Wenger Targets Win Over Swansea for PL Benefits
Arsene Wenger wants his Arsenal players to prepare themselves up for upcoming league clashes with Manchester City and Chelsea by thrashing Swansea City in their FA Cup tie on Sunday.
The Gunners’ next two league opponents are the Premier League and European Champions and Wenger believes that his charges should carry a winning momentum in those games.
In a recent interview with Arsenal Player, Wenger said: “The best way to prepare for our games against Manchester City and Chelsea is to come out on top against Swansea, which will be a difficult tie. The FA Cup is always important, but we are on a good run overall and we want to keep that going.”
“It (the Premier League) is tight, every game is massive which is why consistency is so important. All the teams are difficult to beat and if you are not completely at your best, it does not work,” he added.
Djourou Joins Hannover on Loan
Arsenal FC have announced that they have loaned their unwanted defender Johan Djourou to Bundesliga club Hannover 96.
The 25-year-old centre-half joined the Gunners in 2002 as a teenager and went on to play 144 senior matches for them. However, he wasn’t considered an integral part of the club’s backline anymore and featured just twice in the first-team this season. Therefore, he has been allowed to join the German club on loan for the remainder of the season.
“Everyone at Arsenal would like to wish Johan well for his time in Germany,” a statement on Arsenal.com reads.
Arsenal Target Not Attracting Any Concrete Bids
Crystal Palace coach Ian Holloway has revealed that his club has yet to receive any bids for their star player Wilfried Zaha.
The 20-year-old winger is currently the hottest property in the Championship, which is why it was thought that the Eagles would receive bids from multiple top clubs as soon as the transfer window opens up.
While the Palace boss is practically resigned to losing Zaha, he says that no one has submitted an actual bid to acquire him.
When asked if the player in question is attracting any real interest from big clubs, Holloway replied: “No, it’s all pretty boring at the moment.”
He further said: “Has anybody got any say in it? Did Wigan have any say in losing Victor Moses to Chelsea? What chance have you got when these clubs are getting richer and richer? All we are trying to do is play a certain way, keep the lad playing a certain way and try to improve ourselves. That’s what the Palace fans want, it’s what the board want, it’s what I want and it’s what the boy wants.
“If it happens am I in control? Probably not. Is my chairman in control? Probably not. We’ll look at the deals, say, if there are deals but why worry about something that hasn’t happened? I’m sure the directors, who saved the club with their money, will have a say about how much they might want if it happens – is there a deal where we get him back as well? Who knows?
“I’m only concerned about my team and Wilf being a part of that team and playing as well as he did in our last game. I never worry, I’m a lucky person to be in charge of this group. I always cover every base but I believe Wilf’s best place is here with us at the moment.”
M’Vila Confirms Desire to Leave Rennes
Rumoured Arsenal target Yann M’Vila has confessed that he will leave his current club Rennes, if he receives an interesting proposition.
The 22-year-old midfielder has been linked with moves to the Gunners and their city rivals Tottenham Hotspur for quite some time, and he now admits that he will change his scenery once a suitable club shows interest in acquiring his services.
“I am at Rennes at the moment so let’s see what happens. If the club receive a good offer and I like the destination then I will go, there is no doubt about that. Until that happens, nothing can be said,” M’Vila said.
Laudrup Wary Of Dangerous Walcott
Swansea City manager Michael Laudrup has told his players that they would have to keep a tight watch on Theo Walcott, if they want to beat Arsenal in their FA Cup tie on Sunday.
Despite his contractual wrangling with the club, the 23-year-old Gunner has been in great goal scoring form this season and his hat trick in the club’s recent 7-3 demolition of Newcastle United brought his season tally to 14.
Laudrup is fully aware of the threat Walcott poses to the opposition defences and so he has warned his players to pay extra attention to the former Southampton ace.
The Swans boss said: “He [Walcott] is a threat when he plays wide or through the middle, he is not a centre forward but his pace makes him dangerous to every defence. He is faster than 98% of centre-backs so you know you have to be careful as one ball and he is gone. Speed is very important – obviously speed without quality is useless – but he has quality as well. He is dangerous even if he is not a number nine.
“I have seen players with only pace and nothing else, but you have to know when to run and what to do with the ball. If you are just a runner it is not enough, you should go star in ‘Forrest Gump’ or something like that. This is football, even if centre-backs are not as fast they can be clever so you cannot only have pace. He has real quality and it means it is a different Arsenal team to the one we played at the Emirates last month.”