Wenger Says Arsenal’s Title Dream Not Over

Wenger Says Title Dream Not Over For ArsenalDespite back-to-back Premier League defeats Arsene Wenger insists his Arsenal side are still in the Premier League title race.

The Gunners are 12 points behind leaders Chelsea with 14 matches to play but Wenger insists his fourth-placed team are not yet out of the running.

“It’s never over – we cannot behave like that,” Wenger told Arsenal.com. “Even if you think it is, I don’t. We cannot even think like that.

“We look at the teams around us and we’re all in a pack that is very tight, where the fight for every position will be massive like it has always been in the Premier League, maybe even more this season than ever before.

“The way we respond to our disappointing result last Saturday is vital. If it is over for us, it’s over for everybody else. We are all together in a pack there, so first we have to focus on staying at the top, and then if we can reduce the distance between us and Chelsea after, you never know.

“They have an advantage where they aren’t playing in Europe. They have no midweek games, so of course they are in a very strong position.”

Arsenal next play a revitalised Hull City side fresh from a 2-0 victory over Liverpool, at Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

Wenger is not underrating The Tigers taking close look at their revival under new manager Marco Silva.

“Not really because I felt they played well since the start of the season but they had not always the results,” he said.

“The Premier League is difficult for everybody – they were a bit unlucky sometimes so they are a tough opposition for us.

“Every game is difficult, especially at the Emirates. We have to prepare well to face a Hull team with more confidence than when we played them, so we have to prepare well.

“We need to focus on what we do well and the quality of our game. As well these players have been great players [before] last Tuesday, they are still great players one week later. You are not a different player. You have to have common sense a little bit.”

Arsenal Lose Bellerin Ahead Of Man-United Derby

Arsenal Loses Bellerin Ahead of Man-U DerbyArsenal must do without Hector Bellerin for the next four weeks, Arsene Wenger, the manager, has confirmed.

Ahead of the trip to Manchester United on Saturday, Wenger confirmed the absence through an ankle injury picked up in the North London derby.

“Hector is out for about four weeks,” Wenger told Arsenal.com. “He was injured in the last 10 seconds against Spurs.”

Wenger also confirmed that Santi Cazorla will remain out indefinitely through injury and gave an update on Alexis Sanchez, who played and scored for Chile against Uruguay in midweek despite having been an injury doubt before the match.

Alexis is due to land in London on Thursday afternoon, and the boss has a big decision to make.

“I haven’t heard a lot (about his fitness) because we were in doubt 24 hours before the game against Uruguay,” said Wenger.

“We didn’t know if he’d play or not. In the end they decided to play him. He texted us to tell us he’s in good shape after the game. He came off after 84 minutes and now we have to wait. I see him tomorrow (Friday) morning and then I will see if he can be involved in the squad or not.

“What I will consider is the risk of injury because he played while recovering from a hamstring injury. I’ll consider the way he feels as well. On that front you depend on the honesty of the player, how they feel and how they recover.”

I’ve Always Wanted To Defend – Gabriel

GabrielArsenal FC defender, Gabriel, says he was always determined to become a defender.

Arsenal’s newest signing has impressed since joining the club and says his “main characteristic” was always to defend.

The 24-year-old began his career at Brazilian side, Esporte Clube Vitoria and, but for a short spell as a right winger, has played his entire career at the back.

“When we are little, we always want to be on the attack, but I realised that it wouldn’t work, so I kept going backwards and backwards,” Gabriel told the Arsenal Magazine.

“The only thing I didn’t try was being a goalkeeper. I stopped there.

“So I started to play in defence and I started to do well, I started to enjoy it. I made my decision, I thought: ‘This it is! I’m not leaving here’.

“I began enjoying it and I started to want to defend, to fight not to let them in, not to let the other team score goals.

“I always have that in my head – to want to defend, and defend well. And that is why.”

The centre back joined a select band of Brazilians when he joined the Gunners in January, following in the footsteps of Sylvinho and Edu.

He was named on Arsenal’s bench for the first time in their 5-0 win against Aston Villa on Sunday, February 1.

Arsenal v Monaco: I’m Not Bothered By Pressure – Wenger

Wenger UCL
Arsene Wenger

The pressure on Arsenal as favourites for their UEFA Champions League last-16 tie with Monaco is welcome, says Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger, before Wednesday’s first leg at Emirates Stadium.

The Gunners have exited the competition at this stage in each of the last four seasons.

“The French might give us the status of favourites. It doesn’t bother me.

“There’s a lot at stake but these are the games you want to play,” said Wenger.

The Ligue 1 side gave Wenger his big break in management in the late 1980s but the Arsenal boss was not in sentimental mood in his pre-match press conference.

On reunion with Monaco, Wenger expressed his excitement on the club’s return to the top level from the second division.

“I am happy that Monaco is back at the top level after being in the second division.

“It was my first chance at a big club but I have been manager of Arsenal for 18 years now and I am focused only on qualifying for the quarter-finals against a good side.”

On team selection, he said the only uncertainty he had was [Jack] Wilshere, “but everybody else is available”.

When asked about goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, Wenger said: “I cannot tell you [who will be] goalkeeper.

“I worry about every player, but only 11 players can start. That’s the same for everyone. There’s competition for players.”

On Arsenal’s (allegedly) easy draw, the Arsenal boss said: “Easy is a word you have to ban in the Champions League, it is hard-earned every time.

“There’s always one goal between going out and staying in.

“In the last four years we’ve gone out in the last 16, twice against the winner, on goal difference or on one goal.”

Speaking on the French side, Wenger said: “They might give us the status of favourites. It doesn’t bother me.
“The worst thing that happened in my career was to play games without any pressure. There’s a lot at stake.

“These are the games you want to play when you are a player and a manager.”

The Gunners will be hosting the Ligue 1 side, AS Monaco in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League last-16, at Emirates Stadium on Wednesday.

FA Cup: Wenger Gives Updates On Arsenal’s Injured Players

Wenger
Arsene Wenger

Arsenal Manager, Arsène Wenger, has disclosed some details about his team on Friday, ahead of the team’s FA Cup game against Middlesbrough.

Wenger, revealed that “Alexis is still not able to go out (and) he could be short again for Sunday,” stressing also that Aaron Ramsey would be out as he has a little hamstring strain.

On whether Ramsey has an underlying problem, Wenger said “We haven’t found the underlying reason.

“There is an underlying reason that is certainly medical or bio-mechanical because he is a guy who is serious, works hard, has a controlled and disciplined life, so there’s no obvious reason why he should have muscular problems.”

When Wenger was asked whether he would change his training regime, he said “No, we have individualised training for the players and prevention.

“I don’t think that is any special case that has been neglected, it’s just that we have to find a reason why that happens.

“It’s not a major injury, it’s a Grade One, a small injury, a small muscle problem,” the 2014 FA Cup Winner noted, confirming that the injury would keep Ramsey out for about two weeks.

On Jack Wilshere, Wenger said “He’s motivated and focused to come back as quickly as possible.

“He worked very hard but he has still been out for [more than two] months and what he needs now is to get back.

“Competition gives you that sharpness that training cannot give you because it’s about a combination of fitness and decision-making and speed of decision-making,” Wenger noted, adding that it would take Jack a while to get that back.

He further noted that Oxlade-Chamberlain is the closest to recovery among the trio of Arteta, Debuchy and Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Arsenal host Middlesbrough in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Sunday.

EPL: Alexis Will Be Back Against Leicester City – Wenger

Sanchez-9Arsenal FC Manager, Arsène Wenger, has on Monday, revealed the latest team news ahead of Tuesday night’s game against Leicester City.

This is subsequent to the defeat at Tottenham which left the Gunners in sixth place on the English Premier League table.

On the latest team news, he said Alexis Sanchez would be back in the team and described the 18-goal top-scorer as the best goal scorer and one of the hardest-working player in the team.

“Alexis will be back in the group and we don’t have any injuries from Saturday. Everybody else looked fine yesterday.

“He’s our best goalscorer and one of our hardest-working players in the team. Physically I think we suffered a little bit on some occasions on Saturday and it’s good to have him back,” he said.

Wenger also gave an update on the recovery of midfielder, Jack Wilshere, “He’s back in full training this week. I don’t know exactly [how long until he returns], we have to monitor him on a daily basis and see how he develops,” Wenger told Arsenal.com.

The manager further said that the trio of Arteta, Debuchy and Oxlade-Chamberlain were still [a while] away. “Oxlade-Chamberlain is about two weeks,” he stated.

Gabriel Ready For Arsenal Debut – Arsene Wenger

Gabriel-3Gabriel is “physically ready” to make his Arsenal debut, according to Arsène Wenger.

The Brazilian centre back joined the Gunners from Villarreal in January and was named on Arsenal’s bench for the first time in Sunday’s 5-0 win against Aston Villa.

Wenger says Gabriel could feature against Tottenham Hotspur but he feels no need to rush him.

He’s ready to start, he’s just not used to playing in our back four and he hasn’t mastered the language at all
Arsène Wenger

“Gabriel can start,” the manager said. “At the moment he’s ready to start, he’s just not used to playing in our back four and he hasn’t mastered the language at all. He’s physically ready.

“At the moment I have no special temptation to switch in the middle of our defence because we are going through a strong spell defensively. But he’s ready to play.”

Wenger also confirmed leading scorer Alexis will not feature at White Hart Lane but he is confident Arsenal have enough quality to continue their fine form.

“I don’t think about the game like that, we just want to play our game and perform,” he said.

“We have enough offensive options, we are not short. I think we have enough offensive power, if all of us perform individually and collectively, we can get above (Alexis’ absence).”

Coquelin Is Mentally Ready – Koscielny

Francis CoquelinArsenal defender, Laurent Koscielny believes Francis Coquelin and Hector Bellerin are mentally prepared for the high intensity of a North London derby.

The youngsters have featured in each of Arsenal’s last four Premier League wins, helping the Gunners keep back-to-back clean sheets, while Bellerin scored his first senior goal in Sunday’s 5-0 victory against Aston Villa.

Koscielny praised the duo ahead of Saturday’s clash with Tottenham and believes Coquelin’s short loan with Charlton Athletic has helped him mature into an important first-team player.

“I’ve known him for a long time and knew that he has the quality to play for Arsenal,” the France defender told Arsenal Player.

“Now he is ready in his head and you can see that he’s played four or five games and he’s very important because we are stronger in defence.

“He cuts out little balls in front of us and after he has the quality technically to give some good passes for players like Santi Cazorla, Mesut Ozil or Theo Walcott. Now he has an important role in the team like Bellerin.

“Before, [Bellerin] played well but now you feel he is more confident and has more freedom – that’s good for us. He helps a lot of the team to go forward and puts in a lot of crosses. It’s important to have some new blood in the team and I think they have helped us get some good results.

“To have more confidence and freedom on the pitch, you need to play more games. They did well against Manchester City, Stoke City and also in the game against Aston Villa, so I think they are ready to give 10% of their quality to the team.

“You don’t need motivation when you play a derby. It’s the most important game in your season for the fans and the club. We will be focused, we will try to win because we want to stay at the top of the table and winning against Tottenham is always a pleasure for us, the fans and for the club.”

Premier League: Sánchez To Miss Tottenham Clash

Sánchez
Alexis Sánchez

 

Arsenal FC Forward, Alexis Sánchez, has been ruled out of Saturday’s North London derby for Arsenal having failed to recover from a hamstring injury.

The news is a blow to the Club’s Manager, Arsène Wenger, as he prepares for the match at Tottenham Hotspur.

With the Chilean striker in outstanding form, Danny Welbeck rejoins the squad having been out for a month with a thigh injury.

“The latest is that Alexis is not ready. He is not far away, the Leicester game (at home next Tuesday) is a possibility.

“He is of course very difficult to keep quiet! He is training but it’s light training”, Wenger stated.

There is also good news about Arsenal’s other injured players.

According to Wenger, both Jack Wilshere and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are back in training and on Serge Gnabry, he said, “Serge will play on Monday night at Newcastle with Bielik. Bielik is coming along very well.”

Rosicky Is One Of The Most Underrated Players – Arteta

Rosicky Mikel Arteta is pleased to see the “underrated” Tomas Rosicky back in the Arsenal first team.

The Czech midfielder scored on his first Premier League start of the season against Queens Park Rangers on Boxing Day, and also played 90 minutes against Southampton on New Year’s Day.

Arteta has played alongside Rosicky for three and a half years, and feels the 34-year-old’s intelligence on the pitch is one of his greatest strengths.

“Within a week of joining Arsenal, watching Tomas train and having him play alongside me, I knew he was one of the most underrated players,” Arteta told the official matchday programme.

“It’s hard to find players like Tomas who can be that clever and do things so simply and lively on the pitch.

“I think everybody likes to play next to Tommy and I’m very happy for him because he was given the chance and again he hit the spot.

“He can carry the ball and he’s got that 10-yard spurt where he can change direction, his vision and his final ball.

“Something people sometimes don’t think about with Tomas is that he works really hard. He’s always very alert with very high concentration levels during the game and that’s why he’s so good.”

Arsenal Vs. Dortmund: Wenger Explains Giroud’s Champions League Absence

Champions LeagueArsène Wenger says Olivier Giroud is not in Arsenal’s Champions League squad because the club did not expect him to return so soon.

Giroud was initially ruled out until January with the broken tibia he suffered against Everton – and the group stage ends on December 9 with a trip to Galatasaray.

However, the France striker made an early comeback on Saturday – scoring against Manchester United – and his speedy return caught everyone by surprise.

“Exactly (we presumed his injury would mean he wouldn’t be available),” Wenger said to Arsenal.com, “At the time, we bought Danny Welbeck and we had to put him on the list.

“Giroud was supposed to be unavailable for the qualifying group stage (of the Champions League) and we put him out. He is coming back early and that is good news, but of course he’s not on the list of the 25 selected players.”

Arsenal would be able to register up to three new eligible players if they progress to the last 16 of the Champions League.

Wenger Says Management Has Become More Sensitive

WengerArsène Wenger says the modern-day manager must be more sensitive with his players than ever before.

The Frenchman took his first job at Nancy-Lorraine in 1984, but has seen dressing-room dynamics change completely since then.

Where once a manager could be more authoritarian with his decisions, Wenger says they must now be able to justify every action.

I believe that the modern generation is characterised in particular by the ‘why?’” Wenger told the Arsenal Magazine.

You have to explain things to the people you manage – people are better informed, better educated and want to know more.

You are in a position where you have to explain why you do something and what the purpose of it all is – and there are more demands made communication-wise.

You are still the boss, and it is you who makes the decisions, but you have to explain things much better than you did 20 or 30 years ago.

Modern society wants less pain, wants to suffer less and wants to be treated better in every aspect of modern life. Pain has to disappear, whether you go to the dentist or go to work.

That’s why man-management has become more sensitive as well, because you have to treat people better and in a more tactful way. It is the way in which society has moved.”