Tag Archives: Wenger

Arsene Wenger hopes to sign midfielder to partner Mesut Ozil

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is hopeful of signing Schalke midfielder Max Meyer in the summer, according to The Daily Star.

The French manager has identified the German attacker as his number one transfer target as he looks to bolster his options in midfield.

The 22-year-old is out of contract with the Bundesliga side in the summer, which could allow the Gunners the opportunity to sign the player on a free transfer.

Attacking options

Wenger is hopeful of adding to his attacking options in the summer by signing Meyer from Schalke.

He believes that he can attract the player to the Premier League by offering him the chance to play alongside Mesut Ozil in midfield.

The north Londoners however face stiff competition for Meyer’s signature from the likes of Liverpool, Bayern Munich and Milan, who are also interested.

Decision expected soon

Schalke CEO Christian Heidel refused to rule out the departure of Meyer but insisted the door remains open for him to stay.

The player is understood to be set to make his decision on where is future lays in the very near future.

Heidel said:

“Max will be deciding shortly if he wants to stay at Schalke past the summer.

Max is very happy here, Schalke is his home, we will try to make it him as comfortable financially as possible.

He is playing the best season of his life, and the coach has found a position for him that Max didn’t believe he could play.”

More on Meyer

The 22-year-old is considered to be one of Germany’s biggest up and coming talents, having already made an impressive 142 Bundesliga appearances.

In that time, he has managed an impressive combined total of 34 goals and assists in the German top tier.

One thing that makes Meyer such an exciting talent is his versatility, with his ability to play anywhere in midfield.

 

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

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

Wenger reveals regret over this Man Utd star

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has insisted that Alexis Sanchez’s commitment to the club was never in question for himself.

The Chilean international completed a move to Manchester United in dramatic fashion during the January transfer window as Manchester City lost out on one of their key targets.

Sanchez’s flirtation with leaving the London club left many fans with a sour test in their mouths as they questioned his commitment before he departed to Old Trafford.

United fans couldn’t care less about the former Barcelona man’s so called antics with the Gunners and will only care how he conducts himself with his new team.

Wenger though was honest in his assessment of his former player, making it clear that things weren’t as they seemed when it came to Alexis.

According to Calcio Mercato, Arsene said to BT Sport: “We have not the defensive stability since the start of the season that you need to have to be completely efficient at our level.

“And as well there was a lot of uncertainty around the team with the Sanchez case, the Ozil case. For the whole season that was a really difficult case. In hindsight maybe despite the fact we couldn’t have brought somebody in we should have cut that earlier.

“Sanchez, for him it was very difficult because as soon as he had game that was average he was questioned about his commitment and that is not his case. I never questioned his commitment but it was a difficult situation.”

Alexis Sanchez’s determination and work-rate have already been hailed by Manchester United fans who could clearly witness his ability on the pitch.

Arsene Wenger also previously spoke about how he had to practically force the winger to rest and tried to keep his former player from going into the ‘red’ in terms of fitness.

Sanchez’s desire will only aide United’s quest to return to the top of English football under Jose Mourinho’s management.

The Red Devils are currently 16 points behind fierce rivals and league leaders Manchester City although they have a game in hand.

The gap can be closed a little when Mourinho’s men face Newcastle but a title challenge has been put out of question by many pundits and critics alike.

Former Chelsea manager set to replace Arsene Wenger at Arsenal, fans believe

Arsene WengerArsenal fans believe Carlo Ancelotti may take over from Arsene Wenger. Ancelotti was in attendance to watch the Gunners face Tottenham at Wembley. READ MORE: Chelsea pursue Leicester City winger – update. Arsenal fans appear convinced that former Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti is in line to replace Arsene Wenger as manager. Ancelotti was a fan-favourite […]

Arsene Wenger defends Alexis Sanchez over Man United move

Full commitment

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has been speaking about Alexis Sanchez this week and especially his final few months at the Gunners.

Some chose to question the players commitment before the move to Manchester United, with his head having been turned.

The contract rebel had decided to move on and wanted to move in January but his move to Manchester City fell through.

Thankfully for him, Man United came in and offered him an extortionate wage to sign for them.

The player played several matches in the lead up to the move and Arsene Wenger moved quickly to defend him over those few matches.

That is because the French boss has admitted that he does everything to win when he is on the pitch.

“Sanchez, for him it was very difficult because as soon as he had a game that was average he was questioned about his commitment and that is not his case,” Wenger told BT Sport, cited by the Mirror. 

“When he is on the football pitch he wants to win. But it was a bit unfair to him I think.

“I don’t know [if Sanchez was unsettling the rest of the squad], our results in the future will show that.

“What was a bit unfair to Sanchez: he was questioned every time. Is he committed or not committed?

“There was always a debate and then, of course, it starts to unsettle a little bit but I never questioned his commitment but it was a difficult situation.”

Henrikh Mkhitaryan makes big Arsenal admission after Man Utd failure

The player who went in the other direction, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, has also been speaking about his move today.

The Armenian was part of the deal that saw Alexis Sanchez join Manchester United, while he went to Arsenal.

Now, the player has made an admission on his Arsenal hopes.

Click here to find out what he had to say. 

Sensational claim Arsene Wenger didn’t want star January signing

Wenger

Arsene Wenger may not have been fully on board with the signing of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – according to Paul Merson at least.

He thinks the Arsenal boss usually looks for top value signings, with players who can then be sold on to generate money for the club, and signing the forward for such a huge sum from BVB represents a break from this policy.

Merson thinks it’s akin to the Robin van Persie transfer Manchester United forced through – and Wenger only has one thing in mind when it comes to the player and what he can bring to the club.

“These don’t seem like Arsene Wenger signings to me,” Merson told Sky Sports’ The Debate.

“When has he ever bought a 29-year-old for £60m with no sell-on clause? Never ever.

“Sir Alex Ferguson did it a few years ago. 

“He said he needed to win the league and he got Robin van Persie to score him the goals to get above Manchester City.

“There was no sell-on, he got him to win the league, then he planned to retire. 

“The Aubameyang signing says to me, ‘this is a top-four signing then see you later.’”

Trophies

If the claim holds true and the forward has only been brought in to win trophies or get Arsenal into the top four, he may well have a job on his hands.

The Gunners are miles off the pace in the Premier League and will probably have to settle for a spot in the Europa League again, with even fifth place looking out of their grasp – and in terms of trophies, the Premier League is obviously out.

They are in the final of the Carabao Cup, and that looks like their best chance of a trophy, especially considering the level of sides who are in the Europa League this season.

Weekend thoughts: Top four, diving, Wenger on the new signings and more

Morning all. Yesterday’s 2-2 draw between Liverpool and Marshlands Diving Club is probably a good result for us, all things considered. While our chances of bridging the gap to the top four are slim, they’re far from impossible, and the more points those around us drop the better.

It keeps us in touch, and hopefully keeps us focused for the rest of this Premier League campaign. I know players will go out and want to try and win every game regardless of where we are in the table, but if Champions League qualification via that channel is the carrot, we don’t need the stick to be so far away that it’s demoralising.

As for the diving, there will always be those who will say the slightest contact means that the player is entitled go down, but in both cases it was so blatant. Kane did that thing that annoys the life out of me, jumping over a keeper who is coming out looking for the slightest touch, while Lamela’s was similar to Bellerin on Hazard the other week. Van Dijk’s kick was clumsy but Lamela was backing in looking to go to ground.

Let’s remember that Dele Alli was booked in this game too for exactly the same thing, and with a North London derby coming up on Saturday our players need to be aware that these are Sp*rs players acting to instruction. We’re going to have to be so, so careful because any chance they get they’ll go down and as we saw yesterday neither the officials or the systems in place are good enough to deal with it all.

For all the talk of VAR, rules were introduced this season which allowed players to be retrospectively punished for diving. I think it’s been used once (I’ll stand to be corrected on this), and it doesn’t seem like there’s any real willingness to use it to address the constant cheating that goes on, thus players will continue to dive because they know their chances of a) fooling the referee and b) getting away with it are higher than being punished for it.

Meanwhile, Arsene Wenger says something about new signings that will resonate with fans who have, very often, felt the exact same way. Having seen Henrikh Mkhitaryan grab a hat-trick of assists on his home debut, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang score a lovely goal, the manager said:

Yes, it’s always when you have new players it gives always a little positive swing. It wakes everybody up as well, because there’s suddenly competition so they have to live with that as well.

If only we could go back in time to the summer of 2015 and have him come to that realisation then. I would caveat this slightly though. It’s not as if we haven’t made signings, because that summer I mentioned aside, we’ve signed plenty of senior players in the last three or four years.

Sanchez, Chambers, Ospina, Debuchy, Welbeck, Gabriel, Cech, Elneny, Perez, Mustafi, Xhaka, Holding, Lacazette, Kolasinac – not to mention a host of young players too, but what makes signings have the impact Wenger is talking about is their quality. As Sanchez did when he arrived, Mkhitaryan and Aubameyang showed that when you add top players to your team, they will deliver and create that competitive environment to which others can respond to or not.

Yet too many of the deals we’ve done in recent times have been players who have not been able to do that, or players who the manager decides very early on can’t do that so they end up marginalised. Not every signing can be a superstar, of course, that’s just not possible, but sometimes you can tilt too far the other way so it’s good to see that we’ve addressed that with these two.

Wenger continued:

Overall, I think as well we have a game based on team spirit so that kind of acceptance is very important, and when they show on a football field that they accept our game, they are even easier to integrate into the team.

I would like to think we have a game based on more tangible things like organisation, tactics, a working system, implementing things that we practice on the training ground etc, but talking about ‘team spirit’ is quite telling. People will think of Sanchez, obviously, but I do wonder how the delineation of the squad this season had an impact on things. We had our Premier League team and our Europa League/League Cup team, and the distance between them grew as the campaign went on. It didn’t create competition, it created distance.

I’m not saying players like Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott were disruptive in any way, in fact from what we know of both of them they just worked hard and never complained publicly about the fact they’d been so frozen out of a team they were a regular part of last season. But did it have an impact on them, and the squad in general, knowing they were now fringe players, not relied upon by a manager who previously had plenty of faith in them.

Their departures, along with Sanchez, mean that the squad is smaller but contains more players the manager wants to work with, so maybe that’s the positive effect he’s seeing of the transfer business. It’s not just the ins, it’s some of the outs as well.

That’s something we can discuss a bit more on the Arsecast Extra this morning. If you have any questions or topics you’d like us to discuss, please send to @gunnerblog and @arseblog on Twitter with the hashtag #arsecastextra. We’ll look back at that very enjoyable 5-1 win over Everton – yesterday’s thoughts on that here if you haven’t already read it – the new boys, the impact they made, Aaron Ramsey and lots more.

We’ll have that for you around lunchtime, until then.