Arsenal will look to turn a good week into a fantastic one when Mark Hughes brings his Stoke City side to the Emirates on Sunday. A lot of football experts and fans, including myself, have been very surprised by Stoke this season, but I expect Arsene Wenger and an in-form Arsenal side to bring them back to Earth with a bump this weekend.
Football manager sackings are like buses in the Premier league this season, with two coming along at the same time this week. Arsenal could benefit, if the so called new manager syndrome kicks in for Chelsea and QPR this weekend. The bookies must have made a killing on Chelsea being the first club to sack their manager, as the early season favoutites were Liverpool, Southampton and Reading.
QPR manager Mark Hughes has obviously heard about the alleged interest from Arsenal in one of his star players, because the Welshman has issued an all points, hands off statement warning the Gunners and any other potential suitors off the Moroccan international Adel Taarabt.
“It wouldn’t surprise me if clubs were looking at him, but I know for a fact that he is very happy here, and he sees his future here.”
“This is the best place for him because we support him, we give him the best chance to be successful and he understands that.”
I can understand the fact that Mark Hughes is not happy after his QPR side lost to Arsenal at the Emirates yesterday, but the Welshman needs to engage his brain before opening his mouth. QPR are still without a Premier League win this season and are rooted to the bottom of the league, but Hughes blames yesterday’s defeat on Thomas Vermaelen and the referee.
Arsenal were far from fantastic yesterday, but they were still the team making the chances and should have scored before Mbia got himself sent off. Cazorla will still be wondering how he missed from the middle of the box after Walcott’s cross.
The Fulham manager Mark Hughes saw his team lose narrowly to Arsenal on Saturday, and thinks he has worked out the formula for how to play against the Gunners attacking style, and he believes that if other teams study it then they can take advantage of the spaces left by the weakened Arsenal defence.
Arsenal went to the summit of the Premiership with this win, and Hughes was asked if they had played like a title-winning side. “Not today in fairness,” he replied, “but that is credit to us. You have to ask questions and I thought we did that really well. Their centre-backs are not possibly as strong as they have been in recent years and at times, you can expose them because they are an attacking team. They always get their full-backs advanced, leaving spaces to exploit.
The Fulham boss Mark Schwarzer is preparing his side to face Arsenal this weekend, and funnily enough the club has decided at this moment to announce that they have persuaded their Aussie keeper Mark Schwarzer to sign a new and improved contract.
It was well-publicised during the whole of the summer that Arsenal were trying to prise Schwarzer away from Craven Cottage, and just a few weeks ago Schwarzer himself said that he was still hoping that he could move to the Emirates in January.
The whole of the last transfer window was occupied by Arsene Wenger’s pursuit of the Fulham keeper Mark Schwarzer, and even the big Australian himself put lots of pressure on his club to try and persuade them to let him move to the Emitates, but Mark Hughes stood firm.
And just last month, Schwarzer yet again spoke to the Australian press and hinted that if Arsenal came back in January, he would still be loathe to pass over the chance to play in the Champions League with one of Europes top teams.
While Arsenal fans the world over believed that Arsene Wenger was working frantically to get a new goalkeeper for his team, and Mark Schwarzer was just inches away from arriving at the Emirates, it seems that there was no new talks with Fulham on deadline day.
There were numerous reports that Arsenal had put in an improved bid for the Australian shot-stopper, while there were also reports that Fulham were trying hard to get in a replacement before the window slammed shut.
But now Mark Hughes has rubbished the rumours, saying that no official bid was received from Arsenal, and there was no chance of Schwarzer leaving even if the had done!
In an amazing turnaround from Arsene Wenger stating that “the transfer window is closed” for Arsenal, it seems that it is still very possible that the Fulham keeper Mark Schwarzer could arrive at the Emirates in the next few days. There are reports that Schwarzer has threatened to go on strike for the season if he is not given his wish.
The Sydney Morning Herald today reports that Mark Hughes is still trying to get Shay Given in to replace Schwarzer in a last-minute deal.
“Mark Schwarzer has made it clear that he would like to go to Arsenal so we are trying to look at other options,” Hughes said.
The new Fulham manager Mark Hughes has admitted that Arsenal made a bid to sign Mark Schwarzer at the end of last season, but they haven’t had any increased bids since then. The ex-Man Utd star understands that Schwarzer would find it hard to turn down a chance to play in the Champions League, but he doesn’t intend to let the classy Australian leave Craven Cottage this season.
“From our point of view the situation has not changed,” Hughes said. “There was interest from Arsenal in May. Their bid was refused. We have not had any more bids and we wouldn’t encourage any.