Wenger has his say on managerial departures as Arsenal finally prepare to host Cardiff

This is a guest post by sports writer Thomas Rooney

It has been a very busy week in the Premier League with Tony Adams and Luiz Felipe Scolari both leaving their respective roles as manager of Portsmouth and Chelsea. Many have had their say on both decisions, but now it is the turn of Arsene Wenger.

The Arsenal manager’s opinion is very significant for both men as he once managed Adams and Scolari was boss of one of Arsenal’s biggest rivals in the Premier League.

Also, it is interesting to see what Wenger – who has been at Arsenal for many years – makes of managers getting the chop after just a few months.

So, what does he make of it? Well, speaking about Adams, he says that the former Arsenal defender will make a good manager eventually and that his spell at Portsmouth was extremely unlucky.

Wenger said that he didn’t believe Adams was given the ‘needed time’ at Fratton Park and that it was a ‘big surprise’ to see him sacked after only 16 Premier League games. Overall, Wenger believes that a young manger has to be given time to show what they can do.

As for his views on Scolari and Chelsea, Wenger has questioned how ‘the atmosphere inside the club’ affected the decision to sack such a ‘well-known manager’ after just six months. The Arsenal boss then went onto admit that he believed the whole process to be a ‘massive surprise’.

Despite Scolari’s exit though, Wenger thinks that Guus Hiddink will do a good job at Stamford Bridge because he rates the Russian boss ‘very highly’.

Onto more relevant Arsenal matters, well there is no football for the Gunners this weekend. Instead, they will have to wait until Monday evening where they can finally take on Cardiff in the 4th round of the FA Cup.

The original game at the Emirates was postponed because of the weather, but now that it is finally time to play the match, Arsenal will be determined to book their place to face Burnley in the next round.

As we all know, Arsenal are without a trophy for a while now and if they are to achieve one this season, the FA Cup is probably their most realistic chance. It is a competition that Wenger’s men should put lots of effort into because they have the ability to go all the way.

In terms of team news, well Monday night should be the first chance for Arsenal fans to see long-term injury victim Eduardo make his first-team return.

Overall, it could be a very special night at the Emirates, but this would only be the case if victory was achieved so that the aim of winning a trophy come May is still a very realistic one.

Arsenal vs. Wigan – Vela and Bischoff in! Adebayor singing!

Arsenal play Wigan tonight in the Carling Cup, the squads have been announced, we’ve got Bischoff set to make his debut, and Vela should play up front with Ramsey and Wilshere in midfield.

The Boss has been talking about what a gamble signing Bischoff was this summer, he had injury problems for a few years, and he didn’t play much for Werder Bremen.

Also have a look at this video of Adebayor singing at Stamford Bridge!

Lovely stuff!

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Wenger thinks the title will be ‘tight’ this year

Arsene Wenger believes that this year will be one of the toughest in the history of the Premiership. I would agree with him, Chelsea look much stronger and teams like Man City and Spurs have spent a lot this summer.Last year was hard, but this year may be even harder.

“This season you will need a high number of points and you will have to be consistent, I don’t know how many we’ll need, ask me again in January then we will have a better idea.

“Last season, I feel we did not get enough credit for what we did. We were very close. We made 83 points in the League and I have won the title with 78 before. But the competition was very high last season and looks like it will be the same this season.”

“But you might have a surprising team coming in to challenge like Man City, Tottenham and maybe Portsmouth. It will certainly be very tight and very interesting.

“Manchester City have an advantage because they do pay a lot of money.

Man City especially have an unimaginable amount of cash behind them, and it will be used – they managed to get Robinho, I think they could sign almost anyone!

Wenger commented on the January transfer window:

“This year, for the first time, the January transfer window opens when we will have only played 19 games.

“I have played seasons here when there were 24 games before then – the second part of the season is longer now.

“Teams can get that little bit more balance by buying players in the transfer window.”

Wenger seems happy that the window is opening after fewer games, it gives us the chance to bring in much needed support for the long haul. It is a bit worrying how much money Man City have, the new owners seem to be determined to create some sort of ‘super-team’ like the way Real Madrid are ‘Galacticos’.

Whatever happens, expect Wenger to be on the look-out in the next window, and a lot of action from the likes of Man City!

Arsenal’s finances – an analysis

I came across this link earlier which I think is worth sharing with you.

It goes over Arsenal’s revenue streams, looking at why foreign investors might want to buy Arsenal out. There is also analysis of shareholders.

Click to read the article.

Check the link here at Arsenal Column. Or click the picture above.

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Wenger talks about Scolari and criticises appointment

Finally a bit of fresh air, news which isn’t related to rumours and crap.

Wenger’s been talking about Phil Scolari – the new Chelsea boss. He’s a good manager, but he doesn’t have much club experience, jut a stnt in Qatar or something?? A good appointment for Chelseas though.

Wenger:

“I like Scolari as a person. I like him as a coach and I think he has charisma. He will add something to the Premier League. You never know what will happen but he is a quality man, a quality manager.”

He reckons that the system at Chelsea won’t change:

“The system he plays looks similar to the 4-5-1/4-3-3 system that Chelsea play. Whether it is down to the fact that they have similar strikers, I don’t know. There will be a change, because every manager brings his own personality and he will buy players, but the system won’t change.

Wenger also criticised the timing of the announcement:

“What’s for sure is that it didn’t give anything to the team, so it could only take something away. It didn’t help Portugal. “France had that situation in 2004 when (Jacques) Santini announced he was going to Tottenham. Once that happens all you hear is ‘who will be next?’ That starts in the camp as well.”

He’s absolutely right, and it seems to me that it miht have even contributed to Portugal going out of Euro 2008.

Speaking of the Euros, who do you fancy tonight? Russia vs. Spain. I’m going for Spain, but I have a feeling Russia might sneak in.

Hleb Banned, Flamini Rumours

Alex Hleb has been charged with violent conduct by the FA. Click here.

“Hleb was involved in an incident with Reading defender Graeme Murty during the second half of the match at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday 19 April.

“Walton has informed The FA that, had he seen it at the time, he would have shown Hleb a red card for violent conduct.

We have yet to hear from Hleb about why this happened. I have seen pictures but no video, if anyone has a link to a video then post it up!

They haven’t decided how long but I guess it will be three games, which puts him out for the rest of this season. We need his creativity and the midfield is looking strenched right now with so many players unavailable!

Who do you think will fill in for him??

Diaby is another one to add to the injury list after the reserves game on Monday against West Ham. Everyone raved about the performance after Wilshere ‘ran the show’. We won 2-0 and played well.

There are reports that Juve are in the chase for Flamini. All I can say is that this is a rumour, and it really would be very shit if he left in the summer!

Wenger has said how hard it will be for him to watch the Champions League Semi’s. The performance last night would have been hard for anybody to watch it was so boring. The Boss said here:

“It will be extremely painful because it’s our biggest disappointment since I have been here. We should be through despite all that happened.

“If you are played off the park and the team is better than you, then you accept it but when you produce the two performances we produced and lose the games, it is much more difficult to take. I feel we had the potential to win the Champions League and the title this year.”

Arsene really is upset about how our season has finished. I think everyone is. We have played amazing football, and we really really really deserved to get something to show for it.

We just had such an awful run. It’s a pity really, and I think Arsene feels worse than he ever has before, I do too!

Also according to Palermo’s president we aren’t interested in Amauri. We have made one signing!

Middlesbrough loss means a low Monday for the Arsenal

A disappointing result yesterday, we lost 2-1 to Middlesbrough. I listened to the match on the radio in the car. From the sound of it we were pretty unfocused and they were much sharper.

We created little all day and their early penalty gave them the confidence to go on and get the win. Rosicky’s last minute goal was a mere consolation. It’s bad, and depressing, our unbeaten record is gone, but we are still top of the league by a point. Wenger took the defeat well and it looks like we might be able to put it behind us.

We need to forget about the bad result now and think ahead. Steaua Bucharest is our game on Wednesday in the Champions League, Wenger will most likely field a weakened side, fingers crossed we get top place in the group, but we are through anyway.

Looking to the next League game, we have Chelsea in the so-called ‘Grand Slam Sunday’ as it has been dubbed by the media. I hope that a few of the injured quartet: RVP, Flamini, Fabregas and Hleb are back. We have had a tough week without them, drawing and then losing in the North East. The backup we have is decent but not good enough, Gilberto has been quite poor in the games he has had, but Diarra has looked promising.

In any case they will all really need to be up for it against a Chelsea side which has been quietly progressing under Avram Grant, we really need to maintain our position at the top, and a Liverpool win or draw with Man Utd would be great too!