Arsenal Won’t Pay Extra Attention to Bale – Wenger
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger insists that he has not formulated any special strategies to deal with Tottenham star Gareth Bale in the upcoming North London derby.
The Welsh winger has been in sublime form of late, leading to suggestions that the Gunners might need to devote more defensive resources to him in order to nullify his impact on the game. However, the Arsenal boss says that won’t be the case, as he never devises strategies with individual opponents in mind and always tries to focus on his own side’s strengths.
Ahead of Sunday’s showdown at White Hart Lane, Wenger said: “We don’t plan for anybody. It is always the same – focus on our strengths and forget about your opponent. There is nobody special that you least like to face. All players have different qualities.
“What is important when you are a manager is that you are focused, that hasn’t changed over the last 15 years, you always make sure your team is at its best, prepares well and focuses on playing the football that we love. What is important before a game like that is just to focus on our game and forget all the rest.”
Fulham’s Jol Wants to Extend Frimpong’s Loan Deal
Fulham manager Martin Jol has revealed that he would love to keep on-loan Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Frimpong at Craven Cottage beyond this season.
The 21-year-old Gunner has played just one league game for the Cottagers since joining them earlier this year for the remainder of the 2012/13 season, but he has done enough to impress Jol, who admits he would like to extend the player’s loan stay at the club.
“He is on loan at the moment and it would be quite expensive to take him (permanently), but if there was an opportunity to take him on loan again, I would probably do that,” the Dutch trainer said before adding: “It is quite a nice position to be in, to get a loan player you don’t have to pay a transfer fee. It is a good way of doing things.”
Jol further said: “We spoke about (discipline). In my day you could tackle, but now you have to stay on your feet. I was impressed with him from the start. Two years ago I saw him and he is the type of player you would like as a manger because he is versatile and he has got this mentality.
“But he can play as well, he is an Arsenal player. He is one of the few players who has been at Arsenal since a young age. I think Sunderland away would suit him. His fitness is getting better and better. He did well when he played for us against Norwich. He is fully fit now so I can play him from the start if I want to.”
Gunners to Erect Bergkamp Statue at Emirates
Arsenal FC have announced that they will erect a bronze statue of club legend Dennis Bergkamp outside the Emirates Stadium.
The Dutch striker scored 120 goals for the Gunners during his 11-year stay at the club and is widely regarded as one of the finest players ever to don the club jersey. He will now join the likes of Herbert Chapman, Tony Adams and Thierry Henry, all of whom have been honoured in similar fashion in previous years.
While announcing the news, Arsenal CEO Ivan Gazidis said: “It will be a fitting tribute to Dennis’ huge contribution to the club that a statue will be on display outside Emirates Stadium in the near future. Dennis’ quality and style of play will never be forgotten. He is a true legend of Arsenal and it’s great to think that so many Arsenal supporters and visitors to Emirates Stadium will be able to enjoy this tribute to such a great player for years to come.”
Bergkamp then added: “First of all, I am honoured that this is going to happen. It makes me very proud. Everyone knows that I love Arsenal and that I had a fantastic time at the club. For me and my family it was an important period in our lives. Next to that the people were great, the team was amazing and we had a lot of success over the years.
“I will do everything I can to be there when it will be unveiled. It will definitely be a special moment for me which I don’t want to miss.”
Arsenal Target Corchia Reveals Desire to Move
Rumoured Arsenal target and Sochaux defender Sebastien Corchia has admitted that a summer move to a big club would interest him.
The 22-year-old right-back, who is considered one of the brightest defensive prospects in Ligue 1, has been in impressive form this season and his performances have caught the eye of several top clubs.
The Gunners could lose their first-choice right-back Bacary Sagna this summer to free agency and so they could make a move for Corchia as his replacement.
However, they will face a tough battle in signing him, as Tottenham, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Lyon and several other sides are tracking him too.
When asked about top clubs’ interest in acquiring his services, Corchia said: “I am happy when I am being mentioned with prestigious Clubs home and abroad. I am working hard to reach the top level and play in a bigger club than Sochaux, it is everyone’s ambition to move to a big club.
“I am a big fan of the two leagues England and Germany, they are the best two leagues at the moment. At the end of the season, I will sit down with the club and see the next step.”
More to Come from Monreal – Wenger
Arsene Wenger has claimed that new signing Nacho Monreal is just as good going forward as he is at the back and that Arsenal fans will soon get to see the attacking side of his game too.
The Spain international arrived at Emirates Stadium from Malaga in January and wasted no time in impressing the onlookers. After focusing on his defensive game in his first two outings for Arsenal, he assisted Santi Cazorla’s decisive goal in the 2-1 win over Aston Villa last weekend, and Wenger believes more of the same will came from the 27-year-old left-back.
“The first thing you want from your defenders is to defend well, so we cannot reproach him for that. You will see the other aspects of his game more when his confidence has settled. He is good in the air for a guy of his size, has a quick leap and has looked good,” Wenger said of Monreal in an interview with the official Arsenal magazine.
He further said: “Monreal is very strong in other areas too, his crosses for example, and his forward play you will see a bit later. It happened with Kieran Gibbs too, the more confident he became the more efficient he was going forward. It can take a bit if time to express that side.
“There is no better culture shock than to play against Stoke and Sunderland. He has not said a word to me about it, but he has spoken with the other players and he has seen all about the passion and commitment of the English game. You can say Nacho Monreal passed that test.”