Two Arsenal stars dropped by Arsene Wenger have been making the headlines today, Thomas Vermaelen and Wojciech Szczesny. Belgian defender Vermaelen has been quite contrite when talking about his form, admitting that his recent omission was deserved.
He said: "I have made mistakes, If I played flawlessly in all the matches I would be Lionel Messi. As a footballer you know you what may happen when you play badly. I’m not worried though – it’s only the last games, I have played about 35 times this season. This is Arsenal, they are not a bad team and there is a lot of competition."
By contrast, Wojciech Szczesny's father has blasted Arsene Wenger for his treatment of the goalkeeper. He said: "Wojciech had two serious injuries, he played with one in April and May. He shouldn’t have agreed to play that time but the coach insisted. Wenger was playing with the young man’s good health and Wojciech agreed foolishly. In addition to that in August there was an metatarsus injury after which he played almost instantly. After seven weeks out Wojciech trained for just seven days and played the match. How on earth can he be on his highest form?”
He had more harsh words: "Wenger already started to look for the scapegoat, it is not the way the boss should behave. His transfer policy is failing, there are a lot of injuries which is also significant. The guy is wrong permanently.”
In transfer news Arsenal have been linked with Barcelona ace Alexis Sanchez. The Chilean's former boss at Udinese recommended the Gunners style of football as suitable to Alexis, but any move would depend entirely on the Gunners securing Champions League football. He is the fifth Barcelona star linked to Arsenal over the past 10 days, we have a full list of them here.
The Express have re-ignited the link between Arsenal and soon-to-be free agent Fernando Amorebieta of Athletic Bilbao, who his agent said is ready to turn down a move to Russia to play for the Gunners, but they are still awaiting an offer.
On HITC today, three Arsenal stars feature on our top 10 list of last summer's best signings - See if you can guess who is highest and who features at number one, while we also ask if Lukasz Fabianski has put himself in the shop window with his recent performances.
image: © Ronnie Macdonald