Category Archives: Arsène Wenger

This is the one decision nobody is saying Arsène Wenger has got wrong | Daniel Taylor

His spellbinding peak is too long ago for anyone to still be in denial but as the Frenchman heads to the Arsenal exit it is time to cherish his best years

The saddest thing, perhaps, is that of all the thousands upon thousands of words that have been devoted to Arsène Wenger over the last couple of days, it is difficult to recall a single sentence arguing that this is all threatening to be one big mistake and that, contrary to what you might have heard, it isn’t the right time for him to go.

It was difficult, however, not to appreciate the cartoon in Saturday’s edition of L’Equipe showing two Arsenal supporters debating the issue and the impression it left about how strangely unsettling it is to imagine somebody new in Wenger’s touchline seat next season. One of the supporters has a can of spray paint in his hand and has scrawled the words “Wenger Come back!” in red capital letters on a brick wall. “Was it not you who was screaming: ‘Wenger Out’?” his companion asks. “Yes,” says the fan responsible for the graffiti, “but, like Brexit, I’m afraid I will regret it.”

Continue reading…
Source: gad

Santi Cazorla's Arsenal career not over, says hopeful Arsène Wenger

  • Manager may offer midfielder new contract in the summer
  • ‘I’ve not spoken about it much but we missed him a lot’

Santi Cazorla’s Arsenal career is not yet over, with Arsène Wenger still hoping to be able to offer the midfielder a new contract when he returns from a period of rehabilitation this summer.

The Spanish international has not played for the Gunners since sustaining a serious achilles tendon injury in October 2016. A gangrenous infection sustained after repeated surgery on the tendon almost led to Cazorla having his foot amputated last year. Since then the player has been recuperating in Spain and Wenger believes he is now making good progress.

Continue reading…
Source: gad

When Arsène Wenger and Alex Ferguson fought bitterly to be top dog | Rob Smyth

The Battle of Old Trafford, Pizzagate and that FA Cup replay are recalled in a riveting documentary about the feud between Arsenal’s and Manchester United’s managers

The Premier League is the richest league in the world but money cannot buy hate. English football is crying out for an immense, sprawling rivalry between two great teams. There have been some interesting conflicts in recent times but nothing close to the epic nine-year war between Arsenal and Manchester United from 1996 to 2005.

It’s the rift that keeps on giving. Five years after ITV’s memorable Keane & Vieira: Best of Enemies, Channel 5 is to broadcast a documentary on the broader rivalry between the sides, and especially the managers. Fergie v Wenger: The Feud (Monday 10pm) is an exhilarating hour of time travel that includes interviews with more than a dozen players, coaches and journalists – and a series of clips that instantly evoke the nuclear intensity of the time.

Continue reading…
Source: gad

Analysing just how bad Arsenal have been this season | Martin Laurence

Arsenal have lost their last four away games and are conceding more goals than relegation-threatened Newcastle

By Martin Laurence for WhoScored, part of the Sport Network

Arsène Wenger’s toughest task in his long tenure at Arsenal may well be putting a positive spin on a decline that will surely bring his time at the club to an end in a real whimper. Arsenal’s defeat at Brighton on Sunday was their fourth in their last five league games and their fourth in succession on the road. Wenger managed to avoid losing four straight away games in his first 20 years at the club but has now succumbed to that fate in two consecutive seasons.

Arsenal have only picked up seven points from their eight league games so far in 2018. They join Everton as one of two sides who have not won a single point on the road in 2018. Arsenal are already 33 points off the searing pace set by Manchester City at the top and it would be a surprise if that gap didn’t extend to 40 or more by the end of the season. With 13 points separating themselves and fourth-place Tottenham, their hopes of returning to the Champions League places ended some time ago.

Continue reading…
Source: gad

Arsène Wenger insists he is ‘still the right man for the job’ at Arsenal

• Arsenal manager admits Brighton defeat ended top-four hopes
• Four defeats in a row spell worst Arsenal sequence since 2002

Arsène Wenger admitted Arsenal’s hopes of a top-four Premier League finish were over after the 2-1 defeat at Brighton. The club lag 13 points behind fourth‑placed Tottenham Hotspur and the Europa League appears to have become their only shot at Champions League qualification. They play Milan in the last 16.

Related: Arsenal crash at Brighton to pile more pressure on Arsène Wenger

Continue reading…
Source: gad

Arsenal’s bad old habits prove their undoing once again in City defeat | Nick Ames

Wenger’s side used to bounce back from bad results but at the Emirates they showed frailties evident in Carabao Cup final

Contrary to recent evidence though it may seem, this was the most un-Arsenal of outcomes. The bigger disappointments of the past decade have generally been followed by flickerings of life, results pulled out of the fire in the nick of time, signs of enough incipient quality to maintain the illusion that it is darkest before the dawn.

But Arsenal do not even have that to lean on any more. Arsène Wenger sent his team out with good intentions, a top-heavy starting XI designed to trade blows. But for the second time in five days they crumbled at the first sign of pressure from Manchester City, losing the game well before half-time where previously they would have summoned a germ of hope. An end-times feel permeates this team, this stadium, and there is no sense things will brighten before the most painful – but surely inevitable – of decisions is forced.

Continue reading…
Source: gad

Arsène Wenger hits back at Gary Neville criticism and doubts over his future

• Arsenal manager surprised at reaction to Carabao Cup final defeat
• Wenger has one year left on his contract but faces summer review

Arsène Wenger has reminded his numerous critics that he “turned the whole world down to respect my contracts” at Arsenal, as he expressed his surprise and frustration that his job prospects remained at the top of the news agenda.

Arsenal’s 3-0 capitulation to Manchester City in Sunday’s Carabao Cup final represented the latest hole in the club’s season and kept up the chorus of disapproval regarding Wenger’s suitability to continue as the manager.

Continue reading…
Source: gad

Zombified Arsenal are no longer brutally in love with idea of winning | Barney Ronay

Arsène Wenger’s side were beaten by Manchester City at Wembley – in a cup final where the losers were so instantly and unequivocally the story

An odd thing happened at Wembley as Manchester City’s players celebrated their EFL Cup final win at the final whistle. Turning away from the gleeful blue hordes in one half of the stadium it took a slight moment of double-take to register that the block of silent red at the other end was not flags or shirts but empty plastic seats.

Basically, the Arsenal fans had gone – a tribute to the efficient exit routes of modern stadium design but also deeply unusual in domestic cup finals, where losing supporters invariably stay to applaud a winning run to this stage.

Continue reading…
Source: gad

Arsenal’s problem was not Wenger’s gameplan but Mustafi’s feebleness | Jonathan Wilson

Arsenal’s tactics rattled Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final until an error allowed Agüero to score – though City may be good enough to win in the face of any barriers

Football is full of Sliding Doors moments. What if Paul Gascoigne had stretched two inches further and got his toe to that cross in the Euro 96 semi-final? What if Jan Verheyen’s late winner for Belgium that would have meant the Netherlands failing to qualify for the 1974 World Cup hadn’t been wrongly ruled out for offside? What if one of the 73 penalties Chelsea believe they were owed against Barcelona in the 2009 Champions League semi-final had been given and converted?

Dynasties, as Pep Guardiola knows, can hinge on the tiniest details. What if Shkodran Mustafi hadn’t reacted to a slight nudge in the back from Sergio Agüero with all the resolve of a flighty Victorian maiden glimpsing a mouse, throwing out his arms in horror and desperately hoping somebody, anybody – a trusted servant, a passing dragoon, Craig Pawson – might help? What if he’d actually done a basic bit of defending and grappled back? What if he hadn’t got on the wrong side in the first place? What if he’d chased and put pressure on Agüero so he couldn’t measure a far from easy finish over David Ospina?

Continue reading…
Source: gad

David Ospina relishes Wembley calling and memories of hero Higuita

Arsenal’s ‘cup keeper’ recalls the joy in Medellín when René Higuita unleashed his scorpion kick against England and is keen to impress at a special venue for Colombian goalkeepers

It is fair to say that Colombian goalkeepers have form when it comes to making an impression at Wembley Stadium. None, naturally, could be any larger than life than René Higuita, the extrovert formerly known as El Loco – the Madman – whose extravagant flourish during a friendly game against England in 1995 became the stuff of legend. When Jamie Redknapp scooped a relatively tame ball towards goal, Higuita flipped acrobatically, flinging his legs behind him to clear with a mid-air scorpion flick. Just for the kick of the trick.

Back home in Medellín, a seven-year-old David Ospina watched the broadcast and felt a surge of pride that his compatriot, a local hero of goalkeeping, pulled off something so audacious. Of course, he was inspired by what he observed on the television. “We were delighted,” he recalls. “We talked about it a lot. It was great he did it at Wembley, too. For us Colombians Higuita is a really important figure. He did so much for the national team and the country. I have always had great respect for him, and it’s nice that he is remembered here for something special.”

Continue reading…
Source: gad