Backpage Roundup: Cazorla Wants Winter Break, Wigan Boss Hails Arsenal Quality, Jenkinson is Over the Moon, Rummenigge’s Warning and More

Cazorla Wants Winter Break in English Football

Santi Cazorla wants English football to adopt winter breaks in their schedules as he believes it would be very beneficial for the players.

The Arsenal playmaker is used to having winter breaks, as before arriving in the Premier League in August, he had played his entire career in Spain, where such a luxury exists. Instead of taking time off during the holidays as always, he will now have to play three matches for Arsenal in a period of 12 days.

On this subject, Cazorla told Arsenal.com: “I do think it [a winter break] is beneficial because you are able to disconnect mentally, psychologically. There are times when you become saturated with games, you are unclear about things, and the break that happens in Spain makes you more relaxed mentally.

“But I think that the Premier League overall is already tough with regards to the number of matches that you have to play in a row, so I do not think the month of December is very different from the rest of the months.”

 

Wigan’s Martinez Talks Up Arsenal Quality

Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez has regarded Arsenal’s performance in their 5-2 demolition of Reading FC earlier this week as ‘very impressive’ and he doesn’t think that the Gunners are a side in decline.

Ahead of the Latics’ Saturday afternoon league clash with Arsenal, the Spanish coach said: “I don’t understand it from the outside. You look at this Arsenal side, they’ve had to cope with many players moving away and new players coming in. They need a little bit of time but I went to see them on Monday and they were very impressive.

“I thought the movement and the quality of play they had in possession was as good as I’ve seen from an Arsenal side. Players like Lukas Podolski and Santi Cazorla, they’re starting to feel themselves in this league.

“This Arsenal side will never change the way they want to win football games, the football philosophy that they’ve got, and that’s admirable. You’re going to see this Arsenal side going from strength to strength. They’re still in the Champions League, which is the best competition in the world, and I think this team has got a lot to offer.”

Jenkinson ‘Over the Moon’ After Signing New Contract

Carl Jenkinson has revealed that he is ecstatic after committing his long-term future to Arsenal and now wants to prove that the club made the right decision by handing him a new deal.

The Arsenal right-back, who has been a revelation this season, told Arsenal.com: “Obviously I’m over the moon – really happy. I see my future at this football club and I’m delighted they see things the same way.

Signing the contract shows commitment from me, which Arsenal can always count on, but it’s a big commitment from them as well. People here clearly have belief in me, and now I have to make sure I prove them right.”

 

Bayern Players Warned against Underestimating Gunners

Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has warned his players not to take their UCL Round-of-16 opponents Arsenal lightly and believes that the clash with Gunners will not be as simple as some people think.

While coach Arsene Wenger’s men have struggled for success in the past seven years, Bayern have won numerous trophies at domestic level and also made the finals of the Champions League on two occasions during that period.

After being paired with Arsenal in Thursday’s draw for UCL’s knockout stages, the Bavarian giants were installed as the bookmakers’ favourite to progress but Rummenigge believes it would be a folly to underestimate the North Londoners.

He said: “I think we enter this match as the slight favourites, but we can be making the mistake of underestimating them. Arsenal have struggled at times in the league over the last few months, which a look upon the standings in the Premier League will tell you. But by no means will this be an easy game for us. I look forward to our game in London and back home in Munich.”

 

Arsenal Set to Lose Huntelaar Battle

It has been reported in the German press that Arsenal target Klaas-Jan Huntelaar is close to signing a new contract with his current club FC Schalke.

The Dutch striker’s existing deal is set to expire next summer and several rounds of negotiations over an extension have failed to deliver any concrete results. His exit in January seemed imminent until a few days ago, but it is thought that the two parties are now back on negotiating terms and Schalke have upped their offer to try and keep him.

Earlier this week, Schalke chairman Clemens Tonnies confirmed that there has been a breakthrough in his talks with Huntelaar and his representatives, although a complete agreement still hasn’t been reached.

I have offered a certain compromise, but I also said Klaas-Jan has to quickly decide in favour of Schalke, otherwise we would do better to end those talks,” Tonnies said before adding: “It is true, Arnold [Oosterver, Huntelaar’s agent] was at Veltins-Arena lately. An important meeting has taken place. However, I am not able to say more on it right now.”

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