Will Arsenal ever win the Premier League again under Wenger? – By Baba Grumpy

A few weeks ago, I was asked this question and was tasked to put my thoughts down.

I have not been motivated to write because of our poor form. In the words of a gentleman I respect, the Arsenal Team is like a “seemingly devastated side, shorn of confidence and steering wildly towards a rocky shore”.  May I add very much helped by a misguided section of the fan base that are very much determined to commit mass suicide by jumping off the cliff edge like lemmings.

Following the draw against Man City, I have found some energy and motivation to write.  Prior to Sunday’s match, it was difficult to tell where the next bit of light ahead of the tunnel was coming from. Fortunately we found something and I hope we can build on it. Not that the visitors on Wednesday will be a walk over. There is no ‘gimme’ in the Premier League plus it is a derby.  Desire, talent application, work rate & a bit of luck will do it. Should do it for us.

The simple answer to the subject of this article is: NOBODY KNOWS. Anybody who tells you they know one way or the other is unfortunately telling porkies.

At the start of 2015/16 season, at the mid point and after the Leicester loss at the Emirates that season, not one person knew Leicester will win and they did. Until The Spuds self-combust at Stamford Bridge, it was all ‘can they’? Not ‘they will’.  How many people had Chelsea down as league champions after the chastening defeat at The Emirates early this season? Less than 2 months ago, the Manchester Police Twitter account was bantering away at Liverpool FC’s inability to buy a Premier League point. Today they can’t stop vacuuming up 3 points.

At the start of this season, all the smart money was on one of the Manchester clubs winning league. See how that is panning out. Both clubs have spent close to a billion pounds over the last 2 seasons and are capable of paying over £200k per week wages to several players and are both still nowhere near Premier League winning sides.

Predicting if a side will win the league is not easy or straightforward otherwise Bookies will be out of business. Quoting generously from the same source as earlier “Football is a complex blend of tactics, egos, form and confidence”. Winning a football match is not easy let alone a league of 38 football matches.  The better team doesn’t always win for different reasons: ill luck; wrong bounce of the ball; funny / dodgy referees, injuries etc.

If you were to ask many if Everton or our poor neighbors in Middlesex can challenge for the title, you are likely to find that people are more willing to give them the benefit of doubt while not willing to cut Arsenal under Arsene any slack at all. Many will rightfully point to the last 13 years without a league championship; the inability to compete throughout the whole season, the Champions League Round of 16 exits, the inability to pay top wages, sign the very best players and potentially many more unconnected reasons like ticket prices, a non visible owner etc. as their reason why Arsenal under Arsene can’t win. They have a point. Up to a point.

What many don’t consider in all of their upset feelings on this touchy subject of Arsene Wenger’s continued stay at The Emirates is the subject of money.  The big bucks has simply been the biggest issue here. Until the billions from the Russian owner came in. Chelsea were nobodies. Now they are there or thereabout except when Jose Mourinho does a madness and threatens to bring the whole house down.

Same with Man City. 44 years with big fat zero until the Middle East Oil billions poured in. Money made a difference even in the Ferguson years. United were able to pay bigger wages and bigger transfer fees. When the Glazer debt hobbled United, their ability to compete and dominate was challenged season after season.

At the moment, Arsenal unfortunately can’t spunk money about like any of the bigger boys either for transfer fees or for wages.  Yes we have a billionaire owner. His wife and her family did not make their money from selling state assets to themselves nor did they suddenly discover some viscose liquid in their back garden. Even if the Arsenal owner had a money-printing machine in his cellar, it is his decision how to spend his money and any sane and rational person should not quarrel with that.

If Arsenal FC and its owners were to one day, decide to spend money like Chelsea, Man U and Man City are doing, it will take 2 to 3 transfer seasons of spending before we can draw level with where these troika are at the moment and there would still be no guarantees of success. If however Arsene and Arsenal can somehow contrive to magic this money and spend like Chelsea and Man City season after season, Arsene and Arsenal will compete from August to May every Premier League season, win at least one league title every 3 seasons and match the might of the European footballing elite in the Champions league.

For God’s sake, Pellegrini won the league and got to the Semi Final of the Champions League. What is this nonsense about football has passed Arsene by? What tactics did Pellegrini deploy to win his league title? Why can’t Arsene achieve the same with Arsenal with the ‘unlimited’ resources at the disposal of Chelsea or Man City?

A word of caution though. The day a leader of Russia decides he wants to be petty or the day Roman himself gets bored, what is going to happen to the unlimited resources of Chelsea? What happens when oil sells for single figures or a Mad Mullah is threatening the safety of the Middle East and they are on lockdown unable to ship oil for a few months?  Will the oil money still gush without a tap? People who think spending money like a drunken sailor is the way to go should beware the ides of Portsmouth and many others.

If Leicester is your retort to the issue of money, my simple response is that Leicester’s win was an exception. They waited for 120 years before their first bite of the cherry. Are we willing to wait that long too? I very much doubt that. Yes they did it and fair play to them. The stars aligned in their favor including dodgy refereeing decisions, Man City’s own flirtation with Pep with its detrimental effect on Pellegrini’s team and Arsenal’s own inability to capitalize on our Top of The League position after the New Year Day’s fixtures starting with the disappointing 3 – 3 draw at Anfield.

Leicester were also blessed with the fact that they are club without a playing philosophy until Nigel Pearson introduced a playing style that was adopted by Claudio Ranieri. Arsenal and Arsene have a playing philosophy and this in itself can be something of an albatross sometimes. It is easy for many who see winning as the only thing that matters to disagree with this playing philosophy issue but please listen to top managers including Pep Guardiola and you will appreciate that philosophy and identity are not like clothes that can be taken off willy-nilly. Alex Ferguson in two Champion League finals versus Barcelona did not change his style of play and lost both finals. As far as Arsene sticks to his playing philosophy and as long as we are unable to attract the top talents coming into the Premier League, it will take the same type of stars aligning as it happened for Leicester for Arsenal under Arsene to win the league.

If Arsene were to abandon his philosophy right now and right here. Put 10 men behind the ball, play dirty and cynical, cheat, create an intimidating atmosphere for referees like Ferguson did, I make bold to say we will challenge for the league like Leicester too and maybe like Ranieri achieved one title win in his 30 year managerial career, Wenger can finally add to his 3 titles by wining another one for Arsenal within the next 4 years before he retires.


Baba Grumpy works in Financial Services in the United Kingdom. He blogs mostly about football .

This season is over for Santi Cazorla – Arsene Wenger

Santi Cazorla will not play again this season, with the Spaniard failing to recover from an injury sustained last October.

The Spanish midfielder has been a long-term absence as Arsenal have struggled this year, but had been expected to return in the early part of 2017.

But on Thursday Arsene Wenger confirmed ‘the season is over for him’.

Santi Cazorla has not played since October, when he was injured against Ludogorets

Santi Cazorla has not played since October, when he was injured against Ludogorets

The injury first occurred in Arsenal’s Champions League match against Ludogorets, with manager Arsene Wenger optimistic Cazorla would miss no more than a couple of matches.

The Spaniard took a kick to his right ankle during that game, aggravating a existing Achilles problem in the process.

Arsenal at first tried to treat the injury without surgery, but Cazorla eventually had an operation in December, at which point he was expected to return this month.

However, further set-backs mean the diminutive Spaniard will not be able to play again before May, with Wenger confirming there is no chance of a return this season.

Cazorla has been an instrumental part of Arsenal’s play when fit, but this injury is the second time in two years he has missed large chunks of the season.

Last year he was a crucial player for the Gunners until late November, at which point injury ruled him out for the majority of the campaign, with Cazorla returning only for the final fixture of the season.

Arsene Wenger dismisses PSG contract offer story, says it is ‘fake news’.

Under-pressure Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger dismissed as “fake news” reports that Paris Saint-Germain had offered him a two-year deal at the French champions.

The Frenchman is facing a fan backlash at Arsenal after a rotten run of form and British tabloid The Sun said on Monday that PSG had offered him a contract to replace Unai Emery this summer.

Wenger, who has reportedly decided to stay at Arsenal despite mounting pressure to quit, told beIN Sports of the PSG link: “It’s a false rumour, it’s ‘fake news’. I say formally: it is not true.”

“I know what I’ll do in my future, so you will know very soon,” he told reporters.

British media subsequently said Wenger, who has been in charge at Arsenal since 1996, was set to sign a new contract.

Fan protests may force me out of Arsenal – Wenger

Arsene Wenger admits an ongoing revolt among Arsenal fans will have an influence over his decision whether to leave the club at the end of the season. This comes as the Gunners have offered star midfielder, Mesut Ozil, a £280,000-a-week deal to stay in London.

Wenger’s position at the club came under renewed pressure on Tuesday after a humiliating 5-1 home defeat to Bayern Munich. The 10-2 aggregate defeat saw them eliminated at the last-16 stage for the seventh consecutive season.

Gunners’ supporters dissented against the Frenchman before kick-off, with an estimated 200 fans marching in protest against Wenger outside the stadium. The mood only soured further as the evening went on.

Wenger has an offer to extend his stay at the Emirates and insists he will hold off on making a decision until the end of the season. But, for the first time during his 20-year spell as manager in north London, he now admits the sight of fans turning on him could force him out of the club.

“I don’t know, its difficulty to judge [supporters], I have worked hard for 20 years to make fans happy,” he said speaking to reporters ahead of tomorrow’s FA Cup quarter-final clash against Lincoln City.

“When you lose a game I understand they are not [happy]. I don’t want to judge that. I said many times, you have to accept many opinions.” When asked if the rising tension between the club and supporters will have an influence over his decision whether or not to sign a new contract, he responded: “Yes, it will have influence. It may not be most important fact but you consider it, of course.

Ozil could earn around £280,000-a-week if he decides to extend his contract at Emirates. He is currently the highest earner at Arsenal with wages of around £140,000-a-week plus bonuses.

Arsenal signed Ozil from Real Madrid for a fee of £42 million in 2013 and the German has had a mixed career in England so far.According to Daily Mirror, the 28-year-old midfielder is stalling on his contract extension because he believes he can get more money at another club. Ozil has 15 months left on his current deal and could leave the club at the end of this season.

It is a similar issue with Alexis Sanchez as well. The Chilean winger has been offered wages of £200,000-a-week, but the former Barcelona star is holding out for more.

With Arsene Wenger’s future also in doubt, it seems that a massive exodus at Arsenal is definitely on the cards this summer. The French manager is out of contract at the end of this season and has not signed an extension yet.Arsenal are currently fifth in the Premier League table and will be looking to finish in top four.


Source: The Guardian

Arsene Wenger apologizes to Arsenal fans after Bayern hammering

Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger, has blamed the referee and match officials, after his team were drubbed 5-1 in the second leg of their last-16 Champions League.

The Bundesliga champions came into the second leg of the round-of-16 tie with a 5-1 win.

The Gunners needed four unreplied goals to pull off a miracle. They opened scoring through Theo Walcott’s emphatic finish.

However, the match turned quickly on its head, after captain Laurent Koscielny was sent off and a penalty was awarded to the visitors. Robert Lewandowski stepped up and equalized.

Arsenal collapsed once again and further goals from Arjen Robben, Douglas Costa and Arturo Vidal (twice) completed a miserable night for Wenger’s team.

“The second half of the game has been ruined by the referee,” Wenger told BT Sport.

“Lewandowski is offside, then a yellow card, on top of that he gives a red card. It’s not serious. It’s revolting.

“My team has produced a huge effort tonight. It’s difficult to understand what’s happened tonight.

“I’m sorry for people coming paying their money to see this sort of game.”

Wenger: I will decide if to sell Alexis Sanchez or not

Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger, has said Alexis Sanchez cannot force his way out of the club this summer.

The Chile attacker is being targeted by Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus, after he was dropped for the trip to Liverpool last Saturday.

Alexis could be recalled for Tuesday’s Champions League clash against Bayern Munich, but Wenger says only the club can decide to sell or not.

Wenger said: “Alexis has 15 months of his contract so the decision of will he be here or not will depend completely on Arsenal Football Club and not on anybody else.”

The Frenchman also insisted that the player was left out, because he wanted to play “direct” at Anfield.

Wenger added: “I explained after the game at Liverpool that I decided to go for a more direct option in the game. That’s what happened. That was the unique reason for my decision.

“All the rest, his attitude – he’s a committed player and sometimes has excessive behaviours but you have that many times in the history of every squad.

“It’s about the team performance, not individuals. It’s a team sport and the most important thing is that we focus on our collective. Our game is built on collective expression. That is the most important thing, that we focus on what’s important and not the individual.

“Alexis played in all the games and when we didn’t perform away from home, we lost as well. We lost at City, United and Chelsea, and that’s what I think is the most important thing, to focus and produce as a team.”

Wenger vows to continue as coach despite Arsenal criticism.

Arsenal boss, Arsene Wenger, has emphatically declared that he has no plan of quitting the scene whether at Arsenal “or somewhere else” any time soon.

The 67-year old was speaking at the end of one of the most troubling weeks of his long term tenure as Gunners boss on Friday.

After Wednesday’s 5-1 Champions League defeat by Bayern Munich, several ex-players said they believed his time in charge was coming to an end.

The Frenchman’s contract expires at the end of this season and he said he would decide on a new deal in March or April.

“No matter what happens I will manage for another season. Whether it’s here or somewhere else, that is for sure.

“If I said March or April it is because I didn’t know. I do not want to come back on that.

“I am used to the criticism. I think in life it’s important to do what you think is right and all the rest is judgement. I am in a public job and I have to accept that, but I have to behave with my values.” Wenger was quoted as saying on BBC Sports

Much of the recent criticism of Arsene Wenger has centred around Arsenal’s underwhelming European record, with a 5-1 defeat by Bayern Munich leaving the club on the verge of failing to reach the Champions League quarter-finals for an eighth successive season.

OPINION: One Arsene Wenger – By Baba Grumpy

You have read the reports especially after the match against Bayern Munich on Wednesday night. “Arsene Wenger snatches candy from kids”. “His team can never do it again”. “They don’t have mental strength”. “He needs to go now” etc. Overreaction I call it.

Apart from the fact that I am still hurting from the result, I am also incensed primarily at the Arsenal fans without a single sense of history. Those whose horizons are limited to any team currently winning the league or the nearest trophy. Those whose sample size for comparing Arsenal and Arsenal is severely limited. The ones that really annoy me are the “Wenger used to have it but he no longer does”.

Funny old game football. Its not like we have gone to Munich before and lost 5-1 after beating the same team 2-0 at the Emirates. Its not as if Petr Cech wasn’t the goalkeeper on the night as well.

When will people stop behaving like sheep, lapping up every nonsense from the media and pundits who clearly have a job to do and bills to pay. Click Click Click is the new Baa Baa Baa. Sheep the lot of them.

Let me help you out. For me, today, tomorrow and forever, The Invincibles will be a touchstone to Arsene’s INVINCINBILITY. TO HIS MAGIC. TO HIS IMMORTALITY. FOREVER. If any other manager were to achieve that in my lifetime, he can only but be accepted as a junior member into that special class of one, exemplified by Arsene.

To those with short memories, you might want to consider this.

The Invincibles were Arsene’s best team. The best team in England. Arguably the best team never to win the Champions League. They lost Nil 3 to Inter Milan at Highbury. Below is how the good ole BBC, ‘always looking to stir up sh*t’ reported the match.

“Arsenal’s Champions League campaign got off to the worst possible start as they were humbled at home by last season’s semi-finalists Inter Milan. The Italians destroyed Arsenal with a spectacular first-half display in which they scored three times and could have had more”.

Sound similar to the stuff spewed out after Wednesday night. But guess what that same team that was destroyed at Highbury went to the San Siro and stuffed Inter’s backside with five unreplied and sumptuous goals. That is football. You win and you lose. You get the highs and the lows. It is unrealistic to expect only highs.

At the time of that loss to Inter, Arsenal had the miserable record of six European Cup /UCL home matches without a win. I will hate to imagine the riot on the streets of North London if Arsenal were to dare have that type of record today. The meltdown on Arsenal Fan TV will be reported in the North Korean media and on CNN Breaking News.

In 2001/2 when we won the league, we lost 4-0 to Blackburn in the League Cup. In the 2000/1 Champions League Group stages, we shifted 3 unreplied goals against Shakhtar Donetsk and broke an 18 year record as we had never lost by such an heavy margin in Europe. In the 2nd group stage, we shifted four against Spartak Moscow and managed to squeeze into the knock out stages courtesy of the Head to Head rules.

So if you started following Arsenal yesterday or you deliberately blocked of some of the historical result in your Wenger hatred, there you are. Fixed it for you.

Wenger’s Arsenal record in the Champion’s League & its predecessor competition include the following 10 Round of 16 exits , 4 Quarter Finals, 1 Semi Final and 1 Final appearance.  The recent exits at the Round of 16 are what appears to be at the forefront of the mind of many. As for me and apart from the Monaco exit, I put all of these exits to a combination of bad luck and skullduggery from officials. We have been unfortunate to meet giants of European football, teams that were significantly better than us and when fortune could have favored us, the referee intervenes by sending one of our players off at the Nou Camp.

Good teams get bashed occasionally. Bad teams get bashed often. Bayern Munich has lost by a similar margin to Barcelona under the great Pep Guardiola.

So I am sorry, please miss me with your doom mongering. I still believe in Arsene, Arsenal FC and also the players who are committed to the cause.

We have not won the league for many reasons in the past 12 seasons. There was a time when the unity of the squad was threatened by a few players who are no longer with the club and because of financial issues. The players obviously have a path to play and if the stuff we are reading about the current squad is anything to go by, a disunited dressing room is unlikely to do well. The management of any group of people is challenging as anybody who has the remote chance to manage personal or professional relationships will tell you and there are may factors that can trip up the best. What happens if your best player is at the crux of the problem and clearly has a few people behind him?

Definitely, people can talk about 12 seasons without a trophy all they care but for me, we were simply unfortunate last season to come 2nd to a team that performed exceptionally well. A team performing the feat of a 100 lifetimes in one season. A Team who will never repeat the same feat in 5000 years. This season we are playing 2nd fiddle to a team that has gone on an exceptional run and equaled the feat set by another of Wenger’s team.

The fact that Wenger and his team can be competitive is evident by his performance against other teams. This season can still end like last season with Arsenal coming 2nd or in the event of an exceptional collapse by the current leaders, Arsenal can profit and win the league in extraordinary circumstances. I am holding to this dream until it becomes mathematically impossible.

In this 12 seasons that many keep harping on about, only 4 teams have outperformed Arsenal and Arsene – Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City & Leicester. In effect, there have been 15 failed clubs and managers in the Premier League in each of the last 12 seasons. Arsene’s one failure to me is the fact that he has made consistency appear too easy. He has created a sense of entitlement in Arsenal’s fans. Our people now expect Caviar & Champagne with every meal.

To juggle memories further, none of the critics who are mouthing off now gave Arsene & Arsenal a prayer  at the start of the season. Pep & Motormouth were going to knock everybody off their feet. Klopp will give the Anfield choir renewed hope. Conte will bring some Italian magic  with him and Pochettino is a better manager than Arsene.

On head to head aggregate results and goals for & against, Wenger has outperformed Conte this season.  At the moment, there is not much of a difference between him and the others. Yes it is so tight that we might fall out of the top 4 for the first time in like ever, but there is also a very decent chance we might still win it or end up 2nd.

If you think Arsene has failed. Please allow me introduce you to 18 other failed managers in the Premier League.

Just so you know, those who are determined to force Arsene out, will soon turn on the owner and the Chief Executive. Which will be great if their protests genuinely achieve the  desired results of helping Arsenal win a league title or the Champions league but all we see is the negative effects on the pitch.

They have tried to force out some of the wonderful talents amongst the playing squad, they are trying to force out the manager, they have tried same on the owner. When will they stop? Where will they stop?

The manager knows what the issues are better than any one on the outside. The Chief Executive is savvy enough to know what is going on within the playing squad and around the club. If the Chief Executive, the Owner & the Board are satisfied that the team is performing to expectation and pre – set targets, as fans we should get behind that decision and back the manager and our players on the pitch.

Confidence plays a huge part in playing and winning football matches. Do not ruin the confidence of our players and moan that they are not winning football matches.

So please stop the doom mongering and the negativity. Nail your colours to the mast. Rally round one of the greatest manager of all times in Arsene. And support the team.


Baba Grumpy works in Financial Services in the United Kingdom. He blogs mostly about football at http://babagrumpy.blogspot.co.uk. His Twitter handle is @BabaGrumpy

No excuses after Munich “nightmare” – Arsene Wenger

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admitted his side had “collapsed mentally” in their 5-1 Champions League rout by Bayern Munich on Wednesday.

The under-pressure Frenchman said there were no excuses as the Gunners faced a seventh successive last-16 exit after their latest mauling.

“We conceded the second goal and then the most important thing was that we lost Laurent Koscielny (to injury). We collapsed mentally,” said Wenger who will now face fresh calls for his resignation.

Wenger’s post-match press conference lasted barely five minutes and was cut short after he answered just a few questions.”I am not looking for excuses. Overall I must say they were a better team than us, they played very well in the second half and we dropped our level,” he added.

“They were better than us, well done to Bayern. Their third goal was a killer — we had no response.” It is a shock of course to lose at this level.”

Wenger refused to discuss his personal mood after the match.

“How I feel I don’t think is the most important but of course it is disappointing,” he said although pundits thought otherwise.

“He looked particularly wounded. I feel for him — he almost needs to be protected from himself,” former Arsenal defender Martin Keown told BT Sport.

“This is a massive low point for him. This brings forward the change that looks likely at the end of the season.”

Arjen Robben opened the scoring after just 11 minutes at the Allianz Arena when the Dutchman beat Arsenal goalkeeper David Ospina with a fine left-foot strike into the top corner.

Chile international Alexis Sanchez levelled for Arsenal on the half-hour, hitting in a rebound at the second attempt after he had a controversial penalty saved by Manuel Neuer.

But Robert Lewandowski restored the German side’s lead after 53 minutes, heading in a cross from Philipp Lahm with Thiago Alcantara adding a third just three minutes later.

Thiago piled on the misery for Arsene Wenger’s men with his second and Bayern’s fourth just after the hour with substitute Thomas Mueller adding a fifth two minutes from time.

Wenger said the loss of Koscielny just after the break — with the scores at 1-1 — turned the game.

“It was a strange game because we played quite well in the first half, we then conceded goals in quick succession,” said Wenger.

“I’d have loved to have kept Laurent on the pitch and it’s difficult to measure the impact, but the fact is we have to cope with the result. We had an extremely bad result tonight.

“It was difficult to shake off the two goals in quick succession — we lost our organisation and our centre back.”

The Frenchman said his side lost their composure after Lewandowski’s powerful header from a cross and suffered a “nightmare” final 25 minutes.

“We were badly done for the second goal and the real problems came after the third goal, because we lost our organisation,” he added.

“We were very jaded and vulnerable from that moment on. The last 25 minutes were a nightmare for us, because we had no response.”

Arsenal ‘Ready’ To Spend Money In Transfer Market – Wenger

Arsene Wenger says he is prepared to enter the transfer market before the window closes on 31 August.


The Arsenal boss has been criticised by fans for a lack of signings in recent years but his squad has suffered a spate of recent injuries.


I can reassure people we’re ready to spend the money we have,” Wenger said.


It’s important to spend money but more important to spend it the right way. There are two markets, one for English clubs, one for the rest of Europe.


The Gunners saw Aaron Ramsey and Alex Iwobi go off in their opening Premier League defeat against Liverpool on Sunday, while Per Mertesacker, Gabriel and Jack Wilshere were injured in pre-season and Danny Welbeck is a long-term absentee.

Wenger said Ramsey “should be back after the international break”, ruling him out of league matches at Leicester on Saturday and Watford on 27 August and making him doubtful for Wales’ opening World Cup qualifier with Moldova on 5 September.


The 66-year-old Frenchman, who has been in charge of the Gunners since October 1996, urged the fans to trust his judgement and said he had completed over 400 transfers during his time at Arsenal.


It is dangerous. English clubs suffocate themselves by buying players at a high price with high wages, if it goes wrong you are left with players with high wages,” he said.

The identity of the buyer multiplies transfers by two or three or even 10 times more.

Arsene Wenger May Buy An “Experienced Striker” Soon.

Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger, has admitted that he is trying to sign an “experienced” striker this summer.


The Gunners have already signed Granit Xhaka, Rob Holding and Tasumo Akano, but with only Olivier Giroud as their recognised forward, Wenger is still searching for a new player.


Speaking after his team defeated the MLS All-Stars 2-1 in San Jose, Wenger said: “At the moment I have not too many attacking options in terms of experienced players,” he said.


“But let’s not forget we still have a few players at home.


“There are also a few players who did not play [against the MLS All-Star team], like [Santi] Cazorla and of course [Mesut] Ozil and [Aaron] Ramsey are at home. [Olivier] Giroud is also not here.


“So we have options but we will still look outside to find one more.”

Arsenal Paid Price For Stadium – Toure

The former Gunners defender believes the club’s move from Highbury to the Emirates in 2006 cost them several Premier League titles

Former Arsenal defender Kolo Toure says the club’s Emirates stadium is the reason behind their 10-year wait for a Premier League title.

The Gunners played at Highbury before electing to build a new 60,000-capacity ground, which they moved into in 2006.

Arsenal’s last league title came in 2003-04, when the club went unbeaten for the whole season – and they have only won four trophies since.

But Toure has heaped praise on manager Arsene Wenger for his efforts since then, after the club forced to drastically reduce costs for several years to help balance the books.

“I am not inside any more but there has been a lot of change. A lot of players left the club, guys like Patrick Vieira, leaders left the club and it was quite difficult, but this policy started when they started the new stadium,” the Liverpool defender

“Everything changed. They needed to sell some players, cut the wage bill and that is all about it.

“I think they lost so many experienced players. Patrick Vieira was a leader, Robert Pires was a top player, Thierry Henry left and sometimes you need experience at the club and then a young player can learn, that is one of the things.”

He added: “Wenger is a top manager, he has shown that unbelievably. The thing I like is this manager can make an average player one of the best players in the world.

“He did that with so many players – [George] Weah… Vieira was in Milan not playing a lot… Thierry Henry was at Juventus and he made him one of the best ever.

“He did that with me because I started from nowhere. He took me to the next level and I always respect him for that.”

Arsenal are top of the Premier League ahead of Wednesday’s clash against Liverpool at Anfield.

‘Arsenal Does Not Necessarily Need God To Win’ – Arsene Wenger

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger in a bizarre interview with French magazine L’Equipe’s Sport spoke on a wide-range of topics including time, religion and more. When he was asked for similarities between his faith and his football and whether he has a “mystical power” over his players, he said;

“I am only a guide. I allow others to express what they have in them. I have not created anything. I am a facilitator of what is beautiful in man. I define myself as an optimist. My constant battle in this business is to get out there is beautiful in man. We can at this level portray me as naive.

“At the same time, it allows me to believe it and it often gives me reason.” Wenger who early in his career used to read from a book of prayers before matches says he doesn’t do that again and doesn’t feel his team needs ‘God to win.

“Unfortunately today, it works less! At the same time, fortunately, it means that my team does not necessarily need God to win. The only time possible for happiness is the present. The past gives regrets and future uncertainties. Man quickly realized this and created the religion. It forgives him what he has done wrong in the past and told him for the future not to worry. I’m always afraid of being late and not to be ready, not being able to accomplish all that I planned. My personal relationship with time is scary. To go back in time, to look behind yourself is equally staggering. First of all, you’re frightened because there is less to come than the time already spent. If you wallow with that feeling, it’s definitely scary and sometimes you feel guilty.”

Wenger Reveals The Quality He Admires Most In Sir Alex Ferguson

The pair were rivals during Arsenal’s title battles with Manchester United but the Frenchman has revealed that he keeps in touch with his former adversary

Arsene Wenger admits the quality he admires in Sir Alex Ferguson is the former Manchester Unitedmanager’s ability to “reinvent himself”.

The duo were long-time rivals during United’s title battles with Arsenal but the Frenchman has revealed that he remains in contact with Ferguson, who won 38 trophies in his time at Old Trafford.

“For me, at this level, Ferguson is an example,” the Arsenal manager said in an interview with L’Equipe’s Sport & Style Magazine.

“For starters, he always knew how to reinvent himself, how to evolve. He did not stand still in success. It is a quality of his that I appreciate. He always knew how to challenge himself. Even if he did it instinctively.

“But he had other passions. He liked horses. Wine. He knew red wine better than I did. Recently, I met with him and I said to him: “Alex, do you not miss it?”. He responded to me “not at all”. I was at that moment disappointed and comforted. It gives me a reason to hope for myself.”

When asked about the prospect of retirement and whether he had a passion outside of football, Wenger replied: “No. That is where my natural anxiety comes from.

“I am not Ferguson. I do not have a substitute and I am not interested in looking back either. Like writing a book about what on my experiences. I suffer when I see former players who come back to see me and who are no longer fully happy.

“To be presented as Mr X, the former Arsenal player, and not for what he is today is painful. Having to be what you once were is a form of suffering. I hope, in my after-life [life after football], that I can be something other than the former manager of Arsenal. Coach kids. Be useful.”

Arsene Wenger and wife split, Couple file for divorce

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger and wife Annie have reportedly separated after their marriage collapsed.


According to The Sun, Arsene and Annie filed separation papers at a family court in Paris, France.


Rumors of a split had been swirling around the couple, who have been married since 2010.


Arsene and Annie have an 18-year old daughter, Leah, and filed for “separation of bodies” judgement, meaning they are free to see other people.


A French legal expert told The Sun: “This is a legal separation, which means that the couple are not legally obliged to live together, and they can have separate lives, and no longer had intimate relations.


“He will have to still keep his responsibilities to look after the family.


“If the judgment is not overturned within two years, a divorce will be automatically granted.


“This is something which is not often done anymore, often Catholic families use this, as they are reluctant to get a divorce, but legally there is little difference.”


In 2008, Wenger had previously spoken about how being manager of a top European club took a stress on his marriage.

‘In my job I travel, but the problem is not so much the quantity of time you spend with your family, it is the quality,’ admitted Wenger.


‘That’s where this job is more damaging. You do not always give them the quality they deserve when you are at home because you are thinking of the next game.’

Arsenal’s Gabriel Out for Three Weeks With Injury

Arsenal defender Gabriel Paulista if set for two to three weeks spell on the sidelines with a hamstring injury, manager Arsene Wenger has confirmed.

The Brazilian centre-back picked up the injury during the first half of his side’s 2-1 win at Queens Park Rangers (QPR) on Wednesday night.

Gabriel will therefore miss Monday night’s FA Cup sixth round game at Manchester United.

“Gabriel has a little hamstring injury and will be out for two to three weeks. He will not be available for the weekend or West Ham or Monaco,” Wenger said in a news conference at the club’s Conley facility on Friday.

Gabriel Paulista Out for Three Weeks With Hamstring Injury. Image: Getty.

Wenger added that “everybody else will be available” except Nacho Monreal who will have a late fitness test.

The better news for Arsenal fans on the goalkeeping front pertains to the return of Wojciech Szczesny, who is in contention for the game at Old Trafford.

“He (Szczesny) has a test today, Wenger said. “If he gets through that test he will play on Monday night.

“Wojciech is used to playing in big games and he’ll take that as a big challenge to show his quality. He works very hard in training.”

The last (Premier League) meeting between both sides in November ended 2-1 in favour of the Red Devils thanks to Kieran Gibbs’ own-goal and Wayne Rooney’s second-half strike.