Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez (left) celebrates with team-mate Jack Wilshere after scoring  against Besiktas  at the Emirates Stadium. Photograph: Eddie Keogh / Reuters

Arsenal 1 Besiktas 0 (agg 1-0)Once again, Arsenal can look forward to their customary position in the Champions League draw. It has become an annual p(...)

Besiktas’ Mustafa Pektemek  vies with Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere (left) and Mikel Arteta (right) during the Champions League first leg play-off in Istanbul. Arsene Wenger has been pondering whether his side are losing out against more physically imposing teams. Photograph:  Bulent Kilic/AFP/Getty Images

Arsene Wenger allowed himself a nostalgic smile as he recalled how routine player checks on a Friday produced some impressive results in the old days.(...)

 Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud tries to get a shot away while under pressure from the Besiktas defence during the Champions League play-off  in Istanbul, Turkey. Photograph: Tolga Bozoglu/EPA

Besiktas 0 Arsenal 0Arsenal’s pristine record in Champions League qualifying games has been sullied, even if a bad-tempered stalemate in Istanbul stil(...)

Referee Michael Oliver (L) uses vanishing spray to mark a free kick during their English Community Shield soccer match between Arsenal and Manchester City at Wembley Stadium in London, August 10, 2014. REUTERS/Darren Staples (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT SOCCER)

After nine years without a trophy Arsene Wenger now has two in two games as a breezy performance marked by three excellent goals secured a Community (...)

Arsenal’s Mathieu Debuchy  is challenged by Manchester City’s Aleksandar Kolarov during the  Community Shield  at Wembley Stadium. Photograph: Suzanne Plunkett/Reuters

Arsenal 3 Manchester City 0After eight years without a trophy Arsène Wenger now has two in two games as a breezy performance marked by three excellent(...)

Alexis Sanchez challenges Monaco’s Tiemoue Bakayoko during their Emirates Cup game. Arsenal paid Barcelona €39 million for the player after he starred for Chile at the World Cup finals in Brazil. Photograph: Dylan Martinez/Reuters

In his early days at Barcelona Alexis Sanchez was given the nickname “Cachai?”, which translates loosely into English as “do you understand what I’m s(...)

Italy’s Mario Balotelli (left) scores the winner against England  at the Amazonia Arena in Manaus. Photograph: Andres Stapff / Reuters

Italy 2 England 1Claudio Marchisio and Mario Balotelli scored in either half to give Italy a 2-1 win over England in Manaus tonight. It was a match in(...)

 England’s head coach Roy Hodgson addresses a  press conference at the military fort in Urca,  Rio yesterday. Photograph; Daniel Dal Zennaro/EPA

Who will best capture Roy Hodgson’s forbearing expression coming through the side door? It is well past the appointed time when the England manager(...)

England’s Steven Gerrard (right) consoles teammate Raheem Sterling (left) after he was shown a red card against Ecuador  at the Sun Life Stadium in Miami, USA. Photograph:  Mike Egerton/PA Wire

England 2 Ecuador 2 Perhaps Roy Hodgson was correct and it was always a risk placing too much trust in a player of 19. Raheem Sterling is a pla(...)

England’s Wayne Rooney training at the Sun Life Stadium in Miami ahead of the friendly international against Ecuador, in which the player will start on the left wing. Photograph:  Mike Egerton/PA Wire.

Wayne Rooney will be asked to start England’s friendly against Ecuador in the left-wing position he is on record as disliking, after Roy Hodgson admi(...)