Backpage Roundup: Wenger Unimpressed with Manchester United, Rennes Receive New English Bid for M’Vila, Allardyce Talks about Impact of RVP’s Exit, Walcott Relieved and More

Wenger Unimpressed with Leaders Manchester United

Arsene Wenger has revealed that the lack of a real dominating team in England means that he will rue missing the opportunity of winning the league this season in May.

Both the Manchester clubs and Chelsea have been weaker than their respective previous versions this term and Wenger believes it was the perfect chance for his Arsenal side to end their title drought.

Instead of capitalising on their opponents’ deficiencies, the Gunners have been unable to even match their own usual standards and currently find themselves trailing fourth-placed Tottenham and league leaders Manchester United by a margin of seven and 22 points respectively.

But despite the huge point difference, the Arsenal boss doesn’t think that the current Man United side is too superior to his own underperforming unit.

I saw Tottenham v Manchester United and you think (about) the difference between us and Manchester United when you see them play. It was a fantastic opportunity (to win the league) this season. To catch Manchester United now is out of sight at the moment,” Wenger said.

We have to get closer to the people in front of us first before we can think that. Man United is far but there is no untouchable team in the country at the moment. That is for sure. It should not be difficult (to get in the top four) but it will be tough,” he added.

 

New English Club Enters M’Vila Race

French club Rennes have confirmed that they have received a new transfer bid from a mystery English club for their star player Yann M’Vila.

The 22-year-old midfielder, who is also a rumoured Arsenal target, is thought to be close to moving to Russian club Rubin Kazan, while the PL bottom boys QPR have also been in talks with the Ligue 1 outfit to land the player him.

Rennes’ GM Pierre Dreossi admits that the bid from Russia is the most likely to succeed but he also revealed that an unspecified English club has entered the race to sign their prized asset.

About their talks with Rubin Kazan regarding the sale of M’Vila, Dreossi said: “It is complicated, but we are still in negotiations. It is not agreed yet, there are delays in payment, everything. I hope we will find a solution. Also a new offer came in England and that could be interesting but Rubin Kazan is the priority, and we are negotiating. I expect the player to tell me he has reached an agreement with the club so we can finish the negotiations.”

He then appeared to rule out QPR from the running by saying: “QPR? I met with them for a long time [on Monday] but I think they will withdraw and I have not heard from them since.”

When pressed to reveal the identity of M’Vila’s mystery English suitors, he added: “The new English club? This is not Newcastle – but no matter, M’Vila will leave and it will be finished before Saturday’s game.”

With Mikel Arteta injured and Abou Diaby being Abou Diaby, coach Arsene Wenger could certainly use someone like M’Vila. However, it remains to be seen whether Arsenal are the ones behind this new bid.

 

Failure to Replace RVP Haunting Gunners – Allardyce

Arsenal’s current plight is down to their failure to find a suitable replacement for their former talisman Robin van Persie, according to West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce.

Arsene Wenger and company are yet to win a game in the Premier League this year and trail fourth-placed Tottenham by seven points. Missing next season’s Champions League competition now looks like a genuine possibility and Allardyce believes that the Gunners have no one but themselves to blame for their troubles.

Ahead of Arsenal’s Wednesday-night league meeting with WHUFC, the Hammers boss said: “When you sell your best players, which is not normally expected of Arsenal, then it is always difficult to replace them. There is no doubt that the players that have come in are very, very good players, but are they better than the ones they have sold?

“You are selling players for nearly £30million. It is a big ask, even for Arsene Wenger with his huge recruitment policy, to replace those players immediately. I think that is why they have suffered somewhat with the level of results they get. The football is still very, very good, but when you lose that many goals [it is hard]. They have suffered particularly with the loss of Van Persie. They are missing more chances than they were before, hence they are not quite getting as many results.

“It’s not surprising because I don’t know where you go and buy a player of Van Persie’s quality unless you’re going to pay more than £24million. Everybody says it’s great business in terms of his age, but it’s not really great business for Arsene when he can’t replace the goals that he’s lost. That’s all our frustrations in terms of those who are the best strikers generally in the end continue to get the best results.”

 

Wenger: No More Slipups

Arsene Wenger has confessed that his Arsenal side cannot afford to have any more slipups if they are to qualify for next season’s Champions League competition.

Last Sunday’s 2-1 defeat to Chelsea coupled with the 2-0 home loss to Manchester City have left the Gunners trailing the fourth-placed Tottenham by seven points and Wenger admits that more of the same just won’t cut it anymore.

The Frenchman said: “The table is the table. We have lost two big games in the last week and that’s very damaging for us. It’s very damaging for our position in the league and difficult to swallow. We cannot afford to drop points any more if we want to be in the top four. That’s a concern.”

 

Crew Want to Extend Aneke’s Loan Deal Again

Crewe Alexandra manager Steve Davis has confirmed that he wants to extend Arsenal midfielder Chuks Aneke’s loan deal once again.

The 19-year-old Gunner has been with the League One outfit since September 2012 and has scored six goals and provided four assists during this period. His loan deal, which has been extended thrice already, is about to expire soon but the Railwaymen once again want to retain the combative youngster’s services.

In a recent interview with CrewAlex.net, Davis said: “Chuks’ loan agreement is up and we will speak with Chuks and Arsenal to see what their feelings are on it. Chuks has been here for three months, away from London and his family and friends, so we will see how he feels at staying on.

“He is a young and talented lad. He has got great ability and will only get better with experience. He can create and score goals and I think he has gained a lot from the experience. He has settled in well and is popular with the lads and around the club.

“He has his weaknesses as well. He knows he has to be better when we are not in possession. We have spoke about him being more of a team player and helping defensively. He played really well against Bradford. He came on and changed the game. He has scored six goals and is our second leading scorer, so we have been pleased with his impact.”

 

Walcott Relieved to Put Contract Saga behind Him

Theo Walcott has admitted that his long-drawn-out contract saga was affecting his performances for Arsenal and is relieved that he can now completely focus on his football.

Last week, the 23-year-old winger ended months of speculation regarding his future by penning a new £ 90,000-a-week contract extension with the Gunners.

He then looked quite lively in the 2-1 defeat to Chelsea on Sunday and even managed to score his side’s only goal in the game by latching onto Santi Cazorla’s brilliant through ball and applying a clinical finish to it.

After that fine individual performance, he told Arsenal Player:For the last three games before Chelsea the contract was sort of done, but it was on my mind and had been for a long time because it was so close. It is difficult to play and block out that side of it, but I tried to do the best I could and hopefully everyone was happy with what I did.

“I always wanted to stay and I am happy that myself and the club have come to an agreement. There has been so much speculation and I am very pleased my future is sorted. It is all about the present now.”

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