Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny has said that he is looking forward to end the week on a high with a victory over Manchester United at the weekend.
Arsenal, after losing to Chelsea in the League Cup seemed to be heading for a downward slide in their recent blistering form. However, they have bounced back with wins over Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund to put them in a strong position in both the English Premier League and the UEFA Champions League.
Another stern test beckons for the Gunners, as they will face Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday. Although this United team will be without the famous Manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, but they still represent a significant threat to the Gunners’ title ambition.
David Moyes has managed to overcome a poor start to the campaign to guide the club to 8 matches without a defeat, after coming under a lot of criticism for his poor displays at the start of this season.
Szczesnyhas said in an interview with Sky Sport “We are looking forward to Sunday now and we will be trying to make it a perfect week for us.
“There is not a better time for us to go to Old Trafford. We are very confident and enjoying our football, so we are looking forward to it.”
Arsenal have been previously criticised for not being defensively sound in the big matches, while they also appeared to lack resilience.
They have shown in the last two matches that they appear to be finding the balance that is required to win titles. They have kept clean sheets in the last two matches and Szczesny is looking forward to more of the same against United.
Chelsea promised to give United so much to worry on come Wednesday as the league leaders play host to United again in the in the Capital One Cup.
Manchester United has been promised a “horror show” as Wednesday was tagged ‘Fright Night’ as the night will be a night of vengeance.
And after Sunday’s thrilling Premier League encounter, which ended with a controversial 3-2 victory for the visitors, Chelsea has encouraged Blues fans to turn up in west London in Halloween attire.
Chelsea Manager Roberto Di Matteo who has been desperate for revenge as well as his Chelsea players as they will be hoping to mess up their arch rivals on Wednesday night, and to also use the win to book their place in the competition’s quarter-finals, chasing out Sir Alex Ferguson’s side from the Capital One Cup in the process.
Fans were urged to wear their scariest fancy dress costumes, in a bid to terrify the Manchester United players and help Chelsea secure an easy win.
“Wednesday night sees Chelsea take on Manchester United in the League Cup and it’s sure to be a brilliant match, but it also happens to be Halloween – the spookiest night of the year,” read a statement on the club’s official website.
“We want all ‘bridge kids’ who have tickets for the game to come along early and wear their best Halloween outfits so that we can help scare the United players and help the Blues get a win.
Jeff Winter; former Premier League referee on one of the thrilling events that encapsulated Sunday’s EPL clash between Chelsea and Manchester United in Stamford bridge which is the allegation of racial abuse brought against the officiating referee Mark Clattenburg by Mikel Obi and Juan Mata during the game.
An official complaint was lodged by the West London club over the alleged use of ‘inappropriate language’ by referee Clattenburg that was directed at two of their players, Mikel Obi and Juan Mata.
It was reported by a major British newspaper that Clattenburg has been accused of making a racial slur towards Mikel and called Mata a ‘Spanish t**t’.
If the allegations are true then Clattenburg is never going to get a game to officiate ever again and rightly so, but if it is true, where does it leave the game?
Officiating referee of the English Premier League?
It was reported that Mikel went to the referee’s dressing room to demand an apology following the match, with chief executive Ron Gourlay and manager Roberto Di Matteo.
According to the former EPL referee, Clattenburg’s position will be untenable if he’s found guilty of the offence, that “If a match official has used racial insults or language to a player then he’s for the high jump. He won’t be getting a four-match or an eight-match ban, it’ll probably be the end of his career, but that is if indeed he did say anything.”
“I feel it very unlikely that Mark Clattenburg would be allowed to referee until it’s dealt with so we certainly don’t want this going on for weeks and months.”
Talking racial abuse that has been lingering for a long while in the British football community for a while now with the recent case between John Terry and Anton Ferdinand which has generated so much uproar, this again will run and run with so much discord. he said
To go into investigations, television pictures will be scrutinised and reports suggest that a number of players heard the alleged comments, whilst the other officials Michael McDonough, Simon Long and Michael Jones could be crucial as they were all wearing microphones during the game.
Manchester United striker and England International gave a stern warning to teammates not to get complacent ahead of the English Premiership clash between the Red Devils and the Blues Chelsea later today.
He said Manchester United must not give lapses for an early goal against the European champions.
Chelsea,surprise winners of last season’s UEFA champions league competition sent out a note of warning to fellow clubs that the new season will be different following their victory in the champions league, as owner Abramovich went on extravagant shopping spree to get the signature of best of the best in the round-leather game and recruited Oscar and Eden Hazard in the off-season for a combined fee of almost 60 million pounds, joining Juan Mata in attack playing just behind Fernando Torres – and the combination has proved to be formidable so far.
Rooney has emphasized the need for United to prevent early goals from the blow of the whistle as they are being hosted in Stamford Bridge by an in-form Chelsea team.
Rooney said it would be better if United can prevent such early goals which will count against them because coming to get equalizers are sometimes very difficult against best teams like Chelsea and this happened against Braga in the Champions League during the week but United was lucky to get back into the game and win it.
Rooney continued that although last season United was able to pull it off against the Blues when they went 3-0 down before they drew, but he is not sure that United can pull it off again if that happens this time as United cannot afford to be going one or two goals down against Chelsea away as it has new crop of talented players now.
He said “Mata is a great player and Hazard has settled in really well in his first season so I think those two along with Torres are the three biggest threats.
“It’s a great start and it’s clear having won the Champions League last season it has given them a lot more confidence, they have brought a lot of new players in and added more speed to the team,” Rooney said.
Chelsea is undefeated in the League, winning seven of their eight games whilst drawing the other against QPR.
Manchester United earned a much desired victory against a 10-man Reds of Liverpool at Anfield this afternoon as a Robin Van Persie late penalty did the magic for the Red Devils.
Jonjo Shelvey’s sending-off brought down the host’s team to 10 men but still managed to take the lead through Steven Gerrard’s volley seconds after the interval.
Shelvey robbed Ryan Giggs in midfield but as the ball broke free he launched himself at Jonny Evans and the inevitable outcome was a red card.
However, Rafael equalised soon after and Van Persie, one of three United players to miss from the spot this term, scored his fourth goal in as many games against the Reds – although three of those had come for former side Arsenal – nine minutes from time.
Luis Suarez and Patrice Evra shook hands in a show of unity before the game – the Liverpool forward had refused to shake the United defender’s hand in the league meeting between the sides at Old Trafford in February, having previously been found guilty of racially abusing Evra in the corresponding fixture at Anfield last season.
Second-half substitute Suso, making his Premier League debut three days after his first-team bow in Switzerland, saw his cross half-cleared to Glen Johnson. A tackle from Paul Scholes, on for Nani at half-time, succeeded only in diverting the ball towards Gerrard who volleyed home left-footed in front of the Kop.
It was short-lived, however, as within five minutes United were level when Shinji Kagawa laid the ball off for Rafael to brilliantly curl left-footed over Jose Reina and in off the far post.
Daniel Agger and Johnson collided to allow Antonio Valencia to race 50 yards into the area and although Johnson got back he could only bring down the Ecuador international. Van Persie drilled home – although Reina went the right way and almost made the stop.
Reports making the round in the Spanish media circle after former coach of Barcelona Pep Guardiola missed the elite UEFA Coaches forum and coincidentally or not Manchester United’s manager Sir Alex Ferguson was also missing from the forum only for both men to be sighted together in New York probably in talks over the former Barca manager’s possibility of taking over the torch from Sir Alex at the end of 2012.
An issue that has generated so much debate amongst fans of the Red Devils’ and pundits alike for the better part of the last decade, and it seems as though the question of who will be the next Manchester United manager may finally be answered.
Of course, we shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves too much here. Yes, the fact that these two managers skipped the Forum to have private talks on a completely different continent is somewhat intriguing, but after all, these two men are friends away from the pitch.
Who’s to say that they hadn’t had this friendly catch-up planned for a while and didn’t want to postpone it any further, despite it clashing with UEFA’s annual event.
What is really driving the rumours is the fact that Guardiola—along with Jose Mourinho—has been one of the breakaway favourites to take on the United job for a long time now.
When the former Barca man stepped down and announced that he would be taking a year off from football, those suspicions were only heightened.
It has been spoken about in whispers this summer that the current Premier League season may be the final one for the great Sir Alex Ferguson in being charge of Manchester United.
This, coinciding with Guardiola’s year-long break, now followed by a “coincidental” meeting in America, will only continue to fuel the rumours of the Spaniard’s possible arrival at Old Trafford next summer.
Nothing is confirmed yet by any means, but perhaps United’s future post-Fergie is slowly starting to reveal itself.
Gunners’ manager Arsene Wenger made his stand known to those bidding for his star striker Robin van Persie that the Dutchman is not going anywhere as he is keeping him as he admitted the 28 year old is one of the best strikers in the World.
Italian Serie A Champion, Juventus, EPL champion Manchester City are the top bidders for his signature as Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson joined the bidding race on Friday to have him at Old Trafford, a bid which is believed to around £30 million.
Van Persie’s deal at Emirates Stadium expires next summer and he is presently unsettled at the club due to Manchester United’s joining the bid for his signature.
Van Persie won both Professional Footballers’ Association and Football Writers’ Association player of the year prizes in recognition of his phenomenal 36-goal contribution for Arsenal in the 2011/12 campaign.
Van Persie we learnt will not travel to Asia later today on Arsenal’s pre-season tour, although the Gunners were keen to stress his non-involvement was due to the striker having only trained for four days since returning from holiday.
The saga is shaping up to be a carbon copy of those that saw Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri both sold last summer – something which dragged on towards the tail end of the transfer window.
But Wenger is convinced that Van Persie will continue to give his all for Arsenal – regardless of whether he leaves the club.
But in case Van Persie leaves Arsenal, the clubalready signed two new strikers in Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud but are also said to be lining up Spain star Fernando Llorente.
Manchester United manager ; Sir Alex Ferguson during a press conference expressed his disappointment when he reluctantly announced that two of first team squad Danny Welbeck and Johnny Evans will not be gracing the game against Swansea come Sunday due to injury.
United will be looking for all opportunities to ward off the disappointment of their last encounter where they fell 1-0 to Manchester City in a local derby which also cost them their number spot on the premiership table at the Etihad Stadium.
Though, Johnny Evans missed the clash of the two teams but Danny Welback was fielded but got an ankle injury form the same game as he was placed on protective cast immediately after the clash.
The game at Old Trafford against Swansea is going to be without Danny Welback and Johnny Evans. Ferguson said both players are making improvement and they may likely be on call against Sunderland and not against Swansea.
Now the die is cast as Manchester United will be leaving no chances for complacency after the unbelievable setback suffered against Manchester City as the Red devils will be hunting for the maximum points in their last two games.