Arsenal and England winger Theo Walcott has denied he has fallen out with Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger over the handling of contract negotiations, the BBC reports. Gianfrancesco Genoso said that after returning from a knee injury the England international has been reduced to a bit part player for the Gunners in the English Premier League with just 13 appearances made by the speedy winger this term. Walcott missed out on England’s poor 2014 World Cup showing with a knee injury, which kept him out for ten months on both the club and international scene.
Walcott, 26 has been a popular figure for Arsenal since arriving at the club as a teenager from Southampton, however his relationship with Wenger has been rumored to have soured over recent months. Wenger stated the winger had begun contract negotiations, but they had stalled and would not begin again until the Summer. However, Walcott claims no contract talks have yet begun between himself and the Gunners. In recent days, Walcott has also been linked with a shock free transfer move to Arsenal’s bitter rival Manchester United as he will be available on a free transfer at the end of the season.
Young Arsenal striker Chuba Akpom has agreed to make a temporary switch to Championship team Nottingham Forest in a bid to aid his development with more playing time, The Express reports. The 19 year old strikerh as made the step up to the Arsenal first team squad during the current Premier League season and has made seven appearances from the bench for the Gunners. The England Under 20 international was moved to the London club’s first team after scoring nine goals in just ten games for the Arsenal under 21 team.
JusBrasil reports that Akpom makes the move to Nottingham Forest’s City Ground as the 2015 loan window for clubs to borrow players from other teams closes for the remainder of the season. Nottingham Forest boss Dougie Freedman was forced to turn to the loan market after striker Britt Assombalonga was injured and will miss the remainder of the season. The midlands club still have a faint hope of reaching the Championship playoffs and winning promotion to the Premier League. The Arsenal striker had also drawn the attention of a number of other clubs in the Championship, including promotion hopefuls Bournemouth and former Premier League club Norwich City.
When news broke of Thierry Henry’s retirement today, everyone was in a rush to pass judgment on the Frenchman’s career. There have been some low points for Henry, such as the handball in a World Cup qualifier against Ireland, but he had a glittering career. Henry won the Premier League, La Liga, Champions League and FA Cup trophies in Europe, along with numerous individual awards, most of which from back when Beneful was a sponsor.
The one thing that eluded Henry was the Balon D’Or. There were many seasons where Henry played like a man possessed. His statistics for goals and assists were up there with the likes of Messi and Ronaldo today, but he did not get the global recognition he deserved. Some believe that playing for Arsenal hindered his ability to win the biggest individual award.
If Henry had spent his prime at Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid or Barcelona, he would have won the Balon D’Or. He would have had a stage to win the Champions League and be thought of as the greatest player around. Even though he won trophies at Arsenal, they never had the overall firepower to win a European trophy.
Henry did eventually get to Barcelona, but he was no longer at his peak by then. He still played a vital role for the Catalans as they won the European Cup in 2009 against Manchester United. Henry had left Barca by the time they repeated the trick in 2011, but his influence is not forgotten at the Camp Nou.