Backpage Roundup: Cazorla Highlights Possession’s Significance, Toure Wants Arsenal Move, RVP Snubbed City for United, Fergie Wants Respect and More

Possession Is the Key to Beat Man United – Cazorla

Santi Cazorla believes that in order to beat Manchester United on Saturday, Arsenal must keep hold of the ball as much as they can.

The Spanish playmaker is fully aware what a victory over the Red Devils can do to the Gunners’ morale and while he is fully ready for the game, he insists that it would take an extremely strong overall performance to topple Alex Ferguson’s men on their own turf.

In an interview with Arsenal.com, Cazorla said: “[A win] would be great for the team’s confidence. To beat such a strong side at their own ground makes you stronger in all aspects. Let’s take the example of our match against Manchester City, which was a difficult game against a tough side. The team showed incredible quality and could even have won the game, so we came out of that match much stronger than before.

“I think the key to modern football is having possession. The more you have the more you control the game. At Old Trafford we need to control the game and keep hold of the ball. Therefore, as well as the three points you can hopefully take from those games, you can come out stronger and take away more confidence too.”

 

Toure Wants Arsenal Move

AS Monaco’s in-form striker Ibrahima Toure has confessed that he would like to play for Arsenal in the Barclays Premier League.

The 26-year-old Senagalese is one of the stars of the French Ligue 2 and has scored 22 goals in just 28 appearances for Les Rouge et Blanc since arriving from UAE club Ajman last year.

He has played in several smaller leagues so far in his career but his target is to play in the PL in general and Arsenal in particular.

In an interview with L’Equipe, Toure said: “Playing in the Premier League is my dream. That is my wish. Would I stay if I have offers from England next summer? It will depend on what the club officials decide. We will see. Monaco are a big club but my long-term wish is to play in England, for example at Arsenal.”

 

RVP Chose United Over City – Wenger

Former Arsenal captain Robin van Persie chose Manchester United over their local rivals Manchester City, according to coach Arsene Wenger.

When van Persie joined the Red Devils in the summer, it was widely assumed that money was the reason behind his decision to do so. However, Wenger has hinted that that may not be the actual case as the rich Premiership champions were snubbed by the Dutchman in favour of United.

The Arsenal boss said: “It is true Manchester City [were] interested in him and he has chosen to go to United. He could come out more on the reasons but I didn’t want to know more about that. Does it hurt more than he left for another English club? That is not exactly what I wished! I hope the reception for him is a respectful one because he has played for us for eight years, he has done very well for us. You want him to be respected. We campaign against discrimination. It was still the case last week so why should it not be the case this week? I don’t know, I think he will get the reception I hope for.

“Am I surprised he has done so well at Manchester United? No, not really. In Manchester you have good players around him, and Robin is very intelligent around the box. You would think that one of the parts of my job is to have a positive influence on people as a player. When you do that you are always satisfied. I think my influence was not too bad.”

 

Gunners Not Thinking About Revenge

Arsene Wenger has insisted that he and his players are not thinking about revenge ahead of Arsenal’s blockbuster league game against Manchester United.

Saturday’s clash between the two sides will be the first time that the Gunners play at Old Trafford since receiving a historical 8-2 thrashing by the home side last year. Some people believe that the Frenchman’s squad will be trying to avenge that loss but Wenger says that is not the case.

Wenger considers that humiliating defeat as a freak result which doesn’t warrants any revenge. He said: “Revenge? No. Of course there is an emotional aspect to a result like that, but on a footballing front I don’t think you give it too much importance.

“It is down to a team being much better than another that the scores are high, or down to special circumstances. On the day I think the result was down to special circumstances. That is why the emotional meaning is big, but the footballing meaning is not very big, and we have had that behind us for a long, long time now.”

 

Now Fergie Demands Gunner Respect for RVP

After Arsene Wenger’s repeated appeals to Arsenal fans to not abuse former captain Robin van Persie on Saturday, Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson has also demanded respect for the Dutchman.

Van Persie, 29, is set to face his former team for the very first time since leaving them for the Red Devils in the summer. He is expected to receive a hostile reception from Arsenal fans, who felt betrayed when he chose to join the club’s arch-rivals.

Wenger has already tried his best to calm down the fans and now his United counterpart also thinks that the Gunners shouldn’t hold a grudge against their former talisman due to his years of service for the club.

Ferguson said: “I think Arsene has laid his seed for his supporters in terms of respecting him. I think, if you think about all the former players who have come back to Old Trafford, they always get a warm applause. I don’t think he’ll have a problem tomorrow. I think the fans will recognise the eight years he gave them and I think that will be nice.”

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