Arsene Wenger on Bendtner’s hat-trick and importance of Chamakh scoring

March 3, 2011

Arsene Wenger was delighted with both Bendtner and Chamakh ending up on the score sheet against Leyton Orient. Bendtner got a hat-trick and Chamakh opened the scores for Arsenal as they beat Leyton Orient comfortably.

Speaking after the match, the manager admitted the importance of Chamakh and Bendtner rising to the occasion and scoring after Van Persie’s injury as he added how confidence of both the players will be needed to be successful in the big games coming up.

Wenger was pleased with Bendtner in taking his chances yesterday as he said how it now puts Bendtner in contention to start in the vital game against Sunderland and added that all the focus is now on beating Sunderland as it will put Arsenal in a strong position.

Regarding Chamakh, Arsene added that he too will be required in the games coming up as he explained how fatigue caused his good start to the season to be disrupted and how he is now coming back to his best and how scoring will improve his confidence.

Arsenal will play Sunderland this Saturday before they head to Nou Camp for the 2nd leg against Barcelona on Tuesday.

After the match, Arsene said:

“We have lost Van Persie so for Bendtner and Chamakh to score is very important, they now have a level of confidence that we need to be successful in the big games.

You need your strikers to take any chance and tonight Bendtner did that very well. It puts him in contention to play against Sunderland. That for us, is a vital game. We have to make our decisions game by game, if we beat Sunderland we are in a great position so all our focus is on that game.

We need Chamakh with the games we have in front of us. He had a great start to the season until the end of November and after he had a little bit of burn-out. Now he looks, even in training, to be coming back. For a while he looked very tired but now it is good for him he has scored”


Arsene Wenger on Van Persie’s injury and why Rosicky was withdrawn

March 3, 2011

Robin Van Persie has a tear in his ligament that is going to rule him out for at least a month, if not more. Van Persie was already sidelined before last night’s match as Wenger revealed the extent of  his injury after the game.

Speaking after the match against Leyton Orient, Wenger revealed that he tore his ligament when he scored the goal against Birmingham by overstretching his leg as the manager added he continued with his injury during the game but had to be withdrawn in the end.

When asked about his return, Arsene replied that it is three to four weeks if there are no setbacks as the manager added it cannot be guaranteed and hoped that he will be available after the International break.

Meanwhile, Rosicky was also withdrawn last night due to an injury concern. Regarding him, Wenger said that he is good and how an elbow to his head left him a bit dizzy and had to be withdrawn.

On Wednesday, Arsenal qualified for the quarter finals of the FA Cup after beating Leyton Orient comfortably to set up a match against Manchester United.

Wenger, after the match, said:

“I am not a specialist but he [Robin Van persie] overstretched his knee at the back of his knee when he made the volley [to score on Sunday]. He got kicked or blocked by the defender and overstretched when he hit the ball. In fact we lost Van Persie after 30 minutes, we tried to keep him going in the second half but he was injured.

It is a ligament at the back of the knee, a tear in the ligament. It is three to four weeks, I take the short delay because I am an optimist but it could be four. As well it is the international break during that period so is it three or four, for us it is the same. We have two weeks to play now and then there is a two-week break because of international games. We have to hope it is only four; he cannot play before the international break, that is for sure. Let’s hope he can play after the international break. I listen to what the medical people say to me and you never know, he can have a setback. You can never guarantee.

He [Thomas Rosicky] is good, he had an elbow on his head. He was a bit dizzy so we took him off.”


Arsene Wenger’s injury news with updates on Van Persie and Fabregas

March 2, 2011

Van Persie has been sidelined for a minimum of three weeks after a knee injury he got in the game against Birmingham on Sunday.

Speaking ahead of the Leyton Orient game, Arsene Wenger on Tuesday confirmed the bad news by saying how according to the scans it can be longer but three weeks Is the minimum time for which Van Persie is going to be out.

Van Persie as a result is going to miss the match against Barcelona as he joins Theo Walcott, who was ruled out of the Barcelona clash last week.

Fabregas, however, has a possibility to play in the return leg against Barcelona as the manager said that he is making good and quick progress on his hamstring injury.

Alex Song also has a good chance to make the Barcelona game as he is sideline for today and has a small chance to feature this Saturday due to a knee injury.

Meanwhile, Laurent Koscielny as well is going to miss today’s game due to a tight hamstring with the manager admitting he also needs a breather.

Diaby, on the other hand, is back in the squad and inline to start today’s game as the manger admitted he was cautious in not selecting him for the final on Sunday. Almunia is also going to start against Leyton Orient with Szczesny on the bench.

Speaking to Arsenal TV Online, Wenger said:

 “Unfortunately, we had bad news on the scan and he [Robin Van Persie] will be out for the next three weeks for sure. It could be longer. The shortest delay we can imagine is three weeks [so] he is definitely out for Barcelona. Cesc is looking possible [for that game]. He is making quick and good progress. It is possible. He [Theo Walcott] is out. We said from the day he got the injury against Stoke you could count three weeks.

Alex Song has a knee problem as well. From his scan we had good news, it is only blood from a kick on the outside of his knee. He is out for Leyton Orient and has a very small chance for Saturday. But he has a good chance for Barcelona.

Koscielny has a tight hamstring. There is a little bit of fatigue in there aswell so we will give him a breather. Diaby was not in the squad on Sunday. I was cautious with him. He has missed many games this season and I did not want to take a gamble with the intensity of a cup final. He will play on Wednesday night. Almunia needs games so he will play but Wojciech is alright and will be on the bench.”


Arsene Wenger on Aaron Ramsey’s return and Ignasi Miquel’s potential

February 23, 2011

Aaron Ramsey is going to return to Arsenal after his loan spell at Cardiff City expires this Saturday.

Speaking to the official website, Arsene Wenger confirmed that Aaron Ramsey will return to Arsenal and will be available for the replay against Leyton Orient on Wednesday. The manger said that the reports on his progress from Cardiff are good and added he will be utilised when he returns to the club.

Aaron Ramsey, on Tuesday, scored a goal for Cardiff against Leicester City as he played the full ninety minutes.  He is set to feature for Cardiff on Saturday again before he says his farewell to a month-long loan spell.  

Arsene Wenger, on Ramsey’s return, said:

“He is on loan until Saturday. After that he comes back. He could be available for the second game against Leyton Orient on Wednesday.

I have had good reports from Cardiff and I intend to use him. He could not play last Saturday because he had a little hip problem and we demanded that he rest. I think he will play this Saturday again and then we will see if he comes through that game well. After that he is available for Arsenal.”

Meanwhile, Arsene Wenger has praised Ignasi Miquel by saying that he has the potential to be a top-level player.

Ignasi Miquel made a promising start to his Arsenal career when he made his first team debut on Sunday against Leyton Orient in the FA Cup 5th round clash.

On his performance, the manager told the official website that how he has a lot to learn before he will be able to play in the top Leagues as he added the most important thing is that he has shown the talent to play at the highest level.

On Tuesday, Arsene said:

“He is not yet ready [for Premier League or Champions League] but he did enough to show that he will play in the Premier League and the Champions League. I feel that is the most important thing.

He has some aspects of his game that he has to work on, a bit more committed in the challenges, better in the air. But overall he has shown that he has the potential to play in there.”


Arsene Wenger on Jack Wilshere: ‘He can fight and play’

February 20, 2011

In the past few days Wilshere has been praised highly for his performances and rightly so. He was praised for his performance in the national colours against Denmark then for his display against Wolves, playing for his club. However, the most applaud that he got is for his superb performance against Barcelona, where he shown amongst players like Fabregas, Xavi and Iniesta on the pitch.

Manager, Arsene Wenger, has also come out and commended his ability as he compared him with players like Patrick Vieira and Manchester United’s Paul Scholes.

Speaking to the Arsenal TV Online, the manager said how Wilshere is an exceptional quality of player in having the ability to play strongly in both the offensive and defensive departments as most players are only strong in one part of the field.

For England, Wilshere played in the holding role recently, while for Arsenal you may see him play in a freer role.

Further elaborating his ability, the manager said how he has a committed side to his football in addition to his technical ability and aggression won’t be the right word in describing it as Wenger added that he likes the part of his character where he will fight for the cause without hiding.

Arsenal are up against Leyton Orient today  and Wilshere might be rested for it.

On Wilshere, Wenger said:

“He has the side of players like Scholes. He can fight and play. Jack has what you want from a midfielder, both parts of it. He is good in the defensive box and good in the offensive box. We are used to players being only strong on one side more than the other. He can have both.
 
More than aggression, I would say commitment. Aggression is something negative. He has a committed attitude and he needs to keep that. He doesn’t look like the sort of man who will back down in a fight, a bit like Patrick Vieira. That is what I like about him. You can go into a fight with him. Sometimes he can be a bit too much but I like the side of his character that is committed. You know he will not hide.”


Wojciech Szczesny on what he wants to be for a decade

February 20, 2011

Wojciech Szczesny has set himself the target of being an Arsenal number one keeper for a decade.

The keeper, on his goal, said how he will be happy to continue with the number one spot for ten years if given the chance but knows he will have to remain at his very best to do it as he added how due to a lot of competition at the club, a slip up in performance is going to let others get the chance, the same way he got, which he seized.

Arsenal are to face Leyton Orient today and Szczesny admitted that the League One side cannot be taken as easy opponent even after beating Barcelona.

On the game against Leyton Orient, Szczesny added how they will have to perform at the very best to qualify because the lower league teams always perform well in the FA Cup. He said how they want to win every game and being favourites most of the time demands them to be focussed for all matches equally.

Szczesny concluded by saying how he is hoping for a good result as he reminisced the last time he faced Orient, when at Brentford, where he got a clean sheet and a win.

On his goal and the game against Leyton Orient, Szczesny said:

“That’s my target really [a decade], that’s my goal. I would love to [do that] but I know I have a few others that want to have the No 1 shirt. I’m going to have to be at my very best to keep it. If I am given the chance to stay the No 1 I would be very happy to [continue]. There is very good competition at the Club so I can’t say there is no threat. I know that I have to be at my very best because if there is any slip up or drop in my performance, other goalkeepers will be happy to take my place.

I can’t demand playing time at a Club like this being 20-year-old. I know that when my chance came I had to take it with both hands and try to take the No 1 spot.”

“It’s the FA Cup, it always has something special about it and lower League teams seem to do very well. We are going to have to be focused and be at our best to make sure that we get through. We just want to win every single game, every game is the most important. Yes we beat Barcelona and we are very happy but we are going to have to focus on Leyton Orient and treat every game in the same way.

We are Arsenal Football Club and we are favourites in most of the games we play, we have to make sure we are focused. I played against Orient [when I was at Brentford], I actually kept a clean sheet and we won 1-0, so I’m hoping for a good result at the weekend.”


Leyton Orient vs Arsenal: Preview and Starting Eleven

February 20, 2011

After the remarkable win against Barcelona, it’s time now to move on to another contest that awaits us. I know most of us, inclding the players, will still have their thoughts on the Barcelona win, but if we are to continue with our impressive form, we need to put aside our win against Barcelona for the moment and deliver today against Leyton Orient in the best possible manner.

Arsene Wenger, in his pre-match conference, said that we need to show commitment levels against Leyton similar to those shown against Barcelona if we are to go the distance in the FA Cup and all other competitions we are in. In the coming 8 days, starting from today, we will be playing three games in three different competitions which is a chance to show everyone that we are ready and focussed. And a win in all three games is really going to ensure it.  

The bottom line is that we need to start with the right spirit and determination today and not take the opposition lightly.

For the starting eleven, Wenger has already said that he will rotate for this game, so hopefully those who start will get us a result.

In goal, I will keep Szczesny even though there is a strong possibility that Almunia will start this game. As for the centre backs, Squillaci for sure will start today and to partner him I will go with Djourou, if he is completely fit. Koscielny deserves a rest because I don’t remember the last time he wasn’t in the starting lineup. On the flanks, Clichy to be replaced by Gibbs and Eboue to keep his place.

In the middle of the park, Wilshere and Fabregas both need a day off. Rosicky and Denilson should come in for them. Song to keep his place for some added steel in the middle.

Upfront, Chamakh needs a start and he needs to deliver today after some not-so-good couple of months. Bendtner to start on the right and I will keep Nasri on the left, so that he can get some match fitness.

Probable starting XI: Szczesny, Eboue, Squillaci, Djourou, Gibbs, Song, Rosicky, Denilson, Bendtner, Chamakh, Nasri.

If you would remember the game against Wigan after the Chelsea win, we had started with a team similar to above and dropped points by drawing that game. I hope nothing like that happens today because, one, we need  to avoid a replay, and two, we need to show the world that we are focused for every competition and ready to face any type of opponent.

Leyton Orient will no doubt try to give us a hard time, and considering it’s their home, they will be pumped up with the crowd behind them. However, if we play to our strengths and play like we have done recently, this game will be over by the hour mark and us through to the next round.

So enjoy the game and have a great day. We draw ever closer to the final at Wembley with a couple of hurdles on the way that need to be cleared without any damage to us.

Keep them crossed!!