Our Man in the North Bank
. Arsene Wenger says he will decide about a new Highbury contract in October. As usual
when Arsene is mulling over a new deal, he has been linked with a major job in Europe. He
has turned down an approach from Franz Beckenbauer to become Germany's new coach. That wasn't the first time Beckenbauer has offered Wenger a job. Ten years ago Beckenbauer, the club president, approached Arsene to take charge at Bayern Munich. Wenger was interested
but Monaco's president, Jean-Louis Campora, wouldn't let him go. He sacked Wenger a few months later.
Wenger likes to run the football side of his clubs without interference from above -
intereference inevitable from such as Florentino Perez at Real Madrid or the presidents
of many of the Gunners' Champions League rivals. So our money is on Arsene to stay and lead Arsenal towards the new stadium. The one job that might interest him, though, is
coach of France's national side. That may be up for grabs after the 2006 World Cup finals. Wenger would be the French
fans' choice by a landslide.
. Arsene still has the Champions League to conquer. As Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp have said, that's the prize the Gunners want, to seal their place in history. Wenger has never gone beyond the quarter-finals with Arsenal. He guided Monaco to a one-off
semi-final in 1994, which they lost 3-0 to Milan at San Siro.
. New signing Rob van Persie has spent his career with Feyenoord as a left-winger or left side attacker. But Wenger's comments suggest he sees 21-year-old Van Persie as a longterm
replacement for Dennis Bergkamp. Arsene said: 'He has a great left foot, he's a very good passer and he has excellent vision'. (The Dutch PFA's 2002 Young Player of the Year is also a rarity for an Arsenal attacker. He's supposed to be good in the air!)
. Highbury won't seem the same without Martin Keown who's bowed out aged 38. Keown made more than 450 appearances in two spells with the Gunners, gained three championship and three FA Cup winners, medals and played 43 times for England. As Bergkamp said: 'We couldn't have won anything without the attitude, mental strength and experience of players
like Martin'. Incredible now to think that he left Arsenal for Aston Villa in 1986 after a
reported disagreement with George Graham over a £50-aweek pay rise. George brought him back to Highbury from Everton in a £2million deal in 1993.
. Keown's departure opens the way for 19-year-old Swiss defender Philippe Senderos to establish himself, ala Kolo Toure last season. The powerful 6 foot 3inch centre back missed much of last season, first with back trouble, then with a broken bone in a foot. He recovered to shine for Switzerland at the European under-21 championships in June.
. The Gunners continue to search far and wide for young talent. Latest arrival is 17-yearold
striker Arturo Lupoli from Parma. Lupoli has played for Italy at under-16 and under-17 level.
. Goalkeeper Graham Stack, one of the stars of Arsenal reserves' run to the League Cup semi-finals, could play in Europe this season - for Millwall. He's joined FA Cup runners-up Millwall on a season's loan as they prepare for their first-ever UEFA Cup appearance.
. Sol Campbell and Ashley Cole both enhanced their reputations at Euro 2004 and were deservedly named in UEFA's squad of the tournament. Ever-steady Campbell carried on from the 2002 World Cup finals when he was picked for FIFA's Team of the Tournament. Meanwhile,
Cole gave his best displays yet in an England shirt, especially in the quarter-final against Portugal when he marked Cristiano Ronaldo out of the game.
N16 crossword no. 22
The solution will be available on n16mag.com on 28 August.
Eight solutions are topically linked and their definitions are omitted from their clues. The heading may assist.
22 by Gap
1 Jumper appears before marshal, perhaps (6)
4 Champion as Karpov was overthrown (8)
10 Rice from Sam, a bit cooked (7)
11 Suffered loss and ran (7)
12 Currency attached to leap years, thematically (4)
13 Son praises organised informal discussion (3,7)
16 Reportedly, shore leave's cut short wrongly for Phegopteris (5-4)
17 Extra-large rod put ?rst! (5)
18 Fine Verdi piece? No, not at all! (5)
20 Turned up untidy trousers at the base (9)
23 Relative thematic characters found in queer street? (4-6)
24 Noise made by Tom's return to university with a car ... (4)
26 New fiat moved into by Ben Turner, in a car (3,4)
27 Atkinson meets Capone at a party (7)
28 Stam soon gets transferred (8)
29 Self-government was organised by the British in India (6)
1 At a stretch, they hold sheaths around players (6,5)
2 Watch former pupil make delivery in court (7)
3 Test former partner before noon (4)
5 Malcolm, so involved in last-ditch poker scenario (7)
6 'Hoops' break arrangement for travel assistant (6,4)
7 More chancy state sportsman (7)
8,14 I get involved with sloven janitor (3,11)
9 Wandering in daze after defeat? (6)
14 see 8 down
15 Is hot drink accept by cleaners? (10)
19 Country native relocates on source of Mississipi (7)
20 Ferguson, perhaps, gets up before Rehhagel produces dish (7)
21 Man taken in by Conservative conjecture (6)
22 Dirtiness of most of occupied building getting expression
of surprise (7)
25 Bite produced by rising tooth (4)
26 Piece together attack (3)