FIFA WORLD PLAYER OF YEAR
Arsenal's Thierry Henry was named second best player in the world at the FIFA World Player Gala on December 20. Thierry finished just behind Barcelona's Ronaldinho in the poll of national team managers and captains across the world. It's the second successive year he has finished as runner-up. Thierry racked up 552 points, with Ronaldinho on 620 and Andriy Shevchenko, who finished third, on 253. We will have a full break down of the results in a forthcoming programme, including details of which players each national coach and captain voted for.
GET WELL SOON VIC
Everybody at the Arsenal Football Club would like to wish Vic Akers a speedy recovery, after he was taken ill recently. The club, on behalf of Vic, would also like to pass on thanks to all those supporters who sent get well messages to our First Team Kit Manager and Ladies Team Manager.
HAPPY NEW YEAR
The Board of Directors, players and coaching staff at Arsenal Football Club would like to wish all of our supporters a very happy New Year.
The Club would also like to remind all supporters that our next fixture at Highbury is on January 4, against Manchester City, kicking-off at 7.45pm.
EUROPEAN FOOTBALLER OF THE YEAR
The European Footballer of the Year (Ballon D'or) was presented to Ukrainian striker Andriy Shevchenko on Monday, December 13. The AC Milan forward finished ahead of Deco and Ronaldinho, and also Thierry Henry, who came fourth. It's the third time Thierry has been placed in the top four of the award, after coming second last year behind Pavel Nedved.
BBC COACH OF THE YEAR
Arsène Wenger was honoured at the recent BBC Sports Personality of the Year with the Coach of the Year award. The Gunners boss was rewarded for guiding Arsenal to a record-breaking 49-game unbeaten run in the league, and taking the team to his third English championship. Arsenal were beaten to the Team of the Year award by the British Four Man Olympic Rowing team.
FA YOUTH CUP DRAW
Arsenal's Youth Team have been drawn at home to Preston North End in the Fourth Round of the FA Youth Cup. After seeing off Crystal Palace in the Third Round, Steve Bould's Under-18 team will tackle Preston at Barnet FC on January 17.
JOHN SPICER SEALS PERMANENT MOVE
John Spicer has completed a permanent transfer to Football League One side AFC Bournemouth for an undisclosed fee. Midfielder Spicer, 21, became a scholar at Arsenal in the summer of 2000 and signed professional forms in July 2001. He made his first-team debut in the Carling Cup tie with Rotherham United last season, converting a penalty in the shoot-out. The England Youth International made more appearances (25) for Arsenal's reserves than any other player last season.
DANNY KARBASSIYOON JOINS TRACTOR BOYS
Danny Karbassiyoon this week joined Championship side Ipswich Town on loan for one month. The 20 year-old has enjoyed a good run in the Reserves since the start of campaign, to date playing in all bar two of the Club's 14 fixtures. Danny has operated mainly at left-back this season, and played in all three Carling Cup matches this term, scoring against Manchester City. Danny previously played for American side Roanoke Star before joining Arsenal in August 2003, and he has gained international experience with both the USA Under-18 and Under-20 teams.
STUART TAYLOR STAYING ON AT LEICESTER
Stuart Taylor has extended his loan spell with Championship side Leicester City until January 22, 2005. At the time of writing, 24 year-old goalkeeper Taylor has played five times for the Foxes, keeping two clean sheets.
GIANT NEW YEAR PROGRAMME FAIR
Football memorabilia collectors can kick-off their new year at London's Giant New Year Programme Fair on Sunday, January 2, 2005. Tens of thousands of programmes, tickets, books, badges and a myriad of other collectables will be eagerly pounced upon by collectors all ages and tastes. The long-established, annual event takes place at the Royal National Hotel, in Woburn Place WC1 - just two minutes from Russell Square Station. It opens from 10.30am until 4pm and admission is just £1.50.
At half-time today a group from Crisis, the charity for the homeless, will be presented with their medals for taking part in a penalty shoot-out at the stadium earlier today. Please give them all a warm round of applause as they take to the pitch.
ON TOP OF THE WORLD
Arsenal supporter Jon Baron recently climbed to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, and has so far raised more than £13,000 for charity. Climbing with 11 others, Jon reached the summit, Uhuru Peak at 5,895m at 7am on October 7. Once at the top, Jon removed two layers of clothing to reveal his Arsenal shirt. Jon's motivation to reach the highest peak in Africa was his chosen charity, Teenage Cancer Trust, which will benefit from his achievement.
CHRISTMAS CARD AUCTION RAISES £1,000
Arsenal Football Club's Spanish striker, Jose Antonio Reyes, helped the Club's Charity of the Season, ChildLine, to raise nearly £1,000 by personally signing Christmas cards which were auctioned on Arsenal.com. The nine signed Christmas cards by Arsenal's number nine went up for auction on Wednesday, December 15 and closed five days later, with a total of £979.50 raised. The highest bidder pledged £250 to the Club's Charity of the Season and bids came from as far away as Australia.
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE DRAW MADE
Arsenal will face Bayern Munich in the last 16 of the Champions League. As group winners Arsenal will play the second leg at home. Confirmed dates and kick-off times for the two legs are as follows:
Bayern Munich v Arsenal
UEFA Champions League
Tuesday, February 22, 2005
Kick-off: 7.45pm (GMT)
Arsenal v Bayern Munich
UEFA Champions League
Wednesday, March 9, 2005
The rest of the draw for the First Knock-out Round is:
Real Madrid v Juventus
Liverpool v Bayer Leverkusen
PSV Eindhoven v Monaco
Porto v Internazionale
Barcelona v Chelsea
Manchester United v AC Milan
Werder Bremen v Lyon