Grimandi/ Tomas/ Luzhny/ Anelka/ Corboda/ Ashton/ Ladies study/ Nike/ Ground



By Ian Grant

PLAYERS

Arsenal face a Home Office inquiry into their £1m signing of the Lithuania striker Tomas Danilevicius. He holds a Greek passport and is classed as an EU player. But it is claimed this document is false. But there are doubts over his passport because of a freeze on issuing new ones to citizens of the former Soviet Union. Wenger said Tomas would not play for Arsenal until the situation was sorted out.

Sven Eriksson said of Tony Adams:”He has been an extremely important player for many years for both Arsenal and England and I have always admired his leadership qualities. I have met him many times when I have been with Benfica, Sampdoria and Lazio and he impressed me as a captain.”

Tony Adams has signed a new contract with Arsenal, ensuring he will carry on playing there for the next season-and-a-half before possibly entering a coaching role at the club.

With Adams in the side, Arsenal have won ten out of 15 league games this season. Without their captain, they have won only one of nine.

Gilles Grimandi has revealed, according to one paper, that he is ready to quit Highbury at the end of the season. Grimandi, 30, believes he has another three years left in him but wants “a new challenge.” The signing of Edu is a factor, apparently.

Another paper says Monaco have made a £4m bid for him, but will have to increase their bid by another £2m.

Gary Wiliams writes in the Mirror that paying £13m for Sylvain Wiltord was a waste of space and money.

Patrick Vieira has acknowledged publicly that the tight rein he had applied to himself in response to an onslaught of disciplinary proceedings had drastically reduced his effectiveness. He said that 19 games without a caution amounted to insufficient compensation, so he would be unshackling his competitive urges.

Dennis Bergkamp said: “I think it’s been proven that the rotation system doesn’t really work. At certain times of the season we don’t need it. It would be better to just give somebody a chance for a few games. Otherwise, being in and out every other game is a bit difficult.”

Dave Seaman is 8-11, Ray Parlour 6/1, and Martin Keown 1/3 to start the England international in Spain.

Thierry Henry is second in the Premiership scoring charts with Hasselbaink and Sheringham. Patrick Vieira has six.

FA chiefs announced they will hear misconduct charges against Patrick Vieira on February 8. Press reports say he will receive at least – a three-match ban, ruling him out of a home League match with Ipswich, any FA Cup fifth round tie, and the trip to Manchester United on 25 February.

Oleg Luzhny, has recovered from the back injury that has kept him out of the past four league matches and made his comeback in the reserves’ 2-1 defeat away to Nottingham Forest

WENGERSPEAK

Arsene Wenger said: “We did not have the sharpness to finish the game (Leicester). We try to make the perfect pass, to score the perfect goal. I’d be very happy with some scrappy goals.”

And added: “The problem is my players are always seeking the perfect goal from the perfect pass. Sometimes, they won’t get their hands dirty. For me, I would be happy to see a few scrappy goals go in but they insist on demonstrating their high technical ability instead.”

Arsene Wenger has his own disciplinary hearing on February 1 and 2, when he appeals against a 12-game touchline ban for man-handling a fourth official.

Wenger admits his failure to replace Petit has cost Arsenal the chance of challenging for the title.

He said: “We never really replaced Emmanuel Petit and have been playing with four right-footed players in midfield. That’s created an imbalance in the middle which is why we signed Edu. He is a natural left-footer and I want him to fill the gap left by Petit.”

OLD BOYS

Nicolas Anelka has been accused of slapping a journalist…after being asked why he hated the press. The former Arsenal player, 21, now with French club PSG faces an assault charge after allegedly hitting French writer Sebastian Tarrago at a stadium near Paris.

TRANSFERS/TALK

The Observer writes, that Arsenal have enquired about $4m-rated Boca Juniors keeper Oscar Cordoba. Arsene Wenger has also lodged a £1m bid for top Crewe youngster Dean Ashton. It also says thatTottenham are battling Arsenal for highly-rated Italian striker Cristiano Lucarelli.

Newcastle United have slapped a £22m price tag on the head of Kieron Dyer after growing interest from a host of top Premiership clubs including Arsenal.

MISCELLANEOUS

Arsenal won the shot count 19-4 against Leicester, which tells its own tale.

In early November, Arsenal’s odds were as short as 7-4 against to come home ahead of United. But after Leicester, Ladbrokes suspended betting on the outcome of the title.

Manchester United are now 100-1 on to win the English premier league – the shortest odds bookmakers William Hill have ever quoted about a football team to win a divisional title or Cup tournament. Arsenal are 22/1 for the title.

Arsenal Ladies have been the subject of a study by the Cranfield School of Management to discover what exactly makes successful teamwork, which can be passed on to business. Early results say that no team will last without the members being satisfied.

Nike’s £303m kit deal with Manchester United has left Arsenal seething with anger, according to one paper. Arsenal have four years left of a seven-year agreement with Nike.

Reports that Arsenal might move to Wembley instead of to their intended destination of Ashburton Grove were angrily dismissed yesterday by Wembley National Stadium Limited (WNSL), the club and Brent council.

On the arrival of Roberto Mancini at Leicester, Peter Taylor said:”I wanted to nickname him Henry, but none of the younger players had ever heard of him.” Nor, Terry no doubt.