GUNNERS YEARS: Charlie Nicholas on his way back to Scotland

1987: Arsenal striker Charlie Nicholas handed in a transfer request – just a month after signing a new one-year contract extension. The Scotland striker was persuaded to stay after scoring both goals in the Littlewoods Cup final win over Liverpool the pre


Grampus 8's Arsene Wenger admitted he was anxious to get started as Arsenal's new manager.

The Gunners refused to confirm his imminent arrival, despite previously naming him, but the 46-year-old Frenchman said: "I want to be free from my contract sooner or later but, as I understand it, Grampus 8 have not got a replacement for me.

"I am hopeful matters can be sorted out and that there will be an announcement in mid-September."

Arsenal, with caretaker boss Stewart Houston at the helm, fought back from 2-0 down to earn a 3-3 draw at home to Chelsea and Wenger added: "I've been keeping a close eye on their results and have had some videos sent over."

Meanwhile, new �3.5m signing Patrick Vieira made a 45 minute appearance in the reserves' 3-0 win over Bournemouth. An impressed reserve manager George Armstrong admitted: "He could be ready for the first team in a couple of weeks.'