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Arsenal round-up: Wenger ahead of Bayern clash; club legend favoured to be next manager; Lampard criticises dressing room

Arsenal

Arsenal round-up: Wenger ahead of Bayern clash; club legend favoured to be next manager; Lampard criticises dressing room

Arsenal are facing an impossible task against Bayern Munich as they attempt to turn around a 5-1 deficit in the Champions League. It is yet another season where the Gunners have left themselves with too much to do to qualify for the quarter-finals of the competition. Their main aim will be to restore the pride of the club after a humiliating second half performance at the Allianz Arena. Arsene Wenger has spoken before the second leg, stating that Arsenal are the best club in the world

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‘I think we are the best club in the world and we have to defend the pride of it. I have to perform and we have to perform.’

It is crucial that the team avoid another convincing defeat as that will further damage morale ahead of an important few weeks of Arsenal’s domestic season. They have a good record of coming out battling in the second leg of Champions League ties and they must deliver something similar tonight. Although that won’t be enough for some supporters, it is required to ensure their league campaign doesn’t go off the rails. Wenger’s comments won’t go down well with the supporters, as they want to be competing to win the competition. They don’t want to be battling to save their pride at the first knockout stage.

The rumours continue to surface regarding the next Arsenal manager and there is a new name being reported in the press. The Telegraph report that Theirry Henry is the preferred candidate of Josh Kroenke if Arsene Wenger leaves in the summer. The son and heir to the Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke is close to the club legend and wants Henry to be considered if the job becomes available in the summer.

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This would be a remarkable move if it did take place, as Henry has little coaching experience. Although he is a legend of the club, it is doubtful whether supporters would want the Frenchman to be considered for the role at this stage of his coaching career. He needs to complete his coaching badges and earn his stripes before taking over at a huge club such as Arsenal. The 39-year-old has stated that his dream is to manage the Gunners, but it is too early for him now. If the gamble was taken on him this summer, it could go very wrong and damage his relationship with the supporters. This isn’t something that should be considered by either party.

 

Frank Lampard is the latest pundit to question Arsenal as he stated his doubts about the character of the dressing room following the stories regarding Alexis Sanchez. It was rumoured that there was a row among the players after the Chilean walked out of a training session ahead of the match against Liverpool.

“I don’t think they’ve got a particularly strong dressing room, I really don’t,”

“I don’t know them all personally but when you go through it you wonder who are the strong characters in that dressing room?”

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This is a particularly lazy punditry line that is repeatedly used when it comes to Arsenal. Although there are a few mentality issues within the squad, there are bigger reasons for their inability to challenge for major honours. The major one is their lack of tactical flexibility, which has made them predictable to play against. This is a particular problem in the big matches. Furthermore, they haven’t made the right additions in the transfer market, leaving them trailing behind their top six rivals. Lampard has a point, but it isn’t the main issue that Arsenal have to sort.

Featured image: All rights reserved by Stuart MacFarlane

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