News and gossip from The Emirates this past 24 hours
Arsenal have lost more ground on the top clubs in the Premier League after losing 2-1 to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Arsenal had a gilt edge chance early on when Olivier Giroud was played into space but the French striker could only drag his shot wide of the far-post. He was punished for his inaccuracy just minutes later when Juan Mata showed him how it should be done to make it 1-0. It was soon 2-0 when Ramires was felled by Wojciech Szczesny in the Arsenal goal. The Pole was lucky to remain on the pitch, escaping with a yellow card, before Frank Lampard slotted the penalty away. Despite a much improved second half performance, which saw Theo Walcott claw the game back to 2-1 Arsenal just did not have enough to contend with Chelsea.
Arsene Wenger has since warned that his club cannot afford to drop any more points if they want to finish the season in a Champions League spot. They are now seven points behind Spurs and behind Everton in the race for fourth.
Arsenal are on alert after Spain’s record goalscorer David Villa reportedly made his intentions clear to current club Barcelona; that he wants to leave the club. Earlier in the month manager Tito Villanova claimed that Villa would be going nowhere after; a stance that was re-iterated by Barca president Sandro Rosell. However it appears now that Villa will do everything in his power to force a move.
Reported Arsenal transfer target James McCarthy will not be going anywhere this month; are the words of his current boss Roberto Martinez. The Wigan midfielder was the result of an enquiry from The Gunners earlier in the month but it has now been confirmed that Wigan have no plans to sell any of their current crop of players.
Theo Walcott has gone on record admitting that the prolonged contract negotiations with the club were a distraction. The 23-year-old, who signed a three-year-deal worth £100k-a-week at the end of last week, had been in negotiations with the club for around six months before finally accepting a deal.
Two long term Arsenal targets have again appeared as potential transfer arrivals in January. They have reportedly been offered Lyon midfielder Yoann Gourcuff on loan in a bid from the French side to cut their wage bill. They are also willing to battle Manchester United and Fulham to Celtic midfielder Victor Wanyama.
What are your thoughts on everything Arsenal on the 21st January 2013?