Tag Archives: Champions League

Gervinho: “I choose Arsenal”

Lille striker Gervinho told France Football magazine there are only “a few details” left to finalise, before his £11 million transfer to the gunners is complete. The Ivorian scored 15 goals last season, as well earning 10 assists, in 43 appearances for the team which won the French double last season. The 24 year old has promised Arsenal fans he will help to end their club’s 6 year trophy drought. He said:

“I chose Arsenal because it’s a young group within which I will be able to integrate easily,”

“I could develop more over there. There’s only a few details left to sort out.

“A risk? Not at all. I’m going to Arsenal to play. The best risk to take is to look to score goals and to play a lot.

“In football you have to take risks if you want to win. I’m going to Arsenal to win.

“I had no hesitation. None. But in a transfer there’s always a period of analysis and negotiations. All sides had to be satisfied so that things could develop smoothly.

“I’m going there to play, not to be on the bench. Arsenal love the game. And I love teams that love the game.

“The Premier League is a notch above. It’s maybe the best league in the world. I want to live that sensation.”

Tottenham were also keen on aquiring the services of Gervinho, but Champions League football was too hard an offer to turn down. He is set to put pen to paper to complete a four year deal worth £60,000 a week.

His arrival to the Emirates could signal the already imminent departure of Nicklas Bendtner, who is interesting numerous clubs, namely from Germany and Portugal.

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Posted by on July 1, 2011 in Transfer Rumours


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Key Dates For The New Season

July 13: Pre-season friendly – Malaysia XI (a) 1.45pm

July 16: Pre-season friendly – Hangzhou Greentown (a) Kick-off TBC

July 23: Pre-season friendly – FC Cologne (a) Kick-off TBC

July 30: Emirates Cup – Boca Juniors (h) 4.20pm

July 31: Emirates Cup – New York Red Bulls (h) 4.20pm

August 5: Champions League Play-Off draw

August 13: Start of 2011/12 Premier League season

August 16/17: Champions League Play-Off first leg

August 23/24: Champions League Play-Off first leg

*note all times are in UK time

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Posted by on June 4, 2011 in Pre Season, Schedules


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Transfer Rumour: Gervinho

The Ivory Coast international is set to announce the club he will play for next season in the next few days, with Arsenal, Liverpool and Newcastle all eagerly awaiting his announcement. The versatile striker who can also play as a winger was part of the Lille team that won the French league last season. The 24 year old is blessed with pace and has a decent goal scoring record. The transfer of Gervinho would hint at a summer exit for either Andrey Arshavin or Nicklas Bendtner who are both unhappy at the lack of first team opportunities and have both struggled for form this season. Arsenal are currently the favorites to land the Ivorian, after he claimed he was after Champions League football, Newcaslte and Liverpool are unable to even offer Europa League football.

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Posted by on June 3, 2011 in Transfer Rumours


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Possible Champions League Opponents – Which team is best to face?

Udinese – They are strongest opponent that Arsenal could face in the third round. They have a very strong team, with Alexis Sanchez their big name player. He is being chased by a number of top European clubs for around 30 million pounds. Other quality players in their team include Cristián Zapata, Mauricio Isla, Antonio Di Natale, Mehdi Benatia, Kwadwo Asamoah and finally Gökhan Inler. From these players we can see that if we are drawn against them they won’t be an easy team to beat. However, Arsenal’s quality should overpower Udinese and Italy is not far away so would not disrupt the pre season preparation.

Dynamo Kyiv – Travelling to Ukraine on a cold winters evening with a hostile crowd is never an easy match, and drawing Kyiv would be just that. The long trip to Ukraine would not be a good thing just before the start of the premier league season. They do not have much quality players wise, but the away fixture would be a very tough match, however, Arsenal should be too strong the Kyiv, and should come out of the tie as winners.

Panathinaikos – Panathinaikos would not pose a threat to Arsenal. They have an ample supply of talent, with only Sotris Ninis, Simão and Djibril Cissé their decent players. However, the away leg of the match would be tough challenge, but the home tie should be a walkover and Arsenal should not be under threat overall.

Twente – FC Twente managed to win the league with Steve McClaren at the helm two seasons ago. This was a great achievement, seeing as they do not have any top quality players. This means arsenal should not have a problem in defeating the Dutch team. The home and away fixtures should not be tough matches. Also Holland is not too far, therefore won’t alter pre season too much.

Standard Liege – Alex Witsel and Steven Defour are two create sparks in the Liege midfield. However the rest of the team are not of Champions League quality and therefore should not pose a threat towards arsenal’s chances of advancing in the tournament. Belgium is not too far to travel as well, so would not affect pre season too much.

Note Arsenal could also face a winner from the second round of qualifying, but that match has not taken place yet.

Out of the teams we could play, the best draw for Arsenal would be FC Twente. This is as Holland is not far to travel and are not a strong team.

The team Arsenal would be hoping to avoid in the draw would be Udinese. They have an array of talent available and they certainly have to ability to beat Arsenal.

The draw will be made on the 5th August

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Posted by on June 1, 2011 in Draw Previews


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Fulham vs Arsenal Match Report

Arsenal failed to overhaul Manchester City into third place after a disappointing 2-2 draw at Craven Cottage. It was a largely disjointed and lackluster performance from the gunners, meaning Arsenal will have to qualify through a playoff to reach the Champions League group stage and capped off a very disappointing season for the gunners.

Steve Sidwell opened the scoring, which was canceled out by Van Persie’s ninth consecutive away goal. The Dutchman’s goal also meant he matched Henry and Ronaldo’s record of 18 goals after the 1st of January in one season. Zamora headed Fulham back in front but substitute Walcott denied a final day win for Fulham.

The gunners made four changes to the side which lost to Aston Villa last week, most noticeably Chamakh starting with Van Persie for only the second time this season. Arsenal started the better team, keeping the ball and passing it around nicely. It was the gunners who created the first chance, Nasri with a free header, but it lacked any power, and was consequently plucked out of the air by Mark Schwarzer in the ninth minute. Andy Johnson found himself one on one with the goalkeeper five minutes later, but was given offside to the disgust of the home fans. A Sagna cross then found its way to the far post, where Gibbs was waiting, who powerfully aimed it at Schwarzer’s left hand side, but a brilliant low save denied the English youngster a first premier league goal of the season. A Zamora flick on released Johnson who took on a snapshot, which was easily saved low down by Szczesny. Arsenal went 1-0 down in the 25th minute. Zamora made a run down the right, made his way into the box and his cut back found Steve Sidwell, who slid the ball through Szczesny’s legs. This goal came against the run off play, after Arsenal had the better chances and dominated possession in the first 25 minutes. However, just 4 minutes later, Arsenal were level. Abou Diaby made a strong run past the Fulham midfield before exchanging passes with Chamakh. Diaby then drilled a pass to Van Persie, who took one touch, then expertly slotted it into the bottom corner. This was nothing more than Arsenal deserved, who then looked to press on to find a lead. However, Fulham created the closest chance of the match without scoring. Murphy broke into the box, Szczesny came out but missed the ball, leaving Murphy with an open goal at his mercy but a stunning Vermalean tackle on the line denied Fulham a goal to put them in front. The ball rolled across the line and out for corner.

This was brilliant defending and was glimpses of the old Vermlean which is what Arsenal have sorely missed. There were no further chances in the first half. The second half started the same as the first half had ended. Fulham created the better chances, however none of these chances materialised. A Nasri free kick 25 yards out was palmed away by Schwarzer after it was heading for the top corner. Moments after this, Fulham retook the lead. A Greening cross from the left found Bobby Zamora, who’s bullet header left Szczesny with no chance. Arsenal were playing very poorly and nearly conceded again, when a loose ball in the box found Zamora, who’s cut back was smothered by Szczesny. However, this is when Arsenal started playing better. A cross from Van Persie was dropped by Schwarzer at the feet of Chamakh, but he couldn’t poke the ball goalwards, and it went wide. Wenger’s frustration was shown as he made 3 changes at once, something he rarely does.

Arshavin, Walcott and Eboue all came on. 6 minutes later Fulham were down to 10 men. Vermalean was taken out by Gera after a clearance and was shown a straight red card for his late, studs up challenge. However, Arsenal couldn’t capitilise on their man advantage until the last minute. Walcott’s bursting run  created space for him to shoot, his shot came of the post and in from the right hand side of the area about 10 yards out.

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