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Arsenal loan out wingers Kieran Gibbs and Mark Randall

It looks as though Arsene Wenger is plotting to integrate wide men Kieran Gibbs and Mark Randall into his full first team squad next season, after the manager today arranged to put both youngsters out on loan.

Wenger uses the loan concept to allow his players the opportunity to gain more first team experience before bringing them back to Arsenal and introducing them to the first team squad on a more regular basis.

As a result, two of the most promising Gunners will find themselves lining up for Championship clubs in the coming months, in the full knowledge that Arsene will be watching their every move with a view to testing them in the summer's pre-season fixtures.

Randall finds himself making his way north to join Burnley, who the Gunners beat in both the FA Cup and FA Youth Cup eariler this month. Gibbs is on his way to Norfolk where he will try to impress the Norwich faithful.


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Posted by Gordon Masson on January 31, 2008 5:00 PM in News| Players| Transfers
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Play Fantasy Arsene Wenger: Who would you pick to face Manchester City?

With Manchester United visiting lowly Tottenham on Saturday and Chelsea making the trip to Portsmouth, it's imperative that Arsenal travel up to the other half of Manchester to secure a win.

Only goal difference separates top of the league Man Utd from the Gunners, while third placed Chelsea lie just four points of the pace. The west London club won their ninth game in a row last night and despite not playing flashy football are looking strong at the moment.

Man United don't look like dropping any points with the way they are playing either, so you can bet that Arsene Wenger will be picking his strongest possible squad for the trip North.

On the injury front, Tomas Rosicky is sidelined with a hamstring niggle, Denilson has a slightly worse version of the same injury, while Johan Djourou's groin strain will keep him out of action for a further couple of weeks. Robin van Persie has returned to full training, but Saturday's game is probably too early to expect him to make his return...


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Posted by Gordon Masson on January 31, 2008 4:30 PM in News| Players
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Transfer deadline: Who should Arsene Wenger sign?

It's deadline day. The transfer window slams shut at midnight and despite Arsene Wenger stating that he's not looking to bring in any new faces, the rumours of Arsenal's interest in certain players continue.

If you read my opinions here often enough, you'll know that I think Le Gaffer should be spending some of the £70 million-plus kitty he has at his disposal to help bolster the squad for the run in to the Premier League and Champions League titles.

That seems unlikely, but with the few hours that remain, it would be good to hear from you lot about which positions on the park you think we need additional cover for - and, of course, any specific players that you have in mind.

To date, the only confirmed new signing has been that of 15-year-old Luke Freeman, a striker from Gillingham that Arsene thinks has a a lot of potential. But there have been a few murmurs coming out of the Gunners about other transfer targets...


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Posted by Gordon Masson on January 31, 2008 10:50 AM in Debate of the Day| News| Players| Transfers
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Today's Backpages and Blogs: Theo Walcott rejects loan move to fight for Arsenal place

The Sun - Theo says No to loan plan
Theo Walcott has ruled out a loan move and insisted he wants to stay and fight for his place at Arsenal.

The Independent - Arsenal to last the pace, says Flamini
Arsenal's Mathieu Flamini maintains their young side can come of age this season and deliver the Premier League title.

The Telegraph - Arsenal striker Walcott rules out loan move
Theo Walcott has said he wants to fight for his place at Arsenal and does not want to go out on loan this season. The 18-year-old has so far failed to reach the standard even manager Arsene Wenger thought he would produce after paying a world record fee for a 16-year-old in the 2006 January transfer window.

The Daily Mail - Gillingham starlet Freeman secures his move to Arsenal
Gillingham striker Luke Freeman has officially completed his protracted move to Arsenal for an undisclosed fee.


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Posted by Gordon Masson on January 31, 2008 9:26 AM in News| Players| Transfers
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Arsenal announce two player deals, one in the making, a day before transfer deadline

With one day left before the January transfer window closes, Arsenal today announced two signings and another potential deal in the making.

Don’t get too excited though, as one signing is Abou Diaby, who has extended his contract until 2012, another is 15-year-old striker Luke Freeman and the forecasted deal is for Mathieu Flamini to re-sign for the Gunners.

So with in excess of £70 million to spend, Arsene Wenger has shelled out an estimated £200,000 on a teenager from Gillingham. I can’t say that I’ve seen Freeman play, but at that price, even I can see that he’s worth taking a risk on.

Le Gaffer is more bullish about the schoolboy’s future with the Gunners. "He is left-footed with a good eye for the goal. He is brave and has a good, positive personality,” says Wenger...


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Posted by Gordon Masson on January 30, 2008 3:04 PM in News| Players| Transfers
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Picture Special: Arsenal v Newcastle

An easy 3-0 victory propelled Arsenal back to the summit of the Premier League last night, turning the heat on Manchester United to make sure they get a result tonight when they host Portsmouth.

Goal machine Emmanuel Adebayor headed home his 19th of the season, Mathieu Flamini capped a fantastic performance with a 30-yard screamer and Cesc Fabregas knocked in his 12th of the campaign to leave the Newcastle team in tatters.

And it could have been a few more, with several chances missed, Shay Given pulling off some good saves and the same old Arsenal problem of Alexander Hleb refusing to shoot and our players getting over elaborate when it came to being inside the opposition penalty box.

But it was still a fine win and I could watch the goals all day long. For those of you who haven't seen any coverage as yet, or for those who just want to remind yourselves of last night's victory, here are some Getty Images pictures of the game. Click on the thumbnails below and on the next page to see the full-size photos.




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Posted by Gordon Masson on January 30, 2008 10:00 AM in Match Report| News| Players
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Poll: Who was Arsenal's Man Of The Match against Newcastle?

Our second 3-0 victory in four days over Newcastle signalled Arsenal's return to the top of the Premier League last night, as Arsene Wenger's men swept aside the opposition from the North East.

Emmanuel Adebayor kept up his remarkable run of form by notching goal number nine from his last seven appearances, taking his total for the season to 19. The Togolese marksman got ahead of his marker to nod home a suberb Mathieu Flamini cross in the 40th minute to give the Gunners a much deserved lead.

But is was the Flamster's 73rd minute wonder-strike that most fans were talking about as we walked away from Emirates Stadium last night. The Frenchman hit a fantastic 30-year thunderbolt, which even Shay Given at full stretch couldn't prevent from finding his top corner.

And just to prove that he hasn't forgotten how to score, with 10 minutes left on the clock, Cesc Fabregas clocked up his 12th goal of the season courtesy of an assist from Nicklas Bendtner...


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If you’ve enjoyed feasting on Arsenal Pies then you’ll love whoateallthepies.tv, the best source of football news, views and gossip in the blogosphere!

Posted by Gordon Masson on January 30, 2008 9:20 AM in
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