Ox Damages Knee Ligaments; Faces Lengthy Spell Out
The knee injury that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain suffered in Arsenal’s 3-1 loss to Aston Villa on Saturday is purportedly a serious one and could keep the winger out of action for the next six months. (The Daily Mail)
If true, it will be a big blow for coach Arsene Wenger, who is already under-fire due to his wafer-thin squad and is missing several other first-teamers ahead of Arsenal’s crucial Champions League qualifier against Fenerbahce in Istanbul on Wednesday.
While the report hasn’t been confirmed yet, it is believed that Oxlade-Chamberlain has damaged his knee ligament. He is scheduled to undergo another scan later today, which will determine the exact nature and extent of his injury.
AST Demands Wenger’s Contract Talks to Be Put On Hold
In the aftermath of Arsenal’s 3-1 defeat to Aston Villa on Saturday, the Arsenal Supporters’ Trust contacted the club’s board to demand that any contract renewal talks with the incumbent manager Arsene Wenger should be postponed for now.
The 800-member fan group, already disappointed at the Gunners’ abysmal performance in the transfer market, became extremely disgruntled after watching their side’s poor display in the opening day defeat. They then issued a statement, which read: “In recent weeks (chief executive) Ivan Gazidis has spoken of the club’s intent to offer Arsène Wenger a new contract. The AST believes this is inappropriate. There remain important questions about the way player identification, recruitment and remuneration processes are managed at Arsenal. The failings we highlighted in Arsène Wenger holding too much power have only been amplified in recent weeks. These must be addressed as a matter of urgency.
“The fact that there is money available for squad strengthening is not disputed. The AST’s independent analysis suggests that the amount is somewhere between 70 million pounds ($109.29 million) to 100 million pounds. For several transfer windows now, Arsenal have not used all the resources available to strengthen the team. A decision on whether to offer an extension to the manager’s contract which ends in May 2014 should only be taken following the closing of the transfer window and assessment of the team’s performance in the weeks ahead. Considerable improvement must be shown for us to be convinced this should happen.”
Lady Bracewell-Smith Demands Radical Changes at Arsenal
Arsenal’s Honorary Vice-President and former majority shareholder Lady Bracewell-Smith has joined the fans in demanding radical changes at the club, including the return of David Dein and induction of wealthy shareholder Alisher Usmanov to the board.
The 57-year-old businesswoman, who sold her 15.9% stake in the club to American businessman Stan Kroenke in 2011, now regrets doing so. Through her account on Twitter, she vented: “What a shame the board recommended a Kroenke takeover and paid Rothchilds 3m fee,” before adding: “And how deeply I regret selling to Kroenke. #AFC”
“Bring David Dein and give Usmanov representation on the board if we are to have success going forward. #AFC,’ she then demanded.
Wenger Demands Instant Response
Arsene Wenger has urged his Arsenal side to ‘bounce back’ immediately from their disappointing display in the 3-1 defeat to Aston Villa or risk ‘the negativity’ surrounding the club reach unprecedented levels.
The Gunners boss believes that his men’s response in the next few games will define what kind of season they are going to have. He said: “There is always a lot of dangers in a team because it is a human activity multiplied by 25, the negativity can become quick and spread quickly. It is the first game of the season and we want to bounce back. I believe our season will depend on how we respond to this defeat.
“The big players have gone to Monaco, but I think Arsenal is still more attractive than Monaco on a European level. But that doesn’t stop the players going to Monaco. It is the money, in this case. They don’t go to Monaco to play the Champions League because they don’t. I believe we are still a very attractive club for players,” he added.