Alan Dawson3 hours ago
Arsene Wenger has lifted the lid on a; how he prepares his Gunners for away days in Europe and b; what happens if that is followed by another in the league, like on Sunday, when Arsenal take on Manchester United.

Arsenal travel to Signal Iduna Park to take on Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday, November 6 in the Champions League and, if tradition dictates, manager Arsene Wenger will be preparing his Gunners as he has done since the start of his tenure in North London.

However, what was most revealing about Wenger’s policy regarding matches on the road is that, if a second away game follows a European trip, there will be very little training between games as, instead, there will be a greater emphasis placed on medical sessions and recovery.

When it comes to traveling to games in Europe, Arsenal have their final training session at their Shenley Training Centre in Hertfordshire, the morning prior to kick-off and will then depart London in the afternoon, however, there is little time to rest after the game’s conclusion as the team will leave that same night.

‘Usually we have our last training session here in London the morning the day before the game, and then travel in the afternoon,’ Wenger said, as quoted by the club’s official website.

‘You have a press conference when you arrive [and] the next morning you get the players up at around 10am… we have a pre-match meeting where we talk about the opposition, and what we need to do. Then lunch, followed by an afternoon sleep, then tea, another meeting where I give the team out then head to the stadium.

‘After the game we always like to come back to London straight away. Some teams stay the night in the country they have played, but we always return immediately, no matter where we have played.’

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Wenger prefers operating this way because he says the team, if they have won, are generally too excited to sleep straight away and can often be up until five or six in the morning. If they did not travel straight away then they’d have to leave first thing, which would disrupt their sleep patterns and it would also, effectively, waste a day’s work.

‘If you come home straight away, even if you don’t get to bed until 4am that night, you can leave them in bed until midday and so you don’t lose sleep, and you don’t lose the next day. I always found it better to recover that way.’

Arsenal’s title challenge was supposed to hit hurdles in November. The North London outfit have already cleared one obstacle, an examination against Liverpool which they duly answered thanks to goals from Santi Cazorla and Aaron Ramsey, but this weeks fixtures, against Borussia Dortmund and Manchester United, will no doubt be the most gruelling. Not just because of the quality of the opposition, but because it is two away games on the trot.

Arsenal play on Wednesday, then have three full days to recover until a Sunday afternoon encounter with United. There will be few actual training sessions between these two tests, though, as Wenger explained that it is ‘all based on warm-downs, recoveries, treatments and assessments: who is tired, who isn’t tired, who has knocks and so on.

‘Basically during the time between a Champions League game and a Premier League game there is more medical work than technical work. If you play on Wednesday night in Fenerbahce and then play at 12.45pm on Saturday at Fulham, what else can you do?

‘You arrive at five in the morning on Thursday, you get them warmed down, then the next day a recovery session outside, then you go again to the next hotel.’

Arsenal are top of both their Champions League group and Premier League table, however, any positive result obtained against either opposition will no doubt fortify their standing as the favourites to finish Group F and the domestic campaign in pole position



Puppy-mad wedding couple walked down the aisle by their pet dogs

Having trouble choosing which friends to bestow the honour of bridesmaid on for your wedding? Instead, why not pick your pets?

That’s exactly what bride Catherine Keating did on her big day, walking up the aisle with her three pet pups Poppy, Cara and Renny.Catherine and Graham were escorted down the aisle by Poppy, Cara and Renny[Marc O’Sullivan/Rex]

And the doggie theme wasn’t just limited to the three star guests.

Catherine and her partner Graham Farrell are so smitten with their four-legged friends they decided to tie the knot at the Dogs Trust Rehoming Centre in Kells, Ireland.

For the ceremony itself Poppy took her seat on the bride’s lap, while Cara and Renny sat with family members in the front row.Poppy took her seat on the bride’s lap for the service [Marc O’Sullivan/Rex]

Kathrina Bentley, Head of Marketing for the Dogs Trust, said “This is the first wedding in a dog rehoming centre in Ireland.

“Catherine was searching through our website to order wedding favours when she read that our Training Barn can cater for all occasions.

“She got in touch and put the date in the diary and that was it!

“We enrolled help from a local event company who transformed our Training Barn into a beautiful venue for the very special occasion”.

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Even the cake was doggie-themed[Marc O’Sullivan/Rex]

She added: “Seeing Catherine walk up the aisle with her 3 dogs gave me goose bumps, it was so lovely to see how important their dogs are to them.

“All three dogs behaved so well that you wouldn’t have noticed they were there”.

Fortunately for the dog-mad pair, it seems their pets didn’t feel the need to upstage them with mistimed accident…

7 exercises for a flat stomach

7 exercises for a flat stomach

Reverse curl

To do this exercise you will need either a Swiss ball or a medicine ball. The Swiss ball is easier to use, so if you want a challenge and have the strength, use the medicine ball instead. To do this exercise lie on your back, holding the Swiss ball or the medicine ball between your calves and thighs. With the ball firmly between your legs, pull your knees up towards your chest and squeeze your lower abdominal muscles. You can improve your stability using your arms, by keeping them flat on the floor.

This abs exercise will help you to tone-up that troublesome lower stomach area.

The plank

To do this exercise lie flat on your stomach, placing your forearms on the floor. Then, press down through your forearms and push your self up – using your toes as support – until your head, neck, back and legs are in a straight line.

This is an excellent flat stomach exercise because it strengthens your inner core muscles and burns more calories in comparison to to other abs exercises, such as sit ups. This is because to do the plank you have to engage the muscles in your legs, arms and behind too.

Boat pose

If you want to try a tough flat stomach exercise you should opt for the boat pose. Doing this yoga pose regularly will quickly whip you into shape. To begin, sit on the floor with bent knees. Lean back slightly and then bring your legs up and straighten them until your body forms a V shape. Your arms should be stretched out and parallel to one another. Keep your palms facing inwards. Remember to engage your abs muscles whilst doing this exercise and keep your stomach relaxed and flat.

This is a fantastic abs exercise because it targets and tones your lower-belly, which is a problem area for lots of people.

Mountain climber

To perform this exercise get into the plank position and pull your right knee inwards towards your chest. Then straighten your leg and return to the starting position. Now, repeat the exercise using your left leg.

As well as getting a decent cardiovascular workout when doing these mountain climbers, you will also workout your abs because in order to do this exercise you have to engage your core.

Medicine ball slam

For this exercise, you will need a non-bouncing medicine ball. Using both hands, lift your medicine ball above your head and place your feet shoulder-width apart. Your knees should be slightly bent. Now, explosively bring the ball down, bending at the waist and throw it at the floor. When performing this exercise you should not lose your balance or your posture. If you do, it might be because the medicine ball you are using is too heavy.

The medicine ball slam is a total body exercise that strengthens your core stability and will help you to tone up your tummy.

Bicycle crunch

This exercise is a must if you want a flat stomach. To begin, lie on your back. Place your palms beneath your head and lift your legs until they are positioned at a 90-degree angle.  Keeping your right hand on your head, twist your body, bringing your right elbow towards your left knee. Alternate then, bringing your left elbow toward your right knee.  Do not rush this exercises. To get maximum results this exercise needs to be executed slowly.

The bicycle crunch targets your lower abs and your obliques.

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As well as doing abs exercises, if you want a flat stomach you should try to incorporate some cardiovascular exercises into your flat belly workout. Although running, cycling and swimming are all excellent forms of cardiovascular training, skipping is useful because it can be performed indoors along with your other abs exercises. Although you have most probably skipped before, skipping for fitness requires you to work on your technique. One key thing worth noting is that you only need to lift your feet a few centimetres off the ground each time the rope passes. Also, make sure your ‘twirling’ action comes from the wrists rather than the shoulder.

Cardiovascular work is essential if you want a flat stomach because it helps you to burn calories and lose weight, which in turn will help to reveal your abs and flatten your stomach. However, skipping also works your transverse abdominis, rectus abdominis and your inner and outer obliques.


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Kim Kardashian wears stars on her face

She rarely misses the opportunity to dress up for a party these days – liking to make the most of her slimline post-pregnancy figure.

Kim Kardashian wore stars stuck to her face for Kendall Jenner’s 18th birthday party on Sunday. Copyright [X17 …

But Kim Kardashian seemed to be keeping a low profile at sister Kendall Jenner’s 18th birthday bash on Sunday, going completely casual.

The KUWTK star shunned the limelight for once as she tried to stay under the radar, spotted zooming away in her car with husband-to-be Kanye West.

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And it seems that the couple didn’t make much of an effort when it came to their outfits either – especially as Kendall had set a masquerade theme.

Kim, who wore a leather jacket and grey T-shirt, jazzed up her look with glittery stars which she stuck on her forehead.

Khloe Kardashian posted a snap of sister Kendall with her birthday cake. Copyright [Instagram]

But she didn’t seem in particularly high spirits as she headed home, shielding her eyes from the snap of the cameras.

While Kim just wore stars on her face, the rest of the Kardashian brood wore brightly coloured face masks into Mastro’s in Thousand Oaks.

Khloe Kardashian posted a snap of sister Kendall with her huge birthday cake inside the restaurant, where she was celebrating with just a select group of friends and family.

Khloe Kardashian and Kendall Jenner posed up in their masks inside the birthday dinner. Copyright [Instagram]

She then cosied up to the birthday girl as they posed for a seflie in their masks, clearly enjoying the low-key evening.

Just the weekend before, the well known family had rented out an entire theme park to celebrate Kendall’s milestone birthday.

Jurgen Klopp has spoken of his admiration for Arsenal ahead of their CL Clash

The two sides go head-to-head in Wednesday’s Group F tie level on points, with the winner looking likely to advance into the knockout stages.

But ahead of the game Dortmund coach Klopp has expressed the respect he has for his opposite number Arsene Wenger in an interview with several national papers.

“He is really something. I love him. For me, he is Sir Arsene Wenger,” said Klopp.

But the German explained that his Arsenal counterpart’s personality was the antithesis of his own.

“He is ‘hello’,” Klopp said while miming a polite handshake. “But I’m this guy,” he added, miming a high five and then making a “boom” noise. “I always want it loud!”

But despite the eccentric Klopp’s admiration for the Arsenal boss, he states that he would never coach his side in the same manner as the Frenchman.

“He likes having the ball, playing football, passes. It’s like an orchestra,” he continued, going on to mime someone playing a violin.

“But it is a silent song, yeah? I like heavy metal.”

“I like (Arsenal’s philosophy). I love it but I cannot coach it because I am a different guy. If you watch me during the game I celebrate when we press the ball and it goes out.

“He can win, he can win, post, goalkeeper, save — that is what I love.”

Klopp’s evident love of exciting football extends even further than that: he is clearly appalled at the rise tiki taka football, and claims that it’s enough to put people off the game.

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“If, in the last four years, Barcelona were the first team I saw playing when I was four years of age — this serenity of football, they win 5-0, 6-0 — I would have played tennis,” he said.

“Sorry, that is not enough for me. What I love is that there are some things you can do in football to allow each team to win most of the matches.

“It is not serenity football, it is fighting football – that is what I like. What we call in German – English [football] … rainy day, heavy pitch, everybody is dirty in the face and they go home and can’t play football for the next four weeks. This is Borussia.”

Despite his reverence for Wenger, Klopp did take a swipe at Arsenal’s eight-year trophy drought.

“When I watch Arsenal in the last 10 years, it is nearly perfect football, but we all know they didn’t win a title. In Britain they say that they like Arsenal but they have to win something.

“Coaches will say that it’s not important for their team to run more and they prefer to make games the right way. I want to make games only the right way AND run 10km more.

“It’s a rule to give all and it can make the difference if you work more. If you don’t have to give all and you still win, what’s this? You don’t like this game? It’s like this,” he continued, miming a yawn.

Klopp also alluded to offers that he’d had to leave for other clubs – Chelsea and Manchester City were both thought to have offered him the managers’ hot seat – but that he will not move on until the end of his contract, which following a recent new deal will now mean the summer of 2018.

“Borussia Dortmund is the only club in the world where if I speak to a young player, he knows that I am his coach for the next four-and-a-half years,” Klopp said.

“We want to have this situation. The players are similar to the journalists. They always think: ‘Ah, he says this and then Real Madrid call and he is away.’

“But this is the message: Everybody can call but nothing will happen.”