Thursday, 7 March 2013

Wenger concerned about mental strength -Barcelona want £15m Vermaelen -Wilshere handed armband?

Morning Gooners.

As we head towards a weekend without football, the manager has been setting his sights on the Champions League tie with Bayern Munich.

I think he knows in his heart of hearts that we are out but will want to throw everything at the tie in order to try and get some sort of positive result in Germany to set ourselves up for the remaining ten league games last season.

Arsene Wenger said in an interview with Eurosport:
"I am not worried about us potentially coming back against Bayern, I am more worried about consequences that could manifest in the heads of our players. 
"You will never know how they can absorb those blows and how the team responds to disappointment. This is the most worrying aspect for me. 
"But from the experience of how to handle the end of the season, we know how to deal with that. We have had lots of experience."
Much in the same way we were defeated in the San Siro last February and came back at the Grove with a 3-0 win which ultimately meant we went out of Europe but our confidence wasn't shattered for the league run in which ultimately saw us finish third.

After the Milan result we continued our good form with three wins on the bounce, punctured by an away defeat to QPR, before a further two wins then defeat to Wigan. Three draws then followed before our final game of the season, a win at West Brom.

Prior to the Spurs game we'd been on an unbeaten run of five games in the league. In my opinion we've got to go to Germany with a positive frame of mind and make sure we put in a performance which will give us confidence for the season run in. Finishing in the top four isn't beyond us.

While we're still looking at the short term picture of this season, it appears the manager has one eye on rebuilding his squad for next season. According to the Daily Mail he's asked his scouts to identify central defenders who he can sign.

Already on the list being considered are: Marseille’s Nicolas N’Koulou, Atletico Bilbao’s Fernando Amorebieta, Real Madrid’s Raul Albiol and Swansea’s Ashley Williams.

As we know Sebastien Squillaci is already on his way out of the club in the summer as his contract is not being renewed. But The Sun claim Thomas Vermaelen could be off as well, with Barcelona looking to line up a £15m deal for the Arsenal captain.

They say that would bring about a chain of events which would see Jack Wilshere handed the captain's armband. Clearly we know that Jack will be captain one day. It's just waiting for the right moment to give him the responsibility.

Finally The Daily Mirror report that Manchester City are scouting Carl Jenkinson as they step up their search for a right back. Clearly he's not going to move to Eastlands, so it is a bit of a non story. They can look but they can't touch.

That's it for today. Back with more tomorrow.

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