Arsene Wenger has admitted that his side were poor in every area as they suffered a 1-0 defeat to Ipswich Town in the first-leg of the Carling cup semi-final.
In a post-match interview with BBC Sport, Wenger said: “We had no spark and Ipswich were sharper, I’m disappointed and the players are as well.”
Despite suffering a second consecutive slip-up against a Championship side, Wenger remained confident that his side will be in better shape for the return leg: “I believe we’ll turn it round. We got a good warning tonight … and we will not always be as lacking in creativity as we were this evening.”
With Thomas Vermaelen and Sebastien Squillaci missing due to injury, Wenger has just two fit centre-halves in Laurent Koscielny and Johan Djourou, but the Gunners’ boss dismissed his defensive crisis as the cause of the defeat, stressing that his side were sub-standard in all areas of the pitch: “In every department we were below our usual level … We didn’t lose that game because of our central defenders.”
Duo near exit.
Andrei Arshavin and Manuel Almunia are on their way out of the Emirates Stadium, according to Metro.
Almunia has caught the attention of Turkish side Galatasaray who are believed to willing to meet Arsenal’s £1.5million valuation of the out-of-favour goalkeeper along with his £50,000 per-week wage demands.
Speculation about Almunia’s future is nothing new but supporters will find the possibility of Arshavin’s departure from London a bit of a surprise, despite the Russian’s poor form of late.
The 29-year-old was booed off the park by his own fans after another poor performance during his Arsenal’s 1-1 draw against Leeds in the FA Cup and his agent, Dennis Lachter, has revealed a move to Juventus this month or in the summer is a possibility: “There’s a possibility of Andrei’s move to Juventus,
“But two things can prevent this deal – first, Arsenal can win the Premier League this year, which is a dream of any footballer.
“And second is the financial power of Juve, as Arsenal are demanding no less than £20million to release Arshavin.”
Gunners in for wonderkid.
Arsenal are competing with the Premier League’s top teams for the signature of Southampton’s 17-year-old Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, according to The Telegraph.
Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur have also shown an interest in the youngster with Sir Alex Ferguson and Liverpool’s director of football strategy looking on from the stands as the player hailed as the “new Theo Walcott” opened the scoring in his side’s 6-0 victory over Oldham Athletic.
It is unlikely that Arsene Wenger will attempt to sign the attacking midfielder this month as he turns his attention to his defensive troubles but with the amount of interest shown in the player, there is a possibility that the Londoners will attempt to pip other suitors to signing the Portsmouth-born wonderkid.