News and gossip from The Emirates.
Arsenal’s Champions League hopes hang by a thread after being outclassed by German side Bayern Munich at The Emirates in a 3-1 defeat. Despite a promising start for The Gunners it was Bayern who struck first as the impressive Toni Kroos slammed home a half volley after Thomas Muller found him on the edge of the box. The Bavarians now had complete control in the game and soon enough Thomas Muller had doubled the advantage from close range after Wojciech Szczesny could only parry Daniel van Buyten’s free header. Laurent Koscielny pulled back a fortuitous consolation in the second half; capitalising on lax defending from the Bundesliga outfit. However Mario Mandzukic bundled home a late third to leave Arsenal with an uphill task in the return leg at the Allianz Arena.
Club captain Thomas Vermaelen has today thrown his support behind manager Arsene Wenger. The Frenchman has seen his tenure questioned in recent weeks in light of the team’s poor form and run of eight seasons without silverware. The Belgian says that pundits and fans alike only see things in the short term and forget all that Wenger has done for the club in his time in North London.
Arsenal legend Bob Wilson has labelled another former Gunner Stewart Robson ‘bitter’ after his recent tirade aimed at Wenger. Wilson believes the former midfielder Robson harbours ill feeling toward Arsenal as he no longer is employed at the club; leaving as recently as last season. Robson claimed that Wenger had no tactical knowledge and that he should be sacked sooner rather than later for the good of the club.
It is being reported in The Sun that Arsenal and Manchester United are both keeping tabs on Belgian goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, who has been in exceptional form this season. The goalkeeper will receive the North-East Football Writers Player of the Year this weekend and is being considered a replacement for Wojciech Szczesny.
Arsenal are willing to spend in excess of £20 million to bring in Barcelona pair Victor Valdes and David Villa. Valdes has recently announced he plans to leave the club in the near future while Villa is reportedly unhappy with his fringe role at the club.
Finally and Aston Villa striker Gabriel Agbonlahor has stuck the boot in to Arsenal by suggesting that the Belgian striker Christian Benteke could do better than a move to The Emirates. The striker has been linked with a summer move to The Gunners and North London rivals Spurs but the England international believes he can do better than both teams.
What are your thoughts in the aftermath of the loss to Bayern Munich?
image: © Ronnie Macdonald