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Poor defensive tactics: Arsenal must be regretting 2018 decision not to sign £25m rated ace


Arsenal ended their worst winless run in 42 years by coming from behind at half-time to beat West Ham 3-1 in the English Premier League on Monday with all Forecastr predictions on the counter all coming to light.

Arsenal’s nine-match winless streak looked set to reach 10 after a lifeless first half, in which the Gunners conceded to West Ham’s Angelo Ogbonna. They were booed off at the break.

Three goals from Gabriel Martinelli, Nicolas Pepe and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in a quick-fire nine minutes from the Gunners prompted West Ham fans to depart the Olympic Stadium in droves.

The win lifted Arsenal to ninth in the standings and ended an alarming run of form which cost Unai Emery his job.

The return to winning ways however, doesn’t mean all is finally well at the club with the Gunners defence already shipped in 24 goals this season – the fifth worst goals against in the Premier League this season after Newcastle United.

How the transfer failed

Back in January 2018 Arsenal failed in their attempts to sign West Bromwich Albion defender Jonny Evans, according to The Sun. It was suggested at the time that the North London club refused to pay the club’s £25 million asking price for the centre-back.

At the end of that season, the Baggies were relegated. Evans, far too good to be plying his trade in the Championship, moved to Leicester City for a reported £3.5 million on a three-year-deal.

What now looks like a strange move is that the Gunners’ recruitment team didn’t return for Evans when his cost plummeted and they must be regretting the decision.

Leicester City are flying high in the Premier League this season. They sit second behind leaders Liverpool and the experienced centre-back has been instrumental in Brendan Rodgers’ team which have only concede 10 goals this season.

Since Evans signed terms at the King Power Stadium, the Gunners have struggled massively at the heart of defence. Presently, Arsenal are struggling to pair two defenders together who look capable of keeping a clean sheet.

Current market value

Given the Foxes current brilliant form under Rodgers, it’s even debatable as to whether Evans is perhaps worth more than the reported £25 million on current form.

While he has a few years left to perform at the top level, Evans has formed a formidable partnership with Caglar Soyuncu to make the duo one of the best defence in the Premier League.

Evans netted in a 4-1 win for the Foxes on Sunday against Aston Villa and WhoScored confirmed that he had an 86% pass success, won three aerial challenges, made nine clearances and also intercepted the ball on three occasions.

With the Gunners backline conceding goals for fun, the club fans must be wondering what might have been had they secured Evans signature in 2018.

Arsenal look a million miles away from silverware this season and it must really hurt that a former target of theirs is busy chasing a title with Leicester City.

All eyes would be on Freddie Ljunberg’s team this Thursday at they travelled all the way to Belgium to take on Standard Liege for their sixth Europa League Group stage games.

Europa League Predictions

As the Gunners are returning back to action Thursday night in Belgium, would you not one or two well-researched football predictions from Forecastr who are trusted by thousands of bettors for their accurate and back-to-back winning predictions.

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Assessed: Arsenal’s key rivals this season

Arsenal have finally kicked their transfer business with the marquee signing of Nicolas Pepe from Lille.

It has been a slow transfer window for the Gunners but the signing of the Ivorian for a club-record fee of £72 million has captured the imagination of the fanbase. His performances for Lille were excellent and have given Unai Emery some excellent attacking options.

The problems at the back remain, however, even with the signing of £22 million defender William Saliba. The Frenchman will remain at St Etienne for the current campaign before joining the Gunners ready for the 2020-21 season.

Can Arsenal really challenge for the top four this season? The question should probably be phrased differently, given that Manchester City and Liverpool are almost certain to take two of those spots leaving Emery’s side to battle it out with Manchester United, Tottenham, and Chelsea for the remaining two spaces.

We take a look at the business of those three teams in particular and assess whether it is they or the Gunners that have an advantage in the race for a Champions League spot.

Manchester United

You cannot talk about United this season without mentioning Harry Maguire. The former Sheffield United centre back has worked his way up through the football league to now become Manchester United’s most expensive defender in the club’s history at £80 million and the most expensive defender to play in the Premier League.

Maguire becomes United’s third signing of the season, following in the footsteps of Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka. With these additions the Red Devils will be expected to make a real tilt for the top four, however, there is still the small factor of both Romelu Lukaku and Paul Pogba who appear to be on the verge of leaving the club.

Advantage: Arsenal edge this one as the unrest of having two key players both wanting to leave is likely to need resolving before United can truly be taken seriously.


Two words will be music to the ears of Tottenham, Manchester United and Arsenal fans here… transfer embargo.

The Stamford Bridge club are not allowed to sign players, though they have added Mateo Kovacic because he was already registered to the team last season. He will be an important player as Frank Lampard looks to build success around his young players. Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham and Callum Hudson-Odoi. The latter’s injury is, however, a serious blow.

Advantage: Again the Gunners take this one given Chelsea’s ban but underestimate Lampard at your peril as the former midfielder is likely to get a lot from his young players.


Spurs are currently 16/1 to win the title in Premier League betting markets and a lot of this will be down to their success in the Champions League last season.

With Pochettino determined to keep the club moving forward he knows that clearing the decks will allow some new additions to be brought in. Kieran Trippier’s exit to Atletico Madrid brought in some much-needed cash which was quickly spent on record signing Tanguay Ndombele.

The £53.8 million investment smashed the club transfer record as the French midfielder arrived from Lyon. Spurs also picked up Jack Clarke from Leeds but the youngster will return to Elland Road on loan this season.

Advantage: Neither side has a clear advantage in this one with both making one headline addition. The Gunners perhaps have more depth but it will be up to Emery to prove it.

With this view of the transfer market, it seems things are looking up for Arsenal in the upcoming season. Can they prove their mettle?

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Report: Spurs joins Arsenal in race to sign Real Madrid’s 22-year-old

Tottenham Hotspur have joined in the race to sign Dani Ceballos from Real Madrid this summer transfer window according to Spanish publication El Desmarque.

The Spanish outlet are claiming Spurs to have lined up fee between the region of €40 million (£35.25m) and €50m (£44.96m) for the 22-year-old midfielder. Spurs, however, are not the only side interested in his service with Arsenal also reported with strong interest for the Spaniard. Arsenal will attempt to wrap up their three key summer signings before Euro 2020 commences, according to reports.

The Spaniard declared himself happy with Arsenal‘s business in the winter transfer market, with no senior players departing and two more options now in defence.

Centre-back Pablo Mari has signed from Flamengo and could move permanently in the summer and Cedric Soares, who has six months left on his deal with Premier League rivals Southampton, has also moved to north London on loan.

And the Daily Mail now claims that Arteta has turned his attentions towards the summer transfer window as they ‘aim to conclude early transfer business’ so they don’t ‘priced out of the market during Euro 2020.’

The report adds that Arsenal are ‘prioritising a box-to-box midfielder, a central defender and a creative central midfielder’.

The Daily Mail names one possible target as Feyenoord youngster Orkun Kokcu, who is a Turkey under-21 international with work already underway ‘behind the scenes’

The Gunners are worried possible transfers could be ‘jeopardised’ with the possibility that clubs will ‘inflate prices’ for their players after Euro 2020.

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Report: Arsenal looking to hijack Liverpool’s move to sign PL £30m-rated

As reported by The Sun, Arsenal are Liverpool are set to go head-to-head for signing of AFC Bournemouth winger Ryan Fraser this summer transfer window. Fraser, according to reports, has just one-year left to run on his current deal with the Cherries, and now as Premier League teams monitoring his situation at Dean Court.

Arsenal on other news, are still interested in Lille defender Gabriel despite having January bid rejected, according to a report.

The report is according to French media outlet Le10Sport, as quoted by TEAMtalk, that claims the Gunners had a bid turned down by Lille for the 22-year-old in the January transfer window.

Le10Sport report that Arsenal and Everton are planning to continue to monitor Gabriel throughout the rest of the Ligue 1 season ahead of the summer transfer window.

Arsenal signed Flamengo defender Pablo Mari and Southampton full-back Cedric Soares on loan for the remainder of the Premier League campaign to bolster Arteta’s ranks.

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Deal Close: Arsenal in talks with Agent over €36m-rated

A new defender is reportedly on the agender of Arsenal this summer transfer after yet another frustrating Premier League season wherein they finished outside of the top-four. According to reports, though, the club’s hierarchy are unlikely to sanction any fee unless the club beat Chelsea in the Europa League final and secure a return back to the Champions League football.

Meanwhile, Mikel Arteta wants to overhaul his Arsenal squad at the end of the season and star men like Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang according to top online pokies could be sold, reports The Sun.

Arteta has made a huge impression at Arsenal since replacing Unai Emery before Christmas and the general feeling is the club have made huge strides already on the pitch.

The only thing missing from Arteta’s start to life as manager is results and the Spaniard is ready to be ruthless with the squad in the summer.

Arteta has only won three of his first nine matches in charge of Arsenal and things are yet to really click in the attacking third even with Mesut Ozil, Lacazette and Aubameyang all starting.

There have been suggestions all season one of Lacazette or Aubameyang will move on at the end of the season to free up funds to spend but Arteta could axe both.

Aubameyang is reportedly determined to play Champions League football next season and the Gunners are unlikely to secure a top four finish this term.

Lacazette, meanwhile, has scored only five league goals all season and hasn’t netted away from home against a current top-flight team in 662 days.

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Arsenal eyeing move for German youngster as £110,000 a week ace replacement

Arsenal, according to German outlet Bild, are keen to sign German goalkeeper Markus Schubert to replace the retiring Petr Cech this summer. The report adds that the German goalkeeper has recently acquired the services of an agent who is an expert in securing player’s move to England. Registering 32 appearances for the Bundesliga 2 side,.

The Gunners returns to action this time at home against Newcastle United after their goalless encounter vs Burnley at the Turf Moor last time out.

Ahead of this crucial meeting, Gunners fans in the United States can make use of our us sports betting forecast from our reputable sport bookmaker for all their bets and prediction ahead of the match kickoff at the Emirates.

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Ospina: Cup Capers Could Create Colombian Connection

The race for Arsenal’s goalkeeper jersey for the 2018/19 season is going to be a hot one. Their purchase of Bernd Leno now means they have three outstanding goalkeepers in the form of David Ospina, Petr Cech and (now) Leno, all of whom could have equal claim to that starting spot.

Ospina has defiantly made an impression at the World Cup, proving a strong presence in goal for Colombia after a shock defeat to Japan on group matchday one. It will be interesting to know what Unai Emery’s thoughts are on the goalkeeper situation, as Leno isn’t without his faults and 2017/18 was not one of Cech’s finest. The latter man is now 36, and the situation now may be that Emery is looking to move him on.

At 29, Ospina is in his goalkeeping prime, and could become the first choice, if Leno struggles to adapt to the Premier League. Should Ospina manage to win the battle to become Arsenal #1, there could easily be a few other Colombians showing interest in joining Arsenal, and there are plenty of talented ones out there.

A quick look at what Ospina is capable of:

James Rodriguez

A dream move for Arsenal fans would, of course, be to land James Rodriguez, whose absence alone appears to have reduced Colombia’s stock in the eyes of experts. The fact that Colombia remained 20/1 outsiders in international football betting markets to win the 2018 World Cup, even before the last 16 match with England, is very telling. He is halfway through a two-year loan with Bayern Munich, but that will not stop him from having his usual array of suitors.

Though staying at Bayern is very much a possibility for him, the 2014 World Cup Golden Boot winner will likely want a permanent home. That is, of course, providing there is a young, forward-thinking manager (like Emery) in charge of his destination club, who plans on playing Rodriguez in his natural position.

Juan Quintero

One less-lauded player, who lit up the World Cup for Colombia, is 25-year-old Juan Quintero. Contracted to Porto, but on loan at River Plate, he has proved to be a constant creative threat, with two shrewd assists at the World Cup during the group stage. While Porto can offer Champions League football with greater regularity than Arsenal, Emery has the charisma and reputation that may just turn his hand in the Gunners’ favour.

Quintero’s Word Cup performances bear all the hallmarks of a typical ‘breakout’ player, who becomes a hot property after a strong World Cup. It happened to James Rodriguez four years ago, and with an average of 0.7 through balls per game – very high in relation to other World Cup 2018 players – Emery will do well to court his signature.

Yerry Mina

One of the highest rated players in the World Cup so far has been Yerry Mina, who could well be on the radar of several Premier League clubs, after averaging more than five clearances per game in the World Cup. Though always in the right place at the right time – or so it seems – the Barcelona man has found his playing time in LaLiga limited. On current form, he offers just as much as teammate Davinson Sanchez, giving Emery good reason to do as Arsenal’s rivals did back in August 2017, and sign a strong Colombian.

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Arsenal Players Having A Disastrous World Cup

Being one of the premier clubs in the world means that some of your players will end up in the World Cup. But that should also mean that most of your players in the World Cup have a chance to advance to the next round. Unfortunately for Arsenal supporters, the team’s representatives in Russia have had a woeful time with a number of the Gunners bowing out in the first round of the competition.

Before focusing on the negative, there have been a couple of bright moments for Arsenal players at this World Cup. Granit Xhaka scored one of the goals of the tournament for Switzerland in a comeback win over Serbia in the group stage. And David Ospina recorded two clean-sheet victories in the group stage, despite his struggles in an Arsenal shirt. But outside of those moments of brilliance, the five Arsenal players who escaped their groups weren’t elite by any means.

Two of the five Arsenal players who have made the knockout stages of the World Cup have failed to see the field. Nacho Monreal of Spain and Danny Welbeck of England may be in quality sides, but have not contributed to that quality with their play on the field. Swiss captain Stephan Lichtsteiner was forced to miss the round of 16 due to the accumulation of yellow cards. While Betfair World Cup betting tips may be backing England and Switzerland, thanks to their overall quality, these Gunners have not helped the cause much.


And that is before focusing on the four Arsenal players who failed to get out of the group stage. Of the four Arsenal players who failed to move on in the tournament, one was a part of the most high profile flameout in recent World Cup history. That player is Mesut Ozil and his German squad were the disappointment of the tournament in failing to get out of the group as defending champions. This was the third straight World Cup that the defending champions failed to escape their group.

Most of Egypt’s World Cup campaign was focused on Mo Salah and his public relations crisis. And the play of Mohamed Elneny certainly didn’t do much to help the team. He didn’t create much of value for Egypt, and was a part of a team that lost all three of their matches in Russia. Alex Iwobi of Nigeria and Joel Campbell of Costa Rica both recorded one positive result with their team during the World Cup, but both players were anything but electric and couldn’t help their teams avoid elimination in the first round of the tournament.

So far, Arsenal players haven’t done much to inspire confidence during the World Cup. And with new manager Unai Emery surely watching the performances of all of his players as he continues to make personnel decisions, one would think that Arsenal players are feeling the pressure to perform in Russia. So far, they have folded under that pressure, to say the least.

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Should He Stay Or Should He Go

I’m not sure how many of you are aware of this given the lack of media coverage but this morning the Captain met with Le Boss to discuss his contract situation. In 12 months RVP will be able to leave the club on a free transfer so these talks are of utmost importance. As I write this there has been no news from either the player himself or the club. The outcome of the discussions will tell us a lot about where our club is going and if we can expect to challenge next season.

The figures being bandied about reckon the club will offer RVP a wage in the region of 150k a week for four years along with a signing on bonus of £5 million. This equates to £35 million over the course of the contract separate from any sponsorship offer he may receive elsewhere. Various media outlets report that Citeh are prepared to offer RVP wages in the region of 250k a week should he decide that he wishes to leave. This would allow RVP to earn approx £50 million over the course of a contract. While I appreciate that there is quite a difference in wages earned on offer I don’t necessarily think this will enter into RVP’s mind. To the ordinary working man an extra 50% in wages would entice them to leave their current employer. however when your current wage would still allow you to live the life you want without ever having to worry about money it might not be such a deciding factor. This is why I think Van Persie’s decision will be based on whatever assurances the club make to him regarding the direction of the club  over the next couple of years.

Robin has been at the club for 8 years now and has only won a FA Cup during this time. This contract is likely to be his last one at an elite level club as he will turn 29 in August. He will be 33 when his next contract expires and realistically speaking given his record of injuries will be entering the twilight of his career. Wherever he goes next will be where he feels he is most likely to win some silverware. Th early singing of Pods may have been an indication to him by the club that they intend to seriously strengthen the squad over the summer with some quality players. Most of us sitting at home can tell that the current squad needs a few minor tweaks and adjustments if we are to challenge and you can be sure that a senior professional like Van Persie is aware of this too. If Ivan the Great and AW can show Robin that the club will be in a position to mount a serious challenge on the League and Champion’s League fronts than I feel we will see him stay.

The final factor that will surely enter into his thoughts is that of family life. RVP has been at the club since he was 21. He has two kids under the age of six which means they have lived their entire life in London. Himself and his wife have both spoken recently about how settled they are in the Capital and how much their children enjoy life. To uproot everything at this age would be a big undertaking for a young family and one that the Van Persie’s might not be prepared to make, hopefully.

I’m hoping that we can look forward to another 30 goal premier league haul from the Dutchman next season and hopefully so are all other gooners out there .

I must also congratulate Theo and The Ox on making it into England’s Euro 2012 squad. Lets hope the experience is good for The Ox and doesn’t set him back the way it did to Theo if he doesn’t feature.



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