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The Malaysian Insider :: Sports

Arsenal need to communicate better, says Wenger

Posted: 22 Apr 2011 06:15 PM PDT

Arsenal's Theo Walcott celebrates after scoring a goal during their English Premier League soccer match against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane in London April 20, 2011. — Reuters pic

LONDON, April 23 — Arsenal's defensive fragilities can be solved with better communication and by "dominating their nerves," manager Arsene Wenger said yesterday.

"I feel the most important thing is to keep on playing no matter what the score is. We need to keep our nerves more and communicate better," the Frenchman told reporters before his team's trip to Bolton Wanderers tomorrow.

"All defenders are under pressure because they are criticised for not holding on so that makes the problem worse."

In Arsenal's last two Premier League matches they have let leads slip, proving costly in their pursuit of leaders Manchester United who sit six points ahead of them and Chelsea with five games remaining.

Arsenal's chance of a first trophy since 2005 evaporated in an instant in February's League Cup final when an 89th-minute defensive mix-up between defender Laurent Koscielny and goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny gifted Birmingham City a 2-1 win.

"It's a vicious circle," Wenger said of media criticism of his team's defence. "You can only deal with that in this time and dominate your nerves."

Wenger said he was still very confident that Arsenal can win the title.

"We have played 16 games without losing and I am convinced that if we win our five games we will win the championship," the Frenchman said. — Reuters 

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Haye banks on power and speed to beat ‘boring’ Klitschko

Posted: 22 Apr 2011 05:31 PM PDT

WBA heavyweight champion David Haye waits for the start of the WBA light welterweight boxing match between Amir Khan of Britain and Marcos Maidana of Argentina at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada December 11, 2010. — Reuters pic

WASHINGTON, April 23 — Helped by Muhammad Ali's former trainer, Britain's heavyweight WBA champion David Haye believes his speed and power will bring him victory in his unification bout with Wladimir Klitschko on July 2.

Haye will take on Ukrainian Klitschko, the WBO, IBO and IBF champion, in Hamburg's football arena in a long-awaited showdown.

"I've got very quick feet, quick head movement and my punches are very rapid," the 30-year-old Englishman, nicknamed 'The Hayemaker', told Reuters yesterday.

"I've got the type of speed he will not have had to encounter as a professional. I've been working on my speed. I feel light and my punches are freakishly hard.

"I've always been able to knock people out with either hand, so if I catch him at any time, he's going to sleep."

The London fighter has been training in Miami's famed Fifth Street Gym, where Angelo Dundee trained Muhammad Ali, and he said the veteran cornerman has given him welcome words of wisdom.

"He came by yesterday and we had a good chat. He still knows his stuff," Haye said. "He was giving me some good advice, some tactics to implement when I get in the ring. I had a great game plan before, but Angelo's tweaked it."

Haye, who has a career record of 25-1 with 23 knockouts, predicted that Klitschko (55-3, 49 KOs) would try to make their mega-fight in Hamburg ugly and boring.


"He's someone who can jab you to death for 12 rounds and is happy to do that," the Londoner said. "He doesn't let his right hand go, he doesn't really pull the trigger.

"I think he's going to come unstuck with that tactic when he fights me. I'm going to have to force him to fight."

A Haye-Vladimir Klitschko clash has been on the cards for two years but twice the two sides failed to finalise a deal after disagreeing on how to split revenues.

Haye and Klitschko appeared to have struck a deal for the July 2 fight in early January, only for talks to fall apart when Klitschko insisted on taking an interim bout with Britain's Dereck Chisora on April 30.

When Klitschko cancelled that fight, citing an injury, the meeting with Haye was swiftly re-arranged.

Haye was confident the difficulties in putting the fight together will be long forgotten once the bell rings.

"As long as I knock Wladimir out, nobody's going to care how long the fight took to put together, who got what percentage, what the ticket sales were," he said.

"That's all irrelevant. The only thing that matters is when we're both in that ring and the first bell rings and we go to war." — Reuters  

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