Alexis Sanchez to United? Theo Walcott to Everton?

If you were going to put money on the destinations for Alexis Sanchez and Theo Walcott this January, then you would put it on Manchester City and Southampton.

We all know about the ongoing links with Manchester City for Alexis and it was reported that Theo to Southampton was done deal and all we needed was Walcott’s signature.

However, it seems as if the vultures are circling (in a sense).

Manchester United have apparently made contact with Arsenal and are keen to hijack the Sanchez deal, which would be typical Jose Mourinho. And the BBC have just reported that Everton are in negotiations to sign Theo Walcott.

Manchester United certainly have the money to tempt Alexis so it’ll be interesting what happens there and will say a lot about how Sanchez is thinking. If it’s about trophies, playing beautiful football and being re-united with Pep Guardiola then he will go to The Etihad. But if it’s about one big final deal then Manchester United would be the choice – and it could be argued that he would probably get more playing time at Old Trafford.

A lot has been made about his relationship with Guardiola and the time they spent at Barcelona but correct me if I’m wrong but didn’t the Spanish manager sell him after only one season together?

Anyway, the one thing for sure is that Sanchez won’t be seen in an Arsenal shirt for much longer.

Then we come to Theo. Southampton did seem to make sense as he wouldn’t have to uproot his family from London to the North but the Everton story is gaining traction. But if he did go to Everton I would understand why.

He’d play with Wayne Rooney which is a big pull whatever you think of him and also work with Sam Allardyce, as opposed to Mauricio Pellegrino, which is a no brainer really. Especially when the Argentinian managers future is far from certain. Working with Big Sam and getting more playing time will be in Theo’s thinking if he wants to reignite any slim chance he has to make the England squad for the World Cup.

So there we have it – where do you think Alexis Sanchez and Theo Walcott will end up this January? Or maybe they’ll both stay?

An Arsenal clear out is needed this summer

Another season not even over and another time to reflect on what could have been for this famous club called Arsenal. For 14 years, Arsenal fans have failed to win the league title and this season will be yet another nightmare for the Gunners faithful. Majority of Arsenal fans don’t know how to make money online by betting on their club as they don’t know the Arsenal that would turn up at a particular point in time.

For too long under Arsene Wenger, who is the most successful coach in the history of the north London. Arsenal fans have cast envious glances at the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City who have been successful after spending so big. A lot of players on the Arsenal books are not Arsenal standard, and won’t get to start at a number of other top 6 rivals. The likes of Debuchy, Chambers, Elneny, Walcott and Welbeck should be let go, as they don’t have what it takes to play for a big club of that stature.

With Wenger into the first six months of the two-year contract he signed at the end of last season following the FA Cup Final victory over Arsenal, there have been talk of the legendary manager quitting at the end of this season, with former Chelsea man, Ancelotti rumoured to be interested in his services.

The likes of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez have failed to extend their contracts with the club, indirectly blaming a lack of ambition on the part of the club for their decisions. There are too many players that don’t take responsibility for their actions, and it has affected the team when big players are supposed to turn up and display their magic.

Arsenal need a new set of player to play alongside the committed ones that are hungry and willing to play for such a big club. The first step would be to ship out the dead wood.

Why Arsenal Must Sell Alexis Sanchez in January

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[ Photo Credit: joshjdss ]

So the big transfer news this January Transfer Window is about Alexis Sanchez, and whether he leaves for Manchester City now or in the summer.

Reports are saying that his move to Manchester City is a done deal and it’s up to Alexis Sanchez whether he leaves now or in the summer – if he leaves now Arsenal are likely to get around £20 million but if he goes in the summer that fee is mostly going to go straight to him as a signing on fee, as Manchester City won’t have to give Arsenal a bean once the summer comes.

Talk of Sanchez moving to Bayern Munich or PSG has cooled, even though in some ways a move to Paris would seem to make more sense. He would be playing alongside Neymar and Mbappe which is surely tempting and because he wouldn’t cost anything in the summer surely PSG would see that as an attractive option since they’ve spent mega money on Neymar already. But I digress.

If I was Arsene Wenger, I would sell him now.

Of course he is a special player – probably the best we have at the club by a long way – but he’s not firing on all cylinders and clearly doesn’t want to be here. Yes he guarantees goals and assists but you get the feeling that his presence is not ideal for the club.

It’s easy to look short term and see what he gives the team (and don’t get me wrong, I love Alexis). He gives 110% every single time he puts on the Arsenal jersey and for me he’s the only world class player at the club. But Arsenal have royally cocked up the contract situation so should cash in while they can.

But there’s another reason why they should sell.

I believe that the team would benefit from his sale on a few different levels. Firstly a team is always bigger than one player and his departure would allow other players to shine. How many times has we seen Alex Lacazette subsituted towards the end of every game just because Arsene is too scared to take of Mesut Özil or Alexis Sanchez. It’s becoming a farce now and a player who has signed a long term contract with the club, who is also extremely talented, should be Arsenal’s main man. With Sanchez at the club that’s just not possible.

And the team will adapt. We’ve had a long line of quality forwards leave the club and we’ve always managed. With Sanchez gone maybe Arsene can find a way to play Olivier Giroud and Alex Lacazette in the same team? A formation tweak could see two motivated and loyal strikers kick on for the rest of the season.

Then there are the rumours that Alexis is a negative influence on the dressing room. Personally, I think that’s a load of b*llocks and every squad in the world has players with different personalities (just ask PSG) and I’m sure there are arguments from time to time but that’s football.

At the moment, Arsenal are stale, boring and predictable – but with Alexis Sanchez’s departure, at least there is some score for change which might be for the better.

How’s this for an Arsenal team?

With Sanchez gone, we could line up like this:

Screen Shot 2018-01-10 at 10.57.26

Our Dominance in the North London Derby

Many fans and pundits alike thought Tottenham Hotspur were favourites going into the North London derby at the Emirates last month.

Heading into the match Spurs were joint second in the Premier League and four points above us languishing down in sixth position.

They had unconvincingly beaten Crystal Palace 1-0 and Real Madrid 3-1 at Wembley Stadium before the international break.

However, only one team turned up on the day and that was the mighty Arsenal as we ran out 2-0 winners on 18 November 2017 – with goals from Shkodran Mustafi and Alexis Sanchez before half-time.  Heading into the match there had been no clear favourite in the football betting odds with both team odds against to pick up the three points.

In truth, the scoreline could have been greater but the result and performance was the most important thing.  It was a game where Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez showed their World Class abilities left all Arsenal fans praying they will extend their contracts beyond this season.

This was followed up by victories over Burnley (1-0) and Huddersfield Town (5-0) before being beaten at home by Manchester United last weekend.  Even then we still produced 15 shots on target and were denied any points from the game through a mixture of David de Gea’s superhuman effort, and two defensive errors in the opening 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, our victory over Spurs was the start of a winless streak for them.  They have since been held 1-1 at home by West Brom, beaten 2-1 at Leicester City and held 1-1 at Watford.  Subsequently we are now three points better off than our neighbours in the Premier League table, though still one point outside of the top four ourselves.

Last month’s North London derby victory was our 65th in the league against Tottenham and it’s not the only head-to-head record that’s better than theirs.

In terms of the trophy count we’re also way out in front.  Our 13 top flight titles embarrasses their two – which, by the way, is less than the likes of Huddersfield Town, Wolves and Blackburn Rovers.

Our record 13 FA Cups is five more than Spurs have, though they do beat us four to two in the EFL Cup count but that’s nothing compared to the two major domestic competitions.

We’re fighting on all fronts this season, looking to get back into the Champions League, either via a top four finish or potentially through winning the Europa League.  We’re at mid-table Championship outfit Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup third round in January too.  Later this month we have our EFL Cup quarter-final tie at home to West Ham – though that will be another chances for Arsene Wenger to give the youngsters and fringe players a run out during a busy Christmas period.

The graphic below from Betfair highlights the biggest derbies in English football and has a look at our head-to-head record against both Tottenham and Chelsea, as well as the all-time Premier League London derby records.

football derbies

 

Gunners gearing up for life after Arsene Wenger

Arsenal’s chances of winning a first Premier League title since 2003-04 were already decidedly remote as it was, but the 3-1 defeat to Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium extinguished the last remaining hopes.

There’s still plenty left to play for in the current campaign, with Champions’ League qualification via either a top four Premier League finish or by winning the Europa League now being the priority.

For the hopelessly optimistic among the Gunners’ faithful, you can now back Arsenal at odds as big as 125/1 (with Bet Victor) to win the Premier League.  More realistically, a ‘Top 4’ finish can be backed at 6/4 with Paddy Power, whilst Europa League success is a 6/1 shot with William Hill (which looks less than generous with the likes of Atletico Madrid, Napoli and Borussia Dortmund all potentially destined for the competition via the Champions’ League).

Anyone predicting a fourth FA Cup success in five seasons will be tempted by the 10/1 offered by Bet Victor and you can get a tempting 7/1 with Unibet for Carabao Cup glory.  All those betting odds will be subject to change over the coming days and weeks, so be sure to check out the Freebets.co.uk Arsenal team page for all the very latest bookies prices and football news from a Gunners perspective.

Events off the pitch could be equally fascinating at the club over the coming months, with changes clearly afoot at the Emirates Stadium.

It seems increasingly unlikely that either Alexis Sánchez or Mesut Özil will still be Arsenal players by the time the 2017-18 season gets underway.  Speculation that either player could be sold in the New Year seems wide of the mark, with Arsène Wenger being unlikely to sanction any sales with so much left to play for this term and with the January transfer window being notoriously difficult to sign top quality players should he require replacements.

From the player’s viewpoint, both Sánchez and Özil could almost certainly get better personal terms by moving at the end of the season on free transfers (and they can of course agree a pre-contract from January), so there’s little benefit in either seeking a move prior to then.

The summer transfer window could be hugely significant for Arsenal’s future, with the comings and goings being a good indication as to how the club will operate post-Wenger.

With Aaron Ramsey, Petr Cech, Danny Welbeck, Nacho Monreal and Theo Walcott all out of contract in 2019, the club will want to avoid a repeat of the contract situations with Sánchez and Özil, so there could potentially be some significant changes to the Gunners squad on the horizon should the players they want to keep not put pen to paper on new deals.

The imminent arrivals of Sven Mislintat as head of recruitment and Raul Sanllehi (Barcelona’s former Director of Football) as head of football relations, added to the earlier appointments of Jens Lehmann (first-team coach), Darren Burgess (Director of high performance) and Huss Fahmy (contract negotiator) are further signs of the club’s gradual transition process towards the eventual departure of Arsene Wenger.

Wenger’s announcement that he is set for an end of season review was seen by some as an indication that he might be leaving halfway through his current (and surely final) two-year contract, but this is just his customary annual review and is unlikely to signal anything more contentious taking place.

There’s no clear favourite in the managerial betting odds as to Wenger’s successor as yet, with Thomas Tuchel, Diego Simeone, Patrick Vieira, Massimiliano Allegri and Carlo Ancelotti being among the market leaders at present.