Backpage Roundup: Szczesny Demands Instant Arsenal Response, Gunners Heading to Vietnam in July, Bendtner Banned for Three Years and More

Szczesny Demands Instant Arsenal Response

Wojciech Szczesny has urged his Arsenal teammates to recover quickly from their recent defeat to Tottenham Hotspur for the sake of their Champions League qualification.

Last Sunday’s 2-1 defeat to their bitter North London rivals has left Arsenal trailing the fourth-placed Chelsea by five points. While Szczesny admits that the loss was a major disappointment for the Gunners, he is confident that they can still turn things around by putting in a strong performance in their next game against Swansea City.

In a recent interview with Arsenal.com, the 22-year-old goalkeeper said: “We felt we were in control of the game, but conceded two quick goals and it is very hard to come back from two goals down in a big game. We thought we deserved a bit more from the game, but we lost an important game so we are very disappointed.

“Every time we lose a derby there is going to be disappointment but we have to pick ourselves up. We have 10 days until the next game so we have to make sure we are prepared for that. We have a lot of time to prepare for that game and if we manage to get a good result and hopefully qualify for the next round, that would be a massive boost to have a good run in the Champions League.”

 

Gunners to Play Pre-Season Friendly in Vietnam

Arsenal FC will travel to Vietnam this summer to play a friendly game with the Southeast Asian country’s national football team on July 17 at the My Dinh National Stadium.

The news has been published on the Vietnam Football Federation’s official website vff.org.vn, although the Gunners have yet to confirm it. However, the Londoners did recently reveal that their chief commercial officer Tom Fox and marketing director Angus Kinnear are negotiating with Vietnamese authorities to arrange a friendly.

The three-day trip to Hanoi will see Arsenal players take part in some marketing campaigns before taking the field for the aforementioned friendly game.

Southeast Asia is considered as the next big commercially lucrative and exploitable region in Asia, and Arsenal are not the only ones with summer plans to visit it. Serie A club AS Roma will play a similar friendly in the communist country on June 2, while Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool’s pre-season schedules also have planned pit stops in neighbouring countries.

 

Bendtner Handed Three-Year Driving Ban

Nicklas Bendtner has been slapped with a fine of £97,000 and handed a three-year driving ban for his drink-driving offence in his native city of Copenhagen.

The Denmark international, who is currently on loan at Juventus from Arsenal, was caught driving against the flow of traffic last weekend, after which he was stopped and apprehended by police.

He confirmed his arrest a day later on Twitter by saying: “Dear friends i was booked for a mild case of drinkdriving last night it was a quite nite but i am very very sorry to all my friends and fans.

“It is not ok to drink and drive. I take full responsibility.”

On Tuesday, he pled guilty to the charges leveled against him in a Copenhagen court, and was subsequently punished for his offence.

Talking to Danish tabloid Ekstra Bladet, the self-proclaimed ‘world class’ striker then said: “I can honestly say this is the worst day of my life. I can’t describe how much pain I’m going through at this time.”

In addition to the driving ban, Bendtner has also been suspended by the Danish FA, and he will not be considered for international duty for the next six months.

 

Overmars Expresses Desire for Arsenal Return

Arsenal legend Marc Overmars has revealed that a potential return to his former club as part of coach Arsene Wenger’s backroom staff would certainly interest him.

The 39-year-old former Gunner, who spent three seasons under Wenger at Arsenal during his playing career, is now the director of football at Ajax. While he is committed to his current employers for now, he admits that he would like to ply his directorial trade at Arsenal one day.

The Evening Standard have quoted Overmars as saying: “When you get older as a player, you work out what your qualities are for the future. I was quite fast to realise being a manager was not my job. The way I work with Ajax, I do the transfers, the contracts and organise the scouting, so it suits me. It wouldn’t surprise me if I work in the future at Arsenal – it could be a possibility.

“I’ve never discussed it with Arsene Wenger. But if the board think about the future and make a list of people to work at the club, it wouldn’t surprise me if I am on the list of people. However, at this moment, I want to stay at Ajax.”

 

Young Gunner Joins Stevenage on Loan

Young Arsenal midfielder Anthony Jeffrey has been loaned to League One club Stevenage for the rest of the 2012/13 season.

The 18-year-old Gunner, who is known for his electric pace and could have actually become a professional sprinter, scored six times for the Arsenal youth team last season.

The stint with the Boro will allow him to get a taste of regular first-team football.