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Informed sources have revealed that Arsenal is engaged in high gear talks with Lyon in a bid to sign their maverick striker Alexandre Lacazette. None other than the Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has confirmed the Gunners’ interest in the talented forward. The France international was the subject of a £29 million offer from Arsenal which failed to materialise last summer. Lacazette could finally make the move to Emirates this summer with Lyon president asking for £44 million.

Reports this week indicate that Wenger is finally edging closer to sealing the £44 million deal that would see the Gunners bag their prized target by next week. The Lyon chief Aulas has reiterated the fact that Arsenal’s interest in the 26-year-old valuable player is authentic.

 However, all indications are that Lyon are in no hurry to sell Lacazette since Atletico Madrid still remains a possible contender for him and the striker might be headed there in January after their transfer ban is lifted. While confirming this possibility, the club’s Lyons chief also said that he is keen on listening to what the striker has to say about the expected move. He also confirmed that he, together with is adviser Gerard Houllier, had met Wenger during the match between France and England (played on June 13) and Wenger expressed his interest.

Most football fans, as well as the betting experts from online-betting.org, are interested parties who are following the developments of the Lyon striker’s anticipated move with a keen interest. But how much do you know about the French international?

Below are 10 fact quick facts about the player that many might not know.

  1. He’s a Prized French Marksman

Lacazette scored a total of 28 Ligue 1 goals in 2016; an unmatched record for any French forward in a single calendar year since Jean-Pierre Papin achieved the same feat in 1991.

  1. The Forward Is A Clinical Finisher

The Lyon striker had the highest chance conversion (38.9 per cent) in Europe’s top five leagues last season, ahead of RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner (at 34.4%) as well as Monaco forward Radamel Falcao (33.9%)

  1. He is a European Champion

Lacazette scored a dazzling winning goal through a header against Spain in the 2010 European Under 19 Championship and his goal sealed their 2-1 win over France. He played in that winning team with the current Arsenal midfielder, Francis Coquelin.

  1. His Emirates experience

In less than 24 hours after he led his team to a victory over Spain, Lacazette played for Lyon in the Emirates Cup, whereby he arrived just 10 minutes to the warm-up and started the match against Celtic.

  1. He’s a Puel Product

The Lyon forward came through the youth ranks at the club and was handed his debut by the former Southampton manager Clause Puel, which effectively makes him Puel’s prodigy.

  1. Comes from a footballing family

His older brother played in the Swiss second division before becoming a coach while his cousin Romuald Lacazette plays for 1860 Munich in Germany.

  1. He is a penalty box Maverick

Out of his 28 Ligue 1 goals in the last season, only two were scored from outside the penalty box.

  1. He is an International Goal Scorer

The French international scored his first France goal where they won 2-0 over Denmark, in a game played at the Stade Geoffrey-Guichard, home to his club’s vicious rivals St Estienne.

  1. In Comparison to Arsenal Players

The Lyons striker scored a total of 28 goals last season. This is more than the goals scored by Theo Walcott, Olivier Giroud, Lucas Perez, and Danny Welbeck combined

  1. Lacazette is in Good Company

Since the 2012/2013 season, only nine strikers have been able to score more goals in the top five Leagues in Europe. These include Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Luiz Suarez Edison Cavani, Robert Lewandowski, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Gonzalo Higuain, and Sergio Aguero.

 

The manager of Arsenal, Arsene Wenger, will continue to manage Arsenal for another two years at least. It comes as no surprise to fans and the football community that Wenger and the club agreed on a contract on May 31st following the FA Cup win over Antonio Conte’s Chelsea.

Arsene Wenger has been managing the club for the past 20 years – however, last season was the most uncertain period of his entire career. With a strong start to the season, Arsenal had a devastating run of form between January and April that cost the Gunners a Champions League spot and a place in the top four for the first time in 20 years of Wenger’s managerial career. This poor form has already impacted what’s going on at the bookies. From research, I came across these BetVictor Arsenal odds of them winning the league and they’re currently at 10/1. It’s clear to see that the Gunners have a lot to prove if they want to come out on top this season.

Furthermore, for the seventh consecutive season, Arsenal were knocked out of the Champions League round of 16 stages against the mighty Bavarians. Bayern Munich won both games and the tie by 10-2 on aggregate.

All these issues have disgruntled fans. As Wenger somehow earned himself another two-year contract in an attempt to make things right at the club, the Gunners and their fans have a lot of questions to ask.

Wenger agreed to stay on after meeting with Stan Kroenke, who is a majority shareholder of the club. There was uncertainty throughout the season regarding the extension of Arsene’s contract. However, the manager admitted that he was at fault for the team’s performance this season. The Gunners had their worst finish ever as they came fifth for the first time in 21 years. The manager accepted that team morale was low and the players were not in a good place which greatly affected their performance this season.

However, the season ended with something positive for Arsenal where the team managed to produce one of the best performances. Arsenal beat Chelsea on the grand stage at Wembley by 2-1 and won the FA Cup. The fans were happy and the manager was also satisfied with the performance. There is no doubt that Arsene Wenger always wanted to stay at the club irrespective of the situation. He has turned down numerous opportunities to manage other clubs along with a chance to manage the French national team. Hence, the new two-year contract was a victory for Wenger as he wanted unequivocal support from the Arsenal board and shareholders.

Rumours arose that Ivan Gazidis, the Chief Executive at Arsenal, didn’t want Arsene to continue managing the club and was pushing a change from behind the curtains. The Chief Executive also wanted to appoint a technical director for Arsenal – something which Wenger has expressed strong disagreement for.

After months of discussions and speculations, the decision came out to be in favour of Wenger with the support of the board. The majority shareholder, Kroenke, thinks that Wenger is still the right man to take the club forward and make things right in the upcoming seasons.

Now that the manager has signed a two-year contract, here are the five things he should do to prove that it was the right decision:

Sort the Futures of Key Players

The first and foremost thing Arsene Wenger needs to do is to sort out the futures of the club’s key players; Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil. If the club want to be a contender for the Premier League title next season, they must keep both players. In my eyes, these are the only two ‘world class’ players in the team. However, the manager will have to ensure that their commitment and dedication towards the club remains consistent.

From February onwards, despite starting and playing major games for the club, Alexis Sanchez has been highly unsettled at Arsenal. The club is prepared to offer Ozil and Sanchez a contract which will make them the highest paid players in the club’s history. Reports suggest that Ozil will be offered a deal worth £250,000 a week whereas Sanchez will be at £280,000 a week.

The Gunners were frustrated as the team failed to pen a deal with Ozil last year. Sanchez’s situation is not looking good either, as the player is heavily linked with the likes of Bayern Munich and Manchester City. Nonetheless, the club should try to persuade Sanchez to sign a deal which will keep him at Arsenal until 2020.

Bring back positivity

The events of the 2016/2017 season has created great unrest among fans, where a clear majority are dissatisfied with the team’s lack of progress.

Is it possible for Arsene Wenger to bring back the positivity and convince supporters that his team can still win major trophies and Premier League titles? Arsenal haven’t won the Premier League since 2003-2004.

It all depends on how Wenger motivates his players before August and how the club intends to spend in the summer transfer window. If they fail to bring in big names, the fans won’t accept any excuses if Arsenal have a poor start to the season. The Gunners have already been very patient with trophies as well as signings.

For the past couple of years, fans usually start the season by supporting the manager as the team get off to a good start. As time passes by, and especially in the second half of the season, the same supporters quickly start to feel dissatisfied.

To overcome this, Wenger has to ensure that his team challenges for the Premier League title and other major trophies.

Modernise the Club’s Structure

It’s also important that Wenger should consider modernising the club’s structure to ensure future success. However, we should not expect Wenger to change his gameplay, style and how he works.

Few managers operate the same way as Wenger and it’s time for him to accept some structural change.

Play threemen defence

Arsene Wenger changed the club’s formation and brought in threemen defence at the back, which really suited fullbacks. The new formation also helped central midfielders, Aaron Ramsey and Granit Xhaka, to galvanise and play effectively.

In the past season, Wenger gambled with his system and the positive change was reflected in the FA Cup win against Chelsea. Furthermore, Arsenal won nine out of ten games in which they played three men at the back (preferably 3-4-2-1).

Sign world class players in the summer transfer window

This is crucial. Even if Sanchez and Ozil decide to stay, Arsenal must strengthen their squad by signing world-class players. The primary setback that Arsenal might face is not qualifying for the Champions League.

Currently, the club is heavily linked with world class young prospects such as Alexandre Lacazette. However, would they be able to sign such players considering Madrid, Manchester United, Chelsea, etc. are also aiming for them? These clubs can also potentially offer more than Arsenal can.

Hopefully, Wegner will manage to pull things around in time for the new season and will restore faith amongst fans.

 

Are you one of those folks who only remembers that you need to get some new travel luggage on the day when you’re at a loss to find anything to use for the trip you’re making to a conference or meeting?  Or are you someone who is embarrassed when your new friend stares at your travel bag from undergrad school when you pick it out of those at the airport carousel?  After the third time my luggage was tossed about by handlers I decided it was time to break down and get some new totes; particularly since my new job required me to spend half my time on the road.

Searching for new luggage can be worse than finding the suit the luggage will be carrying.  I was fortunate; the Container Store was offering a complete selection of various types of new luggage.  All I had to do was to pick out the particular style, design and color; then I could use my Groupon coupon to purchase them at prices of up to 43% off the list price.

I decided on three criteria to be used in selecting the luggage set I wanted.  First, durability. I wanted my set to be able to withstand abuse from the user – myself, since I tend to be exceedingly careless; the mechanical systems used today to transport luggage; and from nature including weather.  Second, portability.  I wanted luggage that was easy for a single person to handle without needing a warehouse hi-lo just to get from terminal door to the check-in counter.  And third, capacity.  I wanted my luggage to be able to carry as much as possible.  I ultimately settled upon soft-sided luggage so it could effectively squeeze it into tight spaces like airplane overheads or tight car trunks.  The leather set I selected had one large case, a shoulder bag and a suit bag; all had rollers, shoulder straps and folded down to fit on a closet shelf.  They were durable and attractive (leather!).  And they were light – at least until fully packed!  I could pack a suit, toilet kit, and a full weeks’ wardrobe, including shoes and casual wear.  And buying them with a Groupon coupon made the set cost less than either the jacket I bought to wear or the new suit I’d be wearing when working on my new job.

 

For all the talk of Arsene Wenger leaving or staying at The Emirates, it seems the Arsenal hierarchies are making contingency plans to replace the legendary manager, and a host of names have been bandied around. From the world class, superstar coaches such as Massimiliano Allegri, Laurent Blanc and Diego Simeone, it seems Arsenal have not identified a coach with a growing reputation in Europe. Step forward, Leonardo Jardim The Monaco manager had worked wonders with the modest French club, guiding them to The Champions League semifinals, French Cup semifinals, French League Cup finals and are on the cusp of a Ligue 1 title. He would feature high on the list over promo codes to replace Arsene Wenger should the manager leave.

With a Monaco team that have delved from the massive spending days of Radamel Falcao and James Rodriguez, and have embraced a philosophy of blending in youth and adding them to experienced hands. The likes of Kylian Mbappe, Thomas Lemar and Benjamin Mendy have all earned plaudits for their performances this season and it has been down to their manager, who has been responsible for that remarkable upturn in form. He blends youth with experience, and his attacking philosophy is perhaps the best in Europe, with his side known for goal scoring in almost every match. At 42, he fits into the mound of young managers getting the top jobs, and his unheralded arrival will probably work well for him, as Antonio Conte will testify at Stamford Bridge.

Jardim is known for his progression of youth, a philosophy that Arsenal is synonymous with. Under Arsene Wenger in recent years, the club have somewhat regressed in the league as they have gone 13 years without a league championship, and Jardim will prove a master class if he does get to sign. His Monaco teams are on the cusp of Ligue 1 glory even with the financial might and clout of PSG, meaning that he can mix it with the bigger boys irrespective of the club budget. He is renowned for getting the best out of players, and just like Mauricio Pochettino, is famed for improving players, as the likes of Sidibe, Fabinho, Bakayoko and Lemar, as well as reviving Radamel Falcao, who performed so badly in his two years in England.

Another reason that may well work for them is that apart form the Portuguese; the other managers they are looking at are not likely to coach the Gunners. Luis Enrique will probably go for a sabbatical, Diego Simeone is obsessed with coaching Inter Milan and why will Max Allegri want to leave Juventus when he is on the cusp of a Treble? Jardim has done wonders with a youthful Monaco side, and one can only imagine what he can do with a bigger, more financed, stable club like Arsenal. And just like Wenger, who also won Ligue 1 ahead of more fancied clubs; he may well be the new man to take the English game by storm.

He won't be the first.....

 

Arsenal and Manchester City face off on Sunday at Wembley in what promises to be a crucial game in the outcome of what a successful season will mean for both clubs. The FA Cup offers Arsene Wenger and City counterpart, Guardiola the chance to end the season on a high and ahead of the clash at Wembley, we take a look at The Gunners probable lineup ahead of the clash. Arsenal have lost just twice in their last 10 matches against City, a stat that may well see Gooners rushing over to NetBet Sport to put their money where their mouth is. Those statistics which will give them confidence heading to the tie at Wembley, for a place in the showpiece later next month.

Goalkeeper:

Petr Cech should come in for this one. David Ospina had been the regular cup keeper, but is still out due to injury meaning Cech should come in and try to thwart the likes of Sergio Aguero and Kevin de Bruyne. A 4-time previous winner of the competition, he offers a calm presence in front of goal.

Defence:

After trying 3 at the back against Middlesbrough, Wenger may likely revert to type against City. Captain, Laurent Koscileny should pair German, Shkodran Mustafi in the centre of defence. The pair had been unflappable at the beginning of the season, but had suffered a dip in form in recent months, yet, they are the best bet on defenders at the club. Hector Bellerin should come back into the defence and hope to cause damage against City's ageing left side of defence. At left back, Nacho Monreal should offer balance as Wenger looks to win the match and progress to another FA Cup final, having won the prestigious cup 6 times.

Midfield:

Granit Xhaka and Mohammed Elneny should get the nod in the pivot. Both players will be looking to halt City's attack and continue with their good cop-bad cop role, as Xhaka is a destroyer, while the Egyptian is a calm presence. In attacking midfield, Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and Chamberlain should occupy the forward role. The pair of Sanchez and Ozil was majestic against Boro and are expected to offer a threat to City's defence.

Attack:

Oliveir Giroud should come in for this one, as his aerial presence will threaten City. The Frenchman has come in for a lot of stick this season, and is fighting for his future at the Emirates.

Predicted lineup: Cech, Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Xhaka, Elneny, Sanchez, Ozil, Chamberlain, Giroud.


News filtered through this week that influential Spanish playmaker, Santi Cazorla will have no part to play in Arsenal's grueling end of season campaign. A campaign where it would be far more enjoyable to get your bet365 bonus code rather than watch most of this season.

The 31-year-old central playmaker had gotten injured in October, and was initially feared to be out for just some weeks, but in typical Arsenal fashion, there has been a setback to his recovery.

Cazorla, prior to his injury was an enigmatic figure and was particularly magnificent when the Gunners walloped Chelsea 3-0 back in October, a game which many thought would herald a shift in power from the Blue side of London back to the early 2000s best of Arsenal.

The player who joined from Malaga five years ago has been an influential player of Arsenal's squad under Wenger, offering quality and leadership, two traits that is all too absent in the squad at the moment.

Legendary boss, Arsene Wenger has come in for major criticism following the way his players have wilted under intense pressure again this season.

The future of the Frenchman, whose contract at the Emirates Stadium runs out this season is up for discussion, while the futures of star forwards, Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil is also unclear, with both players having contracts that expire at the end of the 2017/2018 season.

The atmosphere at the club is toxic, amid fans unrest, and would not have been helped by news of further Cazorla setback. The midfielder is one player Arsenal fans can relate to, a man who reached the very top via learning curves through teams like Villarreal and Malaga..

Players such as Francis Coquelin and Granit Xhaka have failed to step up and offer that individual quality that Cazorla brings to the pitch. Coquelin is not a passer while Xhaka's poor disciplinary record means he can't be trusted enough in the biggest games.

With the Top 4 looking distant in the horizon and an upcoming feisty FA Cup semifinal clash against Manchester City in April, Wenger needs every player available and the absence of Cazorla will surely be felt.

In the six months he has been out, the Gunners have flattered to deceive in that time, having a host of inconsistent results and recording some calamitous scorelines in that period.

Cazorla offers the balance that the Arsenal midfield craves. A link between the attack and defence, keen for a pass and also adept at scoring beautiful goals. He makes the entire team tick and players like Mesut Ozil and Sanchez have admitted that having Cazorla behind them offers them some relief that the ball won't be lost to the opponent through misplaced passes as the former Malaga man is very difficult to dispossess off the ball.

If Wenger, Sanchez and Ozil do stay in North London till next season, then the return of Cazorla will surely be a lift. How the fans will love to have their Spanish maestro back..........

There has been plenty of speculation over his future in recent months, but Mesut Ozil has finally confirmed his desire to stay at Arsenal to see out his objectives with the London outfit. The news has come at a point where Arsenal and co could really do with a boost to try and get back into the top 4 before the end of the season is out, an objective that is looking unlikely after the recent 3-0 loss to Crystal Palace. There were rumours Ozil would be heading for an Emirates exit to try and rekindle his relationship with Real Madrid, and recent rumours even suggest he was aiming for a move to Manchester United so he could work with Jose Mourinho again. Luckily for Arsenal, Ozil wants to stay in London, and all he needs to do now is put pen to paper to make it a certainty.

Will Arsenal Have to Finish in the Top 4 to Keep Ozil?

For a start, Arsenal players and management will need to get their heads down to see the rest of the season out in style. Arsenal are out of the running for every competition this season, and so it means their only possible accomplishment is to try and finish in the top 4 so they have the chance to compete in the Champions League next year. Ozil has confirmed he wants to stay at Arsenal but that doesn’t mean anything yet until he signs a contract, something he’s likely not willing to do until he knows what the future holds for Arsenal next season. You may feel that if Arsenal do not manage to achieve a top 4 finish this season then Ozil could quickly change his mind and make a move to a more ambitious club.

What Else Will Arsene Wenger Have to Ensure Ozil Of?

Arsene will likely sit down with Mesut in the coming weeks to ensure him things will pick up at Arsenal before the start of next season. Wenger will likely tell Ozil of his transfer plans and what possible world-class players he will bring in to improve the squad to compete for the title next year. The Arsenal board have apparently made £200 million available to Arsene Wenger, so it would be wise of Arsene to let Ozil know what’s going to happen in terms of transfers.

What Will Mesut Ozil Really Do this Summer?

Any football fan knows that just because a player says one thing in the media doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. Ozil has yet to sign a new contract, which is why many think he could still head for the doors. When you hear of a player announcing his desire to stay at a club it usually means they are currently in contract discussions and the player is looking to push things forward, but it could also mean the player is only going to stay for the right price.

If you fancy having a free bet on Ozil’s future, the best way of finding one is to have a look at some of the latest free bet promotions provided by Freebets.UK to see if any tickle your fancy. Freebets.UK is the only site you’ll ever need to get up-to-date with the latest free betting promotions.

Free Bets make it very easy for punters to take advantage of the hundreds of betting offers and promotions available on their site. Simply select an offer that suits your needs and then register with the bookie to take advantage of that free bet – simple.

Will Ozil stay or will he go? Fans will be glad he has finally announced his desire to stay at the club, but they will want him to put his pen to paper as soon as possible so they can secure his services for another few seasons at least. If Ozil doesn’t sign a contract within the next month or so we could see another club abroad snap up his services pretty quickly, so Arsene will need to be careful and offer him the contract he wants.

  • 15 Sep 2015
    So let me stop reminiscing of days gone by and let me focus on our Welsh wonder. Let me start off by saying that I think it is quite obvious that Aaron Ramsey is better in central midfield. His partnership with Mesut Özil, his running from deep and his underrated ball winning ability makes him a ...Read more