First Press Conference for New Arsenal Boss

New Arsenal manager Gray Surman has been introduced to the media at the Emirate Stadium in club’s first press day with their new man in charge and the Canadian spoke assertively about his return to club football, and to the stadium he’d visited twice before with Wigan and Dortmund.

Surman’s first trip here was in November 2012 with his Wigan Athletic side winning 1-0 in the Premier League clash, and he visited again with Borussia Dortmund the following year in an entertaining 2-2 Champions League Group Stage draw in December 2013.

Surman has faced Arsenal on four other occasions: a 3-2 FA Cup win in Wigan in January 2013, followed by a 1-1 draw in the Premier League at the DW stadium. In the Champions League, Surman’s Dortmund side won 2-0 at Signal Iduna Park and – most recently – the clubs met in the 2014 UEFA Super Cup with Dortmund winning a five-goal thriller in Cardiff.

During the press conference, Surman revealed that midfielder Jos Verniers had signed a new four-year extension with the club on an increased wage of £50,000 p/w, and spoke about retaining the services of defender Laurent Koscielny and want-away midfidler Jack Wilshere who are both rumoured to be on their way out of Arsenal this summer.

Before Surman spoke, a representative of the Arsenal board announced that the club had sold 22,480 season tickets so far this summer and following Surman’s arrival they were anticipating selling a total of 41,000 before the season kicks-off on 18 August.

Rumours are that Arsenal are in talks with Dortmund over the services of right-back Julian Koch, and may have thrown their hat in the ring late on to scupper the deal taking Serbian striker Marko Obradovic® from Monaco to Manchester United.

FanTV reported afterwards that Koscielny, Vedran Corluka, and Santi Cazorla had all “liked” posts on the club’s social media that featured video clips of Surman’s Q&A.

journalist70Press Conference:
In attendance are Sky Sports News, London Evening Standard,
TEAMtalk, Guardian, Football365, Daily Mirror, and The Metro.

surman70Arsenal FC:
Introducing former-Wigan and Dortmund head coach Gray Surman
as the new First Team Manager here at the Emirates Stadium in London.

“I am absolutely delighted to be here, and be back at the business end of a top club. I’m looking forward to being involved from the seniors to the academy, encouraging attractive football in partnership with the key Arsenal philosophy of nurturing youth on their way into the first team.

“The achievements of the club in Europe over the last three seasons have been great, but my main focus will be on the Premier League and getting the club back in the top four and back in the Champions League. That’s not to diminish any cup competitions we find ourselves in, as a winning run always brings a great morale boost to any squad.

“The backroom staff here are part of a fantastic setup and I feel it would be foolish to meddle with that. They have the experience of the players here. As much as I am very fond of my staff from Dortmund, we haven’t worked with each other for three years and I don’t want to disrupt their various projects.

“I’m aware that Laurent has been linked with other clubs, but I feel he would be an integral part of any title-chasing defence and I’ll do my utmost to keep him here. Similarly, Jack had made his feelings known to the previous management of his desire to move on from Arsenal, but I will take time to sit down with him and see if we’re on the same page with regards to what we should be achieving this season.

“The facilities here are wonderful with a high quality of players and staff so it’s unlikely that I’ll be making sweeping changes at any level. Though with new management comes a new opportunity to inject new life into any squad. I’m keen to add two or three faces to add depth to the squad and provide some competition in key areas.

“We could be a little light at the back should any long-term injuries fall our way by the time the Europa League starts. A World Cup year is always one where some big names make moves, and I’ll be keeping tabs on who could be available for us. We have already made enquiries with a couple of clubs with regards to potential deals, and more details will follow should we enter deeper discussions.

“There’s money in the kitty, and the chairman has provided the facility to increase our current wage budget by about a third of current spending to accommodate additions to the squad, including any contract renewals this season. Jos is a player I’m looking forward to working with again, and I’m pleased to announce that he has agreed a new four-year deal after my arrival here.”


Diary, 20 May: Keegan Stops Loving It, Retires


Daily Diary, Wednesday 20 May:

70-kevin-keeganKevin Keegan has announced his retirement from football management after 23 years in which he won three divisional titles and finished as runners-up in the Premier League with Newcastle United in 1996 and 1997, and took England to Euro 2000 after beating Scotland over two legs.

The 64 year-old’s playing career spanned fifteen years and saw him score 21 goals for England as well as over 200 goals for his five clubs – Scunthorpe, Liverpool, Hamburg, Southampton, and Newcastle.

Keegan leaves Fulham after two-and-a-half years back at Craven Cottage, when he succeeded Martin Jol in December 2012 after previously managing the club in the late 90’s. Fulham finished the Premier League season in 11th place, just two points off a top-half finish.

Both Wigan Athletic and Southampton have parted company with their managers after disappointing seasons in the English top flight. Wigan slumped to 16th place after losing their last six games and the board decided that Brian McDermott wasn’t the man to lead them next season.

Southampton were relegated after a dismal campaign which saw them win just twice at home, finishing fifteen points from safety in 19th place. Tony Mowbray failed to win any of the club’s final nine games and drop back down one season after he guided them to promotion with a second-place finish in the FL Championship in 2014.

Empoli have also fired their manager after the final day of the season saw them lose 0-1 at home to AC Milan, and relegated back to Serie B after a single season in the Italian top-flight. Maurizio Sarri had been at the club for three seasons.

_bvb70jpgBVB coach Francesco Salucci has completed his UEFA ‘A’ Licence, the final step before obtaining a ‘Pro’ Licence which would allow him to manage a top-flight club in Europe. The 43 year-old Italian works with the club’s successful U19 team.

Sven Bender Set To Miss Schalke Final Clash


Sven Bender will miss the rest of the season after suffering a broken collarbone in Saturday’s title-clinching win over Mainz on Saurday. The midfielder scored his first of the season to open the scoring, and was awarded the man-of-the-match before he was stretchered off in the final minute.

Bender, 26, was playing in his 150th 1.Bundesliga match for Borussia Dortmund and was highly-praised by his boss for his performances for the season, but will now be out of action for up top two months missing the final league game at Hoffenheim, and the DFB-Pokal Final against Schalke on 23 May.

Julian Koch is also doubtful for those two games after he picked-up a thigh strain in Saturday’s match. He’ll miss the Hoffenheim trip, and was likely to anyway as manager Surman promised rotation, but will battle for fitness ahead of the match in Berlin against Schalke.

Club coach Bernd Dreher is celebrating being awarded his UEFA ‘A’ Licence this week. He was noted for his professionalism during the course, and can now proceed to take his Pro Licence which would allow a permanent top-flight managerial role in Europe.

Daily Dortmund Diary: Thursday 6th November


Daily Diary, Thursday 06 November 2014:

bender-larsLars Bender has accepted an official warning from BVB management after his dismissal in yesterday’s 3-0 win over Legia Warsaw. With Dortmund leading 1-0 at the time, Bender was cautioned twice inside ninety seconds and will miss the trip to Valencia through suspension.


Dortmund staff member Piet Hamberg has failed to gain a Continental Pro Licence. The 60 year-old Dutch coach will need to retake the entire course should he wish to gain the qualification to manage at the highest level.


Four sides have progressed to the penultimate stage in the MLS Playoffs after winning their conference semi-final ties. The Eastern Conference Final will be played between Chicago Fire and Houston Dynamo, with Real Salt Lake and FC Dallas meeting in the Western equivalent. Ties will be played 08 and 15 November.


AS Monaco fans have called for Claudio Ranieri’s head after the 63 year-old Italian declared his interest in the vacancy at Bayern Munich. The former Chelsea manager has been at the club for two and a half years, winning last season’s French League Cup. Monaco’s 4-4 draw with Rubin Kazan on Wednesday eliminated them.

Peter Bosk has left Heracles for a club four points below them in the Dutch Eredivisie, as he joins Roda JC.

D³: Sven Bender Injury Report, Backroom News


bvb2015_70_bender-svenSven Bender will miss at least four matches after picking-up a thigh strain in Dortmund’s defeat at Hamburg yesterday. The injury will keep him out of the trip to Düsseldorf at the weekend and the visits of Warsaw, Frankfurt and Braunschweig over the next fortnight.


Club scout Ivaylo Yordanov has successfully continud his pursuit of professional coaching qualifications by completing his Continental A License in coaching. He can now aim for a Continental Pro License in the future. Yordanov wanted to raise the bar for himself by completing the course and handled it professionally.


Sochaux have announced that former manager Christophe Galtier is set to return to the club after seven years. He guided the club to Coupe de France success in 2007 before moving to Lyon. Sochaux fired Eric Hély a fortnight ago with the club in the lower reachers of the Ligue 1 table.

[D³] Hummels, Reus, Schürrle in Select XI


Mats Hummels has become the second Dortmund player this season to win the T-Mobile Spieler des Tages after his four-goal display in Saturday’s 5-0 thrashing of Stuttgart. He’s joined in the Select XI by team mates André Schürrle and Marco Reus.

Hertha Berlin also have three players in the team, with ‘keeper Thomas Kraft, defender Ronny and goalscorer Pierre-Michel Lasogga included after their victory over Freiburg.

Also voted into the Team of the Week are Timm Klose and Umaru Bangura from Nürnberg, Schalke midfielder Kyriakos Papadopoulos, and Hamburg’s Dennis Diekmeier and hat-trick hero Artjoms Rudnevs.



Leo Bittencourt came off the bench for Ajax on Saturday and scored the fourth goal in their 4-0 win over Den Haag on Sunday afternoon. The 20 year-old midfielder, on loan from Dortmund, has scored twice in 11 appearances for them this season.


BVB have appointed Spartak Moscow’s Ivaylo Yordanov as a scout, paying the Russian side a £450,000 compensation package. Yordanov enjoyed a playing career in the country, winning 51 caps for Bulgaria before joining the Bulgarian national side ahead of jobs at Sporting Clube (Lisbon) and Spartak.