Oxlade-Chamberlain: RVP Is Irreplaceable
Arsenal winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain believes that if club captain Robin van Persie is sold in the upcoming transfer window, then goal scoring would become a major problem for the Gunners.
Moreover, the former Southampton starlet told The Sun that van Persie is a major presence at the club and his departure would leave a massive leadership hole in the Arsenal dressing room.
"It's clear how important he has been for us with the goals he's scored, he is one of the best strikers in the world. He's a massive part of the dressing room, helping all of us and speaking to the manager about what we're feeling, what we want and what we can do better," Oxlade-Chamberlain said of the Dutch striker.
"He even does the little things like arranging get-togethers with players' wives and barbecues and fun days and golf days... Before games he tells me to do this or that or go here on a corner. He's a big leader. It will be good if he stays, definitely. I don't know if he will but I hope he does," he added.
Arsenal's Miyaichi Makes International Debut
Arsenal winger Ryo Miyaichi has confessed that he was a bit nervous before playing his first international match for the Japanese senior national side against Azerbaijan. (Goal.com)
The 19-year-old attacker was introduced into the game with half an hour left on the clock, during which time he showed several glimpses of his talents. While he wasn't able to get his name on the scoresheet, he had a decent curling shot saved by Azerbaijan goalkeeper Kamran Agayev. The young Gunner also sent in a pinpoint cross for Shinji Okazaki, who was unable to guide the ball into the back of the net with his header.
Japan eventually won the game 2-0 and in the post-match interview, Miyaichi admitted that pressure of international debut had got to him.
"I was a little nervous out there, but I'm thrilled to have set foot on the pitch for the national side. I expect the qualifiers to be nothing short of difficult," he said.
He then talked about his target of scoring his first goal for the Samurai Blues and said: "I have scored my first goals in the second game with Feyenoord and Bolton. So I want to score with my second game (with Japan)."
Szczesny Impressed With BPL's Attacking Quality
Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny believes that the Barclays Premier League's offensive players are the best in the world, which is why the games are so high-scoring these days.
In the recently concluded 2011/12 BPL season, the number of goals scored was higher than usual and Szczesny believes it is down to the vastly improved attacking quality in the league.
In an interview with Arsenal.com, the Pole said: "I think you just have to give credit to the attacking players in the Premier League – some of the players we have in this country are as good as there have ever been and that's why you see teams scoring and conceding a lot of goals.
"I like to believe that football is becoming more of an attacking game and it's good for the league. It's so tight that everyone goes into a fixture believing they can win it, no matter who they're facing. Look at Wigan when they beat both us and Manchester United - they went for it, and got their rewards. It's becoming more offensive, the mind-set of players and teams is different and the quality is as good as we've ever had."
Arsenal to Lodge Cash plus Chamakh Bid for Giroud
According to French radio station Radio Monte Carlo, Arsenal are thinking about making a bid of £6.4 million plus Marouane Chamakh for Montpellier's star forward Olivier Giroud. (Metro)
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has been a long-term admirer of Giroud, who played a major part in Montpellier's 2011/12 championship winning season by firing 21 league goals in just 36 appearances.
Several other English clubs such as Aston Villa, Liverpool and Newcastle United are also interested in acquiring the services of the French international, but Arsenal are in front of the queue.
While Giroud's exit clause is set at £12.8 million, Arsenal are prepared to pay only half of that amount, although they are willing to include their flop striker Chamakh as a makeweight in any deal. It is unlikely that Montpellier would agree to such a transaction, but they are reportedly interested in signing Chamakh in a separate deal for £3 million.
Arsenal Join Hazard Chase?
According to the Daily Star, who have been right about Arsenal-related rumours many times in the past, the Gunners have also joined the race to sign Lille's highly-rated attacker Eden Hazard.
The Belgium international is set to leave France this summer and Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea are the three clubs who have been vying for his signature for quite a while now. But the Daily Star is claiming that Arsenal also want to recruit him, even though he is priced at £32 million and is demanding weekly wages of around £200,000.
Soon after the report was published, Hazard talked to the Belgian press about his possible future employers but never mentioned the North London giants.
"I do not know when a decision will be made about my future club. It will be between Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea. The final choice also depends on how much play that I would get and the position where I play. Not everyone can say that he can choose from these three clubs," Hazard said.