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Wenger: ‘Fashionable to be against Arsenal’

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger

A round-up of sports and football stories from the UK newspapers and websites including news from Arsenal, Newcastle, New Zealand, England, Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City and Cardiff.

THE TIMES: After the euphoria of beating the world champions, New Zealand, England yesterday faced the sober reality of what it will take to win their home tournament in 2015. Also: Defiant and undaunted, Arsene Wenger rounded on his critics last night, launching a staunch defence of his approach and his record.

THE SUN: Newcastle bounced back to winning ways as Demba Ba’s double destroyed 10-man Wigan. Also: Arsene Wenger will go all out to sign Demba Ba in January.

DAILY MAIL: England were pitched into a World Cup row with Wales last night after both nations were drawn in the ‘Pool of Death’ for the 2015 tournament. Also: Demba Ba eased the pressure building on Newcastle manager Alan Pardew as he struck twice - the first from a penalty - against Wigan at St James’ Park.

THE INDEPENDENT: It was written in the stars in filthy great capital letters; Stuart Lancaster, the coach of the moment after the red-rose victory over the All Blacks at the weekend, used the word “fate” - and sure enough, it came to pass. England, hosts of the next World Cup in 2015, found themselves paired with Wales at the tournament draw in London yesterday, thanks in part to a politician by the name of Boris Johnson, and as a result, the organisers were left with the most painful of headaches. Also: Arsene Wenger last night insisted Arsenal are not a club in crisis and claims he is unaffected by speculation over his future.

DAILY TELEGRAPH: Rafael Benitez is banking on the return from injury of John Terry and Frank Lampard to buy him time to make the changes he believes are necessary at Chelsea. Also: MS Dhoni’s insistence on playing this series on worn, spinning pitches has caused a furore in the media here. Having yielded one win and one defeat, it is not quite the disaster many are proclaiming as his team line up against England at Eden Gardens for the third Test, which starts tomorrow morning, on yet another used surface.

THE GUARDIAN: Arsene Wenger claimed it is “fashionable to be against Arsenal” at present as he railed against emotional and dramatic analysis of the club’s season so far and sought to close ranks to inspire a fightback. Also: Rafael Benitez has been assured of his immediate future by Chelsea but has told the hierarchy he does not want Avram Grant at Stamford Bridge.

DAILY MIRROR: Roman Abramovich’s ultimate Chelsea nightmare started to look a reality last night as Paris St Germain targeted Pep Guardiola to take over next summer. Also: Manchester United winger Nani has been left off the club’s official 2013 calendar - fuelling rumours he’ll be heading out the Old Trafford exit door in the new year.

DAILY STAR: Sir Alex Ferguson has piled the pressure on Manchester City by insisting their title hopes could be damaged if they bomb out of Europe tonight. Also: David Luiz last night added to Chelsea’s air of crisis by claiming he regularly rows with team-mates.

DAILY EXPRESS: Wales last night attempted a hijack of England’s World Cup by inviting them to play in Cardiff after the countries were drawn together for the 2015 tournament. Also: Roberto Mancini will play his shadow squad in the Europa League if Manchester City salvage the dubious consolation prize of third place in their Champions League group tonight.

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