Gilberto Inspired Me To Join Arsenal – Gabriel

GabrielGabriel wants to live up to the sky-high standards set by Gilberto when he embarks on his own Arsenal career.

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

Gilberto made 244 appearances for Arsenal and Gabriel explained why he became a inspiration to him when he spoke after completing his move to Emirates Stadium.

“I remember Gilberto Silva because he was always with the Brazilian national team,” Gabriel told Arsenal Player.

“He was a mirror for every Brazilian player and every child, who looked up to Gilberto Silva as a reference. He was an influence for many players, not only Brazilians but players around the world.

“I could see that he was a major element here, he really helped the team, he really is a player I want to emulate because of his type of work and his will to help his team-mates, his will to win as a true Brazilian.

“To me he’s a mirror, so I will always take many good things I saw in him and take it to the pitch, and off the pitch as well, because I think he was an excellent professional who did many good things.

“I want to be like him, to be able to do the most I can to help everyone,” Gabriel said.

Gilberto scored 24 times for Arsenal from midfield but his defensive work in front of the back four – most notably in the ‘Invincibles’ team of 2003/04 – was his forte.

Gabriel is another defensive-minded Brazilian – even if he did start his footballing life up front.

“There were always small teams close to where I used to live, where my family lived, and I started just as every other child – I was on the attack,” he recalled.

“But I never did well. I kept going back and back through the team, then I went to a club and they put me on the defence, and then I started playing there and it really excited me.

“Nothing would take me out of the defence now. Thanks to God, things worked out, and they have been working out in my life, and I think I will never change my position again.”

Brendan Rodgers: Mario Balotelli Will Get More Chances

According Balotellito manager Brendan Rodgers, Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli would not be sold in the January transfer window; he would be given every chance to fight his way back into the team

Balotelli was left out of Saturday’s FA Cup fourth round goalless draw with Bolton, provoking  speculation the 24-year-old’s career at Anfield was over.

Rodgers said on Monday  that it’s been a difficult period for the Liverpool striker but “he’s a good boy”.

Balotelli is said to have started the season with just eight league matches, his last in a 2-1 home defeat by Chelsea on 8 November, and has been linked with a move to Lazio.

The Italy forward is yet to score a Premier League goal since arriving from AC Milan last summer.

Rodgers added: “I’ve seen some bits this morning suggesting that’s him done here. That’s not the case at all”.

The team Manager also said: “I’ve shown in my time here that if players who have been out the fold for various reasons work hard every day in training, and show intensity and focus, then they have every chance of getting back in the side and staying there”.

Mertesacker Reveals Secret To Arsenal Victory Over Man City

ArsenalArsenal defender, Per Mertesacker, feels Arsenal’s serene and mature approach was vital in securing victory at Manchester City on Sunday.

The visitors produced a resilient defensive display at Etihad Stadium, restricting their opponents to just four efforts on target.

Mertesacker was pleased with the spirit shown by the whole team, and feels Arsenal have learnt from losing 6-3 in last season’s corresponding fixture.

“We didn’t rush ourselves to do anything,” he said. “We stayed calm over the whole 90 minutes and just dropped a bit deeper.

“It’s very unusual for us, but we learned, especially from last season. I would say it was a mature performance.

“We don’t have to talk too much – it was just one game, but it was a good response.

“Every player was up for proper defending from front to back. I think we have to praise the whole unit,” he told arsenal.com

Arsenal Have Maturity To Win At Man City – Wenger

ArsenalArsène Wenger has insisted Arsenal have the maturity to “rectify” their record against their top-four rivals when they meet Manchester City on Sunday.

The Gunners have only claimed one point from a possible 21 in Manchester, and have only won away at City once in seven attempts.

Wenger insists their past record would have no bearing on Sunday’s game, and has backed his side to secure a positive result.

“You have many games when you know you will be judged on your potential,” he told arsenal.com

“Manchester City is one of them. Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool are other games that people have a close eye on to judge your potential.

“They have always had good teams but we have won at Manchester United, we have won at Manchester City. The history will not play a big part in this game. It’s the performance of the day that will play the biggest part and the only important part.

“I believe we have consistency. Last year, we did not win the championship only for that reason. We did not perform in the top games away from home. I believe we have the potential now to be much more stable and to show that we can do it.

“For many years [our record in the biggest games] was our strength and in the last two years it is true that it has been a weakness. I think we are mature enough now to rectify it.”

Wenger accepts City will pose a major attacking threat on Sunday, but believes his side have the quality to deal with them.

“From every big game you gain confidence when the result is good,” he said. “Let’s focus on going there and give ourselves a chance to win by putting a great performance in.

“We want to have a good balance between attacking and defending because we know that City attack very well, so it’s important that we do both sides of the game very well.”

Thierry Henry Confirms Retirement

Arsenal---Thierry-Henry-to-return-to-Emirates-and-end-his-career-as-a-Gunner-699One of football top players, Thierry Henry, have decided to hang his boots after leaving New York Red Bulls with the aim of returning to London to take up a role in the media.

The 37-year-old former Arsenal striker left the New York Red Bulls at the start of the month after they were knocked out of the MLS play-offs, but there was speculation he might choose to play on at another club – with a return to the Gunners mooted.

Henry has now made it clear that he will no longer continue his playing career and will start working as a pundit with Sky Sports instead.

“After 20 years in the game I have decided to retire from professional football. It has been an incredible journey and I would like to thank all the fans, team mates and individuals involved with Monaco, Juventus, Arsenal, Barcelona, New York Red Bulls and of course the French National Team that have made my time in the game so special,” a statement on his official website read.

“It is now time for a different career path and I am pleased to say that I will be returning to London and joining Sky Sports. I will hopefully share some of the insights, observations and experiences I have learnt over the years with you guys.

“I have had some amazing memories (mostly good!) and a wonderful experience. I hope you have enjoyed watching as much as I have enjoyed taking part. See you on the other side…”

Goal-laden career

Henry will always be most closely associated with Arsenal, where he is the all-time goalscorer with 228 goals in 377 games across two different spells.

Arsene Wenger, who had known him as a young player at Monaco, signed him from Juventus for £11million in 1999, and immediately shifted him from the wing to a central striking position.

His blend of pace and power made him one of the most feared forwards in English football, and Henry won the Premier League title twice with the Gunners, as well as the FA Cup three times.

Henry left Arsenal in 2007 and joined Barcelona, where he won the UEFA Champions League in 2009. He also added two La Liga titles, the Copa del Rey, Spanish Supercopa, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup to his honours list in three seasons at the Nou Camp.

His medal collection also includes a Ligue 1 title and Trophee des Champions with Monaco, his first professional club.

He spent the final five years of his playing career with the Red Bulls, returning to Arsenal to make four appearances on loan in early 2012.

With France, Henry scored 51 goals in 123 appearances – only Lilian Thuram has more caps with Les Bleus. He was a member of the 1998 World Cup winning squad, while also being a runner up in 2006. Henry was a European champion in 2000 and was part of the team that won the FIFA Confederations Cup in 2003.

Andy Carroll Says West Ham Can Win Premier League

Andy CarollAndy Carroll claims that West Ham United are genuine contenders to win the Premier League title after their sparkling start to the season.

The 25-year-old scored his first goals of the campaign on Sunday as his brace helped the Hammers record a 3-1 win over 10-man Swansea and move up to third in the table.

West Ham will face Chelsea and Arsenal in the space of 48 hours over the festive period, and it is fair to say the bookmakers are still somewhat sceptical of the possibility of Caroll’s dreams becoming reality.

“We have a great squad,” Carroll said, “and I can’t say we are going to give up now we are in the top three. We have got a great team and we can go all the way.

“With the team we have got, and the manager, the way he is coaching everyone, it is fantastic, and I don’t think we will be giving up at all. I think there is no limit. We can go all the way to the top.”

Several reactions have trailed Andy Caroll’s thirst for glory considering the fact he had scored only twice in the league ahead of the fixture.

Carroll has missed plenty of football through injury but has not felt the pressure to come back scoring plenty of goals with the likes of Enner Valencia and Diafra Sakho performing well in attack in his absence.

“I have been out for a long time,” he said.

“The last couple of games I’ve been playing, I haven’t been fully fit. There have been a lot of injuries and I was put in unexpectedly. Now I’m feeling good and strong and I can put myself about a bit more.”

Coach Sam Allardyce decided to sign Carroll rather than Wilfried Bony in the summer of 2013 and the West Ham boss had said that his decision would prove right over time.

If the EPL trophy is what Big Sam is also aiming at to justify his transfer decision, fans would have to wait till May 2015 to find out. Perhaps the wait could be over by the end of December.

 

Wenger Reacts as Scintillating Sanchez Saves Arsenal’s Blushes

SanchezAlexis Sanchez secured a late winner for the the Gunners as they looked to be heading for a goalless draw in their match against surprise early fliers- Southampton who pushed Arsenal to the very end and where unfortunate to leave the Emirates empty.

The Gunners seemed to control the game but where caught on several occasions when Southampton broke with Long selfishly blazing the ball wide when he should have passed.

Welbeck, Giroud and Ramsey spawned chances in front of an impressive Foster who almost gave his side a point from the Emirates.

In-form Alexis Sanchez, however, had other ideas against the side who knocked them out of the League Cup early in the season when he popped up to slot home a Ramsey cross.

Arsene Wenger delighted with the outcome said, “I think we deserved it, yes, because we have very few chances away and we had more chances than Southampton. We kept a clean sheet as well.

Asked about his sides drive for the title Wenger replied, “I’m a bit cautious but we have the right attitude, we have a good solidarity in the team, a good focus, and that’s a good basis. Laurent Koscielny was absolutely outstanding today and he contributes to stabilize our defense. We missed him for nearly two months and it’s important.

On Southampton’s recent run, Wenger warned fans not write them off too quickly.

“They are a good side and they played very well. Up front they are quick to come out when they win it, they are always first on the ball and they play in a very intelligent way. You always feel they are a threat,” he said, adding that he still believed Southampton remained top four contenders.

Mourinho Hails Chelsea Team, Singles Out Drogba

ChelseaChelsea Manager, Jose Mourinho, has hailed the bravery of his team to see-off the challenge by Tottenham at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night to maintain their lead atop the English Premier League.

He said that his team played a good game against a spirited Spurs side who should have gone ahead when Harry Kane’s header hit the bar. The attempt brought Chelsea into the game, subsequently taking the lead through Hazard.

The Portuguese also applauded the effort of his aging Ivorian striker, Didier Drogba (now 36) who set up Hazard for the opener and scored the second before Remy made it three.

When asked about what he felt on Drogba’s performance he said, “Yes, it is remarkable. Didier is a team player, one of these with an old school mentality. Not selfish, not vain, a humble guy who plays for the team, fights for the team. Fantastic,” Mourinho said.

“When he is on the bench and comes on for the last few minutes to help the team defend, he does that with the same enthusiasm as when he starts a game against Tottenham.

“We played against him when he was at Galatasaray last season so I could feel the kind of potential he still has and I was expecting exactly this, with not even a doubt about a player who is not playing every game. I knew he would adapt very well mentally to his role.”

However, Spurs Boss felt hard done as his side failed to convert opportunities they had in the opening stages, with the loss now stretching their poor run at the bridge to 28 games since 1990.

“We started very well and made some chances, but they scored with their first chance and the game changed. That is the difference,” Pochettino said.

“I’m very disappointed with the result because 3-0 is harsh but we can take some positives. We were very brave at the start.

“If we scored when Kane hit the bar then the game changes, but we were playing a very good team. Our history here is difficult but we came here with the idea to take three points. That was our intention in the beginning, but in football it’s hard to manage the luck.”

Calum Chambers Called Into England Squad

Calum ChambersArsenal defender, Calum Chambers, has been called up to the senior side from the U21’s after Everton defender, John Stones suffered an ankle injury in the Toffees’ 2-1 defeat to Manchester United on Sunday.

England manager, Roy Hodgson, had earlier told the BBC when announcing the squad for the Euro 2016 qualifiers, “Calum would be the next one to come in but at the moment is ‘loaned out’ to the Under-21s.”

However, the news of Stone’s injury on a day Chambers experienced a tough afternoon in Arsenal’s defence against Chelsea meant Hogson would invite the “loaned out” Calum ahead of time.

According to the statement which appeared on the English FA website on Sunday evening, “Following John Stones’ injury on Sunday afternoon, the Everton defender will not report to St. George’s Park for England duty on Monday.

England manager Roy Hodgson has subsequently called up Calum Chambers, who was previously due to report to the Under 21s squad.

Chambers will now be part of the senior squad for the Euro 2016 qualifying double header against San Marino and Estonia.

England Under-21s manager, Gareth Southgate, is not calling any further players into his squad to face Croatia in their Euro 2015 play-off.”

The new Arsenal signing has enjoyed a good start to his Gunners career after moving from Southampton in the summer. A versatile player who can play as a centre back of right sided full-back, Chambers has adjusted well to life at a top Premier League club.

Hazard Warns Costa Ahead Of Arsenal Clash

ChelseaChelsea winger, Eden Hazard, has warned team-mate, Diego Costa to be calm and ignore provocative defenders trying to get him booked.

Costa has received three yellow cards in just six Premier League games, two of which were due to altercations with opposition players.

It is believed that opposition players will make efforts to provoke the Spaniard into lashing out as managers are fast learning that he can be wound-up easily.

Hazard knows the importance of the 25-year-old’s goals, and understands if Chelsea are to continue their march to the title – Costa must resist the urge to react.

He said: “We all know how he will react, he needs to be careful that he doesn’t get too many yellow cards. This is part of the game [opponents targeting him], everyone knows that. He needs to focus.

“He is a very good striker, one of the top three in the world right now. When he is confident, he scores and right now he is confident and in form.”

Costa is almost a certainty to face Arsenal at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, but is unlikely to be risked against Sporting Lisbon in 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.”

Premier League: Dzeko Expresses Cautious Optimism Ahead Of Arsenal Test

Premier LeagueManchester City’s defence of their English Premier League title is firmly in the back of striker, Edin Dzeko’s mind.

The new Bosnia-Herzegovina captain, who scored a sublime solo goal for his country in their 3-0 win over Liechtenstein on Thursday, has continued his impressive start to the 2014/15 season.

As well as discussing his new role as national team skipper, the 28-year old has also been weighing up chances of winning a third Barclay’s Premier League title in four seasons, with City’s trip to Arsenal just days away.

Speaking to the club’s official website, Dzeko declared, “It will be difficult, but I’m an optimist.

As with every season, there are several teams that will battle for the title of champions in England.

This season Chelsea might be the most serious challenger, but we mustn’t ignore Liverpool, Tottenham, Arsenal, or United, who will certainly be much stronger than last year.

After all, everyone has gotten stronger, and everyone wants to be first.”

Edin’s role in City landing a second title in three years last season can hardly be overestimated, given his five goals in the last four games of the league run-in.

The striker penned a new deal which will keep him at the Etihad Stadium until at least 2018, following a season which he described as one of his best-ever.

The past season was one of the best in my career, and in the end we reached the title of champions of England, the second in the past three seasons,” the 28-year old said.

We succeeded in winning the Capital One Cup and I am really happy how everything played out in the past season, both for the club and for myself.

As far as the contract, in general I had no dilemma around an extension.

I am happy at City, the manager believes in me, which is certainly important, and I give my all on the pitch and altogether it means quite a lot to me, because Manchester is a club with great ambitions and I easily decided to stay put.”

Edin succeeded Emir Spahic as national team captain in the summer, following Bosnia’s unfortunate group stage exit from the World Cup in Brazil.

On the captaincy, Edin said: “I would be lying when I say that it isn’t the dream of every player, including me.

I will give my all to replace Spahic in an adequate manner. I am aware that with the captain’s armband comes greater responsibility, and I will work hard to prove in the best way that I didn’t become captain by accident.

I believe I can fulfil all expectations, both of the manager and of fans, my teammates, the media, and my own. I wouldn’t be here today if I doubted myself.

Together with the Belgians, we are the favorites, but Israel should not be forgotten and certainly not underestimated, as they are known to be very unpleasant on their home field, nor Wales, who in their ranks have players like Bale and Ramsey.

We were at the World Cup, we saw what it means, and it is great experience for us that will help us in the future.

Our goal is France, and it should be taken seriously.”