Wenger Reacts To Arsenal Defeat In New York And Facing Henry

Wenger New YorkArsenal Manager, Arsène Wenger, addressed the media after his side were narrowly beaten by the New York Red Bulls on Saturday evening.

According to the transcript published on the club’s official website, arsenal.com, Wenger spoke about going into the game without a striker,We had no Giroud, no Walcott, no Sanchez and no Podolski. Akpom did well but he’s a young boy and he has to learn a lot but he has potential.”

He explained, “As long as you don’t score it’s not good but you can play with three No 9s and you don’t score sometimes. We were dominated physically in the first half, we came back into it in the last 10 minutes, their keepers made a few saves and our combinations were better.” He, however, admitted that the team lacked pace without any centre forward.

He also revealed that young striker, Sanogo missed the game because he had a thigh problem and he didn’t want to take a gamble.

Value Playing In New York
“For us it was a great experience, everybody enjoyed it and nobody wants to go home. It was a short trip but a very exciting one because New York is a special city. But what is even more special for us is how popular football is now. The values we stand for are shared here and everybody was very friendly and everybody respects what we try to do. One of the values we have to stand up for as well is when your opponent is better than us, we have to say ‘well done’ and today that was the case.”

On Facing Thierry Henry
“I think it was a great afternoon for him. He played well and his team played well as well. You could see that everybody was focused and ready for a fight. If they can maintain that kind of commitment and solidarity they have shown today and if they keep Thierry Henry in this form, they have a good chance to come back into a strong position in the league.

“Thierry can be dangerous from everywhere and understands very quickly what he can take advantage from. He was sharp today in the one against one and you could see why he was a great player because when he played in midfield his passing was excellent. He has vision as well and you could see that he can play everywhere.”

Lessons From Last Season’s Title Race
“We were not far (away0) it was very tight. We wanted to add that little bit of quality which we missed in the end. It depends on one or two games at the end of the day. There are 38 games, we finished with 79 points, and the winner of the championship had 86 so it was very tight.

“Hopefully we can get that little bit more quality in the decisive games. We were more consistent than everybody else against the lower teams, we performed less well against the top-level teams so that’s what we have to gain.”

Wenger noted, however, that it was too early to talk about the chances of his younger players featuring this season, “it’s our first game. I believe that physically this game was a bit too high for us because some of the players came back last Monday. It was not ideal but we got away without any injuries.”

Podolski can be kept quiet – Marko Marin

One of new Chelsea signings for the 2012/2013 season Marko Marin boasted that Chelsea will have no problem keeping his German rival Lukas Podolski under control as both clubs will be meeting for a London Derby.

Podolski who has been in a tremendous form will be a huge threat to the Blues’ hopes of winning Saturday’s London ­derby against Arsenal.

After a slow start, Podolski has bagged three goals in his last four Gunners games.

Attacking midfielder Marin, 23, said: “At the beginning it was a bit new for him, but now he is doing very well.“He has scored a few goals and he is playing well.

“Will Lukas be a threat? I think we have a very good ­defence. Our right-back Branislav Ivanovic will do very well.“It will be very hard for Lukas to play against him. I am not sure that Arsenal has played against a good team like us.

“I am confident that we can keep Podolski quiet.“There are two German players that we will be playing against, with Per Mertesacker also playing for Arsenal.

“I have not spoken to Lukas. We know each other from the national team, of course, but we are not really friends. “I hope I’m in the team, but the important thing is that we win and keep our position in the Premier League.”

Marin finally made his Blues debut in the 6-0 Capital One Cup rout of Wolves after missing the start of the season with a ­hamstring injury.He said: “I did it in a training session, but I feel good now and I can forget all that and look to the future.

“I just want to play for as long as possible, for as many games as I can. I am nearly 100 per cent fit again, so I hope to play.” Meanwhile, full-back Ryan Bertrand aims to build on his success after scoring in Tuesday night’s romp.

The 23-year-old has played a part in all but two games this season and forced his way into the England reckoning.

He said: “The year just keeps getting better for me so as long as I can keep it going, I should be able to do good things.

“We want to keep it going and hopefully repeat the success we had last year.”

 

Podolski on target as Arsenal cruise past Liverpool

Arsenal kick-started their Premier League season at the expense of Liverpool with new signings Lukas Podolski and Santi Cazorla both opening their accounts in a comfortable 2-0 win at Anfield.

Two 0-0 draws following the sale of Robin van Persie to Manchester United had raised questions over Arsenal’s firepower but Podolski answered them with an emphatic finish before halftime to put the visitors in charge.

Spaniard Cazorla sealed the points after 67 minutes to leave Liverpool’s new manager Brendan Rodgers reflecting on just one point from his first three league matches in charge.

Arsenal, who are yet to concede a goal this season, moved up to seventh in the fledgling Premier League table with five points while Liverpool languish fourth from bottom.

Later on Manchester United face an away trip to Southampton while Newcastle United are at home to Aston Villa.

Arsenal completes Podolski signing

Koln striker Lukas Podolski will join Arsenal in the summer for an undisclosed fee, the Bundesliga club has announced in a statement on its website.

Confirming the deal, executive board chairman, Claus Horstmann admitted that Koln had offered the player new “competitive” terms on his contract, but with just one year left on his current deal, a transfer was best for the team.

Horstmann said: “We deeply regret his step, which is not a decision against [the club] but for the good of his own career. Koln were prepared to extend Lukas Podolski’s contract on the basis of a competitive offer.

“Nonetheless, this early transfer decision offers scope and planning security for the next season. We will jump at this opportunity to reinvest these transfer earnings back into our team’s quality and into the promotion of our youth squads.

“Lukas has helped the club in many difficult situations, Lukas has left a mark on Koln’s reputation and we feel the need to thank him for numerous great football experiences at Koln.”

The move has long been in the offing, with Gunners’ manager Arsene Wenger publicly stating his admiration for the former Bayern Munich player in March, and the striker’s former boss Stale Solbakken admitting just two weeks ago that a move to England was on the cards.

And the 26-year-old has thanked the Koln fans before his summer switch to the Emirates Stadium: “The move to Arsenal provides a great opportunity for me to gain experience in international competitions at a European top club.

“I have made this decision not against Koln but for this great opportunity and the good of my own individual development.

“This was not an easy decision for me at all, as Koln, our fans and the city are something special for me.

“I will always carry Koln in my heart. We need to pool our strengths now and have to be fully focussed on our survival in the Bundesliga.”

Podolski will stay at Koln for the remainder of the campaign to help their ongoing fight against relegation before moving to England.