A lot of interesting stories in today’s news roundup. To begin with, ex-Tottenham Hotspur boss Harry Redknapp claims that although we’re still in the last 16 of the Champions League, Arsenal are a dark horse and a force to be reckoned with as they can pull off a surprise run in this year’s Champions League competition.
Elsewhere, Arsenal midfielder and England international Jack Wilshere could miss the Champions League home match against AS Monaco tonight. This is after the 23-year old failed to take part in Tuesday’s training session with the first team, perhaps as a precautionary measure by the boss.
Ex-Spurs boss claims Arsenal can win the Champions League.
Arsenal is one of the most successful clubs in English football. They have won everything, except one: the Champions League. The closest they have ever come to winning it in recent years was in the 2006 Final when they lost to Barcelona. However, ex-Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp has backed Arsene Wenger’s side to win the Champions League this season. The former rival boss claimed this on his column in the Sun, insisting that the Gunners are the dark horse of the competition.
“The Gunners would be my dark horses for the Champions League because when you get a bit of luck like they have had, you start to think this could just be the year when your name is going to be scratched on the trophy,” he said.
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“They are coming together nicely as an attacking force, and I don’t think their defence is as dodgy as some people like to make out.”
With game-by-game focus, this could just be our year.
Wilshere a doubt against Monaco.
There is doubt over whether Jack Wilshere will take part in Wednesday’s Champions League clash against Ligue 1 side AS Monaco. According to the Express, the England international did not take part in Tuesday’s training session and is likely to not feature against the former French Champions.
Wilshere has been out of action since November last year after sustaining a nasty ankle injury against Manchester United and had only recently returned to training two weeks ago. Despite being named in the squad that travelled to Selhurt Park for the tie against Crystal Palace, the 23-year old only managed to make it to the bench during the 2-1 win.
The gaffer seems keen not to rush him back to action especially with the rigors of the Champions League and could essentially mark his return against Everton this coming weekend.
EX-Arsenal skipper explains how to solve defensive concerns.
Arsenal produced one of the most convincing performances of the season when they beat current Premier League holders Manchester City 2-0 at the Etihad Stadium in January. Someone in particular was hugely impressed by the performance – former Arsenal captain Graham Rix. Although he thought the display was one for the history books, he still raised concerns about the back four he is quoted as saying by north London newspaper Ham & High:
“We still need to show discipline and shape when we are not in possession – we saw that we can do it when we won 2-0 at Manchester City. That really was a magnificent performance.”
The 57-year old added that:
“But until we do that consistently I will continue to have concerns. We need to be organized because, at this level, you make mistakes and you will be punished because the better the opposition, the better you have to be.”
If only our defense could match our attacking prowess…
Arsenal keeper admits intimidation by De Gea and Joe Hart.
David Ospina joined the Gunners last summer after having an impressive run with Colombia in the 2014 FIFA World Cup. It didn’t take long before the 26-year old impressed the manager as the South American climbed up the pecking order, making Wojciech Szczesny fall to second fiddle. According to reports by the Express, Ospina has come out to admit that he sometimes gets intimidated by the height of opposition goalkeepers while in the tunnel before kick off.
“When I am in the tunnel and I see the opposition goalkeeper… I am forced to raise my head,” he said.
“In England, they are all two heads taller than me!
“They are 1.90m, maybe more! Courtois, De Gea, [Joe] Hart… You laugh but really it puts a little pressure on.
“Even Hugo (Lloris) is supposed to be small but he is how tall? 1.87m, 1.88m? The smallest one is me! 1.84m.”
Ospina maybe doubting his height, but he certainly doesn’t doubt his airborne capabilities.
Big game tonight, COYG!