Tag Archives: colney

Arsene Wenger rages after FA Cup defeat: "Don"t insult my players"

Wenger on the warpath: Raging Arsenal boss comes out fighting and tells critics 'don't insult my players' despite FA Cup humiliation

PUBLISHED:

12:41 GMT, 18 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

15:55 GMT, 18 February 2013

Arsene Wenger has launched an impassioned defence of his team and tactics in the wake of Arsenal's humiliating FA Cup defeat by Blackburn Rovers.

Wenger couldn't hide his anger during a press conference on Monday morning, but is coming under increasing pressure as the club face an eighth successive year without silverware.

The Arsenal manager has defended his team selection and laughed at the suggestion he isn't taking the world's oldest club knockout competition seriously.

Scroll down to watch the video…

Anger: Arsene Wenger attacked his critics at a press conference yesterday

Anger: Arsene Wenger attacked his critics at a press conference yesterday

Wenger press conference

Wenger press conference

Wenger said: 'I've been accused of not taking the FA Cup seriously. I've won it four times. Tell me who has won it more than me. Tell me, one name.

'I've been accused of not putting out a strong enough team – this is an insult to those who started the game, 11 internationals.'

Arsenal face a huge task to progress
into the quarter-finals of Europe's elite competition with last year's
beaten finalists standing in their way.

The players looked downcast as they arrived for training on Monday morning at the club's London Colney base, knowing that anything other than victory in the Champions League on Tuesday night against Bayern Munich would effectively end their season.

Under fire: Wenger has defended his record in the competition - despite leaving some key stars on the bench

Under fire: Wenger has defended his record in the competition - despite leaving some key stars on the bench

Under fire: Wenger has defended his record in the competition – despite leaving some key stars on the bench

Cheer up! Mikel Arteta leads a group of players onto the training pitch including Olivier Giroud, Francis Coquelin and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Cheer up! Mikel Arteta leads a group of players onto the training pitch including Olivier Giroud, Francis Coquelin and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

But Wenger has impressed on his players that they must put the defeat by Rovers behind them, and has also denied reports that the club are about to hand him a new two-year deal.

He said: '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,' the Arsenal boss said.

'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.'

Wenger then became involved in a heated exchange with a journalist, adding: '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.

Double trouble: Wenger with Jack Wilshere

Double trouble: Wenger with Jack Wilshere

'Here this is a pre-match conference
for the Champions League, if you want to talk about Saturday, that press
conference has been made after the game.

'Can we get some questions about tomorrow's game, that would be very nice.'

Wenger also confirmed Per Mertesacker is back in the matchday squad but Laurent Koscielny is unlikely to return for the clash at the Emirates.

Meanwhile, Mikael Silvestre, whom Wenger
signed from Manchester United in 2008 and made 43 appearances in the
Gunners’ defence, tweeted a tongue-in-cheek picture of an empty Arsenal
trophy cabinet, calling on Patrick Vieira to return to the club to help
his former manager.

Isolated: Wenger is under fire as Arsenal look to go another season without silverware

Isolated: Wenger is under fire as Arsenal look to go another season without silverware

All in it together: Arsenal's players train on Monday

All in it together: Arsenal's players train on Monday

Vieira, who played 406 games for the club over nine seasons, is rumoured to be the favourite to replace Arsenal’s head of youth development Liam Brady.

Silvestre said: '@OfficialVieira go back to London and give Arsene a hand bro ! #rolemodele #legend #AFC #mcfc'

Silvestre, 35, who will play for either the Portland Timbers or Seattle Sounders in the upcoming MLS season, pointed to the fact that Arsenal have not won a trophy since moving to the Emirates Stadium from Highbury in 2006.

Rovers revenge: Blackburn dumped Arsenal out of the FA Cup - 12 months after they were beaten 7-1 at the Emirates

Rovers revenge: Blackburn dumped Arsenal out of the FA Cup – 12 months after they were beaten 7-1 at the Emirates

Rovers revenge: Blackburn dumped Arsenal out of the FA Cup - 12 months after they were beaten 7-1 at the Emirates

Fans replied angrily to the
defender’s message, with one Twitter user posting: 'Thanks for all your
help in addressing that during your time at the club Mikael, one of our
worst signings ever.'

Another wrote: 'For someone who was
so bad when playing for Arsenal, you've really got some nerve posting
that. Disrespectful fool.'

Vieira is currently in a football development role at Manchester City, where he ended his career in 2011.

Mikael Silvestre

VIDEO: Heated press conference with Wenger…

Play Video

Loading video…

DM.has('rcpv37443','BC',
'renderConfig' :

'css' : “videoplayer-large”,
'autoplay' : false,
'muted' : false,
'adUrl' : “http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/adssz=8×8&iu=%2F7023%2Fdm.video%2Fdm_video_homehp&ciu_szs=&impl=s&gdfp_req=1&env=vp&output=xml_vast2&unviewed_position_start=1&url=[referrer_url]&correlator=[timestamp]”,
'playerId' : “1989148206001”,
'playerKey' : “AQ~~,AAAAAFSL1bg~,CmS1EFtcMWELN_eSE9A7gpcGWF5XAVmI”,
'objId' : “rcpv37443”,
'videoPlayer' : “2173873619001”,
'width' : 636,
'height' : 358,
'linkBaseURL' : “http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/index.html”

});

Arsene Wenger and Steve Bould"s relationship breaks down as Arsenal players demand defensive training

Arsenal crisis deepens as Wenger's relationship with No 2 Bould is pushed to breaking point and players demanding extra training

|

UPDATED:

09:50 GMT, 13 December 2012

Arsenal's faltering season is being hampered by growing tensions between manager Arsene Wenger and his assistant Steve Bould.

Sources claim Bould, who replaced the retired Pat Rice as No 2 at the end of last season, has become increasingly marginalised at the club's London Colney HQ in recent weeks.

Rift: Arsene Wenger and Steve Bould's relationship is under increasing pressure at Arsenal

Rift: Arsene Wenger and Steve Bould's relationship is under increasing pressure at Arsenal

It is believed the title-winning
defender, whose salary of 1.5million is half that earned by the England
manager Roy Hodgson, has grown frustrated at his lack of input into
first-team matters.

Certain players are also understood to want more defensive-based training sessions on a regular basis.

Distance between Wenger and Bould, a former Arsenal defender, is so big that, when the
boss missed training the day before Arsenal were beaten 2-0 at home by
Swansea, fitness coach Tony Colbert took the session.

Pressure
on Wenger is at an all-time high following Tuesday's humiliating
Capital One Cup defeat to Bradford, a League Two side made up of 10 free
transfers.

Speaking on Wednesday former Arsenal player Stewart Robson, who was employed by the club up until last year, added weight to the talk of training ground problems.

'Arsene Wenger, because he has got a massive ego, because he's a dictator when it comes to Arsenal Football Club, he’s not allowing Steve Bould to do any work,' said Robson.

'He’s got a reputation for developing players. Maybe he did that six, seven years ago. He’s actually putting players backwards now.

'I’ve seen Gervinho play for the Ivory Coast before he came to Arsenal, he was a good player. I saw [Andrey] Arshavin play for Russia and Zenit St Petersburg, he was a good player. I've seen [Aaron] Ramsey play for the Welsh Under-21s, he's a good player.

'Arsene Wenger is not doing enough on the training field. He’s not coaching the players, they have got no game strategy and, because he won't let anyone else do it, Arsenal are going backwards and some of their players are going backwards.

All time low: The Gunners were sent crashing out of the League Cup by lowly Bradford

All time low: The Gunners were sent crashing out of the League Cup by lowly Bradford

All time low: The Gunners were sent crashing out of the League Cup by lowly Bradford
ARSENE WENGER'S FUTURE…

Should Arsenal replace the manager who has won three Premier League titles and helped maintain Champions League football for more than a decade Click here to join in Sportsmail's debate

'Sir Alex Ferguson is not a coach. He doesn’t know how to put on a session, so people tell me. But what he does know is about the game, and he realises that, to get the best out of his players, he has to get the best coaches.

'That’s why he’s had some Dutch coaches underneath him.

'He’s made sure his number two is not just a yes man, which Arsene Wenger likes to appoint. He’s appointing people that are going to be tactically superior, who are going to take all his players out on the training field and work hard tactically and technically with the players.'

Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke backs under-fire manager Arsene Wenger

We're sorry! Gazidis apologises as Arsenal owner Kroenke backs beleaguered Wenger to solve mounting problems

|

UPDATED:

23:47 GMT, 12 December 2012

Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke has given his total backing to under-fire manager Arsene Wenger amid the backdrop of training ground tensions.

While being aware of the unrest among supporters after Tuesday night's embarrassing defeat against Bradford, the club's American owner is unequivocal in his belief the Frenchman remains the man to lead the Gunners.

Kroenke will back up his support with a massive January transfer budget and will tell Wenger to spend heavily in a bid to transform the club's faltering season.

Light at the end of the tunnel: Kroenke is backing Wenger to turn Arsenal's fortunes around

Light at the end of the tunnel: Kroenke is backing Wenger to turn Arsenal's fortunes around

Wenger's current contract expires in 2014 and there is currently no thought in the mind of Kroenke and the Gunners board to terminate the deal.

Kroenke, chief executive Ivan Gazidis and the club's key decision makers still view Wenger as one of the best managers in world football.

In fact, Sportsmail understands it will be left to Wenger to decide whether he wants to extend his tenure at the Emirates Stadium once his current deal expires.

On Wednesday, Gazidis told members of Arsenal Supporters Trust: 'I am frankly tired of getting up here and delivering the same message. Last night was not good enough and it made us all upset and angry.

'I would like to apologise to all of you, especially the fans who travelled up there. It was unbelievable support, as ever, and you deserved better.

'We all work here and are desperate to deliver the success and trophies we all want. Look into the eyes of the staff here, look at the way they talk. We will get this right. That is something we will work hard to put right.'

Arsenal fans have become increasingly frustrated at how far their team are off the pace this season

Arsenal fans have become increasingly frustrated at how far their team are off the pace this season

However, tensions at Arsenal's London Colney's HQ have piled on the problems for Wenger as he faces the biggest fight of his 16-year spell at the club.

Concerns are emerging over the Frenchman's working relationship with assistant manager Steve Bould, who only joined the coaching set-up in the summer.

Sources claim Bould has become increasingly marginalised during the club's training sessions in recent weeks.

It is believed Bould, who replaced the retired Pat Rice as assistant manager at the end of last season, has grown frustrated at his lack of input into first-team matters.

Meanwhile, certain players are also understood to want more regular defensive-based training sessions.

Sources claim assistant manager Bould (left) is frustrated with his lack of input into first-team matters

Sources claim assistant manager Bould (left) is frustrated with his lack of input into first-team matters

Speaking yesterday former Arsenal player Stewart Robson, who was employed by the club until last year, added weight to the talk of training ground problems.

'Arsene Wenger, because he has got a massive ego, because he's a dictator when it comes to Arsenal Football Club, he’s not allowing Steve Bould to do any work,' said Robson.

'He’s got a reputation for developing players. Maybe he did that six or seven years ago. He’s actually putting players backwards now.

'I’ve seen Gervinho play for the Ivory Coast before he came to Arsenal, he was a good player. I saw [Andrey] Arshavin play for Russia and Zenit St Petersburg, he was a good player. I've seen [Aaron] Ramsey play for the Welsh Under-21s, he's a good player.'

Out of sorts: Gervinho has misfired since joining Arsenal and the striker had another night to forget on Tuesday

Out of sorts: Gervinho has misfired since joining Arsenal and the striker had another night to forget on Tuesday

Delight: Bradford celebrate their memorable win over the Gunners to advance to the semi-finals

Delight: Bradford celebrate their memorable win over the Gunners to advance to the semi-finals

He added: 'Arsene Wenger is not doing enough on the training field. He’s not coaching the players, they have got no game strategy and, because he won't let anyone else do it, Arsenal are going backwards and some of their players are going backwards.

'Sir Alex Ferguson is not a coach. He doesn’t know how to put on a session, so people tell me. But what he does know is about the game, and he realises that, to get the best out of his players, he has to get the best coaches.

'That’s why he’s had some Dutch coaches underneath him. He’s made sure his number two is not just a yes man, which Arsene Wenger likes to appoint.

'He’s appointing people that are going to be tactically superior, who are going to take all his players out on the training field and work hard tactically and technically with the players.'

Nani at Arsenal training ground – the reason why the Manchester United winger was there

Revealed: What Nani was doing at Arsenal's training ground during the Manchester derby…

|

UPDATED:

09:51 GMT, 12 December 2012

The pictures of Nani at Arsenal’s training ground caused shockwaves yesterday but Sportsmail has got to the bottom of the mystery.

The Manchester United winger was actually next door, at Watford’s training facility (Arsenal's old training ground) when the picture was taken on Sunday. Of course, he was not being illegally tapped up by Arsene Wenger.

Nor was he spying for Sir Alex Ferguson or checking out the local traffic routes from the M25. Instead, the Portugese was there to watch his fiance’s son play for Watford under 10s.

Questions were being asked yesterday why the Portuguese was at Colney with the club interested in a January move for him.

Speculation: This Twitter picture of Nani at Arsenal's London Colney training ground on Tuesday fuelled rumours Arsene Wenger may be about to sign him

Speculation: This Twitter picture of Nani at Arsenal's London Colney training ground on Tuesday fuelled rumours Arsene Wenger may be about to sign him

Watford moved into the facility when the Gunners moved into their new state-of-the-art training centre right next to it.

Stevenage had taken a group of youth
team players there to play matches against Watford. And Nani posed for
pictures with youngsters wearing training jackets from both sides.

The 26-year-old got engaged to Daniela Martins in April and her son plays for Watford’s under 10 side.

Glimpse into the future This is how Nani would look in an Arsenal shirt

Glimpse into the future This is how Nani would look in an Arsenal shirt

He could be back in London Colney more regularly next year if Arsene Wenger goes ahead with plans to bid for him in January.

The winger appears to be heading for
the exit at United. He was involved in a bust-up with promising
midfielder Davide Petrucci in September when he called the 20-year-old
over in the gym and threw a punch at him.

Out of favour: Nani believes his relationship with United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is broken beyond repair and is looking for a move in January

Out of favour: Nani believes his relationship with United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is broken beyond repair and is looking for a move in January

He has not played since November 7
when he was taken off in the 73rd minute of United’s Champions League
match against Braga. They were 1-0 down at the time and went on to win
3-1 without him on the pitch.

A deal to sell him to Zenit St
Petersburg for 25million fell through in the summer because of his
unrealistic wage demands. But he has less than two years to run on his
contract that expires in 2014.

Thierry Henry will push Arsene Wenger for another loan spell at Arsenal

Gunners legend Henry will push Wenger for another loan spell at Arsenal

|

UPDATED:

13:54 GMT, 20 November 2012

Arsenal legend Thierry Henry has set his sights on a third spell at the Gunners.

The French striker has been told by
the club he can keep in shape at their London Colney training base
during the MLS off-season.

Fancy seeing you here: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger with former Arsenal player Thierry Henry before the Tottenham derby

Fancy seeing you here: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger with former Arsenal player Thierry Henry before the Tottenham derby

And Henry, aged 35, has not ruled out a second loan spell to help out Arsene Wenger's side.

He plans to hold talks with the manager when he reports for training in December.

Arsenal will lose lose Gervinho on Africa Cup of Nations duty
in January for up to six weeks and doubt still surrounds the future of Theo
Walcott.

The club's all-time record goalscorer had a fairytale seven-match
return to Emirates Stadium at the start of the year, extending his
Arsenal scoring record to 228 goals.

The striker returned to London last week after New York Red Bulls were
beaten in the MLS play-offs to end their domestic campaign.

He was principally in the capital to spend time with his family but
visited London Colney and was also at Emirates Stadium last Saturday to
watch Arsenal beat Tottenham 5-2 in the north London derby.

Ho holding back: Thierry Henry had an impressive season at New York Red Bulls

Ho holding back: Thierry Henry had an impressive season at New York Red Bulls

The Frenchman now plans to go on holiday before coming back to London in
December, where he is set to make full use of Arsenal's training
facilities on his return to maintain his fitness.

The former France international capped an excellent season for New York
Red Bulls, which yielded 15 goals in 29 games, by being one of the three
players nominated for the MLS most valuable player of the year award.
Graham Zusi of Sporting Kansas City and the San Jose Earthquakes striker
Chris Wondolowski are the other nominees.

Speaking in the summer about the possibility of another stint at
Arsenal, Henry said: 'I would like to go back to England with Arsenal
for sure.

'I wasn't planning to go back to play last season. It was only because
Gervinho and (Marouane) Chamakh went to the African Nations Cup.

'I was there to train and they asked me if I wanted to play. Who knows
what might happen in the future I've not yet spoken to Arsene about it
so I don't know what capacity I could go back in.'

St Louis Rams cheerleaders visit Abbey Road

Abbey days as NFL cheerleaders Come Together to visit famous Beatles landmark

|

UPDATED:

14:07 GMT, 24 October 2012

Anyone walking down the world-famous Abbey Road on Wednesday morning would have been left in no doubt that the NFL is back in town.

The glamorous St Louis Rams cheerleaders were spotted, like many a good tourist before them, walking in the footsteps of The Beatles across that iconic zebra crossing.

The Rams and the Patriots will go head to head at Wembley on Sunday in a regular-season game – the fifth time two American Football sides have crossed the Atlantic to do battle in London.

Look familiar The St Louis Rams mascot and cheerleaders cross Abbey Road on Wednesday

Look familiar The St Louis Rams mascot and cheerleaders cross Abbey Road on Wednesday

World famous: The iconic album cover for the Beatles' 1969 album, Abbey Road

World famous: The iconic album cover for the Beatles' 1969 album, Abbey Road

To celebrate their arrival on these
shores the Rams' cheerleaders were pictured aping the front cover of one
of the most celebrated albums of all time.

It was a fine way to Come Together
with their British cousins but were the girls heard exclaiming 'Here
Comes the Sun' In these grey October skies there's as much chance of
that as spotting an octopus in a garden.

Mystery tour: The St Louis Rams cheerleaders follow in the Beatles' footsteps

Mystery tour: The St Louis Rams cheerleaders follow in the Beatles' footsteps

Look familiar The St Louis Rams mascot and cheerleaders cross Abbey Road on Wednesday

Meanwhile, the Rams' players were
spotted further north stepping up their preparations for the big game at
Arsenal's London Colney training base.

And they had one particularly
interested spectator overlooking their training in the form of Arsenal
and England midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Football, but not as they know it: The Rams prepare for the game at Arsenal's training ground, London Colney

Football, but not as they know it: The Rams prepare for the game at Arsenal's training ground, London Colney

Football, but not as they know it: The Rams prepare for the game at Arsenal's training ground, London Colney

Football, but not as they know it: The Rams prepare for the game at Arsenal's training ground, London Colney

Since 2007, nine teams have played in London since the first annual game between the Miami Dolphins and the New York Giants.

And if the early signs are anything to go
by, London's NFL fans are guaranteed to enjoy a Fab Four quarters' worth
of rough and tumble, American style, on Sunday.

Star man: Rams quarterback Sam Bradford (second right) talks tactics with his team-mates

Star man: Rams quarterback Sam Bradford (second right) talks tactics with his team-mates

Catch it if you can: Running back Terrance Ganaway in action during training at London Colney

Catch it if you can: Running back Terrance Ganaway in action during training at London Colney

Interested observer: Arsenal midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (right) watches the NFL stars train

Interested observer: Arsenal midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (right) watches the NFL stars train

Theo Walcott and Daniel Sturridge both miss England training

Walcott and Sturridge miss training through illness as England prepare for Ukraine

|

UPDATED:

10:40 GMT, 10 September 2012

Daniel Sturridge and Theo Walcott were absent from England's final training session on Monday morning ahead of Tuesday night's World Cup qualifier against Ukraine at Wembley.

The duo trained on Sunday but complained of feeling unwell overnight and did not participate in the session at Arsenal's London Colney training complex.

It left head coach Roy Hodgson with only
18 players to be put through their paces after the withdrawal on Sunday
of defender John Terry with an ankle problem.

Raring to go: Roy Hodgson oversees training at London Colney on Monday morning

Raring to go: Roy Hodgson oversees training at London Colney on Monday morning

Raring to go: Roy Hodgson oversees training at London Colney on Monday morning

Raring to go: Roy Hodgson oversees training at London Colney on Monday morning

All smiles: Danny Welbeck (left) and Jermain Defoe share a joke

All smiles: Danny Welbeck (left) and Jermain Defoe share a joke

A further update on the condition of
Walcott and Sturridge will be given when Hodgson stages his pre-match
press conference later on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, a weekend surge in ticket
sales means 68,000 have been sold for the clash against the Ukrainians,
the Football Association confirmed.

Leading the way: Captain Steven Gerrard (left) walks out to training with the rest of the squad

Leading the way: Captain Steven Gerrard (left) walks out to training with the rest of the squad

Leading the way: Captain Steven Gerrard (left) walks out to training with the rest of the squad

Leading the way: Captain Steven Gerrard (left) walks out to training with the rest of the squad

The figure includes 6,500 which have been sold to Olympic Games volunteers at the reduced price of 20.12.

At half-time, 15 Team GB medallists will be presented to the crowd.

Grudge match: Ukraine will be looking for revenge for their Euro 2012 exit

Grudge match: Ukraine will be looking for revenge for their Euro 2012 exit

Grudge match: Ukraine will be looking for revenge for their Euro 2012 exit

Doubtful: Walcott (above) and Sturridge (below left) could join Ashley Cole and John Terry (below right) on the sidelines on Tuesday night

Doubtful: Walcott (above) and Sturridge (below left) could join Ashley Cole and John Terry (below right) on the sidelines on Tuesday night

Doubtful: Walcott (above) and Sturridge (below left) could join Ashley Cole and John Terry (below right) on the sidelines on Tuesday night

Arsenal continue talks with Arsene Wenger

Arsenal throw cash at Walcott offer in bid to keep winger at Emirates

|

UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 24 August 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Arsenal opened fresh contract talks with Theo Walcott on Friday as manager Arsene Wenger ramped up his attempts to avoid watching yet another star player slip through his grasp.

‘Negotiations continue. At the moment not directly with me, but we try to sort it out one way or the other,’ said Wenger.

‘We want to extend his contract and keep him at the club — but you need not only our desire. His desire is also right, he wants to stay and we need to find an agreement.’

Here to stay Theo Walcott (left) has yet to sign a new contract at Arsenal

Here to stay Theo Walcott (left) has yet to sign a new contract at Arsenal

Walcott’s representatives arrived at Arsenal’s London Colney HQ for formal talks with club officials.

The discussions represent a significant step in the Gunners’ attempts to tie the 23-year-old to a new long-term contract.

And Arsenal chiefs are growing increasingly confident that Walcott will put pen-to-paper on fresh terms — understood to be a five-year contract worth in excess of 70,000 per week.

Walcott currently earns in the region of 55,000 per week.

Arsenal want Walcott’s new contract sorted as quickly as possible, with sources claiming an agreement could even be reached by next week.

Arsenal’s push to conclude Walcott’s new deal comes on the back of Robin van Persie and Alex Song leaving the Emirates Stadium this summer, following in the footsteps of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri, who quit the club for Barcelona and Manchester City respectively in 2011.

And the north London club are determined not to lose yet another of their prize assets.

Struggle: Walcott (left) couldn't help Arsenal to an opening day victory

Struggle: Walcott (left) couldn't help Arsenal to an opening day victory

Theoretically, Walcott can sign a pre-contract agreement with a foreign club as early as January 1, when he enters the final six months of his current deal — which is another reason Arsenal want a successful conclusion to talks sooner rather than later.

Meanwhile, Wenger has explained his reasons behind making a last-minute U-turn on the move to sign Nuri Sahin.

Real Madrid’s Turkey midfielder looked certain to join Arsenal on a season-long loan before Wenger decided against signing the 23-year-old, who has had a medical at Liverpool.

The financial outlay Arsenal were required to make was a key reason behind the decision to pull the plug on a deal, but Wenger also added: ‘He (Sahin) wouldn’t necessarily be a replacement for Song because Sahin isn’t a defensive midfielder.

‘We have (Jack) Wilshere coming back quicker and he is a similar type of player. I see Sahin more in the attacking department — not in a deep midfield role.

Comeback trail: Jack Wilshere is expected to return in two months

Comeback trail: Jack Wilshere is expected to return in two months

‘If you look at the numbers you will see that Song was more of an offensive player than a defensive one.

‘We have (Mikel) Arteta who can play deeper — the kind of (Andrea) Pirlo role — we have (Abou) Diaby, who is a very strong defensive player.

‘And of course, Sahin wants to play. He wants to join a club where he will play (every week). We have nine midfielders and they all need a chance to play.’

Wenger will go into the final week of the transfer window on the look-out for defensive midfielder and a versatile defender.

But there is one player in particular Wenger wishes he could have signed this summer.

Missed out: Real Madrid Nuri Sahin (left) will join Liverpool, not Arsenal

Missed out: Real Madrid Nuri Sahin (left) will join Liverpool, not Arsenal

‘The one player I would like to have signed Eden Hazard,’ revealed Wenger.

‘We would have considered him, yes, because we were on the case a long time but there was such a competition for him.

‘Manchester City and Chelsea, they fly a bit higher in the sky.

‘We tried to sign him two years ago, we were in touch with Lille but they never wanted to sell him.

‘They had a clause and they decided only this year to sell. He was a very young boy, he is still a very young boy.

‘He is a guy who has something special, as you have seen already.’

Andre Santos arrested and bailed by police after 130mph car chase

Arsenal defender Santos arrested and bailed by police after 130mph car chase

|

UPDATED:

05:43 GMT, 22 August 2012

Arrested: Santos was stopped by police on Friday morning

Arrested: Santos was stopped by police on Friday morning

Arsenal footballer Andre Santos was arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving just a couple of miles from the club's training ground, police said.

The 29-year-old defender, from Sao Paulo in Brazil, was apprehended by officers who noticed a car being driven erratically by a driver who failed to stop.

The incident happened last Friday morning – the day before the north London team's first game of the season – Scotland Yard said.

It is thought Santos, who was on the bench for the Gunners' opener against Sunderland on Saturday, was behind the wheel of a powerful sports car.

He was picked up by officers close to Arsenal's training ground in London Colney in Hertfordshire, just inside the M25 motorway.

The Sun newspaper reported a car was being driven at speeds of up to 130mph in a high-speed chase.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: 'Shortly after 9.30am on Friday August 17, a 29-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving and failing to stop for police on the A1, near to Junction 22 of the M25.

'Officers' attention was drawn to the vehicle due to the manner of its driving.

Bailed: Santos was on the bench for Arsenal on Saturday

Bailed: Santos was on the bench for Arsenal on Saturday

'The man has been bailed to return at a date in mid-September to a north London police station.'

Santos was not breathalysed, police added.

Jack Butlad ready for England dream against Italy

Butland ready to realise England dream with keeper set to stand-in for Hart

|

UPDATED:

16:00 GMT, 13 August 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Teenage goalkeeper Jack Butland says it will be a 'dream come true' if he makes his senior England debut in this week's friendly against Italy in Berne.

The 19-year-old Birmingham custodian could get the chance to feature on Wednesday after Joe Hart was ruled out with a back injury.

England manager Roy Hodgson opted against calling up a replacement for Hart, leaving Butland and John Ruddy as the only two remaining goalkeepers.

Making a fist of it: Jack Butland says it would be a 'dream come true' to play for England

Making a fist of it: Jack Butland says it would be a 'dream come true' to play for England

For a player whose only senior experience at domestic level are the 24 games he played on loan for Cheltenham in League Two last season, a full England bow would cap a remarkable rise for Butland having also played for Great Britain during the Olympics.

'It's what dreams are made of. Unfortunately it's come, or hopefully will come, due to an injury which is unfortunate for Joe but if I get the chance it will be a dream come true,' Butland said at today's press conference.

'It's something I can't stop thinking about and I'd love the chance to be able to perform on that stage on Wednesday night.

On the ball: Butland is hoping to start ahead of Norwich goalkeeper John Ruddy

On the ball: Butland is hoping to start ahead of Norwich goalkeeper John Ruddy

Take a break: The young Birmingham keeper goes through his stretching routine at London Colney

Take a break: The young Birmingham keeper goes through his stretching routine at London Colney

'I think it's very important, I'm not going to try and put too much pressure on myself or expect anything because there's not a lot of goalkeepers who get the chance at such a young age so I'm very privileged to be in this position.

'I'm going to take everything in my stride. If it doesn't happen on Wednesday I'm going to work harder to make it happen on a different occasion.'

Butland, who was part of England's Euro 2012 Squad in Poland and Ukraine, also believes the experience of playing for Team GB at the Olympics will prove invaluable as he continues his development.

Talking a good game: Butland, who represented Team GB at the Olympics, is hoping to get a chance to impress England boss Roy Hodgson

Talking a good game: Butland, who represented Team GB at the Olympics, is hoping to get a chance to impress England boss Roy Hodgson

He said: 'It was fantastic for everyone involved. I feel very proud and privileged that I was given a chance to be able to perform and be a part of something bigger than just football.

'You were given the chance to mix with other athletes, it was a very good experience to see how all the other sports do it and just get a feel for the Olympics. It's something I won't forget.'

He added: 'The Euros were fantastic and it was a great experience to see and train with top players and it was a big eye-opener for me and showed me where I want to be for long periods of my career.'