All over for Arsene? Wenger's crisis meeting after Chelsea disaster: The Daily Telegraph and The Guardian both carry stories about the incredible situation at Arsenal following their 6-0 humiliation by Chelsea on Saturday - a match which should have been a celebration of Arsene Wenger's 1000th match in charge of The Gunners. The Telegraph claims that Wenger held "a frank clear-the-air meeting with the Arsenal players yesterday in a final attempt to rescue the club’s fading Premier League title challenge," while the Guardian adds that, "the issues thrown up by the crippling disappointment across the capital were discussed as a group with key games to come."
Wenger has also cancelled his press conference that had been scheduled for Monday - enough to convince the Daily Mail that "Wenger's 18-year reign might be over… well-informed sources [claim] that the Frenchman is now considering his future at the club… there was even talk in well-placed north London circles that an announcement about the club’s path forward could be imminent."
The Guardian and Telegraph pour cold water on that idea, though: despite the debacle of the drubbing, and the nine years without a trophy, Wenger will still keep his job, and indeed is "understood to have agreed in principle to a new two-year deal," according the Telegraph.
Paper Round says: Despite internet doom-mongers talking up the prospects of a divorce between Wenger and Arsenal, there's no reason to think that the Frenchman will leave the club. And yet, who knows? If anything ever could persuade him that it's time to walk away from The Emirates, Saturday's result could be it.
Bendtner to leave Arsenal: The Daily Mirror claims that Arsenal's misfit striker will finally be cut loose after he was pictured watching a team in Denmark at the weekend. "Arsenal outcast Bendtner, fined two weeks' wages after going home for a boozy night out without club permission, watched FC Copenhagen this afternoon after flying home to his native Denmark." But with his contract up in the summer which club will he join? Apparently he, "sat next to long term pal Frank Arnesen who is sporting director at Hamburg. They also pictured with the director of FC Copenhagen, Anders Hørsholt."
Paper Round says: This report is clearly rubbish. Only two clubs are big enough for Bendtner: Real Madrid and Barcelona - and that is a matter of public record established by the man himself, as we reported last year.
Bayern out of race to sign Draxler: As if Bendtner apparently set to be leaving wasn't reason enough for Arsenal fans to start celebrating, it seems the Gunners might land Julian Draxler from Schalke this summer after Bayern Munich announced they are not interested. The Guardian quotes Bayern chief Karl-Heinz Rummenigge saying, "I can rule out that we will sign Julian Draxler in the summer."
Paper Round says: Great news for Gunners fans - Draxler might be just the man to help Arsenal thrive in the Europa League next season.
Spurs fight with Premier League rivals for Salzburg winger: The Mirror reports that Red Bull Salzburg's Sengalese winger Sadio Mane has "attracted the interest of Chelsea, Manchester City and Newcastle but Spurs boss Tim Sherwood has already sent scouts to check on him." Spurs scout Ian Broomfield has watched the £10m-rated 21-year-old a couple of times.
Paper Round says: Spurs have decided that the answer to their problems isn't yet another creative central midfielder, but an incredibly quick young left winger who can terrorise defences. Is it just us, or didn't they use to have somebody who fit that bill rather well?
Manchester United to land Coentrao: David Moyes still prefers Southampton's Luke Shaw, but his interest in the £30m-rated Englishman could be shelved in favour of a £10m move for Real Madrid's Portuguese defender Fabio Coentrao, according to the Daily Star.
Paper Round says: It's a lot of money to save, but remember that Shaw is 18 and Coentrao 26 - it could make a lot of sense for United to spend big now if they are serious about building for the future.
Everyone wants Liverpool to win the title, says Liverpool star: Glen Johnson's words about Liverpool being the choice of the neutral this season are picked up by several papers. "This Liverpool side has style, swagger and is fast gaining admirers, so much so that Glen Johnson believes they are now the people’s favourites in the title race," reports the Daily Mail, quoting the England full-back saying, "I think just to spice things up the neutrals would want to see us win it. Nobody wants the same teams to be winning it over and over again. I guess the neutrals will be packing a punch for us. We must be good to watch."
Paper Round says: Only the most dyed-in-the-wool fan of a title contending club, or failing that a jaundiced Manchester United or Everton fan, would think Johnson's comments were anything but fair. Yet we've a feeling that this is the kind of story that stirs up a hornet's nest - not helped, admittedly, by the Daily Express's choice of back page headline that made Johnson's measured words sound as if he was declaring Liverpool as the "People's champions".
- Sports & Recreation
- Arsene Wenger
- Premier League
- Julian Draxler