News and gossip from The Emirates in the last 24 hours.
Arsene Wenger has reportedly informed Russian playmaker Andrei Arshavin that his time at the club is over. The club record signing is into the final seven months of his contract and Arshavin has been told that he must seek a move away in January or not play for the club for the remainder of his contract. He is reportedly keen on staying in England but it is not clear if the likes of Reading and Fulham, who have previously been linked with his signature, would be able to afford his wages.
Arsenal forward Lukas Podolski has been confirmed as absent for the fixture with West Brom on Saturday. The German international missed the game with Olympiakos in midweek and he has not recovered from a relatively minor hamstring injury to face The Baggies. In other injury news Theo Walcott, Bacary Sagna and Laurent Koscielny are all out of the game while it may have come to soon for Brazilian full-back Andre Santos.
Tomas Rosicky has blamed the recent slump in The Gunners form on a lack of possession. Previously a staple of Arsene Wengers game recently the team have struggled to retain possession. He says they are not keeping the ball ‘as they used to’ and believes winning games will be key towards increasing confidence at the club. He also said he can understand the frustration of the fans as he himself is an Arsenal fan but insists that they ‘all have to stick together’.
Arsenal are set to revive their interest in Montpellier defender Mapou Yanga Mbiwa. The French international, who is also a reported target for Italian side AC Milan, is seen as a vital signing to shore up a flaky Arsenal defence and after the French sides European adventure ended it is believed he is open to a possible move to The Emirates. With the likes of Sebastian Squillaci and Johan Djourou also looking toward the exit door in January M’Biwa has become a priority once again, even though he signed a new contract with Montpellier just last month.
Olivier Giroud has been the best Premier League player when it comes to providing goalscoring opportunities for his team-mates in the Champions League this season. The French striker has provided four goals for his team this season showing that while he is not yet a free-flowing goalscorer he is bringing much more to the team. He is second in the assists table behind Paris Saint-Germain forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Finally Arsenal face Athletic Bilbao in their final NextGen Series fixture tonight. It is a must win tie for the team at Underhill with defeat definitely seeing them eliminated while a draw is likely to not be enough to see them through as a best place third team.
What are your thoughts on everything Arsenal on the 6th December 2012?
image: © Ronnie Macdonald