Iwobi Faces Disciplinary Action For Partying

Arsene Wenger says Alex Iwobi will be fined if it is confirmed he was at a party 36 hours before Sunday’s FA Cup loss at Nottingham Forest.

A video appearing to show the 21-year-old at the party in the early hours of Saturday morning was released on social media.

Iwobi played the full match as holders Arsenal lost the third-round tie

Arsenal manager Wenger said is it “impossible” and “unacceptable” to go out within 48 hours of a game.

The footage, which was uploaded to Snapchat, appears to show the Nigerian dancing at a party at a house in central London at 02:37 GMT, and was published in The Sun newspaper.

But Wenger said Iwobi was not involved in either taking drugs or drinking alcohol.

“First of all we have to be cautious with everything that is coming out,” Wenger added.

“When you read what is reported it is like he has taken drugs. He was not involved in that at all.

“He has been out at a birthday party and how long he has stayed? That is important. After, I will decide what happens.”

Wenger added: “You know that sometimes you want to prepare 100% but it is not always a guarantee you will be at your best. But that is what is requested from a top-level professional.”

Wenger Banned For Three-Matches, Fined £40,000

Arsene Wenger has been handed a three-match touchline ban and fined by the Football Association over comments he made about the refereeing of Sunday’s Premier League game against West Brom.

In a separate case, the Arsenal boss has also been asked by English football’s governing body to provide his observations on what he said about penalty decisions that went against the Gunners in both of their last two matches over the festive period, against the Baggies and Chelsea.

“Arsene Wenger will serve a touchline ban for Arsenal’s next three matches after he was charged with misconduct,” an FA statement said.

“It follows an independent regulatory commission hearing today at which the Arsenal manager admitted that his language and behaviour in the match officials’ changing room after the West Brom game on Sunday was abusive, improper and questioned the integrity of the match referee. He was also fined £40,000 ($54,000).”

Earlier, Wenger said he was unrepentant over his comments about penalty decisions against the Gunners.

“I maintain what I said in the press conference — 100 percent,” Wenger told reporters on Friday ahead of his side’s FA Cup third-round match at Nottingham Forest on Sunday.

“I try to serve this game with honesty and integrity and when I have something to say I will say it.”

AFP

Sanchez Future Anyone’s Guess, Says Wenger

Arsene Wenger admits he is no nearer to establishing where Arsenal’s Chilean star Alexis Sanchez’s future lies.

Wenger praised the 29-year-old’s two-goal display that helped secure a 3-2 victory at Crystal Palace on an evening where the French manager equalled Manchester United legend Alex Ferguson’s Premier League record of 810 matches in charge.

Sanchez’s commitment has been questioned this season following his failure to reach agreement with the north London club about an extension to his current contract that expires at the end of this season.

Wenger believes the player’s performance at Selhurst Park showed there has been no let up in the player’s effort, but with the January transfer window about to open, has no idea about the player’s next move.

Sanchez scored his first goal in the 62nd minute but not all his team-mates celebrated the strike with him.

“First of all nobody knows what will happen really,” said Wenger.

“It’s difficult to speculate. At the moment we are focused on short-term, that means the next game (against West Bromwich Albion on Sunday) with the players committed and ready to fight.

“It’s not a guarantee of how long you stay somewhere. As long as you are somewhere, you give your best.

“I felt he was very good tonight from the first minute on, focused on the game. This kind of Sanchez is a great football player, as we know. That’s the kind of performance we want from him.”

AFP

Arsene Wenger Helped My Career – Liberia President Elect, Weah

President-Elect and Liberian football legend, George Weah has revealed what his former manager at Monaco, Arsene Wenger did for him while he played for the club.

Weah is thankful to the Frenchman for helping him to flourish in Europe.

Wenger brought Weah to Europe when he signed him for Monaco from Tonnerre Yaoundé in 1988.

The ex-Liberian international later played for Paris Saint-Germain and AC Milan, Chelsea and Manchester City and later returned to France with Marseille.

He won the Ballon d’Or, making him the only African to win the prize.

He also won the UEFA Champions League Top Scorer award, Coupe de France, Ligue1, Coupe de la Ligue, Serie A title, English FA Cup among others.

In all this, Weah appreciated the French tactician for helping him to surpass his own expectations.

Speaking in an interview with the Guardian UK, ‎he said, “When I started playing football, I never thought I would ever win the Ballon d’Or and emerge as the best player in the world.

“I just had a passion for the game and I worked hard. Every day, I would rather train than eat or sleep.

“When I moved to Monte Carlo [to play for Monaco from the Cameroonian club Tonnerre Yaoundé in 1988] I didn’t play for the first six months. But I was determined to showcase my talent, to prove to those back home, who thought that my coming to Europe was a waste of time, that I was a good player.

“He (Wenger) was a father figure and regarded me as his son. This was a man, when racism was at its peak, who showed me love. He wanted me to be on the pitch for him every day.

“One day, I was quite tired of training and told him that I was having a headache.

“He said to me: ‘George, I know it’s tough but you need to work hard. I believe that with your talent, you can become one of the best players in the world.’

“So I listened and kept going on. Besides God, I think that without Arsène, there was no way I would have made it in Europe.”

Arsene Wenger Breeds confidence Over Victory

Arsene Wenger believes Arsenal’s 1-0 victory over Newcastle will breed the confidence they need to cope with a hectic Christmas schedule.

After seeing his side end a three-match winless run thanks to Mesut Ozil’s spectacular first-half goal at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday, Gunners boss Wenger has no worries about a potential lack of stamina.

“You could see that we had played three games in six days and the third game is a bit more difficult physically. Nobody else had to play Sunday, Wednesday, Saturday, but I still think we had plenty of chances to score more goals,” Wenger said.

“If you look historically, it happens every year that finishing is a bit cyclic. Sometimes you will score three or four, converting every chance, and sometimes you will have six or seven chances and score only one.

“I know that people are not happy with it, but it’s part of the game and you need to live with it.”

Ozil’s current form had Wenger purring in admiration and more desperate than ever to ensure that the Germany international does not leave the club in January or at the end of the season when his contract expires.

“It was a superb finish. He can deliver that. It’s important for him that he takes the risk to do what he did,” Wenger said.

“Usually he is a guy who, 99 per cent of the time, in this position, he controls the ball and gives it to somebody else, so I’m pleased he took the gamble to finish and I’m happy as well that he scored a very important goal.

“I am confident that he will stay here, but what does that mean? I don’t know.”

With Newcastle slipping into the bottom three for the first time this season, manager Rafael Benitez will no doubt be grateful for Wenger’s support.

The Frenchman and Spaniard exchanged a warm greeting pitch-side before kick-off and that mutual respect was echoed afterwards.

Wenger said of his Newcastle counterpart: “I think he is doing a good job because Newcastle is not one of the teams who invested hugely to compete at the top when they came up.

“His team overall looks to me to be organised, they look mobile and they look to have a good spirit.

“The job of a manager is to take the best from the potential of his team and I believe Benitez does that very well.”

Because it is unlikely the mooted takeover of Newcastle can be sanctioned and completed before the transfer window closes at the end of January, Benitez is aware he faces a tough task to keep the club from dropping back into the Championship.

First, he must halt a run of results that has reaped just a solitary point from the last nine games.

“Obviously, the last results haven’t given us confidence but I always said that coming back from the Championship, this team would be in the bottom half of the table,” Benitez said.

“We didn’t win games when we had them against teams around us in the table. Now we have to put everything right, playing better if we can, and hopefully bring in one or two additions in January to give a lift to everyone.

“The main thing is to stay calm, do our jobs properly and give ourselves the chance to move up the table if the team continues to work like they did today.”

Sanchez, Ozil Going Nowhere – Wenger

Manager Arsene Wenger says forward Alexis Sanchez and midfielder Mesut Ozil will be at Arsenal after the January transfer window “unless something unbelievable happens”.

The contracts of both players expire at the end of the season.

Asked if his gut feeling is they will stay, Wenger replied: “Yes, of course.”

The Frenchman also said it is in midfielder Jack Wilshere’s “best interest” to remain with the Premier League club.

Wenger added: “I will absolutely fight for him to stay here because he’s a top-quality player.”

England international Wilshere, 25, has struggled with injuries since making his Arsenal debut in 2008 and spent the 2016-17 campaign on loan at Bournemouth.

He has yet to make a Premier League start this season.

Both Sanchez, 28, and 29-year-old Ozil are key figures for Wenger.

Chile forward Sanchez, who arrived in 2014 from Barcelona, has scored 56 goals in 113 appearances, while Germany international Ozil has produced 45 assists since his debut in September 2013, more than any other Premier League player.

Wenger said: “As long as they are here, they give their best for the club.

“In my head, they stay until the end of the season. Unless something unbelievable happens I don’t see that changing.”

Asked if they will remain beyond the end of the 2017-18 campaign, he added: “I am not the only one to decide that. They have to decide that as well.”

Wenger Offers To Save Walcot’s Career

Arsenal Manager Arsene Wenger is ready to give Theo Walcott a fresh chance to rescue his Gunners’ career.

Walcott has a little more than 18 months left on his present contract and has been linked with a move away should his situation not improve.

But it is understood the forward’s preference is to remain at the club he joined almost 12 years ago, providing he is rewarded for his commitment to more regular opportunities.

Wenger said, “He looks back to a very good shape. I felt it took him some time to come back to his real level. He had a difficult start, maybe, but since the start of the season he looks highly motivated and focused. I am impressed with what he is doing and the way he’s coping with the situation.”

Sanchez Snubs Arsenal Manager Over Contract Dispute

The Arsenal striker Alexis Sanchez whose Gunners future remains up in the air appeared to blank his boss prior to a session at the club’s London Colney facility on Wednesday.

Wenger, who was embarking on his ritual of shaking each of his players’ hands before putting them through their paces, was acknowledged by Nacho Monreal and Mesut Ozil but a photograph shows Sanchez apparently walking on by.

They saw Sanchez head on towards a group of his team-mates instead of approaching Wenger, though the Gunners manager did not offer his hand to his star striker and appeared to say ‘I’ve already done you’.

Wenger’s habit of greeting each of his players and staff, in turn, has been a staple part of Arsenal life throughout the Frenchman’s reign.

Sportsmail columnist and former Arsenal defender Martin Keown has previously explained Wenger’s ritual.

‘Wenger introduced it but I think when he first arrived he wasn’t sure who he was shaking hands with. But I thought it was a good thing,’ he said.

 

Arsenal Prepared To Sell Mesut Ozil In January

Inter Milan have shown a strong interest in Ozil and that may tempt Arsenal to cash in with no sign of the German superstar signing a new deal at the Emirates.

The current situation with Ozil, 28, not in the team because of a slight knee problem has only highlighted the fact that Arsenal can cope without him.

Manager Arsene Wenger has said that Ozil will be back after the international break but he is no longer guaranteed a place in the starting line-up.

While Alexis Sanchez has performed well in some games despite his contract stand-off, there have been questions over Ozil.

 

 

Source: Tribal Football

Wenger Coming Strong On Next Play-Off

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said he will field a strong side for Thursday’s Europa League visit to BATE Borisov, despite a 4000km round trip in the middle of a spell of three games in seven days.

The second round of group-stage matches also sees AC Milan visit Croatia’s Rijeka, Everton host Cypriots Apollon Limassol and Nice face Vitesse Arnhem, with 24 games in total.

Wenger hinted grudgingly that he would not make wholesale changes despite a visit to Brighton and Hove Albion on Sunday after club record signing Alexandre Lacazette scored twice in a 2-0 win over West Bromwich Albion on Monday.

“We have to accept it, but I will go with a team of senior players, and certainly a young bench,” said the Frenchman, whose side came from behind to beat Cologne 3-1 in their opener.

“We play Monday night, we play in Borisov on Thursday, and we play Sunday morning. For the team selection, it has an impact.”

Belarusian champions Borisov, who are unbeaten in their previous seven European home games and drew 1-1 at Red Star Belgrade in their first match, could have to face the likes of Lacazette and Alexis Sanchez.

Run ragged in a 3-0 defeat at Italians Atalanta last time out in what coach Ronald Koeman called a “wake-up call”, Everton host Apollon, who held French outfit Lyon to a 1-1 draw two weeks ago.

The Liverpudlians can thank former outcast Oumar Niasse for their 2-1 win over Bournemouth at the weekend, as they rallied from a poor start to the season with the forward scoring twice as a substitute.

Seven-time European champions AC Milan are another misfiring team despite heavy investment from their new Chinese owners.

Coach Vincenzo Montella is under pressure to ring the changes after a 2-0 loss to Sampdoria, they’re second in the league this season.

“It’s not about finding who is to blame. The club management has just told me to intervene to ensure there are no more games like this,” he said after a meeting with his bosses on Monday.

Nice striker Balotelli scored his fifth goal in four games in a 2-2 draw with Anger on Friday, ahead of their game with Vitesse Arnhem, which sees close-season signing Wesley Sneijder returned to the Netherlands.

Balotelli scored twice as Lucien Favre’s side hammered Zulte Waregem 5-1 two weeks ago, after the disappointment of their Champions League play-off defeat by Napoli.

Source: The Guardian

‘Arsenal Won’t Sacrifice Competitions’

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has said the club cannot afford to ignore any competition, unlike rival managers who have questioned the value of the League Cup.

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho suggested scrapping of the League Cup could help avoid fixture congestion and would help English clubs become more competitive in European competitions.

The Portuguese manager was also backed by Manchester City counterpart Pep Guardiola, who played down the significance of the League Cup.

Wenger’s Arsenal, who finished fifth in the Premier League last season, missed out on Champions League qualification for the first time in 20 years and are playing in the less prestigious Europa League.

“You cannot sacrifice deliberately any competition with the pressure that every club is under now,” Wenger told reporters ahead of Arsenal’s home match against West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League on Monday.

“You know that you could pay the price sometimes for it because you know that if you go further in the League Cup, at some stage you play in the semifinal – home and away in January.

“(So) you have the FA Cup, the Premier League and sometimes you lose players in these competitions.”

Wenger is set to face left-back Kieran Gibbs, who returns with West Brom at the Emirates for the first time since leaving Arsenal in the transfer window.

When asked if Gibbs’ transfer move felt like losing a family member, Wenger replied: “Of course. And I believe that for (players that leave) it must be difficult to make that step as well.

“He did not ask to leave, it was a mutual decision. He wanted to play – his 27, or 28. You want to play at that age.”

The Frenchman also admitted it was also difficult to sell midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to Liverpool.

The 24-year-old England international has since struggled to make a breakthrough at Anfield, starting only once since joining the Merseyside club last month.

“Of course I sympathise with (Oxlade-Chamberlain), with everybody,” Wenger said. “But we’re in a job where you have to accept that you are judged every day on your performances.

“But the level of your performances is not permanent. It’s down to you to respond to that.”

Following their league assignment, Arsenal visits Belarusian side BATE Borisov in Europa League on Thursday.

 

 

Source: SuperSport