Paper News and Gossip: Arsenal's Striker Need, Rooney Hot and Message for Messi
Arsenal were beaten by Manchester United on Sunday, and the mood in the two camps is markedly different.
Hugo Lloris and his head injury continue to make the news, while another keeper was in the spotlight for setting a record.
A Liverpool legend is being tipped to go on and on, while there’s plenty of transfer speculation as well.
All this and more feature in Monday’s edition of the Paper News and Gossip Roundup.
Arsenal in Need of New Striker to Aid Olivier Giroud
Robin van Persie bagged the winning goal for Manchester United on Sunday, and the Daily Mail’s Neil Ashton feels the performance highlighted Arsenal’s lack of quality in attack.
Olivier Giroud has made a fine start to the season, but he made little impact against United. And Ashton is convinced it was a display that highlighted Arsenal’s need to bring in a new striker.
In his piece, Ashton wrote:
You can barely move for world-class strikers at the top of the Barclays Premier League.
They are everywhere - just not in the shirt of Arsenal.
Liverpool are relying on the SAS partnership to take them into the Champions League and beyond under Brendan Rodgers.
Then there is Manchester City, where Sergio Aguero is rated the best of the lot by Sportsmail columnist Jamie Carragher.
Chelsea signed Champions League winner Samuel Eto’o, and Tottenham are waiting on Spain striker Roberto Soldado to really get going. On Sunday, Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney rumbled Arsenal’s title challenge.
Arsene Wenger must know he will need more than Olivier Giroud if Arsenal are to win their first Premier League title since 2004. History will tell him that.
Ashton points out that in previous glory seasons for Arsenal, Arsene Wenger had top-class attacking options at his disposal. He wrote:
To borrow Wenger’s favourite expression this season, Arsenal had ‘super quality’ up front in his three title-winning teams. In 1998, when Wenger won his first title at Arsenal, he relied on Dennis Bergkamp, Ian Wright and Marc Overmars to do the damage. Four years on, they netted another Double, courtesy of Thierry Henry, Sylvain Wiltord and Bergkamp.
By the time Wenger had assembled the Invincibles, Henry had changed the face of English football. That season, he scored 30 in the league. That is not to say Giroud has not done his bit for Arsenal this season because he is a trier. And Arsenal fans love a trier.
The France star has scored five in the Premier League, but he needs assistance up front; Arsenal are in danger of running out of goals.
Wayne Rooney Revved Up for Manchester United Title Challenge
Wayne Rooney played a key part in United’s win over Arsenal on Sunday, and he has revealed the confidence now running through the squad by setting his sights on the top of the Premier League.
United made a tough start to life under new manager David Moyes, but they have ground out results in recent weeks, and the win over Arsenal cut the deficit to the Gunners to five points.
Rooney has admitted, per the Mail’s Neil Ashton, that it was win-at-all-costs. And he is now looking ahead to the rest of the season with relish.
Ashton has the quotes:
We couldn’t afford to lose because we couldn’t let them get 11 points ahead of us.
It’s a massive lift and it’s a great weekend ahead of the international break. Our aim is to be top or thereabouts at the new year.
We had to win at all costs. We are right back in it now and the other results gave us a big boost.
Tottenham Boss Andre Villas-Boas Deflects Hugo Lloris Talk
Hugo Lloris and his head injury just refuse to go away. He was a surprise absentee from the Tottenham side that lost to Newcastle on Sunday, and manager Andre Villas-Boas has put the focus firmly on the club’s medical team.
After Brad Friedel was named in the starting XI, Villas-Boas was questioned on the well-being of French keeper Lloris.
Villas-Boas maintains the keeper, who was hit on the head against Everton last week, is fine but was informed by the medical staff that Lloris should sit the game out.
When pressed on the subject, Villas-Boas gave the following response to Mark Bryans of the Press Association and the Mail’s Matt Barlow:
Nothing has come to light. The player is absolutely fine.
The tests they have we don’t know. They’ve made different tests. In my opinion and obviously the club agree, it would be welcome if the medical department speak up about this situation.
The only comment I can make is that the medical department advised us not to use the player, we followed rules and that’s it.
In the incident we did everything according to the book.
Tim Krul 'Best in the League' Says Newcastle Boss Alan Pardew
Tottenham were thwarted by Tim Krul, and the Mirror’s Darren Lewis has revealed the Dutchman became a record breaker in Newcastle’s 1-0 win.
Krul produced a string of fabulous saves to deny Spurs, and Lewis has revealed the keeper’s 14 stops is a Premier League record.
The display from Krul drew praise from his Newcastle manager Alan Pardew, who has described him as the best in the league.
Per Lewis’ piece, Pardew said: "I think he is the best Dutch goalkeeper for sure—and I think he is the best in the league."
Steven Gerrard Tipped to Play on Until He's 50 for Liverpool
At 33, Steven Gerrard may be in the autumn of his career, but his Liverpool teammate Jose Enrique is convinced the midfielder can play on until he is 50.
Gerrard’s role for Liverpool has evolved as he has matured, and he now operates in a deeper role in midfield.
Enrique, per the Daily Mirror’s David Anderson, feels Gerrard’s talents have not been blunted by age and wants him to keep going.
When you get older, you lose something physically and when he was playing with (Fernando) Torres, he was more behind the striker, making runs.
Now he plays deeper, keeps more of the ball and works differently. He is playing with Lucas now in that sitting role, which he didn’t play when he was younger.
But the quality of the passes and the crosses he produces, and the free-kicks, at 50 years of age, he will still be doing the same thing! He will always have that and his quality is amazing.
It’s not all positive for Gerrard, though, as the Mirror’s Martin Lipton claims the midfielder is a doubt for England’s friendlies with Chile and Germany on account of a hip problem. Lipton has quotes from Gerrard, who said:
I’ve got a bit of a niggle. It’s nothing major and I’ll get it seen to over the next couple of days and hopefully I can pull through in time for the England games.
Liverpool and Manchester United in Moussa Dembele Battle
Liverpool and Manchester United are locked in a battle to sign Moussa Dembele, writes the Mirror’s Alan Nixon.
It’s not the Tottenham midfielder that is catching their eye, rather the Fulham youngster of the same name.
Per Nixon’s piece, Reds boss Brendan Rodgers sent a scout to see Dembele score twice for Fulham’s Under-21 side last week.
Nixon also claims that Manchester United are also keeping tabs on a player Fulham signed from Paris Saint-Germain.
Alvaro Negredo Tells Lionel Messi to Come to England
"Come to England, Lionel Messi," is the message Manchester City striker Alvaro Negredo has sent to the Barcelona star.
Negredo joined City in the summer from Sevilla, and he is delighted with life in the North West of England.
So much so that, per the Daily Star’s Steve Millar, he has called on Messi to ditch Spain for a switch to England.
He is a player who can play really well in any league at all.
Maybe in two years’ time or five years’ time he will get bored with La Liga, want a change and come here.
People do paint it a bit black but you know it is not bad at all.
My family have settled in well and that is really important to me.
It is one of the best decisions I have made on a personal level and a football level.
Bits and Pieces: City Eye Valdes, Arsenal Want Ba and More
The Daily Star’s Paul Hetherington reports that Joe Hart is braced for an exit from Manchester City, as the club are lining up a move for Barcelona’s Victor Valdes.
Crystal Palace have set their sights on Hull striker Sone Aluko, writes the Mirror.
Alex Richards of the Mirror writes that Arsenal could make a move for Manchester City defender Micah Richards on account of doubts about the future of Bacary Sagna.
Arsenal are readying a £15 million bid for Demba Ba, writes the Star’s Tony Stenson.
Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill has teed off at the man who replaced him as Sunderland boss, Paolo Di Canio. Per a piece by the Telegraph’s Luke Edwards, O’Neill describes the Italian as a “charlatan.”