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WENGER SAD AT GUARDIOLA EXIT

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has said that he is extremely saddened by the exit of Guardiola as the Barcelona manager from the end of this season. Guardiola recently announced his decision to step down from the post after four years in charge during which time he has managed to convert Barcelona into the greatest team in the world. Arsene Wenger is a known admirer of the very Barcelona play their football. Wenger has not been ashamed of admitting that he has always tried to play the Barcelona way. Guardiola managed to win three league titles in a row in addition to the two Champions League titles as well.

Ahead of the match with Stoke city during the weekend, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said that he would have liked to see Guardiola continue his job at the Camp Nou. Guardiola will be going out after having seen Real Madrid claim the title from Barcelona’s hands, while the club were also knocked out from the Champions League by Chelsea. This meant that Barcelona were unable to become the first club in the history of the Champions League to win back-to-back titles. Wenger praised the philosophy of Guardiola by saying that it is the model for other clubs to follow.

“It comes as a surprise to me because first of all when you make a decision after a big disappointment like he has had in the past week, it may not be the right moment to make this decision. The philosophy of Barcelona has to be bigger than winning or losing a championship. Guardiola is one of the representatives of this philosophy and made this philosophy triumph so I would have loved him, even going through a disappointing year, to stay and come back and insist with his philosophy,” said Wenger regarding Guardiola’s decision to step down as Barcelona manager.

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ARSENAL LACKED SHARPNESS

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has said that his team lacked the sharpness required to beat a team struggling against relegation after Arsenal lost against Wigan on Monday night. The 2-1 home defeat meant that Arsenal are unable to open an eight-point advantage over Tottenham.

Hence, the bid to finish in the automatic Champions League qualification has not been secured yet. Wigan were coming into the match after having beaten Manchester United in their previous match. It provided them with huge confidence that they carried into the match against Arsenal as well, thus becoming the first team since Southampton in 2001 to beat Manchester United and Arsenal in back-to-back games.

It did not take long for Wigan Athletic to secure a stranglehold on the match after they scored two goals in the opening 8 min of the match. Arsenal then brought one goal back through a Thomas Vermaelen header, but were unable to get the second and equalising goal throughout the match. As a result, Tottenham could move to just one point within Arsenal if they win their game in hand. Following their win over Arsenal, Wigan are now five points above the relegation zone, which will ease their relegation fears for the moment.

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KOLN REFUTE PODOLSKI RUMOURS

Koln striker Lukas Podolski has said that there has been no agreement with him and Premier league club Arsenal over a potential transfer in the summer transfer window.

Lukas Podolski has been linked with a move away from his hometown club Koln. Even though Lucas Podolski joined Koln willingly from Bayern Munich after stating that he felt never happy with the German giants, the German striker is now willing to move on in life after failing to win any trophies with his hometown club.

Koln are currently struggling against relegation in the German Bundesliga, and the 16 goals scored by Lukas Podolski this season has been one of the reasons they have been kept afloat so far.

Recent reports suggest that Arsenal have agreed a £ 10.9 million deal with Koln, while they have also appeared to have struck a deal with Lukas Podolski. These reports have been dismissed by both Koln and Lukas Podolski. Even Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger did not speculate on the possibility of Podolski being at the Emirates stadium next season.

Podolski was close to joining Arsenal in the January transfer window itself, but rejected any approaches due to the fact that he would not be a regular with Robin van Persie in the squad.

“The final die is not yet cast. It’s part of the business and so it is generally agreed that only when the die is cast and everything is signed – when it comes to a transfer, as it is being discussed in the newspapers – only then can the parties involved make comments. It is still not settled and therefore we have no comment,” Koln sporting director Finke stated in a recent interview. Robin van Persie has so far scored 32 goals this season, but is widely expected to leave the club in the summer.

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VERMAELEN CONVINCED ON TOP 4 SPOT

Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen has said that he is convinced that Arsenal can finish in the top four this season. The possibility of Arsenal qualifying for the Champions League next season has been under major doubt right from the start. However, Arsenal had been putting a run of form recently, which has made them the favourites to finish in the top four.

Teams currently competing for this position include the likes of Chelsea, Tottenham, and Liverpool. Even though Liverpool remain the outsiders, Arsenal need to perform well in the remaining matches in order to finish in the top four.

Even though Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger may have stated in the past that Champions League money is not essential for their survival in the near future, it is definitely important for the attraction of top players in the world. It would also be essential for Arsenal because they need to entice star striker Robin van Persie to stay in North London.

Arsenal have managed three victories in a row against top teams like Tottenham, Liverpool, and AC Milan. It is this form that has convinced the Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen that they can finish in the top four amidst the competition, which is quite strong.

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RVP WILL STAY

Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis has said that the club are not prepared to let Robin van Persie leave the Emirates in the summer. Robin van Persie is out of contract in the summer of 2013. Hence, there have been reports that Arsenal will be willing to negotiate a deal with other clubs interested in signing the Dutchman.

This is very similar to the move Samir Nasri made to Manchester City. Despite being in the last year of his contract, Arsenal managed to negotiate a £ 25 million deal for Samir Nasri. Even though it may have had potential repercussions in terms of the performance on the field, the financial situation of Arsenal has become even more healthy.

Hence, there have been some suggestions that Arsenal will also be interested in discussing a deal for Robin van Persie, who is the current top scorer at the club. Manchester City and Real Madrid are the clubs interested in the Dutchman, who has scored 34 goals in the previous calendar year alone. It is thought that Robin van Persie has grown tired of life at Emirates due to the lack of trophies. The exit from the Champions League this season also seems to be confirmed after the 4-0 loss at the hands of AC Milan recently.

“Arsenal are not stupid. If he sees out his contract he will be 30. Real Madrid and Barcelona are not going to recruit him at 30. Van Persie feels powerless and anxious. There is no way any club will pay £40m for him this summer, because of his age. This makes him a £20m player and Arsenal don’t need to sell him for that,” an insider told about the decision made by Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis. Arsenal are currently fourth in the Premier league table.

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WENGER TIPS THE OX

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has said that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is a player who reminds him of Wayne Rooney or Cesc Fabregas.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has been one of the impressive players for Arsenal in 2012, despite the fact that Arsenal have just won their first game of the New Year in the league. Arsenal demolished Blackburn Rovers 7-1 in the latest Barclays Premier league match.

Incidentally, this was the first victory Arsenal have managed in the league in 2012. Apart from it being extremely special for Arsenal due to this reason, it was also special due to the Robin van Persie hat-trick and incredible performance on the part of the youngster Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

The youngster scored two goals and was also responsible for setting up numerous others. The 7-1 thrashing is expected to provide Arsenal the impetus to take on the rest of the teams in the Premier league over the last few remaining matches. Arsenal are not currently in a position to qualify for the Champions League next season. Thus, Arsene Wenger is expected to make qualifications to the Champions League a priority. Arsenal are currently in the sixth position in the table, which will not even ensure them Europa league football next season.

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Arsenal Chasing Unknown Omanian?

Arsene Wenger, the manager of Arsenal, has decided that he needs a left back to be brought into the club by the end of January. He is desperate to ensure that a left back is brought in and this has resulted in one of the weirdest deals ever to have been faced by Arsenal…

They have decided to take in Saad al-Mukhaini on trial and after a two day trial they might finalize the deal if they like what they see. If the deal is finalized, then Saad al-Mukhaini will be only the second Omanian player to have been participating in the Barclay’s Premier League.

Arsenal have been associated and linked with a diverse set of names this season, including those of Wayne bridge, Taye taiwo, Aly Cissoko and many others. But experimenting with an unknown Omanian is something which has not happened in quite a while and the outcome might well be surprising.

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GUNNERS TARGET HENRY RETURN

Arsenal will be offering a two-month loan deal to former legend Thierry Henry, who has been training with the Gunners for the last few weeks.

Thierry Henry represented Arsenal for an eight year period from 1999 to 2007 and is regard at as one of the greatest strikers ever to play in the Premier League. He is also the record goal scorer for Arsenal and he left for Barcelona in 2007 for £ 16 million.

Since then, he has signed for MLS side New York Red Bulls, and the hope of him returning to his old stomping ground has all but been ruled out. However, the two-month break in the MLS season has now provided the 34-year-old with an opportunity to return to the Emirates Stadium.

A number of newspapers in England have been reporting that Arsenal will consider offering a two-month loan deal for Thierry Henry. This would mean that Thierry Henry would be at the disposal of Arsene Wenger for up to 7 Premier League matches, which is extremely good considering that Arsenal are set to lose a few players during the African cup of nations. Even though a lot has been spoken about the fitness of Thierry Henry, it is calculated gamble by Arsenal because they have nothing to lose.

“He is a great opportunity for us. But I’m not the manager. I am happy training with him. He is playing well. Training against him is a great experience. He shows his class. He has the same attitude he showed in a lot of Arsenal games,” Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker said when asked about the possibility of Thierry Henry returning to the Arsenal team. Thierry Henry’s last season in Europe with Barcelona was a disappointing one, as he managed only three goals in the entire season.

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Wenger curses his luck

Arsene Wenger was left cursing his side’s bad luck after two key decisions went against Arsenal in their 1-0 defeat to Manchester City.

David Silva’s goal was enough to hand all three points to the Sky Blues and return them to the top of the Premier League, but Wenger believes that things could have been very different had the officials awarded his side a penalty and not ruled out a Robin Van Persie effort for offside. The Dutch striker was also involved in the penalty incident, which occurred when his shot was deflected into the path of Aaron Ramsey who then went down under a challenge from Kolo Toure.

Although his manager admitted he had not had chance to watch a replay of the incident, he was happy to accept his striker’s word on what has happened.

“Yes [I thought it was a penalty]. Honestly I haven’t seen it but Van Persie is adamant it was a 100 per cent penalty,” Wenger said.

Speaking about the offside goal, he added: “I haven’t seen it again but we know that these decisions can turn the game and they didn’t go for us today. We were unlucky with the decisions but we have to take it on the chin.”

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ARSENAL RELIANT ON RVP?

Arsenal have staged a quite impressive comeback in the League and the Champions League ever since suffering a horrible dip in form during the early parts of the campaign. However, their impressive comeback is threatened by the amount of reliance they put upon the striker Robin van Persie and also the recent draw with Fulham. The 1-1 draw was extremely surprising, as Arsenal could have easily lost the match. In order to be competitive in the league, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has said that Arsenal should not be dropping any more points in the campaign.

This is quite a powerful statement considering that Arsenal to rely a lot upon the players like Robin van Persie and Theo Walcott. The return of Jack Wilshere in January should add some much-needed strength to the Arsenal line-up, although the Christmas fixtures could prove extremely costly should Arsenal suffer any more injuries. The sale of Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas has severely weakened the team, but the rise of Robin van Persie as a real quality strikers has compensated for it. Despite drawing against Fulham, Arsene Wenger may have a lot of positives to take away from the match given that they are on a nine match unbeaten run.

Thomas Vermaelen scored the goals at both ends in the match against Fulham. Speaking after the match, Arsene Wenger said, “Overall I must say that the spirit in the squad is so good that I’m confident we’ll improve even more. The spirit was exceptional [against Fulham] – you could see that when we were 1-0 down the team responded by giving absolutely everything to come back.”

Andrey Arshavin has been one player who has come under intense criticism this season, but Arsene Wenger was quick to defend the Russian for his lacklustre performances this season.