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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."