Tottenham’s record signing Erik Lamela did not appear to have future at the club after a disastrous opening season at White Hart Lane. However, he finally appears to have settled under the management of Mauricio Pochettino. The Argentine has been putting in some good performances over the last few months, but the best part of his Tottenham career so far came in the Europa league match against Asteras Tripoli. Tottenham managed to beat in the Greek club 5-1 just a few days before the Premier League encounter against Newcastle.
Lamela’s astonishing goal against the Greek club was not talking point of the match. It has put him in the spotlight ahead of the Newcastle match, but Alan Pardew believes that his players will be more than capable of overcoming the quality shown by Lamela. Newcastle come into the match still searching for the first win of the season. This will be even more tough because it is an away match, but it will also provide some respite from the hard treatment given by the Newcastle supporters to Pardew. He says that he is feeling extremely confident ahead of the match. Tottenham have not been in the best of form of late and they were beaten by City 4-1 last week.
“It was amazing. I haven’t really seen that on the training ground when the ball is coming across like that, at that pace. To hit it like that was amazing. We have one or two who can do it from a dead ball situation when they just manoeuvre it, but I don’t think I have ever seen a goal quite like that in training, let alone in a match. Spurs have great players – they have always had great individuals. But so do we, and we have got to hope that our individual players stand up and produce a moment like that,” said Pardew.
England international Danny Welbeck has claimed that he is extremely thrilled with the move to Arsenal. After long speculation about the next top striker to come to the Emirates stadium, Arsenal managed to get Welbeck in £ 16 million deal from Manchester United on transfer deadline day. Louis van Gaal reportedly revealed to Welbeck a few days before the end of the transfer window that he no longer figured in the plans at United. The 23-year-old is a massive United fan after having been at the club since made of eight.
He has come through various levels of United to become a first-team player, but since then, progress has been difficult. The presence of players like Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie meant that Welbeck often found himself on the bench or playing out of position. His explosive pace meant that managers often used him out wide and it has been one of the reasons for this poor goal return. However, it is seen as a coup for Wenger given that Welbeck will be able to offer several years of football and his transfer fee is relatively low at just £ 16 million.
Welbeck’s future at United would have been much worse had he stayed at the club. The club brought in Radamel Falcao on a season-long loan deal, which is expected to be made permanent for £ 43.5 million.
“It’s exciting times for me. It’s great to be a part of this club and it’s a team that I’ve always watched in the Premier League. I’ve envisaged myself playing in this team before. For it to finally happen is very exciting. I believe the style of play the manager’s got and the boys play, and with the magnificent players in midfield slotting balls through, I can run on to the end of those balls and slot them away,” said Welbeck.
Alexis Sanchez has been Arsenal’s big buy of the summer after coming from Barcelona for £ 35 million. The Chilean international had an extremely good World Cup 2014, as he helped his nation reaching the last 16 of the competition. He may not have won any major trophy with Barcelona last season, but his influence on the club had been growing. The arrival of Luis Suarez, though, meant less first-team opportunities for him at the Camp Nou. This is expected to significantly improve at Arsenal where Sanchez will be one of the main players.
After making an appearance in the recent pre-season match against Monaco, Sanchez claimed that he is extremely happy with the style of football being employed at Arsenal. He is already feeling at home and should start the season in good fashion. Arsenal’s last marquee signing, Mesut Ozil, also had an extremely good start to the season, but he faded away in the second half. Sanchez has not focused on the upcoming season yet since he is giving his full concentration towards fitness levels. After several weeks on the beach, Sanchez says that he is working hard to be fit in time for the new season.
Arsenal lost the pre-season match against Monaco after a goal from Real Madrid target Radamel Falcao.
“I like this style of football. What is important now is to play and get fit. I need to get 100 per cent. I have to go step by step. I have only trained twice with the team. I just have to keep working hard and training. What is important for me is to try and play games, to score as many goals as possible and to win titles. Of course I loved it (the reception from the Emirates crowd), I am extremely thankful to all of them,” said Sanchez.
France international Olivier Giroud has stated that he is enjoying his football right now after managing to open his account for the French national team at a World Cup. Previously, he has now scored in a major tournament. Coming on the back of a successful season with Arsenal, confidence is running high within the 27-year-old. Even though he is regarded as the backup for Karim Benzema at international level, Giroud managed to get his World Cup account going after scoring against Switzerland in the 5-2 win for Didier Deschamps’ men.
France started the World Cup in excellent fashion and they have continued their form against Switzerland as well. The margin of victory could have been immense had it not been for the late goals conceded by the French. Giroud scored 16 league goals last campaign and was a major reason towards Arsenal challenging for the league title in the first half of the campaign. Similarly, he was a major reason for Arsenal slipping down the second half because he was visibly tired after having shouldered the entire striker department on his shoulders.
Arsenal are expected to ease his burden by bringing in a new striker like Mario Balotelli, who has been linked with the Premier league outfit in the last few weeks. The Italian international could cost just over £ 25 million from AC Milan. “I’m very proud to have scored France’s 100th goal in a World Cup. At the start of La Marseillaise (France’s national anthem) I nearly collapsed. The emotion was too strong. It was like a childhood dream. We need this to never stop. We are happy, we took great pleasure from the game against Switzerland. I felt the group was very committed. We are a good team,” said the striker.
Benzema has scored three goals for France at the World Cup 2014.
Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis has claimed that the club will not be scared of spending money in the summer. However, this statement does not mean that they will be paying inflated transfer fees to their targets. After winning the FA Cup last season, Arsenal will be looking to push on and win more trophies in the future. This group of players has a right mixture of young and old names. Gazidis says that it is essential that Arsenal do not rest on their laurels and target more trophies.
In the last 10 years, Arsenal have been very reluctant to spend money transfer targets. This has led to them losing out on a number of important players. Last summer, they broke the transfer record by spending £ 42 million on Real Madrid star Mesut Ozil. The German international had a good first season in the club and it is thought to have shown Arsene Wenger that the club can certainly benefit with such signings. Gazidis has also expressed his happiness at the club being able to secure Champions League qualification for the upcoming campaign.
They were involved in a fight with Everton over the last few weeks, but the five consecutive victories helped them achieve a top four finish.
“Transfers are obviously important and we are deep in conversations already. I am confident we will add what we need this summer. The manager is not scared to spend, has the experience, but as always will have to juggle a set budget. We are all really pleased with securing Champions League qualification again. Last season was a great experience for players to win the FA Cup and now we want more,” said the Arsenal chief executive. Arsenal have been linked with the likes of Mario Balotelli and Alvaro Morata in the last few weeks.