Arsenal Linked With Shock Drogba Swoop
Arsenal are purportedly trying to sign former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba from Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua, according to a report published by The Sun.
The big Ivorian moved to the unglamorous world of Chinese football at the end of last season but his future in the country’s Super League remains uncertain due to disputes among Shenhua’s co-owners.
The Gunners are currently struggling to score goals and The Sun claim that they have identified Drogba as the man to solve their problems up front.
Wenger Downplays Diaby’s Latest Injury
Arsene Wenger has rejected suggestions that injured-again Arsenal midfielder Abou Diaby could be set for another lengthy spell on the sidelines and revealed that the French international could even be declared fit by the end of the week.
After an injury-marred 2011-12 season, Diaby finally got himself fit for the start of the ongoing campaign and looked sharp in Arsenal’s opening three matches before starring in France’s 1-0 win over Finland last Friday. However, he picked up a new injury in his goal-scoring return to international football, which gave birth to fears that he could be out of action for another extended spell.
However, Wenger has assured Arsenal fans that Diaby’s injury is only a minor one and he will be back playing for the Gunners very soon.
Earlier today, Wenger told TFI: “[The injury] doesn’t seem serious to me at all. He has a small chance of playing on Saturday.”
Cazorla Relishing Creative Freedom at Arsenal
Santi Cazorla has said that he is enjoying the position and the creative freedom given to him by Arsene Wenger at Arsenal and has also thanked teammate Mikel Arteta for the part he has played in his quick adjustment to the new surroundings.
The 27-year-old playmaker has already established himself as one of Arsenal’s most influential performers despite arriving from Malaga in the summer only, and he says Wenger and Arteta are the ones who deserve credit for his instant impact.
Speaking in an interview with El Pais, Cazorla said: “They have paid an important amount of money for me and the role they’ve given me is the one I like. I love the style of the team. Wenger’s philosophy is to control the game and I like to be on the ball. Furthermore, the boss has put me in a position, second striker, with all the freedom I want to have.
“He told me to be at ease and that he’d play me where I could most help the team. It surprised me in pre-season when he put me as the second striker. I’ve come to play on the wings with the freedom to move inside, but Wenger has immediately put me in this position. With (Mikel) Arteta, (Abou) Diaby, (Tomas) Rosicky and (Jack) Wilshere, who is recovering from injury, we’re going to have a lot of the ball.”
“Arteta has advised me a lot, he told me football is much faster and less tactical than Spain. It’s more give and go. Mikel has helped me to learn to see the game and said that if we play rapidly with the ball we’re going to create a lot of danger and we’ll beat most teams. Wenger wants him (Arteta) now as a defensive pivot and he’s doing it very well. He gives real balance and he can win the ball back and play it out because with the ball he’s spectacular.”
Jenkinson Reveals Long-Term Arsenal Ambition
Arsenal full-back Carl Jenkinson has said that his long-term personal goal is to establish himself as a first-team regular at Emirates Stadium under coach Arsene Wenger.
The Finland under-21 international arrived at Arsenal from Charlton Athletic last summer and got thrust into the starting line-up ahead of time due to Bacary Sagna’s injury troubles. While he struggled in his debut PL campaign, he has improved his game significantly since then and is now a part of the Arsenal defence that has kept three consecutive clean sheets this season.
He now wants to become a regular fixture in Wenger’s starting line-up, and he revealed that ambition of his in a recent interview with Arsenal.com.
“I think it’s only natural that the longer you’re at a club, the more at home you feel. Coming here last year I felt a bit blown away with everything. This year I’ve come back and felt like one of the boys. It was different this year and it was nice because you like to feel comfortable and part of things. I’m happy with things at the moment and hopefully we just move on from here,” Jenkinson said before adding: “My ambition for my whole career is to play for this football club. I want to be good enough and make my mark here. I won’t be happy until I’m playing week-in, week-out. That’s what I want to achieve.”
Giroud Gets Booed By Les Bleus Fans
Arsenal and France striker Olivier Giroud’s start to the new season went from bad to worse on Tuesday night when he got booed off the pitch by his own country’s fans after his lacklustre display in Les Bleus’ 3-1 home win over Belarus.
The former Montpellier hitman was substituted by Didier Deschamps after an hour of play and the fans’ loud reaction showed that they have taken notice of the player’s poor form.
At the end of the game, Giroud expressed his disappointment and told the press: “I welcomed my position in the starting XI with a lot of enthusiasm and happiness. Being in French team starting XI is always a privilege. However, I was a little disappointed to be substituted. When you are a forward you need time and try to not listen to the fans, above all at Stade de France, where the audience is always a little special.”