Bellerin Calls For Arsenal Unity After Xhaka Tantrum

Arsenal Loses Bellerin Ahead of Man-U Derby

 

Hector Bellerin has called for everyone at Arsenal to come together following club captain Granit Xhaka’s tantrum on being substituted on Sunday during the 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace.

Bellerin, who is the Gunners third captain after Xhaka and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, is sidelined through injury but he took to Twitter to urge understanding and the team to unite.

Manger Unai Emery has said he will talk to Xhaka before he decides whether to strip the Swiss international midfielder of the captaincy.

The 27-year-old — who was made captain in the close season following a secret ballot of the players — exploded with fury when he was replaced in the second half of the Palace game.

He trudged slowly to the touchline while petulantly gesticulating to the fans who had cheered his substitution and were angrily urging him to get off the pitch quicker.

Xhaka’s meltdown climaxed when he ripped off his shirt, appeared to shout f**k off at supporters and stormed past Emery straight down the tunnel to more derision from the stands.

“We are all humans, we all have emotions, and sometimes it’s not easy dealing with them,” tweeted Bellerin.

“It’s time to lift each other up, not to push each other away. We only win when we are together.”

Others have been less forgiving such as Arsenal legend Ian Wright especially with the club struggling for form with only two wins in their last eight Premier League matches.

“He’s the captain,” he told the BBC.

“He’s got the responsibility of being able to take that on board because he’s been voted in. You can’t go like that.

“The amount of stick someone like Mesut Ozil has got I could understand if (he) throws his shirt down.

“He’s the captain. The manager has got faith in him. He should be apologising. He should have apologised already.

“That’s the guy they’ve chosen as captain and that’s not captain’s behaviour.

“Arsenal fans have shown a lot of patience with him and the performances he has put in. He owes them a lot more than that.”

AFP

We Shut Some Mouths, Roars Bellerin After Derby Win

Hector Bellerin

Hector Bellerin says Arsenal’s 2-0 victory over Tottenham in the north London derby has silenced the doubters.

Arsene Wenger’s side secured their first Premier League success against their hated rivals since March 2014 thanks to goals from Shkodran Mustafi and Alexis Sanchez at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

It was the perfect response to critics who had claimed Arsenal were destined for another frustrating season following a dispiriting loss at Manchester City before the international break.

The result was also well-timed as Tottenham fans were crowing about a power sift in north London after finishing above Wenger’s men last season for the first time since 1995.

Gunners right-back Bellerin believes Arsenal’s command performance, which moved his side to within one point of Tottenham, proves they are more than capable of having a successful season.

“There’s always a lot of talk but I think it was one of those games where we showed what we could do. We shut some mouth as well,” Bellerin told Arsenal’s official website.

“There are people who talk a lot and now, after watching that game at home, they’ll be thinking that these guys have a chance.”

Arsenal visit Burnley next weekend and Bellerin acknowledged they will be under pressure to replicate their intensity against Tottenham on a more regular basis.

“That’s what we’re trying to do. Sometimes, for different reasons, we haven’t been able to do it, but this is how we set the bar and show what potential we have,” he said.

“That’s what we’ve got to work hard to do every single week, week in, week out.”

Read Also: Wenger Salutes Arsenal ‘Urgency’ In Derby Win  

AFP

Champions League: Walcott Steals Show As Arsenal Beat Basel 2-0

ArsenalTheo Walcott stole the show on Wednesday, as Arsenal got their first Champions League win of the season, beating Basel 2-0.

Picking up where he left off against Chelsea, Walcott put Basel to the sword with two first-half goals amid one of his finest Arsenal displays.

The 27-year-old raced into the box to head home Alexis’ cross, and he added a second with a low drive after a slick one-two with Alexis.

Basel keeper, Tomas Vaclik, kept the score down with fine saves from Hector Bellerin, Alexis and Nacho Monreal, while Mesut Ozil could have had a couple himself.

The score could have been anything at half-time and, although the tempo dropped after the break, this was still an emphatic Arsenal victory.

The Gunners go joint-top of Group A with Paris Saint-Germain with four points from two games.

In other Champion League games Ludogorets Razgrad lost 1 – 3 to Paris Saint Germain. Both teams are in Group A with Arsenal and Basel.

In Group B, Basiktas and Dynamo Kyiv game ended 1-1 while SSC Napoli and Benfica game ended 4-2 in favour of SSC Napoli.

Borussia Moenchengladbach and Barcelona game in Group C ended 1-2 in favour of the Spanish club while Celtic and Man City game ended 3-3.

In Group D, Atletico Madrid defeated Bayern Munich 1 – 0 in a Champion’s league cracker while the game between FC Rostov and PSV Eindhoven ended 2 – 2.

In Group E CSKA Moscow was beaten at home by Tottenham Hotspur 0 – 1 while Monaco drew 1-1 with Bayer Leverkusen.

Premier League: Arsenal, Man City Win Big As Spurs Draw

Premier LeagueHarry Kane’s 63rd minute equaliser for Premier League title contenders Tottenham Hotspurs against Liverpool rescued his team from defeat at Anfield and gave them a share of the spoils.

Elsewhere Super Eagles forward Alex Iwobi helped Arsenal beat Odion Ighalo’s Watford 4-0 at the Emirates.

The 19-year-old set up Alexis Sanchez for the gunners first in the 4th minute, before adding his second EPL strike in his second start on 38 minutes. Hector Bellerin and Theo Walcott scored Arsenal’s 3rd and 4th goals.

In other matches, Manchester City maintain 4th spot on the log with a 4-0 win over Bournemouth, while West Ham’s push for a top 4 finish was slowed by Crystal Palace in a 2-2 draw at the Boleyn ground.

Norwich City also edged Newcastle United 3-2 to boost their chances of avoiding relegation. Stoke City and Swansea City battled to a 2-2 draw, while Sunderland and West Brom played goalless.

In the day’s lunch-time kick-off, Alexandre Pato marked his Chelsea debut with a goal as the Barclays Premier League champions won 4-0 to leave Aston Villa on the brink of relegation.

 

 

Debuchy Unhappy With Blockage To Man Utd Move

DebuchyArsenal defender, Mathieu Debuchy, has expressed displeasure with the obstruction of his transfer to Manchester United.

The 30-year-old Frenchman said he had a transfer deadline-day loan move to the Old Trafford blocked by Arsene Wenger.

Debuchy joined Bordeaux until the end of the season on February 1, having lost his place in the Gunners side to Hector Bellerin.

“I discussed it with the coach, who said that obviously he couldn’t help out a rival,” BBC quoted him as saying.

Arsenal Beat Bournemouth 2-0, Go Top Of Premier League

arsenalArsenal beat Bournemouth 2-0 at Emirates Stadium on Monday night to move to the top of the Premier League table.

However, their position is only secured going into the New Year if Leicester fail to win against Manchester City on Tuesday.

Gabriel’s header and Mesut Ozil’s strike sealed the points for the Gunners with Ozil adding to his assist tally for the defender’s goal.

Asides the 2-0 win pushing Arsenal to the top of the log, the win also meant a personal milestone for goalkeeper Petr Cech who broke the Premier League clean-sheet record.

The legendary goalkeeper secured his 170th shut-out to move past David James’ long-standing record.

Arsène Wenger described the win as a nervy one considering how badly they needed to recover from the humiliation at Southampton.

“It was nervy at the start because we had to swallow the 4-0 [at Southampton] and it didn’t go well and I think we were focused at the start not to concede a stupid goal and got slowly into the game.

“I changed a few players and put Calum Chambers at the centre of the park so it took us a while to get going but I think in the last 70 minutes we were in control of the game and did very well,” he said.

The manager believes his boys have moved on from the disappointment as the victory meant they responded well. “You can’t go from the start of the season to the end of the season without disappointment at some stage,” he said demanding more consistence from his players.

He also had kind words for midfield maestro, Mesut Ozil.

“Mesut was the focal point of our team because we had a new midfield today and he gives reassurance with his technical security and ability. When we had problems in the first part of the game it went always through him and it gives you confidence and security.

“I have seen a few good games from Ozil but what is important is that he convinces everybody that he is not only a talented player but a player that is always willing to work for the team and work hard. He has added scoring goals to his assists and overall he is a complete player.

Knockout: Southampton Humiliate Arsenal On Boxing Day

SouthamptonSouthampton humiliated Arsenal 4-0 on Boxing Day as the gunners missed a chance to go top of the English Premier League.

The title favourites had gone into the match needing a win to top the log, with Liverpool having defeated Leicester City 1-0 earlier in the day.

The Gunners, however, started badly with the saints ensuring that Wenger’s men were not allowed space for their style of football.

Southampton showed better coordination as they mounted pressure on Arsenal and deservedly went into half time leading 1-0.

Backup right back, Cuco Martina, chose the right match to show his quality with a spectacular low volley in the 19th minute.

The goal came after a long spell of pressure on a shaky Arsenal defence, marshaled by Laurent Koscielny and Par Matersacker.

In the second half, Southampton continued from where they left off and quickly put the ball in Arsenal’s net but was rightly ruled out for offside. They, however, made it 2-0 in the 50th minute through Shane Long to further darken Arsenal’s Christmas.

Wenger introduced Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for Joel Campbell in the 64th minute and it appeared the players suddenly realised what was at stake as they tried to get back in the game.

The night got worse instead. It was 3-0 in the 69th minute courtesy Jose Miguel Fonte and Shane Long completed a brace in the 90th minute as the hosts refused to be intimidated by Arsenal’s stars and pre-match rating.

The Saints held on for a famous 4-0 victory over the London giants as Arsene Wenger’s men missed a glorious chance to become league leaders after trailing Leicester for weeks.

Wenger Warns Arsenal Ahead of Southampton Trip

ArsenalArsenal Manager, Arsene Wenger has warned his players not to slip when they visit out-of-form Southampton in the Barclays Premier League on Boxing Day.

Wenger’s side travel to St Mary’s Stadium on Saturday looking for a fourth successive league victory as they look to keep pace with leaders Leicester City.

Arsenal trail Claudio Ranieri’s men by two points, but enjoy a four-point cushion to third-placed Manchester City.

To maintain that difference, they need to remain focused against Ronald Koeman’s side, who have just one point from their last five matches, a 1-1 home draw with bottom club Aston Villa.

“For us the most important thing is to focus on ourselves, and not to speculate too much on any weakness of Southampton,” Wenger said.

“When you look at their team they have the potential to be a very strong team. We have to convince ourselves that again we need a top-level performance.

“Football is pragmatic. No one can predict what will happen in the next 17 games. So we want to go in with same attitude, spirit, and earn the right to win the games.”

Santi Cazorla (knee), Alexis Sanchez (hamstring) and Jack Wilshere (calf), remain sidelined for Arsenal although Sanchez is closer to return than others.

Southampton also welcome their goalkeeper, Maarten Stekelenburg, back after missing two matches with a toe injury.

Facing Arsenal will be a daunting task for the hosts given the impressive recent displays by Wenger’s side, the visitors having beaten title rivals Manchester City 2-1 last time out.

“We know we’re in a difficult situation,” said Koeman, whose side won the fixture 2-0 last season. “We had a bad run last year, but not like this one.

“It is always difficult, it means maybe a lack in confidence and belief, but the best medicine is to win the game. The team is changing a bit, the team is doubting their qualities and not playing as they can, and that’s all about confidence.

“But they have to realise we can play good football, but we need to score when we have chances.”

Ozil Shines As Arsenal Beat Manchester City 2-1

ArsenalArsenal defeated Manchester City 2-1 on Monday night to secure second place in the English Premier League going into Christmas.

Theo Walcott opened scoring in the 33rd minute with a special goal. Feeding off a perfect pass from Mesut Ozil near the corner of the box on the left side, he cut in onto his favoured right foot and curled a shot into the bottom corner.

Olivier Giroud scored the second goal late to ensure the Gunners were comfortable going into the half time break.

Some great hustle by Walcott gave the Gunners an attack in the City half, and they wasted no time.

Ozil turned the provider again spraying another perfect pass down the left for Giroud. It looked like Otamenti was set to block the Frenchman, but he let the ball run across to his left foot and lashed a powerful finish between the keeper’s legs.

Man City turned on the heat in the second half and the Arsenal players stood firm but there appeared to be no danger in the 82nd minute when Toure picked up the ball on the edge of the box and lifted a magnificent first-time effort into the far corner, with Cech and everyone else rooted to the spot.

The Gunners held on nervously in the final minutes for a hard fought 2-1 victory to the relief of fans at the Emirates.

Arsenal Stars, Manager Confident After Norwich Draw

Arsenal Mesut Ozil had given the Gunners an early lead but Lewis Grabban swept past Petr Cech on the stroke of half-time to hold Arsène Wenger’s side to a point at Carrow Road on Sunday.

Arsenal’s UEFA Champions League exploits seemed to have taken their toll on their Premier League performance as they sometimes appeared tired.

Laurent Koscielny and Alexis both suffered injuries during a physical encounter, but the players and their manager are confident Arsenal have enough strength in depth to maintain their Premier League title challenge.

Arsene Wenger admitted after the match that it was a difficult game.

“We played against a Norwich side that was at the top level physically and focused. They were well organised and they played every time with 10 players in their own half, and we were not incisive enough.

“Maybe the turning point of the game was maybe we dropped a little bit after scoring straight away and allowed them back into the game. In the second half I felt we had to dig deep to get though as we were a bit jaded and we lost players.

“Cazorla played on one leg and of course we played Kosicelny at the start of the game so it was, I would say, a fair point for Norwich and it was on the injury front a bad afternoon for us.”

On moving forward after the disappointment, he said, “We have to go through that spell. We had a bad spell of a few games now with Tottenham, West Brom and today we only have taken two points but we are still not far and going through a bad spell and not being far. It is not enough but at least we had an opportunity to come back.”

Ready To Step Up

One of Arsenal’s most improved players in recent months, Hector Bellerin, insists Arsenal’s players are “ready to step up” after Sunday’s 1-1 draw against Norwich City.

“I have said it before, there is great depth in the team,” he told Arsenal Player. “There are a lot of young players in the team waiting to come through, and we have a lot of quality training with us every day.

“They are ready to step up so obviously every single player on the bench can do the same job as every single player in the starting 11. We don’t need to worry about (the injuries to Alexis and Koscielny). The only thing we need to do is go out onto the pitch with the right mentality, it does not matter who we play.

“The conditions weren’t the best but Norwich are a well-organised team who were very solid at the back and dangerous on the counter. We should have played our game better than we did.

“We made some mistakes that cost us the game and we need to look at ourselves and realise that this is not the way. We need to push ourselves a bit more and play better football if we want to be at the top. What happened on the pitch was not a great experience but we need to try and bounce back so we are ready for the next game.”

Good To Be Back 

In spite of the disappointing draw, Aaron Ramsey felt good to get more minutes under his belt.

The Wales midfielder had been sidelined since October, but returned as a substitute in the Gunners’ convincing midweek win against Dinamo Zagreb.

Sunday was Ramsey’s first start since making his comeback from injury, and the 24-year-old was delighted to secure another valuable 72 minutes against Norwich.

“It was good to be back out here and to get some minutes under my belt,” he said. “Hopefully I can get a few more games under my belt to get my fitness levels back up.

“It was obviously a bit disappointing to go a goal up and to concede that goal was a bit disappointing from our view, but to be fair they did well and they deserved to get a point out of the game. We just will have to up our game in our next match.

“They didn’t make it easy for us. They played a few long balls at times and it was difficult to get he ball down and get our pressing on but they did really well and probably a draw was a fair result.

“Every game is important at the moment, it is so tight so we don’t want to drop any points. We don’t want to have to play catch up but we will see at the end of the season and we will want to bounce back and get back to winning ways on Saturday.”

We Have To Give Our Best Until The End – Wenger

WengerArsenal Manager, Arsène Wenger, has urged his players to maintain focus and the level of performance that has seen them score many goals in recent games.

The Frenchman told arsenal.com, you can “smell” the goals in his Arsenal team.

The Gunners beat Liverpool 4-1 at Emirates Stadium on Saturday with Hector Bellerin, Mesut Ozil, Alexis and Olivier Giroud on target.

Wenger’s side have had 15 different goalscorers this season – the most in the Premier League – and the manager is delighted with his attacking options.

“You smell that we can score goals,” he said. “If you look at the number of goals we’ve scored now (62 from 31 league games), that’s quite good with seven games to go.

“We have a good mentality and good cohesion in the team. There is something happening. That shows you that they are ready to fight for each other. You can see that – you can’t cheat on that.

“That is a good basis, and defensively we are getting better. I think you also have to give credit to players who get less, such as Coquelin. In the first half he broke up many attacks in a convincing way.”

Arsenal moved into second place ahead of Manchester City who lost at Crystal Palace on Monday, and Wenger is determined to end the season as strongly as possible.

“Let’s give everything to do it and see what happens,” he said. “It’s too early [to talk about finishing second] with seven games to go but we’re in a good position, with four at home and only three away.

“We’re on a good run so I would say that it will be down to how we can maintain that focus and level of urgency between now and the end of the season.

“I’m a competitor and what that means is you have to go as high and as far as you can. When you go home if somebody was better than us, then well done, but we have to give our best until the end.”

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.”