We take a look at the key news stories surrounding Arsenal from the day
Mustafi reveals Ferdinand was his idol
Shkodran Mustafi has revealed that former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand was his idol growing up. The German defender has formed a fine partnership with Laurent Koscielny this season and has quickly settled to life in England. And according to Mustafi, it is an English defender who he used to love growing up.
“I loved watching Zidane. I loved watching Ronaldinho and when I became a defender I loved Ferdinand,” Mustafi said, according to Goal. “He was always there, screaming, tackling, playing. He had everything a defender needed.”
Arsenal fans will be hoping Mustafi can go on to emulate Ferdinand, who spent 12 hugely successful years at Manchester United and won 6 Premier League titles and 1 Champions League trophy.
Arsene Wenger key to German international joining in the summer
Mustafi also revealed that the stability at Arsenal was a key factor in him wanting to join them. In a long, drawn out negotiation Arsenal finally managed to sign the German international from Valencia for a fee in excess of £35 million.
Arsene Wenger was understandably pleased when Arsenal finally landed their man, and according to Mustafi it is the fact that Wenger has been in charge for so long that convinced him Arsenal was the right place for him.
“Sometimes you don’t know how good a coach is if you’re not training him with day in, day out”, Mustafi said, according to Goal.“Him being the boss of Arsenal was important in the fact that I knew he’s been here a long time and there’s a structure.”
“Coming here with a coach who’s been here 20 years I knew I could come here, fit in and be part of it which makes everything much easier to play. I hope he’s not leaving but he has to make that decision and we will see.”
Petr Cech reveals what he thinks Arsenal must do to keep Ozil and Sanchez
Meanwhile, Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech has been discussing what he feels Arsenal need to do to keep superstar duo Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil.
Ozil was recently in the news for saying that he wanted to see what Arsene Wenger would do before he committed, and if reports are to be believed he will soon get what he wanted with Wenger apparently ready to sign a new deal.
However, Petr Cech feels that Arsenal also need to win titles in order to convince the duo to sign an extension. Cech also felt that the Arsenal players need to show Ozil and Sanchez how much they need them to push the deals over the line.
“I think for us it is important to show them how much we need them in the team and to show them how much we want to win,” he told the Evening Standard.
“ Then obviously it will make their decision easier. If they see that we are competitive, everybody is ready to win things together and they know how important they are for our team, then this will make their decision easier.”
Ozil picked up the German Player of the Year award this week and hinted at an Arsenal stay, so it appears that Petr Cech and his teammates have been doing exactly what the goalkeeper said they need to do.
Jamie Redknapp plays down Sanchez outburst
Alexis Sanchez came in for some criticism after he was seen sulking on the bench after being substituted during Arsenal’s 4-0 victory over Swansea. After the game, Arsene Wenger played down Sanchez’s behaviour saying that it had nothing to do with his attitude and that he was just frustrated at not being able to play more.
And former Liverpool and Tottenham player Jamie Redknapp is inclined to agree with him. Redknapp feels that Sanchez’s actions just show how much desire he has for the game, and that Arsenal fans shouldn’t criticise him for wanting to stay on the pitch.
” It was bizarre to see Alexis Sanchez go off in a strop against Swansea but I don’t think we should read too deeply into it. We should never criticise a player who wants to stay on the pitch,” he said, according to the Daily Mail.
” The Arsenal forward’s goal in Wales means he is level with Diego Costa and Zlatan Ibrahimovic at the top of the scoring charts and the Chilean is desperate to win the Golden Boot. If I was his manager I would view Sanchez’s actions as nothing more than a desire to play.”
Sanchez’s goal took his tally to 14 goals in the league, but he leads Costa and Ibrahimovic in assists with 7, while the latter have 5 and 3 respectively. If Sanchez continues playing the way he is, he is definitely a favourite for the Golden Boot, especially with Costa’s situation at Chelsea still mired in confusion.
Gervinho still hopes for Arsenal return
Former Arsenal player Gervinho has revealed that he is still a fan of the Gunners and hopes to return one day. The Ivory Coast forward spent two seasons with the Gunners between 2011-2013, but was not good enough and was eventually sold to Roma, where he spent 3 years.
He is now plying his trade in the Chinese Super League with Hebei China Fortune, but the Ivory Coast international is still hoping for a second chance with the Gunners :
“Perhaps,” he said when asked by Sportsmail about a possible return. “Everything’s possible in football. I liked playing in England, I liked playing for Arsenal. It’s a great club, for me, and I am still an Arsenal fan. Will I come back? Maybe, I still hope to.”
Many Arsenal fans were happy to see Gervinho go as his erratic performances were a huge source of frustration for the Gunners. It seems highly unlikely that the Ivorian will get his wish, but stranger things have happened in football.