Wenger: I won’t panic

first_imgManager Arsene Wenger maintains Arsenal will not “panic buy” as they look to strengthen a depleted squad in the closing days of the transfer window. Wenger, though, insisted as he prepared his side for Sunday’s north London derby against Tottenham, who have spent big this summer, that he was not about to embark upon a mad rush for any last-minute additions. “We will not panic buy, that is for sure. You can believe me. It is not in my strengths to panic,” said Wenger, who expects both midfielders Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey to be available this weekend. “You need good players in every position, and especially you need an attitude and way to play the game. The players here know the way we want to play and that is important. If we can add players who can integrate with that style of play we will do it. “We work very hard on that, if we cannot we will not do anything stupid just for the sake of saying that we have done something. We do what makes sense or not, that is simple.” France international Flamini, 29, left the Emirates Stadium in 2008 to join AC Milan when his contract expired, but was released by the Italian side and on Thursday was confirmed as Arsenal’s second signing having trained at the club earlier this month. Wenger admitted once his injury crisis deepened, the prospect of bringing Flamini back looked more appealing. “At the start I didn’t want to sign him I am completely honest about it,” he said. “I didn’t envisage doing it. Circumstances and his attitude convinced me to do it. “I didn’t expect him to be in that mental state and in that physical shape. Our job has a great quality, it is a good teacher of humility, so you always have to be ready to change your mind, and he changed my mind.” Wenger, however, conceded the loss of Podolski was a major blow, the forward, who scored twice in the win at Fulham last weekend, limped out of the Champions League play-off win over Fenerbahce. “[It’s a] Grade Three hamstring [injury]. That means it’s eight to 10 weeks. It can be more – to be fully match fit, you can count three months,” the Arsenal boss said. Arsenal’s comfortable 5-0 aggregate win over the Turkish side saw them through to the group stages for the 16th successive campaign, where they will face 2013 runners-up Dortmund, Marseille and Napoli. Wenger said: “It is difficult, but exciting as well because it is a group of a very good level. “We played Dortmund two years ago. We did well against them and Napoli has done well last year. Marseille we played two years ago as well. “It is a similar group to what we knew two years ago, every game will be of a huge importance because it could be down to a point or goal difference in the end.” Wenger, however, stressed full focus must be on producing a positive performance at the Emirates Stadium once again, having lost the opening Barclays Premier League game to Aston Villa. “What is important for us is to get on a winning run. We have now [won the last three games we have played] so it is important we continue that,” said Wenger, who will have centre-back Laurent Koscielny available again following his one-match suspension after a red card against Villa. “It is a good opportunity for us to show our strengths against Tottenham because they have as well strengthened well their team. I am confident that we will have a very good performance.” With Germany forward Lukas Podolski, set for up to three months out because of a hamstring injury, joining England midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Mikel Arteta on the sidelines, Wenger has seen his options further reduced, despite Mathieu Flamini rejoining the club on Thursday. Arsenal, who failed in bids for Gonzalo Higuain, Luis Suarez and Yohan Cabaye earlier this summer, but did complete a free transfer of France Under-21 forward Yaya Sanogo, continue to be linked with the likes of Karim Benzema, Mesut Ozil and Angel Di Maria at Real Madrid, along with St Etienne defensive midfielder Joshua Guilavogui among others. Press Associationlast_img read more


Philip Bowcock: William Hill – Nominal response on responsibility has hurt industry’s profile

first_img David Lampitt, Sportradar: F1 presents betting’s most sizeable opportunity August 14, 2020 Share Share Related Articles William Hill accelerates transformation agenda to overcome COVID realities August 5, 2020 Submit SBC Magazine Issue 10: Kaizen Gaming rebrand and focus for William Hill CEO August 25, 2020 StumbleUpon Operators who have only donated nominal amounts to GambleAware for research, education and treatment would have been better not bothering, according to William Hill Group CEO Philp Bowcock. Speaking at World GES in Barcelona, Bowcock touched on this week’s announcement from the UK’s biggest operators to increase the amount of money they provide to GambleAware by a factor of ten, but also referenced Labour Deputy Leader Tom Watson’s criticisms of those operators who are only providing small amounts. He said: “There are a lot of organisations out there who are not doing anything and that really does not help our industry at all. But you are better off not putting anything in at all rather than giving £1 or £5. “Our idea with this week’s announcement is to get on the front foot on the issue.” Bowcock suggested that UK gambling laws had been ‘too libertarian’ and now the pendulum was swinging back the other way as more restrictions come in, such as the reduction in stakes for FOBTs.Bowcock also underlined the grim outlook for UK retail on the back of those restrictions. “There’s no doubt there will be significant closures of shops across the industry and it will be in four figures.”However, William Hill’s leader underlines that there is still a future for betting shops, even as customers continue their digital migration. “Retail will always be there. There is a social element to retail that you don’t get anywhere else. In the US retail is a real social event. People like to go and watch games together. It’s the same in the UK to an extent.”William Hill has been one of the more successful European brands in the US market deregulation of betting, but Bowcock warned that it ‘will be a marathon not a sprint’ in the country. He highlighted the need for a ‘largely American’ operational team and added the more proprietary technology that a company has, the better.The need for diversification from the UK market is still high on Bowcock’s agenda, with last year’s purchase of Mr Green giving the firm an enhanced footprint in Scandinavia. “M&A has to be on the radar and it has to be on the radar for many organisations,” he said, suggesting that technology has to be an element of that activity. He also cited Latin America as an interesting market for potential growth.__________last_img read more