Welcome to the daily Arsenal column here at Soccerlens where we delve into all things Arsenal. Today’s top stories include a round-up of the Gunners’ performances in the international matches, and a look at some blunt disclosures from new Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce on Arsene Wenger. Plus news from the transfer front and scoops from the social media.
Alexis, Ramsey Among Goals In International Duty
Alexis Sanchez kept his fine goalscoring run going as he helped Chile to a 4-3 win over Peru in a World Cup qualifier in Lima. In a game that ebbed and flowed and even involved some late drama, Sanchez scored twice to lead the Copa America champions to their second win in two games. Sanchez has now scored in each of his last five competitive games for both club and country, and luckily for the Arsenal fans, he hasn’t shown any signs of injury.
Staying with the CONMEBOL qualifiers, goalkeeper David Ospina had a night to forget as he conceded three goals in Colombia’s 3-0 loss to Uruguay in Montevideo earlier today. Meanwhile, Aaron Ramsey ensured Wales ended their historic Euro 2016 qualification campaign in style by scoring in a 2-0 win over Andorra in Cardiff last night.
Petr Cech played the full 90 minutes as the Czech Republic held on to win 3-2 against the Netherlands after surviving a late rally from the Dutch. Joel Campbell scored the only goal for Costa Rica in their 1-0 defeat of the United States of America last night in a friendly in New Jersey. Elsewhere, Hector Bellerin played the full 90 minutes in Spain Under-21s 1-1 draw with Sweden Under-21s.
Allardyce Admits To His Distaste For Wenger
New Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce has revealed what feelings he harbours about Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger in his new autobiography, titled “Big Sam: My Autobiography”, and labelled the Frenchman as “arrogant.” Allardyce, who enjoyed his fair share of success against Wenger as the Bolton Wanderers manager in the 2000s, recalled he enjoyed winding Wenger up whenever possible, as he believed the Arsenal manager tried to influence referees.
“I enjoyed beating Arsenal more than anyone when I was in charge at Bolton. We’d really got to them and Arsène Wenger hated us,” describes Allardyce in his new autobiography, which is being serialised in The Sun.
“There was one time he wouldn’t shake hands with me at Highbury because we got a draw. I saw him ripping his tie off and throwing it on the floor in anger. He takes it all very personally and has an air of arrogance.
“The more I wound him up, the more I liked it. He tried to influence refs through the media and create a perception that we were bullies committing all the fouls, while his team just wanted to play. It seemed he wanted a rule where they should be allowed to do what they wanted with the ball, without us being allowed to tackle them. It was a skill finding their weaknesses and how to exploit them. But when we succeeded the press were usually on about Arsenal having an off-day and the ref being soft,” he added.
According to Corriere dello Sport, as sourced by Le10Sport, Gunners right-back Mathieu Debuchy could be Rome bound in the January transfer window. Debuchy previously played under AS Roma manager Rudi Garcia at Lille, and the presence of another French full-back, Lucas Digne, in the Italian capital outfit could be vital in the negotiations, which could be towards a loan deal.
Digne, like Debuchy, craved for game time at PSG which saw him move to Rome ahead of next summer’s Euro 2016 in France and Debuchy could tread a similar path if he fails to usurp first-choice right-back Hector Bellerin from the starting eleven. Digne made it to the starting line-up for Les Bleus’ friendly against Denmark on Sunday, and Debuchy will hope for a similar turn in fortunes should he join Roma.
Meanwhile, Arsenal are keeping tabs on Marseille’s Belgian striker Michy Batshuayi in January according to Foot Mercato. And there are reports from Spanish magazine Don Balon that Alexis Sanchez is attracting interest from Real Madrid, who could offer Denis Cheryshev in part exchange to sweeten things up.
Social Media Arsenal
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s goal on Monday night against Lithuania helped England notch their tenth win in their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign. In the process, England became the only team to end the qualification campaign with a 100 percent record this time around. Oxlade-Chamberlain took to Instagram to highlight the Three Lions’ achievement, in which he too played his part.