Arsene Wenger is not renowned for changing the set up of the Arsenal team depending on who the opponents are, and the Gunners should have plenty of quality all over the pitch to cause Tottenham all sorts of problems at White Hart Lane on Sunday. The case for allocating one of the Arsenal team to stick close to Gareth Bale is quite a strong one, though, because without him the Spuds would not be winning matches.
The news will not surprise Arsenal fans, but could be seen as a bit of a kick in the teeth for some of the other young players in the England international set up. Roy Hodgson has picked a squad to face Brazil in a friendly next week, but has left out a number of younger players, who will drop back down to the under 21s for the upcoming European championships this summer. Wilshere is not one of them, because he has already proved himself for club and country.
I, personally, have been impressed with Vito Mannone this season for Arsenal. The Italian was third choice keeper before the season started, but has been thrown into first team action for almost all of the games so far due to lengthy injury problems for Wojciech Szczesny and Lukas Fabianski. Maybe Arsene Wenger has not been so impressed, or the Frenchman just thinks that he is not quite ready, as he is considering a bid for the Liverpool and Spain keeper, Pepe Reina.
The holding midfield role at Arsenal is one performed admirably by Alex Song each week, with Emmanuel Frimpong and Francis Coquelin ready to play there too. The aforementioned reserve duo – the latter in particular – may be growing frustrated at the lack of first team action and at least one of the two could move elsewhere on loan in January. It could therefore be an excellent attribute to have players that can play in that position if needed.
In what was deemed an odd tactical decision, England manager Fabio Capello chose to play Manchester United central defender Phil Jones in central midfield in the victory over Spain and the move worked to impressive effect. Which Arsenal defender could change roles like Jones?
The young Lens centre-back Raphael Varane has been hugely impressive since making his debut for the Ligue 1 side in September, and has been a regular in the first team ever since.
Arsenal were linked with him earlier this year but for the last couple of months it seemed certain that the giant 18 year-old was set to join Man United for a fee of around £10m. In May Varane himself confirmed that there had been contact with Alex Ferguson’s side.
The Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey is continuing his recovery from the double fracture of his leg while away on loan at Cardiff City, but according to Dave Jones he is not yet fit enough to return to the Emirates.
The loan deal is only supposed to be for one month, but Jones is already keen to extend the move for as long as possible, and intends to speak to Arsene Wenger about the possibility in the coming week.
Jones told Sky Sports: “We assumed he was going back after the month and if we can get him for longer than that, then that conversation I will have with Arsene,”.
Another day, and another couple of goalkeepers to be added to the Arsenal transfer rumour list!
This time it is Roma’s Brazilian keeper Doni, and the Daily Mail today says that Roma think he is too good to sit on the bench (!), so they are trying to sell him for £5m to either Arsenal, Tottenham or Man utd.
Surprisingly, Doni’s agent has denied their is any interest in his client from anyone in the Premier League!
“The interest of English teams?” Ovidia Colucci was quoted as saying on Sky. “I deny these rumours, there has been no contact in the market.