Posts Tagged ‘Bayern Munich’

Football

Another German league player on Arsenal’s radar. Trio depart

By Stefano on June 6th, 2013

Yesterday we reported that Arsene Wenger was mulling over a move for Bayern Munich’s Austrian David Alaba. The player allegedly wants to play in central midfield and with Bastian Schweinsteiger and Javi Martinez already in the team that isn’t looking too likely.

Today though there are reports that Arsenal are in for another Bundesliga player,

According to The Mirror Wenger is keen on Matthias Ginter, a 19-year-old defensive midfielder, from German top-flight side Freiburg in a deal worth £5m.

The paper says

Wenger’s scouts have been tracking Ginter for months and the Gunners have spoken to Freiburg about doing a deal for the 6ft 1in German.

The key issue for Arsenal at the moment is what while the infux of youngsters is both welcome and interesting to the fans – Arsenal have apparently already signed Yaya Sanogo, and are quite advanced in the deal to pick up the ‘new Bendtner’ Alexsandr Mitrovic - it does feel that the manager isn’t concentrating on spending cash on that marquee signings that they crave so much.

The move for Jovetic feels dead, Higuain is all over the place and Rooney was always a non-starter. Bony is possibly going to Portugal while Benteke will cost at lot of money. David Villa could be an Arsenal player soon. But the arrival of a 31 year old isn’t going to assuage fans who want the club to spend big to compete with the likes of United, City and Chlesea.

There will be more money for wages too with Andrey Arshavin, Denilson and Sebastien Squillaci all shown the door yesterday.



Football

Are Arsenal about to move for a Bayern Munich star?

By Stefano on June 5th, 2013

This could be interesting, very interesting. Austrian site Salzburg.com has suggested that Arsenal have put Bayern Munich star David Alaba on their wish list.

The site suggests that Arsene Wenger is hoping to lure the 20 year old who played in the Champions League final, to The Emirates by offering a central midfield position. For Bayern he has largely been used as left back.

Alaba is certainly tough in the tackle, and his versatility could prove very useful to The Gunners (he can also play on both wings). But a central midfield role? On one hand it seems very unlikely, but then again the French man has a habit of taking players and finding new positions for them, so I guess this is just about believable.

Alaba’s contract is up in the summer of 2015 and we obviously don’t know how highly he features in Pep Guardiola’s plans.

File this as unlikely, but one to keep an eye on.



Football

Arsenal fans – what would be a good result tonight? Can we scrape a win?

By Stefano on March 13th, 2013

There were a few brief moments a couple of days back when I saw a glimmer of hope. I looked at that Bayern team sheet and thought, well no Ribery, Robben or Schweinsteiger. Several of the players that inflicted so much damage at The Emirates are missing. If only Giroud could oblige us with an early goal, then maybe just maybe.

Sadly that brief flame of optimism was extinguished as soon as it became clear that Jack Wilshere would be sitting by the pool in his Dubai hotel not bursting through the Bavarian defence.

The enormity of the task facing the Gunners tonight has been emphasised by two key points.

1 Bayern Munich have won all three of their home games in the competition this season and scored an impressive 12 goals. they have let in three. Arsenal would need to double that figure were they to progress.

2 Not even Arsene Wenger believes that Arsenal have a prayer. He might have said ‘football is football and that anything is possible’ at his press conference. But choosing to bench so many of his star players Wojciech Szczesny, Per Mertesacker, Santi Cazorla and Theo Walcott suggest that he isn’t banking on it.

So Gunners fans what would be a ‘result’ for Arsenal tonight?

Are you in the ‘anything as long as we don’t hammered’ camp? Or do you think that Arsenal could at least score and maybe even get a draw in the Allianz Arena?

Or is a win a possibility?

Let us know in the poll



Football

Arsenal update – How bad is the Wilshere injury? Bayern team news and more

By Stefano on March 13th, 2013

Worrying times for Gunners fans as Arsene Wenger admits that his star midfielder could face a longer lay off than the three weeks that were discused yesterday.

Wilshere’s injury is alarmingly similar to the one that kept him out of football for the best part of a year and a half and Wenger suggested yesterday that the England player could need a long lay off.

Wenger even admits that he might have played Wilshere too often this season.

At his conference Wenger said…

“Nobody knows if it could happen again. The other ankle transformed so we don’t know.”

“Maybe I have overplayed him,” said Wenger. “ We are in a position as well where you always need your best players.”

“There is a fear that this is how the last injury started. The last time it deteriorated into a stress fracture. That’s what we don’t want to happen.

“With the history we had last time we said OK, it’s bone bruising, let him continue to play and it transformed into a stress fracture. That’s why the specialist said we cannot take this gamble.

With no Wilshere it seems that Arsene Wenger might be tempted to write off the Champions League against Bayern tonight and play a weakened team, thereby saving key players for the Premiership clash with Swansea at the weekend.

The Mail reports that key players could be rested including Theo Walcott and Santi Cazorla who are likely to be replaced by Alex Oxlade- Chamberlain and Francis Coquelin in midfield.

Arsenal are already without Lukas Podolski and Jack Wilshere through injury which could mean starts for Gervinho and Tomas Rosicky.

Also the defence could have an English flavour with Kieran Gibbs and Carl Jenkinson expected to play.

Arsenal’s out of sorts keeper Wojciech Szczesny is also likely to be an absentee replaced by Lukasz Fabianski and Andrei Arshavin may even get a Champions League cameo.



Football

Nightmare for Arsenal: BBC confirm that Jack Wilshere will be out for three weeks

By Stefano on March 12th, 2013

Not good news for The Gunners as they bid to recover their Champions League tie against Bayern while pressing for fourth place in the Premiership.

The BBC (Radio Five Live) has confirmed that the club’s key midfielder, Jack Wilshere, will be out of action for at least three weeks. There’s more here.

As the player has stayed in Dubai it seemed obvious that he would miss the Champions League tie against Bayern tomorrow,. However three weeks also means that Wilshere will miss games against Swansea and Reading and maybe be a doubt for the game Against West Brom at The Hawthorns on the 6th April.

With Abou Diaby also injured Wenger will almost certainly draft in Tomas Rosicky and play him along side Aaron Ramsey and Mikkel Arteta.

There are some bloggers who fear that Arsenal are being economical with the truth about the injury and that Wilshere won’t play again this season. This is fuelled by the fact that it is an ankle injury and it was an ankle injury that kept the player out for a season.

So does this finish off Arsenal’s hopes of a Champions League slot?



Football

Arsenal update: Wilshere out, Podolski to Juve? And Raul Albiol targeted

By Stefano on March 12th, 2013

The big news today focuses on the upcoming Champions League game against Bayern on Wednesday. And what looked like just about possible for Arsenal, now looks like impossible. After a series of injuries dogged the German side, the Gunners now have to deal with the absence of their talismanic midfielder Jack Wilshere.

According to The Guardian Wilshere is still in Dubai nursing an ankle injury that he sustained in the game against Tottenham not training in the Allianz Arena.

Also not on the plane in Lukas Podoslki who also has injury problems. The Sun repotrs that the German forward is a target for both Juventus and Atletico Madrid.

Podoslki has netted thirteen goals for Arsenal this season and has shown flashes of brilliance, but has been criticised by his manager for at times not working hard enough.

The Sun reckons that £15 million could be enough to prise the player from Arsenal. Personally, I think that this is a non-starter if Arsenal qualify for the Champions League. However if Arsenal finish fifth – or even sixth – then the likeable German could be on his way.

Lastly a quick update on two key Arsenal targets. Firstly Arsenal are apparently keen on Real Madrid centre-half Raul Albiol. The player has been rather peripheral to Madrid in the last couple of seasons and has undoubted game reading and leadership qualities – which are sorely lacking at Arsenal.

Finally Arsenal target Stevan Jovetic has told the press that he won’t be sidetracked by questions about his future.

He told Sky Italia

“The transfer market? It has been talked about my contract and my future since the beginning of the season and I have to repeat myself: I just [think] about getting Fiorentina into Europe. I’m focused to score as many goals as possible and to make lots of assists for team-mates.

“In June we’ll see. I think only to the good of the team, of Florence and of our fans, the rest doesn’t interest me.”



Football

Arsenal update: Ribery out, Robben iffy, Schweinsteiger suspended – could the Gunners have a chance?

By Stefano on March 11th, 2013

So good news for Arsenal as they prepare to face Bayern Munich in the second leg of their Champions League tie.

Bayern are going to be without key players – quite a lot of them.

The man who was the architect of the Bayern win in North London, central midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger, is suspended as is defender Jerome Boateng.

Bayern have also let it be known today that winger Franck Ribery will miss the match with an ankle injury. Normally this wouldn’t be much of a problem for the Germans as they have Arjen Robben, however the Dutchman has a calf problem and may also miss the game.

Of course the Bayern team will start with Kroos, Gomez and Lahm, but the absentees will give Arsene Wenger’s men a degree of confidence that they might get some kind of result. A draw is possible, maybe even a win. Beating Bayern 3-1 or better would be astonishing, but manager Wenger hasn’t ruled it out.

He told Arsenal.com

“We just have to convince ourselves that we can do it in Munich as well. Yes, the chance is small, but the chance makes the impossible possible. That would be a great credit for our team to do it. We have to try to achieve it.”

Arsenal’s injury list is significantly shorter. Bacary Sagna is probably out – but he will be replaced by the reliable English defender Cark Jenkinson. Arsenal are likely to be without Abou Diaby too, but they still have plenty of midfield options.

Kieran Gibbs may return at left back too which is great news for the Gunners, as Bayern targeted the team’s makeshift left back, Thomas Vermaelen, in the first leg.

So can The Gunners pull of a shock victory – might they get near to a 3-1 victory? What do you think?



Football

Five things Arsenal fans were thinking at the final whistle last night

By Stefano on February 20th, 2013

A few things that Arsenal fans were thinking at the end of the game last night.

1 That this was their last European home game for a while – Many Gunners aren’t confident that Arsenal will over haul Spurs and/or Chelsea and secure a Champions League place next year. So last night could be the last Champions League night at The Emirates for quite some time.

2 That the defence needs a total restructuring – Not just a player or two but complete restructuring. Sagna played well, but the other three were generally very poor. Vermaelen isn’t the player he used to be, Koscielny might not have been fit, but looked sluggish and Mertesacker simply isn’t good enough. The team needs a defensively minded midfielder to add some protection and at least two new centre backs.

3 That Wenger needs to go – Maybe not today, or even if Villa beat Arsenal on Saturday, but at the end of the season. Piers Morgan might been advocating his removal now, but I think that a lot of Arsenal fans think he deserves the chance to try and turn things around this season. He could then leave with a degree of dignity in the summer. Arsenal need to be thinking about his replacement now.

4 The board that runs their football club is a shambles - Installing Silent Stan was a defensive move to prevent Usmanov from taking over. Kroenke has kept his part of the bargain by keeping quiet and letting the current team manage the club. However they simply aren’t up to the job. There’s no real leadership and no significant injection of cash and Arsenal need those to compete. If Usmanov was the controlling shareholder and brought Dein back they would have both.

5 Wilshere could become the new Gerrard - By that I mean the only realty outstanding member of a largely mediocre team. A player whose loyalty keep him at the club but who would achieve more if he left.



Football

Arsenal update: Tracking Lyon’s Gonalons and Grenier and Bayern’s Gustavo

By Stefano on February 19th, 2013

Arsene has probably got other things on his mind tonight, but maybe tomorrow he will be back to planning on how he will re-shape his squad in the summer. That’s actually assuming he is still holding the reins at the Emirates – you can now get 12-1 from Ladbrokes on the Frenchman leaving or getting sacked.

Caught Offside have picked up on a story from French site Mercato365 claim that Arsenal scouts were watching a couple of players at the Lyon Vs Bordeaux game last night.

Top of Wengers’s list is likely to be defensive midfielder Maxime Gonalons – a man who could be seen as a replacement for Alex Song. the 23 year old is captain of the Lyon team and has played six times for France. He is noted as being a player who is very defensively minded.

Chances are though that another player caught the Arsenal scouts’ eyes last night – Lyon’s playmaker Clément Grenier. The player scored twice and set one goal up. He is quick, creative and versatile.

Lyon are doing fairly well this season but financial issues might mean they have to offload a few of their key players in the summer. Both could be good buys for Arsenal, that is if Newcastle don;t get there first.

According to Goal Wenger is also interested in Bayern Munich’s Brazilian star Luiz Gustavo as another possible replacement for Song. The player has a £15 million price tag is unlikely to play tonight – he is behind Bastian Schweinsteiger and Javi Martinez in the running – and may not have played as often as he would have expected for the German side.

He would be a quality buy and potentially could be a key long-term pillar of the Arsenal midfield.



Football

Arsenal update: Season ticket weirdness, Wenger does Taxi Driver, but Bayern boss backs him

By Stefano on February 18th, 2013

Phew – what a day. It sounds like one that Arsene Wenger won’t want to remember. In case you missed it, earlier in the day Wenger had a bit of an incident that the Arsenal press conference.

There’s a blow by blow account at The Guardian, but the fury appears to have been sparked by what Wenger called ‘wrong information; in The Sun that negotiations had already started with Wenger over a new deal, with his current one set to expire in the summer of 2014.

Now most managers would be keen to trumpet new contract negotiations, but not under fire Arsene.

Wenger responded by saying

“That is the wrong information and I work for 16 years in England and I think I deserve a bit more credit than wrong information that has only one intention: to harm. If it is good information which comes from nowhere it is all right but this is wrong information that comes from nowhere and it is completely wrong.”

As the Guardian then reports Wenger got in to an exchange with a journalist and even added a bit of Taxi Driver speak.

“I look at you not because you give information, I do not know if it is you, I do not know where the information comes from. Why do you look at me? I just thought you had given this information out.”

The journalist apparently responded that he was looking at Wenger because he was at his press conference…

The beleaguered Arsenal boss did get a bit of support today from his opposite number at Bayern.

At his press conference this morning Jupp Heynckes seemed to blame the Arsenal commercial management and not Arsene Wenger for the club’s decline.

You have to take into consideration that Arsenal are competing with teams like Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City,’ he said.

‘The way I see it, over the years they have been selling their best players whereas the other teams get in these world stars. If you have to compete with that I don’t think it is fair to blame Arsene Wenger.

‘Wenger is a great coach. You see the way his teams play. Arsenal has a lot of tradition and history. They play attractive football.

‘If you take away the game against Blackburn they have been very positive. They’re fifth in the league. They will be a very difficult opponent for us tomorrow.’

Finally a really good spot by the chaps at Anorak who have noticed that Arsenal tend to talk up their transfer war chest every time season ticket renewals come around.

It links to The Telegraph who this morning reported that Arsenal have a £70 million war chest to spend in the summer, and this a couple of days after it opened season ticket renewals.

Apparently a similar story ran in February last year also just before season ticket renewals opened. And as for that war chest – it didn’t really get spent now did it?



Football

Arsenal’s Laurent Koscielny misses training – who might Arsene play tomorrow?

By Stefano on February 18th, 2013

Some very worrying news for Gunners fans on the eve Arsenal’s games against Bayern Munich. There are reports that French centre back Laurent Koscielny missed training this morning because of ongoing problems with a calf injury.

It has to be said that Koscielny looked fine against Blackburn (fitness-wise) and that this might just be a precautionary move by the Arsenal medical team.

However if Koscielny does miss tomorrow then Arsene Wenger has a tricky decision to make. It will mean that Thomas Vermaelen will be needed to partner Per Mertesacker at centre back, creating a problem as to who will play at left back?

Wenger could move Sanga to that position with Carl Jenkinson at right back, or he could draft in Ignasi Miquel.

Either way it wouldn’t be ideal given Bayern’s awesome firepower



Football

Arsenal update: Goalkeeper gossip, Wilshere on Chelsea and why Wenger might drop Giroud

By Stefano on February 18th, 2013

There’s lot of Arsenal news this morning with the papers dominated by recriminations over the defeat to Blackburn and previews of the game on Tuesday against Bayern Munich.

Jack Wilshere has been talking eloquently about both subjects.

On the Blackburn game Wilshere said

“It’s obviously disappointing to go out of the FA Cup. We know what this trophy means in England and we wanted to go all the way.

“We created a lot of chances we’re just disappointed we couldn’t put it in the net. “They probably created one chance and they got a lucky goal but that’s the FA Cup. Giantkillings going on all the time in this cup and it happened today.”

On the game against Bayern, Wilshere said that he hoped the Arsenal team would find inspiration from an unlikely source – their West London rivals Chelsea

“They weren’t having a good season and ok they got a bit lucky in some games but they showed great character and we need to do that now. We need to come together as a team. We’ve got good leaders here we’ve got a good team atmosphere and I think that’s going to help us now.

Meanwhile Bayern Munich’s Bastian Schweinsteiger has tackled the Chelsea issue straight on saying that the German side are much stronger this season. He told The Daily Mail.

“We are hungry to win the Champions League. This team have been to the final twice and didn’t win. We have more experience and we’re moving towards our aim. Compared to the final against Chelsea, we are stronger. We have more good players and we are stronger on the bench. This is a crucial point.

“In the final, Chelsea brought on Fernando Torres and Florent Malouda and that helped them win the game. That’s a big difference to last season. We have more options to change.”

The Guardian has a round up of all the latest Arsenal related transfer news. Not that any of it is what you would call proper news. The big issues seems to be around the future of Wojciech Szczesny. Is Arsene in for a new keeper? Well according to The Guar the main names in the frame are Barcelona’s Victor Valdes and Liverpool’s Pepe Reina. Both of which seem pretty unlikely.

Finally Goal has an interesting take on who might play for The Gunners against Bayern. It is pure speculation of course but the website thinks that Wenger might drop Olivier Giorud, who had a turkey on Saturday, and play Theo Walcott down the middle.

Its rationale is this

Arsene Wenger believes his strongest offensive weapon in the last-16 first-leg encounter is a pacy, mobile front three that can hit the runaway Bundesliga leaders on the counter-attack. The Arsenal manager is believed to be leaning towards starting with a front trio of Theo Walcott, Lukas Podolski and Santi Cazorla, although he could revise his plans following training on Monday.

Goal also thinks that Aaron Ramsey will get a start too which would explain why he didn’t play on Saturday.

I think there might be legs to this one. Bayern are probably more susceptible to pacy players who catch them on the break rather then old school strikers like Giroud who could be easily marked by their superb defensive paring.

We will find out soon enough.



Football

Guardiola wants Spurs’ Gareth Bale for Bayern Munich

By Stefano on February 16th, 2013

Gareth Bale’s sensational season hasn’t gone un-noticed in Germany. According to today’s Daily Mail Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola is lining up a bid to rival the one that which is expected to come from Real Madrid in the summer.

The paper reckons that the ex Barca boss has a transfer war chest of £100 million and that he is ready to fork out half of that on the brilliant Tottenham player. Guardiola apparently has scouts watching Bale and reporting back to him.

Performances like that against Lyon in the Europa Cup are only going to push Bale to the front of the list of Europe’s most wanted. The player signed a four year contract in 2012 and has so far hasn’t had his head turned by big money transfer talk.

Bale said after the game on Thursday

‘I don’t take too much notice. I’m concentrating on every game and just hoping I can keep my form going.’

‘This is probably the best I’ve been playing so far in my career,’ admitted Bale. ‘I’m enjoying my football and the team’s playing well, which obviously makes it easier for me.I’ve just got to keep my head down, keep working hard. I’ve still got a lot of room for improvement.’

Meanwhile writing for The Sun ex Spurs and England boss Terry Venables says that Spurs ambitions must match Bale’s if the player is to stay.

‘I have heard some say that Bale will probably need to quit Tottenham to become a world great like Ron(aldo). But I do not think that is necessarily the case. It just depends on how good Spurs want to become. To be recognised as a top player, Bale will have to play at the highest level and challenge for trophies in club football.

He has previously expressed his desire to take on the challenge of playing abroad in the future. But there is no reason why he could not achieve world greatness with his current club.’

Pic James Boyes



Football

Arsenal update: Wenger’s press conference has injury news (Gibbs/Wilshere), update on Villa and more

By Stefano on February 15th, 2013

Arsene Wenger had a pretty busy time of it this morning at the Arsenal press conference fielding questions about upcoming games against Blackburn and Bayern as well as the future of Santos, Villa and more.

Firstly on the injuries, Wenger revealed there was a possibility that Kieran Gibbs could be back in time for the game against Bayern

‘Kieran has a small chance to be fit for the second match against Bayern’

But he also cast doubt on the fitness of Jack Wilshere

‘I will not take a risk [with his fitness], with the rest of the season in mind and what happened before’

As for the game against Blackburn Wenger confirmed

‘The players who will not start are the players who have played many games recently. We are favourites, Blackburn have nothing to lose and they have a squad of Premier League players’

As for Villa, Wenger said

‘I am not on the case. I like the player but at the moment we have some immediate targets’

The door is however still open for Andre Santos

‘Of course he can have a future at Arsenal. That depends as well on the ins and outs during the summer. ‘He moved because he lost a little bit of confidence and he needs to play’

So what do you make of that lot then?

Well it seems that Arsene is focusing much more on the game against Bayern than Blackburn and that Saturday could see some fringe players – Miquel, Rosicky, maybe even Arshavin – get a game.

As for Bayern, the news that Gibbs might be fit is hugely encouraging for Gunners fans. Wenger would have to play Thomas Vermaelen in the left back berth and he is also struggling to get fit.

Personally I think that the comment on Santos makes sense. He has been a good player before, but clearly has struggled this season. He wouldn’t be the first Arsenal player ever to have a drop off in from.

As for Villa, that door it still open, but if I were a betting man the money would be on a younger striker arriving in the summer

 



Football

Arsenal injury update – and who should play against Blackburn?

By Stefano on February 14th, 2013

This Saturday Arsenal welcome Blackburn Rovers to The Emirates for an FA Cup clash they are desperate to win. The FA Cup remains the bit of silverware most likely to end the club’s seven your trophy drought.

Yet Arsene Wenger has plenty on his mind when it comes to deciding who is going to start in the line up. For three days later Arsenal face a much tougher challenge in the guise of Bayern Munich who visit The Emirates for the first leg of their Champions League tie.

Wenger also has quite a few players coming back from injury, so he needs to decide does he risk them against the Championship side on Saturday and keep them for Bayern game.

First up then here’s what Arsene said this morning to the club’s website about the various injuries.

Thomas Vermaelen – He is looking quite good and is possibly back for Saturday. He should be in the squad.

Jack Wilshere – He is having tests today [Thursday] and tomorrow. He is looking better. He is still a doubt for Saturday. He’s got a kick on the thigh.

Laurent Koscielny – That is a problem. He has a test today and tomorrow exactly like Wilshere.

As for the others

Ramsey is alright. Sagna is alright. Jenkinson is suspended. Diaby is available again and all the other players are alright.

The really good news than is Thomas Vermaelen’s recovery. It would make seen to put him on the bench and save him to play at left back in the Bayern game.

If we consider that Koscielny is likely to be a non starter on Saturday and that he need to be preserved to play alongside Mertesacker on Tuesday, Wenger could try Miquel against Blackburn. Monreal will be able to play left back and Sagna at the right.

If Wilshere is left out of the squad then Arsenal’s midfield could be Arteta, Cazorla, Diaby with Walcott and Podolski on the wings.

Wenger can also pick Gervinho, who had a splendid AFCON and could well feature.




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