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Arsenal on TV – August & September

sky-sports

Both BT and SKY have now announced their live games for August and September. We’re only on three times in total though but at least two of those are the first two weekends of the season:

 

 

 

Sunday 14th August 2016

Arsenal v Liverpool Premier League 16:00pm on Sky Sports HD

 

Saturday 20th August 2016

Leicester City v Arsenal Premier League 17:30pm on BT Sport HD

 

Saturday 24th September 2016

Arsenal v Chelsea Premier League 17:30pm on BT Sport HD

 

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Arsenal fixtures for the forthcoming 2016/17 Premier League season

PIC ALAN WALTER        160504   
ARSENAL PREMIERSHIP CHAMPIONS victory parade
Manager ARSENE WENGER

August
13/08/2016 15:00 Arsenal v Liverpool

20/08/2016 15:00 Leicester City v Arsenal

27/08/2016 15:00 Watford v Arsenal

September
10/09/2016 15:00 Arsenal v Southampton

17/09/2016 15:00 Hull City v Arsenal

24/09/2016 15:00 Arsenal v Chelsea

October
01/10/2016 15:00 Burnley v Arsenal

15/10/2016 15:00 Arsenal v Swansea City

22/10/2016 15:00 Arsenal v Middlesbrough

29/10/2016 15:00 Sunderland v Arsenal

November
05/11/2016 15:00 Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur

19/11/2016 15:00 Manchester United v Arsenal

26/11/2016 15:00 Arsenal v A.F.C. Bournemouth

December

At home to West Brom on Boxing Day

At home to West Brom on Boxing Day

03/12/2016 15:00 West Ham United v Arsenal

10/12/2016 15:00 Arsenal v Stoke City

14/12/2016 19:45 Everton v Arsenal

17/12/2016 15:00 Manchester City v Arsenal

26/12/2016 15:00 Arsenal v West Brom

31/12/2016 15:00 Arsenal v Crystal Palace

January
02/01/2017 15:00 A.F.C. Bournemouth v Arsenal

14/01/2017 15:00 Swansea City v Arsenal

21/01/2017 15:00 Arsenal v Burnley

31/01/2017 19:45 Arsenal v Watford

February
04/02/2017 15:00 Chelsea v Arsenal

11/02/2017 15:00 Arsenal v Hull City

25/02/2017 15:00 Southampton v Arsenal

March
04/03/2017 15:00 Liverpool v Arsenal

11/03/2017 15:00 Arsenal v Leicester City

18/03/2017 15:00 West Bromwich Albion v Arsenal

April
01/04/2017 15:00 Arsenal v Manchester City

04/04/2017 19:45 Arsenal v West Ham United

08/04/2017 15:00 Crystal Palace v Arsenal

15/04/2017 15:00 Middlesbrough v Arsenal

Will we be crowed champions against Everton on the last day of the season

Will we be crowed champions against Everton on the last day of the season

22/04/2017 15:00 Arsenal v Sunderland

29/04/2017 15:00 Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal

May
06/05/2017 15:00 Arsenal v Manchester United

13/05/2017 15:00 Stoke City v Arsenal

21/05/2017 15:00 Arsenal v Everton

 

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Arsenal Defy The Odds By Losing To United Reserves

Normally I try to stay as positive as possible about my beloved Gunners. Indeed you might remember I backed us to win the title at the start of the season, such was my optimism at the time. As the turn of the year brings another inevitable slide into mediocrity, I have now cashed out that bet (for a profit I might add). And not before time.

Arsène WengerThe complete surrender at Old Trafford this weekend was as inevitable as it was frustrating. From the first minute it looked like we had just turned up to make up the numbers. United have so many injuries and were playing half their youth team, they should have been there for the taking. Instead Arsenal just roll over to have their belly tickled. It really is as if we don’t want to win the league. This is our best chance in a decade. Where is the fight, the belief? And what makes it even worse, if possible, is that we might be handing the title to bloody Spurs!

Before the match we were the bookies favourites to win. In fact there were a load of bookmaker offers on Arsenal to win the match, a sure sign that they are confident and that they expect a lot of people to be backing us. I had no problem resisting the temptation to do so, and anyone who did would have been tearing up their betting slips before half time. An 18 year old who had never played a league game before made out first choice defence look very silly.

In the end I think losing 3-2 actually flattered us. United were better than us all over the park. And it’s not as if they’ve been particularly great this season themselves is it? I’m sure we’ll hear a lot of talk over our “mental strength” and be told we’re lucky to be making the top 4 again. And in a way that is true, you never know what you’ve got until it’s gone. The point really is that if we really intend to make a serious challenge for the title ever again, we simply will never get a better chance than now. And instead of meeting the challenge head on, we seem intent on throwing it away. Frustrating is not even close to describing how I feel.

I’m just glad I cashed out….

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Wenger targets Chilwell to replace Gibbs

1280px-Kieran_Gibbs_&_Daniel_Sturridge_2_(6954423348)

It has been widely reported that Arsene Wenger is in the market for a new left-back. The French Manager does not think that Kieran Gibbs is of high enough quality, so they are looking for buyers for him.

Gibbs had a bright start to his Gunners career but has since dropped down the pecking order. For the last 18 months, he has had to play back up to Nacho Monreal.

A few seasons back you would have thought he would have been a certainty to be part of the England national team. With the Euros coming up this summer, he has fallen considerably down the pecking order. It is highly unlikely that he will be included in the England squad for the tournament. With only a handful of games remaining in the Premier League, unless Monreal gets injured his playing time is going to be very limited. So far this season he has only featured in 13 out of 28 league games. Out of those match, only two were ones that he started.

Gibbs has been a boyhood Gunners fan all his life. He joined the club at the age of 15. He was one of the best young products from the Arsenal academy to come through the ranks. The left-back has failed to improve as a player though and this season his duels records are the weakest in the arsenal defence. The player has only won 40% of his duels, which is one of the lowest in the Premier League.

It is believed he will leave in the summer with some clubs interested in his signature.

The player identified by Wenger to replace Gibbs is 19-year-old Chilwell. The left back has been outstanding and attracted a lot of interest from the top teams. He is now signed with Leicester City, who sit at the top of the Premier League.

Chilwell went on loan during November until January for Championship side Huddersfield Town. The left back made many starts and during his time, the defence only conceded eight goals.

Chilwell is still young and has a lot to learn before making the very top. He is prone to making defensive errors which he needs to cut out of his game if he wants to take the first team spot in the Arsenal side if he joins. The player though is very disciplined, and it is very rare he gets booked.

At the start of the season, many Gunners fans were making Champions League final predictions. They thought that this was the season that they could push on and finally win the trophy they do desperately want. After losing 2 – 0 in the first leg against Barcelona, it looks highly unlikely to happen.

Barcelona is the Champions League final predictions favorite and on current form they look unbeatable.It would be an enormous surprise for them not to at least finish in the top two teams.

Author

John Hawthorne loves soccer and tries to take in as many games as possible. He writes about his Champions League predictions which get published on top footballing sites around the world. He has built up a base of followers who enjoy reading his pieces. If you are a keen follower of Champions League you may want to read more about his Champions League tip predictions.

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Arsenal back on track at Bournemouth

Bournemouth

After a poor spell in the league, Arsenal made moves to silence doubters in a convincing victory over Bournemouth.

Aaron Ramsey pulled the strings and set up both goals in the 2-0 win over the relegation-threatened south coast club. The first was a nice lob into the box to pick out Olivier Giroud, who headed it into Mesut Ozil’s path for the German to smash home past a helpless Artur Boruc. This was the Gunners’ first league goal in over five hours and everyone surely breathed a sigh of relief after thinking they had taken their foot off the pedal.

The first goal clearly gave the players some much needed confidence as they went on the attack again just over a minute later. Ramsey once again played the pivotal pass into the path of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who provided a neat finish by squaring the ball across goal to hit the post and go in.

Bournemouth had plenty of chances, more so than the away team, but they failed to put them away. Petr Cech once again proved why Arsene Wenger signed him by pulling off some outstanding saves to keep Arsenal in the game. Performances like these are absolutely vital for the Gunners to remain in contention for the title.

Arsenal's German midfielder Mesut Ozil celebrates after scoring their second goal during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Bournemouth at the Emirates Stadium in London on December 28, 2015. AFP PHOTO / ADRIAN DENNIS RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images

This win should giver Arsenal the impetus to continue their push for the Premier League title as they chase the leaders by five points coming into their crucial clash next week. They are at the time of writing level with Leicester City in the Premier League betting at 2/1 to win the title.

Bournemouth, meanwhile, are still five points clear of the relegation zone but they will need to pick up some points against Stoke and Everton in the next couple of weeks to avoid sinking further down. They face fellow newly-promoted side Watford at the end of February in what could prove to be an important game.

Arsenal were clear favourites going into the clash against Bournemouth, but that does not take away the fact that this was a well fought and important three points for the title challengers. After going four games without a win and not scoring in the last three, it was so important for Arsenal to really send a message to their rivals and remind them that they are still very much in the race as well.

Next week spells a thoroughly exciting weekend of football as all four top teams face off at the summit. Arsenal come up against the leaders Leicester while Tottenham Hotspur travel to Manchester City. It will be interesting to see if City manage to bounce back from their defeat to Leicester, and if they fail to do so it will only boost Spurs’ title credentials even further.

Wenger has already described the clash against the Foxes as a must-win game for them. If they lose, the gap will widen to eight points between themselves and the leaders.

Arsenal will be desperately hoping their big hitters can continue this momentum.

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Season Preview: Odds on Arsenal to Win The Premier League

So the 2015/16 season is upon us and there is a genuine belief this time that Arsenal can mount a serious title challenge and perhaps win the Premier League.

The Guardian have put together a quick preview video as we look forward to the new season…

The Odds on Arsenal

Arsenal’s official betting partners are Paddy Power, and they make the Gunners 4/1 third favourites to win the title. If you want to place this bet with Paddy Power you can join them here and get a free bet. In our (perhaps biased) opinion these are good odds and well worth a bet. I’ll explain why…

Nobody else has a better squad than we do this season. There’s strength in depth in most positions. Yes we’d maybe have liked another defensive midfielder, but I think it’s right to give Coquelin his chance there and Arteta can play the role as well. At centre back I think we’re stronger than our rivals already, and of course signing Cech is a huge boost.

It’s the attacking positions where we really excel. The strength in depth is huge in the wide positions especially. There are goal threats all over the pitch, so we should be able to cover even the most severe injury crisis. Our style of play was a joy to behold in the second half of last season, and if we can carry on that form between now and Christmas it should set us up superbly for a strong challenge.

Paddy Power might be offering better odds due to our partnership with them. I guarantee that there will be points in the season when we’ll be a lot shorter than 4/1 so I personally will be having a few quid on that before the seson kicks off this weekend.

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The “Who will we buy?” Mentality

Arsene-WengerSanogo out, Walcott Impressed, Wenger complained about having had to fight a losing battle and, unsurprisingly, the hunt for a world-class striker continues to drag on. Did I mention that the early signs were pretty impressive, as Arsenal earned their first trophy, albeit friendly one, as they beat Everton 3-1 to grab the Asia Trophy – with some impressive performances too!

To begin with, although it is barely a surprise, Sanogo has not been deemed stable enough to stake a claim for a first-time spot this season either. Considering his talent, the best move was for him to move on loan, as Arsenal get to have him back next year, if he reaches his potential. The loan move to Ajax will do wonders for him, as we know what Ajax can do to young, talented players.

Considering the above, the number of strikers in this team is slowly but surely decreasing, which made Wenger experiment with Walcott as an out-and-out striker – he impressed. Whilst the super-fast striker impressed as a striker, the same cannot be said for when he was switched back to the wing. He faded away, and that goes to show why he never quite realized his potential. Looks like he need to be a striker, and it is down to Wenger to either risk with him there or let him go to realize his potential elsewhere where such strikers are needed.

Now that we’ve reached the striker topic, Wenger seems to be searching for more of a complete goal-scorer. One in the form of Benzema or Cavani. A target man who can get others into play as well as score – and he cannot be blamed, as Wenger already has several quick and agile offensive players at his disposal, whereas the only one fitting the bill, Giroud, is far from stable. Although theoretically, Giroud is just what Wenger needs, in practice he has been very far from efficient especially during the big games.

A striker such as Bergkamp, Henry, Adebayor or Van Persie is what Wenger is looking for, he wants to continue the trend. However, that hunt is going far from smooth. Higuain has been over-priced by Napoli president, Benzema doesn’t look like he will be leaving Real Madrid especially considering the uncertainty regarding Cristiano Ronaldo, and Cavani just doesn’t look interested in coming to the Emirates. Aubameyang has recently been linked, but you get the feeling h would be more of a desperate “Plan B” than actually a catch.

Whatever the outcome, the most important thing that we’ve realized lately is that we, as a club, are no longer in the “Who are we going to sell?” mentality. During the last 2 years, we’ve switched to the “Who are we going to buy?” mentality and that is a very important sign.  “”Will we win the title this season? You cannot guarantee that in the Premier League. I just say we want to. I promise we will fight to win. A manager has to take the best potential out of the team he has.” Were the words of Wenger, and there definitely is reason to take his words seriously as Arsenal are building towards a title-challenging team, especially if they sign the players they are reported to be looking for.

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The saga called Arsenal’s transfer strategy

Arsène WengerTo begin with, let me calm the horses down first. We are living in 2015, an era of money-spinning headlines and people who become millionaires by simply creating stories that don’t even exist but grab attention among the football fanatics.

Sure, Arsenal are looking for a world class midfielder. Abou Diaby was released and Francis Coquelin is far from what the team needs to challenge for the title. That brings to attention the million and one players that were recently linked to Arsenal – some grandmas included, most probably! Any player out there that can potentially bring any views to the website or paper was linked.

Yes, Moussa Sissoko, Ilkay Gundogan, Morgan Schneiderlin and Ki Sung-Heung have all been credible players linked with the club as it still searches for a world-class holding midfielder, especially after losing out to Italians on Sami Khedira and Geoffrey Kondogbia.

However, every time I read that players such as Mario Gotze, Arturo Vidal, and William Carvalho are linked with Arsenal, I suffer an imaginary heavy blow on my face. We have so many technically gifted, small, tricky players in our team that we could open a shop simply for that area of the team. With reportedly only a £50 million transfer budget for this summer, before Cech’s arrival, Wenger needs to man up and make some bold moves already on what he actually needs. Weeks ago, we wrote the need for a world-class holding midfielder and, except losing out on a few of them, there has been no movement in that front. Oh and, did I forget to mention renewing Mikel Arteta’s contract? Kind of bad news for those expecting the costly world-class holding midfielder. Now if we spend between £30-£50 million on yet another costly attacking midfielder such as the ones mentioned above, where will we be going with regards to our woes, including defensive but especially the striker department?

Walcott is a hair away from another injury and is far from a reliable striker, Giroud has one good match in three (if lucky), and Welbeck, well let’s just say I have strong suspicions that it was a perfectly planned secret plot by Alex Ferguson.

The team needs a top striker if we are to challenge for the title. Think Diego Costa or Sergio Aguero, or Luis Suarez… familiar? Yes, those are names of strikers that spearheaded the offense for title-challenging teams in recent years. And that is exactly what we need if we want silverware or if we want to get rid of the Quarter-Finalist Forever tag in Champions League.

We need a player such as Radamel Falcao, who Chelsea just snapped despite already having a certain deadly finisher in Diego Costa. Karim Benzema is not far off the mark, if strong attempts are made. Rumour have it that Ronaldo will be used as the main striker next year, so Benitez might well be interested to offload Benzema for a healthy sum rather than have someone of his worth sit on the bench. Alternatively, Napoli might well be convinced to part with star striker Gonzalo Higuain for similarly healthy sum. They’ve been holding tight onto him, but money talks, right? Besides, Higuain is well considered to be looking at his options, so the club might well be powerless in stopping him if a club of higher statute such as Arsenal come looking.

Either way, Wenger must listen to Thierry Henry and millions others, and finally get us that star finisher we have been itching for since the days of Robin Van Persie, as the latest.

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All Hail Cheeky South American Alexis!

alexis-sanchez-copaIf you haven’t been watching Copa America, you might as well reconsider your whole life schedule… and priorities!

With 47 (most often sensational) goals scored in 22 matches played throughout Chile, the hosts deservedly ended up as champions of the fascinating tournament – and to top it up, our gem of a player Alexis Sanchez ended up in an even more sensation manner, through no less than a cheeky chip as the ultimate penalty ensured Chile’s first ever Copa America.

Boasting the likes of Barcelona goalkeeper Claudio Bravo, Mauricio Isla and Artur Vidal of Juventus, Inter’s Gary Medel and especially our own Alexis Sanchez among other quality talents, Chile was never off the mark for the trophy come the end of the tournament. However, considering the quality among Argentina, Brazil, and even Colombia’s ranks, it still constitutes for some top performances in order to win it – especially the final against Argentina!

Now, although Sanchez did not quite impress throughout the tournament despite playing all 6 matches for Chile, he was nonetheless a very valuable part of the team that went all the way to the final. He only scored 1 goal, out of a staggering 21 attempts – only 4 of which were actually on target! His contribution was however during the overall play, as he was his usual overly dedicated self and can boast the fact that he is among the top 5 players in kilometers run as well as fouls, both suffered and committed. Being a striker though, the 12 fouls he committed should give him food for some concern.

His teammate, Eduardo Vargas, ended up joint top goal-scorer, along with Peruo’s Paolo Guerrero – which also secured them a spot on the three way attack of the tournament, alongside the genius Messi. However, as opposed to Guerrero having to play on his own, and with all due respect to Vargas’ quality performances, they were made easier by the work-rate that Sanchez put in distracting and pulling defenders, thus opening spaces for Vargas to do his finishing. That is teamwork.

Now, although you can’t argue that Sanchez can compete with Messi, he can at least boast that he helped his nation lift a trophy, something the Barcelona genius cannot say. And this whole experience was topped in the best, and most unimaginable way ever. After Higuain’s surprising miss on penalty shootouts, Sanchez had the chance to win the first ever Copa America trophy for his nation, in front of tens of thousands people. Now, let’s not forget the likes of penalty experts such as Roberto Baggio and David Beckham (did I forget John Terry?) in such pressuring moments. Sanchez however, showed a composure of steel and not only scored, but did it magnificently through a cheeky chip. Admiring.

On the other hand, while Sanchez celebrates the trophy, Messi is left wondering what could it have been. Or, he might also be regretting the fact that Andres Iniesta and Xavi were not born in Buenos Aires, or anywhere else in Argentina.

Lavezzi even discussed his team mate, though it became some kind of a joke and a teasing target around the football population. “At some point Leo [Messi] is going to win something with Argentina,” he told reporters.”We thought this was an opportunity to make our mark, but unfortunately we could not. It hurts a lot.”

Alexis shall now have a much-deserved break, and come back stronger to Emirates Stadium, with even further belief in himself – though he never lacked that. After the final, he even told reporters that “We talked about it in Brazil that we were going to win the Copa America. This is really a great generation, we deserve this” and one can hardly argue with that!

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Checking the Czech Cech

1473376Congratulations! Arsenal just finalized the first buy of the summer.

As much as we would love the first line to be directly related to the topic and for the purchased player to be a certain Czech legend by the name of Peter, it is not. It is rather a 16 year old Romanian super talent – or at least that’s what they say of him.

On the other hand, the Peter Cech saga has been dragging on and it wouldn’t be completely out of question for this saga to become one of those boring, summer-long dramas that never seem to end. One day, he is completing his medical with Arsenal, the next day he is staying at Chelsea.

Yesterday, Goal.com reported that Cech is about to complete his medical soon.

Petr Cech will undergo a medical on Friday before completing a move to Arsenal next week after the Gunners agreed a fee with Chelsea for the veteran goalkeeper.” Goal.com reported.

“The Czech Republic international has already agreed personal terms with the north Londoners and is on the verge of ending his 11-year association with the Blues.”

However, considering that Cech was already an Arsenal player last week, according to media as well as team-mates such as John Terry, these reports are not to be trusted too much.

Back to the man himself, Cech is undoubtedly one of the top goalkeepers in the world – or at least he was. We’ve barely seen him play this season, so that would be a bold statement. Some might ask, “but why is he a reserve then?”, which is a perfectly valid question in most cases. However, he has a certain Thibaut Courtois, who himself is one of the best goalkeepers worldwide, if not in Top 3 already. In fact, Arsenal goalkeeping legend Bob Wilson already included Cech on his top 3, along with Thibaut Courtois and Manuel Neuer. That might sound biased, but he is not way too far off the mark.

“He brings authority, complete calm in the way he keeps goal, and presence. If Arsenal manage to get hold of Petr Cech and get another one or two players I think they will challenge for the title.” Wilson continued, and we can’t argue with him. Despite Wenger’s insistence on already having excellent choices for a starting spot in goal, the likes of Szczęsny and Ospina are sunlights behind the likes of world-class keepers like Cech, and this would bring Arsneal to a new level, probably securing at least 10 points for the next season alone.

Now this is a position where Arsenal have been lacking ever since David Seaman’s golden days. We’ve seen the likes of Alex Manninger, Stuart Taylor, Richard Wright, Manuel Almunia, Vito Mannone, Lukasz Fabianski and lately Wojciech Szczesny all try to make a name between Arsenal’s posts, even Jens Lehmann could be considered to have failed to live up to the absolute expectations. It is about time we get someone that can potentially bring us the same stability Seaman did, at least for the next two or three years. We must not forget Cech is already 33 years old.