Arsenal’s shirt numbers for the 2017/18 season released

Arsenal have released shirt numbers for the 2017/18 season……..on the club shop website……

Arsenal have updated the website with all the new numbers, the main point of interest of course being new signing Alexandre Lacazette. As per Arsenal Direct, below are all the currently revealed squad numbers:

Arsenal’s shirt numbers for the 2017/18 season released

Club-record signing Alexandre Lacazette gets the number nine jersey, as predicted and hoped for by most fans on Twitter. Lucas Perez, the previous owner, has been moved to number 28.

Joel Campbell was the previous owner of that shirt but hasn’t hads another assigned to him as of yet. It’s a similar story with fellow loanees Wojciech Szczęsny, Jack Wilshere and Calum Chambers. Their numbers will presumably be decided if and when it’s confirmed they’re not heading off on loan again, or exiting on permanent deals.

Other summer signing Sead Kolašinac has been given the number 31, as previously announced. Mesut Özil keeps the number 11 jersey, but with Jack Wilshere’s number 10 yet to be confirmed on the website, this could still change.

I want to stay at Arsenal, says Mesut Ozil

Like Alexis Sanchez, who has been linked with a move to Manchester City during the summer transfer window, German playmaker Mesut Ozil is entering the final year of his current contract.

I want to stay at Arsenal, says Mesut Ozil

The 28-year-old, signed from Real Madrid in September 2013, maintains he is hopeful of being able to continue his career at the Emirates Stadium.

Speaking at the launch of Arsenal’s third kit in Sydney, Ozil told the club’s website: “It is definitely my preference to stay. It is such a great club and I have always said that I feel very good at Arsenal.

“Once everyone is back in London we will sit down and discuss about the future.

“For now the most important thing is our pre-season and getting through the tour, training and getting fitness. When I’m back in London, we will sit down and discuss.”

Chile forward Sanchez said during the Confederations Cup in Russia he knew where he would be playing next season but stopped short of announcing his plans.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger claims Sanchez has not told him he wants to leave the Emirates Stadium.

Manchester City are reportedly ready to offer the former Barcelona forward wages of some £400,000 per week should he opt to push for a move ahead of the final year of his current contract rather than pen a new deal with Arsenal.

Sanchez has been given some extra time off as the rest of the squad headed to Australia for the start of pre-season, which begins with a match against Sydney FC at the ANZ Stadium on Thursday, where new club-record signing Alexandre Lacazette is expected to make his debut.

Ozil feels “it would hit the team quite hard” were Sanchez to leave.

Club captain Per Mertesacker, who is set to take over at the Arsenal Academy from the 2018/2019 season, believes the Gunners remain focused on bringing talent in rather than allowing key men to depart.

“We have a strong squad and we do not want to lose any players. Even in their final contract year we need them,” the German said.

“We cannot afford to lose them. If you’re talking about championships, then to keep our best player is the key.”

The arrival of Lacazette, whom Arsenal have confirmed will wear the number nine shirt, has cast doubt on the future of Olivier Giroud.

The France forward is a reported target for both Everton and West Ham, although Gunners boss Wenger insists the 30-year-old remains part of his plans. Giroud intends to just take things as they come.

“Honestly I don’t know (about my future). For the moment I’m still an Arsenal player and try to be professional like I always have done and to prepare well for the next season,” the 30-year-old said.

“Obviously, there will be more competition – even more than last year, but it’s always nice for a striker to feel the pressure. I always deal with it. I’ve been through some difficulty this last year, but always succeed to bounce back.”

Laurent Koscielny to miss FA Cup final after appeal against red card failed

Arsenal’s Laurent Koscielny is to serve a three-match suspension after his appeal against his sending-off in Sunday’s win over Everton was dismissed by the Football Association.

Laurent Koscielny to miss FA Cup final after appeal against red card failed

Arsenal’s Laurent Koscielny is to serve a three-match suspension after his appeal against his sending-off in Sunday’s win over Everton was dismissed by the Football Association.

The 31-year-old received a straight red card for his reckless first-half challenge on Enner Valencia and will therefore miss Saturday’s FA Cup final against Chelsea and the first two domestic fixtures of next season.

Arsenal beat Everton 3-1 despite his dismissal, but his confirmed absence is a further disappointment for manager Arsene Wenger, who also has fitness concerns over fellow defenders Gabriel Paulista and Shkodran Mustafi.

“Laurent Koscielny will serve a three-match suspension with immediate effect after a claim of wrongful dismissal was unsuccessful,” an FA statement read.

“The Arsenal defender was sent off for serious foul play during the game against Everton on Sunday (21 May 2017).

“An independent regulatory commission heard the case today (Tuesday 23 May 2017).”

Wenger aims to silence critics with Euro push

There is nothing Arsene Wenger relishes more than confounding his doubters and the Arsenal manager will know on Saturday whether he has a strong chance of doing so once again.

Wenger aims to silence critics with Euro push

Wenger’s side travel to Stoke having boosted their chances of qualifying for the Champions League – a task that looked a lost cause just a few weeks ago – by winning 2-0 at Southampton on Wednesday.

That left Arsenal in fifth place in the Premier League, three points behind Manchester City in the slot directly above.

City will have played their home game with West Bromwich Albion by the time Arsenal kick off at Stoke, but a Gunners victory is sure to stoke up the pressure on Liverpool, who are currently in third.

Jurgen Klopp’s side are four points better off than Arsenal, but crucially have played one fixture more than City and the Gunners, and are at West Ham on Sunday.

But while Wenger cannot wait to say ‘told you so’ to his critics Gunners defender Shkodran Mustafi is still concerned his team may have left it a little too late.

“I wish we found that before,” he said of Arsenal’s recent revival.

“But now we have three games and we have to give everything to try and get everything out of all the games. Hopefully at the end we’ll reach our goals.”

Arsenal will finish the campaign with home games against relegated Sunderland and then Everton, but first they must focus on ending their poor run at Stoke.

Although they have not won there since 2010, losing on four of their eight visits, Wenger’s men will be hopeful of ending that sorry sequence so long as Alexis Sanchez is in the team.

Alexis Sanchez keeps Arsenal in top-four hunt

Alexis Sanchez opened the scoring on the hour at St Mary’s before Olivier Giroud made the game safe with a header 7 minutes from time.

This was the 20th goal that Alexis Sanchez scored in the ongoing Premier League campaign. (Photo: AP)

Alexis Sanchez scored his 20th goal of the Premier League campaign as Arsenal won 2-0 at Southampton on Wednesday to keep their hopes of a top-four finish alive.

Sanchez opened the scoring on the hour at St Mary’s before substitute Olivier Giroud made the game safe with a header seven minutes from time.

Victory took Arsene Wenger’s side above Manchester United into fifth place and left them three points below Manchester City, who occupy the fourth and final Champions League qualifying berth.

Arsenal must now win their three remaining games and hope City or third-place Liverpool drop points if they are to secure a 20th successive season of Champions League football.

Arsenal beat Leicester City 1-0 at the Emirates

Arsenal beat Leicester City 1-0 at the Emirates

A late own goal from Robert Huth secured us a precious three points as we kept our hopes of a top-four place alive with a crucial victory at Emirates Stadium.

For so much of this game it seemed as if we would be frustrated against an obdurate Leicester City side that kept chances to a minimum.

We got off sluggish start that nearly saw us fall behind when Jamie Vardy shot into the sidenetting, before Petr Cech was called into action to make a fine save to deny Riyad Mahrez from close range.

Arsène Wenger’s men struggled to find the same intensity and focus they had shown against Manchester City three days earlier, although Theo Walcott forced a smart save out of Kasper Schmiechel.

Alexis went closest with a fierce drive that rattled off the crossbar on the stroke of half-time, but despite our best efforts we found it tough to break down the Foxes after the restart too.

Alexis was dispossessed when well-placed in the area, Granit Xhaka saw a deflected effort palmed wide and frustrations continued to grow.

But four minutes from the end we had our reward when Nacho Monreal’s drive from the edge of the area hit Huth and flew into the bottom corner.

It was enough to settle this clash and while it may not have been your typical Arsenal goal, sometimes you just need to dig out a result – and that is exactly what we did.

Next, the minor matter of the north London derby at White Hart Lane. Bring it on.

 

Arsenal want to win FA Cup for Wenger

Arsenal want to win FA Cup for Wenger

Arsenal are targeting an FA Cup win to honour manager Arsene Wenger and make up for an inconsistent season, midfielder Aaron Ramsey said after their semi-final victory over Manchester City.

Arsenal beat City 2-1 in extra time to book a place in the final against Chelsea on May 27 and their progress is in contrast to the Premier League season that could see them miss out on a Champions League spot for the first time under Wenger.

Arsenal are seventh in the league, seven points behind fourth-placed ManchesterCity with a game in hand. They have seven matches remaining in their campaign.

“We have another seven cup finals to try and get into the top four,” Ramsey told BBC Radio 5 live.

 “We have let him (Arsene Wenger) down at times this season, we want to win it (FA Cup) for him and ourselves.”

Arsenal face an uphill battle to finish in fourth place as they play three of the current top six teams in their remaining games including second-placed Tottenham Hotspur and fellow top four contenders Manchester United.

Arsenal host champions LeicesterCity in the league on Wednesday and will be looking to reclaim sixth spot from Everton, who have played three games more.

Arsenal’s woes ahead of Palace clash

Arsene Wenger still has Petr Cech and Laurent Koscielny unavailable ahead of Arsenal’s trip to Selhurst Park to take on Crystal Palace tonight.

Arsenal’s woes ahead of Palace clash

Wenger only has four players sidelined with injury, but one position remains a major cause for concern for the Arsenal manager. That is because Wenger has both senior goalkeepers Petr Cech (calf) and David Ospina (back) sidelined with their respective injuries, with neither expected to regain fitness in time for the cross London trip.

The Gunners will look to create a winning momentum when they head across London to take on Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park tonight. The match gives them a chance to go back to 5th in the Premier League table after Manchester United leapfrogged them with a 3-0 win over Sunderland yesterday.

Meanwhile, Crystal Palace are looking to bounce back to winning ways after their four-match winning streak came to a screeching halt in a 3-1 loss to Southampton on Wednesday.

Arsene Wenger unaware of who assumed captaincy role

Arsene Wenger admits he does not know who captained his Arsenal side for the second half of their draw with Manchester City.

Arsene Wenger unaware of who assumed captaincy role

The under-fire Frenchman made the startling revelation yesterday morning when he was asked who took the armband from Laurent Koscielny when he was forced off at half-time with an Achilles problem.

With club captain Per Mertesacker not on the pitch and stand-in Petr Cech out injured, there were still likely candidates in the shape of Theo Walcott or Alexis Sanchez.

But it was unclear who, if anyone, had taken the responsibility from Koscielny with Wenger conceding he was not sure who was skipper as the Gunners fought back to seal a 2-2 draw against Pep Guardiola’s side on Sunday.

After ruling both Cech and Koscielny out of tonight’s clash at home to West Ham, Wenger said he was unsure who would lead Arsenal out before making the admission he did not know who had finished Sunday’s game as captain.

“I don’t remember,” he said.

“It is a good question. Nobody asked me who is captain. I will have 24 hours to think about that.”

Wenger also insisted he has no plans to change his approach to the game despite ongoing protests against his continued management of the club.

Protests have been held before the last three home games and a handful of supporters stood outside Arsenal’s training ground yesterday morning as they bid to prevent Wenger signing a new deal.

The Frenchman’s current contract runs until the end of the season but he is yet to announce whether he will stay or go after a run of just three wins in 10 games.

Speaking at a pre-arranged supporters forum on Sunday, chief executive Ivan Gazidis said the recent form should be a “catalyst for change” — although he was not talking specifically about Wenger.

And the 67-year-old said he wants to continue to learn but has no plans to suddenly change the way he operates.

“That has nothing to do with you to change,” he replied when asked about reinventing himself. “That is something you do to improve. My battle in my whole life is to improve and to be better. That is evolution, not change.

“I think we just need to focus on tomorrow (against West Ham) and forget all the rest.”

Wenger also had little time for the protesters stood outside Arsenal’s London Colney training base, one sporting a Wenger mask and surrounded by anti-Wenger banners.

He said: “It is three guys. Honestly. Why should I waste energy on that. Honestly. I don’t know what to say. It is good that they can waste their day like that.

“The problem in our game today is that what is superficial is the heart of the debate and the things that are important nobody talks about.”

Meanwhile, Slaven Bilic has confirmed that West Ham will offer Michail Antonio an improved contract this summer.

Antonio, who is set to return from a hamstring injury against Arsenal tonight, has been the Hammers’ star performer this season and the club are determined to keep him in east London.

Bilic said: “The club is offering him a new contract.”

Arsene Wenger says he is planning for next season at Arsenal

Arsene Wenger is planning for next season as manager of Arsenal and believes uncertainty over his future should not affect his current squad or potential new recruits.

Arsene Wenger says he is planning for next season at Arsenal

The 67-year-old could still walk away from the Emirates Stadium when his contract expires in the summer as supporters continue to protest against his reign.

Wenger, who celebrated 20 years in charge of the Gunners in October, has increasingly split the fan base in recent months, especially following a run of six defeats in nine games.

That slump included a 10-2 aggregate defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League and two of their three wins in that time came against non-league sides Sutton and Lincoln in the FA Cup.

Wenger has never finished outside the Premier League’s top four in any full season at the helm but Arsenal now sit sixth, with another protest planned ahead of Sunday’s visit of Manchester City.

He revealed after the recent 3-1 loss at West Brom that he has made a decision on whether he will stay or go at the end of the season – but admits he has had to start preparations for next year as if he will remain at the club.

Asked if he was planning for next season, the Frenchman replied: “Yes, of course.

“But that again, I told you, do I stay two months or 10 years, I plan. I do my job exactly the same. Of course you can do that.”

If Arsenal do finish outside the Champions League positions, there is likely to be an overhaul of their squad during the summer.

But planning ahead is crucial if a club is to avoid missing out on key targets and Wenger insists top players will be attracted by the lure of playing for Arsenal, regardless of who the manager is come the start of next term.

“Yes of course,” he replied when asked if transfer targets will ask if he will be at the club.

“But we are always honest and when you speak with people you are always honest. Arsenal is a world brand today, respected all over the world.

“The Arsenal name is bigger than my name and coming to Arsenal is more important – you don’t come to Arsene Wenger, you come to Arsenal.

“But we are at the moment not in a transfer mode. We analyse what we have to strengthen but we are not in contract negotiations at the moment with players.”

Wenger also feels that his current players should not be using the uncertainty over his future as an “easy excuse” for the recent run.

“It would be an easy excuse and I could be out of contract and I am at the end of the season and still perform,” he told Sky Sports News.

“For me whether I stay three years or 10 years I have exactly the same commitment and the same desire to win the next game.

“I believe as well we are in the position where we do not have to find easy excuses. Our job is to perform – can you perform despite that?”

He also called for his players to “be men” and concern themselves more with performances on the pitch rather than any uncertainty off it.

“I personally believe that, to be professional, is to perform on a football pitch and not look for excuses that are not real problems outside the pitch,” he said.

“The situation is not sorted out and I believe at the moment we probably focus on what is essential.

“My attachment to this club, at the moment, it is as it is and I do not see any escape route to have less responsibilities because I might not be here. We have to be men and focus on what matters and what is our job.

“If the worst you can accuse me of in 20 years at the club is to create instability (because of the contract uncertainty)…. I think, if I created something, it is stability.”

Meanwhile, a prominent Arsenal supporters’ club has called for Wenger to leave as the majority of their members believe he is no longer the right man for the job.

The 1,000 members of the Arsenal Supporters’ Trust (AST) were sent a survey which included the question: “Do you support Arsene Wenger signing a new contract and remaining as Arsenal manager?” Only 15 per cent said “yes” and 78 per cent of respondents said “no”.

The handling of Wenger’s contract situation drew even more negative replies, with 86 per cent responding “no” when asked: “Do you think the way that the Arsenal board have dealt with Arsene Wenger’s contract is in the best interests of Arsenal Football Club?”

It remains to be seen what level the protests will reach on Sunday but Wenger will hope to at least address matters on the pitch with victory over a direct Premier League rival.

I can convince Arsenal to sign Iheanacho-Iwobi

Arsenal forward Alex Iwobi believes he can influence a transfer move for Manchester City’s Kelechi Iheanacho to the North London club.

 I can convince Arsenal to sign Iheanacho-Iwobi

Iwobi feels the Gunners can cash in on the‘funniest guy he knows’ but doesn’t see it happening in the coming months.

The 20-year-old hailed his companion with the City forward and disclosed why he would love to see him in Arsenal’s traditional red and white jersey.

‘I tell you, you should see us [him and Iheanacho] on Snapchat! Always bantering,” Iwobi said.

“We’re roommates right now and he’s just the funniest guy I know.‘We do get on well off the pitch as well as on the pitch.

“Maybe I can try to convince Arsenal to sign him – but I don’t think that’s going to happen.”

Iwobi amazed everyone when a video of him speaking fluent Pidgin English was posted on Twitter by teammate Ogenyi Onazi.

And reacting to how he has learned to speak the prevalent language in the Super Eagles’ camp, he said: “Everyone could speak English, I’d get along fine, but they’d all say, “come on, you need to learn your language”. So yeah, I’ve learned a bit, which helps.

‘’When I first went I felt like I’m an alien! I know they used to take the mick out of me, and I didn’t know what they were saying. But now I can understand!”