Arsenal look set to let go one of the many â€˜deadwood' players we have at the club this summer in Brazilian midfielder Denilson. Denilson is currently on loan in his homeland Brazil with Sao Paulo and they have today spoken about their willingness to sign the player to a permanent deal.
As the end of the season draws ever closer, the newspapers are gearing up for the summer transfer window and Arsenal, as usual, will be involved with an amazingly high proportion of them. The rumours about the goalkeeping situation alone should be enough to fill the back pages of your average tabloid and there have been three stories involving the Gunners in the last couple of days.
Everybody concerned with Arsenal Football Club is concentrating on one thing at the moment, finishing in the top four ahead of Tottenham or Chelsea, or preferably both. This will make it a good finish to another disappointing campaign, though, and it is just not good enough for the fans or the players.
Mikel Arteta and Aaron Ramsey have formed a great partnership at the heart of the Arsenal midfield. Arsene Wenger has started them together in eight of the last nine games for the Gunners. The defenders have credited them with a big influence on the improvement in the goals conceded tally and they provide a solid platform for Arsenal to control the game and push forward.
Following what many would consider to be just one more in a long line of poor performances this season, Bacary Sagna's days at Arsenal seem to be numbered. Fans have grown impatient with his erratic displays this season, and his howler against Man Utd seems to be the nail in the coffin for many Gooners.
Stan Kroenke seems determined to stay in charge of Arsenal, even if the proposed takeover offer is forthcoming, the American billionaire is ready to dig his heels in at the Emirates. With Alisher Usmanov topping the UK rich list and desperate to get a seat on the Arsenal board, a lot of Gooners are not happy about Kroenke's stance but there is little we can do.
To paraphrase Blackadder, the end of the season is twisting and turning like a twisty, turny thing. Another unexpected result last night shook things up at the bottom of the Premier League table, but it could also have a significant effect on the top four places as well.
Sunderland were the form team at the bottom and seemed to be destined for safety, so Aston Villa's 6-1 victory lasy night was pretty unexpected.
Arsenal are going to be without the extremely gifted but equally unlucky French international Abou Diaby until the end of the year. Some Gooners will say that we have had to do without him for the last couple of years. Every time he comes back, it is not for long and he is not playing often enough to get back into the form we all know he could have.
Arsenal have three more games left in the Premier League and will have to do without Olivier Giroud for the first two of those. The French international had established himself as one of the first players on the Gunners teamsheet after a few wobbles earlier in the season, but Arsene Wenger has another decision to make this weekend.
It will not surprise many Arsenal fans that Alex Ferguson complained that his Manchester United players did not get fair treatment from the referee at the Emirates yesterday. Fergie complained that Phil Dowd had treated the teams differently, especially when it came to giving yellow cards, but Arsene Wenger saw things differently.
Arsenal right back Bacary Sagna has spent the majority of his career with the Gunners, after signing from Ligue 1 side Auxerre back in 2007. In those 6 years Sagna has managed to make 175 league appearances, scoring just 3 goals. In his first years he competed with Emmanuel Eboue to nail down the Right Back position, however it was quickly seen who the better player was and Sagna soon managed to make a stance and become Arsenal's regular Right Back.
The Arsenal keeper Wojciech Szczesny can count himself lucky that he got his starting place back from Lukascz Fabianski. It was only the rib injury to his Polish international team mate that let Szczesny back in. He could have been in the same situation as the Gunners captain Thomas Vermaelen, who has played just once since the derby defeat by Tottenham and that was because Per Mertesacker was suspended.
If, as some reports suggest, Thomas Vermaelen leaves Arsenal during the transfer window this summer, the Belgian defender will be the third captain of the Gunners to leave the club in as many seasons. The first in that trio was the Spanish international Cesc Fabregas, who returned to his boyhood club after Barcelona had tried to get him back for a while.
Arsenal went flying into a 1-0 lead after just 2 minutes of yesterday's game against Man United but a moment of madness from Bacary Sagna gave Robin Van Persie the chance to peg us back and set up a nervous second half.
Arsene Wenger thinks that the penalty ruined the flow of Arsenal's game.
This season was an eye opener to anyone connected to Arsenal FC. When a player like Robin van Persie makes a public statement that the club lacks ambition before eventually leaving the club at the peak of his career to join our rival Red Devils, it does raise many eyebrows.
It is widely reported that the Arsenal board are going to hand Arsene Wenger a significant amount of money to spend in the transfer market this summer. The amount usually suggested is around Â£70 million, but there has been talk that this amount will be reduced if the Gunners do not finish in the top four because of the loss of revenue from the Champions League.
When Robin van Persie made his first return to Arsenal yesterday, it was always going to be a major talking point. The Dutch striker, his new manager at Manchester United and Arsene Wenger were all expecting a hostile reception from the home fans. It could have been a lot worse, I thought, but some were surprised at the booing.
The last time that Arsenal won a major trophy was the 2005 FA cup final. Patrick Vieira scored the winning penalty against Manchester United in the shoot out, but that was his last of nearly 400 competitive matches for the club. Some might say that Arsenal have never adequately replaced the dynamic Frenchman, but that may be about to change this summer.
Theo Walcott has been far from his best in an Arsenal shirt recently and has come on for a lot of criticism from the fans and the media, but he was much better today. He took his goal well and was lively and dangerous all through the game. Many felt that he was not a big game player but he proved them wrong today.
Arsenal knew the huge importance of this game against Manchester United and may have been aware that Chelsea were beating Swansea in the earlier kick off. The players had to suffer the indignity of having to clap the former captain and turncoat Robin van Persie and his team mates on to the pitch. Wenger will have told them to use that feeling to their advantage in the game, and it could not have started much better.
This is the big one for Arsenal. Forget all the hype and the talk of van Persie and the guard of honour, this is the most important game for the rest of the Gunners' season. A win against the newly crowned Premier League champions will put us in a fantastic position with three games against struggling teams left.
The Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen will probably be sitting on the bench today as the Gunners go up against the runaway Premier League champions Manchester United. It has been extremely painful and disappointing to see Arsenal fall away from challenging for the title since we last won it in 2004, but Vermaelen believes that the Arsenal players can use their disappointment to focus them to challenge United for supremacy again.
There are a lot of Arsenal fans that will be hoping that Man United (and Robin Van Persie) will not be playing their best as they have already won the Premiership title, and hopefully will be suffering from a hangover after all that celebrating, but Arsene Wenger is not counting on them doing us any favours.
Arsenal soon to be a non-top 4 team? Don't count on it by Matt
Today Arsenal faces their biggest challenge for the remainder of the season in a game that could decide their Champions League fate. For years now pundits have predicted that Arsenal were soon to be a non-top 4 team. That their decline was inevitable and that they would have to make way for one of the up and comers like Manchester City.
I wish I had a penny for every time there was a comment on JustArsenal saying that "Arsene Wenger sold Man United the title" as I would be a very rich man right now! There is no doubt that Robin Van Persie has scored very many crucial goals for the newly-elected Champions, but Wenger thinks that United would have won the title even if Van Persie hadn't gone to Old Trafford.
Arsenal welcome(sort of) Manchester United, who have won the English Premier League, to the Emirates today for a match that is decidedly crucial for the Gunners and perhaps a little less so for the Red Devils. Of course, along with the visit comes former Gunner and the man of the moment with a hat-trick in his very last game, Robin van Persie, who scored in the reverse fixture earlier this season.
It has been reported in France that Arsenal have already made contact with the Ligue 1 side Olympique Lyonnais, or Lyon as we know them. The subject of this contact is their 24-year old captain and defensive midfielder Maxime Gonalons. For any Gooners who have access to Setanta Ireland, you will be able to see him in action today from 1 p.
What are Arsenal's chances of making the top four?
It's a record that any club would be proud of: For over 15 years Arsenal has qualified for the Champions League without fail. This season however the Gunners are cutting it mighty close. With today's 2-2 draw between Wigan and Tottenham, Arsenal is once again in the driver's seat- if they win their remaining 4 matches, they will get the coveted Champion's League spot.
Recently I came across a thread where two Arsenal supporters were engaged in a heated discussion about what, as a fan, one could do to demonstrate against the current ownership/board at our club, and about one's displeasure in the direction of our club.
This weekend's game is certainly our toughest fixture in the run in to the end of the season and it comes against already crowned Premier League champions Manchester United. Arsenal will welcome back former captain Robin Van Persie, and although it's important not to focus on RVP for this game, no doubt that will be the main talking point.
The speculation and rumours linking Ashley Williams with a summer trasnsfer to Arsenal are not going away, and the Swansea City captain has not actually denied that he is planning to move to North London. The Welsh centre back is simply trying to focus, he insists, on the remasining five Premier League games, but he could really do the Gunners a big favour tomorrow when his current team travel to Stamford Bridge for a game against Chelsea.
It is aslmost nine years since Arsenal won the Premier League, but Arsene Wenger remembers what it feels like and the effect it can have on the players. Thinking about that, Wenger believes that Manchester United might ease off in the last few games of the season, but thinks they will still be on a high when they visit the Emirates tomorrow.
The former Arsenal captain Robin van Persie will make his first return to the Emirates tomorrow. The Dutchman will be on a high following his hat-trick against Aston Villa last weekend that sealed the Premier League title. Van Persie is likely to be greeted with a torrent of abuse by Arsenal fans and he is probably bracing himself for being called all sorts of things, but I am sure he didn't expect to be called a woman by his former manager Arsene Wenger.
With Arsenal facing a massive match against the newly crowned Premier League champions this weekend, Theo Walcott will be hoping to get another chance to stake his claim as a centre forward because of the suspension of the regular front man Olivier Giroud.
Walcott has revealed the Le Prof and Fergie are not quite as chalk and cheese like as some people think.
Well well, it is good to see a little bit of arrogance from your manager now and then, and Arsene Wenger is not all impressed with the possibility of having two German teams in the Champions League final. He doesn't believe that Arsenal would have been beaten in Germany like Barcelona and Real Madrid were this week.
Arsene Wenger is rumoured to have a minimum 70m GBP treasure chest to improve the Arsenal squad this summer, but he is fully expecting Chelsea to be one of the biggest spenders in the upcoming transfer window. Roman Abramovich has already allegedly lined up Radamel Falcao to spearhead the Blues attack next season and the negotiations for the German Andre Schurrle is also at an advanced stage, and Wenger thinks this would give our neighbours a formidable squad.
Usmanov and Dein are needed by Arsenal now! by Big Gun
Something just struck me after the beating Real Madrid took last night from Dortmund. Robert Lewandowski is part of a really good team, definitely one of two best teams in Germany and currently one of the best in the world. But it looks like him AND Gotze are on their way out, more questioningly to a rival Bundesliga team.
"As announced earlier this year I had a meeting with the Boss and Mr. Gazidis after the season. This was a meeting about the club's future strategy and their policy. Out of my huge respect for Mr. Wenger, the players and the fans I don't want to go into any details, but unfortunately in this meeting it has again become clear to me that we in many aspects disagree on the way Arsenal FC should move forward.
There has been an eruption of Arsenal rumours lately suggesting that Cesc Fabregas' emotional return to Barcelona has gone wrong and he is now regularly left on the bench. This could have something to do with his old "father" Pep Guardiola leaving the club last summer, and it seems that the new coach Tito Villanova wants to offload the ex-Arsenal captain to fund some new arrivals during the coming transfer window.
However much fans groups try, or Wenger calls for respect, there will be no doubting the feeling of many Arsenal fans about Robin van Persie when Manchester United come to the Emirates on Sunday. The Arsemal players, however, need to try to ignore what is going on in the stands and not get caught up in the emotion.
Twitter today exploded with the news that according to various Spanish media websites that Barcelona are looking to sell Cesc Fabregas this summer. I must clarify that in no way did the report from AS say a return to Arsenal, was on the cards but I think if there is some truth in this story then Arsene Wenger will definitely be interested in re-signing Arsenal's former captain.
Since the huge disappointment of losing the north London derby, Arsenal have bounced back with a great run of games. One of the key factors in that has been the Gunners defensive displays, conceding just three goals in seven games. Arsene Wenger reacted to the Tottenham defeat by dropping the captain Thomas Vermaelen in favour of Laurent Koscielny, and the French centre back has grabbed his chance.
Wojciech Szczesny may have the next four games of the Premier League to prove himself once again at Arsenal but, even if he produces four faultless displays, it is still likely that Arsene Wenger will bring in a new keeper in the summer. This season has proved that the Polish international needs to be pushed for his place to keep him on his toes.
It is all about finishing in the top four for Arsenal, and it is likely to be a nail biting few weeks. Both Tottenham and Chelsea have a game in hand on the Gunners, but they do have to play each other. Chelsea are one point behind us while Tottenham are two, so it really could not be tighter.
It is simple to say that Arsenal will qualify for the Champions League if we win our remaining four games, but that will not be easy.
The Arsenal legend Nigel Winterburn is as aware of the rest of us that Arsene Wenger has more money in the bank than just about any other team in the world ready to invest in the tyransfer market. The rumours are saying that he has a minimum of Â£70million to strengthen the team, but Winterburn doesnt believe Wenger will be going for established stars.
The internet was buzzing yesterday, with lots of Arsenal websites and blogs running the story suggesting that the deal to bring Stevan Jovetic to Arsenal had been agreed between Fiorentina and the Gunners, while personal terms with the Montenegrin striker had also been sorted out. The only thing holding back the announcement, according to the rumours, was the wishes of the Serie A club and it's manager.
If there is an element of truth to all the transfer rumours you hear involving Arsenal, then Arsene Wenger's list of targets must be as thick as the Yellow Pages. Well it looks like Le Prof can cross one of those names off his list today, as the talented and powerful defensive midfielder Victor Wanyama has revealed his intention of staying at Celtic.
The Express has today reported today that Arsenal have opened talks with Barcelona and the appropriate agent over the possibility of Victor Valdes moving to North London with the Gunners this summer.
Arsenal are notably looking for a new keeper with Fabianski likely to leave at the end of the season, as well as Mannone, and so Arsenal have identified a few goalkeeping targets and 31-year-old Valdes is reportedly one of them.
Olivier Giroud has certainly had an interesting first season in the English Premier League since joining Arsenal from the French champions Montpellier. The French international has gone from hero to villain, and back again, a few times already. He has split opinion, not just with the Arsenal fans but with football reporters and commentators as well.
The former Arsenal midfielder and captain had to sit on the bench again last night as his Barcelona team were brutally demolished by Barcelona. Fabregas has always said that he was sad to leave Arsenal and that he could return one day. He has more than the love of the Gunners to tempt him back to London, though, as his super hot girlfriend Daniella Semaan lives in the capital.
Ryo Miyaichi has been an Arsenal player for over two years now, but he is still waiting to make his Premier League debut for the club. The 20-year old is well on the road to recovery after picking up an ankle injury during his recent loan spell at Wigan Athletic. The Japanese international is hoping to be fit enough to take part in the pre-season training and tours with Arsenal and finally force himself into first team contention.
Things are getting very tight at the top of the Premier League. Arsenal have got four games left to ensure a top four finish and qualification for the Champions League next season. Arsene Wenger was dealt a blow yesterday when the FA deemed the red card and three match ban for Olivier Giroud would stand, leaving the professor with a tough decision to make.
Arsenal's young superstar Jack Wilshere has had ongoing problems with his ankle ever since he had an operation a couple of seasons ago, and although Arsene Wenger recently reinstated Jack back to the first team, there have been numerous rumours that the England midfielder may have to have yet another operation this summer.
The Arsenal winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is well aware of the importance of this weekends game against Manchester United, not only because it will put the Gunners in the driving seat for the Champions League places, but also because it will give Arsene Wenger's squad a great boost of confidence to launch a challenge for the Premiership title next season.
Arsenal should use The Ox, Podolski and Walcott as strikers. Leave Podolski as CF because Ox and Walcott are much better suited on the wings, they can use their speed more effectively. Let's not forget, Ox is ambi-dexterous, so if he wants to cut in and have a shot, he can.
It has still not been decided one way or the other, apparently, whether the Arsenal team will give the newly crowned Premier League champions a guard of honour. It has become a football tradition that the Premier League winners are clapped on to the pitch by the home team, but it is not set in stone and there is real reluctance at the Emirates to do this for Manchester United on Sunday.
As two former Arsenal players sat on the bench and watched, Barcelona were torn to shreds by Bayern Munich last night. Despite struggling to create anything and Alexis Sanchez wasting the one good chance he had, David Villa also sat on the bench until there were less than 10 minutes to play. The Spanish international striker is surely sick of seeing Pedro and Alexis start in front of him and could be open to a transfer to Arsenal in the summer.
Surprise, surprise, the FA have rejected Arsenal's appeal about the red card and three match ban dished out to Olivier Giroud against Fulham on Saturday. Although replays showed that the Frenchman slipped while going for the ball, we will now have to face Manchester United, QPR and Wigan Athletic without him.
Laurent Koscielny has been re-iterating what his manager at Arsenal said about him recently. Wenger said that the French defender plays better and enjoys his football more when he has a personal battle with a striker and is able to exert his authority, and Koscielny agrees.
"I need to have duels and win them," admitted the 27-year old.
Any Gooner who watched Arsenal struggle against 10 man Fulham at Craven Cottage may be surprised at the staistics, especially the one that shows that the Gunners registered an astonishing 90 percent pass success rate, with 84 percent of their final third passes finding the target as well. Arsenal also made nearly three times as many passes as Fulham in the game.
Does Jovetic already have a club for next season? by AH
Stefan Jovetic is a player Arsenal have reportedly kept an eye on for a while now and Wenger was apparently looking to sign him in the closing days of the January transfer window. As we know, the move never materialised but the rumours persisted and a few weeks back it was suggested that Arsenal have agreed a summer deal with Italian side Fiorentina for the Montenegrin front man, and now Mario Sconcerti, a sports journalist for the Corriere della Sera believes Jovetic is heading to England this summer.
Arsenal's defence isn't as bad as it's made out to be and is not the reason we are struggling by KJ
The general consensus amongst most football fans is that Arsenal are a good attacking side that are average at best at defending. That would be correct considering how over the last 5 seasons, our goals conceded at the end of each season has steadily increased:
2008/2009: 38 2009/2010: 41 2010/2011: 43 2011/2012: 49 2012/2013: 35 (with 4 games to play)
As you can see, we've conceded more and more goals as the seasons have gone by but this season seems to be the one that bucks the trend.
I know Arsene Wenger wants all his players available for the closing weeks of the season, but I am honestly surprised that Arsenal have decided to appeal the sending off of Olivier Giroud in last weeks game against Fulham.
Many Arsenal fans think that he should have been dropped after that performance anyway, but this announcement on Arsenal.
We are in the last stage of the EPL campaign , ManUre has just won the league and next week we will have to give them a guard of honour but the main thing which we should worry about (apart from winning) is Goal Difference, because it could end up in a situation where All THREE London team ends up with 70 Points and realistically its a possibility.
Last week Arsene Wenger was quick to squash any hope Alex Song may have had of returning to Arsenal. Song has failed to establish himself in Barcelona's star studded midfield and was hoping that a return to the Emirates might be his solution to a lack of game time at the Spanish giants.
Mario Gotze was always going to be one of the more difficult to acquire of the Arsenal transfer targets this summer. Now it appears that difficult has become impossible. The German newspaper Bild has reported that an agreement has been reached between Gotze, his current club Borussia Dortmund and the club that have just taken the German Bundesliga title away from them, Bayern Munich.
It may seem strange that Arsenal are being linked with a player who failed to impress at West Brom, but the Spanish midfielder Borja Valero has been a key figure in the success of the Serie A club Fiorentina this season. The 28-year old joined the Italian club from Villareal in the summer and has been a fixture in the Fiorentina side, scoring twice and setting up 10 goals in their race to qualify for the Champions League.
About the only good thing that can be said about Arsenal after the game against Fulham, apart from the three points, was that we defended well again and showed once again that this Gunners side has much more resilience than previous incarnations. Both Arsene Wenger and Aaron Ramsey have praised this fighting quality, but will it be enough to see us over the line and into next season's Champions League.
You would not normally hold out much hope on the FA overturning a decision, but Arsenal have decided to appeal against the red card shown to Olivier Giroud against Fulham on Saturday. We will find out the result tomorrow, but there are reasons to hope that the decision will be overturned or, failing that, his ban will be for just one game rather than the three that is standard for violent conduct.
I am not sure that Arsene Wenger fully understands how mush the sale of Robin van Persie from Arsenal to Manchester United got under the skin of the fans. The Frenchman was left with two horrible choices when the Dutch striker refused a very good new contract offer in the summer, and the fee offered by United for a player with just a year left on his current deal seemed good at the time.
There are always bones of contention when the PFA announces it's shortlist for the Player of the Season award and this year is no different. Not one Arsenal player made the list, despite statistics showing that the Gunners have had some high performances this season. The one Arsenal player that should feel the most disappointed not to have made the list is the little Spanish magician Santi Cazorla.
Who will Wenger choose as Striker against Man UTD? by Rory
Giroud's sending off against Fulham was worrying at the time; however looking to our next game (A huge game against Man Utd) the sending off of Giroud could be a benefit to Arsenal.
Giroud's record is not bad for his first season, however his conversion rate is horrendous, and when I watched him at the Emirates against Everton, it was the first time I realised a professional footballer could sky the ball way over the goal from five yards.
Arsenal are currently leading the race for the coveted Third Place in the Premiership, which guarantees direct entry into the Group Stages of the Champions League, but after yesterday's results they are just one point ahead of Chelsea and two ahead of Spurs.
The race is still far from over though as both teams below them have a game in hand, and the Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas believes that his Tottenham team are now in control of their fate once again.
As the end of the season approaches, there are more and more Arsenal transfer rumours appearing, especially in the weekend papers. I did an early roundup yesterday morning and here are a few more that we didn't discuss yesterday.
First of all, newly promoted Cardiff City are said to be very keen to bring the Welsh international Aaron Ramsey back to the club, as they are setting about building a squad that is capable of surviving in the Premiership next season.
The Nigerian international midfielder Sunday Mba, who was the star of the show as his country won the African Cup of Nations in February, is being linked with a $1 million dollar-rated move to Arsenal, around 600,000 GBP.
The talented attacking midfielder shot to stardom by scoring the winning goal against the Ivory Coast in the Afcon semi-final and subsequently scoring the only goal against Burkino Faso to win the title for the Super Eagles.
Arsene Wenger has spoken about Jack Wilshere and the ankle problems facing the young Arsenal star. The manager gave him a rest on Saturday against Fulham, bringing him on for the last 20 minutes as the Gunners held on for a vital win. Wenger admits to having to be cautious with his midfield star, but expects him to be able to feature against Manchester United on Sunday, a game that we need to get something out of as the battle for Europe heats up.
Arsenal were far from impressive against Fulham on Saturday, but did at least hold on for a massive three points. With both our top four rivals picking up points in tough fixtures yesterday, the next Gunners game, against Manchester United at the Emirates on Saturday, has taken on extra importance.
The battle for a top four finish in the Premier League looks like it will carry on the the last day of the season. Arsenal travel to Newcastle on that day, which is never an easy place to get a result, but hopefully the Magpies will be safe from relegation by then because the Gunners may need all three points.
In light of what Roy Hodgsen said about the lack of English footballers playing in the Premier League, Arsene Wenger spoke about the English talent he had in the Arsenal ranks. Wenger told Arsenal.com about the English divisions that implicate upcoming talent as well as the understanding that all the players want to play in the best league, suggesting that if all the highest quality of players are of different nationalities to English then its inevitable that there will be a decline in English players at the best clubs.
Judging by lots of previous comments, there are a lot of Arsenal fans who will be glad that Olivier Giroud was sent off for a lunging tackle against Manolev of Fulham. If Arsenal do not appeal the decision, or lose an appeal, then the big Frenchman will miss the next three games at a vitally important time.
Arsene Wenger has brought a new meaning to the old song "Boring, Boring, Arsenal" as we had to sit and watch 11 Gunners passing the ball from one end of the pitch to the other and then back again over and over and over! Wenger thinks that it was a mental problem. He said: "I put it down to psychological reasons and to the fact that we didn't want to be stupid.
After selling Cesc Fabregas to Barcelona in 2011 and Robin Van Purse-y to Manchester United last summer, it is now being reported that Arsenal are trying to sign Swansea's Ashley Williams as a replacement for the out-going Thomas Vermaelen.
In recent weeks it has become apparent that Wenger now considers Vermaelen to be his third-choice centre-back after Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker, but surely Wenger is not considering giving up on the Belgium international?
Aaron Ramsey is a player that the fans have mixed opinions on. For the majority of the season he's been knocked down by the fans but in recent weeks his strong performances have earned him a little more praise. In yesterday's game he wasn't the same player that we had seen put in some magnificent performances in recent weeks but he still manages to have control over the game and in fact his role in this team may be a little more important than we imagined.
In a massive game for Arsenal, Arsene Wenger started with Tomas Rosicky in the middle and Cazorla on the left, with Walcott on the right. Fabianski is still injured so Szczesny got another chance to prove his worth. The Gunners started with real intent and were looking extremely dangerous.
Fulham's job got a whole lot harder when Steve Sidwell lunged in on Arteta with his studs up.
This is an absolutely must win game against a Fulham side we have failed to beat in the last four meetings. There is no reason that the Gunners should not break that unwanted record today and claim an important three points in the race for a top four finish in the Premier League.
Arsene Wenger has decided to rest Kieran Gibbs and Jack Wilshere, with Nacho Monreal and Tomas Rosicky coming in to the starting line up.
There was a lot of concern and speculation earlier this season about Theo Walcott and his future at Arsenal. The club and player finally agreed terms and put pen to paper on a new contract in January, and the 23-year old insists that one of the reasons he wanted to stay at the club was because he sees a bright future here.
Fulham vs Arsenal preview, predicted line up and score prediction by KJ
Arsenal had been in a very rich vein of form recently until they ended a good run with a stalemate against Everton on Tuesday. It wasn't a bad result, but a top team should be winning that match and cementing their authority on 3rd.
The England manager Roy Hodgson has been speaking about the English International side being at a disadvantage because there are so many top-class foreigners playing in the Premiership reducing the pool of players that Hodgson has got to choose from.
Wenger understands his problem and thinks that the England team are a victim of the success of the Premier League.
The Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud has come in for a pile of criticism, despite scoring 16 goals already this season, and he is becoming better known for the goals he misses rather than the ones that end up in the back of the net!
He especially came in for a lot of stick after Tuesday's 0-0 draw against Everton, when he had at least a couple of good chances to get us all three points, and many Arsenal fans have been calling for him to be dropped today in favour of Lukas Podolski.
The last time that Arsenal played Fulham, back in November at the Emirates, the Gunners threw away victory and were punished by their Bulgarian striker Dimitar Berbatov, who scored twice and set up another. The defending by Arsenal that day was awful and we have improved greatly since then, but must be very careful not to give the former spud any chance to repeat his heroics at Craven Cottage today.
The Germany and Arsenal centre back Per Mertesacker has come in for some serious stick from the media and from Arsenal fans this season. It is fair to say, though, that the 29-year old has established himself as one of the first names on the Arsenal team sheet. After missing the match against Norwich following his red card against West Brom, Mertesacker immediately regained his place at the expense of his captain Thomas Vermaelen, proving that Arsene Wenger values him extremely highly.
With the departure of Robin van Persie from Arsenal last summer, there was understandable concern from the fans about where the goals were going to come from. That worry has reared it's head at times throughout the season and no single player has taken up the baton from the Dutchman, but the Gunners have scored plenty of goals and they have been shared around the team much more.
It is fair to say that the Japanese international Ryo Miyaichi has not had the best of times since joining Arsenal at the start of 2011. Over two years later, the winger has made just two appearances for the Gunners and they were in the league cup. He has been out on loan for most of that time, though, and has impressed his bosses at Feyenoord, Bolton Wanderers and Wigan Athletic, where his latest spell was ravaged by injury.
Arsene Wenger has got a number of selection decisions to make for Arsenal's trip to Fulham tomorrow. These may be affected by the relative fitness of some of the players, but for the purposes of this article I am going to assume that, barring Diaby and Fabianski, there are no major injury concerns.
With eight wins, two draws and just one defeat in the last 11 Premier League games, it is no surprise that Arsenal are clear favourites with the bookmakers to beat Fulham at Craven Cottage tomorrow, so a basic Gunners win will only get you 3/4. However, Fulham have a decent record against Arsenal recently, with three draws and a win against us in the last four games.
Arsenal's very own attacking enigma Gervinho, who can be brilliant on one day and an abject failure the next, has been talking about his childhood in the Ivory Coast and how football has changed his life.
Arsene Wenger has explained how importance confidence is to the Ivorian's game and Gervinho himself has now showed his emotional side.
Podolski has had a rather mixed season, he started well but has been dropped to the bench lately as a result of Aaron RamseyÂ´s recent run of form meaning Carzola has been pushed wide. He has been deployed as a winger in everyone of our games except the one against Sunderland where he was largely ineffective.
According to both the English and Spanish media a few weeks ago, Arsenal had almost sealed the deal with Victor Valdes for his transfer from Barcelona in the summer. It appears now, though, for some reason that the Catalan club are ready to keep their keeper for another year until his contract expires next summer.
Wojciech Szczesny can probably not believe his luck, while you have to feel sorry for his main rival for the number one shirt at Arsenal. Lukasz Fabianski has cracked a rib, which has put a stop to his run of games in which he was finally shaking off his unfortunate nickname of flappy-handski. After being on the sidelines for so long, Fabianski stepped up brilliantly after Szczesny was dropped for the Bayern Munich match.
The news that Arsenal are fourth on the rich list of football clubs published every year by Forbes magazine should be a fantastic boost for everyone concerned with the club, but it will surely just re-open the debate as to where the money goes. It seems to me that the only person for who this is really good news is `silent` Stan Kroenke.
With Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott back from injury, Arsenal have almost a full complement of players to choose from for the hugely important five Premier league games left in this season. Only Abou Diaby is unavailable, so every single position in the starting line up is up for grabs. There is fierce competition for a place in the starting line up and this will really help the Gunners to finish the season strongly and grab a Champions League spot for next season.
I am sure that I am not the only Arsenal fan thinking that Chelsea might have struggled against Fulham last night. It was a local derby and Chelsea had played an energy sapping semi-final at Wembley on Sunday and a Europa League match on the Thursday night. Fulham had been in decent form as well, with just two defeats in the last nine games, but they rolled over and let Chelsea tickle their belly last night.
Thomas Vermaelen has played just once for Arsenal since the devastating derby defeat at Tottenham, and that was only because Per Mertesacker was suspended for the Norwich game. At least the Belgian international has not fallen so far in Arsene Wenger's estimation that Sebastien `the squid` Squillachi was preferred to him, but there is a growing belief in the football media that Vermaelen could be sold during this summer's transfer window.
There is no doubt that Aaron Ramsey's performances have improved drastically lately and he is now one of Wenger's first names on the Arsenal team-sheet. The Welshman believes that this is simply because Wenger has started playing him in his natural position in the centre of midfield.
"I'm delighted with the way I'm playing and how the team is playing," Ramsey said.
There have been rumbling all season about how unhappy Alex Song has been since his departure from Arsenal last summer. He was a certain starter for the Gunners last season, but now he is finding it hard to get near the first team now he is at Barcelona and has only played 15 games for the Spanish giants.
So, coming off a disappointing but not detrimental 0-0 draw with Everton, there are both positives and negatives to take. The first positive to take is the fantastic performances from Aaron Ramsey that we've seen both today and on Saturday.
There is a lot of transfer rumours around concerning Arsenal at the moment, but none of them seem to be good for us! For starters the Toulouse midfielder Etienne Capoue, who has been touted as Arsene Wenger's top target this summer, has now come out and announced that his dream move would be to the French Champions Paris Saint Germain, and not only that, but he says they are already in talks about the move.
Olivier Giroud has scored just one scrappy goal for Arsenal since the 2-0 win over Bayern Munich, and his previous Premier League goal came back in January when we drew 2-2 with Liverpool at the Emirates. Some time has since past and the Frenchman seems to be going through the same form that made him struggle at the beginning of the season.
There is little doubt that Arsenal should have won the game against Everton at the Emirates last night, but it seems to me that a lot of fans are taking it too hard. Yes, it was a great chance for the Gunners to fire themselves into a commanding position in the Premier League, but we are still in with a very good chance.
The summer transfer window does not open for a good few weeks yet, and the players that Arsenal are seriously targeting may be different depending on whether we finish in the Champions League or Europa League places, but you can bet that Arsene Wenger, his scouts and the backroom staff are working on the signings that they want to make.
Per Mertesacker thinks that the Arsenal players should be kicking themselves today. The German international feels that the Gunners should be celebrating an important victory over Everton, but instead can only rue that the opportunity to firmly grab pole position in the race for the Champions League slipped away.
Mikel Arteta has been at Arsenal for just two seasons, after spending seven years at last night's opponents Everton. At 31-years old, people are starting to talk about when the Spaniard might retire, but Arteta wants to take a leaf out of David Beckham's book and play at the top level for as long as his body will allow it.
There are few things more likely to cause an argument between a group of Arsenal fans than the subject of Aaron Ramsey. The Welsh international midfielder could build a roof with all the slating he has had over the past two seasons, but he has been voted as the Man of the Match on the official Arsenal website in the last two games and may finally be back to the player he was before his terrible leg break injury.
From time to time we have all seen us demanding various Arsenal players to be sacked our our great manager to be sacked. We say "This player is not good, That player is not good" and to a certain extent our demands are not without justification.
Arsene Wenger believes that Arsenal should have taken their chances and also won all three points in last night's match against Everton, and he thinks that David Moyes' men were overly Ã¯ntimidating" at times. Wenger was asked what his thoughts were after the match: "My first answer is that we should have won the game.
There were obvious hints in the Arsenal team selection against Everton that Arsene Wenger wanted to boss the midfield with a high work-rate. Arteta, Ramsey and Wilshere have had really low goal and assists stats this season, so it was likely we wouldn't be getting too much of a goal threat from our midfield.
The Polish international and Arsenal keeper Wojciech Szczesny has certainly not had a good year and it may be on the verge of getting a whole lot worse. The Gunners have been linked with a number of keepers, including Pepe Reina and Victor Valdes. It was thought that an older experienced keeper would be brought in to challenge Szczesny and provide cover while being a role model for the 22-year old.
Both Arsenal and Everton went into this game in good form and both fighting for a top four finish. Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott, Per Mertesacker and Wojciech Sczcesny all came into the starting line up, while Arsene Wenger sprang a surprise by starting Jack Wilshere again.
Arsenal started a bit nervously, and Everton nearly got an early goal through Pienaar, but he put it over the bar.
The game at the Emirates tonight between Arsenal and Everton could have a massive say in which team will be playing in the Champions League next season. Arsenal are in cracking form, with all four of the Premier League games since the north London derby going our way. Everton are also in good form, though, with three wins and a draw since going out of the FA cup to Wigan.
The Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen has issued a rallying call ahead of tonights make-or-break Premiership match against everton. The Toffees are just four points behind the Gunners in 6th place and are fighting for their chance in next season's Champions League as well, whereas three points for Arsenal will give us a formidable advantage in the final games.
Jack Wilshere made his latest comeback game against Norwich this weekend, and he admits that he wasn't quite up to his usual best form but he is glad to have got the 90 minutes under his belt. Arsenal made the fans suffer but finally nailed the points in final five minutes and Jack wants a repeat performance in tonights game against Everton.
The young Dortmund star Mario Gotze has been the subject of many Arsenal transfer rumours lately, and it has been mentioned that Arsene Wenger was willing to break his transfer record to bring the talented midfielder to the Emirates, but now the player himself seems to have ruled out any possible move to Arsenal either now or in the future.
Arsenal are set to face Everton at the Emirates tomorrow which will surely be one of our most testing games in the end of season run in.
Arsenal are currently in 3rd place, whilst Everton lay in 6th. Everton's league position show that they are not going to be easy and the players will need to be ready to face the tough challenge in what will a yet another nail biting 90 minutes.
Arsene Wenger has revealed that Lukasz Fabianski has suffered bruising to his ribs and could be doubtful for tonights crucial match against Everton, but he will not decide who plays for Arsenal this evening until the very last minute.
But he has made it clear that whoever takes the pitch will have his complete confidence to get the job done.
Arsenal vs Everton preview, predicted line up and score line prediction by KJ
This is going to be arguably the biggest match in our final run in. We are both top 4 contenders and a win for Everton blows everything wide open and makes sure that the race for top 4 is not in our hands.
Until his substitute appearance against Norwich, Wenger has hardly used Podolski at all in past 2 months or so. That has fueled rumours that Podolski could be on his way out with clubs like Juventus and Galatasaray as possible destinations.
Probably to put to bed those rumours, and obviously with Arsenal in dire need of a goal against Norwich, Wenger brought on Podolski, who responded in kind by hitting the post and scoring a long range effort.
Our very own young superstar Jack Wilshere is hoping to drive Arsenal on to win trophies in the next few years, and he is in no way happy to just fight for third or fourth place in the Premiership, and he sees no reason why this team can't achieve that.
He was asked if he was happy that Arsenal have finally moved above Spurs into Third position in the table, and he replied: "It's great, especially considering the position we were in before,"
Arsene Wenger brought Jack Wilshere straight back into the Arsenal first team last weekend with disastrous results, just as he did last season, and yesterday Wenger admitted his error. He said: "I rushed Jack back a bit. He was not completely ready,"
"How careful have I to be? To listen well to the medical advice and that is what I have to do, use him when everything is all right and listen to him as well, how he feels.
In celebration of the PFA'S 40 year old birthday, they are asking fans to vote for their favourite player out of the list of former winners. As I casted my vote for Thierry Henry the current results showed it is a straight fight between him and Steven Gerrard to win the pool of winners from 2003-2012.
It's coming up to a year now since we first started to hear of Podolski being in contact with Arsenal after his previous club FC Koln allowed us to talk to the German International, and we were all filled with excitement. As signings go, Arsenal doesn't purchase many â€˜big name' players but Podolski was certainly one of these rarities.
I have been very critical of Arsene Wenger in recent seasons and I stick by what I have said in the past regarding team selection and signings. However I have never and will never try to take away what he has done for us as a club and what he has done for the development of players from every corner of the globe.
The remaining matches of the season are all set to be nail biting stuff. We need to continue to win and Tottenham and Chelsea need to lose some. Next Tuesday is a very tough match with Everton, and here are my thoughts and I just wanted to see what people think.
The Anderlecht and Senegal defender Cheikhou Kouyate was extremely impressive during the Olympics last year, and there were many rumours saying that Arsenal and Man City, amongst others, were keen to bring him to the Premiership.
Now the 6ft 4in centre-back has now revealed that Arsene Wenger was indeed interested, but problems over getting a work permit stopped the discussions going any further.
There have been thousands of comments on JustArsenal wondering why Arsene Wenger kept refusing to play Lukas Podolski in Arsenal's recent run of excellent form, and somebody finally decided to ask him straight out for his reasons. Wenger said: "Podolski was injured when we played at Bayern and won,"
I can't fault the amount of goals that Olivier Giroud has scored for Arsenal this season, but he doesn't seem to have the urgency of a top-class attacker. I especially get exasperated with his post-miss performances; the blowing of cheeks; the holding his head in his hands; his banging of fists on the ground.
After Lukas Podolski was left on the Arsenal bench after scoring against Bayern Munich there have been many rumours saying that there was some sort of rift with Arsene Wenger. Some people were saying that Podolski was injured but that was scuppered when he played 70 minutes for Germany a few weeks ago.
The Gunners once again made the fans suffer at the Emirates yesterday as they were still 1-0 down to lowly Norwich with just 7 minutes to go. But a hotly disputed penalty gave Arsenal their big chance to level the match and go on to win the game.
Wenger didn't reveal how worried he was but instead praised the team for their "spirit and nerve".
Perry Groves was hardly a superstar when he played for Arsenal and he now makes a living trying to tell Arsene Wenger how to do his job from the studio of Radio Five but it seems that he doesn't know too much about Arsenal or our young superstar Jack Wilshere.
He made this ridiculous assumption yesterday: "Arsenal have probably got another season of Jack Wilshere.
Arsenal 3 â€“ 1 Norwich, the Gunners manage to somehow turn it around by KJ
This was an absolute bore-fest for the majority of the match and it was made even worse when we conceded an extraordinarily soft goal in the 58th minute. However, our substitutes rallied the troops and we somehow managed to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
As the season progresses there are more and more Arsenal transfer rumours appearing in the papers, and today's Mail is suggesting that the Gunners are going to try again for Dortmund's Mario Gotze this summer.
They claim that the 20 year-old, who is happily known as the German Jack Wilshere, has a Â£30m buyout clause at Dortmund, and they believe that Wenger is willing to double his current record signing to build a super young side to make Arsenal a force for many years to come.
Many Arsenal fans wanted Lukasz Fabianski to be sold last summer after his many moans about being left on the bench behind Wojciech Szczesny, but since being given the first team jersey the Gunners have registered five wins in a row and he has rarely put a foot wrong.
Wenger put Szczesny back into the reserves for last weeks 3-2 defeat by Liverpool and it is possible that the Frenchman meant it when he said that Szczesny just needed a rest, but what possible reason could he give if he dropped Fabianski after this fantastic run?
Arsene Wenger made a couple of forced changes to last weeks side. Per Mertesacker was banned so the captain Thomas Vermaelen was given a chance to redeem himself, and young Jack Wilshere was on from the start, despite a long break from the first time.
The first half was mostly uneventful with neither side seeming to be willing to take control, with Wilshere looking to be short of a pace or two, and there was a little late flurry of corners for Arsenal just before the whistle.
Although Norwich are currently in danger of being sucked into the relegation battle, they have caused Arsenal problems in their last two encounters. The Canaries beat Arsenal 1-0 earlier this season, and on their last visit to the Emirates they shocked the home fans by fighting for a 3-3 draw.
So Wenger knows that this game won't be as easy as it looks.
There have been many rumours this morning saying that Lukas Podolski may be leaving Arsenal in the summer as he seems to be frozen out of the first team, despite scoring in his last appearance against Bayern Munich, but the German international has now spoken out to say he is happy to wait for Wenger to choose when to play him.
Words I Never thought I Would Say- Drop Walcott for Gervinho!! by Dan S.
The last time I went to the Emirates was in February to see Arsenal get knocked out of the FA Cup by Blackburn Rovers. My lasting image was of Theo Walcott and Jack Wilshere being the only two to stay on the pitch and thank the fans while the rest of their teammates hurried down the tunnel with their heads down.
I have just read the news about the Arsenal fan Tom Flint, who has just been fined Â£250 for throwing a banana at the extremely good-looking Tottenham winger Gareth Bale. He has also been banned from ever going to the Emirates (or any football match) for the next three years.
There are many rumours linking Arsenal with some of the best players in Europe, and although we all wish to believe that Arsene Wenger will only splash the cash on top, top, top players (as he always insists) we all know that there are certain reasons why they rarely pick Arsenal if they have choices.
There have been many Arsenal transfer rumours about possible striker arrivals this summer, and it would seem that Borussia Dortmund's Robert Lewandowski is one of the favourite fantasies for most Gooners, especially as he will be entering the last year of his contract at the end of the season.
It would appear that this is simply Pie-In-The-Sky wishing from us if this story I have found from Suddeutsche.
As Arsenal fans we are used to seeing a long list of injuries every week that hampers Wenger's chances of ever playing his very best XI, but lately there seem to be very few injuries reported by the club on the official website any more...
This weeks list is quite amazing to behold, obviously the first name on the list is Abou Diaby, who is set to be out until the whole of Europe escapes from the recession (i.
It's not often that I give such a long succinct summary of a post in the headline, but as the subjects were so varied I think it warranted it. First of all Wenger may have given us a lesson in ignoring that little club up the road. It is certainly a fact that Gooners the world over do worry about ending up behind the Spuds every now and again, but why should we?
This weekends game against Norwich is Arsenal's big chance to finally leapfrog Tottenham and Chelsea into Third Place in the Premier League, and Arsene Wenger will be using all his psychology to galvanise the players to give it their best shot.
Wenger knows that Arsenal have not lost one of the 18 games they have scored in first this season, winning 16 of them, and another quick staert against Norwich will give them the impetus to go on and take the points.
There have been many Arsenal rumours lately linking the Gunners to the Saint-Etienne striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, which is not unusual considering that he is one of the top-scorers in Ligue 1 this season, but now his agent has alleged that he is a serious target for the Gunners.
It appears to be that his agent Oscar Damiani is determined to sell the Gabon international on this summer, and thinks there is interest from quite a few Premiership clubs including Arsenal.
The celebrated ex-Arsenal goalkeeper David Seaman is not very impressed with Arsenal's ongoing battle to end up in the Top Four and secure a place in next year's Champions League, and thinks that the club should actually be challenging to win a trophy or two instead of aiming for Fourth.
There have always been questions over Arsenal's lack of depth for many years now but this season, you feel there is an abundance of quality players ready to factor in on the wings. This season, we started with the options of Podolski, Walcott, Gervinho and Chamberlain on the wings.
Arsenal made a very successful visit to the Far East last summer which ended in defeat by a Malaysia XI, and it seems that the Gunners are going to try and consolidate some of that global support by going back to the same continent again during the coming close season.
It was revealed a few days ago that Arsenal would be playing in Jakarta, facing the Indonesian national team on Sunday, July 14.
The amount of Arsenal rumours concerning goalkeepers, coupled with Wojciech Szczesny's demotion to the reserves, seems to confirm that the Gunners are definitely looking for a new shotstopper this summer.
Most of these rumours seem to point to either Stoke's Asmir Begovic, Sunderland's Simon Mignolet or QPR's Julio Cesar.
The news that Arsenal are going to be facing Nagoya Grampus this summer is not only welcome to Arsene Wenger, who managed the Japanese club for two years before his arrival at Arsenal, it is also a home-coming for our very own up-and-coming Ryo Miyaichi, who can't wat to play in front of his friends and family.
Dein supports Wenger to improve Arsenal this summer by PH
The ex-Arsenal director David Dein, who worked so well in tandem with Arsene Wenger before he was relieved of his duties by the Board, has revealed that he still believes Arsene is the right man to lead the Gunners to success, or at least to enable them to challenge the Big Three for a few trophies.
Arsenal's budget, who we can get and who we should get, have your say. by Rory
There has been lots of talk about who we should buy ever since this release of the 70 million budget which we are supposedly being granted for the Summer, however a lot of us seem to have forgotten that Wenger stated that this will include wages, so I have tried to have a realistic view of the money we can, but also ambitious in the players that we can sign.
The famous Arsenal fan Carl Jenkinson has admitted that during his schoolboy days he studied some old Arsenal legends like Lee Dixon, who gave him something to aspire to as he woprked his way through the levels that ended up with him being a regulat Arsenal starter.
One of his favourite right-backs was the brilliant Lee Dixon who played for Arsenal for 14 years before retiring in 2002, making 458 appearances for the Gunners.
There has been many Arsenal rumours this season speculating that Arsene Wenger has been actively searching for a top goalkeeper to give some serious competition for the young Pole Wojciech Szczesny, and this view has been given even more credence since Wenger dropped Szczesny from the Gunners First XI.
Suddenly Arsenal have gone on a winning streak to make their usual last-minute gasp into the Champions League places (Oh if they had only played like this in the beginning of the season!) and it all began with that sensational 2-0 away win over Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena.
Mikel Arteta thinks that the reason is simply that the Gunners have started talking to each other on the pitch!
There are lots of interesting quotes about Arsenal flying around this morning and one of them is from the Gunners legendary goalkeeper David Seaman, who thinks that Arsenal are in a great run of form, but worries that they may not be able to perform consistently enough with this batch of players that are changed every year.
When Arsene Wenger agreed to let Johan Djourou leave Arsenal in January to play for the Bundesliga club Hannover, he may have been hoping that one of the young players coming through the ranks at Arsenal would step up and push for the first team. One of the most promising of the academy defenders is now likely to be playing against Djourou next season, as Martin Angha has signed a pre-contract agreement to play for Nurnberg from next season.
The veteran Czech midfielder Tomas Rosicky was brilliant in scoring both goals against West Brom last week, but Arsenal's newest secret weapon believes that the Gunners need to start being consistent at home as well and need to win all our games to make surte of a Top Four finish.
He said: "During the last couple of games we have produced some good football,"
"It gives you confidence when you win in Munich and at a place like West Brom when in the last 20 minutes your backs are against the wall.
Is it time for Arsenal to sell Diaby? by Nitesh from JustArsenalFans.com
I know that this question has already been asked a lot of times. But from what I've seen, opinions are still divided on him, and a lot of fans haven't been able to decide. So I want to ask one last time: Do Arsenal fans feel it is time to move on Diaby?
Arsenal's famous list of "deadwood" players seems to get bigger every year, but for some reason we can never get anyone to actually buy them off us and we have to struggle to send them out on loan every year. But we still do have some talented players out there that have a chance of coming back and becoming first team players of the future.
Our season fizzled out quite early with the League cup and FA cup exits against Bradford City and Blackburn Rovers respectively. However, a late surge by the Gunners in the business end of the season may get them 2nd place.
Manchester City are currently 2nd with 62 points whilst the Gunners are in 5th with 56 points.
The ex-manager of the team we knew as Boring Boring Arsenal, otherwise known as George Graham, has been very vocal in his criticism of Arsene Wenger this season, and has often called for him to be removed during our bad times at the beginning of the season.
But now Graham has decided to swallow his tongue and admit that Wenger has done a fine job to take Arsenal back towards the top of the table, and even thinks that it is now a certainty that the Gunners will win their usual place in the Top Four.
The Gunners right-back Bacary Sagna thinks that Arsenal just have to forget how their rivals for the Top Four are doing every week and simply concentrate on winning three points in every game they play! It may sound simplistic but the fact is that it can be very off-putting when you are worried about other results.
How the table could look at the end of the season: 3rd, 4th and 5th by DS
After a nail-biting last 20 minutes during the Arsenal game and an enjoyable 35 minutes when Spurs were trailing against Everton, it turned out to be a good weekend! We didn't play as well as we did last week but we showed our toughness and ground out the 3 points.
Why We Shouldn't Ignore The Last 20 Minutes by Dan S.
We were 70 minutes in at the Hawthorns and it was all too good to be true. In a season where Arsenal have routinely buckled under pressure, at a stage of the year where we have to keep on winning (at least until Spurs or Chelsea slip up) it seemed all too straight forward.
Who would you rather have, Lewandowski or Jovetic? by KJ
Arsenal have struggled quite obviously in the striker department and although this is Giroud's first season, he hasn't been up to scratch and there have been calls for a new first choice striker and I agree. After Van Persie's departure, we've struggled until recently to make the difference against well-drummed defences.
Per Mertesacker may have done his captain at Arsenal a huge favour on Saturday. The big German centre back suffered a rush of blood to the head against West Brom, giving away a penalty and earning himself a red card into the bargain. That meant that Vermaelen was brought on for the last 20 minutes, and he will also start the next game against Norwich City because Mertesacker will be suspended.
Arsene Wenger was delighted with the Arsenal victory against West Brom and abandoned his usual reserve to declare that his team would keep up their recent form and finish in the Premier League top four. There is no doubt that Wenger will also be pleased, but maybe not surprised, that Spurs have continued to wobble with a last gasp equalizer rescuing a point against Everton, although he is trying to keep the Arsenal players focused on their own results.
It is looking like a perfect day for Arsenal in the fight for a Champions League qualifying position. Chelsea are losing at halftime to Sunderland, but we will have to wait and see whether Paolo Di Canio's new club can hold on. Even a draw would be a fantastic result for the Gunners, as we are one point above them in the table as it stands.
If Arsenal are looking for a goalkeeper with lots of experience at the top level, they would have to look a lot further than the stopper of Spain and Real Madrid, Iker Casillas. The 31-year old made his full international debut aged 19 and has gone on to become the most capped player ever for the Spanish national side, with 143.
There is no doubt that Gervinho possesses some wonderful football skills. Arsenal have seen the benefit of them in the last three Premier League games, and they have come at a really important time for the Gunners as the pressure is firmly on as we race Chelsea and Tottenham for a top four finish.
Are Some Things Fixable- Would you Have Nasri Back? By DS
Manchester City's surrender of their championship has been with so much of a whimper that there are rumours of a massive squad overall in the summer. With Roberto Mancini admitting he could â€˜punch' Samir Nasri at times this season it is safe to say the Frenchman could be one of those unsure about his long-term future.
The Man United manager Alex Ferguson has seen his team run away with this season's Premiership title, but he has been assessing the chances of the Red Devils retaining the title next year. It seems that he thinks Jose Mourinho will be returning to Stamford Bridge and could provide the biggest challenge, but he tips Arsenal to improve and threaten to surprise their rivals.
The highly-talented French striker Loic Remy has been linked with Arsenal for many years but when he finally moved to the Premiership in January it was to our London rivals QPR, amid fears that he was injury prone.
Remy has since been very vocal in making it clear that he didn't want to leave Marseille (never mind to join QPR) in January, and would have preferred to show his best form at the French giants before moving to England.
There is no doubt that Dennis Bergkamp is seen by Arsenal supporters as one of our greatest ever heroes along with other legends like Thierry Henry and Tony Adams, and it is great news that the Dutchman is going to be rewarded with a statue of his own at the Emirates this summer.
Arsenal kept up the great Premier League form with a hard fought win away to West Brom, making it six wins from the last seven and ratcheting up the pressure on Chelsea and Tottenham in the race for the Champions League positions. Arsene Wenger was understandably pleased with many aspects of the performance today, but he had special praise for the performance of Rosicky and the fighting spirit shown by the whole team.
Arsenal named an unchanged side for the trip to West Brom, which is quite understandable after a 4-1 win over Reading. The game started as everyone expected, with Arsenal comfortable in possession, passing it around the pitch looking for an opening, while West Brom defended deep and hoped to break quickly, although their pacy forward Lukaku was on the bench.
Arsene Wenger has selected the same side that beat Reading so convincingly last week, so Gervinho has the chance to continue his revival at the club. Santi Cazorla will start on the left of the attack again, although he will probably come inside quite a lot and try to influence the game from wherever he can.
Is Arsene just a scapegoat for money grabbing Kroenke? by Freezy
I feel myself finding it harder and harder to believe the stories I hear coming out of Arsenal. And that is really hard for me to accept; the loss of trust in my own club. Are the fans really getting the full story regarding finances, and what is happening to the money from our season tickets and sales of our best players?
The ex-Arsenal keeper David Seaman has been giving his opinion on Arsene Wenger's recent history of selling his best players and making a profit in the transfer market, and he is well aware that this is not a recipe for success on the pitch, and doesn't believe it would have happened when he was winning trophies with Arsenal.
West Bromwich Albion vs Arsenal preview, predicted line up and score line by KJ
Arsenal are in some good form at the moment with five wins in seven. However, looking at our fixture list, this could be one of the trickier games in our fight for the top four. Arsenal are currently the hot Even Money favourites to win which seems like an easy way to double your money, and if you take advantage of the bonuses available from FREEbets.
There was a lot of talk in the build up to Arsenal's trip to White Hart Lane a month ago that the derby could be a turning point. A win for the Gunners would have halted Spurs' run of form and lifted Arsenal spirits after two poor games against Blackburn and Bayern effectively ended the trophy dreams for another season.
Steve Bould has been taking charge of the press duties for Arsenal this week, apparently Arsene Wenger has not been very well. The assistant is understandably happy about the improved defensive performance in the last three games, because he was a part of the famous Gunners back four that reveled in 1-0 victories.
When Arsenal take on West Brom at the Hawthorns tomorrow, they will be facing a team with a good home record over the season. Their recent form has not been so good, however, with just three wins from the last nine. They came against Sunderland, Swansea and Norwich, so the Gunners should not be too worried.
If Arsene Wenger holds any serious hope of signing Robert Lewandowski for Arsenal, he had better get his skates on and talk to somebody at the strikers club Borussia Dortmund. The general manager of the Bundesliga team, Michael Zorc, told the Kicker that they would hold on to their star until his contract finished in 2014 if they could not get a transfer sorted out by May.
Steve Bould seems to be in charge of Arsenal at the minute, at least when it comes to facing the media. Hopefully Arsene Wenger is off somewhere sorting out a big name signing, but I may be slightly optimistic. Anyway, Bould has taken the chance to lavish praise on one of Arsenal's most maligned players of the season, Aaron Ramsey.
The news that Jack Wilshere is taking longer than expected to recover from his ankle injury will have Arsenal fans feeling an icy sensation of dread, as the last time we heard that sort of thing, it was 17 months on the sidelines for the Gunners star.
According to Metro, medical staff at Arsenal are concerned that the 21-year old midfielder is not responding to treatment as they would expect.
If Bacary Sagna really wants to leave Arsenal after six seasons, there is not that much that Arsene Wenger can do to stop him, as he will be able to leave next summer on a free transfer. There is always the option of keeping the French international until then, or until the January transfer window, to allow Carl Jenkinson time to gain more experience, or to find a suitable replacement and get them settled in at the Emirates.
There are two transfer rumours involving Arsenal and possible summer transfer targets to look at, but neither one involves players that will get the average Gooner very excited. One involves the familiar name of Adrian Lopez, the Spanish forward who plays for Atletico Madrid. Arsenal were heavily linked with this player last summer and in January, and it seems like his club are prepared to sell.
Arsenal have been given all the encouragement they need in the pursuit of the Barcelona keeper Victor Valdes. The 31-year old has re-stated his desire to move on from the Catalan giants, where he has been since 1995 in the youth system. There are a number of top clubs around Europe keen on signing the Spanish international, but now it appears that only English clubs need apply.
When Arsenal agreed to sell Robin van Persie to Manchester United, it is fair to say that the Gooners were not happy. With just a year left on his contract, the Dutchman was refusing to sign a new one, leaving Arsenal little option but to take the offer of over Â£20 million from United. I would rather have taken less money and sold him abroad, but maybe the striker would not accept that once he knew of the massive wages on offer at Old Trafford.
Arsene Wenger's assistant at Arsenal, Steve Bould, has given Arsenal fans some much needed good news on the injury situation at the club. Following the devastating blow to the French midfielder Abou Diaby last week, it is a welcome change to hear of some injured players returning sooner than first thought.
Why Arsenal need a new defensive midfielder and why Arteta has been struggling by KJ
It's that time of the year again where we slowly but eventually start postulating on who we need to sign in the summer. Many people will say a striker is most important, others will say a centre back but for me, a defensive midfielder should be at the top of our list.
Arsene Wenger has come out in support of his Arsenal forward Theo Walcott, rejecting any suggestion that the 23-year old has become complacent since signing a lucrative new contract in July. There have been some people who think that Walcott's failure to score since the end of January is a damning indication that he was just playing for his new deal earlier in the season, so is there any truth in it?
In short, the answer is no. Nowadays there is something bigger than the allure of Champions League football; money. Arsenal can't claim that getting in the top four will allow us the chance to sign amazing players when we've been doing it for years yet still lost the likes of Nasri, Adebayor and most recently Van Persie, with no thought of a like for like replacement.
Analysing Arteta: Dissecting the Spanish maestro's game. By Jules
As this week is a Champions League week, a competition neither we or any other English club are still in, we were able to enjoy the football on show without being burdened by the stresses and strains of going toe to toe for ninety minutes against the continent's finest.
I would like to talk a little about a noticeable change I have seen in Arsenal's playing style over the past years. During The Invincibles era, Arsenal's biggest strength, apart from the astute leadership of Patrick Vieira, was our ability to counter-attack.
He may not be the biggest name in the world of football, but Nicolas N'Koulou has attracted the interest of Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham with his performances for AS Monaco and Marseille. If Arsene Wenger is thinking of signing the central defender in the summer, he will have been encouraged to do so what N'koulou said this week.
I have a positive feeling about us making it into the top 4 this year. And with our recently found form, coupled with tough fixtures-lists for the other clubs, things seem bright. Anyway, is it possible that this season we could actually finish in the top 4 without winning any of our big matches in the league!
The ex-Arsenal midfielder Samir Nasri has thrown Arsenal fans into confusion as most of us believed that Arsene Wenger was totally in charge of transfer dealings at the club. The French international has revealed that Wenger didn't expect him to leave after the captain Cesc Fabregas was returned to Barcelona, but Silent Stan forced the sale upon him.
Kieran Gibbs has been a bit of an enigma for Arsenal fans over the last few seasons, as every time he looked set for a long run in the First XI he has immediately been injured and put back into the treatment room. The same thing happened again this season, but Arsene Wenger thinks that the left-back has improved out of all recognition this season.
There is no doubt that Andrei Arshavin was an extremely talented individual when he first arrived at Arsenal, but it would seem that Arsene Wenger no longer has any faith in the ex-captain of Russia.
The little maestro has only made two League Cup starts for the Gunners this season, despite performing admirably when given the chance, and he must now be deemed surplus to requirements at the Emirates and has been practically invisible on the pitch and in the media for a long long time.
Johan Djourou has once again stated his desire to stay in Germany with the Bundesliga club Hannover, as he is plasying regularly and getting back into form, following ten league starts since moving on loan from the Gunners in January. Arsene Wenger had seemed reluctant to let him go, telling the 26-year old last summer that there was a place for him in the team to keep him at the Emirates.
Sadly Gooners it's not the German stating his wish to join Arsenal in the summer, it's just the Borussia Dortmund striker expressing his interest in Arsenal's players and the quality they show. It's always good to see players being admired and seen as idols for other players and Marco Reus is clearly fascinated by two of Arsenal's main creators.
When Theo Walcott signed for Arsenal back in January 2006, he could not have expected to still be without a winners medal seven years later. Unfortunately that is the sad truth, and the 23-year old would trade any and all personal accolades to get his hands on a trophy for the Gunners.
Theo was speaking about reaching the personal milestone of 250 Arsenal appearances against Sunderland, an achievemnet of which he is understandably proud.
Whatever Arsene Wenger has said and done with the Arsenal players since losing to Tottenham a month ago, it seems to have worked. I just wish he had done it in August. However, three wins on the spin and much better performances have given Gooners the belief back and indicated that another season in the Champions League is not just a distant dream.
Arsene Wenger will have one more year left on his contract with Arsenal at the end of this season, and he has never walked out on a contract before. The Frenchman has had probably his toughest season yet in charge of the Gunners, so the reports that the mega rich leaders of the French league, Paris Saint-Germain, were planning to tempt him to take over from Carlo Ancelotti in the summer, had people thinking it might just happen.
Over the last few months browsing this site have seen ample articles on who Arsenal should buy and who we should sell and so forth, so many I felt inclined to write one of my own, with a touch of cautious realism that other Gunners seem to be throwing into the wind.
Stevan Jovetic â€“ An Insight by Moitreyo L. Handique
Recently Arsenal have been heavily linked with this guy, even had a FIFA Agent claiming that the player himself has given a go ahead for the initial talks to begin, we also had the player himself openly stating that he has an affinity towards us.
Possibly the best thing about the Arsenal attack this season is the versatility and number of options available to Arsene Wenger. With Giroud, Podolski, Walcott and Gervinho there is a mix of pace, power, trickery, shooting, aerial ability and wing play. Perhaps the one thing the Gunners attack is really lacking is clinical finishing, and that may be why Arsenal have been keeping a close watch on the natural goalscorer who is currently joint top scorere in the Champions League this season.
The title of the article says it all, the fact we are having to fight for 4th place like it's a trophy is ridiculous. It's not an achievement no matter what you say and it's simply not good enough. You could say that's a negative view to things and I suppose it is, but the fact is it's the truth and we all know it.
The young Englishman was purchased by Arsenal from Southampton in the summer of 2011 for a fee believed to be in the region of Â£12million (plus add ons), and burst onto the scene against the likes Manchester City, Manchester United and AC Milan.
Finally, after a turbulent season in which Arsenal have oscillated between extreme highs such as the victory in Munich and the double digit goal thrillers against Reading and Newcastle to the dire displays against the minnows at the Lane, the no show at Old Trafford and the indefensible defeats to Blackburn and Bradford, albeit the former being on penalty kicks it is fair to say Arsenal at present are in rich vein of form (touch wood).
There have been some rumours going around that our transfer budget for this summer is Â£123 million. This is a lot of money and all of it is not expected to be spent. However, most Arsenal fans would agree that we would want at least 75% of it to be spent on new world class talent so Arsenal football club can compete with the likes of the Manchester clubs and Chelsea.
When Gervinho returned from the African Cup of Nations in early February, many Arsenal fans expected to see him back in the side for the Gunners fairly soon. After scoring four goals for the Ivory Coasy while away, and impressing with his all-round performances, it seemed the perfect time to give him another chance with the Gunners.
Gareth Bale has stunned his team mates and officials at Spurs by telling them he wants to join Arsenal in the summer. Apparently the Welshman is sick of the climate of fear in the Tottenham dressing room, which is once again building to epic proportions as the Gunners threaten to ruin their Champions League dream yet again.