Arsenal Readying Bid for Zaha
Arsenal FC will submit a formal bid for Crystal Palace’s in-demand attacker Wifried Zaha in the January transfer window, according to the latest round of Arsenal transfer rumours. (The Telegraph)
The Gunners are expected to lose contract-rebel Theo Walcott sometime next year and so they have targeted the Eagles winger to fill the void.
Coach Arsene Wenger has had Zaha watched by his scouts many times and is now convinced that the 20-year-old winger is a star of the future. But even if they decide to meet Palace’s asking price of £18 million, signing him won’t be easy as he is purportedly a target of the two Manchester clubs too.
However, Arsenal’s history of transforming promising talent into world class player and the fact that Zaha is a lifelong Gooner could give them a real advantage in this transfer battle.
Wenger Refuses to Change Transfer Policy
There is bad news for Arsenal fans as coach Arsene Wenger has declared that he won’t change his transfer policy, meaning that the club will keep on buying promising young talent rather than spending some real money on world class players.
After the Gunners’ poor start to the new season triggered mass protest from the fans, it was thought that the club might splash some of the £150 million, which they are set to receive from Emirates, on the purchase of new quality players.
However, Wenger has made it clear that there will be no significant changes in the way he conducts Arsenal’s business in the transfer market.
When asked if he is ready to amend Arsenal’s conservative transfer policy, the Frenchman replied: “It won’t change. It doesn’t mean we will not spend money. I am always painted like a guy who refuses to spend money, like a greedy guy. But I just think I act like a responsible manager because we went through a period where we had restricted funds and I acted in a responsible way.
“I don’t say that money doesn’t play a part in it, but it’s not only about that. We have to continue to believe that it’s not only about that. What is the game about then? Football has to be even, interesting, unpredictable.”
Wenger ‘Frustrated’ Over Walcott Delay
Arsene Wenger has admitted that he is ‘frustrated’ that Theo Walcott’s contractual situation has still not been resolved and has urged the winger to decide whether he wants to stay or leave Arsenal.
Walcott, 23, only has seven months to run on his existing deal and while he is still wanted at Emirates, his financial demands are proving too much to fulfil for the club.
Wenger is regularly asked for an update on the subject by reporters and after one such recent instance, he admitted that the stalemate in the negotiations is frustrating even for him.
“I have no news. I am frustrated,” the Gunners boss said before adding: “He knows what I want and he has to make up his mind.”
Meanwhile, The Daily Mail have claimed that talks between Arsenal and Walcott have failed and it has been decided to sell him in January. Wenger, however, opposes the idea of offloading him and is expected to advise the board against taking such a decision.
Podolski Ruled Out Of West Brom Clash
Lukas Podolski will not be a part of Arsenal’s squad for their Saturday’s league clash with West Bromwich Albion due to a hamstring injury.
The Gunners were already missing the services of Theo Walcott, Andre Santos, Bacary Sagna and Laurent Koscielny and now their German striker has joined the aforementioned quartet in the treatment room.
In an interview with Arsenal.com, Wenger said: “From Tuesday night in Greece there are no new injuries so we have a selection from the combined squad of Tuesday and Saturday. Podolski’s injury is a hamstring. It should be short-term. Andre Santos will not be ready for Saturday but he is not far away with an abdominal injury.”
Clarke Predicts Arsenal Backlash
West Brom manager Steve Clarke has told his players to be ready for Arsenal’s backlash when the two teams play each other at Emirates Stadium on Saturday.
The Gunners have won just one of their last six league matches, a run of form that has left them languishing 10th on the league table. They are clearly lacking confidence at the moment but Clarke says that it would be a folly to think that it is a good time to face the North Londoners.
Clarke said: “The way the game is now means no matter what club you’re at, if your team is not doing well you’re going to get criticism. That’s the state of play with Arsenal at the moment. The team hasn’t been firing as maybe people thought they would do, especially after the start they had.
“They’ve introduced a few new players this year and it’s maybe just taken the team a little bit longer to find a rhythm than it did before. But nobody can question the record of Mr Wenger. It’s a great record, he has done fantastically for the football club and I’m sure the club will stick with him.
“It’s a game that we have to be positive about and look forward to. The last two games have been frustrating for us for different reasons but going down to the Emirates is a different challenge. Arsenal are probably not playing as well as they would like and they’ve had some reverses so they’ll be fired up to try to turn their season around.”
Rosicky Urges Gooners to Keep Supporting
Tomas Rosicky has admitted that the Arsenal fans’ anger over the team’s poor form is understandable but believes that all the negativity has the potential to hurt the club’s up and coming players.
The Gunners’ poor league form has led to mass protests by the fans against the club but Rosicky believes that they should reunite instead of pointing fingers at this time of crisis.
The Czech playmaker said: “I can understand the frustrations, I am an Arsenal fan as well when I was not playing. It is understandable, but also on the other side we have some young guys as well and this is definitely not helping them. We have to all stick together, which is what we did last season when everyone was writing us off and we came back stronger.
“You could feel the great atmosphere we created at the Emirates with performances against Tottenham and AC Milan [in last season’s Champions League]. I have been in professional football for a very long time and that was without any doubt the best atmosphere I have ever played in.
“Of course we have to win the people again, that is the challenge. It will be difficult, there is no doubt about that, we are capable of doing it again. If we are all on board, Arsenal is a great place to play football, but we have to stick together and fight.”
Sagna Tells Gunners to Wise Up
Bacary Sagna believes that he and his Arsenal teammates must get wiser in order to transform their attractive football into positive results.
The Gunners are facing extreme criticism and pressure after failing to win any of their last four games in all competition, and Sagna says that they can overturn their poor form by adopting a more ruthless approach.
In an interview with Arsenal Player, the Frenchman said: “We just need to be wiser. We have had the opportunity to win games, and for some reason we don’t. We need to work on it. We need to stay focused on the pitch and we need to work harder during training sessions. If we do that everything will be fine. I don’t worry about it.
“Everyone is good in the Premier League. Everyone can beat everyone. The top teams are the most consistent ones. They just go game by game and want to take points. We have to step up and show the opposition who is on top. We’ve made some mistakes in the past and now we want to impose ourselves on our season.”