Thursday, December 8, 2022

Wenger making plans for next campaign

SoccerNews in English Premier League, La Liga 18 Apr 2008


Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, having seen his season dramatically unravel, is already making plans for the next campaign but insisted he is not in the market for Spanish hitman David Villa.

The highly-rated Valencia striker, expected to form a devastating partnership with Liverpool’s Fernando Torres at Euro 2008 this summer, has spoken of his admiration for the Gunners.

But Wenger says he is more concerned with keeping the current squad together and feels it is his defence rather than his attack that would be a priority if he is to bolster.

“That’s my first target, to keep the team together,” said the Frenchman. “We want to continue to respect our wages structure because I feel that is very important.”

Wenger, in response to Villa’s comments, added: “He made a big compliment to the team.

“We have many requests from players who want to join. But I feel up front I need to give time to (Theo) Walcott and (Nicklas) Bendtner because they have made big improvement for me this season.

“Theo is coming on so I need to give them a chance or they will not come out.”

Wenger also has to consider Mathieu Flamini’s future and William Gallas’ captaincy.

Flamini, the France midfielder, has been given until the end of the month to decide whether to sign a contract or leave on a free transfer in the summer.

Wenger wants the 24-year-old in his midfield next season but whether he gives Gallas the armband again is another matter after the skipper’s leadership came under scrutiny during Arsenal’s recent collapse.

Gallas, 30, was not in his own half when Birmingham scored a last-gasp penalty at St Andrews in February, then he reacted to the 2-2 draw by lashing out at an advertising board.

He has also been outspoken about Walcott and was recently highlighted by pundits for a lack of communication with his team-mates.

When he conceded a penalty against Manchester United last Sunday and Cristiano Ronaldo scored, Arsenal’s hopes of silverware evaporated.

When asked whether Gallas would be captain next season, Wenger replied: “I cannot answer that question at the moment. I want to analyse the season after the season. At the moment he will be my captain until the end of the season.

“I believe he has learned a lot this year and I can only say that his commitment and desire to do well was exceptional.

“I made that decision and I have to stand up for that decision, I have to protect the team and the individuals as well at the moment.

“They get criticised and maybe we deserve critics at the moment but overall the team has made good progress this year.”

Given his performances this season, Flamini could be an option as skipper if he agrees to a new deal.

“We are getting close to yes or no,” Wenger said. “He says he wants to stay and I believe him. But as long as he has not signed, for me he is free to sign where he wants.”


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olle h.n.n
14 years ago

i am a die hard fan of my arsenal f.c but this pain and headaches caused by lack of finishing and defending. our midfield is strong enough but the centre-back,we have a question there. our striking force is weak,i’d rather put walcott on wing and buy villa or benzema to partner adebayor,van persie,or bendtner. we need a striker wko can shoot from far the box,van persie has done it but there is no guarantee that we won’t have injuries, we have a good example: eduardo-will work himself off to get back. wenger buy benzema or villa, you failed to land… Read more »

Asiyo Edward
Asiyo Edward
14 years ago

I’m an Arsenal f. c. die hard fan and i’m not planning to leave them. Wenger should buy an established central defender and a reliable stricker like Benzema, David villa or he should think of binging back Henry. Big up to Theo and Fabregas

14 years ago

This season has been a calamity and caused more than heartbreak to me as an arsenal fan.Now flamini is leaving us and we can all read the clear hand writting.I can not understand the kind of love wenger has for a useless stricker like Adebayor.My wenger buy players.Let’s not fill our team with jst small boys else people start suspecting us(wenger) of being like micheal jackson. If wenger doesnt want to spend money and buy benzima,why not for Ejyptian terror stricker ABUTRIKA. And Nigerian danni shittu for defence line.Benching Adebayor is the best thing that can happen to arsenal.He is… Read more »

14 years ago

If wenger does not want to spend money he should go for Ejyptian ABUTRIKA or Nigerian SHITTU

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