Backpage roundup: Walcott told to be patient, Wenger doesn’t miss Drogba, joining Barca a no-brainer for Song, Giroud’s first goal and more

Wenger Tells Walcott to Be Patient

Arsene Wenger has said that aspiring striker Theo Walcott will get his chance to play up front for Arsenal but needs to be a bit patient as there is too much competition for forward places at the moment.

The England international has openly spoken of his desire to lead the line for Arsenal and he gave a good account of his finishing skills by scoring two goals against Coventry City on Wednesday.

While Wenger himself has always said that he sees Walcott as a striker, he has told the former Southampton man to wait for his opportunity as there are other forwards at the club too.

I’m not against it, I’m not against it at all but we try and at the moment there is big competition up front, we have a different formula and the team is doing well. His time will come for that and at the moment we have to be a bit patient. He is a great finisher now, in front of goal he is really absolutely amazing,” Wenger said.

About the player’s long-term future at the club, the Arsenal boss added: “We want him to stay, I always said exactly the same. We are all professional and I always said that lets hope we can extend his deal and that is part of every professional situation. I speak to Theo of course, we are always in touch with them (his agent) and you have to give us some time to try and sort that out.”

 

Chelsea Might Miss Drogba But We Don’t – Wenger

Ahead of Arsenal’s blockbuster weekend game against their London rivals Chelsea, coach Arsene Wenger talked about a few of the Blues’ matters.

With Fernando Torres still not at his best, there are suggestions that the European Champions could rue letting their former talisman Didier Drogba leave for Shanghai Shenhua in the summer.

While he refrained from guessing how Chelsea are feeling about the big Ivorian’s exit, the Arsenal manager made it clear that he is content to see the striker’s leave the Premiership.

I don’t know if Chelsea miss [Drogba], but we don’t miss him. He did a lot of damage against us,” Wenger said.

He then briefly touched the subject of John Terry’s shock international retirement by saying: “[John Terry's retirement] was a surprise to me. If it’s how he feels you have to respect the decision.”

And lastly, the Arsenal boss gave his assessment of the Blues’ Belgian superstar Eden Hazard.

[Chelsea] were efficient [in Europe] They showed tenacity, a bit of luck too, and you have to congratulate them. I am not surprised that [Eden Hazard] has gone to Chelsea and is straight away one of their stars. We will know more about him on Saturday afternoon, but much more about us after 10 or 15 games.”

 

Giroud Tipped to Carry Goal Scoring Form in Premiership

Arsene Wenger says that Olivier Giroud released some pressure off himself by opening his Arsenal account with a well-taken goal in Wednesday’s 6-1 League Cup mauling of Coventry City.

He had the chance to double up his tally later in the game but his penalty kick was saved by the Coventry goalkeeper. Despite that wasted opportunity, Wenger seemed content with his countryman’s goal scoring performance and tipped him to carry that form in the Premiership.

The Arsenal manager said: “It was in everyone’s mind that the sooner he gets it the better, it was certainly more in his mind even more than in our minds. That is positive of course. It was a good finish, he is a good finisher Olivier, but at the moment I believe he is looking for confidence and that goal will help him. I expect him to take that into the Premier League.”

 

Johannsson’s Agent Cools Arsenal Talk

AFG Aarhus striker Aron Johannsson’s agent Magnus Agnar Magnusson has downplayed the recent media speculation linking his client with a move to Arsenal.

The 21-year-old Icelander has been scoring goals for fun this season in the Danish Superliga and that has purportedly caught the eye of Arsenal scouts. While Magnusson admits that interest from the Gunners is flattering, he says that no one has contacted him yet over a potential move and his client is fully committed to his current club.

In an interview with Sky Sports, Magnusson said: “Of course it is flattering for Aron to be linked with such a huge club as Arsenal. We all know that Arsene Wenger is a great coach to work under as he has proven to be able to get the best out of his young players for years, and of course it would be an interesting place for Aron to continue his development.

“That said we have heard nothing from Arsenal and at the moment we are concentrating on extending the deal with AGF. We are in regular contact with AGF and if they deliver an interesting enough proposal then we would be interested in extending the deal.

Sure, a move to England would be interesting as every player would love to play there but it would not make sense for him to sit on the bench for the next two years. Sure, he might make a lot of money but he would not develop as a player if he does not play. The Premier League is interesting but so is the Bundesliga and the Eredivisie so we are keeping all avenues open. For now we are in negotiations with AGF and that is all I can say at the moment.”

 

Walcott Misses RVP

Theo Walcott has said that his former Arsenal teammate Robin van Persie is a ‘great professional’ and he misses playing alongside the now-Manchester United striker.

The Dutchman ended his eight-year-long association with Arsenal this summer by signing for the Red Devils in a £24 million deal.

Walcott, who himself could also leave the Gunners next year due to contractual disputes, was recently asked by reporters to reveal what it feels playing without Robin van Persie at Arsenal. He replied: “I do miss him but you’ve just got to get on with it and wish him all the best. You always miss your best players and he’s a great man and great professional. I wish him good luck at Manchester United. He’s always looked after me and always backed me up.”

 

Song: Joining Barcelona Was a No-Brainer

Former Arsenal midfielder Alexandre Song has said that signing for Barcelona was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that he couldn’t say no to.

Song, 25, spent seven seasons at Arsenal before leaving for the Spanish giants in the summer transfer window for £15 million, and while he acknowledges the influence that coach Arsene Wenger has had on his career, he says that joining Barca was a no-brainer.

In an interview with El Mundo Deportivo, he said: “It was in July. Barca spoke with Arsenal and Arsene Wenger came to tell me. It was hard to convince him and also say goodbye because he really helped me and my family when I arrived at Arsenal at 17 years old. When a club like Barcelona want you you can’t say no. A chance like this only happens once in life and you must take it. I’m hungry. I’ve never won anything and I have come here to play many games and win it all.”

Song seemed unconcerned about the prospect of facing Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo next month and said: “Clearly, with Puyol and Pique we are stronger but I am ready and I’ve played against Cristiano in the Premier League. I have not just started playing today. I’ve played over 200 games at Arsenal and I have nothing to be worried about. I am not just thinking about stopping Cristiano. What is important is to play and do the job. That is why I have come.”