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Mid-Day Ticker: Wenger blames himself, Berbatov ruled out and more

Arsene Wenger 1 (Reuters) 


Arsenal's hopes of of winning the Premiership title likely came to a halt this weekend, and Arsene Wenger is taking full responsibility for it.

Amid growing speculation of his future, Wenger is pointing the finger at himself rather than his players for what appears will be Arsenal's sixth consecutive season without silverware. Wenger told media his team has had an oustanding attitude all season, but that it also lacked maturity, experience and composure in in critical moments, for which he is to blame. 

The Gunners' 2-1 loss to Bolton Wanderers on Sunday saw Arsenal finish with just two points in its last three games, all but assuring that Arsenal will not close the nine-point gap on leaders Manchester United.

Here are some more of Monday's stories:

Berbatov to miss Champions League Clash

If Manchester United is to get off to a winning start against Schalke 04 in its Champions League semifinal tilt, it will have to do so without one if its top goal-scorers. 

Dimitar Berbatov has been ruled out of Tuesday's first leg with a groin injury. Berbatov missed United's weekend victory over Everton, and he hasn't progressed enough to make the trip to Germany. United will have Michael Owen, Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez available for selection.

Taiwo in trouble

Marseille defender Taye Taiwo followed in the footsteps of Raul this weekend by joining his club's fans in a chant, but he is now facing a possible suspension for it.

Having scored the only goal in Marseille's League Cup Final win over Montpellier, Taiwo joined his club's supporters for an anti-Paris Saint-Germain chant. Taiwo has apologized for the chant, but the French League has opened an investigation. 


Do you think Wenger should go? Think Manchester United will miss Berbatov against Schalke? How severely should Taiwo be punished?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. I suspect Fabregas would like to go to Barcelona in the off season. If Arsenal does sell him, they need to make sure they use the ensuing transfer funds to buy quality. Liverpool did a good job picking up Suarez and Carroll after unloading Torres.

  2. You have to keep Wenger, with financial fairplay coming eventually, Arsenal will be ahead of the game. Look at who they compete with, Chelski, ManCity, ManU, Liverpool, all teams that might have difficulty with the new rules.

  3. I’d only sell Fabregas if the money is reinvested, preferable in a forward who can play off Van Persie and actually score. Then Nasri can move centrally, where he is better and ends up anyway. Then purchase a true left sided player.

  4. In the case of MANU, that massive debt was acquired by the massive leverage needed by the owners to finance their purchase of the club. Take away the large interest payments on that financing, and MANU is a cash cow.

  5. I don’t watch every Everton match, but I can think of two since last summer. Getting beat near post against Ghana and the penalty on Anelka, Blackburn early in the season and Tottenham as well. Listen, he is an excellent keeper don’t get me wrong….I am just saying that the problem with Arsenal stems more from the defense in front of Szczesny then from the keeper himself.

  6. Come On! Trophies are more then bragging rights. I can’t think of to many fans that are fine with second place because monetarily there isn’t much of a difference then first. He should stay but he definitely needs to win something soon. It doesn’t need to be the league but he has a good enough team to get at least one trophy.

  7. Howard made high profile mistakes? Name three in the last five years? We can all come up with one or two but beyond that you have to go all the way back to his Man Utd days when he had that one in the Champions League…

  8. Agreed doc. Szczesny is a fantastic young keeper who’s frequently let down by shambolic, disprganized defending by his back line. Additionally, 56% of Arsenal’s goals allowed this season have come off of set pieces. With a healthy Vermaelen paired with the very good Djourou, they have a good enough central pairing talent-wise. More than anything, I think they need more quality in squad depth and tactical alteration to stress defense. The Invincibles did one thing better than any other team I’ve seen before or since: they were lightning fast and deadly on the counter attack, which means they were also solid enough at the back to absorb attacks and break them up. When teams attack Arsenal now, you can immediately see a lack of organization in the defense which inevitably leads to shipping goals. Arsenal could use Martin Keown back in the coaching fold.

  9. I’m not suggesting they rack up 500 million pounds in player purchases, but Wenger’s had 70 million and more collecting dust for a few seasons now, which is more than enough to add the quality needed to push them over the line. You don’t need to hug one extreme over the other.

  10. Who else could they get that’s better? He’ll spend this summer and they’ll be back in contention next season. Beside bragging rights, there really isn’t much difference in monetary gained from being first or second.

  11. there only in what 2nd or 3rd place?!, jeez it’s not like there going down to the championship. i understand that more is expected of them, but you’re making it sound as if they’re the new leeds or something.

  12. There is nothing wrong with that young Polish keeper they have now. He, generally, isn’t the problem. I know he has made some high profile mistakes, but so has Howard. In my opinion, both are good for about 2-3 stupid, goal costing things a season.

  13. “a winning product on the pitch can just as easily drive revenue as extreme frugality can”

    I’m not so sure about that. Just look at ManU, Barcelona, and Real Madrid’s massive debts.

  14. Arsenal has Vermaelen already for CB. He just needs to stay healthy. Their real priority should be a goalie named Tim Howard.

  15. IMO, Arsenal needs a good, tall, quality CB who can break up attacks and defend set pieces. Arsenal needs a GK who won’t have his episodes and that already is an established presence in goal. Arsenal can do with a pacy forward that isn’t afraid to have a shot from outside the 18 instead of trying to pass it in from the 6.
    Out-Eboue, Rosicky, Bendtner, Almunia
    -Only one likely to leave- Fabregas

    In-Akinfeev/Howard, G. Cahill, (“Insert forward here” -Easier said than done I guess. You can find good players, but I doubt they’d want to come to Arsenal. I.e- the Pato’s, Neymar’s, Aguero’s & Benzema type player).

    Title Contention does not equal Title Winners. Not saying they change their style completely, just bulk up, and have a shot at goal instead of passing in front of the opposite back-line for 10-15 minutes. Their lack of urgency kills them when they conceded cheap goals at the death and don’t have time to make up for it, like at Bolton.

  16. Agreed, Rocco. But he desperately needs, if not David Dein himself, then someone in that football executive role to encourage him to make necessary personnel moves. No one is better than Arsene at spotting talent, but he is notorious for being overly cautious with spending and does require that friendly prodding. Financial responsibility is a wonderful thing, particularly in world football today, however a winning product on the pitch can just as easily drive revenue as extreme frugality can. The club has the money, and it is time to use it.

  17. Of course Wenger should NOT go – this is a man who has positioned Arsenal to be in title contention every single year for well over a decade. His teams may be title-less for 6 years now, but they are clearly on the right track. He deserves props, not the axe.


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