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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Arsenal right back Bacary Sagna has spent the majority of his career with the Gunners, after signing from Ligue 1 side Auxerre back in 2007. In those 6 years Sagna has managed to make 175 league appearances, scoring just 3 goals. In his first years he competed with Emmanuel Eboue to nail down the Right Back position, however it was quickly seen who the better player was and Sagna soon managed to make a stance and become Arsenal's regular Right Back.
In light of what Roy Hodgsen said about the lack of English footballers playing in the Premier League, Arsene Wenger spoke about the English talent he had in the Arsenal ranks. Wenger told Arsenal.com about the English divisions that implicate upcoming talent as well as the understanding that all the players want to play in the best league, suggesting that if all the highest quality of players are of different nationalities to English then its inevitable that there will be a decline in English players at the best clubs.
The England manager Roy Hodgson has been speaking about the English International side being at a disadvantage because there are so many top-class foreigners playing in the Premiership reducing the pool of players that Hodgson has got to choose from.
Wenger understands his problem and thinks that the England team are a victim of the success of the Premier League.
The famous Arsenal fan Carl Jenkinson has admitted that during his schoolboy days he studied some old Arsenal legends like Lee Dixon, who gave him something to aspire to as he woprked his way through the levels that ended up with him being a regulat Arsenal starter.
One of his favourite right-backs was the brilliant Lee Dixon who played for Arsenal for 14 years before retiring in 2002, making 458 appearances for the Gunners.
If Bacary Sagna really wants to leave Arsenal after six seasons, there is not that much that Arsene Wenger can do to stop him, as he will be able to leave next summer on a free transfer. There is always the option of keeping the French international until then, or until the January transfer window, to allow Carl Jenkinson time to gain more experience, or to find a suitable replacement and get them settled in at the Emirates.
Arsenal vs Reading preview, match line up and score prediction by KJ
It's been a long two weeks since the Arsenal last played and it was probably the worst time to get the international break. Arsenal were back to winning ways with back to back wins against Bayern Munich and Swansea.
Robert Pires spent six seasons at Arsenal, from 2000-2006 and, like a lot of former Gunners, keeps the club close to his heart and follows what is happening. When he was at the club, we were enjoying a great period of success, winning two Premier League titles and three FA cups, as well as making it to the final of the Champions League, which was his last game for the Gunners before moving to Villareal.
When Arsenal host Premier League strugglers Reading at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday, it appears that Arsene Wenger will have more selection problems than we thought. The Gunners have five players unlikely to be available for the game, which might actually make the manager's job easier for him.
Who should Arsenal get, Angel Rangel or Sebastian Corchia? by KJ
The rumours of a new right back are becoming more frequent as the summer transfer window draws closer. Arsenal have, according to the media, been extensively scouting the top leagues in Europe to find a replacement to the inevitable departure of long term Arsenal right back, Bacary Sagna (who looks likely to join PSG).
Throughout the season, questions are always raised about what our best team is. It constantly changes because of a player's form, attitude and possible injuries. However, at the moment, Arsene Wenger has the problem of several players not having a place nailed down in the team.
I would not have been too surprised if Arsene Wenger wanted to name the same Arsenal team that started the morale boosting game against Bayern Munich on Wednesday,. but unfortunately Kieran Gibbs looks like he will not be able to play, so Monreal will come in with Jenkinson on the other side.
Wenger said, "I think he(Gibbs) will be out on Saturday.
Carl Jenkinson really came of age for Arsenal last night. He put in a massive shift on the right flank in place of the injured Bacary Sagna, and pushed Laurent Koscielny hard for the Man of the Match in my opinion. He is a Gooner, and you could see how proud he was of the team at the end of the match, even though the 2-0 win was not quite enough to stay in the Champions League.
It was important that Arsenal put in a much better performance than they had in the first leg against Bayern Munich, and they certainly did that. Unfortunately it was just not enough to keep the gunners in Europe, but it will be good morale boost for the players.
Arsenal were in dreamland after three minutes when a slick move between Cazorla, Ramsey and Walcott was finished by Giroud.
Bayern Munich vs Arsenal preview, match line up and score line prediction. by KJ
The sad truth is that this tie is all but lost. Our inability to defend in the first leg has created a monumental task for our players in Germany. We have to go to the Allianz and beat arguably the best side in Europe 3 – 0 at least to qualify for the next round.
Arsene Wenger has given an update on the availability of the Arsenal players for the crunch second leg tie against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena tomorrow. There is good news and bad. As expected, Bacary Sagna has not recovered in time from hi9s knee problem, so young Carl Jenkinson will start in his firth European game of the season.
Arsene Wenger was the butt of lots of sniping comments from football journalists and rival fans when he said that he viewed getting Arsenal into the Champions League every season as like winning a trophy. I can understand why in a way, especially since the Gunners have not lifted a real piece of silverware since 2005, but the Champion's League IS a massive prize and one that every team and player wants to be in.
It is getting nearer the time when Arsenal need to make a firm decision about the right back situation. It seems that Bacary Sagna is not happy with the new contract on offer at the Emirates, and so the club must consider whether to sell him this summer or lose him the following year on a free transfer.
Today The Mirror published an exclusive article on how Manchester City are weighing up a bid for Arsenal sweetheart, Carl Jenkinson. It sent the Gunnersphere into outrage at the possibility of selling one of our better prospects from our collection of young players.
It appears that Arsenal fans will soon see whether the board are serious about pushing the club forward and competing for major honours. We have been told for years that success was just around the corner, as soon as the Stadium debts were clear then the Gunners would be in great shape and would start competing with the big hitters in the transfer market and for trophies and titles.
As a lifelong Arsenal fan, Carl Jenkinson will have felt the pain of defeat to North London rivals Tottenham more keenly than most of the players. The young right back was having a good game in place of the injured Bacary Sagna, and was unlucky to be sacrificed when Wenger introduced Rosicky. The Czech midfielder pipped Jenkinson to the Man of the Match voted on Arsenal.
Apart from the decision not to start with Podolski, one of Wenger's strangest acts today was to take off Jenkinson for Rosicky. Prior to his substitution, Jenkinson was one of Arsenal's brightest players and was a real threat from the right.
Arsene Wenger has sprung a little surprise with his selection of Arsenal team for a hugely important Game against Tottenham at White Hart Lane. Lukas Podolski starts on the bench with Cazorla in his left sided position, Aaron Ramsey will start alongside Mikel Arteta, possibly as an answer to the threat of Gareth Bale.
Arsene Wenger has not really experimented with his tactics or the formation of the Arsenal team this season, although the system and the players give a great deal of fluidity and options. I would not expect him to surprise us tomorrow either, but the game is not likely to be decided by the tactics.
Arsenal have already given Tottenham a good spanking once this season and are confident of doing it again on Sunday at White Hart Lane. Arsene Wenger may get the chance to inflict further punishment on Andre Villas-Boas and his team this summer, after it was reported that we may have the same transfer target, Sebastien Corchia.
At this point in the season, there are usually quite a few injury concerns, so on the whole Arsenal are not doing too badly. There are two players who will definitely not be able to play against Tottenham on Sunday, and one who will have a late fitness test. That puts the Gunners in a better position than Spurs, who have four players on the treatment table.
Carl Jenkinson was called into action for Arsenal on Saturday because of an injury to Bacary Sagna. The 21-year old had a good game at right back, especially when you consider that he was sent off in his last appearance against Stoke City and has hardly feature since Sagna returned from injury.
A lifelong Arsenal fan himself, Jenkinson showed the grit and determination that we demand from the Gunners, and he feels that Arsenal fully deserved all three points, despite not producing the best football they are capable of.
Arsenal could not afford to start badly after two disappointing home defeats, and they were on the front foot against Aston Villa from the whistle. Diaby had replaced Ramsey in midfield, with Wilshere in his more advanced position and Cazorla instead of Podolski on the left of Giroud.
The passing was crisp and penetrating from the start, and when Wilshere found Cazorla in space, the Spaniard got two chances to shoot and found the net with the second to give us the perfect start after five minutes.
Maybe we are about to see a new side of Arsene Wenger. First the mild-mannered Arsenal boss gives a few journalists a bit of a savaging, and now he insists that he is in charge and it is up to him whether a player is allowed to leave or not. Whatever next? Telling Nicklas Bendtner that he is NOT the greatest striker in the world, maybe, or pointing out to Gervinho that the idea is to get the round thing to one of your team mates or into the back of the net?
It is believed that Arsenal are only willing to offer Bacary Sagna a one year extension to his current contract, which expires in the summer of 2014. The French international is not happy with this, apparently, which means that the Gunners will have to decide whether to keep hold of him and lose him for nothing in 17 months, or sell him this summer and bring in a replacement.
Arsenal will play host to Aston Villa at the Emirates on Saturday, desperate to restore some confidence and happiness in the Arsenal home fans. It is a must win game in the quest for a 16th year in a row in the UEFA Champions league, but the Gunners will have to do it without the French international defender Bacary Sagna.
Arsenal must bounce back after the week from hell. Aston Villa will be fighting for their lives, but willl have to do so without their centre back Ron Vlaar. Olivier Giroud is back in the team to lead the line, and Abou Diaby comes back into midfield at the expense of Aaron Ramsey. Injury has forced Bacary Sagna out, so Jenkinson will start, with Monreal on the other side.