Arsenal vs Bolton: Preview and Starting Eleven

September 24, 2011

The win against Shrewsbury Town in midweek was a welcome change. It wasn’t unexpected but we did have few scares and I am glad that we came out with a win, no matter how unconvincing we were through some of the patches.

Fast forward and here we are up against Bolton at the Emirates. While we haven’t yet lost in other competitions, the start to the Premier League for us has been nothing short of a disaster. The league table is not a good sight at the moment for us; losing three games of the first five, conceding 14 goals in the process and sitting just outside the relegation zone. However, the important thing is we have to recover from here as we can’t let it get any worse. Today, we have another opportunity to get our momentum going. Hopefully, we will have a good response from the team.

Bolton like us hasn’t had a good start to this season. Winning just one of their first five games, they sit two places below us at 19. It isn’t a good place to sit and we can be down there ourselves if we don’t win today’s game against them (It does feel odd just to be one place out of the relegation zone) Anyways, Bolton won’t be pushovers as Wenger mentioned in his press conference. They are a good side; know how to play and how to mix things up. We will have to fight hard to get a result.

We have got some mixed injury news ahead of the game. While Sagna, Ramsey and Rosicky have made it into the squad, Benayoun is going to be missed for a week. The biggest blow, however, is the news of Wilshere to undergo a surgery this Monday which is going to rule him out for at least three months. Which means, he won’t be playing this year! Well, who saw that coming? Hands up if you did!

Anyhow, Wilshere was already out for this clash and we can’t really do anything about what’s happened. For today, we need to go out there and get a result. Nothing short of a win will be a disaster, if nothing else.

We made eleven changes in the game against Shrewsbury, so I expect another eleven changes to the team. I will go with another 4-4-2 formation. The backline will see the likes of Koscielny, Mertesacker, Sagna and Santos return. Wenger may start with Gibbs but I would prefer Santos over him because we need to get our first choice backline sorted.

In the middle, I would go with Arteta and Song flanked by Ramsey and Arshavin.

Upfront I will start with Walcott just in front of van Persie, in the central role, just as he has been asking Wenger to do all this year.

Szczesny will of course return in goal.

Probable starting eleven: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Santos, Ramsey. Arteta, Song, Arshavin, Walcott, RVP. (4-4-2)

If we, however, go with 4-3-3, replace Walcott with Gervinho and bring Walcott on later. At some point, I would also like ot see Chamberlain involved as he was on fire against Shrewsbury.

We need to take today’s game by the scruff. We have already crossed the limit of making mistakes and any more will blow us apart completely. The Blackburn game saw us having a good first half where our team looked liked finally stepping up. We were, however, brought down very quickly in the second half. We need to avoid that today. A game is played for 90 minutes and we need to give our best for the 90 minutes today.

I am worried about our defense though as we have not yet found the right solution to our problems back there. Even against Shrewsbury, we had some very scary moments. Today we need to really step up our game in defense in particular and all the other areas in general. Hopefully, the team won’t disappoint.

A win is a must as I said before or we are going to end up in the relegation zone by the end of this weekend.

While the manager has been talking about going for all trophies, for me it will be an achievement if we make it in the top four this season and end up wining any of the domestic cups. We are only going to make it there if we win our games. We cannot any more live on excuses.

What Wenger is saying here has really disappointed me. We still are making excuses for our start when in the first place it has been our own fault.

“I still believe we paid a very heavy price for the Udinese game, where we didn’t get any credit at all. Today, they are top of the league.

“We had to give absolutely everything at Dortmund and in the second half at Blackburn you could see that. Our start of the season was disturbed by the transfers and by the fact that we had to qualify for the Champions League. We lost a lot of energy in these games.”

Any ways, we need to concentrate on the game and not think too much about what should have happened. Enjoy the game form where ever you watch and keep your fingers crossed. We will hopefully win today!


Wenger’s injury update ahead of Bolton: Ramsey, Sagna and Rosicky back, Benayoun out!

September 24, 2011

Arsenal host Bolton today at The Emirates after the midweek win against Shrewsbury in the Carling Cup. Arsene Wenger gave the latest injury update ahead of the game on Friday.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference, the manager gave positive news on Aaron Ramsey and Bacary Sagna’s scheduled tests. Both passed their tests and are included in the squad to face Bolton. Tomas Rosicky, who has been out since the International break, is also back in the squad.

Meanwhile, Yossi Benayoun who scored his first goal for Arsenal on Tuesday will be out at least for a week with a thigh strain. Johan Djourou will join him on the sidelines with a hamstring problem.

Both of them will be missing today’s game plus the midweek clash in the Champions League against Olympiacos. They have an outside chance against Tottenham next week.

Arsene Wenger on Friday, said:

“[Tomas] Rosicky is back in the squad. [Bacary] Sagna and [Aaron] Ramsey had positive tests this morning, so overall it is alright.

[Yossi] Benayou has a thigh strain and [Johan] Djourou has a hamstring [problem]. Both of them are very minor muscular problems.

They could play with a risk of making it worse. But we will not take the gamble. As I told you, we only play players when they are 100 per cent.

Both of them are out with muscular problems in the short term. One week so Bolton and Olympiacos for sure. They have an outside chance to play against Tottenham”

 


Blackburn vs Arsenal: Preview and Starting Eleven

September 17, 2011

Last weekend we won our first league game of the season. A week later, that included travelling to Germany and back, we are here this Saturday away at Blackburn and considering the past games, Ewood Park is a very difficult to place to go and get results. Even without Sam Alardyce, we can be sure of one thing that it will be a tough game and entirely different from what we faced against Dortmund.

The timing of the game is, however, perfect. Blackburn, like us, is going through a very bad patch of results having won no game in the last four. They will be low on confidence but at the same time desperate to get points. We can exploit this to our advantage. While the past Blackburn sides have relied more heavily on long balls and the typical English football style, this side has added quick attacking football that relies more on technical skills to their game too. They still have a very strong defense and when the need arises can mount very fast counter attacks.

It won’t be an easy game, but I do expect us to get the maximum points. The timing of the game is also great as we have an opportunity to cut the gap at the top of the table with Liverpool playing against Spurs and Man United up against Chelsea. Wenger knows this as he spoke to the official Arsenal site that big games will have an impact on the title race.

“Of course, they will have an impact at the end of the season. Both teams are lucky because they play against someone who has also played in the Champions League. I believe Chelsea have a little advantage having 24 hours more rest but Manchester United have such a big squad now.”

These game will benefit those who take the initiative and today we have one such chance.

In terms of injuries, we have nothing new from the Dortmund game, if I am not wrong. Ramsey has a chance to return to the team but I am not holding my breath over it. Song and Gervinho will return to the Premier League after sitting out the last three games due to suspension. They were really missed in those games as it was evident from their performance during midweek. I am not sure what has happened to Rosicky’s knee injury though as he was supposed to be back by last game.

I don’t see many changes from the team that was out against Dortmund on Tuesday. The backline is most likely to remain same. This back line has given us a win, a draw and one clean sheet already and it does look good. We still have a few problems but I hope they will be solved in time. It would be a surprise for me if Wenger starts with Santos in place of Gibbs though.

In the middle too, I will put up the same trio because these are the games where we need the team to integrate both in attack and defense. I also won’t start with Frimpong because that will be too defensive and today is a game that we can only win by being on the attack. Also Benayoun will have his use while we go on the offensive.

Upfront, however, I will bring in Arshavin in place of Theo Walcott as he had a rest in midweek to partner Gervinho and van Persie. Arshavin had a great game last weekend and I am hoping for a similar performance from him. Walcott despite producing a good assist is not making full use of his pace while starting, and therefore, he will be more of an asset when brought late on today.

Probable starting eleven: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, Benayoun, Arteta, Song, Gervinho, RVP, Arshavin

For me, today, one of the important players is Mertesacker for his height and positioning. If Blackburn decide to use the aerial route and set pieces, his height will come in handy. To counter the pace of Blackburn, we will have to use Koscielny’s ability to close down players. For this to work, communication among both the centre backs will be vital. Gibbs will have to make sure that he doesn’t leave his flank exposed. His decisions will have to be spot on as when to make a run forward and when to hold the line.

Alex Song as usual will be vital to our play. He will have to stay close to the defense when we are under attack. While moving forward, he has the ability to pick out a delightful pass and this can come in useful today in opening the Blackburn backline.

To win this game, goals will have to be scored. Last two games we have scored a goal each. Today we will need more than a goal. We will certainly get more time on the ball today and it will have to be properly utilized to create chances. Arteta, Benayoun and Arshavin will have to work out some creative moves to break down Blackburn as they have a very sound defense. They only need to land the ball at van Persie and Gervinho’s feet in scoring positions; the rest will be done by them.

As far as the result is concerned, I am looking forward to a win which is the only good result for today. A draw for me is not acceptable and I cannot take another loss to be frank. I know it will be a tough game, but we have the team that can get a win against them. Anything less will be disappointing for me. We need to build a momentum now and these games can be the springboard for us before we face Spurs and the men in blue.   

That is all for now, enjoy the game and keep your fingers crossed. Have a good day!


Arsenal fans await Kaka, Hazard, M’Vila, Marvin Martin, Zarate, Jagielka.

August 23, 2011

NOTE: This post is written by, Danish Shahid, a friend of mine. The opinion about every possible target is his own and not of this blog. Also, this was supposed to be published yesterday but due to a couple of reasons, I couldn’t. So, if there has been any new development, it isn’t included. In the light of recent departure of Fabregas and now Nasri, we will need to bring in top talent to replace them. Who will Arsene buy before the window closes is, however, one big question mark!

This is a brief summary of the players that have recently been linked to Arsenal. It enlists the current club of the player in question, followed with the latest updates about the transfer dealings and then my honest opinions about what they shall bring to the gunners’ game in totality.

Kaka

Current Team:  Real Madrid CF

Latest Update:

Arguably, the most sensational bid to be linked with Arsenal is that of Kaka for a loan deal. With Inter Milan also being linked to the Brazilian, he has dismissed the rumours of a move to London, insisting on staying with the Madrid giants. The playmaker desires to stay at the club and fight for his place and was recently quoted as,

My plan is to remain with Real Madrid and to obtain the confidence of the coach

Opinion:

With the above quote in mind there is almost no ground to run on over here with this story, but today’s world of football has taught us that anything can happen at any given instant, so we all may yet keep our fingers crossed hoping that Kaka makes the switch. If this deal is to happen and that is a very huge ‘if’ then it may work for the player, the club and the Premier League as well. Kaka may nail down a regular starting place in the first team which has avoided him now for almost two years; he brings experience to the club like no other player at the club and for the neutrals, watching a player of Kaka’s magnitude play in the Premier League would be an added bonus. It’s a win win situation if only this deal can go through. So, keep hoping Arsenal fans, it might just be the perfect answer to the club’s problems.

Marvin Martin

Current Team:  FC Sochaux

Latest Update:

Reports keep linking Marvin Martin to Arsenal, but, surprisingly there is no indication of the amount in question required to transfer the player to the club. There is constant speculation about this player touting him as the direct replacement for Samir Nasri, but any details of the deal are currently not available.

Opinion:

Any player that is flaunted as a direct replacement to Nasri and Fabregas must be first-class. He’s highly regarded and knowing Wenger’s eye for fine young players, I’m sure Marvin Martin is good at dribbling, creative, has vision and his passing must be suited to that of Arsenal. From what I’ve seen, and dare I say this, he does indeed seem like a tailor made replacement for Fabregas. Of course, his club record of a measly number of goals and assists may not amount to much, but then his three international appearances have resulted in two goals for his country by him. Therefore, with time on his side as it is with every Arsenal player (no pun intended) and Wenger’s guidance, he can be something of a phenomenon and develop into a complete attacking midfielder into the mould of Fabregas and Nasri. 

Mauro Zárate

Current Team:  Lazio

Latest Update:

Reports are indicating that the brother and agent of Zárate, flew in to London recently to discuss possible transfer moves with Arsenal as well as Tottenham. Since the speculation began, it has been claimed by the English press that Tottenham and not Arsenal would be his likely destination while the Italian press on the other hand claiming the opposite. His services would cost in the region of €25 million and it is understood that Lazio would not be interested in going lower so if Spurs can go higher then they have a genuine advantage in this case. But, with the arrivals of Miroslav Klose and Djibril Cisse at the club, the management may decide to do business in a lesser financial region then what is being quoted at the time.

Opinion:

Zárate’s ability can be summed up by comparing him to Arsenal over the last three years – inconsistent. Don’t get me wrong, the guy has great technical skill, he has the occasional flashes of brilliance, but that’s only when he’s playing good and that is not the usual case with him. He just fades in and out of the game. Just 15 goals for Lazio over three seasons prove that very fact. So, it’s safe to say that he does not exactly bang in goals for fun. The player has a good physical aspect to his game which can assist the team at times as Arsenal is not physically the strongest side in the Premier League. But, with this comes into question, his temperament which is a very big concern as he has shown that he has quite the ability to lose it at any time during a match. Therefore, at the end of it all, he doesn’t really paint a picture of hope, but stranger things have happened in the world of football and at the age of 24, provided stability at Arsenal, he may yet prove me wrong for one and may peak at exactly the right time for a club which desperately needs it.

Yann M’Vila

Current Team: Stade Rennais FC 

Latest Update:

As it turns out, reports are coming in that Arsene Wenger had failed with an offer of €20 million for the player over the weekend, but he shall now return with an improvised offer for the services of the defensive midfielder. Yann M’Villa is highly rated inside the football circles and combined with the fact that age is on his side or in this case Rennes FC the club is hoping for an amount in the region of €25 million to release him.

Opinion:

The first good thing Yann M’Villa can provide for Arsenal midfield is steel. He’s extremely good at getting the ball back, rotating possession and has good physical presence which can only get better considering his age. The guy is a good player with a great footballing mind as eminent by his performances for his current club, but then again he is inexperienced and a player with just 11 international appearances for France presently does not cut it for Arsenal this season. The reason being, that Arsenal fans have been on the back of Arsene to buy some experience and a proven player at the highest level for a couple of years now which can guarantee them at least one trophy this season. Although, He may prove to be a good buy for the future but I don’t see him winning any trophy with and for Arsenal this season and to top it off Frimpong is a decent player and he’s young too so the defensive midfield area should not be the biggest concern right now. So, knowing Wenger and his cash strapped instincts, it might be a blessing in disguise if Wenger does not buy this player now for the €25 million and rather invests in someone with a more proven background at the premier level.

Phil Jagielka

Current Team:  Everton FC

Latest Update:

Arsenal failed earlier with bids of £10 and £12 million for Phil Jagielka, but with time running out and the money from the Fabregas transfer available, Arsene is going to try again for the defender. Although, Everton are reluctant to sell nevertheless the tune of some £20 million may change their thinking. The lack of transfer activity due to shortage of funds at Everton may force the side to sell one of its prized assets and it may also prove to be the key signing for Arsenal.

Opinion:

Firstly, Phil Jagielka is a proven Premier League player. Over the years, the player has established his position at Everton and clawed his way into the England international line up. He offers the defensive cover at the back that fans yearn for and Arsenal so often crave. His man marking’s pretty good, is pretty solid at the back providing good cover for the goalie, a good header of the ball, offers a fine variety while going forward and the occasional direct shoot on goal can be dangerous as well.  He may not come on the cheap and is certainly against the transfer policy set by Wenger over the years, but, the defensive problems may be solved with his arrival and his arrival at the club might also give him a reprieve with the fans.

Eden Hazard

Current Team:  Lille FC

Latest Update:

Recent reports are linking Arsenal with a £20 million plus approach for Eden Hazard. Wenger has been interested in the player for the last two years and his approaches have been constantly rebuffed by Lille as they did not want to lose one of their top players. This summer saw them sell Gervinho to Arsenal and with things heating up at Arsenal, Wenger may just splash out some serious cash on recruiting Hazard to his cause.

Opinion:

Hazard’s been a top quality player over the last couple of years. His dribbling plus his pace is excellent and combined they can be devastating to any defence in the world. The guy’s a wing wizard, that’s what he is. They call him a defender’s nightmare in the French Ligue and he is one of those players who can just change the pace and course of a game with an instant dribble, cross or goal. Think in the terms of Arjen Robben and you’re getting close to this player’s potential, but, only without the injuries which is a good thing. He is young and has pace to burn on the wings and the challenge for the first team might even force Walcott to turn into a decent finisher of the ball. With this signing, Wenger can certainly soothe the jagged nerves of the fans in the recent years and as always he will be investing in a player for the future.


Arsene Wenger on the Liverpool game, Nasri and his own future and new signings

August 21, 2011

Last night Arsenal lost the game against Liverpool after being reduced to 10 men for the second consecutive League game.

Speaking after the game, Arsene Wenger said the team had a good performance under the circumstances and the result was harsh as it only transpired after going down to 10 men and through an offside goal. He added that all is not doom and gloom as we played without 8 first team players and there are positives from the game.

When asked about Nasri’s future, who was a surprise starter in the game, Arsene said he knows nothing. However, he added that at the moment he is an Arsenal player and would try to keep him.

On signing new players, the manager said they are looking and only the right thing for club will be done. He hinted at the possibility of no new centre backs by praising Koscielny and Vermaelen’s partnership.

In regards to his future, the manager said he is not the walking away type and he will give his best for the club.

Arsene Wenger, after the Liverpool match, said:

“[Result] Yes, I feel the result is very harsh on us. The decider was the sending off and as well the offside goal, it was the decider of the game.

I think the target is to have a good team and good players. You can spend money and have a bad team. You want the supporters to be happy and when you don’t win the game you can understand that they are not. But I think we had eight players out today and we still had a good performance. So it is not all doom and gloom, there are positives in the game today.

[Nasri’s future] I don’t know [what will happen]. I always said that I would try to keep Samir Nasri and I have never changed my mind on it because I played him today, to the surprise of everybody. He loves the Club, he wants to play for us, if we decide to sell him we will do it and we have to stand up for it. At the moment I am happy he is here. I don’t know if he will play on Wednesday, we will just play the game.

[On new signings] We look, you know? But we try to do the right things for the Club. I think Koscielny and Vermaelen are a fantastic pair of centre backs but it’s very difficult as well because if you buy another centre back and then someone gets injured I have to buy another one. You cannot do that every time you have an injured player.

[On his future] There is no chance I would walk away. I will try to give my best for the Club. We live under circumstances where every defeat is an absolutely a disgrace and an earthquake. We are at the start of the season and we are very disappointed that we lost the game. But we are at the start of the season.”


Arsenal 0 – 2 Liverpool: Thoughts and Player Ratings

August 21, 2011

So, more of the same from Arsenal with a different result this weekend.

With a makeshift midfield and defense, we started this game very positively but then went into a nut shell. If was Liverpool who created the better ‘half chances’ as we drifted from one end to another, hardly having a shot on goal. Nasri did have a go at goal near the half hour mark, so did Frimpong. Otherwise both the teams lacked creativity. The second half was where things started happening. Kelly rattled the cross bar, Van Persie had a shot saved, Frimpong was then sent off, Suarez came on and tested Szczesny followed by Downing and then the unfortunate own goal, involving Miquel and Ramsey. From there it was always us chasing the game and Liverpool ended it with another goal, the final nail in our already full coffin.

There is nothing much to talk from the game so I will come straight to what I feel.

First off, this is type a result one is going to end up with by putting youngsters on the field, who hardly have any Premier League experience against a squad that surely means business. The youngster’s fighting spirits will give you hard earned draws and at times an odd win but you will never be sure.

What we saw today is prove enough that our young players have all the talent in the word but they need experienced players to guide them. They cannot on their own make us challenge for the title, they need support.  

And this is where I fear Wenger is wrong. To put so many burdens on players who have hardly played a full game in the League is asking too much and at one point it surely is going to spill over. Look what happened in the case of Fabregas.

And on top of that to come out and say that we need to keep patience is not going to go down well.

Result and obvious lack of investment aside, the players out there deserve plaudits for giving their all from the first ball to the last. The defense was solid and to have kept the scores level till the last quarter of the game against a fully fit Liverpool squad is proof that we are improving, at least in one area of the field.

As for the result, weren’t we expected to lose this one? Yet, we lost only after going a man down and that too by gifting a freak own goal and through some bad refereeing by the lines man. I know these will sound like excuses but it is the reality. Liverpool were ordinary. We had eight first team players missing against a squad that has spent a fortune on players since January, yet, they couldn’t do us any damage with 11 on 11. (There is sure hope!) And looking back, I have a regret that we could have even won this game had our first team played.

Yet, this is no reason for where we are or why we don’t have to buy. We had a whole summer to solve our problems and buy the players required. What we have been doing can only be answered by Arsene and company. To play Miquel and not Squillaci, to bring on Bendtner and not Chamakh shows indecisiveness on our manager’s part. With the season two games old, we haven’t decided who will we keep and who we won’t. I don’t mind though, because late is better than never and this show that Arsene has lost his confidence with Squillaci and Chamakh (or am I seeing too much into it?)

I don’t even want to go over the players that are out injured or suspended. The Udinese and Manchester game just got a lot tougher for us. Qualification for the Champions League must be, however, the priority. If we fail to qualify, I am afraid, we will have to find another coffin. More on the Udinese game when the time comes.

The bottom line is we still need to strengthen despite having many players out injured or suspended because we won’t survive the season playing like this.

Before I conclude, apologies are also in line for Nasri who showed he truly is a professional and his commitment is spot on. He was on fire and looked like he cared for the team.

Coming to player ratings

Szczesny: (8) He again was commanding and covered his area well. Made some great saves, one each from Carroll, Downing and Suarez. Not at fault for both the goals.

Sagna: (7) Shifted from right to left and didn’t put a foot wrong. Offensively didn’t contribute as he was not on his preferred side.

Vermaelen: (8.5) Well he surely is a beast. Got his head onto every ball and never gave Carroll or any Liverpool forward space. Led by example and later on tried to revive the team by some forward runs. Caught out of position on the second goal but we were already losing then.

Koscielny: (no rating) Unlucky, looked decent before he went off injured.

Jenkinson: (7) He looked solid on his preferred flank and he sure is the right cover for Sagna. His crossing was better but as always we had no one attacking them.

Frimpong: (7) He really impressed me bar his second tackle that earned him the second yellow. Not afraid to put a foot in and was extremely quick on his feet. Had Liverpool in check till the time he was on. Even had a go at goal from range. As for his temperament and discipline, he needs to keep that in check. Will learn with time surely but I liked what I saw from him today.

Ramsey: (4.5) He really disappointed me today. He was slow and didn’t have things going his way. Lost the ball on countless occasions and didn’t give the support I expected from him.

Nasri: (6.5) As mentioned above, he deserves some slack after his performance today. Sure he did fade away at the end but we were already stretched to the limits. Made a great run in the first half that ended in shot going just wide. Moved the ball around and even dropped down deep to get it.

Arshavin: (4.5) One word, unacceptable! He did try to change things around but nothing was going his way. Ironically, he created the only chance for us. Should have been substituted early in the second half.

Van Persie: (5.5) Was isolated and never got any support. Only got one chance and he hit it straight at Reina in the second half just before things started going from bad to worse for us.

Walcott: (4) He too was anonymous and below par. He was always surrounded whenever he got the ball though. Lost the ball on countless occasions and made runs that ended in nothing.

Subs:

Miquel: (7) He justified his picking ahead of Squillaci. Comfortable and calm on the ball and read the game well. His positioning was also good. Being involved in the own goal was unfortunate.

Lansbury and Bendtner: (no rating) Didn’t have much time to make impact and by that time we had faded. Lansbury had the time to get booked though but liked his attitude.


Wenger on Nasri and Miyaichi’s inclusion in the squad against Liverpool and signing new players.

August 19, 2011

Arsene Wenger, today, in his pre-match conference confirmed Samir Nasri and Ryo Miyaichi are in the squad to face Liverpool.

Speaking ahead of the game, the manager insisted he has no problem in picking up Nasri against Liverpool. He praised the commitment of Nasri to the club and how he has worked in fantastic spirit in training ever since his arrival and in preseason.

On Nasri’s inclusion and commitment, Arsene said:

“[Hesitation in picking Nasri] Not at all. One thing I don’t question is the commitment of Samir Nasri to this Club. Every day since he has arrived here, and every day in pre-season, he has worked with a fantastic spirit in training.

The fans will want Arsenal to play well and win the game. I think they do not make an individual case of each player in each position. They want good players and to win the football game. I don’t see what you can reproach Samir Nasri about. His attitude in training, everybody has witnessed that he has been fantastic from the first day of pre-season.”

The manager also revealed Ryo Miyaichi’s inclusion in the squad. With words full of praise for the young winger’s abilities, the Frenchman said he possesses all the qualities to be a top footballer and he will be given time to adapt to the Premier League.

On Miyaichi, Wenger said:

“He is in the squad for tomorrow. We are impressed by Ryo’s quality, his spirit and his attitude. Everybody is absolutely convinced he will be an Arsenal player. He has a good understanding of the game, he is very quick, he is a fighter and has all the attributes that you love of a player at the top level.

He is 18 years old and has come from College football straight to professional football so we want to give him time to adapt to the Premier League.”

On the summer transfer dealings, Wenger asked for his judgment to be trusted. The manager maintained despite losing some big players, Arsenal is capable of doing well and added that the new players are all top class. On signing more players, the manager insisted only quality will be added and the club is working very hard to find quality.

On the transfers, Arsene said:

 “You have to trust my judgement – one day somebody else will make the decisions in my place and we will have to trust him. I believe I have shown in my 15 years here I am capable of making the right decisions for the right players. In the last 15 years you have seen more world-class players here, or as many, as anywhere else in the world.

You will soon see that they [players already signed] are all top-quality players. We have not lost so many players. We have, of course, lost big players but number-wise we should be capable of doing well.

If we find quality we will add quality to our squad and we work very hard on it.”