ANDRE GOMES COULD FILL ARTETA VOID AT EVERTON

It’s been seven years since fan favourite, Mikel Arteta left Goodison Park for Arsenal and the club have struggled to find a replacement ever since. You get the feeling that in Andre Gomes, they have finally gotten their man.

Held in high esteem by the Everton fans even up till this day,Arteta was an undisputed star during his time on the blue half of Merseyside, making a total of 162 Premier League appearances and chipping in with 27 goals. Ask any Everton fan to name the club’s best ever signings and expect Arteta to be right on top of the pile.
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Thomas Tuchel insists he was not in contention to replace Arsene Wenger

Paris Saint-Germain head coach Thomas Tuchel has revealed that he was not in touch with Arsenal regarding the possibility of Arsene Wenger as their next head coach. The German’s name was constantly linked with the north London club after Wenger decided to re-sign from the managerial role but Tuchel has now cleared up any doubts.

Speaking ahead of the International Champions Cup clash against Arsenal, Tuchel confirmed that he had verbally agreed to join Les Parisiens even before Wenger’s decision to quiet the Gunners, he said:“To be honest I made my decision before Arsene Wenger made his decision. I never got in touch and I made the decision to move to Paris before Wenger took the decision to resign.”
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CAZORLA REJOIN VILLAREAL FROM ARSENAL

Former Gunners midfielder SantiCazorla has confirmed that he would join La Liga side Villarreal when he fully recovers from his injuries. The former Spain international has been off the game for a very long time due to issues with his ankle that required as much as eight surgeries.

The player’s contract with Arsenal is set to lapse at the end of the month, making it a total of six years at the Emirates Stadium. Cazorla joined from Malaga in 2012 for £10 million. He featured in over a century of matches, scoring 25 goals for the north London side before his injury worries.
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Arteta Recovered Well

Mikel Arteta believes he should be fine to feature for the Gunners in the match against Manchester City which is going to be played on 13th of September.

Arteta had taken a blow on his ankle while playing in a Champions League match against Besiktas about 10 days back.

The Spaniard has already missed a game and he is supposed to be going to miss another one i.e. against Leicester City at the end of this month, but, after that, the Gunners are going to get a couple of weeks’ break and the playmaker is expecting to recover from his injury in that duration.

In an interview of his yesterday, Arteta was quoted as saying, “I am doing what’s required for me to get fit before the City match and I think I should able to get there in time. I am eager to play a part for the team in that all important match.”

This is Arteta’s first season as captain at Arsenal. He was the vice captain until the last season and probably would have continued as the same this season as well if Thomas Vermaelen had remained at the club, but, because of the departure of the Belgian, he got the armband.

Arteta could not have hoped for a better start as captain as in his very first match as regular skipper, he won a title i.e. the Community Shield against Manchester City.

The Gunners were all over City in that game. It was a comfortable victory for Arsene Wenger’s boys at Wembley with Santi Cazorla, Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud getting on the score sheet for them.

Arteta had actually worn the armband in the last season’s FA Cup final as well in Vermaelen’s absence. So, effectively, he has two titles as captain now.

Fletcher Speaks In High Praise Of Ji Sung

Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher has spoken in glowing praise of former midfielder Park Ji Sung, who has now retired from the game after several years of top level football. After making his name at PSV Eindhoven, Park Ji sung move to Manchester United in the summer of 2005 and became one of the important players at the club. His last match as a professional footballer was against K League Classic All-Stars. He won the one of the match award in the 6-6 draw while also scoring the final goal.

Fletcher, who has been out of the Manchester United team with Park to have won numerous titles, said that he shall always remember the South Korean international as a big game player. Former United midfielder Paul Scholes recently claimed that Sir Alex Ferguson always made it a priority to have Park in the big matches since his tireless work often led to the opposition struggling against United. One of his best matches came in the Champions League against AC Milan when he was asked to stop Andrea Pirlo from impacting the game. Park exceed regular role to perfection that it still remains as one of the finest defensive contributions from a United player in the last decade.

“I remember him as a big-game player. When the big games came around, against the likes of Arsenal and the big Champions League sides, he always stepped up to the plate. He was a great team-mate and a real humble lad in the dressing room. He just went about his job diligently. For such a big star in Asia – and he really is a superstar there – he never acted that way at all. He was always professional and a great player. I’d say he was an underrated player, too,” said the United midfielder.

BIG MONTH

Arsenal’s schedule for the month of February sees them going against Liverpool, Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Crystal Palace and Sunderland in what will be one of their toughest and busiest times in this season.

Arsene Wenger and his team have to face off against some of the best clubs in the Premier League as well as in the Bundesliga with a battle against Bayern Munich for the 1st leg of the Champions League.

The problem is not the amount of matches and opponents that Arsenal has to do in February but the real concern is the increasing number of players that are unavailable to play due to injuries. Theo Walcott is already confirmed to be out for the remainder of the season, Oxlade-Chamberlain is going through the final stages of his recovery but is still not able to play an entire match, Rosicky is out for a few weeks.

Mikel Arteta is worried that the injuries will leave Arsenal out of the Premier League title race.

The 31 years old midfielder said: “We have many options but that’s one problem we’ve had in recent weeks.

“We’ve had many injuries, we’ve lost Theo for a long time, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is just coming back, too many. Rosicky is out for a few weeks with a nose problem. We are a bit short at the moment but hopefully we can get people back.

“Every squad has to deal with these situations and of course we have to cope with these injuries. The schedule now is going to be really busy.We have some really tough games coming up in the next two weeks and we have deal with it and do our best.”

Even with the ongoing list of injured players, Wenger has managed to cope well with all of the absences as Arsenal maintains their charge at the top of the Premier League along with Chelsea and Manchester City.

ARTETA SLAMS FIXTURES

Mikel Arteta who has played with Arsenal since 2011 expressed his disgust in having to play against Manchester City after getting home from their Champions League tie at Napoli on Wednesday night.

Arsenal travelled to the Etihad Stadium and locked horns with Manchester City in their latest Premier League encounter that saw the team of Arsene Wenger losing 6-3. But prior to the match even having been started some complains were made.

Arsenal faced Everton at home last Sunday in the 4pm game, drawing 1-1 and they kicked off against City at 12.45pm. They made the flight back from Naples after the tie, which ended in a 2-0 defeat for them, with the players getting to their homes at roughly 4am.

“The recovery time is very tight,” Arteta says. “I don’t understand why we play Sunday afternoon, Wednesday evening, get back at 4am and then play again on Saturday morning in Manchester. There is nothing we can do – just recover well. It’s a big game and we want to win it.

“The preparation will just be about recovery. It’s not ideal. There is a late warm-down [on Thursday, we try to get our legs back for Friday … travel on Friday and be as well prepared as we can because they will be ready for us. They rested seven or eight players in Munich against Bayern on Tuesday night.

“I think we have different options in the squad. You could see that we changed the team a bit again against Napoli. We have to be ready, no excuses. We know it can be a big statement if we get a good result against City. That’s what we want.”

No matter what both Arsene Wenger and Arteta said prior to their match against Manchester City they still suffered from a resounding 6-3 defeat against the side of Pellegrini and now the Premier League race is tighter than ever.

FACE OFF

Mikel Arteta and David Moyes have faced each other a couple of times since the Spaniard left Everton, but they will be facing each other for the first time with Moyes as the Manchester United manager. Arteta was made into one of the best midfielders in the Premier league during his time at Everton. Moyes also established himself as one of the top managers during this period. The Scot has struggled to replicate the authority at Manchester United so far, but Arteta believes that it will not be long before Moyes settles at United.

He thinks that the characters he demonstrated during his time at Everton shows that United are clearly have a winner in their hands. It will be only a matter of time before the players start getting used to his ideas. Arteta has also said that improving the team spirits one of the good attributes of Moyes. He recalls the Everton team having a tremendous team spirit when he first moved to the club from Spanish football. Arsenal started the season as the underdogs, but they have made a strong push to the top of the table with some impressive results over the last few weeks.

“He is a winner, for sure, and United are looking much better now. They have won a few games in a row and it will be tough to win there. I said when I moved to Arsenal that Everton was the best spirit I have known, and Moyes gets all the credit for that. He built an amazing dressing room that is going to stay there a long time. For years there was talk about him moving, so every year we were expecting him to go somewhere big,” said Arteta.

They need to maintain this with a win over United on Sunday.

ARSENAL MUST PROGRESS

The vice captain of Arsenal, Mikel Arteta, has said that he can’t think of his team not  making it to the main draw of the UEFA Champions League.

Arsenal had ended up at no. 4 in the Premier League table last season, so, they need to win the play off tie against the Turkish club Fenerbahce to make it to the main draw.

The first leg of that clash will take place at Istanbul on Wednesday and then, 6 days later, the two teams will meet for the return leg at the Emirates Stadium.

Arteta will not be able to feature for the Gunners in the first leg as he is unfit. He discovered a thigh injury while playing in Arsenal’s first Premier League game of the season against Aston Villa on Saturday.

Talking to the reporters yesterday, Arteta said, “We had to toil extremely hard last season to finish at no. 4. It was a fantastic comeback by the team in the later parts of the season and we will have to ensure that we don’t waste that. No matter which team we are competing with, we will have to get through to the main draw.”

Even if Fenerbahce manages to emerge out as the winner of this tie, it’s not certain whether they will qualify for the main draw or not. They have appealed against their ban from European competitions and the verdict on that appeal has not come yet. It will come a day after the return leg.

However, the Fenerbahce boss Ersun Yanal has made it clear that his players are not thinking about the verdict and they are fully focussed on the game.

Yanal said, “We can’t think about the stuff which is not in our hands. All we can do is to give our 100% on the ground and then, hope for the best.”

TOP FOUR FINISH

Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta has said that he has total confidence in Arsenal in the race for the top four finish. The Spaniard, who arrived from Everton in a £ 10 million deal a few seasons ago, has established himself as one of the important players at the club. He has been instrumental in helping the club gone nine matches unbeaten in the last few months. This has helped them get to position of relative strength in the race for the top four spots. Arsenal are competing with Chelsea and Tottenham for the Champions League qualification spots, which is essential for the club in several ways.

Arsenal managed a 1-1 draw with Manchester United, which was probably the toughest match from now until the end of the campaign. They took the lead early in the match through Theo Walcott, but were pegged back by a penalty from former striker Robin van Persie just before half-time. Despite dropping two points, Arsenal still remain in a commanding position to finish in the top spot. They will be facing the likes of QPR and Wigan in the final few matches of the campaign, while their competitors have tougher matches against the likes of Everton. Chelsea and Tottenham also play against each other as well.

“It will come down to nerve and be about who is the most clinical at the right moments. When it gets to the last games, the teams who are the most clinical win. We have seen that over the last few weeks. It will be a battle for everyone. There is pressure on us like there is for the other teams. Every team in the Premier League is playing for something – relegation or Europe. It will be interesting,” said Arteta after the Manchester United match. Arsenal have played a game more than their rivals.