Welcome to the daily Arsenal column here at Soccerlens where we take a look at all things Arsenal. Ranging from news stories to transfer speculation, everything here is about Arsenal. Today’s stories include quotes from Petr Cech who is on international duty, plus an update on the injury of Alexis Sanchez. There are also a few transfer tit-bits as well as September’s Goal of the Month.
Cech Defends Ospina
The issue of David Ospina being selected ahead of summer signing Petr Cech for Arsenal’s Champions League clash against Olympiakos turned into a massive controversy last week after the Gunners slumped to a defeat following Ospina’s mistakes, but Cech has come out in the defence of his team-mate. Cech, who is in international duty with the Czech Republic, has explained his exclusion although he says he wanted to play and also defends Ospina’s error-strewn performance.
Speaking to iDNES, the goalkeeper said: “Twice Wenger decided to do that (to pick Ospina), I have to respect that. In such a long season it is not possible for someone to play every time. Although I obviously wanted to play. Errors belong to football. One must go on, can’t cry that something went wrong. David is an excellent goalkeeper with plenty of experience.” Some professionalism there, Petr.
Sanchez Injury Update
Alexis Sanchez is a major doubt for Chile’s World Cup qualifier against Brazil tomorrow as manager Jorge Sampaoli has provided an update over his star forward’s groin injury, which was sustained in Arsenal’s 3-0 weekend win over Manchester United. The news comes after contrasting reports from yesterday suggested Sanchez came into the national team camp without any injury problems.
Both Sanchez and Bayern Munich midfielder Arturo Vidal are doubtful for the Brazil game. Both haven’t had full training with the national team. “Neither have trained, only made recovery and worked with physios. They can not be confirmed to play against Brazil. The club where Arturo Vidal is (Bayern Munich) is very professional, knows when or no use, did a test and found that you have an injury that can be manageable. Alexis is at the same risk as Arturo,” Sampaoli was quoted as saying by Daily Star.
Flamini Wins Goal of the Month Poll
Midfielder Mathieu Flamini has topped the official Goal of the Month poll for September on Arsenal’s official website for his stupendous strike against north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur in the Capital One Cup late last month. Flamini’s brilliant volley, which clinched a 2-1 win for the Gunners, won a whopping 68 percent of the votes. Quite an achievement for a fringe player there!
Meanwhile, the Mirror’s John Cross — the author of “Arsene Wenger: The Inside Story of Arsenal Under Wenger” — believes Arsenal want current Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola to replace Wenger if and when he hangs up his coat, rather than Steve Bould, who is the current assistant manager at the club.
Bold dreams there from Mr Cross, but it remains to be seen how much of it comes to fruition, but Cross also says Bould would make a great manager. Cross was speaking at Arsenal’s Supporters Trust meeting on Monday, where he was a guest.
John Cross says that Steve Bould would make a great manager but the Club’s dream is for Pep Guardiola post Wenger.
— AFC_Andrew (@PR_WhoRu) October 5, 2015
Time for some transfer chatter now as Celta Vigo forward Nolito, who is believed to be a prime Arsenal target for January, is on the verge of signing a new deal that will set his release clause at £18.3m. According to Celta sporting director Miguel Torrecilla, the deal is all but done but says that doesn’t stop the player from moving. “Nolito’s renewal deal is basically done. We just need to sign the documentI can’t guarantee Nolito will stay in January. When there’s a buyout fee, you can’t guarantee anything,” Torrecilla was quoted as saying by Faro de Vigo.
Alexander Kokorin and Karim Benzema rumours are doing the rounds as both players have been linked once again with the Gunners. According to Metro, Kokorin has once again emerged as the target for the Gunners while the Benzema stories have rambled on ever since he was subbed off in the Madrid derby against Atletico Madrid on the weekend. Nothing concrete though, as is always the case with Arsenal.
Social Media Arsenal
Centre-back Gabriel Paulista has been involved in quite a few eventful games for the Gunners this season, the 2-0 loss to Chelsea where he was involved in an altercation with Diego Costa and more recently, the 3-2 loss to Olympiakos and the win over Manchester United. Paulista’s stock is certainly on the rise, as during his presence on the pitch this season, Arsenal haven’t yet conceded in the Premier League.
The Brazilian celebrated 200,000 followers on his Instagram yesterday, and thanked everyone he deems deserving for his achievement. Unsurprisingly, Costa wasn’t on his list.
First i want to thank God for all he has done for me and family , i also want to thank all my fans for the support , lets go gunners. Primeiramente gostaria de agradecer por tudo que Deus tem feita na minha vida e da minha família, e também gostaria de agradecer todo o suporte que meus fans sempre me da, vamos gunners #Gabrielisagunner
A photo posted by Gabriel Paulista (@gpaulista5) on