Ramsey red card unbelievable – Wenger








20 August 2014
Last updated at
00:13













Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger was angry with the decision to send off Aaron Ramsey as his side drew with Besiktas in their Champions League play-off.

Both of Ramsey’s cautions came for pulling back Besiktas players, and his red card means he will miss the second leg at Emirates Stadium on 27 August.

“Neither the first nor the second yellow card was deserved,” Wenger said.

“When you see some of the fouls that were made and we go home with Ramsey sent off, it is a bit unbelievable.”

Arsenal’s hopes of reaching the lucrative group stages of the Champions League for the 17th successive season are in the balance after an open game in Istanbul ended goalless.









Arsenal’s record in Champions League qualifiers

Arsenal had won all 12 of their previous Champions League qualifying games, scoring 29 goals and conceding only three, while keeping nine clean sheets. They beat Fenerbahce 3-0 in the first leg of their play-off last season, again in Istanbul, going on to win 5-0 on aggregate.


Ramsey, who scored a

stoppage-time winner against Crystal Palace

in the Gunners’ first Premier League game of the season on Saturday, was sent off with 11 minutes to go.

He was shown a second yellow card for tugging on former Arsenal midfielder Oguzhan Ozyakup’s shirt after losing possession near the halfway line.

The dismissal was Ramsey’s first in senior club football, although he was sent off playing for Wales in a World Cup qualifier against Scotland in 2013.

And Wenger was furious with Serbian referee Milorad Mazic, who also sent Besiktas boss Slaven Bilic to the stands in injury time.

“In the second half the performance of the referee was very bad,” Wenger said. “Ramsey’s second yellow card, I cannot see where that came from, it was a huge decision.

“I felt a lot was wrong in the second half but, overall, it was a difficult game maybe to referee as well because everybody did fight for every ball.”

Wenger said Besiktas had stretched his side with their fast attacking play but, even though Ramsey will be suspended, he is confident of winning the second leg next week.

“It was a difficult match, played at a high pace,” Wenger added. “Besiktas played with 100 per cent pace in the game and fought for every single ball, and it was quick. We needed a great level of concentration.

“We always want to win but look, Besiktas could have won the game, and we could have won the game as well. Maybe a draw is a fair result because both teams had chances to win the game.

“We know the second leg will be certainly tight again, but we are at home, so the task is clear for us, we want to win.”

Wenger also confirmed he had reported to Uefa that an object had been thrown at him as he left the pitch at full-time at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium.







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We want to fight with best – Wenger








18 August 2014
Last updated at
22:32













Champions League play-off first leg

  • Venue: Ataturk Olympic Stadium
  • Date: Tuesday, 19 August
  • Kick-off: 19:45 BST

Coverage: BBC Sport website and BBC Radio 5 live

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger says the prestige of playing in the Champions League is more important than the financial rewards it brings.

The Gunners, who have reached the group stage for the last 16 seasons, meet Besiktas in Tuesday’s play-off first leg in Turkey.

Wenger said: “Financially it’s a big game, but we want to compete at the top and want to fight with Europe’s best.”

Defender Kieran Gibbs, 24, is out for three weeks with a hamstring injury.

Gibbs was hurt in

Saturday’s 2-1 win over Crystal Palace,

Arsenal’s opening match of the Premier League season. Nacho Monreal will be a likely replacement.

Striker Yaya Sanogo will not be in the staring line-up, but central defender Laurent Koscielny is fit after recovering from an Achilles problem.

Qualification to the Champions League group stages will bring Arsenal £6.8m in prize money, with each subsequent group match worth about £2.4m of additional match-day revenue.

Arsenal, who finished fourth last season, brought in Chile forward

Alexis Sanchez in a £35m deal

from Barcelona this summer, following on from the club-record signing of

Mesut Ozil for £42.4m in September 2013.

Wenger added: “We have always in the history at the club adapted to our finances. What’s very important is that we want to play against the best.”

The play-off second leg takes place at the Emirates on Wednesday, 27 August.







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Arsenal need Champions League – Wenger








18 August 2014
Last updated at
09:09













Arsenal must beat Besiktas to earn a place in the Champions League group stage, “no matter what it costs”, says manager Arsene Wenger.

The Gunners, who have reached the group stage for the last 16 seasons, travel to Turkey for Tuesday’s first leg, with the home leg on Wednesday, 27 August.

“We’re desperate to go through. We want to play in the Champions League we know how big these games are,” said Wenger.

Arsenal defenders Laurent Koscielny and Kieran Gibbs face fitness tests.

That could mean an earlier than expected recall for Per Mertesacker, who returned late for pre-season training after captaining Germany to World Cup success.

Wenger confirmed: “It was our plan to bring the Germans back in contention for Everton [on Saturday], but in case of emergency I will take Mertesacker.

“It is a bit early for him. Ideally we would need one more week preparation, but he is willing to play, no problem.”

Arsenal

beat Crystal Palace 2-1

in their opening Premier League game of the season on Saturday before flying out to Istabnul.

They will face Slaven Bilic’s side at the 72,000-capacity Ataturk Olympic Stadium, where Liverpool beat AC Milan in the 2005 Champions League final, as Besiktas’s Vodafone Arena is being redeveloped.

Besiktas, runners-up in last season’s Turkish championship defeated Dutch side Feyenoord 5-2 on aggregate in the third round of qualifying, with former Chelsea striker Demba Ba scoring a hat-trick in the second leg.

Arsenal

defeated another Turkish club, Fenerbahce,

at the same stage last season.







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Kick-off has come too soon – Wenger








15 August 2014
Last updated at
22:45













Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes the Premier League should have kicked off one week later to give players the chance to recover from the World Cup.

The Gunners had 11 players in Brazil, and Germany World Cup winners Mesut Ozil, Per Mertesacker and Lukas Podolski have only just returned.

“We could have done with one week later in all the competitions,” said Wenger.

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho says World Cup fatigue has also stopped him from fielding his strongest line-up.

Ozil, Mertesacker and Podolski will not feature in Saturday’s Premier League opener against Crystal Palace or, in all likelihood, Tuesday’s Champions League play-off first leg at Beskitas.

The Champions League final is on 6 June 2015 in Berlin and Wenger would have liked to see England following Spain and Italy with later opening fixtures.

He said: “The final of the World Cup was on July 13; the start of the Premier League season is August 16. If you want to give some holiday to the players, your preparation becomes very short.

“If you don’t give players enough holiday or enough build-up in their preparation and play them straight away, then they get injured.”

Brazil trio Oscar, Willian and Ramires, Belgian pair Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois, and Germany’s Andre Schurrle have missed most of Chelsea’s pre-season after the World Cup.

And ahead of Monday night’s trip to Burnley, Mourinho said: “Are they ready individually? No.

“But we have to be ready as a team for Monday.

“Can it be a team of six guys not ready? No.”

And he added: “This is modern football. It’s going in this tendency – more matches, more competitions, less time to work, even not enough time to have a real holiday for bodies and brains that top football players need.

“There’s not enough time.”







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Trophies relieved pressure – Wenger








15 August 2014
Last updated at
13:59













Arsenal head into the new season relieved of pressure having ended their nine-year wait for a trophy, says manager Arsene Wenger.

The Gunners overcame Hull to

win the FA Cup

last term and

beat Manchester City 3-0

in the Community Shield on Sunday.

Wenger says the trophies have instilled a “confidence” that Arsenal can carry into the first game of the campaign

at home to Crystal Palace

on Saturday.

He said: “It has taken a little bit the weight off our shoulders.”

The Gunners led the Premier League for much of the first half of last season, but eventually finished fourth.


They last won the championship in 2004, but Wenger believes his team will be challenging again this year having added

Alexis Sanchez,


Calum Chambers,


Mathieu Debuchy

and

David Ospina

to the squad over the summer,

“We have to take more points from the top teams and that will be our real challenge this year,” the Frenchman continued.

“We finished fourth last year with 79 points. Man City won it with 86. So it was very tight in the top four.

“That’s one or two games. If you win against them they have three points less and you have three points more. That means then it’s down to one game.”

Wenger believes “six or seven teams” have a genuine chance of winning the league.

“It will be a tough competition again,” he said.







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Giroud spectacular goal: Arsenal striker wants more trophies | FATV Exclusive

http://www.youtube.com/v/Ad563uYatvg?version=3&f=videos&app=youtube_gdata Giroud scored a spectacular long range goal in Arsenal’s 3-0 win against Manchester City in the Community Shield. Mikel Arteta believes Arsenal could be about to enjoy a successful season…

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Ramsey looks to Crystal Palace after Arsenal 3-0 Manchester City | FATV Interview

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Wenger drops Man Utd Vermaelen hint








7 August 2014
Last updated at
14:53













Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says the club have received offers for captain Thomas Vermaelen and that Manchester United could be one of the bidders.

The 27-year-old made just 14 Premier League appearances last season and has attracted interest from several clubs.

Wenger refused to discuss the size of the bids but did say he would prefer to see the defender move abroad.

When asked if Manchester United were one of the bidders, he said: “I think they could be in the group.”














Thomas Vermaelen’s career

Nationality


Belgian


Age


27


Current club


Arsenal (110 appearances)


Previous clubs


Ajax, Waalwijk


Club honours


Dutch League Championship (2004), Dutch National Cup (2006, 2007), Dutch Super Cup (2006, 2007), FA Cup (2014)


International caps


47


The Arsenal manager

has previously said

that Vermaelen, who was part of the Belgium World Cup squad but is currently out injured, may leave the club.

Vermaelen joined

Arsenal from Ajax in June 2009

and became a key figure in the club’s defence.

However, the Belgian’s form and fitness meant he made just 21 appearances in all competitions last season.

“He could leave, it could happen, I’ve said that since the start of pre-season,” said Wenger, ahead of the club’s meeting with Manchester City in the Community Shield on Sunday.

“He needs to play now. He has shown an outstanding attitude but he is in a position where we wouldn’t stand in his way if he finds an interesting opportunity.

“Ideally, yes, we would like to sell him abroad and that is an option for us.

“I don’t want to say how many offers we have but we have offers from abroad as well.”

Wenger added that winger Theo Walcott, 25, could make his return from a serious knee injury before the end of the month.

The 25-year-old has not played since rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Tottenham in the third round of the FA Cup in January.

“Theo is planned to come back into my group on 31 August, the beginning of September at the latest,” said Wenger.







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Wenger queries Man City Lampard deal








3 August 2014
Last updated at
23:10













Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has questioned

Manchester City’s signing of Frank Lampard.

Midfielder Lampard, 36, will join City on a six-month loan deal from Major League Soccer franchise New York City – one of three clubs affiliated to the Premier League champions.

Last season, City received sanctions on their squad after breaching

Uefa’s Financial Fair Play regulations.

“Is it a way to get around the fair play? I don’t know,” said Wenger.

“It looks like all of these ‘City’ clubs will feed the main club Manchester City – I heard they want to buy five clubs all over the world.

“I don’t know the rules well enough, but they bought a franchise for £59.4m to play in the States next season.”











Blues around the world – Manchester City’s affiliated clubs

New York City


from 2013 (partnership with New York Yankees)


Melbourne City


from 2014 (partnership with rugby league team Melbourne Storm)


Yokohama F Marinos


from 2014 (partnership with car maker Nissan)


City have been restricted to a 21-man Champions League squad this year – with eight home-grown players required in their Premier League squad.

“At the moment the players they sign cannot play until next year so they will register them in the other clubs and can get out on loan,” added Wenger, who ruled out Arsenal employing similar methods in the future.

“We are happy to dedicate the money to just run our club – there is not a lot of surplus to run other clubs, ” he said.







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