Gibbs Targets England Return, Arsenal’s Profits Shrink, Bendtner Set to Feature Against Baggies…

Gibbs Targets England Return

Kieran Gibbs is hoping to remain injury-free this season so that he could make the England squad for next summer’s FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

The 23-year -old full-back played 34 matches for Arsenal last season – by far the highest total of his career. But despite being the fittest he has been in his career, he was overlooked by the Three Lions boss Roy Hodgson late last season and hasn’t been picked for international duty at all this year.

Gibbs now wants that to change and force his way back into the England squad with the help of his new, more effective health regime.

He said: “It is the best I have felt physically. I have always felt that when I am able to get a run of games, that is what I needed to kick on. I have always felt sure I could do that. Now I feel I am kicking on. I need to keep that going and stay fit. That is my main target. Since my thigh strain at the end of last year, I met someone new who has taken a good look at me physically and I owe him credit at the minute because he has kept me fit for the last eight to 10 months. I have to thank him for that.

“(It came) from pure frustration of getting different injuries. I had someone look at me and the person told me that ever since I broke my foot, which changed me a bit. Before that I never really had any injury problems. Ever since then was when they came about. Now I feel like I am getting stronger and can cope with the amount of games.

“The work he asks me to do is not easy, but as long as it keeps me fit, I am happy. It is just extra work in the gym out of hours. To strengthen everything and just to make sure that everything is ready before and after games. It is all about recovery.”

With Ashley Cole and Leighton Baines ahead of him in the England pecking order, Gibbs admits he faces a tough task but says he is ready for the challenge.

“It is a challenge to compete against two world-class left-backs, both at the top of their games. I just have to see it as a challenge and stay fit and concentrate on the (Arsenal) team and give myself the best chance,” he added.

Arsenal’s Profits Shrink

Arsenal FC’s annual profits for the year ended May 2013 have plummeted from £36.6million the previous year to £6.7m, despite the fact that they made a combined £47m from the sales of Robin van Persie and Alexandre Song last year.

The big-money sales are the only reason that kept the Gunners in green for the season. According to the official statement made by the club, they spent £58.7m on recruitment of new players and contract renewals last season, which is more than they received from player sales.

In the ongoing fiscal year, they’ve made a net spending of around £33m, which means that it would be near impossible for the club to stay in the profit-making zone, unless they win a major trophy and bring in some cash from unforeseen sources.

The club does have cash reserves of £119.7m, which means they could make more Mesut Ozil-type transfer if they want next year.

Bendtner Set to Feature Against Baggies

Nicklas Bendtner will have a chance to revive his Arsenal career when the club takes on West Bromwich Albion in the Capital One Cup third round tie at the Hawthorns on Wednesday.

The 25-year-old Dane hasn’t played for the Gunners in the last two years and came close to leaving them for good several times this summer. However, his refusal to accept lower wage terms from prospective employers and Arsenal’s failure to sign backup striker for Olivier Giroud means that both the parties are stuck with each other until at least January.

Now that there is no other option, coach Arsene Wenger might use Bendtner in tomorrow’s clash with the Baggies, as he told the club’s fans: “We have a Capital One Cup game at West Bromwich Albion on Wednesday and I will rotate the team, of course. Nicklas Bendtner has a chance to be involved.”

The Gunners boss also revealed that midfielder Jack Wilshere is being given a rest and will not be featuring tomorrow.

“Jack Wilshere will not play,” he said. “Normally I would have rested him on Sunday and I decided to take him off because he was a bit exhausted towards the end. Rotating the squad is important because we play again on Saturday and after that we have a massive home game in the Champions League (against Napoli). We will need everyone to play their part.”

Gunners to Move For Benzema In January?

Arsenal FC might try and sign Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema again when the transfer window opens back up in January 2014. (The Daily Star)

The France international has scored four times and provided three assists in just six games for Los Blancos so far this season but is finding it difficult to play under the shadow of Cristiano Ronaldo, Isco and Gareth Bale at the Bernabue.

He was booed heavily by the Madrid fans in their club’s latest 4-1 win over Getafe, and so there could be the opportunity for the Gunners to bag another unhappy superstar from Spanish capital.

Arsene Wenger did pursue Benzema’s signature in the summer transfer window, but the player decide to stay put.