Backpage Roundup: Arsenal to Go For Taarabt If Zaha Chase Fails, Wilshere Wants Walcott to Sign Da Ting, Chamakh Threatens To Leave, Santos Apologises and More


Wenger to Go For Taarabt If Zaha Chase Fails

Arsene Wenger will launch a bid for QPR’s mercurial attacker Adel Taarabt in January if they fail to land Crystal Palace’s in-demand winger Wilfried Zaha, The Mirror have claimed.

Zaha remains top on the Arsenal manager’s shopping list but Palace’s unwillingness to lower their £15 million asking price could force him to look elsewhere for some cheaper alternatives, and Taarabt fits the bill.

The 23-year-old Moroccan is undoubtedly talent but his sulky nature and temperamental attitude has prevented him from reaching his true potential yet. However, after successfully transforming similar characters like Thierry Henry and Robin van Persie into world class players, Wenger believes he could do the same with Taarabt, for whom he is willing to chuck £7 million in the Rangers’ direction.

Wilshere Wants Walcott to Sign Da Ting

Jack Wilshere is hoping that Theo Walcott would resolve his contractual differences with Arsenal and sign a new long-term deal.

The 20-year-old playmaker is an admirer of Walcott’s talents and would like to see him stay a Gunner, although he knows that there is nothing anyone can do to influence the winger’s mind.

The London Evening Standard have quoted Wilshere as saying: “Theo has been great. His future is down to him and the boss to sort out. I hope he does sign. He has been great for us. He’s an English lad and great to have around.”

I Fully Deserve To Start – Walcott

After opening the scoring in Tuesday night’s 2-2 draw against Schalke, Theo Walcott believes that he deserves to be a part of Arsenal’s starting line-up.

The England international hasn’t been a regular starter under coach Arsene Wenger so far this season but was reinstated in the starting eleven against the Germans. He justified his selection but scoring in the 18th minute and he feels his performance proves that he should be a first-choice attacker.

Walcott said: “I just want to play, and hopefully now I can get a run in the team because I feel I fully deserve it.”

About the chance to score the winning goal which he missed later in the game, he added: “It was a good point but it would have been a fantastic victory. I did all I could with the late chance. The ball got stuck to my feet and I just couldn’t get it out.”

Wenger Focuses On Positives

Arsene Wenger opted not to talk too much about negatives after Arsenal threw away a two-goal lead against Schalke on Tuesday and eventually settled for just a 2-2 draw.

The Gunners boss chose to focus on the positives and said: “With all the stick we got after Saturday’s game, it was important to show a good response and I think we did that. It was a difficult game – a good one as well, both teams played very well.

“It was unfortunate that we conceded that goal before half-time, and in the last minute we had the chance for 3-2, but overall I think a draw was fair. At 2-0 you have not won the game in the Champions League. German teams have physical quality and technical quality and they never give up, so I never felt the game was over.”

Wilshere’s Suspension Could Be Helpful

Jack Wilshere has said that his one-match suspension resulting from his last weekend’s sending-off could be a blessing in disguise for him.

The Arsenal midfielder is set to miss his team’s next league game against Fulham due to the two yellow cards he received in the 2-1 defeat to Manchester United last Saturday. But instead of feeling too down about it, he thinks that some rest could help him, especially now that he has played thrice in just 11 days for the Gunners since making his first-team comeback after an injury layoff of 17 months.

Wilshere told The London Evening Standard: “I am gutted to miss Fulham after being out for so long. It’s disappointing to miss any game but if I think about it another way, maybe it will be good for me to have a little break and come back for the Tottenham game [a week later].

Chamakh Admits He Could Leave In January

Arsenal outcast Marouane Chamakh has admitted that he is considering leaving the club in January amidst reports that his former employers Bordeaux are interest in taking him back.

The 28-year-old Moroccan arrived at Arsenal on a free transfer in 2010 but quickly fell out of favour with coach Arsene Wenger despite showing some early promise. Les Girondins are reportedly keen to take him back to France but the striker says that in case his time with Arsenal ends in the near future, continuing his career in England will be his first priority.

In an interview with RMC, Chamakh said: “I am still asking the question of a departure or not, weighing up the pros and cons. Bordeaux? In the summer, I didn’t have any contact. During last winter, I had some. It could be a solution to come back. If I make the decision to come back, it would be no trouble to me, but it is too early to talk about it. My priority is to remain in England, but I know if I would have to come back to France, it could only be to Bordeaux.

“After Robin van Persie left, I thought I’d play more. The competition is always a little hard in a club like that. I expected it. It’s (up) to me to prove myself. But, in two, three months, if nothing changes, I must make a decision. With the departure of Robin, I’d say that I had a playing card. And if my playing time doesn’t change, I’m not fooled, I’ll go away.”

Santos Apologises For Shirt Swap

Andre Santos has asked Arsenal fans to forgive him for his ill-timed exchange of shirts with Manchester United striker Robin van Persie in last weekend’s 2-1 defeat at Old Trafford.

The Brazilian left-back was seen swapping shirts with the Dutchman at half-time despite the fact that the Gunners were trailing at that time. His overfriendly attitude towards an opposing player infuriated the club’s fans and later drew criticism from coach Arsene Wenger and other former Gunners.

Santos has now realised his mistake and apologised for his behaviour. The Sun have quoted him as saying: “I’d like to apologise to supporters who felt aggrieved by it. Did I think it would cause such a commotion? Of course I didn’t, otherwise I would have told Robin to exchange the shirts away from public view.”

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