With the international break behind us, the Premier League resumes this weekend and the marquee match-up of the round is Saturday’s heavyweight clash between Manchester United and Arsenal. If either of the two teams have benefited from the international break, it’s more likely to be United.
Jose Mourinho’s side endured a tumultuous run of form, going the entire month of October without a win in the league. Their last outing, a 3-1 road win against Bob Bradley’s Swansea, helped right the ship somewhat and sent the Red Devils into the break with some confidence restored.
The Swansea win was particularly encouraging because it saw a return to the score sheet for Zlatan Ibrahimovic. After a flying start to life in the Premiership, the Swedish striker had gone off the boil... Read More
Spurs fans received good news ahead of Tottenham Hotspur’s North London Derby with Arsenal Sunday with Harry Kane said to be on the verge of rejoining the squad. The England striker has been sidelined by injury since September 18 and his return could come as an enormous boost to a Spurs side that’s struggled in front of goal recently.
Neither Son Heung-Min nor Vincent Janssen has found the goal often enough for Tottenham with the North Londoners now having found the net just three times in their last six matches. They looked particularly lackluster in attack in Wednesday’s Champions League loss to Bayer Leverkusen.
Kane, who has been the team’s leading scorer the last two consecutive seasons, will hopefully be available to provide some attacking thrust as manager Mauricio... Read More
American manager Bob Bradley won’t be given much leeway in terms of acclimating to the Premier League with his first game in charge at Swansea City involving a trip to the Emirates to face Arsenal.
Former United States men’s national team manager Bradley made history last week when he became the first American manager ever to be put in charge of a Premier League club. Bradley is already the most globetrotting of American football coaches, having had stints managing in Norway, France and for the Egyptian national team since being let go the U.S. in the summer of 2011.
Most recently, Bradley was at Le Havre in the French second division before the call came to take charge at Swansea following the dismissal of Francesco Guidolin. But it’s no small... Read More
Arsenal will be looking for the first victory against Chelsea since 2011 as they welcome their London rivals to the Emirates on Saturday.
That torrid run of results against the Blues has seen Arsenal fail to even score a goal against Chelsea since 2013, suffer a 6-0 humiliation at Stamford Bridge for Arsene Wenger’s 1,000th game as Arsenal manager, and have players sent off in both outings against Chelsea last season.
However, Arsenal are the team with the momentum heading into this weekend, having won three straight in the league and earned a valuable point away at PSG in the Champions League. Chelsea on the other hand, haven’t won a Premier League match since August, having lost to Liverpool last week and drawn with Swansea earlier this month.
Both... Read More
Having foregone their usual qualifier process, thanks to last season’s second-place league finish, Arsenal will open their Champions League campaign with an away fixture against Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday.
On Saturday against Southampton, Gunners boss Arsene Wenger rested several key players with an eye towards Tuesday’s clash with the French champions. Alexis Sanchez, Olivier Giroud and Granit Xhaka all started on the bench in the narrow 2-1 triumph over the Saints.
Laurent Koscielny scored a dazzling equalizer in that match, later taking a boot to the face for his efforts.But the Frenchman is expected to recover in time for Tuesday and will likely again start in tandem with new signing Shkrodan Mustafi at the center of the Arsenal defense.
Fellow new signing Lucas Perez had an anonymous debut... Read More
Defending Premier League champions Leicester City will welcome Arsenal to the King Power Stadium on Saturday with both sides badly in need of a win after suffering losses in their respective opening day fixtures.
Much has been written about Arsenal’s inability to hold onto an early lead and contain a Liverpool side that played them off the pitch at their own park for most of the match. But perhaps more alarming, was Leicester’s opening day loss to a Hull City side without a real manager or anything close to a full strength team.
There was little for fans of either club to get excited about in either match. But whereas opening day losses are nothing new for the Gunners – they’ve lost three out of their last four – this... Read More
Arsenal fans can be forgiven for feeling that Sunday’s home opener against Liverpool had a sense of groundhog’s day about it. The Gunners lost, as they have in three out of their last four season openers, in this case by a score of 4-3.
The result itself wasn’t necessarily that disheartening. Arsenal were the better team in the first half and took a deserved lead before Liverpool roared back piling on the goals to make it 4-1 at one point. But rather than collapse, Arsenal kept their heads up and fought back to a respectable 4-3. Disappointing yes, but not embarrassing.
But the circumstances surrounding the result – squad depleted by injuries and the failure to address obvious deficiencies in the transfer market – are the factors that... Read More
The transfer season that Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has dubbed “scary” is in full swing,despite transfer fees going through the roof and teams paying some of the most exorbitant prices for players we’ve ever seen.
Speaking of the Gunners, Jese’ Rodriguez is the latest in a growing list of strikers Wenger has targeted as potential competition for Olivier Giroud this summer. The Real Madrid man was on the outside looking in for much of last season has been advised by manager Zinedine Zidane to start looking for a new club. Also in the picture for Jese are Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain. The Ligue 1 outfit in particular are rumored to be “very close” to signing the forward.
The deal everyone expected and has been tired of hearing... Read More
With the new season for Europe’s top-flight leagues just a few weeks away, the transfer market is in full swing. We bring you thus, our weekly rundown of some of the deals that have gone down or could be in the works.
Lacazette on Gunners’ Radar
Having completed the signing of center-back Rob Holding from Bolton, Arsenal are still in the hunt for a striker to provide competition for Olivier Giroud. The latest goal-getter to wind up on the Gunners’ radar is none other than Alexander Lacazette. Lacazette, 25, has scored 48 goals for Lyon in the past two seasons and has reportedly informed his club he wants to leave. Provided the North Londoners can see off interest from the likes of PSG, Barcelona and West Ham, Lacazette could be... Read More
Flying high in the Premier League, Arsenal got their Champions League campaign back on track with a win against Bayern Munich at the Emirates on Tuesday. Next up for Arsene Wenger’s men is a Capital One Cup clash with Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough on Tuesday.
The Gunners’ stars have come up big in a recent spate of victories against Manchester United, Bayern, and most recently Everton. But in order to avoid burning out the likes of Olivier Giroud, Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil, Wenger will likely choose to rotate his squad against Wednesday.
After netting a brace in Arsenal’s previous Capital One Cup outing against Tottenham, Mathieu Flamini is almost sure to get a run out in midfield. Costa Rican striker Joel Campbell is also likely to see some action... Read More
With mere hours remaining in the summer transfer window, the writing is clearly on the wall that if there’s one area of the pitch Arsenal needs to reinforce, it’s at striker.
Spurning at least two high-profile opportunities to score against Newcastle United on Saturday, Theo Walcott blew his big chance to convince Arsene Wenger that he’s got what it takes to lead the line for the Gunners. Coming on as a sub with around 20 minutes remaining, Olivier Giroud also failed to impress, and Alexis Sanchez continues to drift through matches without making much of an impact.
Despite sitting in sixth place and having taken seven points out of a possible 12, Arsenal has only scored one goal this season: Giroud’s acrobatic strike in last week’s 2-1 win over Crystal... Read More
After stumbling in its season opener to West Ham United last week, Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal, and particularly goalkeeper Petr Cech, will have to pick up the pieces quickly if it is to live up to pundits' expectations to win the Premier League this season. While you couldn’t quite call them howlers, the former Chelsea net-minder made mistakes at the Emirates last Sunday and was directly culpable for allowing both of West Ham’s goals.
But it was more than just a case of first-day jitters from Cech that undermined the Gunners. While the North Londoners dominated possession, as you’d expect, they lacked a true cutting edge against an organized Hammers side that defended well and made the most of its chances.
To Arsenal’s credit, West Ham keeper Adrian made a number... Read More
Gonzalo Higuain has been offered a new deal from Napoli but plans to reject it, according to the player’s agent and brother, Nicolas Higuain. The news has, according to reports in England, cleared the way for Arsenal to sign the player, who came very close to joining the North London outfit two years ago.
One report in Italy claimed that the Gunners had already made a bid upwards of $60 million for the striker that was rejected by Napoli. And while Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentis has maintained that the former Real Madrid man is not currently for sale, he also admitted that if a club did come along that was willing to pay his $100 million release clause, Higuain would be allowed to leave.
Higuain’s current contract,... Read More
Yes, it’s only preseason, a glorified friendly as they say. But still, far better to be on the winning side of the annual Community Shield that pits the Premier League winner against the FA Cup holder. And as Arsenal emerged from Sunday’s clash as deserving 1-0 winner against Chelsea, pundits around the world of football could be heard quietly shuffling the decks on their preseason predictions.
Again, preseason friendlies are rarely an accurate predictor of what’s to come, and Chelsea remains the clear favorite to retain the Premier League title. But in light of Arsenal’s performance against them Saturday and Manchester City’s thumping at the hands of Stuttgart the day before, it’s increasingly looking like the Gunners might be Chelsea’s biggest rivals in the coming season.
Arsene Wenger’s side appears... Read More
With back-to-back FA Cups now safely ensconced in the Emirates Stadium trophy cabinet, Arsenal’s nine-year drought is well and truly a thing of the past. A third place finish in the Premier League this season relieves the North London outfit of the need for arduous Champions League qualification, a factor that’s often impacted the early stages of their league campaigns in recent years. And while winning the FA Cup ain’t what it used to be, these are signs of progress at Arsenal.
With the albatross of an impending decade of no trophies no longer hanging over their heads, the time is right for Arsene Wenger’s team to kick on and truly challenge for the Premier League, and possibly even the Champions League.
It’s been 11 years since Arsenal last... Read More
Arsenal face Aston Villa in the FA Cup final Saturday, knowing a win will make the Gunners the first team to lift the Cup 12 times. Victory at Wembley would also take Arsene Wenger’s FA Cup tally to six, making the Frenchman ironically the most prolific manager in modern times in terms of winning English soccer’s most-celebrated domestic cup competition. Wenger is currently even with Sir Alex Ferguson with five. Having won the Cup 12 months ago, Arsenal could also become only the eighth team in history to retain it.
But the pressure will be on Wenger and his team, as Arsenal are strong favorites to beat a Villa side that barely avoided relegation.
Apart from the injured Danny Welbeck, Wenger will have his full squad at his... Read More
Olympique Lyonnais may have fallen short in their effort to overhaul Paris Saint-Germain in the French title race, but striker Alexandre Lacazette’s 27 goals in 31 appearances saw the Lyon man claim top scorer honors in Ligue 1 for the season. The 23-year-old is now reported to be on the radar of several top clubs around Europe. With Arsenal, PSG, Liverpool, and Bayern Munich all said to be interested in him, the Lacazette saga could be one to watch this summer.
Twelve months ago, Lacazette was relatively unknown outside of France, failing even to earn a call-up for the French squad for the 2014 World Cup. Having spent his entire career at Lyon, Lacazette has only managed to break into double digits on the season once before. Part of Lacazette’s... Read More
It was something of a mixed bag for Arsenal against Manchester United Sunday. Yes, the Londoners came away from Old Trafford with a point, keeping them in-line for a third-place finish and automatic Champions League qualification next season. The draw also saw Arsenal maintain their good record against the top sides, which is much improved from last season. And while the resulting point suits them, apart from the excellent Aaron Ramsey, Arsene Wenger’s team looked rather flat against United.
It’s been a long season and the Gunners’ best players this term have all faded somewhat in recent matches, seemingly exhausted by the campaign. Alexis Sanchez had an anonymous match against United, as did Olivier Giroud. Mesut Ozil provided a few moments of inspiration and some excellent service on set-pieces. But... Read More
Arsene Wenger cut a familiar frustrated figure on the sidelines at the Emirates Stadium Sunday as Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea held his Arsenal side to a scoreless draw. It was the 13th time Wenger had pitted one of his teams against one of Mourinho’s and the Frenchman is still looking for his first win against the Portuguese.
And while Arsenal never looked in danger of succumbing to a demoralizing loss, like last season’s 6-0 hiding at Stamford Bridge, they also never really looked that likely to score either. A big part of the credit must go to John Terry. The Chelsea center back was exceptional at the Emirates, cutting out crosses, making clearances and being praised by his manager afterwards for having had his best game ever.
But as former Arsenal... Read More
Goalkeepers rarely make headlines for doing things well. When they do make the papers, it’s usually for high profile blunders. Like the two we witnessed in Saturday’s FA Cup semifinal at Wembley between Arsenal and Reading. The first howler came in the second half of regular time.
With Arsenal up 1-0, thanks to a first-half blast from Alexis Sanchez, keeper Wojciech Szczesny fumbled a save on a shot from Garath McCleary, allowing Reading the goal that would take the match to extra time. Szczesny has been relegated to bench warmer and Cup-keeper since his last headline-grabbing incident: being caught smoking in the showers at the Emirates Stadium after a culpable performance in Arsenal’s 2-0 loss to Southampton on New Year’s Day.
But this time it won’t be Szczesny who... Read More
Red-hot Arsenal welcome Liverpool to the Emirates Stadium on Saturday for what could prove a decisive clash between two teams vying for the top four. The Gunners are in the in-form team in the Premier League at the moment, having won nine out of their last 10 matches. With the injury crisis of earlier in the season behind it, Arsenal has come on strong in the New Year. Striker Olivier Giroud is playing confidently and has knocked in nine goals in his last nine matches.
Mesut Ozil too has hit a good run of form since returning from injury. While still criticized for his seemingly languid style, it was recently revealed that the German playmaker regularly covers more ground during a game than any of his teammates. Ozil’s return seems... Read More
Arsene Wenger has thrown cold water on new rumors about Santi Cazorla leaving Arsenal for Atletico Madrid. The Spanish playmaker had been linked with a move to Atleti last summer. And it’s no secret the La Liga champions covet Cazorla’s silky skills as a potential compliment to their often steely midfield.
But in his Friday press conference, the Arsenal boss was quick to rubbish such talk.
Speaking to AS, Wenger said: “He extended his contract last year. I don’t think there’s anything to worry about, we’ve not been approached.”
In a midfield running over with talent, it’s Cazorla who’s so often been the key man this season. His link-up play, ability to slip past defenders, and reliability in taking penalties in Mikel Arteta’s absence, have earned him two consecutive... Read More
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