Koscielny Highlights the Importance of Champions League Qualification
Arsenal FC defender Laurent Koscielny believes that it is vital for the Gunners to finish the season in third position on the Barclays Premier League points table. (Goal.com)
A win over West Bromwich Albion in this weekend's final game of the season will ensure that Arsenal retain their current third place. It will also book their place in next season's UEFA Champions League. But a fourth place finish means that their qualification would depend on how Chelsea fare in their upcoming Champions League final against Bayern Munich.
Koscielny realises how important it is for Arsenal to maintain their Champions League status and therefore, he has urged his teammates to step up and secure their qualification for the tournament by defeating WBA on Sunday.
In an interview with Arsenal.com, the French centre-back said: "Every player wants to be in third place; it is very important for the squad, the club, for everything. We must do it on the pitch to make sure we are in third place after Sunday's game. Since Arsene Wenger was here, Arsenal have [almost] always qualified for the Champions League, so I don't want this to be the first team not to qualify."
Wenger: Gunners Can Handle Pressure
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is confident that his men will not be intimidated by facing West Bromwich Albion on Sunday in a match that will decide their next season's Champions League qualification. (Times of India)
The Frenchman claims that his players are used to playing in pressure matches and therefore they will not be frightened by the importance of the occasion.
Wenger said: "We have a massive game in front of us, but I feel we are focused, switched on. I am confident we will do well. For us it is just to find the right mixture - to be focused, combative and relaxed, and especially be faithful to play our football like we want to.
"At the end of the day it will be down to playing well, no matter what is at stake. We have known final days like this before, games where we have played for championships, or qualifying for the Champions League. It is a fantastic opportunity for us, that of course we want to take. We are used to coping with that. At the end of the day, it's playing football."
Vela Targets Permanent Transfer Away From Arsenal
Real Sociedad's on-loan forward Carlos Vela doesn't want to return to his parent club Arsenal this summer. The 23-year-old Mexican has been loaned by the Gunners on multiple occasions in the past few years but the player now wants things to settle down a bit and therefore, he is looking for a permanent transfer somewhere else. (Goal.com)
The news was broken by the director of Mexican national team's director Hector Gonzalez, who said: "He [Vela] told us that he does not want to play for Arsenal and he will go to a different club. He asked [not to be called up] so he can play the pre-season and meet his new manager at his new club, because it is almost sure he will not continue on at Real Sociedad."
Arsenal to Rival Man United In Kagawa Chase
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has reportedly set his sights on Borussia Dortmund's star playmaker Shinji Kagawa. (The Daily Mirror)
The Japanese midfielder only has one more year on his existing deal with the German champions and therefore, he could be available for as little as £7 million.
Kagawa is also on Manchester United's radar but now the Gunners have also joined the race to bring him to the Premier League.
Not only is he an exciting player but is also very popular in Asia, which means that he has the potential of benefitting his future employers on both sporting and commercial levels.