Terrible news for Alexandre Lacazette: Arsenal striker is out

Horrific news for Arsenal’s Alexandre Lacazette

Oh no, oh no, oh no.

This is the doomsday scenario all Arsenal fans were worried about when Olivier Giroud left the Gunners to join Chelsea in January.

On Tuesday afternoon, out of nowhere, Arsenal have confirmed that Alexandre Lacazette is injured.

And it’s a bad setback too: between four to six weeks.

And knowing how Arsenal’s injuries pan out, will this actually prove to be the end of Lacazette’s season?

The news was reported by Arsenal as follows:

Striker Alex Lacazette had an arthroscopy on his left knee in London on Tuesday morning.

The minor procedure was a success and he will now undergo a period of rehabilitation.

It is envisaged that he will return to the squad within four to six weeks.

Danny Welbeck to start vs Ostersunds

Arsenal now have a major problem in their quest to win the Europa League this season.

New signing Pierre-Emerick Aubamayang is ineligible to play for Arsenal in this season’s UEL.

That’s after Auba’s previous club, Borussia Dortmund, dropped into the Europa League after being turfed out the Champions League.

Lacazette was all set to be Arsenal’s first choice striker for their Europa League campaign, but this knee injury update means that plan is scrapped.

Arsenal take on Swedish minnows Ostersunds on Thursday night in the last-32 of the competition. It now looks like Danny Welbeck will start up front for the Gunners in that key match.

Arsenal have been useless away from home this season. So will there be another shock on the cards on Thursday?

And can we kiss Arsenal’s 2018-19 Champions League hopes goodbye?

Also see: Why Arsenal didn’t sign Liverpool’s Van Dijk – Thierry Henry (Video)

Arsenal fan overacts to Alexandre Lacazette’s miss vs Tottenham.

Chelsea face big battle with Paris-Saint Germain for Conte's replacement; Arsenal too?

Chelsea face big battle with Paris-Saint Germain for Conte’s replacement; Arsenal too? – originally posted on Sportslens.com

Chelsea face major competition from Paris Saint-Germain to secure the services of former Barcelona manager Luis Enrique.

Spanish football expert Guillem Balague has claimed the 47-year-old has been approached by intermediaries acting on behalf of both clubs with a view to appointing him this summer.

Current Chelsea boss Antonio Conte signed a new two-year contract at Stamford Bridge in July 2017, but he has been widely tipped to leave the club at the end of the season.

“It will be an interesting dilemma for him, because he of course will want to go to a team who can challenge for absolutely everything,” Balague told Sky Sports.

“It’s quite clear that the PSG option provides him with the opportunity to win titles, but in the case of Chelsea, he has been preparing for the possibility of going to the Premier League for a long time.

“He has been learning English for a while, and he has told me in the past that he has a fascination with the Premier League, but his future is not determined yet.”

Enrique left Barcelona at the end of last season after winning nine major trophies during his time in charge at the Nou Camp.

He decided to take a year out of the game, but he is eager to step back into management this summer and Balague says Enrique could also have offers from elsewhere.

“I haven’t heard of an offer from Arsenal – of course he would be a candidate if they got rid of Arsene Wenger, but I don’t think they have reached that stage yet,” he added.

“It’s an interesting situation for Luis Enrique in terms of who will go with him, but he is determined to work again next season if the conditions are right.

“Most of his favoured backroom staff are either at Barcelona or Celta. Juan Carlos Unzue is his usual No 2, and he’s Celta manager at the moment, and I’ve got the impression he wants to continue being a No 1.

“What Luis Enrique wants to do is coach at the highest level, and he has the opportunity to do so either at PSG or Chelsea.

“But there is no point in making a decision now, because there will be more clubs interested in him later in the season.”

From Sportslens.com – Football News | Football Blog

Why Arsenal didn’t sign Liverpool’s Van Dijk – Thierry Henry (Video)

Arsenal after the Tottenham defeat

Will Arsenal be in the Champions League next season?

After Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Tottenham in the north London derby at Wembley, it’s beginning look incredibly unlikely that the Gunners will finish in the top four.

Tottenham’s win means that Arsene Wenger is seven points behind Mauricio Pochettino in the table with 11 games to go.

Many will now believe Arsenal’s best chance of playing UCL football next term will be in Arsenal can win the Europa League.

The Gunners head to Sweden this week to face minnows FK Ostersunds in the last 32 of the UEL.

Why Arsenal didn’t sign Liverpool’s Van Dijk

On Monday Night Football on Sky Sports, Jamie Carragher and Thierry Henry tried to understand why the Arsenal defence is so bad.

The pundits recognised that Wenger has failed to significantly improve Arsenal’s backline in recent years.

It seems clear to everyone that new blood and quality is needed to solidify the Arsenal rearguard. Yet, when a player like Virgil Van Dijk came on the market, it was Liverpool who stumped up the cash.

Did Arsenal make a mistake allowing VVD to join Liverpool?

And what are fans to make of Wenger’s claim that Jonny Evans wasn’t signed because West Brom wanted too much money. Yet there was money to break their transfer record on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

For Carragher and Henry, Wenger’s failure to sign Van Dijk was a mistake.

Both talking heads believe it’s obvious that Arsenal have defensive problems, and they wondered if Wenger is blinkered from the truth.

Watch the discussion below.

Also see: Arsenal fan overacts to Alexandre Lacazette’s miss vs Tottenham.

Arsenal’s Europa League opponents Ostersunds win the internet.

‘Arsenal: Tottenham’s Harry Kane was too fat’

Tottenham beat Arsenal 1-0

Spurs fans are still enjoying themselves.

On Saturday at Wembley, Tottenham beat Arsenal 1-0 in the north London derby.

The win boosted Tottenham’s hopes of finishing the season in the top four.

As for Arsenal, are they now out of the running? The Gunners are seven points behind Spurs in the race for a Champions League berth.

Harry Kane was again the hero for Spurs last weekend.

A left-wing cross was headed home by Kane for the only goal of the game.

‘Arsenal: Harry Kane was too fat’

Tottenham are now gearing up for Tuesday’s Champions League last-16 first-leg match at Juventus.

Ahead of the game, Corriere della Sera have spoken to former Arsenal star Liam Brady about Spurs.

Brady has used the occasion to explain why Kane, who started his career at Arsenal, was allowed to leave:

Unfortunately yes. He was chubby and not very athletic, but we got it wrong. Even Tottenham loaned him out to the lower leagues three or four times though.

On previewing the Juve game, Brady bigged up Tottenham’s chances of going through:

Juve are not favourites, it’s 50-50.

Tottenham has well organised, they have a good Coach and three great forwards in [Christian] Eriksen, [Dele] Alli and [Harry] Kane. You need to stop them in midfield to prevent those three from hurting you.

Does Juve’s attack convince me? Not completely, because I think we’ve already seen the best of Higuain. It’s hard for him to make the difference in Europe, he’s too static.

Also see: Juventus vs Tottenham predictions: Champions League preview, line-ups & football betting tips.

Fernando Llorente: ‘I wish I could return to Juventus & is Kane better than Higuain?’

Sorry Arsenal: Liverpool & Tottenham backed by MOTD

Who will finish in the top four?

Gameweek 27 of the Premier League seems to have been decisive.

Newcastle’s win over Manchester United means that Manchester City will surely win the title.

Few may have doubted United’s ability to overtake City even before the Newcastle game. But Matt Ritchie’s winner seems to have convinced everyone that Pep Guardiola will lift the trophy this season.

But the race for the top four is heating up.

While Chelsea take on West Brom on Monday night, Liverpool beat Southampton and Arsenal lost to Tottenham.

Goals from Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah earned Liverpool maximum points at Southampton.

Harry Kane’s brilliant header gave Tottenham local bragging rights against the Gunners.

Sorry Arsenal: Liverpool & Tottenham backed by MOTD

When the subject of which clubs will finish in the top four on Match of the Day, Arsenal got no love.

According to Alan Shearer, the Gunners are now out of the running for a Champions League berth in the league.

That leaves two spots for three teams.

While Man United are still tipped to finish second, Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham are fighting over two UCL sports.

Phil Neville seemed to suggest that Chelsea could fall out the top four.

Why? Because Antonio Conte’s side are in indifferent form, and they cannot be relied upon.

While over at Liverpool and Tottenham, they have rather settled starting XIs, while they’ve played some incredibly football, especially going forward, this season.

Also see: Bad news for Toby Alderweireld & Tottenham before Juventus.

Juventus vs Tottenham predictions: Champions League preview, line-ups & football betting tips.

Five Things: Arsenal boss in denial, Man City striker the star of the show, Newcastle dig in for big win

Five Things: Arsenal boss in denial, Man City striker the star of the show, Newcastle dig in for big win – originally posted on Sportslens.com

It was another fun-packed weekend in the Premier League, with plenty of areas for discussion at both ends of the table.

Manchester City’s victory over Leicester City left them eleventy million points clear at the top of the standings and they could have things wrapped up by the end of March.

Sportslens takes a look at five talking points from over the weekend.

Wenger in denial about his defence

Arsene Wenger hit back at Martin Keown’s criticism of Arsenal’s defence after Saturday’s derby defeat, but the club’s former centre-back was spot on with his assessment.

Harry Kane was given a free header for the winning goal, but the Spurs striker could easily have had a hat-trick against the Gunners’ flaky backline.

Arsenal look dangerous going forward, but they are still an accident waiting to happen at the back. The first step in solving a problem is recognising there is one. Wenger’s continued denials are a joke.

Hernandez proving his worth with West Ham

Javier Hernandez’s goal against Watford on Saturday was his third in his last four games for West Ham and he’s beginning to show his true form for the club.

Hernandez struggled to hit it off with Andy Carroll, but he is thriving with the big striker out injured once again.

The Mexican looked to be on his way out of the club during January, but in this sort of form West Ham would be silly to let him go.

Aguero the star of the show

Kevin De Bruyne has picked up many of the plaudits for Manchester City this season, but Sergio Aguero demonstrated his own value to the team against Leicester City on Saturday.

City were off the pace in the first half, but Aguero’s four-goal haul after the break perfectly showcased his finishing ability.

His fourth was a touch of magic, taking a pass 25 yards from goal and unleashing a spectacular shot that rattled the upright and went straight in. Simply breathtaking.

Benitez can keep Newcastle up

It’s been a frustrating season for Newcastle United fans, especially with the ongoing uncertainty over whether owner Mike Ashley will ever sell the club.

Manager Rafa Benitez has made no secret of his frustration over what he believes to be a lack of investment in the squad, but Sunday’s 1-0 victory over Manchester United certainly boosted their hopes of avoiding relegation.

The Red Devils created enough chances to win the game, but Newcastle were competitive throughout and this result could be crucial in their fight for survival.

Aldridge off target with striker comments

There’s a few questionable pundits around the Premier League at the moment and John Aldridge is pretty high up the list.

Aldridge claimed Liverpool’s potential title challenge this season has been hampered by the lack of a recognised striker, but one thing you can’t accuse the Reds of is a shortage of firepower.

Robert Firmino and Mohamed Salah have both broken through the 20-goal barrier in all competitions and the former Liverpool striker’s views are laughable.

Unresolved defensive issues remain Liverpool’s biggest problem, while a creative midfielder also wouldn’t go amiss. Scoring enough goals is the least of their worries.

Aldridge was a superb finisher during his playing career. Punditry? Lousy.

From Sportslens.com – Football News | Football Blog

Arsene Wenger reveals why Arsenal failed to sign Jonny Evans

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger today opened up on his side’s January chase of West Brom captain Jonny Evans.

Dependable presence

Since making the move to the Hawthorns from Manchester United in 2015, 30-year-old central defender Evans has gone on to establish himself as one of the Premier League’s most consistent stoppers.

The 67-time capped Northern Ireland international has proven himself to be not only a hugely capable defender, but also a stellar leader, with his experience having proven crucial to his side’s stout defensive record over the last couple of seasons (not so much this season, though).

Suitors

Evans’ impressive showings for West Brom last season certainly didn’t go unnoticed on the part of the English top-flight’s biggest sides, with Manchester City and Arsenal having both expressed an interest in the Baggies’ star during the summer.

In the end, though, West Brom stood firm, with Pep Guardiola having admitted that (former Baggies boss) ‘Tony Pulis put a price (on Evans) that we couldn’t afford at that moment.’

Emirates bound?

However, the battle for Evans was very much back underway following the opening of the winter transfer market at the beginning of last month, with Arsenal and City once again having emerged as the leading contenders for his signature.

Gunners’ boss Arsene Wenger admitted early last month that his side would come out ‘second best’ if pitted in a battle of finances with Pep Guardiola’s runaway Premier League table-toppers for Evans, but, in the end, the Citizens opted to splash out a hefty 65 million Euro to bring in Aymeric Laporte from Athletic Bilbao, seemingly leaving Arsenal with a free run at West Brom’s star man.

Financial constraints

In the end, though, the North Londoners failed to secure a deal for Evans, despite confirmation from numerous outlets in England that Arsenal had in fact tabled a last-ditch offer for the Northern Irishman.

Speaking in an interview with BT Sport earlier today, Gunners’ boss Arsene Wenger was questioned on his side’s pursuit of Evans, with the Frenchman revealing that, following the big-money arrival of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at the Emirates, the club simply couldn’t afford to pay the sum requested by West Brom for their captain:

‘I said many times that we did what we wanted to do but not all that we wanted to do.’

‘He was not available for what we could afford.’

Alex Iwobi writes to Arsenal fans after the Tottenham defeat

Arsenal and Liverpool fight over Jack Butland

Chelsea, Man Utd, Liverpool and Arsenal set to battle for wonderkid winger

Leon BaileyChelsea interested in signing Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey. Arsenal, Manchester United and Liverpool also thought to be interested. READ MORE: Chelsea prepared to pay £53M buy-out clause of Barca star. Chelsea are reportedly locked in a four-way transfer battle to sign Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey. The 2016/17 campaign was very much Bailey’s breakout […]

Arsene Wenger blasts former Arsenal defender after derby defeat

Arsene Wenger blasts former Arsenal defender after derby defeat – originally posted on Sportslens.com

Arsene Wenger has hit back at Martin Keown’s criticism of Arsenal’s defence.

The former Gunners centre-back blasted Arsenal’s defensive performance as they lost the north London derby against Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley on Saturday.

Wenger admitted the result was a huge blow to his team’s hopes of securing a top four finish in the Premier League, but he was unhappy with Keown’s suggestion that his team lacked the fight to deal with Spurs’ striker Harry Kane.

“I don’t think they lack hunger to defend,” said Wenger.

“They got caught by a super striker who is one of the best in the world. He scores against everybody.

“All the defenders in the world must lack hunger then.”

The 1-0 defeat left Arsenal sixth in the table, six points behind fourth-placed Liverpool who have a game in hand. The Gunners’ best hope of qualifying for next season’s Champions League is likely to be by winning the Europa League, but Wenger insists his team will keep fighting.

“The top four is difficult now as this is a game we could not afford to lose, but it’s too early (to focus on winning the Europa League),” he added.

“Football is not about switching off for three games and then switching it on for one game.

“Manchester United decided that once they were in the semi-final to focus on Europa League (last season).

“We are far from the semi-final and we have to fight to have a chance to come back.

“For me, it’s a very disappointing result because the priority has to be to get into the Champions League from the Premier League.

“I’m not a great fan of qualifying through the Europa League because I don’t think it’s right.

“If it’s an opportunity, we’ll have to try to take it as well. The priority is still to be in the Premier League.”

From Sportslens.com – Football News | Football Blog