Judging by lots of previous comments, there are a lot of Arsenal fans who will be glad that Olivier Giroud was sent off for a lunging tackle against Manolev of Fulham. If Arsenal do not appeal the decision, or lose an appeal, then the big Frenchman will miss the next three games at a vitally important time. These games could decide whether the Gunners are playing in the Champions League or the Europa League next season, so just how much will he be missed?
Arsenal are being linked with two more players in the papers today, but neither is the kind of big name signing that the fans are hoping to see in the summer. One is a 6ft 4in Danish striker, but don’t worry it is not Bendy. 19-year old Andreas Cornelius plays for FC Copenhagen and has been pretty impressive this season, scoring 14 league goals in 20 games.
The young striker also has three senior caps for Denmark and is being tracked by Manchester United as well as Arsenal, according to the Express. Cornelius seems to have his head screwed on properly and has told the Danish media that, although he would love to play in the Premier League one day, he is focusing on his football development with his current club.
Arsenal could be set for a summer transfer tussle with Manchester United over the French international midfielder Yohan Cabaye. Both clubs have been keeping a close eye on the 27-year old who has been at the centre of his current club Newcastle’s return to form.
Newcastle signed Cabaye from the French Ligue 1 side Lille for less than £5 million and he has been brilliant for the Magpies since arriving. Arsene Wenger is hoping that an offer of around £15 million will be enough to persuade Newcastle to sell their star, according to Metro and the Express, although things will not be simple if Ferguson decides to challenge the Gunners.
Arsenal are ready to do some squad improvement, with Arsene Wenger set to have £70 million burning a hole in the pockets of his giant coat. There is room for improvement all over the pitch, so it will be interesting to see what Wenger thinks are the priorities. It sounds a lot, but £70 million does not buy many quality players these days, and there is no point buying squad players because we have plenty. One player who could add quality and extra options to the Arsenal team and who would not cost a bomb is the Portuguese international winger Luis Nani from Manchester United.
Arsene Wenger has set the Arsenal players a target for the rest of the season. The Prof has told his team that, in order to ensure qualification for next season’s Champions league, they cannot afford to lose another league game this season. That is 12 games unbeaten, so how realistic a target is it?
Arsenal are starting to show some real strength and resilience, as proved recently with hard fought victories against Stoke and Sunderland and a great comeback against Liverpool. The strikers are firing and the midfield is full of talent. We have struggled for consistency all season, but you would expect that with a new look team getting used to each other.
On paper, Arsenal should have no trouble beating Sunderland, even though Saturday’s game is at the Stadium of Light. Sunderland are 12th in the table and have lost more games at home than Arsenal have away. Arsene Wenger will know that his team face a tough task in the North East though.
Sunderland have improved a lot this season after a terrible start. Martin O’Neill is a good manager and has started to get the best out of his players again. Recent form suggests a very close game, with the last five league games yielding the same seven points for both teams.
Arsenal will surely be in the market for a top quality centre back at the end of this season, and there is one player’s name that keeps cropping up. 24-year old Mats Hummels partnered Per Mertesacker in the German international team last night, and Arsene Wenger would love to see that pairing at the Emirates, but the Borussia Dortmund defender will not be an easy acquisition.
There were stories that Arsenal tried an audacious bid for Hummels in January, but were knocked back. With Dortmund doing well in the Champions league and now up to second in the German Bundesliga table, neither the player or the club would be very keen on a mid season move. Hummels is a world class defender, so would be very expensive but it is not just his price that will make the signing difficult for Arsenal. Barcelona and Manchester United also have the player on their radars.
Arsenal are workinh hard to bring at least two quality players to the Emirates before the transfer window closes in just over a week. Most people seem to think that one of these will be a striker, with David Villa and Stevan Jovetic two possible transfer targets. The other is likely to be a defensive midfielder, possibly a player in the same mould as Abou Diaby. With the club also short on centre backs, Arsene Wenger may well opt for a player who can also fill that position in an emergency.
Arsene Wenger has been looking for an experienced keeper to provide competition and cover for the current Arsenal number one, Wojciech Szczesny. The feeling is that the Polish international is too comfortable in his position and Wenger thinks he needs pressure to keep his performances high and encourage him to work and improve his game.
The other problem is the worry about what will happen if he is injured or suspended. Vito Mannone had a chance to impress earlier in the season, but was in need of improvement, although reasonably solid. The Gunners have been linked with a number of keepers recently. including Pepe Reina from Liverpool, Victor Valdes from Barcelona and Maarten Stekelenburg from Roma.
The clock is ticking for Arsenal, and there are just eight days left of the transfer window left. Arsene Wenger has stated that the club is working on bringing a couple of new players this January, and one of those could be the powerful Kenyan midfielder Victor Wanyama, according to reports in the Independent and the Mail that claim an offer is being considered.
The 21-year old did no harm to his chances of a move to the Premier league tonight, with another strong performance for Celtic which he capped with a goal. Wanyama got Celtic’s second with a towering back post header. He also hit the woodwork from another corner. Wanyama began his career as a defender but now plays in midfield and has added goals to his game as well.
After Arsene Wenger declared that the club are ready to spend some serious money in the January transfer window, some clubs will be dreading the phone ringing as they may be about to lose one of their best players to the Gunners. One of these clubs is Celtic, the Scottish champions, and the manager Neil Lennon is going to try to persuade his Kenyan midfielder Victor Wanyama to sign a new contract with the club in order to keep clubs like Arsenal at bay.
There are two teams who are fighting over the signature of the powerful young winger, Wilfried Zaha, and Arsenal are not one of them, apparently. It had previously been a two horse race between the Gunners and Manchester United, but now Tottenham are the team hoping to seal the deal with Crystal Palace this month, if the report in the Daily Mail is correct.
Our North London rivals are thought to be willing to sign the player but allow him to remain at Selhurst Park for the rest of the season. This is ideal for the championship club, because he has become distracted by the uncertainty over his future and Palace need him for their push to the Premier league.