Backpage Roundup: Wenger Expects ‘Open Game’ Against City, Nasri Grateful to Wenger, PL Won’t Tell Clubs to Reduce Prices, Gunners Ready for Tough Month and More

Wenger Expecting ‘Open Game’ Against City

Arsene Wenger believes that Arsenal’s Premier League clash with champions Manchester City on Sunday is a make or break fixture for both the clubs involved.

The Gunners need all three points on the offer to stay close to the top four clubs, while the Blues pursuit of league leaders Manchester United means that they cannot afford to have anything less than a victory either. Therefore, both the teams will be playing to get a result tomorrow and Wenger expects it to be a very attacking encounter.

The Frenchman said: “I think they are in a situation where a draw will not be good enough, and we are in the same situation. The fact that both teams have to absolutely go for a win promises a more open game. When you are in that (title) situation, you don’t want to drop more points because it can be damaging for your chances.”

“It (the championship) is still very open. When you watch the games, no team today goes into a Premier League game and is sure to win it, therefore I believe every team can drop points. It is much more open than people think it is,” he added.

 

Nasri Grateful to Wenger

Manchester City star Samir Nasri has said that he has massive respect for Arsene Wenger and owes the Arsenal manager his career.

The France international spent three years under Wenger at Arsenal before leaving them last year for City in a £25 million deal. His exit made him a very unpopular figure among his former club’s fans and he has squabbled with them since then on multiple occasions.

However, he has nothing but respect for the Gunners boss and admits that the 63-year-old played a major role in elevating his career where it is right now.

Ahead of City’s PL clash with Arsenal at Emirates on Sunday, Nasri told The Sun:If I’m here today it’s because of him. I’ll never forget what he did for me. I owe him a lot. He gave me confidence not just as a player but as a man as well. That is why I really respect him and really like him because he cared about the men, not just about the players. For some managers they want you to be on the pitch and that is it.

“For him he wants to talk to you, to know a little more about you to give you the confidence, it was like a second love for me. I played fantastic football for three years and I learned how to play at a high level with a lot of Champions League and I was always in the race for the title.”

Regarding his decision to leave Arsenal for City, he explained: “It was a good challenge for me to come here and win titles because that is what I was missing at Arsenal. Everything was great but I wanted titles. So I went to City because I wanted to make history and be part of history and that’s what we did. It was 44 years after their last one and I’m very happy.”

PL Has No Desire to Enforce Reduced Ticketing Policy

After Manchester City fans returned 912 tickets for their team’s Sunday’s encounter with Arsenal, the Premier League announced that they will not force its member clubs to put a cap on their ticket prices.

The Football Supporters’ Federation (FSF) recently demanded top-flight clubs to reduce their ticket prices, and while the PL supports their stance in spirit, it says that implementing it through the use of force is not on their agenda.

Ticket pricing is a matter for individual clubs, many of which work hard to fill their stadiums with offers at different points during a season that make top-flight football accessible to large numbers of fans. We have always encouraged stretch pricing to help accessibility, and it is against Premier League rules to charge away fans more than home fans for the same standard of seats,” a PL spokesperson told the press.

The quality and safety of stadia is as a result of extensive and continued investment from the clubs. Fans clearly enjoy the environment in which they watch Premier League matches and the football on offer, with occupancy rates at grounds tracking at 95 per cent for this season and having been 90 per cent-plus for the last 15 seasons in a row.”

 

Gunners Ready for Tough Month – Ramsey

Aaron Ramsey is confident that Arsenal are fully prepared for an extremely demanding run of games in the upcoming month.

The Gunners’ next five league fixtures are against the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea, West Ham, Liverpool and Stoke City. And they will also have to face German giants Bayern Munich next month in the Champions League knock out stage.

A positive run of form is just what coach Arsene Wenger’s men need now and Ramsey believes he and his teammates have the ability to deliver just that.

In an interview with Arsenal Player, the Welsh international said: “It is a big month for us. We play some teams who are above us [in the Premier League] and we have an FA Cup game as well, so it is important to take these opportunities. We have Manchester City at home and Chelsea away, games that we did well in last season, so hopefully we can do the same again this year and that will set us up nicely for the run in to the end of the season.”

 

No More Sales This Month – Wenger

Arsene Wenger has declared that there will be no more sales at Arsenal this month unless he first brings in some new players.

The Gunners are two players light than they were at the start of the year, having sent Johan Djourou and Marouane Chamakh on loan to Hannover 96 and West Ham United respectively.

Wenger has assured Arsenal fans that the squad will not be trimmed anymore unless some replacements are acquired first.

In an interview with Arsenal Player, the Frenchman said: “At the moment no, (no one is leaving). We have a good squad, a balanced one. At the moment nobody can go out, unless we buy somebody. At the moment our focus is to keep everybody. In every position we have two players. Three is too many and one is not enough.”

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