them to Euro 2012 glory.

However, he has not played in the last 14 months due to an ankle injury, an ailment that not only cost him a place in Poland and Ukraine, but also meant he missed out on the once in a lifetime chance to play at the Olympics.

Both Arsenal and England have notably struggled without his composure and guile but he is now well on the way back to fitness and played for the Gunners’ under-21 side in a game at West Brom on Monday.

Thankfully Wilshere didn’t suffer any reoccurrence of the problem and impressed before being substituted on the hour. The London club hope he can feature in the Barclays Premier League again before the end of the year.

Burton was understandably delighted that the 20-year-old came through the encounter unscathed and says his return has boosted everyone at the club, as they look to end their seven year trophy drought.

"You always have to make that first step, and he has done that and that is fantastic,” he was quoted as saying in the latest sport news report.

"He is a quality player, it is great for the club that he has taken that first step on the road towards getting back into the first team.

"I think he is delighted to have been back on the pitch, as we all are,” he added.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Wenger Wants More Consistency

Arsenal boss, Arsene Wenger, believes his side are now starting show signs of the consistency they have so desperately lacked over the last few seasons.

Despite always being there or thereabouts at the end of the campaign, the Gunners are currently on a run of seven years without a trophy, with their last piece of silverware coming via a penalty shoot-out victory in the 2005 FA Cup final.

Unlike in previous seasons, Wenger’s men were expected to struggle this term, following the high-profile departures of skipper, Robin van Persie, and playmaker, Alex Song, but they have so far proved their doubters wrong, and currently sit fifth in the table, following Sunday’s draw at Manchester City.

This is, in part, down to the French coach’s newfound ambition in the transfer market. The 62-year-old looks to have once again pulled off a number of coups over the summer, with the signings of three men who will be familiar to fans looking for more tips to bet on Champions League football: Lukas Podolski, Olivier Giroud, and Santi Cazorla.

All three have settled well at the club and definitely added something to the squad, most notably Cazorla and Podolski, who are already showing signs of forming a deadly attacking partnership.
Their experience is sure to prove vital to the Gunners this season and will undoubtedly help the North Londoners in their quest for silverware this season.

However, Wenger is adamant that his side are far from the finished article and has warned his players that for all their talent, they still have a long way to go.

“It's down to consistency and what happened today should strengthen our belief," the manager said. "But we are not the perfect team yet and there is still room for improvement. I believe we have a chance."

How about some football betting tips for the weekend? Arsenal to edge Chelsea in Close-fought Encounter.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Is Jack About to Return?

We may have heard it all before, but Arsene Wenger’s claims that Jack Wilshere is close to returning from injury will no doubt excite Gooners desperate to see the 20-year-old’s comeback.

Wilshere has been out for 14 months and, although coming close to returning to fitness on a number of occasions, has suffered various setbacks over the past year. Speaking ahead of Sunday’s clash with Manchester City, Arsenal boss, Wenger, told journalists that Wilshere is ready to come back stronger.

“What he’s gone through will make him stronger. It’s a good test for your mental strength,” he concluded. “We have to be a bit cautious. We need to manage him well. He needs a few games in the reserves.”

Wenger often cites the need for caution when planning the return of injured players, yet news that Wilshere is close to a comeback has nevertheless ignited excitement with fans looking for more tips to bet on Premier League football. The midfielder was arguably Arsenal’s best player in the 2010/11 season and stood shoulder to shoulder with central midfield partner, Cesc Fabregas.

He looked every bit a top professional when Arsenal faced Barcelona in the Champions League and many fans view his comeback as the final piece needed in Wenger’s title-winning jigsaw.

What is most exciting about his return is that Wilshere will have to fight hard to force his way into the starting XI. Wenger has done well to maintain a solid centre midfield after losing three key players in the past two years; Fabregas, Samir Nasri and Alex Song – despite what you may think of them now – were all solidly reliable in an Arsenal shirt.

Now a new generation is forming and Wilshere, alongside Abu Diaby and Santi Cazorla, will drive the Arsenal engine into a Premier League challenge this season. His full comeback is still a long way away but Wenger’s fresh words of encouragement suggest the Emirates will welcome back their hero very soon.

Looking forward to this weekend’s football? Betfair’s Lee Dixon believes that a confident Arsenal can hold City.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Drogba not Right for Arsenal

Just three months after signing for Chinese Super League side, Shanghai Shenhua, Didier Drogba is already being touted as making a return to the Premier League, with Arsenal a clear destination according to the Betfair Premier League website.

Yet Arsenal boss, Arsene Wenger, has swiftly come out and rejected any idea of a move for the veteran striker, a good decision according to many Gooners.

Arsenal do not need Drogba in order to succeed this season. It seemed obvious three weeks ago that Wenger’s side needed some firepower after consecutive 0-0 draws at the start of the season.

However, their convincing 2-0 victory over Liverpool has changed all this, and many critics now realise Arsenal’s attacking unit is very clinical when it works.

Wenger has spent all summer fine-tuning his forward line and his decision to bring in three new strikers early on in the transfer window was applauded by many fans frustrated after years of last-ditch panic buys.

Arsenal now have a settled squad, with experienced head, Lukas Podolski, and Spanish starlet, Santi Cazorla, driving the team forward.

The one thing they do not need right now is a stroppy Drogba returning to the Premier League with his ego still bloated from last May’s Champions League exploits with Chelsea.

In just 12 weeks, Drogba has already fallen out with Shanghai’s owners and looks destined to return to a more comfortable European league. The striker famed last season for kicking and screaming his way to success would not fit in to Wenger’s smooth, flowing mechanism that is now finally finding its rhythm.

Wenger does right to reject all suggestion of Drogba coming to the Emirates and instead focus on what could be a very successful season for Arsenal.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Sagna questions Gunners' transfer policy

Arsenal full-back Bacary Sagna has openly questioned Arsenal’s transfer policy and simultaneously put his future into doubt.

The Gunners have regularly sold off their best players in recent season, with boss Arsene Wenger then choosing to replace them with cheaper, younger players.

Gael Clichy, Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri were the notable sales last summer while Robin van Persie and Alex Song have left this season.

The club continues to make a healthy profit as they battle to pay off the cost of their new Emirates stadium, but that has had a negative affect on their live scores, with the club now heading into an eighth season without a major trophy.

That has understandably got the fans restless, given it is only eight years since they won the league without losing a game, with the latest odds suggesting that wait will almost certainly go on.

The players, also, are concerned with the club’s transfer policy, which they see as negative and self-defeating.

“I expected Robin's departure," Sagna told French newspaper L'Equipe. "But Alex, that was a surprise. He's 24 and had three years on his contract.

"When you see your two best players from last season leave, you ask yourself questions.

"In May, I watched Manchester City's parade on television. I watched Samir and Gael lift the trophy. It makes you want that.”

The 29-year-old is currently recovering from a broken leg suffered in May, his second such injury in three seasons.

The former Auxerre man, who has made more than 200 appearances for the club, has a contract until the end of the 2013/14 season.

However, when asked whether anyone from the club had spoken to him about a possible extension, Sagna was clear in his answer: "No, nobody."

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Wenger may seek new signings

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has hinted that he is still in the market for a number of new faces ahead of the closure of the transfer window on Friday.

The Frenchman has been uncharacteristically active in the market this summer, bringing in the talented trio of Lukas Podolski, Santi Cazorla and Olivier Giroud in an apparent u-turn from his traditional policy of promoting from the youth team.

This maybe down to him growing tired of his side’s almost constant failure, which has remarkably seen them fail to lift a trophy for the last seven seasons.

His lack of ambition in the transfer market has often been criticised, most notably by a string of players that have left the Emirates Stadium, complaining that they didn’t believe they had a chance of winning anything in North London.

Despite his activity, he has once again been powerless to stop some of his players heading for the exit in the close season, most notably captain Robin van Persie and talismanic midfielder Alex Song.

The Gunners are still to score since the departure of Van Persie and fell to their second successive goalless draw at Stoke on Sunday, in a game where both sides struggled to create any real chances and the odds betting still puts them as outsiders for the title.

However, the latest sport updates are suggesting that following his side’s average start to the campaign, Wenger will now be looking to bring some fresh faces to the club, but only if they compliment his existing squad.

"I'm pleased with what we've done but I anticipate we will do something and we are still on the market," Wenger told Sky Sports. "It depends on the quality of players who are available. If we can find somebody who can strengthen our squad with the quality we want we will do it in any position."

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Arsenal Fire Warning Shots

Do not be fooled by the recent murmurings of unrest in north London; despite not having won the Premier League since the 2003-4 season, Arsenal will be this season’s surprise package and the biggest threat to the Etihad.

Manchester City boss, Roberto Mancini, should fear red this season, but not that of their cross-city rivals, Manchester United, who remain eternally popular with fans placing a football bet.  

As United look to complete the signing of Robin van Persie, Gunners boss, Arsene Wenger, has been astutely recruiting this summer.

In stark contrast to his haphazard approach last season, which saw the last minute panic buys of Mikel Arteta and Per Mertesacker, following the departure of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri, the French man has used his cheque book wisely.

Lukas Podolski, Santi Cazorla, and Oliver Giroud are all fantastic additions to a squad that finished last season so strongly. Wenger has not messed up this time and, with just over two weeks till the transfer deadline closes, the Emirates club have made the soundest purchases of any top flight team.

Podolski has proven his worth at the highest level of football, shining in German colours. Cazorla is a class act who has shone in La Liga with Malaga and Villareal, drawing comparisons with a certain Fabregas. Giroud is a striker who has the muscle and presence that Wenger’s team have lacked in recent years.

Theo Walcott is maturing into a fine winger and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will be a year older. The future’s bright, but this year it will be red.

Meanwhile, title hopefuls, Chelsea, have lumped their money on skilful ball players, but not replaced the might of Didier Drogba.

With a style of football that does not suit ‘tikka-takka’ football and an obscene amount of pressure on Roberto Di Matteo, the Blues will plummet this year.

Last year’s runners-up, Manchester United, have done little to bolster an average side – who were lucky to be going into the final game of the season with a chance of winning – and Liverpool are simply nowhere near the level of Manchester City.

For more Arsenal news and opinion, visit the dedicated Gunners page on Bet Victor.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Wenger wants Arsenal title challenge

Arsene Wenger has said that he is ready for his Arsenal side to mount a serious challenge for the Premier League title this season.

Anyone checking out the latest Arsenal news will note that the Gunners finished in third place last campaign which when you consider the awful start they had, with the 8-2 defeat to Manchester United as well as other poor performances, it was a good return in the end.

Now though, the Frenchman believes his squad have the capability to not only get off to a good start, but to maintain it throughout the season.

With Wenger showing his intent in the summer transfer window, signing Lukas Podolski, Santi Cazorla and Oliver Giroud – the North London side to look to be in good shape. Of course there is still the doubt over where Robin Van Persie will be playing his football come the end of August.

Van Persie was a substitute in the comfortable 4-0 victory over FC Koln over the weekend and he was given the captains armband when he came on. There then is course Jack Wilshere who is set to return from an injury that kept him out of the whole of last campaign.

Podolski seems to have settled in to life at Arsenal very well as he scored a brace against his former club. Those interested in Arsenal betting will certainly be looking at him for a top goalscorer pick this season.

When asked if he thinks he side can end their trophy drought this time out, Wenger said: "We are up for it, and we want to come out of the season and know we have given our best.

"I feel we did that last year, finishing third with the start we had. "The first target is to do as well as we can in every single game and see where we stand at the end of the season, but of course we want to fight for the championship."

Arsenal lost two of their star men last summer as Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas both left the Emirates Stadium. Although the speculation over Van Persie has gone on for a while now, he is still a member of the squad and as it stands Wenger has only strengthened his team.

Their Premier League campaign gets underway with a home tie against Sunderland, which will be a game they will want to take three points from and show they really mean business.

Podolski happy with Arsenal fans

Lukas Podolski was left delighted with how the Arsenal fans reacted to him during the team’s last pre-season friendly against Cologne at the weekend. The summer signing scored two goals against his former club on his Arsenal debut and there is no doubt that the Gunners faithful enjoyed what he had to offer. In fact, he looks set to be a fans favourite from the very beginning. Commenting on the reaction he had, the German international said: “First match and first goals. I was very surprised by the reaction of the Arsenal fans. I heard them chanting my name and it was crazy.” “I have felt part of Arsenal from the first day, to score in my first match was great. I need another two weeks to be fully ready.” Big things are certainly expected of Podolski. Those assessing the football betting markets note how he is a top class striker and one who many think will fit into English football very well. Now, after a flying start, he will want to hit the ground running too. Part of the Arsenal’s fans reaction could have been to do with Robin Van Persie of course. The Dutchman came on for Podolski and got a far less positive reaction. This is after Van Persie said he wouldn’t be signing a new deal at the club as he searched for a move away. However, he is still an Arsenal player at the moment and looks set to be for the start of the new season. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger wants him to stay too, saying: “Robin scored 30 goals last season and you want to keep your best player.” “He was player of the year in England. We want to keep him. I cannot tell you more at the moment because I don’t know more.” “There’s no news on Van Persie. Our fans want him to stay so you can understand they are excited. Anything I could say about Van Persie would be a lie because he’s our player and that’s it.” Arsenal kick off their Premier League campaign against Sunderland this weekend with the home crowd set to get fully behind Podolski and this new-look Arsenal team. As for Van Persie, who knows what his involvement will be.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Diaby excited by Arteta partnership

Abou Diaby has hailed fellow Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta and is looking forward to teaming-up with the Spaniard to help the Gunners end their trophy drought.

The French international has had a nightmare couple of seasons due to injury and hasn’t started a Premier League match for almost a year, meaning he could only look on as his team-mates once again failed to win silverware last term.

However, one of the brightest spots of Arsenal’s season was the form of Arteta, who after to signing from Everton on the final day of the summer transfer window, immediately established himself in the North Londoners’ midfield.

His creativity from the centre of the park was one of the main reasons for captain Robin van Persie’s superb season, which saw him comfortably win the golden boot with 30 goals.

With Diaby now back to full fitness, boss Arsene Wenger has even more options in the engine room and punters betting on sports predict the Gunners will enjoy a much smoother start to the season than they endured last year.

Diaby is looking forward to linking-up with the talented Arteta in order to help their side end their trophy drought.

"Mikel is a great player and he showed last season that he is a very important player in our team." Diaby told news sport reporters."I am looking forward to playing next to him.

"I personally prefer to play with three midfielders because I can go forward and I can also defend. I think it is the position that will suit me the best.

"Of course the midfield is different now because we are all different. The most important thing is to bring out singularities into the team to make it better. If we have a mix of all that, it can be a very good thing," he added.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Patience is Key for Wilshere

Jack Wilshere’s injury nightmare is spiralling out of control, with experts and supporters alike wondering if the midfielder will ever reach his top-class standards again.

The talented midfielder, a product of Arsenal’s blooming youth academy, has failed to fully recover from the knee and ankle problems that kept him out of Euro 2012. His expected return date is now October, but cynics on the Betfair football betting website are already wondering if this deadline will be extended.

Wilshere’s injury problems have dogged what promised – and still promises – to be a glittering career. The 20-year-old still has a long future ahead of him, but his recent injury record at such a young age does not bode well, should problems persist.

Having missed a large amount of his four seasons as a full professional, Wilshere didn’t play any part of Arsenal’s 2011/12 campaign. Arsenal and England fans must be praying the youngster can soon return to action, or his career may crash land before it even takes off.

For a young player to have suffered such a long time away from the game is very concerning. His comeback – whenever it does happen – will be closely monitored by Arsenal’s backroom staff. Questions over his fitness will coincide with concerns his playing ability has been hampered by such a long exile.

Wilshere must be careful that he does not lose the standard Arsenal fans expect of him. The road back to full recovery will not stop when he is fully fit; it will take a long time for the England star to regain his sharpness.

Gunners fans must be patient when their prodigal son returns, and not expect immediate results from a player absent from the game for almost 15 months.

Catch up on the other Premier League teams expected to make a splash, next season, on the Betfair website. Liverpool and four other clubs are currently enjoying Olympic upsets, owing to the exit of Uruguay, Switzerland, and Spain.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Early Start will Benefit Ramsey

While some believe that clubs will suffer from having their players competing at the Olympic Games, Arsenal could benefit from having Aaron Ramsey involved in   Team GB.

The Welshman will go into the Premier League season fresh off the back of the Games, possibly giving him a head-start over a lot of his rival midfielders, in terms of match-fitness and sharpness, and allowing him to cement his place in the starting line-up.

Ramsey could also bolster Arsenal’s favour with fans who bet on the Champions League. The Gunners are currently 20/1 to win in Europe, next season.

After his year out of the game with his horrific leg break, Ramsey will only benefit from getting his season off to an early start.

The 21-year old has managed to come back from his horrendous double leg fracture sustained from that Ryan Shawcross tackle in early 2010.

This season could be the year when Ramsey proves that his injury has not stopped him fulfilling the potential that first caught the eye of Arsene Wenger at 17-years old, when breaking into the Cardiff side.

The Arsenal midfield looks exciting, going into the future, in the hands of Ramsey and Jack Wilshere, but the Welshman will know that this season will be important in convincing his manager that he need not bring in another midfielder before the end of the summer.

Wenger has always been a huge admirer of Ramsey’s talents and will be interested to see how the youngster handles competing at the Olympics before the Premier League season gets underway, later in the month.

Already his national team’s captain, Ramsey has proven he is mature beyond his years. Competing at the Games will only add another string to the Welshman’s bow, adding to the great deal of experience that the young midfielder has already gained during his short career, so far.

If nothing else, having Ramsey at the Olympics will at least add some appeal to watching a pretty uninspiring Team GB side.

Football lovers concerned about the bottom half of the table can demonstrate their allegiances by placing a bet on relegation on Bet365.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

£8m for RVP just ridiculous

The derisory £8m bid made by Juventus for Arsenal star Robin van Persie this week has left many people wondering just how good the Dutch striker is.

Arsenal swiftly rejected the offer for their top scorer, as they are reportedly looking to sell van Persie for at least £20m. The 28-year-old scored 27 goals for the Gunners this season, and without him ArsenĂ© Wenger’s side would not have finished in the top six of the Premier League.

Having revealed he won’t sign a new contract, Manchester City are the favourites to sign him this summer according to Betfair Premier league markets.

Juventus’ miniscule offer will come as a shock to Arsenal fans who value their star striker much higher. His goals have earned Wenger a 14th consecutive run in the UEFA Champions League, worth prize money far greater than RVP’s transfer value. Chelsea reportedly earned £47m in winning the trophy last season.

So what is van Persie’s real market value? At 28-years-old, the Dutch striker has surely peaked and should maintain his current form for a season or two, but no longer.

As pundit Lee Dixon has recently highlighted in his column, his poor performances at Euro 2012 will have reduced his value and the evident poor attitude of the entire Dutch team won’t have shown him in good a light either.

Van Persie’s injury record is also of concern. It has only been these past 18 months that he has finally recovered from a long spell of niggling problems. Should he break down – like we know he can – in Juventus stripes after the Italian giants have forked out £30m for the striker, it would be seen as money very badly spent.

The £8m figure was never really going to tempt Wenger into selling his main asset, but it does show just how realistic Juve are about van Persie’s capabilities.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Wilshere Key to Gunners’ Hopes

There is no doubting that Arsenal fans (and, indeed, everybody who likes to watch football live) will welcome the return of Jack Wilshere as if it was the arrival of a new big-name signing.

The midfielder is closing in on a return to full fitness, after a horrendous 12 months, which saw him miss the entire of last season, as well as England’s Euro 2012 campaign.

Wilshere’s reputation at the club was only enhanced by his absence from action all last season, with many Gunners’ fans believing the 20-year old holds the key to the club ending their seven-year trophy drought.

The pressure will be instantly on Wilshere, as soon as he sets foot back on the pitch in an Arsenal shirt. The signs are good that the young midfielder is able to take that pressure in his stride.

There is plenty of excitement over the prospect of Wilshere linking up with Mikel Arteta in the middle of the park for the Gunners, with both players capable of picking out near-impossible passes.

The former Everton playmaker caught the eye for much of last season, but was not able to form a real partnership with any of the other midfielders at the club, for one reason or another.

Aaron Ramsey is another who has not yet been able to try and forge a partnership with Wilshere, and the Welshman will be hoping to have the chance this year to stamp his own mark on the team.

Wilshere’s presence back in the squad will be a massive boost to all the other midfielders at the club; it may make their battle for a starting position tougher, but it also makes a Arsenal a much better and smoother team, having the classy Englishman in the middle of the park.

Arsenal are expected to finish fourth in the Premier League, next season, according to the soccer betting on Bet365.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Robin van Persie Can go Where he Wants...

The current doom and gloom surrounding Arsenal is not quite at the astronomical level it was this time last year, when the Premier League odds had the Londoners pegged as something of an 'also-ran' to the two Manchester clubs and Chelsea.

However, there are still a fair few commentators (who will remain nameless) bidding to paint the Gunners as a club destined to lurch from crisis to crisis every summer, with an unsettling new high-profile transfer story inevitably dominating the back pages of the tabloids for weeks.

Star striker, and eternal fixture of the top scorer betting on Bet365, Robin van Persie, is looking more and more likely to leave the club, this summer, despite questionable Twitter rumours, in recent weeks, that he has agreed a deal in principle to stay.

Contrary to press and popular expectation, Arsenal fans are not actually crying into their Frosties over this. Rather, the Gooners are feeling content that they were able to enjoy a full season of top form from a man who has been plagued with injuries for so much of his career, preventing him from having the sort of impact he would have dreamt of as a young lad.

As such, the thought of RVP leaving the Emirates, this summer, has nowhere near as hard a hit as when Cesc Fabregas left the club. The chances are that Van Persie will not be lucky enough to enjoy another full season free of injuries, so any decision from Arsene Wenger to build the team around him would have been unwise.

If RVP departs, and Wenger can sign a few players with the money brought in, Arsenal could yet shock everyone by coming back into the title mix, next season, following a year in which they never truly looked in the same league as the likes of Manchester United and City.

Finally, one piece of good news for the Gunners that now seems inevitable is that Bendtner looks almost certain to leave the club; that is surely worth a celebration in itself.