Wenger ‘Still Hungry’ To Win Trophies

Misconduct: Wenger Gets 4-Match Touchline Ban

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger insisted Thursday that his hunger to win trophies with the Gunners was “bigger than ever”, despite revealing his performance will be subjected to an annual review.

Wenger came under unprecedented pressure last season as Arsenal failed to qualify for the Champions League and many fans voiced their desire for him to leave after 21 years in the job.

But the veteran French boss eventually signed a fresh two-year contract following Arsenal’s FA Cup final win over London rivals Chelsea.

But Premier League defeats by Liverpool, Stoke and Watford this season led to renewed questioning of the 68-year-old’s position.

However, a 5-2 victory over Everton on Sunday, allied to reaching the League Cup quarter-finals and a perfect record in the Europa League, have led some fans to turn their anger away from Wenger and towards an Arsenal board headed by American businessman Stan Kroenke.

“I must tell you, my hunger, my commitment is bigger than ever,” said Wenger when speaking to Arsenal shareholders during the club’s Annual General Meeting at the Emirates Stadium on Thursday.

“But I accept that of course when you have been at the club a long time, everybody questions that. I question myself a lot, don’t worry, to be better every single day.

“And I will sit down every year with my board to see where I go from there.”

Wenger asked to explain his comments in more detail at a subsequent press conference, replied: “I am 21 years at the club and I want to feel that I do well, and see what the board thinks of my performance.

“After that, we decide where we go from there. But of course, my desire has always been to respect my contracts.”

– Wenger ‘the right guy’ –

Wenger had earlier received the unequivocal support of majority shareholder Stan Kroenke who declared he was doing a “great job”, even though Arsenal have not won the Premier League since 2004.

“He’s the right guy,” Kroenke told the Daily Mirror and Daily Telegraph in interviews published Thursday.

“I think he is more focused than ever. Focused on winning. I really think I do see that.”

Shareholders at the AGM voted against resolutions to re-elect chairman Chips Keswick and Josh Kroenke — Stan’s son — to the Gunners’ board.

The votes, however, did not succeed given Stan Kroenke had already used his 67 percent stake to back the re-appointment of the duo.

Some 200 shareholders turned up in person to hear from Wenger, Keswick and chief executive Ivan Gazidis.

Keswick defended a payment of £2.6 million ($3.4 million, 2.9 million euros) to Gazidis despite Arsenal’s failure to reach the Champions League after finishing fifth in last season’s Premier League, saying he was doing a “fantastic and first-class job”.

Unhappy fans have given Kroenke the unflattering nickname of ‘Silent Stan’ because of his supposed lack of communication.

The sports entrepreneur has also been accused of being solely concerned with Arsenal’s profitability rather than pursuing major honours such as the Premier League and Champions League, with the Gunners yet to lift the European Cup.

But Kroenke, who owns several sports teams including the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams and the Denver Nuggets of the NBA, said there was no question of him selling his Arsenal stake.

“We get into these things to try to grow them,” he said. “You don’t see us selling things. You just don’t. We are committed long-term.

“I love Arsenal, love being involved with Arsenal,” the 70-year-old added. “There’s no finer feeling than going out and winning like we did with the FA Cup.”

AFP

Arsenal Reduce Ticket Prices After Missing Champions League

ArsenalArsenal have offered supporters a reduction in their season ticket prices after the club failed to qualify for the UEFA Champions League.

The Gunners ended the season in fifth place, their first finish outside the top four under Coach Arsene Wenger.

Emails to season ticket holders revealed that the club had applied a discount to the cost of their tickets which rank among the most expensive in the English Premier League.

Arsenal Supporters Trust had called for a cut in season ticket prices and for a redistribution of the seven cup credits to exclude Europa League group matches, which are likely to pit the North London side against modest opponents.

Arsenal Beat Middlesbrough 2-1 In Premier League Clash

Arsenal Beat Middlesbrough 2-1 In Premier League ClashArsenal have kept alive their hopes of finishing in the top four of the English Premier League with a 2-1 victory against Middlesbrough.

A dull opening was brought to life when Alexis Sanchez’s superb free-kick gave the Gunners the lead just before the break.

Middlesbrough responded soon after the restart when Alvaro Negredo volleyed in Stewart Downing’s brilliant cross.

Consequently, Mesut Ozil secured the much-needed three points for Arsenal with a first-time strike the the 71th minute.

Arsenal Draw Manchester City In EPL Clash

Arsenal Draw Manchester City In EPL ClashArsenal on Sunday evening came twice from behind to claim a two-all draw with Manchester City at the Emirates in an English Premier League (EPL) clash.

The Gunners, who lost their last two league matches at home, were stunned by Pep Guardiola’s men as Leroy Sane put the visitors ahead in five minutes.

Theo Walcott levelled the score with a scrambled finish in the 40th minute, just as Sergio Aguero hit home on an angle two minutes later to see City move ahead again.

Eight minutes after the restart, Shkodran Mustafi’s header got the Gunners back on level terms and ultimately earned a point for the hosts.

Earlier, Swansea City and Middlesbrough produced a stale goalless draw which did little to enhance either team’s prospects of avoiding relegation from the league.

Arsenal Yet To Comment On Sanchez Bust Up

Arsenal Yet To Comment On Sanchez Bust UpArsenal is yet to comment on reports that Alexis Sanchez was involved in a training ground bust-up with his team-mates prior to Saturday’s 3-1 defeat at Liverpool.

Widespread reports in the national press have suggested that the 28-year-old walked out of training mid-session last week before being involved in an angry confrontation with his team mates.

Arsenal Manager, Arsene Wenger, is likely to face questions over the alleged incident at his media conference ahead of the Champions League return with Bayern Munich on Tuesday.

Sanchez was left out of the starting line-up for the match at Anfield, but came on at half time with the Gunners losing 2 – 0, following the strikes from Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane.

Ozil To Sign New Arsenal Deal If Wenger Stays

Ozil To Sign New Arsenal Deal If Wenger StaysArsenal’s German international, Mesut Ozil says he is waiting to learn the fate of manager Arsene Wenger before agreeing to sign a new contract with the London club.

Wenger’s contract at Arsenal expires at the end of the season and Ozil’s decision is dependent on whether it is renewed or not.

Ozil’s contract has 18 months left to run and he said he is ready to re-sign, depending on Wenger’s fate.

He told German football magazine Kicker: “I am very, very happy at Arsenal and have let the club know that I would be ready to sign a new contract. The fans want that I stay and now it is just down to the club.”

He also dismissed the idea that his delay is down to money: “The club knows that I am here most of all because of Arsène Wenger. He is the one who signed me and he is the one whose trust I have. The club also knows that I want to be clear what the manager is going to [in the future].”

Arsenal are fifth in the table behind leaders Chelsea, and Ozil insists the Gunners are still in with a chance of winning the title.

Wengers’ Opinion On Manipulation Of Loan Markets

Arsene Wenger, loan marketsArsenal manager, Arsene Wenger, has stressed the need to address the way football clubs manipulate loan markets to stockpile talents.

The Frenchman also told the club’s website that short-term deals were essential part of a player’s education.

Wenger, who currently has 13 players out on loan, believed that the manipulation of loan markets was one of the major challenges in modern football.

“It is one of the big problems in the modern game. You’ve invested a lot of money into players because we’re paying more and more money, and then at the age of 20 you don’t usually get much for any of the players.

“So the reflex is to stockpile the players. That’s not right. When you look at the number of loans that happen here and there, the whole system has to be thought about again because we have two kinds of solution in there.

“The first is to continue developing players, the second step is just to make sure your investment is safe, and that’s not the right way to think about it but it’s the natural reflex for the clubs,” the Gunners manager said on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Premier League leaders, Chelsea currently have about 40 players on loan to other clubs.

The Blues have come under criticism for exploiting loan rules, by snapping up youngsters from various clubs before immediately sending them out to gain experience.

Arsenal Share Points With Tottenham In Premier League Clash

Arsenal, Tottenham ,Premier League Arsenal played 1-1 against Tottenham Hotspur in their English Premier League match at the Emirates on Sunday.

The Gunners toiled to win the North London derby, knowing that the victory would place them at the top of the table but Spurs remained resolute in defending.

Arsenal got the lead few minutes to the end of the first half through an own-goal as Kevin Wimmer glanced Mesut Ozil’s free-kick past his own keeper, Hugo Lloris.

Then, shortly after the second half began, a penalty was awarded in favour of the Spurs.

Harry Kane took full advantage with a brilliant penalty to level the score.

Both teams went on with a goal apiece till the end of the match.

Arsenal are fourth on the table with 24 points while the Spurs are fifth with three points behind the Gunners.

David Moyes Charged With Misconduct In Southampton Clash

David Moyes, Southampton Sunderland manager, David Moyes, has been charged with misconduct after being sent off at Southampton on Wednesday.

The Football Association said it is alleged “Moyes used abusive and/or insulting words towards a match official”.

He has been given until 18:00 BST on Tuesday to respond to the allegation.

The incident took place when Referee Chris Kavanagh waved away appeals for a foul on Sunderland striker Victor Anichebe in the penalty area.

Sunderland lost 1-0 to their hosts as they crashed out of the EFL Cup.

Manchester United also edged past Manchester City with a 1-0 victory while West Ham United beat Chelsea 2 – 1 on Wednesday night.

Arsenal and Liverpool had earlier through to the fifth round as they defeated Reading and Tottenham respectively on Tuesday night.

Ferguson Says Liverpool Are Strong League Title Contenders

Liverpool, Alex FergusonFormer Manchester United Manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, says Liverpool are serious Premier League title contenders this season.

Ferguson said Jurgen Klopp had “revived Liverpool’s enthusiasm” since taking over as manager in October 2015.

“For two decades, Liverpool changed managers without building their own identity.

“You can now sense you truly have to count them in this year,” he told German magazine Kicker.

Liverpool are third in on the league table, sharing points with leaders Manchester City.

In their nine league matches in the present season, they have played four of the current top seven – Arsenal, Tottenham, Chelsea, Manchester United and defending champions, Leicester City.

The Reds have also made it through to the fifth round of the EFL and will face Leeds United in the quarterfinal.

Arsenal, Liverpool Through To Last Eight Of EFL Cup

EFL cup, Arsenal, LiverpoolAlex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored two goals as Arsenal booked their spot in the quarter-finals of the EFL Cup with a 2-0 win over Reading.

The Championship side went into the match looking for their first ever win over the Gunners, but it was an easy win for Arsenal in the end, thanks to a double by the Ox, who seemed to be overcoming his difficult start to the season.

The brace takes his tally to five for the season – which is his best return in a season for the Gunners.

Except for Elneny and Iwobi who kept their places, Arsenal fielded a new team, including Lucas Perez, who came off the bench against Boro at the weekend.

Olivier Giroud made his return to the first-team fold as a second half substitute.

Arsenal have not won the League Cup since 1993.

Liverpool are also through to the fifth round courtesy of a brace from another England striker, Daniel Sturridge as they defeated Tottenham 2-1.

The striker opened the scoring early at Anfield after exploiting a Spurs mistake. He doubled the lead in the 60th minute

Liverpool were forced to endure a nervy end to the evening, however, as Vincent Janssen pulled one back for Tottenham with his penalty after Lucas Leiva fouled Erik Lamela in the area.

Arsenal’s Mathieu Flamini Completes Crystal Palace Move

Arsenal’s Mathieu Flamini Completes Crystal Palace MoveEnglish club, Crystal Palace have completed the signing of former Arsenal midfielder, Mathieu Flamini.

The Eagles announced on Thursday on their website that the former AC Milan defensive midfielder joined the club on a contract deal until the end of the season.

He had been a free agent subsequent to his release by the Gunners in the summer.

During his seven seasons at the Emirates stadium, the 32-year-old Frenchman won three FA Cups and reached the 2006 UEFA Champions League final.

Reacting to his move, Flamini said: “Crystal Palace is a very ambitious club with great players and I am looking forward to being part of that squad.

“It is a very interesting challenge for me and I am very excited to be here.

“I have had chance to discuss the move here with Alan Pardew and he really helped me make my decision.”

On his part, Pardew, who manages Crystal Palace, stressed the need to sign an experienced midfield player to join his squad.

“I thought it was important to get another midfield player.

“His playing ability will help us but also, his leadership qualities and his ability of how to win games in a passing style.

“I am delighted that we have secured a player of his stature,” the Eagles boss said.