Backpage roundup: Vermaelen disappointed, Gunners lack confidence, no more Walcott contract talks, Kroenke’s Rams train at Arsenal and more

Vermaelen Disappointed by Lack of Creativity

Thomas Vermaelen expressed his disappointment at Arsenal’s lack of creativity after his side suffered a shock 2-0 defeat at home in their Champions League game against Schalke on Wednesday.

After losing last weekend’s league game against Norwich City due to a poor showing by the front players, the Gunners were looking for some improvement against the Germans. However, they struggled to create clear-cut opportunities for the second consecutive game and ended up tasting their first Champions League defeat at Emirates Stadium since 2009.

Vermaelen failed to hide his frustration at the end of the game and told Sky Sports 3:We are really disappointed. We lost on Saturday and wanted to be better today but it was the same story. We didn’t create enough chances to score goals. They got one and then got more.”

When asked to disclose the reason behind another ineffective performance, the Arsenal captain answered: “It’s difficult to explain, we wanted to put it right. We gave 100% but it’s difficult at the moment because we’re not creating enough chances to score goals. Teams come here with strong organisation, technical ability and sometimes it is difficult to get through.”

 

Bould: Gunners Still Suffering from Norwich Upset

Steve Bould admitted that Arsenal are currently short of confidence after his side suffered a humiliating 2-0 defeat against Schalke in front of their own fans on Wednesday.

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Ibrahim Afellay’s strikes earned the German side a well-deserved win, and later on, the Arsenal assistant manager revealed that the Gunners still haven’t recovered from their shock defeat to Norwich City last weekend.

In the post-match interview, Bould said: “I think the result on Saturday knocked us and we looked like we were lacking a bit of confidence. We haven’t looked at our best since we came back from the international break, we’ve looked a bit tired and jaded, but that shouldn’t be an excuse.

“We certainly don’t want to be conceding goals like that and if we’d have escaped with a 0-0 tonight we’d have been delighted. We’re not making many chances either which is a concern. We look like we’re lacking confidence on the ball which is unusual for us and we need to correct it quickly because we’ve got a big game on Saturday against QPR.”

 

Arsenal Have ‘Very Limited’ Margin Of Error – Wenger

Arsene Wenger has admitted that Arsenal cannot afford to make any more mistakes in the league if they are to remain in the title race.

Last weekend’s 1-0 loss to Norwich City has left the Gunners a massive 10 points behind league leaders Chelsea, and Wenger says that his team needs to recover from that setback immediately for the sake of their title ambitions.

The Arsenal boss said: “I can understand that, and I share that concern. I believe we can compete. The three points we dropped at Norwich are not welcome and it came at a period where we absolutely needed to win this game, but for the rest we are in a strong position. What is very important is that we do not lose more ground.

“At the moment, I agree it (the gap) is a lot, but we have just to focus to get closer now. For us, it is not the number of points only, it is that the margin of error we have now in front of us which is very limited – and with a result like that we have put a huge pressure on our shoulders.”

 

NFL’s St Louis Rams Train at Arsenal Shenley Training Centre

NFL‘s St Louis Rams used Arsenal’s training ground on Wednesday ahead of Sunday’s clash with the New England Patriots at Wembley Stadium.

While the Gunners were preparing for their Champions League game against Schalke, their Shenley facilities were free and so the Stan Kroenke-owned Rams were given the permission to make it their training base.

It should be noted that Arsenal’s training grounds are regularly used by the England national team and sides from other sports when they have a game at nearby Wembley.

 

Kroenke to Make Rare Double Appearance at Emirates

Arsenal’s majority shareholder Stan Kroenke isn’t a regular at Emirates Stadium by any means. In fact, he has been at the Gunners’ home on only two occasions since upping his stake in the club to 66.82% last October. But he was present at Emirates on Wednesday when coach Arsene Wenger’s men were beaten 2-0 by Schalke, and he is expected to be in the director’s box once again when Arsenal take on QPR this weekend. (The Daily Mail)

However, the American entrepreneur’s presence in London isn’t about any newfound interest in the club and he should certainly not be expected to turn into Roman Abramovich anytime soon. The reason behind Silent Stan’s being in the English capital is that he is to attend the Arsenal AGM on Thursday and then his NFL club, the St. Louis Rams, face the New England Patriots at Wembley Stadium on Sunday.

Kroenke resides in Denver, but what should be a bit of concern to the club’s fans is the fact that his spokesman recently told the press that he spends a lot of time in London every year, which makes his Emirates no-shows somewhat strange.

In contrast, his rival shareholder Alisher Usmanov, who has been collectively frozen out by the Arsenal board, is a regular visitor at Emirates Stadium and his net worth is at least $20billion more than Kroenke’s.

 

Walcott Edges Closer to January Exit

Arsenal have opened up talks regarding new contracts with several of their first-team players but one major name absent from this re-signing drive is Theo Walcott. (The Daily Mail)

Promising players such as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Kieran Gibbs and Emmanuel Frimpong are all being offered new deals to prolong their stay at Emirates Stadium. However, after their last failed round of discussions with Walcott, the Gunners board has decided not to pursue that matter and a January exit for the former Southampton man seems likely.

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