Monday Kickoff: Wenger hints he’ll stay at Arsenal; Ancelotti blames fatigue; and more

Arsene Wenger manager of Arsenal

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

After guiding Arsenal to an UEFA Champions League spot for the 17th consecutive season, Arsene Wenger is ready to commit to the club.

Following Arsenal’s 1-0 victory against West Bromwich Albion, Wenger told reporters that, despite not having signed a new contract, they’ll see him again next season, hinting that he’s likely to put his John Hancock on a new deal.

“You will see me again,” Wenger said. “It was of course important to be in the Champions League,” he said. “It’s not linked with my commitment, it’s linked with the fact that I feel I am useful.

“If I had moments of doubt they would have been a few years ago when I had to say ‘no’ to many offers. I committed to this club under a lot of pressure. My word is my word and I’m from an ancestral period where you don’t need a pen to commit.”

Arsenal face Norwich City in the final English Premier League game of the season before facing Hull City in the FA Cup final on May 17.

ANCELOTTI BLAMES FATIGUE FOR DRAW

Real Madrid surprised fans across the world with their 2-2 draw against Valencia, losing control of their destiny in the race to become La Liga champions.

Head coach Carlo Ancelotti claimed that his side paid the price for having played a difficult game against Bayern Munich on Wednesday, and that they now face three must-win games to close out the league schedule.

“The problem has been above all physical as Atlético de Madrid and Chelsea have had the same problem,” Ancelotti said following the match. “When you play a Champions League semi-final, it’s normal that on the following Sunday you can’t play with the same intensity. We have paid for the previous game.

“We have lost an opportunity, but it wasn’t so great. Now a draw is fine for Atlético in the last game if we win our last two games but we need to be very focused.”

SUAREZ WINS FWA PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Luis Suarez bagged his second individual piece of silverware on Monday after being named the Football Writer’s Association Player of the Year.

The 27-year-old Uruguayan beat out teammate Steven Gerrard and Manchester City’s Yaya Toure for this season’s honors. Suarez leads the Premier League with 30 goals in 31 league matches.

Suarez received 52 percent of the votes, which came from more than 300 journalists in the FWA. Suarez was already named Player of the Year by the Professional Footballers’ Association.

BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA RELEASE PROVISIONAL WORLD CUP SQUAD

Bosnia and Herzegovina became the first nation participating in the World Cup to release their provisional squad.

Though head coach Safet Susic had the option of picking up to 30 players, he only listed 24 players to his squad. The squad is lead by Stoke City goalkeeper Asmir Begovic, Bayer Leverkusen defender Emir Spahic, AS Roma midfielder Miralem Pjanic, and Manchester City forward Edin Dzeko.

Interestingly enough, Susic has only listed three forwards on his squad – Vedad Ibisevic, Edin Visca, and Dzeko – while listing 11 midfielders.

QUICK KICKS

Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge won’t stop Thomas Müller from leaving the club if the German international demands a transfer this summer. (REPORT)

Italian National Team Cesare Prandelli says his World Cup preparations are ahead of schedule after having a chance for his prospective players to undergo fitness tests a few weeks ago. (REPORT)

Netherlands National Team boss Louis Van Gaal has called up a 20-man squad of Netherlands-based players for a preliminary training camp before welcoming all his foreigners into the team. (REPORT)

Former Real Madrid boss Bernd Schuster is linked with the Eintracht Frankfurt job, with current coach . (REPORT)

Manchester United target Ander Herrera has poured cold water on the hot rumors that Man United would attempt to sign him this summer, saying he’d prefer to remain with Athletic Bilbao. (REPORT)

Juventus have entered the sweepstakes to try and sign Fiorentina full back Juan Cuadrado. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Do you see Wenger signing a new deal as soon as the season finishes? Do you believe Real Madrid are suffering from fatigue? Agree with Suarez receiving the Player of the Year award?

Share your thoughts below.

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20 Responses to Monday Kickoff: Wenger hints he’ll stay at Arsenal; Ancelotti blames fatigue; and more

  1. slowleftarm says:

    Arsene is from “an ancestral period?” Is he referring to the time period when Arsenal won trophies?

    • arsenal says:

      That’s a good one, but you can’t really put all the blame on Wenger. When you’re changing the highest prices in the PL for tickets and you refuse to keep players because they will cost a bit extra that blamebfall on upper management. They had some serious talent that could have helped them win trophies, but sold them all off. Now, they are going to lose Sagna, one of the best RBs in the league, because they won’t pay his wages. Its really frustrating.

      Also, look at their transfer budget compared to teams who have won the league. It doesn’t compare.

      • Increase says:

        Somethings are Wenger’s fault but I wouldn’t blame him for a lot of the off the field stuff.

        Example: They met Suarez’s buyout clause and yet…. somehow Liverpool just refused to sell. This could mean Suarez didn’t want to go but… that’s not what John W. Henry said so…. ya.

      • Micronesia Justin says:

        Two Arsenal supports order some tea. When asked if they’d like a cup they say, “No. Fourth place is fine.”

  2. biff says:

    Bayern saying publicly that they would allow Muller to go indicates there are gonna most likely be at least a couple of major departures this summer after Pep Guardiola last week basically demanded full support from Bayern management for his soccer philosophy or else. Looks like Kroos, Muller and Javi Martinez would be top of the list for potential transfers. Big question is what big names will Pep bring in this summer.

    • Increase says:

      Ya, that sounds like Pep doesn’t like/know what to do with Mueller and Mueller has been there all his life… maybe he just wants to go.

      I would say Mueller to Manu is a good shot. Mueller will be relatively cheap as he doesn’t really ideal player molds and Van Gaal knows Mueller. No idea on the relationship between the two. It’s the most obvious place in any case.

      • biff says:

        I’m not sure Muller would be (relatively) cheap. I think he could play on any top team in Europe. There have been big teams, I think even Madrid a couple years ago, who expressed interest. If he asks to go, I think demand will be strong and Bayern will no doubt want a relatively :-) big fee. Apparently Muller likes van Gaal, but I wonder whether that would be enough to lure Muller to a team that will not be playing Championship League soccer next season and possibly not the year after.

        • Increase says:

          Ya, Muller is an interesting guy. He isn’t a proper winger.. and he isn’t a proper Striker. I think $25-$30 million might be his number. Bundesliga players export cheaply though and its really hard to say. Maybe Arsenal? He might be perfect for Atletico if they could afford him.

    • KJ says:

      Which is really stupid. Bayern just won a treble, and now Pep wants to change them? Keep tiki taka out!!

  3. byob elpaso tx says:

    I feel bad for arsenal fans, why not just fire his ass and bring FRESH BLOOD. Its like sigi in seattle :)
    by the way, i dont think pep is a good move for BM, he needs a messi no matter what and he is gonna have to find one.

    • fischy says:

      You know what they about opinions and that bodily orifice between your gluteals….

      • William the Terror says:

        Is this guy also the guy who goes by the name “NASL in El Paso,” or are nonsensical, poorly written posts just a symptom of living in El Paso?

        • Increase says:

          BYOB is just always enjoying adult beverages. It 5 oclock somewhere.

          • NASL to El Paso tx says:

            Two different opinions but I would love NASL in the 915 EPT, Home of the El Paso chihuahuas.
            But I would like to meet NASL to El Paso.
            Can anyone get me his number :)

  4. John says:

    So what is the scenario for Real Madrid winning the league? They need to win all 3 of their games and hope Barcelona beat Atletico?

  5. timmytwoshoezzz says:

    Arsenal loves mediocrity

    • fischy says:

      I am not sure you appreciate the meaning of the words “mediocre” and “mediocrity.” Neither would apply to Arsenal.

      • timmytwoshoezzz says:

        In the context of a “big club” they certainly do. When a club like Arsenal wants to be lumped in with the big boys who compete for the biggest trophies in the biggest competitions, they don’t get to be compared to the West Brom’s and Stoke City’s of the world.

        • SilverRey says:

          Considering Arsene Wenger has consistently been competing in the biggest competitions and hasn’t dropped below 4th since before the existence of MLS, I really don’t understand the criticism.