- October 03, 2016
3rd October 2016. By Edward Stratmann.
With Arsene Wenger unable to guarantee Jack Wilshere a spot in his starting lineup week in, week out for the 2016/2017 season at Arsenal, Wilshere's decision to join Bournemouth and seek vital playing time was a brave yet entirely sensible move.
"He is a world-class player, he doesn't have to show me his quality," explained Wenger. "I hope personally that he stays his whole career here."
"We had a chat together. He felt ready to play. I couldn't guarantee that and it looked logical to give him time - the challenge is to play the games."
Wilshere, who's still just 24 and already capped 34 times for England, knew the Eddie Howe managed Cherries would be a great fit for him too, for Howe's very much a manager who understands and appreciates what a player like Wilshere can bring to his team's passing orientated, entertaining brand of football. Unsurprisingly, the Bournemouth manager was absolutely ecstatic about the club
- September 05, 2016
5th September 2016. By Edward Stratmann.
After a steady start to life in the English Premier League, which saw him come on as a substitute to make his debut against Liverpool and put in a solid shift vs Leicester City, Granit Xhaka emphatically announced himself in Arsenal's 3-1 win over Watford.
Arsenal's €30 million signing from Borussia MÃ¶nchengladbach was instrumental throughout his team's first win of the season. His contribution on both sides of the ball was immense, in a match where the former Gladbach captain showed why he's precisely what Arsenal have been missing in recent years.
The sheer fight and physically imposing nature of the Swiss international really helped set the tone for his teammates to follow. To start with, his dogged yet intelligent defensive formed a brilliant foundation. Never afraid to snap into his tackles and ruffle opponents' feathers, Xhaka
- August 12, 2016
12th August 2016. By Edward Stratmann.
Since joining Arsenal for £2million last month, it's been extremely encouraging to see how well Rob Holding's adapted to life at his new home.
Although excitement surrounding the 20-year-old must, of course, be tempered with him only featured in preseason matches so far, he has, however, still made an overwhelmingly positive impression since debuting against the MLS All Stars. In that particular game, the way he dealt with one of Arsenal's former nemesis', in the form of Didier Drogba, was a real highlight of the Gunners' 2-1 win.
After the match, the Arsenal boss, Arsene Wenger, was full of praise for the debutant and also noted how well he's already settling in, stating: "He's adapted surprisingly. In a very good way, because he reads the game well and understands what's going on, anticipates well.
- May 04, 2016
4th May 2016.
Last year, the Women's FA Cup saw a huge uptick of interest, with the championship match between Chelsea and Notts County drawing an attendance of 30,710. That crowd was the biggest in the history of the event, outstripping 2008's previously record-holding audience by more than 6,000 people. Even more impressive, the game more than doubled its audience from the 2014 final, which pitted Arsenal against Everton.
Another Attendance Record?
It's tough to see a scenario where the Women's FA Cup final doesn't get another major boost of attention this year. This season's championship match will pit reigning champions Chelsea against 13-time winners Arsenal-arguably the ultimate match-up in English women's football.
The 2014/15 Women's FA Cup final drew so many people in part because it was the first time the game was played at Wembley Stadium. This year, with the championship match heading to Wembley
- April 26, 2016
26th April 2016.
To say that it's been an odd year in the FA Cup would be an understatement. Last year, after heavyweight clubs like Manchester City, Chelsea, and Tottenham Hotspur were all eliminated in the round of 32, pundits labeled the tournament as one of the most wide-open in FA Cup history. Still, despite all of the ado about underdogs and upsets, Arsenal still defended their 2013/14 title to clinch the FA Cup trophy for the 12th time.
The 2015/16 FA Cup has taken almost the direct opposite narrative. Early rounds made it look as if the Premier League's top clubs would dominate the tournament. Chelsea, Manchester United, and Arsenal all made it to the quarterfinals, with none of them pitted against one another. It was almost an unspoken agreement that all three clubs would make it to the semi-finals. As it turned out, only one of them did.
Indeed, where last year's
- April 07, 2016
7th April 2016. By Greg Lea.
After Arsenal's 4-0 thrashing of Watford at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday afternoon, it was difficult to work out whether to be impressed or disappointed by the Gunners. While their performance was excellent and the result kept alive their slim hopes of winning the Premier League title, it was almost impossible not to be frustrated at Arsenal's inability to turn in a similar sort of display when they were in a far healthier position a few weeks ago.
If they fail to finish on top of the pile and with surprise leaders Leicester City now 11 points clear of them at the summit, that looks likely it will be 13 seasons since Arsenal last claimed the championship crown. It would be unfair to assert that they should have been winning the league for much of that stretch, with Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City all able to spend far more for much of the last decade as Arsenal's funds were split between the playing staff and the relocation
- March 27, 2016
27th March 2016. By Edward Stratmann.
After impressing for Tunisian club CS Sfaxien, who were managed by former legend of the iconic 1970s Dutch Total Football side, Ruud Krol, when he first joined in 2012, it didn't take long before Didier Ndong had a number of Ligue 1 clubs chasing his signature.
Come the January transfer window of 2015, courtesy of his excellent midfield displays, Bastia and Saint Etienne expressed their interest, but it would be Lorient who won the race for the Gabonese international. Les Merlus had a clear advantage from the outset, however, for Gabon teammate and former Lorient captain, Bruno Ecuele Manga, had encouraged his countryman to join. As it proved, this was vital in stacking the deck in their favour, with Ndong officially sealing his move on January 3, 2015.
Even though he initially struggled to adapt to life in Brittany and needed time to familiarise himself with Lorient's preferred 4-4-2 formation, he's now become a mainstay of
- March 24, 2016
By Greg Lea.
In an ideal world, the vote for the PFA Player of the Year would not take place until after the denouement of the season, when the full fixture list has been fulfilled and the team honours handed out. The current arrangement means ballots have probably already been completed, however: in recent years, players have had to submit their votes by mid-March, when there is usually around a quarter of the campaign remaining.
Given that the voting is likely to have already taken place, then, here are the likely contenders for the 2015/16 PFA Player of the Year crown:
Riyad Mahrez, Leicester City
With 16 strikes and 11 assists to his name, Mahrez has been directly involved in more goals than anyone else in the Premier League. The Algeria international is Leicester's primary creative force, with his direct dribbling, fine footwork and much-improved end product causing problems for almost every defender he has
- March 19, 2016
It's been a thoroughly unpredictable season of football in the English Premier League, so it stands to reason that the 2015/16 FA Cup would take an unpredictable turn as well. Following a winding and at times bizarre season, the FA Cup exploded in a series of upsets and close calls in the quarterfinals. Now, with most of the tournament's supposed frontrunners eliminated and one replay match left to decide the full semi-final draw, we are going to take a look at what happened and what could happen going forward.
The Tournament So Far
At the outset of the 2015/16 FA Cup, most of the teams earned assumed frontrunner notices were the teams that always get those notices: Premier League giants like Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City, and Manchester United. After the third round-the first to feature most of the supposed top contenders-there was little reason to think that one of those "Big Four" clubs
- March 16, 2016
By Karl Matchett.
It's mid-March and Arsenal are still in the UEFA Champions League, but by name only. In truth, the Gunners are just winding down the hours until their inevitable execution, already two goals down to Barcelona and facing a second leg at the Camp Nou on Wednesday night, a ground where the Catalan club's league record this season reads played 15, won 14.
In Europe, for what it's worth, it reads played three, won three.
Manager Arsene Wenger will speak of hope and optimism, of luck and of you-never-knows, but of course everybody knows the reality: barring one of the most improbable comebacks imaginable this season, his team are out, again.
There's more chance of his team making up ground in the Premier League and lifting that title than there is of Arsenal beating Barcelona on their own turf by three