We take a look at the key news stories surrounding Arsenal from the day.
Arsene Wenger hit with FA Charge
Arsene Wenger has been charged with misconduct by the FA as a result of his outburst on the touchline during Arsenal’s 2-1 victory over Burnley. In a crazy game, Granit Xhaka was sent off before Arsenal conceded a needless penalty in stoppage time.
Arsene Wenger was seen remonstrating with the fourth official on the sidelines, and John Moss gave him his marching orders as a result. Wenger was then seen pushing the fourth official after the latter asked him to go down the tunnel, which he later claims was because he had misunderstood Moss’ instructions.
However, he did apologise unequivocally for his conduct after the match but the FA have now charged him with misconduct, citing the use of abusive and insulting words as well as making physical contact with the officials. Wenger now has until 6pm on 26 January 2017 to respond to the charge.
Mustafi happy at unbeaten run
Shkodran Mustafi was a happy man after Arsenal’s victory over Burnley last night. The German international was the man who opened the scoring with a well placed header, but things looked like they were ruined when Burnley equalised in stoppage time.
Arsenal managed to seal a dramatic victory in the end, and Mustafi was understandably ecstatic. The German has now played 21 games for Arsenal and has not lost a single one of those games, and although he definitely takes some of the credit for that he feels it is down to Arsenal’s refusal to give up on games :
“I hope there are a few more coming than 21! I am happy, it is important to go game by game and try to win, it doesn’t matter if it is the Premier League or the cup or the Champions League,” he said, according to the club’s official website.
“That is what we have been doing and that is why are dangerous until the end – because we believe in ourselves and go from game to game until the end. In the last few games we have played, it seems like we never give up and always come back and that is a big credit to the team.”
Arsenal have definitely had their fair share of comeback victories and draws this season, but Mustafi will probably be hoping that none are as dramatic as last night’s fixture.
Thierry Henry reveals he turned down massive pay rises to stay at Arsenal
Thierry Henry has revealed that he turned down massive offers in order to stay at Arsenal in 2004. Several players are making surprising moves to Chinese clubs this season after being offered ridiculous sums of money, with Chelsea’s Diego Costa the latest player who is reportedly unsettled as a result of an offer.
However, Henry feels that players who move for the money have different priorities to the ones he had during his career, although he did say he could understand why heads are being turned by the money on offer.
“I think for the league, for the fans and for Chelsea I’m happy to see him [Costa] back,” he told Sky Sports, according to Goal. “I can understand that [possibly considering a mega offer from China]. It depends what’s your priority. I went through it [huge offers from rival clubs] when I was at Arsenal.”
“When we were unbeaten in the league, some clubs came, double and triple whatever salary, and I stayed. My main priority wasn’t money. I can understand what it is for a player. You ask any player in the world you could quadruple your salary, I don’t know anyone who would go ‘no’. You’re going to listen. My priority was different. It depends on your priorities.”
Henry would eventually move to Barcelona but that was also clearly for footballing reasons. He did end up playing for New York Red Bulls but that was during the final stages of his career, unlike the likes of Oscar and Axel Witsel who have all moved to China despite having years left at the top.
Sol Campbell feels Alexis Sanchez will sign a new contract with Arsenal
Arsenal legend Sol Campbell feels it is only a matter of time until Arsenal and Alexis Sanchez come to an agreement over the Chilean superstar’s new contract. Sanchez only has 18 months left on his contract and the fear is growing among Arsenal fans that they are set to lose a key player at the end of the season.
However, Campbell feels that fans have nothing to fear as Sanchez and Arsenal will find some compromise. He also feels that Sanchez adapted very quickly to life in England and that puts him in a good position when it comes to negotiations.
“I think there are a lot of things behind the scenes and it’s all about cutting a deal, getting the deal done and sometimes compromising,” Campbell said, according to Sky Sports. “Depending on how far the compromises go, it could be him compromising, it could be the club compromising, who knows? But I think everyone is out there to get the deal done.”
“His attitude is tremendous, he is one of the players that I have seen in the last five to 10 years that has come into Arsenal and bang, straight away he is working, he’s scoring goals and he’s into it. He’s not taken six months to get going or one year to get going at the club, so that should keep him in good stead. Hopefully the board come and get the deal done.”
Campbell himself was not a particularly easy man to negotiate given the circumstances under which he joined Arsenal. The English defender refused to sign a new deal with Tottenham until the very end and infamously made the switch to the Gunners, much to the fury of Spurs fans everywhere.
Benik Afobe says even Wilshere doesn’t know if he will play for Arsenal again
Jack Wilshere has been in fine form for Bournemouth this season, and has finally managed to get a long run of games without an injury interrupting them. He has been a key part of Bournemouth’s successes this season and this has gone some way to showing that Wilshere still has a future with Arsenal, while a host of other clubs are interested in him including Ronald Koeman’s Everton.
However, Wilshere’s former teammate, and Bournemouth and Arsenal academy graduate, Benik Afobe feels that nothing has been decided as yet, and that Wilshere himself probably doesn’t know what his future holds at this stage :
“This is something he has got to think about. To be honest I don’t think even he knows what he is going to be doing,” he said, according to the Daily Mail. “We have conversations all the time and he just wants to play week in week out and see what happens at the end of the season.”
“The main thing for him is about getting his confidence back and staying injury free. Since we were young, you just play because you enjoy it. To get that enjoyment back is the main thing for every footballer. I think that is how Jack feels at the moment.”
There is no doubt Wilshere looks a lot happier than he has in recent times, with the midfielder having already made more appearances for Bournemouth than in his last two seasons for Arsenal combined. Should he keep this up, the die-hard Arsenal fan definitely still has a future at the club of his dreams.