Last summer we all know that the Arsenal captain Robin Van Persie made a move to rivals Manchester United and helped them reclaim the title from Manchester City. After searching for a replacement for Van Persie, Wenger found Olivier Giroud who has not been as prolific as Van Persie and has angered some fans by his lack of goalscoring ability.
The latest player to be linked with an early summer move to Arsenal is Manchester United's Portuguese winger Nani. In a series of strange transfer reports, Nani is just the latest after weeks of goalkeepers, strikers and the rest of Europe being linked with the club.
Arsene Wenger could be heading back to France again soon, to add another player to his decidedly Gallic Arsenal team. And after selling the Gunners their top scorer last summer, Montpellier could be set to lose another one of their stars. Younes Belhanda has practically begged somebody to come and sign him this summer, and he has been linked with Arsenal before.
I am probably not alone among the Arsenal fans in thinking that Lukas Podolski would have been better off resting or getting medical treatment on his troublesome ankle as soon as the Premier League season came to an end. Instead, the 27-year old striker has flown to America to join up with his international team mates, including Per Mertesacker, for a couple of pointless friendly games.
Club Captain Thomas Vermaelen has endured what has been his worst Arsenal season since he joined the club from Ajax a few years back and this was a great disappointment because the Belgium International was appointed Arsenal's Captain for the season back in August when Robin Van Persie left Arsenal for Manchester United.
Julio Cesar Confirms Talks â€“ But Are They With Arsenal? by AH
QPR and Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar has confirmed that he is in contact with several clubs in England but also admits there is interest from many other leagues apart from the Barclay's Premier League.
I'm sure you're all aware of 33-year old Julio Cesar and despite his age he is still a fantastic professional, in fact he is not even that old for a keeper.
The Cesc Fabregas saga is becoming more intriguing every day, with myriad reports saying that Barcelona are now willing to listen to offers for the ex-Arsenal captain as his love for the Catalan club has waned since the departure of his childhood hero Pep Guardiola.
Cesc's personal life has also taken a twist with his girlfriend having had Fabregas' first child and she has opted to bring the baby up in London, with a company owned by Fabregas putting in an offer to buy her London house from her ex-husband.
What would you like the Arsenal squad to look like next season? by LM
Although many of you may seen loads of articles on this website stating potential Arsenal transfer targets and who they would like the club to sign; I foremost would like to know who the many majority of the Arsenal fan base would like to see put pen to paper to join.
The media are reporting today that Liverpool's Slovakian defender Martin Skrtel is unhappy at Liverpool and could seek a move away from the club. Arsenal are being linked with just about anybody this summer and are now being tipped as the favourites to sign Skrtel.
The only guaranteed Arsenal transfer target so far this summer is the young free agent Yaya Sanogo, and even that move is yet to be confirmed on the official Arsenal website! But the Auxerre chairman Guy Cotret had another meeting with Arsene Wenger on Monday, and he has revealed that the Arsenal boss will wait until after the pre-season games before deciding whether Sanogo could go straight into the Gunners starting XI.
The young Lyon playmaker Clement Grenier only has one year left on his contract at the French giants, but his boss, club president Jean-Michel Aulas, has yesterday revealed that he is yet to receive any offer for the 22 year-old and is still hoping to persuade him to sign an extension to his current deal, especially as the club held on to the Third Champions League place.
This article wouldn't be a pleasing sight for most of the Arsenal fans here. I would have come up with some extremely horrifying comments if this was some one else's writing. But in all fairness, I pondered over the plight of Arsenal and the Premier league and couldn't resist sharing them with you.
Filling the Van Persie Void Remains a Priority by DS
The degree to which Giroud has been successful has been heavily debated. When he first arrived at Arsenal I was not impressed â€“ he was slow and cumbersome and nervous in front of goal. He found some form, however, and deserved his place in the starting lineup in Arsenal's strong run at the end of the season.
Although some people may slate the club for letting the deadwood players go for stupidly small sums of money, a lot of people will correctly recognise that although it hasn't added much to our transfer chest, it does free up a lot of space elsewhere.
Theo Walcott has been a bit of a frustration for Arsenal fans since he joined the club from Southampton as a fresh faced 17-year old back in 2006. For a long time it seemed as if he would never fully realise his potential and that went for his international career too.
It is easy to forget that Theo has just turned 24-years old, because he has been around for so long.
We still have no idea whether Arsenal will beat the other clubs interested in signing Stevan Jovetic from Fiorentina, but the Italian club seem to have accepted defeat in their fight to hold on to the Montenegrin front man for next season, but whether he signs for the Gunners, Juventus or even Chelsea is still a mystery.
You may or not have noticed that a lot of Arsenal reserve and Academy players have been released by the club or have left to join other clubs this year rather than stick around at Arsenal.
Now worryingly this could mean that even the young talents don't want to progress at this club anymore, because probably in the 8 years they have been here, they've witnessed our club go from a European dominator, to fourth place in England.
It's been a long season, and as the dust settles and the normality of the summer transfer silly season comes upon us I'd like to take a look at some of our squad options...it beats daydreaming about every Tom, Hig and Henry that we are supposedly on the brink of signing.
The subject of Arsenal and the final day celebrations by the players has reared it's head again and this time it is the club's all-time leading goalscorer Thierry Henry who has had his say. He knows what he is talking about as well, having helped the Gunners to win two league titles, two community shields and three FA cups in his eight seasons at the club.
When you look at Arsenal's midfield, you'll probably see that most of the time it consists of three men in Arteta, Wilshere and Cazorla or Arteta, Ramsey, Cazorla and sometimes Rosicky may even be thrown in there but what do you notice?
There have been thousands of Arsenal transfer rumours posted over the last couple of weeks, but there has been no official confirmation from the club about any of them except the free agent Yaya Sanogo.
But now Arsene Wenger has revealed that he is definitely interested in the young French midfielder Clement Grenier, who has excelled at Lyon since displacing Yoann Gourcuff at the French giants.
Why Arsenal can mount a serious title challenge next season? by AH
Now the title may seem to be a bit ridiculous to you and you may be thinking I need a reality check but in fact it's not as far off as you may think. Before you read this, it's important to bear in mind that I'm simply saying with these assumptions Arsenal could realistically challenge alongside Man United, Man City and Chelsea for the title and in no way am I saying that under these assumptions that our team would have to win the Premier League once again.
There is no point in having money, Arsenal, if you don't actually spend it. You would think that Arsene Wenger and the Arsenal board would be keen to get some transfer business done quickly, after all the years od scrimping, saving and selling the club's best players. It seems not, though, because we are haggling over the transfer fee for Stevan Jovetic so much that we risk the deal collapsing, The Mail reports.
Remi Garde is a former Arsenal player and a friend of Arsene Wenger, but the Lyon manager is not prepared to do his former club, or the manager who signed him, any favours. He may not have been officially signed by Wenger, who was still finishing his contract with the Japanese side Nagoya Grampus 8, but like Patrick Vieira, it was on the word of Wenger that Arsenal brought him to the club.
Rumours over the last week would suggest that Arsenal's number one Right Back Bacary Sagna is set to leave the club this summer after 6 years with the Gunners. Sagna joined Arsenal back in the season of 2007/08 and has gone on to be named as the best right back in the Premier League over the last few years.
At the beginning of the season, it looked like Olivier Giroud would be a complete flop when he missed sitter after sitter in Arsenal first five or six games, but he is under the impression that he has settled in rather well for his first season, and he promises to improve even further in the next campaign.
Although Bacary Sagna has yet to officially decide on his future, many Arsenal fans have already decided they would rather he leaves. Sagna has struggled to find consistent form this season, and although the player himself is yet to make up his mind, it seems most fans are preparing for a life without him.
This is an excellent offer exclusively for JustArsenal readers, and every single Arsenal fan would surely love one of these wall murals to brighten up any room of your house! The lovely Swedish company Photowall have just been given a license by Arsenal to sell official Arsenal murals and what better way to promote it than by giving one away to a JustArsenal reader!
As transfer rumours go the Mighty Gunners have been all the rage so far, being linked with a different big name everyday, a couple names that have repeatedly been brought up are: Stevan Jovetic of Fiorentina and Real Madrid's Argentinian striker Gonzalo Higuain.
Wayne Rooney Heading to Arsenal? Highly Unlikely by MA
Since the now retired Sir Alex Ferguson excluded Wayne Rooney from the Manchester United team that lost to Real Madrid in the return leg quarter final match of the 2013 Champions League and his subsequent revelation that Rooney has asked for a transfer, rumors have been flying around as to the club Wayne Rooney will lace his boots for next season should he decide to leave Manchester United.
As the Premier League season came to an abrupt end on May 19th, there were celebrations going in the Arsenal dressing room at St. James Park. No, they had not won the title. They were actually celebrating their 4th place (which according to Mr Wenger is a trophy).
It is acknowledged among Arsenal fans and neutrals alike that the club need to buy a defensive midfielder this summer because of Abou Diaby's injury problems and the fact there is no cover for him since Alex Song left last summer. There have already been a few names thrown around for who should be bought but I believe that the club should be looking to West Ham's Mohamed Diame.
Should Arsenal really be looking at another keeper? by AH
Arsenal's goalkeeping position seems to be a topic regularly spoken about and perhaps this is because, admittedly, none of us are too sure on how we feel about Wojciech Szczseny at the club. In my opinion I think he's a good goalkeeper that still has a lot of time to show his full potential and develop into one of the world's best for the next generation, however I'm not sure if I'm absolutely confident in him being Arsenal's number one goalkeeper at the moment.
In the last three or four years in world football, the 4-3-3 formation has become the cornerstone of nearly every team in the world including Arsenal. Clubs have adopted this formation because of the success that was achieved by Barcelona with this formation and the trend of having two or even three out and out strikers died off.
Brazilian Star Neymar finally sealed a move to European football in the last few days after years of holding off a move in favour of his boyhood club Santos. At some point in Neymar's career he has been linked with nearly every top club in Europe but in the end it came down to Real Madrid and Barcelona, he chose Barcelona so he could fulfil his dream of forming a partnership with Lionel Messi.
Once again it's being reported by several media outlets that Arsenal are interested in Manchester United player Wayne Rooney and the information states; "Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is happy to smash their wage structure to land Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney.
Don't get your hopes up! Signing top players won't be easy! byb AH
From the viewpoint of many fans, we are expecting a very busy transfer summer from Arsenal, with big name players joining in big money transfers. However we cannot afford to get our expectations too high. The fans seem certain that there will be a few top quality players coming in, and although Wenger has definitely hinted he will look to strengthen the team greatly this summer, with the signing of big money players, we cannot completely take his word for it.
Arsenal are yet to officially announce the signing of Yaya Sanogo from Ligue 2 side Auxerre on a free transfer. However the striker himself has told the media that he will soon join up with the Gunners and has since reportedly signed a 5 year deal and passed a medical.
It seems as if Arsenal and Juventus are employing the same scouting team this year, as both clubs are being heavily linked with the transfers of Stevan Jovetic from Fiorentina and Gonzalo Higuain from Real Madrid. Not too long ago, we were hearing very positive things about the possibility of both players coming to the Emirates, but the interest from Juve seems to have put the brakes on everything.
It is fairly unusual for Arsene Wenger to reveal his Arsenal transfer targets unless there is a good chance that the deal is going to be done. He doesn't want our rivals getting wind of possible signings and throwing spanners into the works, while he also likes to strike a hard bargain.
So for Wenger to mention his interest in the young French midfielder Clement Grenier may suggest that he is in advanced negotiations with the 22-year old's club Olympique Lyonnais, which I will call Lyon from now on.
There will be just two Arsenal players in the England squad that plays a couple of friendly matches, against Brazil and Republic of Ireland, but both Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are likely to feature prominently. While 24-year old Walcott will be hoping to carry his club form across to the international scene, it seems to be the other way round for the Ox.
It may be scant consolation, but Arsenal were knocked out of this year's Champions League by the eventual winners. In fact, after a great performance at the Allianz Arena in Munich, Arsenal only lost to Bayern Munich on away goals. Arsene Wenger and the Arsenal players have cited that away game as the catalyst for the fantastic end of season run which saw us prove everybody wrong and finish above Tottenham again.
One of the big problems for Arsenal in recent years has been the number of players drawing nice, big salaries from the club and offering nothing on the pitch. Arsene Wenger and the club officials obviously don't plan for this to happen, but it is a serious drain on the expenses, while at the same time driving your average Gooner up the wall and through the roof.
It is a fact of life that things do not always work out the way they are supposed to. For Arsenal and their record signing Andrey Arshavin this has certainly been the case. The Russian will be at a loose end very soon, when his contract comes to an end, but there is no queue of clubs lining up to take him on a free transfer, which shows just how far he has fallen since joining the Gunners back at the beginning of 2009.
Most of the Arsenal players have had a long, hard season with the club. It is not just the physical strain, either, but the mental fatigue that the pressure brings with it. It would, therefore, be great if they could all have a nice and relaxing summer before reporting for duty again.
In today's modern football world, however, that doesn't happen.
I am sure that Arsene Wenger and his coaching staff at Arsenal will be going over the previous season with a fine tooth comb to see what the team did well, what it did badly and how to improve next season. Forgetting about which new players will be signed, although that is clearly important, there are some interesting statistics that give a handy indication.
After Bayern Munich's Champions League win last night, new boss Pep Guardiola will be planning world domination with his new team and one of his long term targets from when he was back at Barcelona was Arsenal star Jack Wilshere.
Guardiola has always been an admirer of Wilshere's talents because of his passing and playing style that resembles Barcelona and players like Xavi or Iniesta.
In another strange twist in the Arsenal goalkeeper situation, the club is now reported to have made a bid for Sunderland's Belgian keeper Simon Mignolet. Mignolet is just about the one hundredth keeper to be linked with the club in the last few weeks.
In my personal opinion Arsenal are wasting their time by looking for a new goalkeeper so relentlessly, because Szczesny is a good keeper who can only get better the more he plays at the club.
I read with a certain amount of confusion today that Arsenal may be prepared to release the Ivorian international Gervinho on loan, instead of selling him in a permanent deal this summer. It would seem to be a strange move, especially as there is plenty of reported interest in the 25-year old forward and Arsenal would be likely to get roughly the same as we paid for him in the summer of 2011.
This time last week Arsenal would have been a few hours away from kicking off against Newcastle United in the pivotal last game of the season, which if we won would secure us 4th place in the Premier League no matter the result of the Tottenham vs Sunderland match.
Defensive midfield has been a problem position at Arsenal ever since, well Patrick Vieira really. The Frenchman was such a great player, breaking up play brilliantly as well as driving forwards brilliantly and linking up with the attack. He could also get into the box and finish goals as well.
In a way, Vieira caused the problems that Arsenal have had in recent years with that position, as Arsene Wenger compares any other player in that area to his former captain.
With all the transfer talk about young, exciting â€“ and expensive strikers that could be on their way to the Emirates this summer, there's been little said about one particular forward who was generally supposed to have been on Arsene Wenger's radar in the last January transfer window.
Francis Coquelin is a very favourable player at Arsenal. His likable attitude and consistently good performances make him one of the best young talents at the club. However he struggles to get a game, and it's no surprise when you have a midfield trio of Mikel Arteta, Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla playing most games, and then after that Aaron Ramsey and Tomas Rosicky.
Despite being just 24-years old, Theo Walcott is now one of Arsenal's senior players at the club as he looks to enter his 9th successive campaign with Arsenal following his arrival from Southampton in the 2005/2006 season.
It may not seem that long but as a player with that much experience at the club he is now seen as one of the most influential off the pitch.
Reports over the last few weeks now have suggested that Arsene Wenger is interested in re-signing former captain Cesc Fabregas from Barcelona. This is because Fabregas is reportedly unhappy about his lack of playing time and now Barcelona are reportedly willing to sell.
The recent stories about Wayne Rooney moving to Arsenal are very surprising but also welcome at Arsenal. As I have been saying for ages now the club needs to make an impact and show the top clubs in Europe that Arsenal will spend money on top players to compete for titles and trophies.
Arsenal should learn a lesson from Liverpool by SS
Arsenal are in a strange phase at the moment and they have been for the last few years. The fans and neutrals are scratching their heads as to why the club can not challenge for trophies anymore, despite the stacks of cash the club apparently has in reserve.
Many people recently have criticized Arsene Wenger and his transfer policies, they say he is too stubborn and won't sign the players that Arsenal need. I used to agree with this opinion however after watching us finish fourth last weekend, I still think Arsene Wenger is the man for us.
History is the best predictor of the future... by Redneck
So then, what will be in store for the Gunner faithful this summer? Arsene has this massive 70 million warchest. There is absolutely no way that with that much money to spend, the pressure that has been building on the club, the high ticket prices, etc.
I don't know how many times I have read that the Fiorentina striker Stefan Jovetic has signed a pre-contract agreement with Arsenal and will join the Gunners when the transfer window opens. I've even seen Photoshop pictures of Jovetic edited in an Arsenal kit, yet now all of a sudden the story has gone cold.
Obviously, Arsenal's transfer policy and constant antics in the market have not exactly brightened up the average fan's day, but it has a reason. As many criticize "Silent Stan," and "Ivan the Terrible," there are very specific reasons for their actions.
Mikel Arteta â€“ True Arsenal Captain Material by FD
The concept of a football captain as being an inspirational figure, a natural leader and on-field representative of the team's manager is probably more of a British phenomenon. I think back to such iconic captains as Billy Bremner, Billy Bonds, Bobby Moore and our own Tony Adams.
Just as it seemed that Arsenal were losing their grasp on one of the top transfer targets, a couple of stories in the Spanish media have offered renewed hope that Gonzalo Higuain could be a Gunner next season. The striker's father Jorge and brother Nicholas work as his representatives and Nicholas has declared that the reports of an agreement with the Italian champions are premature.
Arsenal have always been slated for their spending and financial status. Despite being one of the world's wealthiest and most valued clubs, every year Arsenal fail to bring in the big name players that everyone is desperate for, in order to make our team great once again.
Arsenal have managed to consistently compete at the highest level on a relatively low spending budget.
It's a pretty well-known fact that in order for Arsenal to improve then we need to ship out some of the â€˜deadwood' and replace it with talent that can seriously build on our team and make it a strong competitor. If I'm honest I really don't think we are that far off a great team, we have the buildings of it already at the club, we just need to go out this summer and buy, in my opinion 3, maybe 4 top quality players.
After Benteke's comments yesterday about Arsenal, I've seen fans calling for Wenger to sign him as if he was the world's best player stating that he always dreamed of playing for Arsenal, however he's not. Back in reality he's a 22 year old striker for Belgium who had an exceptionally good season, but is he really what Arsenal need right now?
There is a good chance that the goalkeeping situation at Arsenal will stay the same; and to be honest the topic is becoming more and more redundant as time goes on because Szczesny is a great keeper, and will be one of the best in the world (only an idiot would say otherwise).
Fabianski might be content with staying as Arsenals #2 keeper considering he is getting chances to start matches here and there, looking eager to overtake his young Polish compatriot, but who knows what decisions will be made by him or management during the summer.
Arsenal cannot win the title without major changes by SS
Every summer I hear Arsenal fans saying that next season the club will be back for a title challenge, I repeatedly laugh at that because I and anybody who is realistic knows that Arsenal simply cannot make a title challenge unless there is drastic changes to the whole club.
The jury has been in deliberation all season about Olivier Giroud at Arsenal. Of course, the French international has been given some leeway by us Gooners, although not much by some, as it is his first season with the Gunners and we have seen players take time to get used to the English Premier League before.
On another day of Arsenal transfer madness, the latest player to be linked with a move to the club is Valenica's French centre back Adil Rami. Rami is thought to want a move away from the club to guarantee him Champions League football and Valencia will be happy to sell him so they can raise funds for new players if they get a decent fee for him.
Paul Lambert is probably well aware that he faces an uphill struggle to stop his star striker from joining Arsenal. Although we have not heard anything about Arsene Wenger getting in touch with Aston Villa about a transfer, the Frenchman must be aware that Christian Benteke has hinted about moving and has even specifically mentioned the Gunners.
I have written articles about what the former Arsenal midfielder Stewart Robson has said before and it has pretty much been non-stop negativity, especially towards Arsene Wenger. Robson never played under the Frenchman, but he clearly considers himself an authority on him.
The Talksport regular has been telling us all season that Wenger should go and was clearly going to fail to finish in the top four this season.
Your high point, low point and funniest moment of the season. by NS
Well, it's all over.
Overall, a frustrating season for Arsenal. That was a season of Deja vu for many. A promising start, strange team selections at the mid point, Rosicky returning late on, injuries to Diaby, captain sold and a monumental end to the season to catch and overtake Spurs to secure the 4th place trophy.
Somebody is having a right bubble. That is surely the only explanation for the story that Arsenal are prepared, or even eager, to sell our captain to anybody who is willing to cough up Â£5 million. There about a hundred reasons why this story is ludicrous, but I will just deal with a few of them.
Firstly, if Arsene Wenger had decided that Thomas Vermaelen was no longer a part of his plans for Arsenal in the future, he knows that he could sell him for much more than Â£5 million.
Arsenal must buy early â€“ now is not the time to wait by DG
I have a question I would dearly like to ask the Arsenal board. When does saving money end up costing you money?
In recent years, we Arsenal fans have grown increasingly fearful of summer windows. Long periods of big stars courting opposition clubs, ending with a dramatic late sale and no replacement forthcoming until the next window.
I sit here on a warm African winter afternoon, my tele switched to ESPN classic. They have a vintage Arsenal game going and im glued as if it were live. Its Highbury....Its Sol Campbell, its Vieira, its Bergkamp, its Thierry... its an Arsenal routing of Manchester United.
There have been a lot of Arsenal transfer rumours about the possible departure of Thomas Vermaelen, and it could be a distinct possibility now that it has been revealed that the Gunners are close to the signing of Swansea's Ashley Williams.
It has been reported that after the THIRD meeting between Arsenal and Williams' representatives, personal terms have now been agreed between both parties, but now the actual transfee fee needs to be agreed with his club.
I've mentioned in a couple of previous articles that our form at the tail end of last season was incredibly impressive. However, it goes back a little further than that. On the 1st December last year, we welcomed high flyers Swansea to the Emirates.
If Arsenal are to be a successful football club then they need to have more than a good group of players. You need an entire squad full of talent that can be rotated for fitness, quality and replacements if an injury or suspension occurs.
Too many times over the last few seasons, we have seen our squad decline in quality, a prime example is the Carling Cup final that we lost two years ago against Birmingham City.
One thing that was noticeable this season and in fact in a lot of the previous years is that our squad doesn't have many outstanding players that the rest of the team can revolve around. Last year we had Van Persie, and that's all in my opinion. Before then Van Persie and Fabregas, maybe Nasri.
Arsenal must stick to their Guns over Jovetic transfer by FD
Yes, I know it's the nature of transfers, but it's still highly frustrating for Arsenal fans. I'm talking about the on/off/on/off, will he?/won't he? saga that's developing over the possible move of Arsenal target Stevan Jovetic from Fiorentina to the Emirates.
After a rousing finish to the Premier League season, Arsenal have managed to avoid the storm of protest that was seemed to be heading their way since August. By avoiding defeat in the last 10 Premier League games, Arsene Wenger and his players grabbed the final Champions League place and broke the hearts of Tottenham.
In the last few weeks of the season when the transfer rumours start flying, all I have heard about Arsenal is sign this keeper, sign that keeper, Jovetic is close to agreeing a deal, Higuain is close to agreeing a deal, Yaya Sanogo has joined the club. All these different transfer stories that involve the club are leaving me very confused and no doubt the Arsenal squad will be too.
Arsenal need another striker, at least. I think we all agree on that. We don't necessarily agree on who it should be, other than the favt that we want someone who is a proven goal scorer. Of the transfer targets we have been linked with, all of them have some kind of drawback, whether that is fair or not.
Right end of the season, thank god Arsenal have made it into the Champions League, still feeling shaky today after those four added minutes! To calm everything down, I have created a transfer window game. The evaluation of a player's price and wages are dependent on current wage, the amount of years left on their contract, and their form over the past few seasons.
The media is full of Arsenal transfer speculation at the moment, and the talk of which players might be coming to the Emirates in the summer is exciting for Arsenal fans. For the first time in several seasons we can anticipate the arrival of a footballing star or two, rather than bemoan the likely departure of a favourite player.
It was great for Arsenal fans to see Super Jack Wilshere back playing in the first team again this season. The 21-year old was obviously as glad as we were to get over his injury after what seemed like an eternity on the sidelines. Jack has put in some great performances for the Gunners, but he knows he has not been at his brilliant best, although he is sure we will see that next season.
There is a chance that Arsenal could make significant progress in the Premier League next season while the other top three clubs, United, City and Chelsea, get themselves together after a period of upheaval. The fact that the rewards on offer in the English game makes it even more important to have a tilt at the title next season.
The biggest Arsenal transfer rumour going around today is the report in the Sun that Arsene Wenger is willing to unload our latest captain Thomas Vermaelen for a cut-price Â£5million Pounds. The Belgian international will not be happy that the Gunners went on a ten-game unbeaten run as soon as he was demoted to the bench, and the only time he got a game was when Laurent Koscielny was suspended.
Hello Gooners! In this article, I will assess all our transfer dealings in the coming transfer window after our glorious victory for the top 4. Feel free to post you thoughts, and please don't be too harsh as this is only my second article.
We don't know for sure that Arsenal are definitely looking to sign another keeper this summer, but it seems fairly likely, with the problems there have been with Wojciech Szczesny and Lukasz Fabianski over the last few years. I really hope that Arsene Wenger has got a clear idea of who he wants to bring in, even if it is between a few keepers, because according to the media he has about 39 different possibilities.
Ever since the end of the Premier League season last Sunday, Arsenal fans have been looking forward to an optimistic summer transfer window and a much more competitive Arsenal in the future. Some Gooners, like myself, still harbour doubts about the board and Arsenal's wage policy actually allowing Wenger to bring in the `top, top` talent he has been talking about all season.
Juventus player Mauricio Isla has alerted a number of clubs in Europe including Arsenal after he stated that he may be leaving Turin this summer. Isla has had a horrible season at Juventus but the Chilean was a star player at Udinese where he was played in his favoured right wing back position instead of central midfield regularly.
Wenger can lead us through a league in turmoil by DG
While everyone knows that Arsene Wenger is now comfortably the longest serving current Premier League manager, I wonder if you all realise just how far ahead he is of the pack? It was revealed yesterday that Tony Pulis is leaving Stoke after 7 years in charge.
There have been a number of reports over the last few days suggesting that Arsenal have agreed terms with Gonzalo Higuain over his potential transfer to the Emirates from Real Madrid. It was also thought that the transfer fee had been settled at around Â£20 million. Whether this is is true or not, we don't know, but even if it is true, that does not mean the transfer will definitely happen.
Rub your eyes, Arsenal fans, pinch yourself and splash your face with cold water, then read the headline again. Is it still the same? Yes, and it is not April 1st, so what on Earth is going on? Maybe whoever wrote this story originally had shaky hands from the night before, or his dog barked as he was typing and he hit an extra zero, because 100 million euros is silly money for anybody, never mind Remy Cabella.
Arsene Wenger has already suggested that Arsenal will have a tough time acquiring the transfer targets that the manager wants this summer. The Gunners may have a lot more money to spend in this transfer window, but that in no way guarantees that we will get the players we want.
One of the major problems this year is the competition.
Arsenal are apparently closing in on the signing of young Manchester City midfielder Abdi Ibrahim who has been on loan for the last few seasons away from his parent club. This would seem like a strange move for Arsenal to make but the Norwegian has been on a host of Premier League club's radars for many years and it appears that City have resigned themselves to selling him because of a lack of room in his favoured defensive midfield role.
Andrei Arshavin's four and half seasons at Arsenal can be summarised as the following, the first two and half he looked a good signing, then he lost his form, his confidence and then he lost his place in the team and that was that! Without there ever really being an explanation.
Who Could Arsenal Face in the Champions League Qualifiers? by FD
So Arsenal have once again seen off the Spuds and secured fourth place in the Premier League and confirmed our place in the Top Four for the 16th time in a row. Can you believe that the bookies are now offering the great price of 8/11 for the Gunners to do it again next season.
According to just about every single Arsenal transfer rumour on the web at the moment, the Gunners two top targets are Fiorentina's Stevan Jovetic and Real Madrid's Gonzalo Higuain and either one is certain to improve the Arsenal strike force next season.
But today it has been revealed by the Juventus general director Giuseppe Marotta that the Spanish Serie A winners are also keen on signing these two players.
What is it with modern day footballers? They all seem to want to play in the centre of the park. What happened to all the dashing wide players of yore? Nowadays it's as if players are trying to stay as far away from the pitch side fans as possible.
The fans and former players of Arsenal will all have been pleased about the way the Gunners fought back from a seemingly impossible situation to clinch fourth place in the Premier League, qualifying for the Champions League and finishing above our north London rivals again.
As the dust settles, though, and we start to take stock, there are certainly concerns.
The Arsenal transfer target, Portuguese goalkeeper Rui Patricio, has admitted that he may be leaving his beloved Sporting Lisbon this summer. In an interview with the Portuguese press he said "I feel good here, but we must consider many things. I still do not know what the future holds for me".
The keeper was the subject of an Â£8 Million bid just last week from Arsenal which was immediately rejected by Sporting.
It was never going to be a world news story like David Beckham, sentimental like saying goodbye to Sir Alex or mentioned in the same breath as Jamie Carragher or Michael Owen's retirement but there is a high chance that after six solid years Bacary Sagna may very well have played his last game for Arsenal yesterday.
The exciting young French striker Yaya Sanogo (great name!) has beeen close to sealing a deal with the Arsenal since last week, with his club Auxerre in negotiations with Arsenal over the compensation fee.
But today the youngster himself has made it clear that he only has one destination in mind for nmext season.
Every year we report the Arsenal players that really have to be taken off the wage bill to make room for some players that actually are capable of competing for First XI places. This time around we have a chance to make big inroads into disposing of these deadwoods and freeing up a good amount of wages to invest in star players.
The Arsenal Chief Executive Ivan Gazidis yesterday gave his usual rousing speech about Arsenal aiming to win trophies next season, not simply aim for the Top Four. He has vowed to back Arsene Wenger in the transfer market to give the Gunners the toools to win trophies.
With the renewals of season tickets set to begin today, Gazidis said: "It is important to reiterate that for everyone at the Club, qualification for the Champions League is not our ultimate ambition.
It has been reported that Arsenal are close to sealing the deal for The Montenegro international and Fiorentina striker Stevan Jovetic. While the Gunners sealed the final Champions League place in the Premier League with victory at Newcastle, Fiorentina missed out despite beating Pescara 5-1.
Jovetic scored in the game, but it could be his last in Viola colours, as Metro reports that his agent, Fali Ramadani, is in the Capital to put the final touches to a deal that could cost the Gunners nearly Â£25 million.
What are we going to do with Nicklas Bendtner when he comes back to Arsenal? by SS
Simple, sell him. He has been on loan at Juventus this season after Arsene Wenger finally tried and failed to sell him last summer. He has not scored a single goal at Juventus this season and has failed to show the Arsenal management why he should stay at the club.
Well done Arsenal. Now the serious work begins... by FD
As the dust settles on another Premier League campaign, Arsenal fans can look back on a satisfying final third of the season. While it may have been a little strange watching the celebrations of the Arsenal players at winning fourth place, with memories of the Invincibles still etched in our minds, we shouldn't begrudge them their plaudits.
Aaron Ramsey has not had an easy run of it. After showing so much early promise at Arsenal he missed almost a year of football thanks to Ryan Shawcross. On his return, Ramsey struggled to win over Gooners with some varied performances. However, the absence of Jack Wilshere and the sale of Alex Song this season has meant that Arsene Wenger has had to rely on the young Welshman more and more, and he is finally starting to reap consistent rewards.
Arsenal fans celebrate mediocrity yet again whilst silverware goes begging by Adam Kemp
Arsenal fans will be glad to see the back of a season that has proved the most difficult during Wengers reign. I was embarrassed to see the players celebrating like they won the title as they should have been reserved with a fourth placed finish.
Are You Sitting Down, Arsenal Fans? Kroenke Gives Wenger Green Light on Transfers! by FD
We've all grown used to the sort of frantic post season speculation concerning potential comings and goings at the Emirates. It happens every year. We get fired up by reports in the media and because we want to believe, we fall into the same trap each year only to set ourselves up for yet another disappointing summer.
There was very little to play for in most of the games yesterday, which is why the Arsenal v Newcastle game and the Tottenham v Sunderland game were shown simultaneously on Sky sports. The papers and football websites have been building up the tension between the two north London rivals and saying just how important fourth place in the Premier League was.
Arsenal are in the process of making a decision on whether to allow Costa Rican striker Joel Campbell to stay on loan at Spanish side Real Betis for another season. The striker said himself that he is happy to stay in Spain for another season to prove himself to Arsene Wenger and the Arsenal and Betis fans.
Most Arsenal fans seem to agree that the Gunners definitely need a top top top striker, a hard defensive midfielder and maybe a new goalkeeper to improve us for next season, but if Wenger finally actually manages to get rid of most of our deadwood this summer then we may need more than a few players to make up the numbers of squad players.
It has been a testing time for everybody concerned with Arsenal Football Club this season, but the players made sure that it finished with a bang by beating Newcastle United at St. James' Park yesterday. You could see the elation and relief on the faces of the Gunners and the Gooners who had traveled to see the game, but we really must do better next season.
While the Arsenal players and fans can relax for a bit after another nail biting season, the agents, scouts and backroom staff will be a s busy as ever preparing for next season. Bacary Sagna and Arsenal have a big decision to make about the French defender's future, while Carl Jenkinson is desperate to get more games under his belt and become the first choice at right back.
When Per Mertesacker twice inexplicably played Spurs onside to score against Arsenal at the beginning of March, few thought he would end up one of our heroes in the race for 4th. Nor Laurent Koscielny, who was on the bench at White Hart Lane having spent much of the season as our third choice centre back.
Arsenal fans should be used to having our hearts in our mouths towards the end of just about every game since Christmas, but with so much at stake yesterday's game at Newcastle was even nervier than most. Laurent Koscielny's goal calmed us all a little, but we still had to suffer right to the end of the 90 minutes.
After yesterday's Newcastle v Arsenal match report here, Neil wrote: "Player of 2013 so far is Koscienly. Once Wenger went for him instead of Vermaelen...he proved that he is considerably better than any centre back around." Neil â€“ I couldn't agree more.
The avalanche of Arsenal transfer rumours over the last month has been led by the news that the arrival of Stevan Jovetic is expected to be named as an Arsenal player as soon as the season finishes, and we are all waiting expectantly despite rumoured interest from Juventus as well.
But yesterday the Fiorentina sporting director Daniele Prade has told the Italian press that a decision on his future will not announced until after Jovetic has had a meeting with the Viola owner Diego Della Valle.
The last few weeks and months have been full of transfer rumours about players that Arsenal are apparently going to be signing which got me thinking about who is going to leave the club to make room for new players.
Lukasz Fabianski The Polish keeper has been missing from the team since his fellow countryman Wojciech Szczesny took the gloves nearly two and a half years ago.
There has been much talk of Arsenal's record amount of funds in the transfer kitty this summer, but with the current squad ending the season with a brilliant ten-game unbeaten run Wenger seemed to hint that there is not much need for reinforcements to be brought in.
"In the last three months, I believe we have been remarkably consistent.
Many of the readers on this site spend a lot of time reading the rumours about which players may be on their way to Arsenal. Great fun, and we all want to see the gunners linked with top players and see a few coming to us instead of the usual 'richer' clubs.
Arsene Wenger was able to name an unchanged Arsenal side after Mikel Arteta passed a late fitness test on his calf. Although Olivier Giroud was available to play after his three game suspension, Wenger left him on the bench. Newcastle United were determined to try to spoil the party for Arsenal, as were Sunderland at Tottenham.
Arsene Wenger seems to have made his decision to include Jack Wilshere in the Arsenal starting line up today. Unless he is doing another of his old Jedi mind tricks, of course, and Mikel Arteta and his unmovable appear on the St. James' pitch this afternoon. Assuming the Spaniard has failed to recover from his calf problem, it will be Jack who plays alongside Ramsey.
There is a belief in football that you should not change a winning team and that is what Arsenal have had for the last three games. Arsene Wenger had suggested that Olivier Giroud would return after his suspension and that Mikel Arteta would not be able to play due to his calf problem, but that seems to have been intended to keep the Newcastle manager Alan Pardew and his players guessing right to the last minute.
Jack Wilshere is heading for a small operation in the summer to remove a pin from his ankle, but is still expected to play some part in today's game against Newcastle due to the injury to Mikel Arteta.
He admits that this game is so crucial that there may be a few nerves amongst the Arsenal players, but says they just have to calm and professional to make sure of the three points, no matter what happens in the Tottenham game.
Arsenal moved closer to getting rid of one of Arsene Wenger's most unsuccessful signings of recent times, as the French striker Marouane Chamakh revealed that he is willing to return to France with his old club Bordeaux.
Chamakh lost his confidence very quickly after arriving at Arsenal, and even on his 5 month loan at West Ham he only managed to make two starts for the Hammers.
Expect a hatful of goals in Arsenal's final match by FD
Not long to wait now. This season's closing day might not promise the kind of impossible drama that last year's title decider served up, but Arsenal and Spuds fans are in for a potentially tense afternoon while waiting for the final whistle of the Premier League season to blow.
Last week, Alan Pardew joked that he didn't care if Arsenal won 4-0 this week, so there has been much debate about whether Pardew's Newcastle team will actually turn up and fight Arsenal for the three points today after securing their Premiership survival last weekend.
But today it has now been reported that the Toon owner Mike Ashley has set aside a MILLION POUND bonus to be shared amongst the non-playing and coaching staff at the club if they can galvanise the team to win their final game at St James Park.
Obviously Chelsea are extremely happy that they have won yet another European trophy this season, despite the fact that they were only in the Europa League after being knocked out of the Champions League in the Group Stages.
Wenger thinks that this should not happen, and the teams that are given another chance in the Europa League are basically being "rewarded for failure".
For the last couple of seasons Arsenal have started off very sluggishly and have had to spend the second half of the campaign playing catchup to retain their position as a Top Four club. Arsene Wenger believes that this is because of the seemingly endless cycle of selling our best players and then having to help their replacements settle into the squad.
Unlike many fans on the Just Arsenal website I am very pro Wenger. He has stuck with this club through thick and thin. When his best players, which he created, were leaving, when (and even now) we were having strong financial constraints. Would you really expect Wenger to willingly sell his best players and not replace them adequately?
If you could bottle what it is that makes Arsenal put in a storming run at the end of the season, you would be a rich man. While Tottenham generally choke at the end to leave them disappointed and out of the Champions League, the Gunners come good and get the results we need, despite a mountain of pressure.
Arsenal head up north tomorrow needing a win to secure a top four finish, while Newcastle have nothing much to play for, although this and other results could see them finish anywhere from 10th to 17th. Alan Pardew will try to upset Arsene Wenger and Arsenal and give the home fans something to cheer about.
The latest rumour in the Arsenal goalkeeper situation by SS
There is an Arsenal transfer rumour that Arsene Wenger could be ready to make a surprise bid for Reading's Alex McCarthy who has earned his first ever call up to the England squad this week. McCarthy would not become the top goalkeeper at the club but would instead be used as emergency cover and loaned out to other clubs with a recall option, similar to the arrangement Fulham have with David Stockdale.
Could Arsenal make a shock move for 33 year old Wigan defender Emerson Boyce? by SS
Arsene Wenger would hope to get Boyce cheap and use him as cover in a variety of defensive positions and to act as an experienced leader within the defence. Bacary Sagna looks set to leave the club this summer with Russian giants Anzhi and newly crowned French champions PSG interested.
It has been very impressive the way Arsenal have handled the pressure on them this season. From a morale sapping defeat to the hated spuds, Arsenal were left seven points adrift and it seemed like this would be the year Tottenham finally finished above us.
Maybe we should thank AVB, because the spuds' croaky voiced manager's gloating claims of a downward spiral for Arsenal had the opposite effect and we are now back in the driving seat.
There is a growing buzz and expectation among the Arsenal players and fans that next season could be the start of a new period for the club. All the timings seem to be going our way, after eight years without a trophy. Arsene Wenger has worked miracles to keep the Gunners within the top four while having to sell the best players and pay off the debt from building the Emirates stadium.
From the sounds of things, Per Mertesacker may have thought his Arsenal career would not last too long. The German international defender did not have the greatest of first seasons at the club, appearing in just 27 games in all competitions and winning few admirers among the Arsenal fans and the British press.
Wenger drops hint about bringing in top, top, top, players
The war of words has been raging ahead of this Sunday's make or break, last-day round of Premiership matches. We've had to endure reading and listening to an endless stream of pundits with their various predictions about which north London team will hold their nerve and claim the coveted fourth Champions League spot.
Arsene Wenger has been talking about who will replace the injured Mikel Arteta in Arsenal's crucial match against Newcastle tomorrow, and although he says that Jack Wilshere is the obvious replacement, he will leave it up to the player himself to decide if he can handle the pain.
Wenger said: "That is one of the things I have to evaluate before Sunday and talk to him as well,"
"He will have the final say in that because you cannot force a player, they have to be comfortable.
Olivier Giroud is almost certain to be back in the Arsenal starting line up tomorrow and he will want to end the season on a high. At times this season he has struggled, especially in the first half, but the French international is now a key part of the team and one of the first men on the team sheet when he is available.
Surely Arsene Wenger will sign a defensive midfielder for Arsenal this summer, surely. I know that Mikel Arteta and Aaron Ramsey have been doing a great job recently and that there is the versatile Francis Coquelin breaking through from the reserve ranks, but the need for a proper, no-nonsense midfield general has been stark at times this season.
It certainly gives the Arsenal players something to think about as we approach one of the most important final days of the Premier League in years, at least as far as the three teams involved are concerned. After City snatching the title from United in the most dramatic fashion last year, this year will be all about the battle for third and fourth place.
It is a tough question because during his Arsenal career he has always been injury prone and missed large chunks of the season. Even when he has been fit and playing matches he has sometimes underperformed compared to the rest of the team but then again in some matches he has been the driving force for an important win.
Arsenal have been in a three way tussle with Chelsea and Tottenham for what seems like ages now. There has never been such a close run race for the final two Champions League places and it is all going down to the wire. Chelsea are definitely in the top four, although the Gunners could go above them into third.
What can we expect from the upcoming transfer window by NP
So we are nearing the end of another season and as usual a host of players, a.k.a. "Starlets" are already "being monitored by", "close to signing for" or "would love to play for" Arsenal. Most of them are homegrown stories by websites trying to increase their pay-per-click revenues or agents looking to place the players on the transfer market.
Six Reasons Why Arsenal Can Dominate English Football Next Season by FD
Recent years have been frustrating for followers of Arsenal. The trophy drought has been bad enough, but we've also had to endure the regular exodus of our best players and the apparent reluctance of the powers-that-be to compete with the other top clubs on an equal footing.
Arsene Wenger has had a fair bit to say recently about the short term thinking displayed by a lot of football clubs these days, while trying to end the speculation about his own future as the Arsenal manager. We know that the Frenchman is a man of principles and will stick to them, although the Arsenal fans wish he would be a bit more flexible sometimes.
Arsene Wenger has not announced his Arsenal team sheet for the crucial last game of the season yet, but it does no take a genius to work out that Olivier Giroud will come straight back into the starting XI to face Newcastle United. The big French international was sent off against Fulham and the FA rejected the Gunners appeal, even though it was clear from the replays that he had got the ball and slipped.
Next season could be an extremely important, even pivotal, one for Arsenal and Arsene Wenger. If the Gunners finish the campaign with no trophies and way off the top spot in the Premier League again, it could be all change. The Professor will be at the end of his contract and will probably not get another.
So we now face the final game of the season, and Arsene Wenger knows that Arsenal simply need to win at Newcastle to confirm our place in the Top Four for the 17th season in a row. But which team is Wenger going to pick?
There are certain to be changes from last week's nervous home win over Wigan, as the Spaniard Mikel Arteta is nigh on a certain casualty.
I was reflecting on a recent comment by Wigan Chairman Dave Whelan, in which he's quoted as saying that he thought Arsenal were "a wonderful club to play". He was probably referring to the overall experience at the Emirates, rather than just the actual match, but it had me wondering how other teams might consider the experience of playing against the modern day Gunners.
Yesterday I wrote an article discussing the change in dynamic of our forward line, prompted by the fact that unlike many previous years, goals are coming from multiple sources. The title and summation playfully asked whether we really needed a new striker.
It is very unlike Arsene Wenger to reveal any of his potential transfer dealings at Arsenal before they are done and dusted, especially seeing as the scouts from other clubs always seem to latch on to players that have been linked with, or scouted by, the Gunners.
The boss must be pretty safe in the knowledge that he has the deal for the young French striker Yaya Sanogo wrapped up then, because he has spoken publicly about the transfer.
The Emirates cup will be back at Arsenal this summer after missing last year because of the London Olympics. It will be played at the start of August and, along with Arsenal, will feature Napoli from Serie A, FC Porto of the Primeira Liga in Portugal and Galatasaray from the Super Lig in Turkey.
These are all good teams and will provide a useful test for the Gunners.
Arsene Wenger must be fairly confident that he will have no problem holding on to his best Arsenal players this summer. Despite being stung in the past, he seems to be secure in the belief that the Arsenal board will not be tempted to accept a good offer for one of the stars at the Emirates.
Even so, I am not sure it is such a good idea to remind potential suitors just how good Santi Cazorla has been for the Gunners this season.
The rumour mill seems to have really kicked in with the Spanish media and a few of the stories coming out are of great interest to Arsenal fans. Of course, we do not really know how much truth is behind them, but we arrely do until the agreement's are actually made.
Earlier today it was reported that the long term Arsenal transfer target David Villa was going to our North London rivals Tottenham.
The latest player to be linked with Arsenal is Fiorentina's Spanish midfielder Borja Valero. Valero is said to be waiting to see if Arsenal or Tottenham will win the last Champions League spot before making a decision on which club he will join, according to Marca.
Arsene Wenger is wanting to strengthen his midfield this summer along with most other areas of the team and he believes Borja Valero would fit in with the players already at the club.
The latest injury news for Arsenal is that Mikel Arteta is still likely to miss the crucial final game of the season away to Newcastle United. The 31-year old Spaniard is not a flashy player and does not really get the plaudits of the fans as much as the likes of Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere, but he has started in more games than anyone bar Cazorla this season and done a great job for the Gunners in the problem position of defensive midfielder.
Theo Walcott is Arsenal's top scorer this season with 21 goals so far. Olivier Giroud will need to score four against Newcastle on Sunday to equal that, so I think that Theo has got no reason to worry there. What he is worrying about, though, is breaking the 15 year run for the Gunners under Arsene Wenger.
I know that the title of this article sounds obvious, but there were rumours yesterday that Arsenal's Spanish midfielder Santi Cazorla could be one of the first targets for the new manager at Manchester City, assuming that the rumours are true and it is going to be Manuel Pellegrini from Malaga.
Pellegrini clearly did not want to sell Cazorla to Arsenal last summer, but the financial starits that Malaga were in left him no choice.
Why All The Surprise At Wenger's "Hair-Dryer" Outburst? by FD
There's been a lot of media talk since Arsenal's victory over Wigan at the Emirates on Tuesday about the apparent rocket Arsene Wenger delivered to his under-performing players during the half-time interval. Theo Walcott was quoted in the Guardian as saying: "We got a rocket,"
Sharing is caring; Arsenal's high scoring forwards by DG
If I were to ask you which Premier League team has four players that have scored more than 10 league goals this season, which would you guess? Man Utd only have two â€“ RVP and Rooney. Man City? Two â€“ Dzeko and Aguero. Chelsea actually manage three, but only if we include Demba Ba's goals for Newcastle in the first half of the season.
As long as Arsenal `finish the job`, as Arsene Wenger put it, and beat Newcastle United on Sunday, Arsenal fans can sit back and look forward to a pleasant summer for the first time in years. Without the fear of selling the captain or the best players and with a transfer war chest for Wenger to add some of those `top, top` players he has been talking about.
A lot of Arsenal fans have been buoyed by the recent performances of Wojciech Szczesny in the Gunners goal and convinced that Arsene Wenger no longer has to sign a new keeper in the summer transfer market. The Polish international is still only 23-years old and is showing again the talent and potential that made us believe we had a world class player on our hands.
Until Arsenal know for sure whether it will be the Champions League or the Europa League next season, Arsene Wenger will be keeping his powder dry, but Arsenal fans are hoping for a good summer in the transfer market, we have certainly waited long enough.
It was thought that Stevan Jovetic was the main target for the Gunners, assuming we finish in the top four of course, but that may have changed to the Argentinean hit-man Gonzalo Higuain.
Ever since Arsene Wenger took over as the manager of Arsenal Football Club back in 1996, the Frenchman has made the academy and youth development parts of the club very important. Ideally, Wenger would like to follow the Barcelona example of being able to field a whole team of players who have come through the Arsenal ranks.
Arsene Wenger has a few decisions to make in his selection for the Arsenal team that travels north to St. James' Park on Sunday in the hope of beating Newcastle United and ensuring a top four finish, at least. The Prof will not want to change too much with the Gunners being on a fabulous run, especially with last night's goal-fest against Wigan.
It has been a fair few years since Arsenal had a significant number of Brazilian players in the squad, the last time we had a decent contingent of Brazilians was in the days of Gilberto Silva and Edu. When those two players were in the team, we were extremely successful but that wasn't because of them it was to do with the team as a whole.
It was looking increasingly likely earlier this year that Arsenal were going to continue the unwanted recent tradition of selling the club captain in the summer. In 2011 it was Cesc Fabregas to Barcelona, followed last summer by Robin van Persie to Manchester United. The rumours and speculation about the current captain, Thomas Vermaelen, have died down recently and, from his own words, it appears that he will still be at the club next season.
5 Reasons Why Arsenal Might Expect Help From Sunderland by FD
So now it's down to the final match and all Arsenal have to do is beat Newcastle United on Sunday to secure a place in the Champions League for the 16th consecutive season. It's not a task that should be beyond an in-form and confident Arsenal team who brushed aside the challenge of Wigan at the Emirates last night.
The end of the season is unusually tense at Arsenal as we are sitting two points behind Tottenham in the race for the last Champions League spot and we have to play Wigan and Newcastle. The club gets a lot of criticism these days but the club always manages to finish in a safe position, however, this season things could be different.
Arsenal still have a top four finish and Champions League qualification in their own hands after a fantastic 4-1 win over Wigan Athletic last night. The Gunners could even snatch third place with Chelsea having just a single goal better goal difference.
We still have to win the final game away to Newcastle United on Sunday, however, and it looks like we will have to do it without Mikel Arteta.
Arsene Wenger watched his side finally come good in the second half against Wigan last night, but he thinks the game was much closer than Arsenal's winning margin suggests. He said after the game: "We had a quick start and a strong start for the first 20 minutes. We were really dominating and after that we became a bit conservative and pushed forward less and allowed Wigan back in the game.
With no progress forthcoming on Bacary Sagna's contract extension at Arsenal, it is looking more and more likely that the French defender will be leaving the Emirates this summer. According to the ex-Man United star Andrei Kanchelskis, who is currently assistant manager at FC Volga in the Russian Premier League, Sagna is a target for the moneybags team Anzhi Makhachkala who could let Wenger cash in on his 30 year-old right-back.
Arsenal have one foot in next year's Champion's League by DG
Arsenal duly dispatched of Wigan 4-1 in last night's match at The Emirates, with the result leaving us poised to secure a top 4 spot this Sunday. In contrast, the result was the final nail in the coffin for newly crowned FA Cup winners Wigan.
This was always going to be ab open and exciting game, with Arsenal and Wigan needing to win for different reasons. Arsene Wenger made just one change, with Gibbs coming in for Monreal and the young England international did brilliantly against one of Wigan's main threats Callum Mcmanaman.
Arsenal made a great start and looked like they were going to blow Wigan out of the water.
There is no room for error for either team tonight as only a win will do for Arsenal and Wigan Athletic at the Emirates stadium. Although the Gunners would still have a mathematical chance of overtaking Tottenham on the final day of the Premier League season if we drew or lost tonight, realistically it would mean that Arsenal would be consigned to the Europa League next season.
Arsenal must beat Wigan but a win would help our rivals by FD
It does your head in. You've got twenty clubs each playing 38 matches over the course of a long Premier League season, and yet we always seem to arrive at the final stages of the campaign with the remaining fixtures contriving to throw up a set of possible permutations only an evil and twisted mastermind could have devised.
The first time I saw Gervinho play was in the 2010 world cup for the Ivory Coast. Every time he had the ball, the crowd would go wild because of his amazing ability to get past any man who stood in his way. He has fast footwork like we see from Cristiano Ronaldo and he could actually score goals.
When I first heard the rumour about Wayne Rooney and his possible transfer to Arsenal from Manchester United, I laughed it off as one of the more ridiculous rumours in recent times. It was right up there with the idea that Nicklas Bendtner would go to Juventus and pick up a title winning medal.
A few things have made me think again, however, even though the deal still seems unlikely for a number of reasons.
The Arsenal vice-captain is not expecting an easy game against Wigan tonight, in fact he thinks the FA cup winners will give it everything they've got. He is, however, confident that Arsenal can get the win and the three points we need, as long as they don't let the occasion get to them.
"They will play for their lives," said the Spaniard.
Arsenal could possibly make the most of the uncertainty and confusion at Manchester City to beat the oil rich club to one of the transfer targets we have in common. The Bosnian midfielder Miralem Pjanich has been linked Tottenham as well, but if the Gunners can continue the fantastic recent run and grab six points off Wigan and Newcastle, we will have the lure of Champions League football and will be a much more attractive proposition to potential signings.
Arsenal have only one man to fear tonight, and he doesn't play for Wigan by DG
We Arsenal fans have almost every reason to be buoyant at our remaining fixtures over the next week. A home tie against a Wigan team that has underperformed all year and who will most likely be suffering from a cup final hangover, followed by an away game against a Newcastle side who simply don't care anymore.
As the season comes to a close, I feel it may be time to give your Arsenal player ratings for the season (I don't want to think about tomorrow's game to be honest!) It's been a funny old season, with some players starting poorly and improving, some just not performing and some playing very well. Others have been wildly inconsistent.
Arsenal fans are used to seeing a long list of injuries for most of the Premiership season, but going into our final two games, we are down to just one person left on the treatment table, and no prizes for guessing who that is!
Last week, there was Kieran Gibbs, Lukasz Fabianski and Abou Diaby on the list, but Wenger revealed yesterday: "The news is quite good, we have everyone available.
There have been thousands of Arsenal transfer rumours linking us with the Stoke keeper Asmir Begovic ever since the Potters snapped up Jack Butland in the January transfer window, opening the door for Begovic to move on to bigger and better things.
It was originally thought that both Chelsea and Man United may challenge Arsenal for the talented Bosnian shotstopper, but both of those have two top keepers at the club already, so it looks like Arsenal will now have a clear run for Begovic this summer.
This is the big one for Arsenal. After Newcastle United won at the weekend, they are safe from relegation, while Wigan have to win both of their remaining games to stand any chance of being in the Premier League next season. So both teams absolutely must win at the Emirates tonight.
It will be a test of nerve as well as ability, which Arsenal have shown a lot of since losing the North London derby over two months ago.
Tottenham nabbed a last minute winner against Stoke yesterday to keep themselves in with a chance of nicking the last Champions League position from Arsenal, and believe that Wigan are in the perfect frame of mind to cause an upset at the Emirates tomorrow evening.
Wigan may have won the FA Cup, but now they are fighting for their Premiership survival, and the Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas thinks that they are primed and ready for tomorrow.
It is being reported in Portugal today that Arsenal have had a bid of 10 Million Euros rejected for Sporting Lisbon Keeper Rui Patricio. The bid is worth around 8 Million Pounds and was rejected immediately but Sporting have told Arsenal the player will be available if the price is right, apparently.
Yes, Arsenal SHOULD Give Wigan a Guard of Honour by FD
So the newly crowned FA Cup winners arrive at the Emirates tomorrow in a last-ditch bid to maintain their Premiership status for another season. Nobody can doubt they deserved to win that match at Wembley against a disappointing Man City side.
The Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger thinks that he has now achieved a good balance in the Arsenal team, and if they can carry their (already nine-game) unbeaten run through to the beginning of next season, they will definitely be challenging for the title.
He said: "Last year we made 70 points and finished third.
One of the players most likely to be coming to Arsenal during the transfer window this summer is the Fiorentina forward Stevan Jovetic, if you believe the media that is. If it is really the case that there is no smoke without fire then the choking swirl surrounding Florence in Italy could be good news for the Gunners.
I know that Cesc Fabregas is no longer an Arsenal player, but if he signed for Manchester United this summer, it would feel as bad to me, personally, as if they were signing him from us. The 26-year old Spanish international will be parading the Spanish La Liga trophy through the streets of Barcelona today after Real Madrid could only manage a draw on Saturday to hand the title to the Catalan club.
There have been many rumours that Arsenal's Arsene Wenger is the next manager to be lined up by the new French moneybags team Paris St. Germain, but he has thoroughly denied the possibility, and likens not honouring his contract to acting like a thief!
There was great deal of excitement and expectation amongst Arsenal fans around this time last year, because we heard that Arsene Wenger had secured the transfer of the German international Lukas Podolski from Cologne. The 27-year old has enjoyed a pretty good first season with the Gunners, but there have been concerns over his fitness and rumours of a problem between him and Wenger.
When Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain moved to Arsenal from Southampton, Arsenal fans were overjoyed with the fact that we had beat all the top clubs for a young player who looked like a future world beater. This season I have been disappointed with him and have come to the conclusion that his growth has stunted this season.
Could Kolo Toure be on his way back to Arsenal on a one year deal? by SS
He is going to be out of contract this summer and he and Manchester City have confirmed that there will be no new deal. He has said he would like to stay in England because his family is based here and he could be available on low wages compared to his Man City pay packet.
Fate in our hands â€“ Arsenal players must step up by DG
There is an aura of concern and hesitation amongst many Arsenal fans following Spurs' victory over a Stoke team that already have their minds on their summer holidays. We face a home game against newly crowned FA Cup winners and Man City slayers Wigan on Tuesday, followed by a trip to Newcastle at the weekend.
Arsenal's home game against Wigan has now taken on even more importance after the Spuds late winner over Stoke yesterday. The Gunners have dropped below Spurs with just two games to go, so we simply MUST beat Wigan at the Emirates to regain our ascendance to the Champions League.
Once those three points are secured, we will have a free run up at Newcastle on the last day of the season after the Toon beat QPR to ensure their safety from relegation.
It may be a crucial game for Arsenal tomorrow in terms of reaching the Champions League, but for Wigan it is even more important as they are fighting for their Premiership lives. Roberto Martinez has performed miracles to keep them in the top flight over the last few years, and he is fully expecting to do the same thing this time around.
Arsene Wenger will be the longest serving manager in the Premier League next season, assuming that the Arsenal board and owner do not surprise everyone by sacking him. Alex Ferguson has been at Manchester United for over 26 years, while the man who will replace him at Old Trafford next season, David Moyes, is currently the third longest serving manager with over ten years at Everton.
It is normal for Arsenal fans to have two things to worry about at this part of the season. Firstly, there is the annual race to get into the Champions League places for next season, which has been tighter than ever this season and looks like it will be decided on the final day. Two wins against Wigan Athletic and Newcastle United will guarantee that we finish above Tottenham, but those wins will be far from easy.
These last two games of the season are so massively important, we can't afford to inject the typical poor support for the team that those who usually attend home games emit. This is the time to get behind the team 120%! None of these awkward silences and conspiring whispers and jeers.
To borrow a phrase from the retiring Alex Ferguson, it really is squeaky bum time for Arsenal. Tottenham got yet another result they barely deserved at Stoke today, which means that the Gunners are now sitting outside the Champions League places in fifth position.
Spurs now have 69 points, two more than Arsenal, so we absolutely must beat Wigan Athletic at the Emirates on Tuesday.
It's been hard for Arsenal fans in the last few years watching our ex-players leaving the Emirates in search of trophies (or money!). It was nice to see Nasri's face yesterday after yesterday's Cup Final defeat, but he did win a Premiership medal last season, even if it was just by the skin of his teeth.
Are we trying to buy the wrong Man U striker!? by DG
If you buy any paper today you will be inundated with rumours, reports and speculation that Arsenal are set to launch a sensational bid for Wayne Rooney. If these reports are to be believed (and when did a tabloid paper ever get a transfer rumour wrong.
Wigan won the FA Cup for the first time in their history yesterday (take that Ca$hri!) but their manager, Roberto Martinez, will not allow the players to celebrate just yet as they have another Cup Final coming up on Tuesday against Arsenal. Nothing less than three points will be enough to save the Latics from relegation, and Martinez is making sure his team stays focused by ordering to turn up for an iced bath tomorrow morning!
Transfer talk is exciting, but how will it affect the Arsenal players? by FD
After another week of intense transfer speculation, in which several players have been reported to be on the cusp of agreeing a move to the Emirates, I admit I'm becoming increasingly excited. And yes, like all Arsenal fans, I harbour bitter memories of being disappointed so many times that I really should know better by now.
The ex-Arsenal striker Emmanuel Adebayor is not the most popular player amongst our exiles, and he is plotting to put the pressure on us by beating Stoke today. If Spurs win this afternoon then Arsenal will drop back down to fifth in the table and will need nothing less than a win against Wigan on Tuesday to regain the advantage.
The current football season has been excruciating at times for Arsenal fans and it is showing no signs of getting easier. Despite the excellent run of form recently, with six wins from the last eight Premier League games, the Gunners still have the threat of finishing outside the top four looming large.
There have been hundreds of Arsenal transfer rumours linking the Gunners with every available keeper in Europe ever since Arsene Wenger first dropped Wojciech Szczesny for the Champions League game in Munich, with most Arsenal fans expecting Wenger to bring in an older more experienced keeper to keep the Pole on his toes.
Arsenal haven't had an easy time during the last few seasons, big players have left, captains have left two seasons in a row and every time a new season starts we find ourselves scratching our heads at why we have made another profit during the transfer window and how we can possibly move forward like this?
Well what a crazy week for English football! It seems that all THREE of Arsenal's top rivals for the League are changing their managers this summer. We all know about Ferguson, and today it is on Sky Sports that Man City are in talks with Manuel Pelligrini to take over at the Etihad next season.
Then of course we all know that Jose Mourinho is going to Chelsea and so all three of them are going to be going through a period of upheaval as the new managers settle in.
The tension and rivalry between Arsene Wenger and Alex Ferguson reached critical mass when Arsenal travelled to Manchester United hoping to extend their unbeaten Premier League run to 50 games. It was an extremely bad tempered affair which Mike Riley refereed poorly, awarding Wayne Rooney a penalty for a Sol Campbell foul that never was and letting the United players, especially the horse faced striker Ruud van Nistelrooy get away with some shocking tackles.
There are more and more Arsenal transfer rumours appearing every day, and judging by the sheer volume it would seem that Stevan Jovetic is Arsene Wenger's main target this summer. In the midfield department I have had a tip from an ex-Arsenal youth player that our very own Cesc Fabregas is definitely in line for a return to the Emirates.
The highly talented Turkish midfielder Arda Turan has been linked with Arsenal ever since he was a precocious teenager at Galatasary, but he preferred to serve his apprenticeship in his home country. When he finally decided to leave Turkey, he was snapped up by Atletico Madrid for just Â£12million and moved to La Liga.
It is absolutely brilliant that Arsenal are being linked with some top, top, top players for a change, and if this report in the Spanish media is true then it means that Arsene Wenger really is buying players that will improve the team!
Sport.es confidently report that the Gunners have signed a pre-contract with the Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain and will pay 22 million euros to the Spanish giants, and we apparently nabbed him from under the noses of our arch-rivals Tottenham.
To be honest, Arsenal fans should be taking any transfer rumours at the minute with a pinch of salt. The transfer window is not open yet, but footballers and their agents are jostling for position, while clubs want to buy players for as little as possible and extract every last penny out of any player they sell.
Arsenal do not play again until Tuesday night, giving the Gunners 10 days between games, while our opponents Wigan Athletic will be facing their fourth game in the same period. It is not the tiredness of the Wigan players that could help Arsenal, however, it is the tiredness of the Chelsea players.
Are any Arsenal players good enough to interest another big club? by FD
All the transfer talk at the moment is about the potential players Arsenal are looking to bring in over the summer. It seems as though there's hardly a prospect we haven't been linked with. That's all well and good â€“ it's refreshing to be considered as one of the poachers for a change, rather than having to play our usual game-keeping role.
There was a great deal of concern among Arsenal fans at the start of the season, and it was perfectly undertandable after losing Robin van Persie to Manchester United. The Dutch striker had scored 37 goals in the previous season and that is a big hole to fill. However, those fears have been allayed somewhat over the course of the season, with Theo Walcott scoring on Saturday bringing up the club's milestone of 100 and his own personal one of 20 goals this season.
The former Arsenal and England striker Alan `smudger` Smith has been writing about his memories of the Gunners and his thoughts on the current Arsenal team. Smith left Arsenal shortly before Arsene Wenger took over in 1996, but he has always followed the Gunners and has suggested that the Frenchman is at a pivotal period in his Arsenal reign and could maybe do with being a little more flexible in his methods.
Arsenal are going to be visiting Vietnam this summer and will play a friendly against the national side. The game will take place in Hanoi in the My Dinh National Stadium on July 17. Arsenal will become the first ever English team to play a game in Vietnam which is very important for attracting a fanbase in countries like this.
It seems to me that every year there are hundreds of Arsenal transfer rumours linking us with just about every goalkeeper in the world, whether they are available or not! This year seems to be no exception, despite both Wojciech Szczesny and Lukasz Fabianski having quite good runs between the sticks.
A Defence To Rely On? That Doesn't Sound Like Arsenal... by DG
In recent years, Arsenal's defence has become somewhat of a stereotype to beat us with. Since the glory days of Adams, Dixon and co have passed, we have struggled to put together a truly dependable and cohesive back line that could be depended on week in week out.
Since Bacary Sagna's statement last week that he is open to PSG, Monaco or any other offer this summer has made it clear that he has not entered into talks with Arsenal over a contract extension, which seems to point to the fact that he will definitely be leaving at the end of the season.
So, as Arsenal are likely to be in the market for a talented right-back, the Mail reports that the Gunners scouts have been looking around for his replacement, and the two top targets are said to be the Polish international Lukasz Piszczek, who is currently playing for Dortmund, and the Feyenoord right-back Daryl Janmaat, who has recently become a regular in the Dutch national team.
Considering that both Mikel Arteta and Aaron Ramsey are both integral pieces of the Arsenal side this season, it may come as shock to most Gooners to find out that that they have only played together in the centre of midfield for the last seven games, and surprisingly enough that has resulted in zero defeats and five wins!
I am not counting my chickens or anything, but with two games to go, Arsenal appear to be poised to pip Tottenham in the Premier League table again. The players still have to hold their nerve against Wigan Athletic and Newcastle United, but we have been doing that and have done it in previous seasons.
Looking around all the hundreds of Arsenal blogs out there in the ethernet, it seems that most Gooners seem keen on Arsene Wenger going for QPR's Loic Remy or Aston Villa's Christian Benteke (who apparently is an Arsenal fan anyway) but in my opinion there is one much better man in front of our noses.
Should Thomas Vermaelen be the Arsenal captain? by SS
My personal opinion is no. Vermaelen is obviously one of Arsenal's biggest name defenders and he has been in the team for a fair few years now but I personally have never liked him. I have nothing personal against him, I have just never appreciated his defensive skill.
These should be exciting times for all Arsenal followers. Yes, I know there's that small matter of having to win our final two Premiership matches, but that detail aside, we'll be entering a summer with, by all accounts, a healthy transfer coffer, and a realistic chance of attracting some prime footballing talent to The Emirates.
Rooney to Arsenal? The silly season's started early by FD
It's no secret that Wayne Rooney has been less than happy with being little more than a bit-part player in Manchester United's Premiership-winning side. When he was recently reported as wanting a move away from Old Trafford, the football world must have shrugged and muttered "so what's new?
It appears that Arsene Wenger is looking to La Liga in Spain again for new additions to the Arsenal squad this summer. You can hardly blame him, because his two most recent signings, Santi Cazorla and Nacho Monreal, have both been from the Spanish league and they have both fitted in very well at the Emirates.
There has been a lot of talk about the former Gunners returning to Arsenal from Barcelona, especially since the Spanish champions in waiting were destroyed by Bayern Munich home and away and sent tumbling out of the Champions League. The Spanish media is awash with stories about rebuilding at the Nou Camp, with wholesale movement of players in and out of the club.
After last night's game, Arsenal have got a reprieve and are now masters of their own destiny. Two wins from the last two games against Wigan Athletic and Newcastle United will ensure a top four finish and continue the incredible run of qualifying for the Champions League under Arsene Wenger. As the Gunners are just two points behind Chelsea in third place and they have two hard games against Aston Villa and Everton, as well as the Europa League final against Benfica in between them, there is still a chance for Arsenal to snatch third place.
The Polish keeper Lukasz Fabianski was plunged back into the Arsenal side in the impossible-looking away game at Bayern Munich but managed to come back with a clean sheet and it looked like he had cemented his big chance to replace thev out-of-form Wojciech Szczesny for the rest of the season.
But as usual he got an injury and Wenger had to choice but to reinstate Szczesny in the first team, and he has also seemed to come into some good form when called upon.
"Arsenal will sorely miss Olivier Giroud for Tuesday's visit of Wigan Athletic". Tell me this, what's wrong with that statement? First and foremost, when did we become so reliant on Giroud? For large parts of the first half of the season, many fans believed Giroud was not up to scratch and wasn't capable of leading the line for Arsenal.
There are worrying reports coming from behind the scenes at Arsenal involving possible summer signings, and that is before the transfer window has even opened. Apparently Arsene Wenger is keen on securing the signature of his long term target Loic Remy, while other club officials feel the target should be Wilfried Bony.
So in the end, as our goalkeeping seer Wojciech Szczesny predicted, the Spuds didn't have the quality to overcome a Chelsea side at Stamford Bridge for the first time in 23 years although a few Arsenal hearts must have been beating extra fast when Bale, who had been kept quiet for most of the match, lined up to take that edge-of-the-box free kick deep into injury time.
Now this is a very interesting conundrum for Arsene Wenger as he ponders who to put in the Arsenal goal for next Tuesday's game against Wigan. Wojciech Szczesny was dropped for the Champions League game away at Bayern Munich after some inconsistent performances and was swiftly replaced by Lukasz Fabianski who went on to perform well in five wins in a row (conceding just three goals) before being cruelly injured against Norwich.
Navas, Dragovic and Son is not a removal company by the way, it is three different football players who have been linked with a possible summer transfer switch to Arsenal. Arsene Wenger and the club will have a good idea of the players they want to sign this summer, but a lot could still depend on where we finish in the table.
Arsenal are to open football training schools across India this summer to develop young footballers in India and give thousands of children across the country somewhere to learn and play safely away from the dangerous streets.
This move will be beneficial for Arsenal and India as the club can train young players and potentially sign them if they begin to show a real talent in the game.
There is no guarantee of anything in football, but Arsenal will surely have a better chance of winning something, even the coveted Premier League title, next season. The old man of Old Trafford, Sir Alex Ferguson, is hanging up his hairdryer and rose tinted glasses at the end of the season and moving upstairs to be a director ans club ambassador for Manchester United.
There is plenty of rumour and speculation in the English media about Arsenal and Stevan Jovetic and much of it seems to suggest that the Gunners are already in talks with the Montenegrin international and his Italian club Fiorentina. Depending on who you believe, the talks have just begun, are at an advanced stage or even completed.
It is being reported in the Mirror this morning that Arsenal have secured the biggest ever sponsorship deal with Puma, which means that Nike are getting pushed out after a 20 year relationship with the Gunners.
According to John Cross, who obviously has a good relationship with an insider at Arsenal, the partnership will be worth Â£170 million over the next five years, when added to the Â£30m-a-year that they get from the Emirates for sponsoring their shirts will make the Gunners a very rich club indeed.
Attempts to keep Benteke away from Arsenal are unconvincing. by FD
Of all the players linked with a summer move to the Emirates, Benteke, the Aston Villa striker, is one of the more interesting. For a start, he's demonstrated his ability to score goals in the Premiership. And he's done that while playing in a struggling side so could surely do an even better job at Arsenal?
The Cameroonian midfielder Alexander Song, has been the subject of many reports in Spain saying that he was unhappy with the amount of playing time he is getting at Barcelona, and would be keen to return to Arsenal to regain his regular place in the team.
But the player himself has now denied any such wish, and although he respectfully says that Arsenal are a very good team, they just don't quite measure up to Barcelona in the world rankings, and we can't really disagree with that right now can we?
It is no secret that Arsenal are looking to bring in at least one central defender this summer. It could even be two, depending on what happens with the Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen. The Belgian international will be less than impressed at having lost his regular starting place to Laurent Koscielny and may decide he wants to move on, with Barcelona one of the teams apparently interested.
It was not too long ago that a lot of Arsenal fans thought that the inclusion of Aaron Ramsey in the Gunners starting line up was a bizarre form of torture inflicted on us by Arsene Wenger for some reason. It was also a clear sign, for some, that Arsenal were not going to win the game and was further proof of the French manager's decline into senility.
All of the Arsenal fans love Wojciech Szczesny and most of us think he has the abilty and potential to be one of the best keepers in the world. Up until a few weeks ago, though, his future at Arsenal looked uncertain after his form tailed off dramatically in a season to forget for the Polish international.
Arsenal are apparently preparing an early summer bid for Wigan midfielder James McCarthy. The young midfielder has been in good form this season and continued to grow as a player as he has done since his arrival at Wigan.
He was the subject of bids from many top English clubs when he was younger but he chose to move to Wigan in the hope that he wouldn't be left in the reserves until his early 20â€²s.
There have been many rumours linking the Arsenal right-back Bacary Sagna with a return to France this summer with the new money-bags club, Paris Saint Germain. Only last week it was reported that Arsene Wenger had persuaded the 30 year-old to stay on at the Emirates, but it seems that that is not yet true as Sagna has now revealed that he doesn't know where he will be next season.
If you were drinking a cup of tea when you saw this headline, I apologise. Wipe your screen down and read on, because Arsenal's French international striker has suggested that he has been better that the Gunners scoring legend Thierry Henry and the `beast` Didier Drogba.
Arsenal have got one more game to go without the big front man Olivier Giroud. The French international will be available to play in the last game of the season against Newcastle United at St. James' Park, or whatever the hell it is called these days. It is as inevitable as death and taxes that Giroud will come straight back into the starting line up, because we have seen how much the Gunners have become set up to playing off him.
What should Arsenal expect to achieve next season? by FD
Like any Arsenal fan, I'm all too aware of how many seasons we've gone without adding to our silverware collection. That minor detail hasn't prevented me from approaching each new campaign with a feeling of optimism â€“ well, OK, perhaps last year's RVP defection dampened those sunny spirits a little.
Should Arsenal break the bank for Lewandowski? By Twig
Lewandowski is certain to leave Borussia Dortmund this Summer, however his destination is still uncertain. It appears the club at the forefront for his signature is local Bundesliga rivals Bayern Munich, but as a story on Yahoo Sports goes today, Dortmund are seriously averse to losing Lewandowski to Bayern after losing Gotze to the same side.
Sunderland and Stoke draw is good news for Arsenal by FD
This is a particularly unpredictable end of season at the bottom of the Premiership. Recent results have dragged teams who probably considered themselves out of danger only a few weeks ago back into relegation contention, and tonight's share of the points between Sunderland and Stoke City didn't help to make the situation any clearer.
All this angst and hand-wringing over whether Tottenham will leapfrog over Arsenal if they beat Chelsea on Wednesday is just so much a total wasate of time. In fact we should be extyremely pleased that the Spuds are going to Stamford Bridge to contest their game in hand.
The last two months may point the way to Arsenal success by FD
Although eventually winning the league title at a canter, Man U hardly set the football world alight in the first half of the season. By common consent, they managed to accumulate a healthy number of early points largely because of the generally sub-standard form shown by most of the other Premiership teams.
The latest news on the transfer of Stevan Jovetic to Arsenal from the Serie A side Fiorentina, is that there is no news. There has been no official statement or even suggestions by agents or people in the know that a deal has been done.
This lack of news seems insufficient for certain websites, which insist on telling us that there is a `done deal` or that Jovetic has a pen in his hand and is poised over a contract, just about to sign, any second now.
The next time that Arsenal play, a week tomorrow against Wigan at the Emirates, a lot could have happened. Both of our main rivals for a top four finish, Chelsea and Tottenham, will have played two games by then and the Gunners just have to hope that at least one result goes our way. Our opponents Wigan Athletic will also have played two more games by then, one being the FA cup final against Man City on Saturday.
It is an often used adage in the world of football that goalkeepers have to be a little bit crazy, and the Arsenal keeper Wojciech Szczesny can certainly tick that box on his c.v. You have to love him, though, because he often comes out with things that most other players would not dream of saying, whether they think it or not.
I don't know about the rest of the Arsenal fans, but this weekend was torture for me. If the Americans are looking for any new techniques to replace waterboarding at Guantanamo Bay, they ought to try it. Having watched Southampton dominate Spurs and miss chances only for Bale to pop up with yet another late winner, the Gunners then made me grind my teeth for an hour when we should have been home and dry against QPR.
This is exactly the kind of headache that Arsene Wenger would like to have in every position as he now has to decide whether to keep Wojciech Szczesny in between the sticks now that his compatriot Lukasz Fabianski is fit enough to be reinstated in the Arsenal starting XI.
In the run up to the QPR game, Wenger said of Fabianski: "He is still unavailable.
Should Arsenal look closer to home for transfer targets? bt FD
At this time every season transfer speculation starts to rev up, but this year holds the promise of even more activity than usual for Arsenal followers to contend with. The talk of a Â£70m transfer chest has already encouraged an avalanche of rumours, and players from leagues all over the world being are being linked with a possible summer move to the Emirates.
While watching Arsenal's game with QPR I was amazed at the criticism the team was receiving from Gooners on Twitter and Facebook. Such was the extent of negativity that many seemed less confident of us finishing in the top 4 then they were before the game kicked off at Loftus Road.
The Arsenal winger/striker Theo Walcott has reached his target of 20 goals this season, despite lapsing in and out of form all season, and he capped it off with the winner against QPR after just 20 seconds this weekend.
Arsene Wenger was asked why he thought Theo has suddenly improved this year and the Gunners manager says that it is simply because he has learned to shoot the ball on target!
It seems that things are conspiring against Arsenal and their challenge for a top four finish in the Premier League. The Gunners are doing their bit, with six wins and two draws from the last eight league games, but results elsewhere keep going against us and we are running out of time.
Tottenham have got seven points from the last three games, when it looked like they would get nothing out of any of them for most of the games.
It is beginning to look like an end of season struggle will take place between Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham for the last two remaining Champions League places. One team will miss out and whichever team does, will have failed in their target for the season and could bring about big changes with the failure.
When Theo Walcott scored for Arsenal after 20 seconds against QPR yesterday, it was his 20th goal of the season in all competitions. That is the first time the England international has achieved that number in his ninth season as a professional footballer, and has helped the Gunners to get over the traitor van Persie.
Arsene Wenger had warned his Arsenal players to expect a good performance from QPR after they were relegated last week and he was certainly proved right. He felt that his Gunners handled it well, though, and they got the result which was hugely important. After being awful for most of the season, QPR gave it a real go, especially in the second half.
What do Arsenal need this Summer to be title contenders by CJ
Arsenal are 18 points behind Man Utd and 5 points behind Man City, however both teams have a game in hand on us so the question is realistically how far, in footballing terms, we are behind Man Utd and Man City.
Last week's game against Man Utd showed us that this current group of players under this current manager have the desire and the quality to compete with very best but don't have the required mentality that's needed to win a major championship.
One match nearer, and it doesn't get any easier. After an uncomfortable evening watching Arsenal hold on for a crucial victory against QPR, thoughts turn to our next game when Wigan visit the Emirates.
At this stage of the season, it's all about getting the points, so I'm not going to get too concerned about performances.
In the second half of the season, many Arsenal fans were clamouring for Lukas Podolski to be given more time on the pitch, then when he was finally reinstated to the starting XI, the calls started for him to be given the chance to replace Giroud as the out-and-out centre-forward.
Now the fans have finally got what they want but, but after two matches as the main striker, suddenly Podolski is making Giroud seem like he is a natural goalscorer!
In January, when Arsenal fans were pulling their hair out about the deafening silence from the Emirates, the Gunners were linked with every man and his dog, it seemed. A large number of the rumours concerned strikers, as Arsenal were dominating games but missing plenty of chances and both Giroud and Podolski were a little slow to adapt to the Premier League.
Arsenal may have gone into this game thinking that their north London rivals had dropped points and left the way clear for a top four finish, because the spuds' game kicked off half an hour late. Maddeningly, though, Gareth Bale rescued his average team again with a late winner out of nothing. Whether the Arsenal players knew this or not is unclear, but we started with purpose and got ahead straight away.
Arsenal still do not have their destiny in their own hands after Gareth Bale rescued a poor Tottenham side with another late winner against Southampton. The away side had plenty of chances to score but it was 0-0 until the Welshman struck again.
Arsene Wenger has made just one change to the side that did so well against Manchester United last week, with Nacho Monreal coming in for Kieran Gibbs at left back.
Arsenal today play fellow London club Queen's Park Rangers in what will be yet again another vital game for the Gunners. Arsenal are continuing in their push for top 4 and need to gain all 9 remaining points up for grabs in the next three games. Our opponents today QPR no longer have anything to play for.
Arsenal will be trying their best to give Julio Cesar a thoroughly miserable time today. The 33-year old Brazilian keeper has been one of the rare plus points for the relegated team this season, often keeping them in matches with great reflex saves and his command of his penalty area.
Harry Redknapp is well aware that Premier League teams will be looking at some of his better players and knows that some of them will not be keen on trying to fight their way out of the championship.
Arsenal should defeat relegated QPR comfortably today as they aim to secure third place and a Champions league spot. QPR on the other hand will be reeling from the relegation they confirmed last weekend against Reading.
Harry Redknapp has already confirmed that he will stay with the club in the Championship next season and chairman Tony Fernandes has stated that promotion back to the top is not guaranteed in one or even two seasons.
Arsene Wenger takes his Arsenal team on the short journey to Loftus Road to face QPR today and one of his main messages to the players this week will have been to expect a tough game. The Frenchman knows that a team playing under pressure to stay up can suddenly play much better once they are down and they relax.
Sorry, Ashley. You're not Arsenal's best ever left back
Generally, I don't find too much to disagree with when I read another "All-Time Greatest Arsenal Team" list. I mean, it's hard to dispute the inclusion of talents like Henry, Bergkamp, Vieira and Fabregas. Sometimes my age means I get a little peeved when stars from bygone eras are constantly omitted, but then I'm fortunate to have seen players like Brady and Jennings actually playing for us.
The Gunners midfielder Santi Cazorla has been an excellent acquisition for Arsenal this season, and has been arguably our most consistent performer, not to mention the crucial goals he has scored when called upon.
The Spaniard himself thinks that the inconsistency in the first half of the season is the reason we are so far behind Manchester United in the Premiership, but is convinced that next season Arsenal will hit the ground running.
A lot of Arsenal fans have been getting very worried that the Gunners late surge up into the Champions League places may give Arsene Wenger the perfect excuse to say that the present squad is more than good enough to compete next season, but finally the manager has given us the first indication that there will be new arrivals this summer.
Arsenal have a big run of games ahead as the chase for the Champions League places hots up. We face QPR today, Wigan on Tuesday week, and then the nail-biting away game at Newcastle on the last day of the season. All of these are very winnable games, with Wigan having only won two of their last six games, Newcastle have won just once and today's opponents QPR are winless in their last six.
Sir Alex Ferguson famously spoke the words "squeaky bum time" about the nervewracking end of season games, and it certainly is for fans of Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham at the moment. This is a time for the players to try and approach each game calmly and confidently and not to let the nerves affect their game.
In the wake of the departures of Robin van Persie and Alex Song from Arsenal last year, the French international Bacary Sagna was critical of the club and questioned the ambition of the board. In that, he was not alone and most of the Arsenal fans agreed with him to a certain extent. There have been rumours and speculation all season about the right back leaving the Emirates and there is, apparently, strong interest from PSG.
Lukasz Fabianski has been an Arsenal player long enough to know all about the bitter rivalry between the Gunners and Tottenham Hotspur. The fact that the spuds have been pushing for a top four finish and Champions League football recently, while Arsene Wenger has been struggling to keep Arsenal there with very little money, has made this all the more tasty recently.
Three stars who've shone for Arsenal this season by FD
With all the talk of transfers and who's likely to be joining the club this summer, it's worth just reflecting on the players who've contributed the most to Arsenal's current season. Of course, the next few matches will ultimately decide whether we can salvage some degree of success from another trophy-less campaign, but regardless of where we finish in the league, I believe there are a few players who can hold their heads high and be satisfied with how they've performed.
The rumours about a possible return to Arsenal for the former captain and star midfielder, Cesc Fabregas, have been rumbling for a while now, but they seem to be building up a head of steam ready to blow as soon as the season ends. The Spanish Primera Liga has it's final day on June 1st, so we are unlikely to know anything for sure until then, but there have been a few new stories in the Spanish media.
New Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola has reportedly made a move for Arsenal centre back Laurent Koscielny. It is reported that the Germans have enquired into how much Arsenal want for the player. Guardiola has capped the transfer sum at Â£20 Million, which seems like a good offer from my personal point of view but manager Arsene Wenger has fended Bayern off and is refusing to negotiate, according to Goal.
Like any Arsenal fan, I'll always have a special place in my heart for Cesc Fabregas. We watched him grow up and mature into a world-class player while he was with us. We knew about and understood his wish to eventually play for his boyhood heroes, Barca, and we were especially grateful for that extra season he stayed, when the pressure and temptation to leave were at their height.
Arsene Wenger usually keeps his Arsenal team selection close to his chest, so it was a bit of a surprise yesterday when he issued a statement that clearly intimated that he would be playing the German international striker Lukas Podolski as the centre forward in the absence of Olivier Giroud. The tall French front man has two more games of his three match ban to go before he can return for the final day trip to Newcastle United, so Wenger was asked whether he had confidence that Podolski could fill in successfully.
With the unlucky Arsenal hitman Olivier Giroud unavailable after his red card against Fulham, Arsene Wenger must yet again decide who to play in the centre-forward position against QPR this weekend. Last week the Frenchman gave Lukas Podolski a go at proving his worth in the centre against Man United, but he was mostly anonymous against the newly-elected Premiership Champions.
There has been a lot of talk this week, and at various times throughout the season, about Arsene Wenger and whether he should stay in charge of Arsenal. The talk this week was started when it was reported that he may be heading to the Qatari owned Paris Saint-Germain. The super rich leaders of the French league seem to be connected with just about every big transfer rumour, so we should not be surprised, but Wenger and officials at Arsenal have made clear that it will not happen, at least not this year.
There is a lot of news surrounding our German striker Lukas Podolski today, both for good and bad reasons. It has almost been a year since Lukas Podolski's transfer to Arsenal was announced, with the deal being struck months before the summer transfer window and he has since become one of the more important players on our team.
ARSENAL'S FANS SHOULD STAND AND ASK FOR KROENKE EXIT by MA
I have been an Arsenal fan since the first time I saw the red and white jersey raising majestically high in the sky of Highbury. My family's older generations have always been Liverpool supporters. But my heart beats for Arsenal and I am proud to be a Gunner.
Arsene Wenger has always done things his own way at Arsenal and it can sometimes drive the fans up the wall. He is generally left to get on with it, though, because he manages to get the job done. I know that a lot of Arsenal fans have been getting steadily more frustrated with him, but I genuinely believe that he has worked miracles on a shoestring budget over the past few years.
Is Fourth spot now the pinnacle of Arsenal's ambition? by FD
As we approach the end of the season, the football media is predictably full of Arsenal rumours about impending summer transfers. We've all got our ideas about players we want to see at the club and many names have been bandied around.
Santi Cazorla was talking just the other day about Arsenal and the inconsistent first half of the season. The Spanish international believes a lot of it was due to the fact that the team were gelling together with a new system, players coming back from injury, three new players and two of the stalwarts gone.
Earlier in the season, when Arsenal were negotiating with Theo Walcott and his representatives about a new contract, we kept hearing that it was not about money, although he did manage to get a nice wage increase. Arsene Wenger and Walcott both said that some of the talk was about the England international's desire to play as a centre forward.
Robin is in our dressing room at the moment. Because our food is better in our dressing room than in their dressing room! People who play together for five, six years [get on with each other]. ...... Look, at the end of the day we decided to sell him. We are rivals. You want us to make a guard of honour and to respect the champions, then you have to accept as well that respect exists after the game.
Despite owning nearly 30 percent of Arsenal Football Club, the Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov cannot get a seat on the board and so cannot influence the running of the club nearly as much as he would like. Stan Kroenke, the American businessman who has more say than anyone because of his controlling stake, has come under attack again from Usmanov, who is convinced that silent Stan is not doing the right thing.
A Transfer Window to Forget? Fingers Crossed... by DG
In recent years, the summer transfer window has often been a frustrating and disappointing time for Arsenal fans. While the rest of the top four worry about who might be coming in, Arsenal are far more concerned about who might be leaving.
After reports from France suggesting that Arsenal could be on the verge of losing Arsene Wenger to Paris Saint-Germain this summer, one of the Frenchman's former players and the Arsenal chairman have spoken about why they expect Wenger to stay at the Emirates and not be tempted by the vast amounts of money available at the French league leaders.
I am not one of the Arsenal fans that think Bacary Sagna is all washed up and should never play for the Gunners again, but he did have a bit of a shocker against Manchester United last weekend and it ended up costing two valuable points. Alex Ferguson may have thought, or at least said, that his team deserved to win, but the truth is that Sagna's double mistake let them off the hook and changed the outlook of the Arsenal players.
A tactic the boss seems to be using increasingly over recent weeks is playing Santi Cazorla wide left. When Cazorla first signed for Arsenal I didn't expect him to play through the middle as often as he did during the first half of the season.
Santi Cazorla has been one of Arsenal's most consistent players this season, but the Spanish international knows that the team as a whole has not been nearly consistent enough this season. The talented midfielder attributes that to the team getting used to each other early in the season and is sure we will do a lot better next time.
With the stories circulating about Bacary Sagna's future, heightened by his poor performance in the draw against United at the weekend, Arsenal may be on the look out for a replacement right back this summer. If the rumours were to be true and we were on the market I do not believe there would be anyone more suitable than Micah Richards to be the man to fill the gap, especially as he is a Gooner himself.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is the first to admit that this season at Arsenal has been a disappointing one for him. This is mainly because he has not really pushed on after a great debut campaign when he signed from Southampton for around Â£15 million just before turning 18.
Now 19-years old and having scored just two goals for Arsenal this season, his best game recently came for England against San Marino.
In the last couple of hours news has come out that Arsenal shareholder Alisher Usmanov will consider his stance at the club and sort out his future by the end of the season. Current majority shareholder American businessman Stan Kroenke has a very bad reputation with the Arsenal fans.
Lack of leadership on the pitch by MW We throw names in the hat all season and summer long as to who Arsenal should buy, and i think we are overlooking the blindingly obvious reason we are incapable of winning anything. The truth is that we do not have any real leaders out there on the pitch and we havent since the 2005 season.
It seems sometimes you just can't win (no pun intended). I'm not talking about a match, but when it comes to what the fans want. Actually, that's not true .... We the Arsenal fans want it all Champions League football, and competitiveness in all competitions.
After being injured for what seemed like an eternity, Jack made his comeback against QPR on 27th October, a game we won 1-0, producing a man of the match performance. He followed this up with a string of superb performances (aside from a red card against Manchester United) and capped it all off with signing a new long term deal and even being nominated for PFA young player of the year.
Eyebrows were raised back in January when struggling QPR signed the France international striker Loic Remy from Marseille for Â£8 Million. The transfer was a last gasp effort to save QPR from the drop which ultimately failed as QPR were relegated after a goalless draw with fellow relegated club Reading on Sunday.
In the early years of Arsene Wenger's reign at Arsenal, the press liked to make fun of the things on the pitch he "didn't see". Although it became something of a standing joke, I doubt many Arsenal fans really minded that much.
Over the years, however, I suspect those following the Gunners may have become more than a little concerned about Arsene's real blind spot.