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wenger-334In the last few summers we have seen a lot of departures and deadline-day signings. But Arsene Wenger doesn’t want that this year. The Arsenal manager has thus tied van Persie’s future to the club already with reports suggesting the Dutchman has nearly signed a new contract. Fabregas and Bendtner were linked with moves away from the club but both have reiterated their commitment to Arsenal.

The only likely departures seem like Adebayor and Eboue. Ebuoe said he will only leave if a ‘big’ club wants him as he thinks clubs like Fiorentina aren’t up to his level. Same goes for Adebayor. He hasn’t had any offer from a big club yet and when he does he will consider his future. So it means Eboue surely won’t leave! As for Adebayor… Maybe.

“We lost Hleb and Flamini last summer and we have had to rebuild. But we have done that now and the future looks bright. We don’t want to have to rebuild again, so I want to keep all the players together for next season. I don’t want to lose anyone.

“I want to add to the squad and have identified one or two targets. But identifying players and buying them are two different things.

“Ideally I would like to bring everybody in before we start back in pre-season training in July. I don’t want to leave it until the end of August.

“We are at a stage where we need to convince people that this team does a lot of things right. It does not need to be transformed. When you go on a long unbeaten run in the Premier League and reach two semi-finals, common sense should tell you that.

“We have to take encouragement from what we have done in the season just gone.

“I am fed-up with people who think I have £100m in the bank yet don’t want to spend it. How can people think that? “The pride of the club is in having moved to a new stadium while maintaining the club at the top level.

“The policy of the club is that they have backed me in what I do and the way I do it. We now have to be strong enough to stick to that. We cannot pump £100m into it, so we must keep faith in what we are doing.

“Next season we will play the formation and system that most suits the players and the balance of the team.

“That means it’s not rigid. It can evolve throughout the season, depending on circumstances and personnel.

“If you play with Theo Walcott for example, you are more tempted to go for three midfielders because Theo is more of a forward than a midfielder in a 4-4-2.”

The one or two players he has identified better be holding midfielders!

It’s a break from football for most Arsenal players at the moment and they are enjoying the little free time that they have. Nasri was seen in Miami with friend Djibril Cisse. Wenger has been enjoying in Malaysia. Arshavin is back home in St. Petersburg. But as for Nicklas Bendtner, he has been trying out at modelling!

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The pre-season was impressive with Vela being the top performer

The pre-season was impressive with Vela being the top performer

Wilshere also impressed

Wilshere also impressed

So did Ramsey

So did Ramsey

And it ended with a trophy...the Amsterdam Tournament

And it ended with a trophy...the Amsterdam Tournament

The season kicked off with our new signing getting his first goal for Arsenal inside the first five minutes

The season kicked off with our new signing getting his first goal for Arsenal inside the first five minutes

But we lost... with the season only into the second week

But we lost... with the season only into the second week

So Wenger had some thinking to do...

So Wenger had some thinking to do...

And we bounced back in style... thumping FC Twente 4-0 to qualify for the group stages of the Champions League (6-0 on aggregate)

And we bounced back in style... thumping FC Twente 4-0 to qualify for the group stages of the Champions League (6-0 on aggregate)

After the Fulham defeat, Arsenal produced a string of superb performances including a 4-0 thrashing of Blackburn with Adebayor getting a hattrick

After the Fulham defeat, Arsenal produced a string of superb performances including a 4-0 thrashing of Blackburn with Adebayor getting a hattrick

The first team were doing a good job in the Premier League, while the fringe side produced even an better performance in the Carling Cup. 6-0 win against Sheffield United with Vela grabbing a hattrick

The first team were doing a good job in the Premier League, while the fringe side produced an even better performance in the Carling Cup. 6-0 win against Sheffield United with Vela grabbing a hattrick

But the joy was short lived... Geovanni stunned the Emirates with a thunderous strike to hand Arsenal only their second defeat ever at the Emirates Stadium

But the joy was short lived... Geovanni stunned the Emirates with a thunderous strike to hand Arsenal only their second defeat ever at the Emirates Stadium

But Arsene Wenger still shook hands with Hull manager Phil Brown; something that has been erased from Brown's memory ever since

But Arsene Wenger still shook hands with Hull manager Phil Brown; something that has been erased from Brown's memory ever since

Arsenal's Premier League ambitions had suffered a set-back but not the Champions League. An Adebayor inspired Arsenal cruised to a 4-0 win against FC Porto

Arsenal's Premier League ambitions had suffered a set-back but not the Champions League. An Adebayor inspired Arsenal cruised to a 4-0 win against FC Porto

And Arsenal were nearly handed a third Premier League defeat only for Fabregas to rescue a point with a last minute header

And Arsenal were nearly handed a third Premier League defeat only for Fabregas to rescue a point with a last minute header

Next week Arsenal created history with the 5-2 thrashing at Fenerbahce. Ramsey scored his first goal for his new club

Next week Arsenal created history with the 5-2 thrashing at Fenerbahce. Ramsey scored his first goal for his new club

Arsenal tried to keep their challenge for the Premier League alive getting a 2-0 win at Upton Park

Arsenal tried to keep their challenge for the Premier League alive getting a 2-0 win at Upton Park

But in one of the matches of the season, Spurs held Arsenal to a 4-4 draw at the Emirates

But in one of the matches of the season, Spurs held Arsenal to a 4-4 draw at the Emirates

After that draw, it seemed Arsenal will have to wait for yet another year to win the Premier League

After that draw, it seemed Arsenal will have to wait for yet another year to win the Premier League

If Arsenal still had a chance of winning the Premier League, it was effectively ended by Stoke

If Arsenal still had a chance of winning the Premier League, it was effectively ended by Stoke

But Arsenal bounced back from the recent dissapointments

But Arsenal bounced back from the recent dissapointments

...as Nasri won it for Arsenal against Manchester United with a brace

...as Nasri won it for Arsenal against Manchester United with a brace

The Young Guns though continued their impressive run in the Carling Cup dumping Wigan's first team out of the competition. Vela was a hero once again

The Young Guns though continued their impressive run in the Carling Cup dumping Wigan's first team out of the competition. Vela was a hero once again

But soon the season started getting worse…

Arsenal paid the price for poor finishing and will now have to face a tough European team to qualify for the Champions League. Not only that but Arsenal’s only remaining goal for the season ended today as well i.e finishing third.

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The starting line-up was a big surprise as Fabianski started ahead of Almunia. Adebayor could only make it to the bench after his two non-appearances against Manchester United. Arshavin did not feature at all due to flu.

The game started in high tempo for Arsenal. Quick passing slick movement left Chelsea helpless. Walcott was sizzling and had nearly put Arsenal in the lead inside the first five minutes only for him to shoot high and wide of Petr Cech’s goal.

The Walcott had another attempt on goal but the angle was too tight to beat Cech and then another chance wasted as the youngster shot high. Walcott then turned the provider but his decent cut back was wasted by Abou Diaby. It was coming to Fabregas on his right foot but Diaby took it away from him.

Then a typical Arsenal move nearly sent Fabregas one on one with the keeper but the alert Cech came rushing to end the attack.

Then Diaby made an impressive run down the left flank and picked out the unmarked Walcott just outside the box. But it just wasn’t the Englishman’s day, or Arsenal’s day even. His first time shot went wide of the post.

Then finally Chelsea got their first chance but Malouda’s shot was blocked by Gibbs.

Next chance fell to Song but he too failed to hit the target. It seemed it just wasn’t Arsenal’s day and it was proven in the next minute.

Drogba dived and won a free kick. His delivery into the box was headed into the top corner with Fabianski unmoved.

After that goal Chelsea started dominating and they did not make the mistake that Arsenal did. Missing chances. So with their next chance Anelka fired them into a 2-0 lead with a stunner. Credit to the former Gunner for not celebrating.

Minutes into the second half Fabianski came off his line. Toure didn’t spot him and tried to block the cross and did not make proper contact which sent the ball into the back of the net. For the 2nd time in less than a week we were 3-0 down at the Emirates.

20 minutes later Bendtner headed in Arsenal’s first but had Toure not scored, maybe Arsenal would have had a chance at this stage.

Arsenal did try to get something from the game. The goal brought renewed confidence but the slight chances that remained were dashed by Florent Malouda who scored in the 86th minute, though he seemed offside. That wrapped up an unlucky day for the Gunners ending a 21 match unbeaten League run.

Arsene Wenger said judge me at the end of the season and here it, nearly the end of the season. What is your opinion of Arsene this season?

Is Bendtner worth this confidence that Wenger has in him?

Is Bendtner worth this confidence that Wenger has in him?

Arsene Wenger continues his stubborn attitude citing Abou Diaby and Nicklas Bendtner as reasons why he shouldn’t spend this summer.

“The priority is to stay with the squad we have. What am I supposed to do, kick out a quality young player like Walcott, Fabregas, Diaby or Bendtner who is already in his national team?”

Arsene, are you in your senses?! Diaby and Bendtner aren’t going to win you any trophies. They are only good enough to play in a mid table club. This is Arsenal we are talking about. Kick them out. We would all love it. He is right about Fabregas and Walcott, but Diaby and Bendnter! He has got to be kidding!

But the Arsenal manager also managed to make some comments that did make sense:

“I’m not chasing any player, I believe my priority is to stay with the squad we have. It is not all down to spending, it is down to sticking to a policy. Chelsea have spent magic money but still have not won the European Cup.

“We were in the last four in Europe and have not lost a game since November in the League. When you lose everybody gets hammered but to get where we were you need some quality. We have lost against a team who’s better than us. Nothing to be ashamed of, they are the best team in the world.

“We can go further. You cannot imagine that we work as we did with young players and give them a chance, then let them go.”

He has got that right. It is a big achievement to be among the best four teams of Europe with a squad as young as this. Whose midfield this season mostly didn’t have anyone older than 22 (Excluding Eboue, he is not worth mentioning!).

But the thing is we don’t want semi finals. We want silverware. The players want silverware. And we are not going to get that with this squad. Arsene, you’ve got to wake up.

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Almunia – 7 – He showed today how much we missed him. Despite being out for some time, he did not let it show. A very solid performance and that save to deny Aliadiere was just world class. It’s great to have him back for the semi final against Manchester United.

Eboue – 7 – Good enough. It was a good decision of Arsene to play Eboue at right back ahead of Sagna as the latter was very poor in the mid-week. His passing was good and he had a wonderful assist as well (No wonder why Wenger called him ‘Pass Master’!). But he was looking too eager to go forward which can leave a gap at the back.

Toure and Silvestre – 7 – Hardly had anything to do but when they did they did not put a foot wrong.

Gibbs – 7.5 – Yet another superb performance. The youngster is impressing everyone with surprisingly good performances. He knows when to go forward, making aggressive runs; links up quite well with Arshavin and hardly lets anyone past him when defending.

Nasri – 6.5 – He can put in decent tackles like he showed today but I prefer an attacking role for him. He did give away the ball a few times today. But still not a bad performance.

Denilson – 6.5 – Short passes all match but it’s good because he doesn’t have enough quality for through balls and long passes that the likes of Fabregas, Arshavin and Nasri do. But he was the holding midfielder and did his job well enough today. Still I feel Song is better.

Arshavin – 8 – Pure class. To come to the Premier League, then put up such world class performances in every single match is just amazing. Hats off to the lad.

Fabregas – 8.5 – He is just too good. His range of passing, vision and he even showed some cool finishing today. Amazing.

Walcott – 6.5 – He is always a constant threat to the opposition but sometimes his decision making lets him down. Passing the ball when he should be taking the defender on or the other way around . Also his first touch is quite poor at times and he needs to improve his crossing. No one is going to head crosses that come at 100 miles an hour. But he has immense talent no doubt about that so he will learn. His ability to take on defenders is a big big asset.

Bendtner – 7 – He worked really hard today. But he is a forward so he should play where the forward is supposed to be and not shift to the wing too often. Still it was one of the better performances from the young Dane.

Substitutes:

Djourou – 7 – He was good enough. Maybe because he hardly had anything to do! I would prefer him over Silvestre anytime, especially on Wednesday against Manchester United.

Diaby – 6.5 – Got a little time but he was quite intent on going forward an troubling the Boro defence. I know most wont agree but I rate him higher than Denilson.

Adebayor – 5 – Looked very rusty after returning from some time out due to injury. Couldn’t threaten the defence or keeper and wasted a good opportunity because of a poor touch.