Backpage roundup: Gazidis’ exorbitant salary, Wenger blames FFA for Diaby injury, Jenkinson wants to emulate Chelsea and more

Gazidis Pocketed More Than £2Million Last Season

Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis raked in a cool £2.1 million in the 2011/12 season, according to a report published by The Sun.

While the Gunners supremo has repeatedly told the press that spending wisely and moderately is the only sustainable business model, it seems that he himself is exempt from that principle.

Gazidis’ exorbitant pay packet is made up of £1.366million in basic salary, a bonus sum of £675,000, benefits worth £9,000 and pension contributions of £100,000.

Most of the Premier League clubs haven’t released their financial statements pertaining to last season so it can’t be said with certainty what salaries others are paying to their directors. However, it should be noted that even a free spending club like Chelsea paid only £917,000 to their CEO Ron Gourlay in the season before the last one.

In fact, the entire sum that the Roman Abramovich-backed Blues paid to their directors in the 2010/12 season was £2.155m, which is almost equal to what Gazidis pocketed last season.

It is believed that the only CEO in British football with a greater salary than Gazidis’ is Manchester City’s Ferran Soriano.

 

Wenger Blames FFA for Diaby’s Injury

Arsene Wenger has blamed Abou Diaby’s latest injury on the French Football Federation, claiming that the FFA’s refusal to listen to his warnings is the reason why the Arsenal midfielder is out for the next three weeks.

The 26-year-old has a long history of injury problems and has featured for Arsenal in just 117 league matches despite the fact that he joined them way back in 2006. He started the 2012/13 campaign in good form but just when it seemed his fitness issues are finally over, he picked up a thigh strain in last weekend’s 2-1 defeat to Chelsea.

Wenger believes that Diaby’s latest injury is the fault of the FFA, who selected Diaby in both of France’s World Cup qualifiers against Finland and Belarus last month and overburdened him.

The Arsenal boss said: “I said many times that if France wanted Diaby in Spain (for the World Cup qualifier on October 16) they should not take him for (the qualifiers against) Finland and Belarus. They could have taken him but not played him because the guy has been out for a year, played four or five games. You have a breather, give him two weeks to recover completely. I think it was a mistake to play him with the French national team.”

It is as well an opportunity for somebody else to stand up and play but it is a blow, yes. Not only because we lost a good player but because he has qualities that the other players haven’t got. For example, on Saturday when he moved out Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain comes in, takes his position straight away and loses the ball on set-pieces. This is a ball Diaby would have won easily because he has the size. We have better balance size-wise and strength as well because he has the power. It is really frustrating because once you think you get there it (an injury) happens again.”

 

Jenkinson Wants To Emulate Chelsea’s Success

Carl Jenkinson believes that Arsenal should learn from Chelsea’s Champions League triumph of last season and replicate it themselves.

The Gunners haven’t won any silverware in the last seven years but the 20-year-old right-back is confident that that drought will end in the current campaign if he and his teammates can get their focus right.

In a recent interview with Arsenal.com, Jenkinson said: “If Chelsea can do it, then we can do it. There’s nothing stopping us going all the way. We’ve just got to make sure we perform to how we can do in this competition and I believe if we do, we will progress. In this competition you’ve just got to take it game by game and just focus on it that way. I think that’s the best way to go about things.”

 

Wenger Happy With Gibbs and Jenkinson’s Growth

Arsene Wenger feels that Arsenal’s young full-backs Carl Jenkinson and Kieran Gibbs are developing their personal game with every passing match.

The left-back Gibbs has finally shrugged off his injury problems and has looks healthy and assured so far this term, while Jenkinson, who looked out of depth at this level last season, is suddenly operating on the right flank like a seasoned campaigner.

Wenger is happy with the way both the defenders are progressing at Arsenal and he told Arsenal.com: “I am very happy with his performances because he is like Carl – in every game he gets stronger. He was out a lot but now he has found stability in his performances. Gael Clichy had the same problem. He went through a long period of injury and after that he stabilised physically. That’s what Kieran is doing at the moment.

This year they have benefited from the fact they had a good preparation. Carl has as well gained one year’s experience compared to last season. He came from Charlton and was straight away thrown into the Champions League. You can say that from game to game now he grows because it is linked with confidence. You need first to know that you belong there. Once you know that you can express yourself and then you see that in every game there is more coming out of him.”

 

Michael Johnson Gives Sprinting Tips to Gunners

Four-time Olympic gold medal-winning sprinter Michael Johnson met Arsenal players at their London Colney training ground on Tuesday and gave them tips on how to run faster. (The Daily Mail)

The American legend, whose 400m World and Olympic records are still intact, now runs a hi-tech athletics performance centre in his homeland and has mentored some of Arsene Wenger’s youngsters (including Ignasi Miquel) to improve their speed.

Talking about Johnson’s meeting with the Arsenal players, Wenger said: “He has no role at the club. He is a runner. We sometimes co-operate with his school. For example, if a player needs to work on some aspects of his physical side, we send them there for preparation. It is a fantastic school, but he is not directly involved with our team.

This summer it has been Ignasi Miquel and a few youth players. Has he come back faster? Not fast enough to win a gold medal! But you have two ways to run quickly – I will teach you now. First, is to do as quickly as possible your movement, but you gain that very quickly, you will not improve that at the age of 18.

The second is that, every time you make your movement, to have more power on your push. That is quite logical. If I can run at the same pace but can gain power every time I push, I gain one inch more. I will be quicker if I can repeat the frequency of my movement. He [Miquel] gained some power, but it is always very difficult to measure if you are 18 or 19 – even if you do nothing, you become a man and you look more muscular.

You get an injection of testosterone between 18 and 21, 22, sometimes up to 23. Then you are a real man. Some get it at 19, some at 20-21.”