Why Serge Gnabry needs to play more for Arsenal

Why Serge Gnabry needs to play more for Arsenal

You can’t deny that Arsenal are enjoying a good season – regardless of whether they actually end up winning the Premier League title or not. The team seems more united, they are enjoying playing together and, for the first time in a while, the defence has been sorted out, which is giving us real chances in games.

However, as we enter the business end of the campaign, although the team is well settled, I think it’s time we made a change to our attack – by giving Serge Gnabry more of a chance in matches. The German has shown flashes of real quality in his fleeting appearances so far, along with matches in the Under-21 league. But I’d like to see him more, especially with Theo Walcott out injured.

We’re lacking real pace in matches when he’s not present and Gnabry’s game is based about speed and energy. Many punters would have used their Sports Betting Dime to tip Arsenal to fizzle out in the closing stages of the campaign, but the winger can change all of that.

He’s got fresh legs, spirit, energy and desire, and could give the team something a little different. Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere have been shifted to the wing in the past, while Tomas Rosicky and Santi Cazorla can also play there, but Gnabry is a natural wideman and he could do a better job.

It remains to be seen whether Arsene Wenger agrees. He probably doesn’t, thinking Gnabry is more a play for 18 months time, when he’s had a loan spells, possibly in the Premier League, but Serge has what it takes to step up now.

But forget experience, sometimes a raw, exciting player can give something special and that’s what we’re talking about here. Only time will tell, but the decision could help fire the club to glory this term, and that’s the best possible reason we could give as to why Serge Gnabry could be given more of a run in the Arsenal first-team between now and the end of the season.

Arsene Wenger’s faith in Aaron Ramsey finally pays off

Arsene Wenger’s faith in Aaron Ramsey finally pays off

Star man: Aaron Ramsey
Star man: Aaron Ramsey

Arsene Wenger has been at the helm at Arsenal for an amazing 17 years now, and thanks to his team’s amazing performance is able to celebrate this landmark leading the Premier League.

And the man behind the surge of brilliance is Aaron Ramsey, who has finally come back from his injuries and is proving Wenger was right to have such faith in him.

Ramsey was beleaguered by a broken leg he sustained three years ago when being tackled by Stoke City’s Ryan Shawcross.

It’s taken a long time for the 22 year old midfielder from Wales to recover but he’s now showing exactly why Wenger has had such faith in him all the way.

In fact, it looks like he very much has his confidence back and is going from strength to strength. This will have affected Arsenal’s odds to take the title so if you’re looking to adjust your favourite make sure you check the odds online at freebets.org/bets before you make your decision.

His team mate Jack Wilshere was quoted as saying that it’s taken Ramsey a long time to get the tackle out of his mind. He said: “He can remember that horror tackle.

That’s a tough thing to get over and that might have stayed in his mind for a while, especially when going in for a 50-50 ball. But he’s over that now and he’s a key player for us.”

Ramsey demonstrates incomparable fitness levels, which means he can keep his attacking force up throughout the entire 90 minutes. And there is no doubt he has helped Arsenal win their last eight matches, a winning streak that began back in March.

It could be time for Arsenal fans to believe that this year could be their year – it looks, from this relatively early vantage point, that Arsenal have everything to play for and could take the long wanted title for 2013/2014.

Wilshere does urge caution though. He said: “It’s nice to look at the table and be top but it’s only a good start. Momentum is key in this league. We failed in the past to capitalise when other teams lost but this time we did.”

Their latest win was against Swansea, and again Ramsey played a blinder. Along with Ozil, Giroud and Wilshere, Ramsey stormed through the defence and scored his eighth goal out of the last nine games.

It’ll be interesting to see where the rest of the season can take Ramsey – it certainly looks to be his year.

Mesut Ozil signing must herald new transfer approach

Mesut Ozil signing must herald new transfer approach

Class: Mesut Ozil

Mesut Ozil’s late arrival at the Emirates was greeted with much relief and considerable joy by Gunners fans and players alike on transfer deadline day, but his capture must now be backed up by a much more structured transfer policy from the club in January.

Everyone knows the story over the summer. Arsenal, we were (in the end correctly) told, had a stash of cash to spend on the right quality of player(s), that would potentially turn them from perennial top-four finishers into a side capable of being among the favourites in the Premier League title odds.

So far, so good. However, it never quite panned out like many had hoped. As June dragged on into July, only the free-transfer arrival of Yaya Sanogo was new to the books and several targets came and went.

Fear not, though, because Real Madrid talisman Gonzalo Higuain would be the marquee signing everyone was waiting for. A medical was apparently arranged, a fee seemingly agreed and, at one stage during the mini-heatwave of July, it looked like the experienced Argentinian was all but signed and sealed.

The move went cold, however, and the Paddy Power transfer betting odds were set alight when attention quickly turned to Luis Suarez.

Here was a player that, while clearly one of the most talented footballers around and probably exactly the sort of striker the Gunners required, divided opinion.

His controversial past – biting and racism are not the sort of things usually associated with Arsenal players but he has them both on his CV – meant many were not keen on the Liverpool star, while others welcomed the now infamous £40m-plus-one-pound offer.

In the end it wasn’t enough to trigger a murky ‘release clause’ in his contract and, as the Reds held firm, it became clear Suarez was going nowhere – and especially not to Arsenal.

So some, it seemed, started to panic. It was now August and still no new arrivals. Another target, Yohan Cabaye, slipped through Arsene Wenger’s fingers and we headed into deadline day with several targets but a lack of clear vision.

Eventually, in the scramble that was Monday September 2, one of Europe’s most gifted attacking midfielders swapped Madrid for London in what was a genuine surprise deal, but one that, finally, the club could celebrate.

He is exactly the sort of big-money capture that everyone at Arsenal wanted in order to not only improve the side immeasurably, but also one that sends out a message to the Champions League rivals that the Gunners, admittedly belatedly, mean business.

So, while the Ozil deal is to be welcomed, it needs to be followed up by a far better plan for the New Year, because, make no mistake, more players of the quality of the Germany international are required if the club are to compete with free-spending Chelsea, Man City and current champions Man United this season.

A sensible approach would be to identify targets, speak to the clubs, agents and players involved in good time, submit proper, acceptable bids and get the business done as quickly as possible. Easier said than done, I know, but others seem to be able to do it without too much bother.

There is already early talk of another January offer for Suarez, while Wenger will be well aware he probably needs another defender and top-quality striker to reinforce his squad for the second half of the season.

Long-term planning is key, because no-one wants a repeat of the farce of this summer even if, ultimately, Arsenal did end up with a player on board that the rest of Europe’s top clubs would also want in their squad in an instant.

Arsene Wenger ready to give Nicklas Bendtner a chance

Arsene Wenger ready to give Nicklas Bendtner a chance

Big chance: Nicklas Bendtner

After the euphoria of signing Mesut Ozil died down, Arsenal fans will have come back down to earth again when they realised that Nicklas Bendtner was still at the club.

The 25-year-old Denmark international striker has not featured in the Gunners first team for over two years, his last appearance coming in the 2-0 home defeat to Liverpool in August 2011.

He spent most of the 2011-12 campaign on loan at Sunderland, where he found the net eight times in 28 Premier League appearances, before joining Juventus last term, although he only started two Serie A matches for the Italian champions after picking up an injury.

Many Gunners fans would have thought they had seen the last of Bendtner, but a player who has been with the club since 2005 is still at the Emirates Stadium although he does not appear to be in Arsene Wenger’s first-team plans.

It seems amazing that in a summer that has seen Wenger shed a host of players – including Denilson, Andrei Arshavin, Vito Mannone, Sebastian Squillaci, Andre Santos, Gervinho and Marouane Chamakh – Bendtner is still at the club, despite strenuous efforts to get him off the wage bill.

Bendtner, who is believed to earn more than £50,000 a week, has vowed to “give everything” to Arsenal this season after failing to secure a summer move to Eintracht Frankfurt, Hull City or favourites for relegation in the Unibet betting odds Crystal Palace.

But Arsenal fans will be wary of such words from a player who famously described himself as being “one of the best strikers in the world” when his displays on the pitch proved the contrary.

If Wenger could have agreed a loan deal with Chelsea for Demba Ba then Bendtner would surely have left the Gunners but he now has the chance to add to his 99 Premier League appearances and 22 goals for the club.

Ray Parlour: Arsenal are being held to ransom

Ray Parlour: Arsenal are being held to ransom

Deals needed: Ray Parlour has spoken

Arsenal legend Ray Parlour thinks that the Gunners’ desperation to sign players is pricing them out of the market but he is adamant that Arsene Wenger must strengthen his squad if another trophy-less season is to be avoided at the Emirates.

Having seen Arsenal slip to a humbling 3-1 defeat at home to Aston Villa on the opening day of the season, Parlour was particularly concerned by the lack of depth in Wenger’s squad and even jokingly suggested that he could be in line for a recall.

“The squad is so thin that I could probably get a game sooner or later,” the 40 year old said.

“They have got to do the deals quicker,” he added, referring to Wenger’s difficulty in attracting big names to Arsenal over the summer.

Saturday’s game has left something of a defensive crisis for Arsenal, who now have only Per Mertesacker fit and available to play as a recognised centre back in the Champions League qualifier against Fenerbahce on Wednesday, highlighting just how thin Wenger’s squad is this season.

The Champions League odds still have them as marginal favourites, but progression is far from a foregone conclusion, with the fear of failure hanging menacingly over the depleted squad.

Parlour feels that clubs and agents are making light of Arsenal’s desperation to strengthen their squad and unreasonably inflating transfer fees.

“I reckon every player Arsene Wenger phones up is £5million more, because they know they are under pressure from supporters to buy players,” the former midfielder added.

Wenger has left it so late to strengthen his squad that it seems inevitable that clubs will demand inflated prices for their players if he moves in now.

Unfortunately for him, the Gunners start to the season has left him with little choice but to invest in proven, big name players and without splashing the cash it is difficult to see success returning to the Emirates any time soon.

If the Gunners aren’t able to strengthen before the end of the transfer window then it could be a long, hard season for Wenger and his men.

Arsenal finally complete Yaya Sanogo transfer

Arsenal finally complete Yaya Sanogo transfer

Arsenal have completed the signing of Auxerre striker Yaya Sanogo, ending Arsene Wenger’s lengthy hunt for a youthful centre forward.

The Gunners, who are set to confirm the £22million arrival of Gonzalog Higuain within days, have moved for Sanogo as Wenger freshens up his striking options.

Maraoune Chamakh, Nicklas Bendtner and Benik Afobe have all been told they can leave the Emirates Stadium, after months of speculation, proving those betting at titanbet right.

Sanogo is expected to get a big run out during pre-season, before he is either kept in the first-team squad or sent on-loan to gain more experience.

The young hitman arrives after Arsenal failed to agree terms for M’Baye Niang last summer, with Frenchman opting for a transfer to AC Milan instead.

Kyle Ebecilio: I turned down PSV and Anderlecht to join Twente from Arsenal

Kyle Ebecilio: I turned down PSV and Anderlecht to join Twente from Arsenal

Options: Kyle Ebecilio could have gone elsewhere.

Kyle Ebecilio has revealed he turned down moves to PSV and Anderlecht to join FC Twente from Arsenal last week.

The Holland Under-19 midfielder has agreed to return to his homeland with Twente at the end of the season, with the Gunners opting not to stand in his way.

And according to the player himself, Ebecilio had a choice of different options.

‘The first team I spoke to was PSV,’ he told Twente’s website.

‘Then I spoke with Twente and Anderlecht. Last week I took the plunge – FC Twente was the one for me.’

‘I felt good immediatley. They have confident in me and I hope to play man games in the next few years.’

Arsenal are set to get around £150,000 in compensation for the player, who joined from Feyenoord with a massive reputation.

Twente are believed to hope the deal will pave the way for several deals between the clubs, with the Dutch club already having their eye on German winger Serge Gnabry.

Heineken Road to the Final perfectly sums up the Champions League drama

Heineken Road to the Final perfectly sums up the Champions League drama

So the Champions League final is upon us. The greatest club competition in the world is almost over, and the Road to the Final is nearly complete.

Bayern Munich will play Borussia Dortmund in the first ever all-German final to be held at Wembley. I for one, cannot wait. The Champions League inspires memories of the best players, the biggest clubs and the most amazing matches.

And as a venue, Wembley is a perfect choice.

So it's not surprise that tickets for the final are likely to be difficult to get your hands on. I was looking around for some this week, when I stumbled upon Heineken's Road to the Final promotion video.

I'm always skeptical of these sorts of campaigns, but I thought the thrilling story of one fans rush across the world to get to the match on time summed up exactly everything that the Champions League is about. Heart, passion, spirit and a desire to make it at all costs.

The video is beautifully produced, and features a die hard supporter who picks up his tickets on one side of the planet, and manages to get to Wembley with minutes to spare ahead of the kick off – and of course, he has an ice cold Heineken to boot.

The story told was really simple but effective, but unlikely most other campaigns, it had more substance as well as style. After the video has run its course, you can play a pin-ball style game for points that kept me interested for hours.

I'm always a bit of a sucker for these sorts of games, but even my incredibly busy girlfriend found time to enjoy it – inbetween studying.

But it doesn't end there. The experience continues with the chance to tweet legendary midfielder Clarence Seedorf, who is answering questions and engaging with the campaign and with football fans.

Overall, this is a great video, great game and encourages great interaction in cooperation with a great Football tournament. What more can we ask for? Check it out for yourself below.

Sponsored Post

Thomas Vermaelen issues rallying call ahead of crunch Arsenal fixtures

Thomas Vermaelen issues rallying call ahead of crunch Arsenal fixtures

Arsenal have been a regular fixture in the Champions League for over a decade although their place at the European top table is seriously under threat this season, with the Gunners now off the pace when it comes to a place in the Premier League top four.

Thomas Vermaelen knows Arsenal have some tough games ahead

The team’s 2-0 reverse at home to Manchester City meant they were six points behind north London rivals Tottenham, with Thomas Vermaelen calling for his side to stay strong and pick up some valuable points in the same way that they did when reeling in Spurs last season to claim a top four spot.

“There are a lot of big, big fixtures coming up against good teams – big games,” he told Arsenal Player.

“This [the defeat to City] was the first one, we wanted to have a good start and that is why it is more disappointing we could not get a good result.”

“But against Swansea, I am confident the group will respond on this defeat, and I’m confident we can get a result on Wednesday.”

Indeed, the FA Cup has become a very significant competition for Arsenal London tickets this season considering that winning a Premier League title is out of the question and a Champions League last sixteen exit could happen after the Gunners drew Bayern Munich.

Vermaelen is hoping that the fans can make all the difference and the Arsenal captain is keen for the supporters to cheer them on to victory against Swansea before that tricky trip to Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

“That [the fan’s backing] is really important and I’m pleased with that,” he said. “That can give us a massive boost that they’re behind us, and they did that through the whole game.”

“It was difficult for us because we had 10 men, and for them as well, but they supported us through the whole game.”

Arsenal will play several games in the next few weeks, but don’t forget there are a wide range of sports tickets aviliaible.