AW hasn't shaken and isn't stirred

What has turned Arsene Wenger into a bad loser? So asks this morning’s Daily Mail in a typical tabloid knee-jerk reaction to the boss not shaking the hand of the vile Mark Hughes after the 3-0 Carling Cup defeat to Manchester City at Eastlands
The paper reports that global economic politics, modern art, wine, Japanese philosophy and the relative
merits of an old-fashioned 4-4-2 system are all subjects which AW is extremely comfortable discussing.
Few would disagree that, such is the breadth of the Arsenal manager’s knowledge, the moniker Le Professeur is well deserved, says the paper. How bizarre, then, that for all his deep thinking, Wenger should not realise failing to shake Hughes’ hand has made him appear a sore loser.
Wenger’s comments after defeat at City suggest he could not give a stuff about conforming to the established sporting etiquette if he feels he or his team have been wronged, the Mail asserts.
AW, me old mate, if it irks the media and the opposition, keep on keeping your hand in your pocket.
Elsehwere in the Mail, the under-performing, homesick millionaire footballer that is Andrey Arshavin has got plenty to say again and he has delivered a damning assessment of his lightweight team-mates, warning that Arsenal need to spend big to compete with their Big Four rivals.
The Russia forward has savaged the side for being soft at the back, too short to cope with set pieces and desperately lacking a focal point up front. ‘The fact that we have lost against out direct rivals this season signifies that we are not very good,’ he said. ‘We played good football, but that is not enough. We score a lot of goals, but we always let in one or more.’
At 5ft 7in, Arshavin has his own physical limitations, but he is not the only player who is weak in the air. ‘We are not good on set pieces, and that is bound up with the fact that we don’t have many tall players,’ he said. ‘Every other team has an advantage over us in this area. Chelsea were much stronger than us when it came to physical power. Had we possessed a tall player, things would have been better for us, especially in attack. We had nobody capable of holding on to the ball.’
But the £12million signing has not lost faith in his manager, saying: ‘What can we, and must we, change? Only Arsene Wenger knows.’
The Sun tells us we will be without Theo Walcott for the game with Stoke. The paper adds that AW is desperate to get his side’s Premier League campaign back on track after last weekend’s 3-0 thumping at the hands of leaders Chelsea.
He is already missing the suspended Alex Song, while Gael Clichy, Abou Diaby and Nicklas Bendtner are sidelined through injury. And the Frenchman must now also cope without Walcott at the Emirates on Saturday.
Wenger said: “Walcott will not be available as he has a hamstring injury. As for the other injured players, the long-term ones I do not even speak about. The short-term ones, like Clichy, Diaby and Bendtner, will not be available. And, of course, Song is suspended for the weekend.”
And talking of the hobbling wounded, the Mirror reports that Robin van Persie’s surgery on his right ankle was successful, according to AW.
As we know, Van Persie, 26, suffered the injury while on international duty with Holland and will be out for around five months, with AW relieved there were no complications with his operation. AW also had positive news about left-back Kieran Gibbs, who has gone under the knife for his fractured foot.
“Kieran is doing very well. I had him on the phone and it looked to be completely fine,” he said. “I have not talked to Robin yet but there again the news I got from the surgery was it went very, very well. There was a lot of disturbance on our side recently [about his injury] but the surgery went well.”
If you are fit and have boots please report to the Emirates tomorrow at 2.30pm…

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