28 January 2011

Jack Wilshere: Manning Up

Arsène Wenger says Jack Wilshere has the attributes to play anywhere across the midfield. England manager Fabio Capello has described Wilshere as “the future" and declared his intention to give him the ‘holding role’ for England after watching the 19-year-old hold down a midfield place for his club this season. Wilshere is expected to win his second cap in a friendly against Denmark in February and Wenger sees no reason why the teenager shouldn’t be given the job. However he insists his qualities don’t stop there.

“Why not? He can play in any position in midfield,” said Wenger at his pre-match media briefing on Friday. “In our midfield he plays everywhere. We have no deep-lying midfielders in our midfield, but he can play in any position because he is tactically intelligent. He can defend [and] he can attack, he's a midfielder. For me a midfielder is not exclusively one position. He is a guy who defends when the team does not have the ball and attacks when we have the ball. I never had a midfielder who does just one thing, because that is what I hate most in midfield.”

26 January 2011

Arsenal 3 - 0 Ipswich (agg 3-1)

25 January 2011

Vladi Weiss

Marc Albrighton

Click on image to enlarge

24 January 2011

Arsenal 3 - 0 Wigan

23 January 2011

Aston Villa 1 - 0 Man City

22 January 2011

Harry Redknapp mugged in Spain

Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp has revealed he was mugged while attending a football match in Spain on Thursday. Redknapp, 63, was in Madrid to see  the Spanish capital's two main teams, Real and Atletico (Diego Forlan is a potential Spurs transfer target), play in the Copa del Rey.

“I'm walking round the outside of the stadium, it's a fantastic atmosphere, there's all little stalls there selling sweets. I just probably looked stupid or something. I got some sweets, me and Kevin, and it was so packed. The next thing there's two guys on their knees in front of me and I felt someone pull my overcoat. I thought 'what are you doing?'. The next thing he's got my keys on the floor.

"I thought 'is he a blind man or someone having trouble walking properly? What are they doing, these two blokes? I'm going 'let go of my trousers', pushing them away. While I'm doing that they're rifling my pockets, there were about six of them. And then they went. I thought 'what are they doing?

“I went to put my hand in my pockets and realised what they'd done. They took everything. All my money, credit cards, everything really. I just probably looked stupid or something, and they thought 'here's one here, he's not Spanish, obviously and we're looking for a foreigner'."

The Spurs manager said he did not believe the muggers knew who he was. Real Madrid won the match at Atletico's Vicente Calderon Stadium 1-0. Redknapp said the incident unsettled him and he left about 15 minutes before the end of the game, borrowing money from Bond for a cab.

Six-week wait for Vermaelen

Arsène Wenger conducted a short Q&A with Arsenal.com on Thursday to clarify the situation surrounding Thomas Vermaelen's comeback:

What treatment has Thomas Vermaelen undergone?
It was not a real surgery, it is what you call a procedure. I am not a medical specialist but what they took off is what you call the plantaris tendon. This is a structure that is very rarely injured and they tell me many people do not have one at all. It’s a little tendon next to the Achilles tendon where he had the friction.

And apparently he was not even knocked out…
No. It is a very light one, he is walking today. The time to be back, if all goes well, they tell me is six weeks. A bit more, a bit less I don’t know. But I count six weeks.

Is that six weeks to get back to full training?
To be back competitively. Two weeks without training and four weeks preparation.

Why did you choose Sweden for the procedure?
Because the medical team sought out the best opinions and found two specialists for that kind of problem in Europe. In the end our medical team decided to do it in Sweden.

So they were the best people in the world then?
That’s what we tried to do. We were a bit speechless because you never find any problems with Achilles and the pain is still there. At some stage we had to find out, so we are hopeful this procedure can solve his problems now.

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