Backpage Roundup: Arsenal Announce Price Freeze, January Buying Shows Weakness, Beckham Training with Gunners, Ramsey's New Role and More

Arsenal Announce Price Freeze for Next Season
Arsenal FC have delivered some good news to their fans by confirming that ticket prices at Emirates Stadium for the 2013/14 season will remain unchanged.
The Gunners’ ticket pricing policy is considered very high and it got criticised earlier this month after more than 900 Manchester City fans refused to be bullied over the issue and decided not to buy tickets for their team’s clash with Arsenal at Emirates Stadium.
Earlier today, the club published a statement on, which read: “The price freeze applies to all match ticket prices including season tickets in both general admission and club level.
“Club level season ticket renewals will begin on February 12.
“The move follows a full review by the Arsenal board which included an assessment of the current economic environment and feedback from fans’ groups.”
Buying in January Shows Weakness – Wenger
Just days after admitting that Arsenal are no close to signing any new players, coach Arsene Wenger has claimed that bringing in unnecessary reinforcements in January is actually a sign of weakness.
The Gunners loaned out Marouane Chamakh and Johan Djourou earlier this month, after which it was thought that they would bring in some new blood to even up numbers. But despite being linked with players such as Wilfried Zaha, David Villa, Falcao and a few others, they are unlikely to make any additions to their squad before the transfer window shuts close.
In an attempt to justify his decision, Wenger has now said that most of the deals conducted in the winter transfer window are panic buys and they don’t really add much to the teams other than provide false hopes.
The Frenchman said: “It’s just like you go out and you buy anyone just to give people hope. I think what is important is that you bring in players who can strengthen your team, or you do nothing, you’re strong enough to do nothing.
“I always said that what is important is to bring a player in who can strengthen the squad. ‘Anyone’, for me, means just exactly what is today the modern game has become. In January it’s very difficult to find players who strengthen your team when you’re in our position.”
Ramsey Happy With New Midfield Position
Aaron Ramsey says that he is enjoying the new midfield anchorman role that coach Arsene Wenger has given to him recently.
Injuries to Mikel Arteta and Francis Coquelin forced the Arsenal boss to deploy Ramsey in an unfamiliar role in front of the Arsenal defence. The experiment seems to be working for now as the Gunners have won both the matches that the 22-year-old has started in his new role.
The Welshman is expected to start Wednesday evening’s game against Liverpool too and he says that he is more than happy to help out the team.
In an interview with Arsenal Player, Ramsey said: “I think I’ve played well in the last two games. That’s pleasing for me and hopefully I can just keep myself in the team and carry on. Hopefully, I get picked for the next game. I had a meeting with the boss the other week and he explained to me what’s required for this role.”
“I think I’ve done that in the last couple of games and I feel good in myself. [I’ve been] getting stuck in and winning the ball back, been involved a lot more and got a lot of touches of the ball, so hopefully I can continue the form I’m in at the moment.”
Wenger Not Plotting Late Villa Move
Arsenal FC have rubbished media speculation linking them with a late blockbuster move for Barcelona superstar David Villa.
Several news agencies had claimed that the Gunners are in discussion with the La Liga giants to convince them to part ways with the 31-year-old striker.
However, coach Arsene Wenger has denied approaching Barca with that intention and made it clear that the Spain international is not on his shopping list.
Barcelona don’t want to sell, they’ve made that clear. I said they don’t want to sell, I didn’t say he was a target,” Wenger said.
Beckham Training with Gunners
Arsene Wenger has admitted that Manchester United legend David Beckham has been training with the Arsenal squad but warned the press not to make anything out of it.
The former England captain, who is currently a free agent, has joined the Gunners for a second spell of this kind but before the press could get naughty with it, the Arsenal boss has squashed their plans.
Wenger said: “He [Beckham] called me. He has asked to come here and to work on his fitness. He has not done anything for a long, long time. (It’s) purely for fitness. There’s no speculation about signing or anything.”

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