Category Archive: Features

As the Gunners gear up for a new season, Gilberto recalls the making of the historic Arsenal Invincibles

As Jens Lehman settles into his new coaching role at Arsenal, another Invincible Gilberto, recalls the time when Arsenal last claimed the Premier League title in historic circumstances.

When Arsene Wenger first spoke about Arsenal remaining unbeaten for a whole season, many in the game looked on with smirks of derision and worse. It was the 2002-03 Premier League season and having been eight points clear at the top, the Gunners were on course to retain their title. That was until they threw away the lead at Bolton Wanderers, only to then surrender their title in a 3-2 home loss to relegation threatened Leeds United.

Arsenal look to keep Alexis and add more on top

It was the most uncomfortable of his twenty-one seasons atArsenal, yet despite a sustained period of unprecedented fancalls for his removal, Arsene Wenger sat smiling in Sydney, still very much in charge of the Gunners ahead of his side’s pre-season tour down under and to China. His side duly despatched Sydney FC 2-0 and West Sydney Wanderers 3-1.

Next stop Shanghai and a penalty win over Bayern Munich with scores 1-1 at full time. Alex Iwboi’s level level was a brilliant injury time response. Now Beijing and Chelsea, before Arsenal return for Emirates Cup duty back in north London at the end of July, the preludes to Wenger’s new two-year contract extension. In 2019, we could then be at a definitive juncture to his time at Arsenal, but for now, Wenger was beaming alongside the FA Cup trophy his side claimed last May with that dramatic 2-1 win over Premier League champions Chelsea.

Near perfect ! – Wenger reflects on Arsenal drubbing of Chelsea

In his 20th year in charge at Arsenal, there isn’t a lot that Arsene Wenger hasn’t witnessed at the North London club. Trophies, the Invincibles, incredible highs and lows which all come with the top level manager baggage tag. Yes, Wenger has witnessed a lot on his watch, and it seems every landmark has coincidentally been accompanied by a crucial clash against Chelsea.

Arsenal table toppers press home their advantage

With Arsenal sitting on top of the Premiership, holding a slender one point lead over Manchester City and two over Chelsea after last week end’s fixtures, you could righty expect expert opinion to praise the Gunners’ ten clean sheets, or extol the defensive capabilities of the Per Mertersacker and Laurent Koscielny partnership which has combined to concede only one goal in seven Premiership games. In fact when the defensive pairing has started and finished the game together, Arsenal have managed to remain unbeaten over an amazing 29 game stretch. That takes some doing, but as Arsenal beat Fulham with two goals from Santi Cazorla, weekend press coverage in the UK seemed to favour City and Chelsea, with even the current demise of Manchester United higher on the agenda than any focus on Arsene Wenger’s side.

Still baffled by the game changing substitution that cost Arsenal against United

When Arsenal hosted Manchester United, it was to be a battle of the two longest serving managers in the Premiership. Arsene Wenger has been at the helm in north London for 15 years, with Sir Alex Ferguson preceding him by 10 years at Old Trafford. Gone are the days when two used to snarl at each other and could barely bring each other to smile let alone shake hands with one another. Over the years, their relationship has mellowed, and is now one of respect as was witnessed with Wenger’s pitch side move to the United dug out to offer a pre-match smile and a strong handshake to Ferguson ahead of the two sides clash at the Emirates. After a poor league start Wenger has been under pressure this season, with sections of Arsenal fans voicing concerns at the club’s transfer policy and the direction that the club is now pursuing.

Young Guns will learn from Henry

It was a goal to light up the season for any Arsenal fan, and when that Arsenal fan happens to be Thierry Henry then you just knew that the actions and the volume on netting during his second Gunners’ debut in the FA Cup 3rd round against Leeds would leave no one in doubt of the significance of what had happened. The King was back and once again the owner of all he surveyed. Only times have changed considerably during the four years of Henry’s absence, and given his avowed desire to never play in Europe again, it was always going to be something special that would coax the World and European Cup winner out of his MLS hiatus.

I needed a change even though everything was fantastic at Arsenal – Fabregas

Cesc Fabregas has spoken openly and honestly of his eight years at Arsenal, and of his anguish over leaving north London. Arsenal fans felt that a return to his native Catalunya would always be on the cards, but the manner of Fabregas’s departure shocked not only them but Arsene Wenger too. The Arsenal manager has spoken of his sadness of losing a player about to hit his prime , and coupled with the departure of Samir Nasri, the Emirates was rocked to the core, with it taking time to recover from a disastrous opening few games to the current Premiership season.

City spending to achieve the Wenger way

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, than Arsene Wenger should be ecstatic that Roberto Mancini is willing to copy his methods at Manchester City. That should case here, but so intent is Mancini in replicating the Wenger way, he has no issue with buying Arsenal players to achieve the dream of his UAE backers. We have the Emirates, they have the Etihad. We have free flowing football, after a dour few games last season, now Mancini has free flowing football. We have talented players, and now to add insult to injury, they have returned to the well again and again, taking Samir Nasri, Kolo Toure, Gael Clichy and Emmanuel Adebayor from north London. Even former legend Patrick Vieira was tempted Not content on stopping there either, Mancini is now eyeing up the Premiership’s top scorer Robin Van Persie, and for a Board used to balance sheets rather than team sheets, the alarm bells should have been ringing loudly in their ears by now. It would seem that Wenger is powerless to arrest the high profile departures up the M6.

Arsene Wenger – Arsenal’s greatest manager ever

The longest serving manager in Arsenal’s history, and for a club, which was founded in 1886, that is some record. Arsene Wenger celebrates thirteen years at the helm of the famous north London side today, and as well as holding the title of the Gunners’ longest serving manager, he is also the most successful. Three Premier League titles, four FA Cups, are Wenger’s achievements, and we must not forget the Champions League final in 2006,

Wenger backs Arsenaliation of Emirates

Arsene Wenger has given his support to the new “Arsenalisation” initiative. “Arsenalisation is a project bearing fruit. I’m a fan of it both outside and inside the ground. I hope that people can feel at home when they come here because the sense of history embraces them and they are where they want to be. It gives the stadium some soul and some love,”