Backpage roundup: Fabregas believes in Wenger, Szczesny remains number one, Vertonghen snub claims, Vermaelen confident, Wilshere return close and more

Fabregas Has Faith in Wenger
Cesc Fabregas has hailed Arsene Wenger’s ability to turn talented youngsters into world class players and is confident that the Frenchman will keep Arsenal in the hunt for title glory this season.
Despite losing high quality players such as Robin van Persie and Alexandre Song this summer, the Gunners still find themselves third on the Premiership table and the Barcelona playmaker believes that his former club’s instant recovery from those setbacks owes a great deal to their manager’s incredible ability to spot young talent.
The Sun quoted Fabregas as saying: “Arsene Wenger is amazing and I’m sure he will prove it again this season. He always finds the best young talent in Europe and has the courage to bring them in and give them their chance.
“That is his special talent, the way he works with a player to build their confidence and encourage them to play, to perform at their best. That’s why I’m confident that Arsenal will again be up there challenging. I hope so. I watch them every weekend because Arsenal still mean so much to me.
Wenger: Too Early For Title Talk
Having seen his side register back to back league victories, Arsene Wenger believes that Arsenal have a chance of mounting a serious title challenge this season but it is too soon to say anything with surety.
The Gunners’ trademark offensive game coupled with their new-found defensive solidarity has seen them climb up to third place in the league table. But their next two games are against Manchester City and Chelsea, and Wenger says that a proper idea of their title challenge will be known only after they have played some of the big guns.
When asked if he thinks his men can challenge for the Premiership title, Wenger said: “We will know that after 10 games. I think we have a chance. But do we develop well, do we keep our attitude? I think we have a chance but at the moment I don’t know how strong our opponents are. We’ve not played against any of the title contenders yet.
“We won the championship in 2004 and we played against Chelsea in November the following season and I finished the game thinking: ‘We’ve just played against the new champions’.
“It will be important to see how we do against the bigger teams. It will be interesting. It will be a test next Sunday but for us the most important part will be to maintain our level of performance that we showed against Southampton and go from game to game.”
Now Vertonghen Claims He Rejected Arsenal
Just a week after Montpellier centre-half Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa revealed that he rejected a move to Arsenal in the summer transfer window, Tottenham Hotspur’s new signing Jan Vertonghen has come forward with a similar claim.
The Belgian defender, who moved to White Hart Lane from Ajax in July, was a transfer target of Arsene Wenger too. But the Gunners hesitated in agreeing a fee for him with his Dutch employers and that allowed the Spurs to seal the deal.
However, Vertonghen says that it was him who snubbed Arsenal in favour of their North London rivals, as the latter showed more desire to sign him.
The 25-year-old said: “Tottenham gave me a good feeling. The chairman, Daniel Levy, was good and I talked with Rafael van der Vaart. They invited me here and gave me the best feeling in the world. From that moment on I said to myself ‘I want to play here’.
“I know Arsenal were interested, but I had already made the decision that I wanted to play here. I’m not one to switch all the time – I make my decision and I go for it.”
Wenger Wants to Relieve Some Pressure on Giroud
Arsene Wenger has said that he benched Olivier Giroud in the recent victories over Liverpool and Southampton in order to relieve some pressure on the striker.
While Arsenal’s other summer signings have quickly adapted to English football, such has not been the case with Giroud, who has yet to score a goal for the Gunners.
Wenger says that he wanted to give the former Montpellier man a break and that’s why he hasn’t been given significant playing time in recent games.
The Arsenal manager said: “I felt that he [Giroud] is under much pressure at the moment and sometimes to get a little breather is good. What I will do on Tuesday [when Arsenal travel to Montpellier in the Champions League] I honestly don’t know. I just felt that the time has come for him to not be under too much pressure.”
Gunners Full of Confidence – Vermaelen
Thomas Vermaelen has said that confidence is high in the Arsenal dressing room and they are fully capable of getting a positive result against Manchester City at Etihad Stadium next weekend.
Earlier today, the Arsenal captain, who is confident that the Gunners can keep up their good start to the new season, said: “City are the champions from last year so it won’t be easy. We have to go there and play our own game – I am confident we can get a result there. The team has a strong bond in the dressing room and outside as well. It feels good.
“All of the players, especially the guys who came in, look good. Everybody plays with a lot of confidence and that is good. We have to stay focused because there are a few hard games coming up. We have to play away at Montpellier on Tuesday and then we have Manchester City so it is not going to be easy. It is good for confidence, we are happy today but Tuesday is another game. The Champions League is always different so that will be a test as well, especially away from home.”
Wenger Won’t Demote Szczesny
Arsene Wenger has said that even though Wojciech Szczesny made a mistake in the 6-1 win over Southampton on Saturday, he will continue to be Arsenal’s first-choice goalkeeper.
In addition to committing the goal-conceding error, the Polish custodian looked rusty and out-of-form throughout the game, and that has raised some calls to promote stand-in gloveman Vito Mannone to the number one position. However, Wenger has full faith in Szczesny’s ability and he is refusing to read too much into his error against the Saints.
In an interview with, the Gunners boss said: “Wojciech is number one unless I change my mind. That is clear. That’s why he came back in goal. You cannot change a goalkeeper every time he makes a simple mistake, because then you have three bad keepers. The confidence is needed.”
Wilshere Set For Training Ground Return
Jack Wilshere will return to full training sometimes by the end of this week, according to a report published by The Daily Mail.
The Arsenal midfielder has been sidelined since the summer of 2011 due to a series of ankle and knee injuries but is finally in a condition to train with the rest of his club teammates.
The 20-year-old could feature in an under-21 game on October 1, when Arsenal youngsters take on WBA. The club, however, hasn’t commented on the publication’s claim yet.

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