Koscielny Wants to ‘Hurt Opponents’ More, Longer Deal The Reason Behind Flamini’s Arsenal Return, Cazorla’s Delight, Bender Bid…

Koscielny Feeling Strong; Wants to ‘Hurt Opponents’ More

Laurent Koscielny feels he has gained more physical strength since joining Arsenal and is now capable of hurting his ‘opponents more’ than ever.

Presenting views that are more appropriate for a UFC fighter rather than a footballer, the Gunners centre-half also revealed that he isn’t content with the current level of his aggressiveness and needs more of that to improve his defending.

I feel that I’m better, better in quite a lot of areas. I have more confidence in challenges, I feel that I hurt opponents more,” he told L’Equipe before adding: “I need to be more aggressive, though, but in all areas I have gained in physical presence. However, you will never hear me say I am an undisputed first-choice for club or country.

“Repeatedly playing in big games allows you to acquire experience. I still make mistakes, a bad clearance, bad positioning, but rarely do I play badly for the full 90 minutes. It is just that after a mistake, you have to be able to start again with the simple things.”

 

Cazorla Delighted But Can’t ‘Understand’ Ozil’s Real Exit

Santi Cazorla has no idea what led Real Madrid to sell a World Class performer like Mesut Ozil to Arsenal on the last day of the summer transfer window.

Describing the Germany international as ‘unique’ and ‘spectacular’, Cazorla expressed his delight at the blockbuster signing and remarked that he has no clue why the Madrid giants chose to offload a player of his quality.

Marca have quoted the Spaniard as saying: “I am very happy that Özil is here. He is a spectacular player and we are very lucky (that) we are going to learn alongside him. I don’t understand that (why Real Madrid sold him), (because) he is a unique player. You will have to ask the club for reasons why they sold them, but at the same time he didn’t think he was getting the opportunities he deserved and luckily he has come to us.

“He is an important player and he is going to be very good for the team and the way we play. I hope he can help us fight against the big teams in the Premier League.”

Earlier in the summer, Cazorla was rumoured to be heading for Arsenal exit, with Madrid’s other club, Atletico, allegedly interested in taking him back to the Primera Division. But the player has clarified that it was all paper talk, and there was no truth behind it at all.

The Atletico president said there was nothing in this, and I always very relaxed about it,” he added.

 

Sanogo Asks for ‘Time to Adapt’

Arsenal newcomer Yaya Sanogo has asked the fans to be patient with him and give him more time as he acclimates to English football and the Barclays Premier League.

The 20-year-old Frenchman joined the Gunners on a free transfer from Auxerre in the summer transfer window, and he realises that playing for Arsenal is a step up, which would require toughening up on his part.

In an interview with Arsenal Player, Sanogo said: “I will need time, it’s a new way of life, a new league and it will take time to adapt. It’s something I will manage. I will have to toughen up and improve my strength, that’s part and parcel of such an intense league as the Premier League. My main aims are to come here and learn, progress in the game and learn my trade with such great players. Now I’m training with them, I’ll gradually make progress.”

 

Longer Contract The Reason Behind Flamini’s Arsenal Return

Mathieu Flamini has claimed that he was offered a new two-year contract by his former club AC Milan, but he shunned it in favour of signing a longer deal with Arsenal.

Last month, the 29-year-old Frenchman joined the North London giants for the second time in his career after his deal with the Rossoneri expired. He says he could have stayed in Italy or gone to other leagues but an extra year and his mentor Arsene Wenger’s presence at Arsenal convinced him to return to the Emirates Stadium.

In a recent interview with France Football, Flamini said: “Milan asked me to extend my contract for two years. However, at 29 years old, I didn’t want to sign for anything less than three seasons. I had other opportunities in Italy where clubs other than Milan contacted me, as well as from sides in Germany and England. At this stage of my career it was an important choice, so I took time to think. To maintain my fitness I decided to train with Arsenal and then over time the deal unfolded.”

Talking about Wenger’s role in his second coming, he added: “He introduced me to the best league, the Premier League, and has taught me on many levels, tactical, technical and mental. We have the means to participate in the title race, even if we are outsiders. I wish to write a beautiful new story with Arsenal.”

 

Wenger to Raise Offer for Bender In January – Report

Arsene Wenger has purportedly told his top scouts to monitor Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Lars Bender over the next few months as he will be the Gunners’ primary transfer target in the winter transfer window. (Daily Star)

The Arsenal boss, who failed with a £18.5million bid for the Germany international earlier this summer, will return with an improved £25m offer in January if this latest piece of transfer rumour is to be believed.

The Gunners are currently the bookies’ favourites to land Bender, whose twin brother Sven plays for Borussia Dortmund.