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by Shayan Niazi

With Man Utd and Liverpool likely to dominate the title race again this season, Aston Villa and Chelsea could find themselves in a scrap for third place.

Fabregas like Gunners and Gooner staring at 5th place

Fabregas like Gunners and Gooners staring at 5th place

Arsenal’s squad appears weaker, with the summer departures not quite balanced by the new arrivals. Losing key players like Alexander Hleb and Mathieu Flamini, as well as experienced squad members Jens Lehmann and Gilberto Silva must surely take their toll both on and off the pitch.

Other news is Alexandre Hleb is determined to stick it out at Barca and fight for his place, it’s a shame he didn’t show the same mettle at Arsenal, but then he’d look a right plonker if he left Barca wouldn’t he? It’s good to see the curse of Arsenal is still working though and should if nothing else show to any want-aways that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.

It’s a testament to Arsene Wenger’s ability that there are no rumours of discontent despite Arsenal not winning a major trophy since lifting the FA Cup in 2005. Many fans recognise what Wenger is doing post Henry, Pires, Bergkamp and co, and with the emergence of the talent at his disposal now the Frenchman will fully expect his squad to challenge for the Premiership.

With the loss of key players in the past 2 seasons it takes time to re-build a team. Wenger doesn’t go spending large sums on celebrity players, instead he takes a considered approach and looks to the long term but in the end fails to meet the expectations of the board.

The main question is that CAN Arsenal finish in the top 4? The current stats tell us finishing in the top 4 requires a lot more than Arsenal are doing at the moment , and Wenger’s treating it like a joke. Sure, it’s good he’s got philosophies of how the game should be played and wants to bring youngsters through but he’s still being paid to win football matches.
He almost seems to be being defiant and stubborn in not buying players to try to prove a point but the bottom line is the money’s there and it’s obvious to anyone he needs a centre-back and a defensive midfielder and, as long as he’s not buying those players, he’s letting the fans down, letting the board down and basically failing to do what he’s paid to do.
current news tells us :
Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood has told Arsene Wenger the club would not suffer a financial apocalypse if they did not secure a Champions League berth.
Currently in fifth place and eight points behind leaders Manchester United, Wenger is facing the reality of finishing outside the top four for the first time in his 13 year reign.
But Hill-Wood has moved to assure Arsenal fans that if the club has to settle with a Uefa Cup place there would be no financial meltdown and nor would they struggle to continue paying off the mortgage on their £360 million stadium.
“Although missing out on the Champions League for one year would be a big disappointment, it would not mean financial Armageddon for Arsenal.

Arsenal are currently in need of 12 points to cover the gap between Manchester United and are 5 points away from Chelsea , with the games in hand being taken away one by one and a total of 13 games left Arsene and his team need to go all out in order to earn a Champions League spot.
Wenger needs to try different tactics to save his team from finishing 5th , and try a different set of players who might make it count for the team. With the absence of Fabregas , Walcott and Rosicky there is no influential player left in the field and Wenger is left with no other option but to bring on players like Ramsey , Arshavin and Wilshere if he wants to go for it.

(The writer of this article is a Chelsea fan but admires Arsenal and their style of play so he closely follows the club)

Adebayor wins another personal accolade

Adebayor wins another personal accolade

Arsenal forward Emmanuel Adebayor has been named Africa’s best player for 2008 by The Confederation of African Football. The Togolese player beat off competition from Mohamed Aboutrika of Egypt and Ghana’s Michael Essien. Adebayor had the best season of his life so far (and probably the best he will ever have) last year and ended up Barclays Premier League’s second top scorer and scored an overall 30 goals in the season. The forward has been rewarded a trophy and a cash prize of $20,000 at the ceremony in Nigeria. FIFA President Sepp Blatter was also present at the occasion. It was an emotional moment for the Arsenal star who , obviously delighted with the achievement, said:

“This is a special night for me. I dedicate this award to my mum, without her, I would have been nothing. My father is no more but wherever he is, he will be proud of me.”

Adebayor had also earlier won the BBC African Player of the year award.

Ironically I had written a critical article of him just yesterday and within less than 24 hours he wins the award! I have written one about Eboue today so lets hope he wins something tomorrow (*laughs*)! In his dreams!

Time for Bendtner to get some first team action

Time for Bendtner to get some first team action

But as Adebayor is injured at the moment, its time for Bendtner to make a mark. And he starts off in typical style with some arrogant comments.

“I still feel that when I play my best, I should start, regardless of who is fit or who is injured. I have the same attitude every time, and each game I try to prove that I should start.”

Haha so he thinks he deserves to play in the first team of Arsenal! Thats hilarious! The Dane though happy as now he will get more chances in the first team with Adebayor injured, concedes that Arsenal need Adebayor back soon:

“Of course, chances for me have improved with someone else out injured, but I still hope Adebayor will be back soon, as we need him in the team.”

He may be as usual very overconfident but I hope he does well in the absence of Adebayor. We all know Wenger too well so we know Vela or Eduardo wont be given the chance in Adebayor’s absence, only Bendtner will be tried so I hope he plays exceptionally well and it turns out be an Almunia story like Lehmann got injured, Almunia came in and impressed and Lehmann never came back!