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

Wenger Denies “Contract Talk” With Ozil Gone Silent

Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger denies contract talks with Mesut Ozil have collapsed.

Wenger did admit discussions have “slowed down” in the past couple of weeks but insists that dialogue is still open and the club want the 28-year-old playmaker to re-sign.

German media claim talks have stalled since February.

But on Wednesday Wenger said: “Yes, of course (I am hopeful).

“The contract talks have slowed down a little bit since August 31, because we need a little breather and to focus on the competition. But we will slowly get back into that.”

 

After 2 Decades Arsenal Slips Into Europe’s Second Tier Competition

Arsenal makes a comeback and takes giant strides by slipping into the continent’s second tier competition in the English League, after nearly two decades of in the Champions League, with AC Milan also injecting star quality.

Arsene Wenger’s men, fifth in the Premier League last season – their first finish outside the top four since 1995-96 – take on German side Cologne on Thursday at the Emirates Stadium in London.

The Arsenal boss said his team would take the competition seriously despite the disappointment of missing out on the Champions League after 19 consecutive seasons in Europe’s premier competition.

“We will take it seriously but the priority is to focus on the Premier League and combining the two,” he said in comments reported by Britain’s Daily Telegraph.

“Then, in December, we will see, but at least we want to qualify for the next round. Thursday to Sunday morning is short so I have to think about that. But we have to win at home and you know how it is when you don’t win at home.”

Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech, who won the 2012/13 Europa League with Chelsea, said the competition was a worthwhile target.

“We decided that it was the first time and hopefully the last time we played the Europa League and we wanted to win it,” he said.

Arsenal’s domestic rivals Manchester United won the trophy last year, giving them a route into this year’s Champions League.

Wenger, whose Arsenal side lost the club’s previous match in the competition to Galatasaray in the 2000 final, when it was branded the Uefa Cup, is likely to rotate his squad, giving some of his fringe players game time as he negotiates a tricky Group H that also includes Red Star Belgrade and Belarusian outfit BATE Borisov.

Seven-time European champions AC Milan have an easier task, with ties against Austria Vienna, AEK Athens and Rijeka of Croatia in Group D as they continue their return to European competition for the first time since 2013-14.

The Italians, looking to win the only major European trophy that has so far eluded them, appear to be on the road to recovery under Chinese ownership after a number of lean years.

Smarting after a 4-1 Serie A defeat to Lazio at the weekend, they open their group-stage campaign at Austria Vienna after coming through two qualifying rounds.

“We are a new squad. It’s my responsibility and the one of the boss and the management to lead this group to success,” said captain Leonardo Bonucci, who joined the club from Juventus in the close season.

“We must stick together also when playing in Europa League,” he told Milan TV. “It’s a competition that many in the team have never played in before.”

Wayne Rooney’s Everton will have a stern test in Group E, which also includes French club Lyon, whose Groupama Stadium will host the final on May 16.

Other notable names in this year’s group stage are Spanish sides Villarreal and Real Sociedad as well as Italy’s Lazio.

 

‘I Don’t Know Why Neymar Left Barca’ – Wenger

Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger has shown his displeasure and said it’s difficult to know why Neymar quit Barcelona for PSG

Wenger admits he’d like the Brazilian to set out why he chose to leave Barca.

“Neymar has never really said the reasons for his departure because he always insisted upon a great desire to play with the best players,” said Wenger.

“He decided to take another route, so for financial reasons, or because he thinks that PSG will replace Real Madrid or Barcelona, or for personal reasons, he may want to become the player to which PSG, the team, is turning to and he wants to be recognized as the best player in the world.”

 

Wenger Believes Liverpool Endorsed Chamberlain Behind Club’s Consent

Arsene Wenger admits it would be “naive” to believe that Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain was not “tapped up” prior to his £35 million moves from Arsenal to Liverpool.

The England international departed Emirates Stadium on deadline day, with the Gunners choosing to cash in on a player who would have been out of contract next summer.

They refused to do likewise with Alexis Sanchez, as Manchester City were prevented from completing a £60m deal, but Wenger concedes that his hand was forced in other discussions.

The Frenchman believes that Oxlade-Chamberlain will have been contacted prior to his switch to Anfield, although he doubts that any talks were held during a Premier League visit to Merseyside a matter of days before a big-money transfer was pushed through.

“You are not naive enough to think that will not happen,” Wenger said.

“I don’t know (if it happened before Arsenal’s 4-0 defeat to Liverpool on August 27). I don’t know.

“Have they been tapped up? Of course. But on the day of a game? I don’t think so, I hope not. But it’s inevitable.

“France played against Holland on the last day of the transfer window. Do you really think that not one French player or Dutch player had phone calls in the afternoon about a move or not?

“I am not naive enough to believe that. That’s why you have to scrap it before the season starts.”

Wenger has now got his wish regarding deadline day, with the decision taken to shorten the summer window.

Premier League clubs have agreed to end all transfer dealings before the start of the season, with the new rules set to come into effect from 2018-19.

Not all English top-flight teams supported the proposal, but changes have been made and from next year there will be an end to distracting exit talk once competitive football resumes.

Wenger Faces End OF Transfer Window Disaster

Rocked by Arsenal’s humiliating 4-0 defeat at Liverpool, Arsene Wenger faces a series of damaging transfer window defections that threaten to derail his side’s already chaotic season.

With the transfer deadline looming at 2200 GMT on Thursday, Gunners boss Wenger finds himself mired in a mess of his own making as Alexis Sanchez and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain headline a host of Arsenal stars trying to flee the troubled club.

Chile forward Sanchez is desperate to seal a move to Manchester City after rejecting Arsenal’s offer of £300 000-per-week to extend a contract which is due to expire at the end of the season.

Sanchez, who angered fans when he was pictured smirking on the Arsenal bench during the Liverpool rout, is reported to have asked to be excused from training with Chile this week while negotiations over his future heat up.

City is said to have offered their England winger Raheem Sterling plus cash in a bid to convince Wenger to part ways with his prized asset.

Wenger reportedly countered by asking City to include Sergio Aguero as a makeweight in the deal but, while Pep Guardiola has shown signs of losing faith in the Argentine striker, it would be a surprise if he was allowed to join Arsenal.

The city would prefer a straight cash deal for Sanchez but are believed to be willing to compromise by including Sterling and would fly to Chile to sort out personal terms and a medical before the deadline.

Sterling, who was sent off after scoring City’s winner at Bournemouth on Saturday, could be surplus to requirements at Eastlands given the array of attacking talent in Guardiola’s squad.

Sanchez’s future isn’t the only problem piling up in Wenger’s in-tray.

England winger Oxlade-Chamberlain has snubbed Wenger’s attempts to persuade him to sign an £180 000-per-week contract extension and, with his deal running out in June, he is reported to be on the verge of joining Chelsea in a £35 million deal.

West Bromwich Albion is looking at signing Arsenal left-back Kieran Gibbs, while Shkodran Mustafi, Jack Wilshere, and Mathieu Debuchy could also be sold.

DAMAGE LIMITATIOIN

After a miserable first season with Arsenal, Lucas Perez has been told he can leave and the Spanish striker hopes to return home, with Levante among the interested clubs.

Wenger will try to offset those potential losses with some last-ditch shopping of his own and West Brom defender Jonny Evans and Paris Saint-Germain winger Julian Draxler are among his mooted targets.

For Arsenal to be in such a panicked state is a huge blow to Wenger only three months after an FA Cup final triumph against Chelsea that the 67-year-old Frenchman hoped would herald a new era of sustained success.

The craven manner of Arsenal’s capitulation at Anfield, coming just a week after a disappointing defeat at Stoke, laid bare all the flaws that Wenger has been unable to fix in recent years.

Without a Premier League title in 13 years and absent from the Champions League this season following last term’s fifth-place finish, Arsenal are no longer a marquee destination for the sport’s top stars.

Now Wenger, who signed a new two-year contract in the close season, looks set to spend the remaining hours of the transfer window in damage limitation mode.

And former Arsenal star Ian Wright has seen enough, claiming it’s time for his old boss to step down.

“Where do we start? A number of things that are going wrong, it does come back to Arsene Wenger’s door. We’re three games in and we’re literally at crisis point,” Wright told the BBC.

“Do I think he should go? I would like him to go simply because I do not believe now that Arsene Wenger can motivate those players with everything that’s going on above him.

“We are three games in and it’s already an absolute nightmare.”

Five Things Arsene Wenger Must To Do To Restore Arsenal’s Fortunes

Arsenal was embarrassed by Liverpool in the 4-0 drubbing on Sunday. Sadio Mane, Mo Salah and Firmino ran riot as the Gunners looked listless and shell-shocked. Jurgen Klopp’s charges harried, pressed hard and were incisive on the counter. They showed up the several frailties in this Arsenal side. The Arsenal manager would not have imagined his side so comprehensively outplayed. This broken Arsenal side is in need of several fixes. Here are five things Wenger should do:

Drop uncommitted players
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s inclusion in the starting line-up had all the designs of a ploy to pacify the winger cum wing-back into extending his contract. The England international reportedly turned down a £180,000 pounds deal to extend his stay at the Emirates. Chief in his misgivings has been his injury spate and a lack of extended playing time on the side. The 24-year-old is said to be pushing for a move to either Liverpool or Chelsea and still, Wenger put him in the starting line-up. Chamberlain looked half-hearted in some passages of play and Alexis Sanchez’s wry smile on the bench also suggested the Chilean’s heart may be set somewhere else.

Sign a midfielder
Granit Xhaka looks very far off from a quality midfielder charged with putting an end to Arsenal’s struggles in midfield. The Swiss did a horrible job shielding the defence, he won no tackle and managed to be worse with the ball at his feet. He was easily pressed off the ball and turned over possession in dangerous areas. Xhaka wasn’t helped by his partner in the midfield, Aaron Ramsey, who was more interested in haring forward. Ramsey hardly availed himself to help build from the back and was derelict in the defensive phase. Wenger needs to deep into the market to get a quality midfielder in the ilk of the legendary Patrick Viera.

Ditch three at the back
Playing with three at the back delivered measured success for Arsenal in the last nine games of last season, but this season, the tactic and its execution has been poor. Rob Holding looked lost on the right side of the back three, Nacho Monreal was not assuring on the left and returning Laurent Koscielny showed no leadership in the heart of the defence. With a formation that was supposed to guarantee security in the defence, the Gunner has shipped in eight goals in three games and it could get a lot worse if Wenger persists with three at the back.

Improve selection choices
Hector Bellerin played as a left wing back, Chamberlain was the right wing back, specialist wing back, Sead Kolasinac was dropped to the bench. Alexander Lacazette, bought for £45.6 million with 28 goals last season was dropped to the bench for Danny Welbeck, whose highest goal return in a season is pegged at nine goals. Wenger really does need to improve his choices in the selection of his team. Welbeck has presented a gilt-edged chance to put Arsenal ahead in the opening stages of the encounter against Liverpool but the forward skied it high, leaving all to question his inclusion in place of Lacazette.

Leave the club
The ‘Wenger Out’ brigade has been around for a while but maybe it’s time the Frenchman heed the cry of the fans. The longer he stays at the helm, the more it feels he is chipping away whatever legacy there was to be celebrated. Wenger could have left on a high after the FA Cup victory but he chose to extend his contract by two years. He has held out hope for too long looking to win the League title, maybe it is the time he takes that long, hard introspective look and then hands in his resignation.

 

Source: The Guardian

 

Wenger Confirms Alexis Readiness To Face Liverpool

The Manager and coach of Arsenal, Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Alexis Sanchez will be available for the club’s Premier League fixture against Liverpool on Sunday.

The Chile international attacker has not been available for the Gunners yet this season, with speculation continuing to circulate over his future.

Alexis has yet to sign a fresh deal with the Emirates Stadium club, meaning that he could depart on a free transfer next summer. The 28-year-old continues to be linked with a transfer to Manchester City before the close of the transfer window of August 31, yet it seems that he will feature for the London side this weekend. Arsene Wenger says:

“He is ready to play,” Wenger confirmed at his pre-match press conference.

“I will have to make that decision. Overall he looks in a good shape.

“He has always been focused on his job. He loves to play football and I don’t think he’s too much disturbed by all the noises. Players at that level are used to it now. Some deal with it better than others but I don’t think he’s too much bothered by that.”

The former Monaco boss also appeared optimistic over the prospect of an extension being agreed with the South American.

“The fact that he goes into the last year of his contract doesn’t mean we can’t extend it,” he said.

Wenger has numerous headaches with regards renewals, with Mesut Ozil, Alex Oxlaid-Chamberlain and Jack Wilshere all out of contract at the end of the season, too.