Backpage roundup: Wenger to splash major cash on Falcao, Walcott hails Cazorla’s impact, Deschamps has no regrets over Diaby decision and more

Wenger to Spend £35million on Falcao

Arsene Wenger will be given a transfer kitty of £35million to strengthen the Arsenal squad in January, and the Sunday Mirror claims that the Frenchman will spend it all on Atletico Madrid superstar Radamel Falcao.

The Arsenal manager has been promised significant funds in the winter transfer window due to the club’s good financial results, and the newspaper believes that Wenger has identified the prolific Colombian as his number one target.

Falcao has a release clause of £50million in his current Atletico contract but The Mirror says that Spain’s financial problems mean that his club could be forced to do business at a reduced price.


Wenger Happy With Arsenal’s Response

Arsene Wenger is happy with the positive response his players have given to him since last weekend’s defeat to Chelsea and believes that the Gunners have a chance of mounting a genuine title challenge this season.

Arsenal lost 2-1 to the Blues last Saturday but instead of being downhearted by that setback, they bounced back immediately with back-to-back victories over Olympiacos and West Ham United.

When asked if his team could win the league title this season, Wenger said: “We started with a lot of questions raised about the team. We have now played seven games and the belief in the squad is that we have a chance. Of course we now need to do it week after week. The spirit and quality are there. It is about how consistent we are now.”

“It was important for us to respond well and after our defeat against Chelsea, we won against Olympiacos on Wednesday night. We had a difficult game three days later and we knew a draw here was not good enough for us, so we went for it and gave absolutely everything to win the game.”


Walcott and Wenger Praise Cazorla

Theo Walcott and Arsene Wenger sang Santi Cazorla’s praises after the Spaniard scored a stunning left-footed goal in Arsenal’s 3-1 win over West Ham United on Saturday.

Olivier Giroud cancelled out Mohamed Diame’s opening goal and Walcott gave Arsenal the lead before Cazorla unleashed an unstoppable left-foot shot that flew past Jussi Jaaskelainen into the top-right corner.

Impressed by the former Malaga playmaker’s ambidexterity, Walcott told ESPN:He’s come in to the Premier League and taken it by storm – he’s our conductor. His goal was fantastic – I don’t even know what-footed he is, to be honest!

Cazorla was also hailed by Wenger, who said: “It was an outstanding performance. If you love football, just watch him play – it’s a delight to watch him.”


Deschamps Defends His Right to Pick National Team

France manager Didier Deschamps says that he has total respect for Arsene Wenger but he will pick whoever whenever he wants.

Wenger recently put the entire blame of Abou Diaby’s latest injury on Deschamps and claimed that the Arsenal midfielder could have avoided spending the next three weeks on the sidelines if he hadn’t been called up for international duty last month.

While Deschamps doesn’t want to start a long-term dispute with the Gunners boss, he has made it clear that picking the national team is his job and he will do as he pleases.

In a recent interview, the Les Bleus manager said: “I didn’t talk with Arsene Wenger, I don’t want to put Abou Diaby in a difficult situation. The national team coach and the club’s coach interests could be the same or different, but either way his injury is bad news for Arsenal and the French team.

“I have the greatest respect for him (Wenger) but I want to remind him that I am the only one to decide who will be picked and how long those who are picked will play. There is only one to decide and it’s me.”


Pires and Silva Persuaded Cazorla to Join Arsenal

Santi Cazorla says that Manchester City playmaker David Silva and Arsenal legend Robert Pires’ words convinced him to swap La lLiga for the Barclays Premier League.

The 27-year-old Arsenal midfielder is an international teammate of Silva, while he knows Pires from their time together playing for Villarreal. Those two’s positive feedback led Cazorla to join Arsenal and he says he is happy with his decision.

The Daily Mirror quoted Cazorla as saying: “I spoke with Silva before I came here and he said I would enjoy everything about the Premier League. He’s won the title with Manchester City and said I’d enjoy the football and the respect between players, which is different to Spain. I’m very much at ease, so I’m glad I came. He gave me an introduction to the adventure of English football.”

About Pires’ influence on his decision, he added: “When the interest began with Arsenal, Robert told me not to think twice, that I’d enjoy it, that it was the perfect club for me, that Arsenal has aspirations to win the title and go far. Everything so far has been true and I’m very happy here. I feel very at home, I am getting used to daily life in England, which is so different from Spain. It helps having Mikel Arteta here, he’s supported me a lot, and I’d like to thank the Arsenal players for giving me such a warm welcome.”

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