Arsenal manager Unai Emery has indicated that he would like to assess the team’s performance on a game-by-game basis rather than speaking about a potential challenge for the Premier League title. The north Londoners began the season with back-to-back losses against Manchester City and Chelsea but they have since made a sublime recovery which sees them just two points behind the lead of the table.
Based on this, there have been some assumptions that the Gunners could compete for the Premier League crown but Emery has refused to get into such discussion by admitting his team are not the best at the moment, he said: “Each match is our focus. Our focus is Sunday. If you win or lose on Sunday, it’s a very different moment after.
Arsenal’s winning streak is now 10 games with the impressive victory over Leicester City. While the team still has defensive concerns, the unit is coherent and has formed a single block that could be dangerous to any team across the continent.
Despite how Unai Emery started with the Gunners setup, he has gone on to invigorate team spirit and raise hopes of a title this season. It is still very early, considering it’s the Premier League (which ends in May) but could Arsenal be a genuine title contender this term? Or at the very least, could a Top Four be a reality? Continue reading
Arsenal legend-turned-pundit Martin Keown believes the Gunners’ hierarchy should bow to the wage demands of Wales international Aaron Ramsey. The midfielder has been in a contract standoff with the Gunners since the turn of the year and reports have recently claimed that talks have negotiations have broken up altogether.
Amidst this, Ramsey has not let his performances dip in the club’s colours and he came up with a stellar performance off the bench versus Fulham which included an assist and a goal which he orchestrated from his own backline. Speaking after that triumph, Keown urged his former side to come to terms with Ramsey regarding a new contract with his existing one expiring in under nine months’ time.
BBC Sport pundit Garth Crooks has praised manager Unai Emery after taking the decision to play Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette on the playing field. Lacazette had featured from the bench during the first three games of the Premier League campaign but he earned a much-anticipated start at Cardiff City where both strikers were able to break their scoring duck.
Following the game, Crooks was appreciative of Emery after he started with the pair in just his fourth match in charge of the club, he said: “The fact of the matter is Arsene Wenger lacked the nerve to play the two up front on a regular basis, and if Unai Emery had started his first two games of the season with both men in his line-up he may have had different results.
Arsenal legend Tony Adams has admitted that he is not a fan of Granit Xhaka and he was surprised why manager Unai Emery opted to start him against Manchester City. The Switzerland international was paired alongside summer signing Matteo Guendouzi for the season opener but he was not efficient enough unlike the debutant.
Speaking to TalkSPORT, Adams was not one pleased with the showing of Xhaka and stressed that he would have started Lucas Torreira, who offers more cover to the back four, he said: “Granit [Xhaka] is not for me. The lad Torreira came on, he looked tiny, but we’ve missing that role, missing that guy in front of the back four. He [Torreira] looks intelligent, he looks like he can protect, there’s been little ones in the past – Didier Deschamps, [N’Golo] Kante is doing a fantastic job for France and Chelsea and I think he [Torreira] might be able to do it for us.”
Arsenal legend David Seaman has warned the supporters that they cannot expect instant success with Unai Emery at the helm. The Spaniard took over the head coach role with the Gunners in May after Arsene Wenger made the shock decision to end his 22-year tenure with the north London giants.
Since then, Emery has acted swiftly to make five signings in the summer transfer window but Seaman does not expect the Spaniard to instantly change the fortunes of the club. The former Gunners shot-stopper added that a return to Champions League football could be regarded as a great season for the Capital outfit next term.
Arsenal legend Paul Mariner has said that he is not entirely excited by the signing of Stephan Lichtsteiner. The Switzerland international became the Gunners’ first signing under new boss Unai Emery but Mariner does not believe the defender will make a mark after having entered the twilight of his professional career.
Speaking to ESPN, he said: “Well, yeah, incredible. Look, 2012, 2014, absolutely, sign him tomorrow.One of the best wing-backs that we have seen for a long, long time. Up and down for fun, putting balls in the box, defending well. On a free transfer, what is he, 34, 35 now? He’s had heart surgery, I’m assuming he’s still okay.If he comes in it will be as backup to Bellerin, be in the squad.Unai Emery, one of his first signings, am I excited? No. Will it possibly work as a free?Why not?”
Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech has highlighted that he has no plans of leaving the north London giants despite the interest from Napoli. The Serie A outfit had expressed their desire to pursue the former Czech international shortly after the arrival of Bernd Leno at the Emirates but the 36-year-old has supposedly dismissed the prospect of exiting the club.
Speaking to reporters in Zruc, Cech indicated that he is keen on fighting for the number one role next term and is set to honour the remaining year of his Gunners contract, he said: “My contract with Arsenal still has a year to run. The only thing I’m preparing for is the fight for the No.1 spot in goal. Napoli were interested but my future is at Arsenal. I didn’t think of changing clubs.” Continue reading
Manchester United legend-turned-pundit Gary Neville is pleased that Arsenal have chosen Unai Emery for the managerial role but remains surprised with the urgency with which the decision was made. Until Sunday, Mikel Arteta had been touted as the favourite for the Gunners job after allegedly agreeing on a three-year deal but the club have since made a surprise U-turn to discuss terms with Emery instead.
Reacting to the news, Neville replied to The Mirror’s John Cross saying: “He’s a brilliant coach John. Late change in the process?They’ve bounced all over the place on it! However,he’s a good appointment for Arsenal…the process a mess. You must have been hearing what was going on. Like a pinball…anyway the end result is a very good coach.”
Former Arsenal striker Paul Mariner believes the Gunners should stay away from signing Marouane Fellaini this summer. The Belgium international is likely to be available on a free transfer when his contract expires at the end of this month and this has generated talk of the Gunners pursuing his signature.
However, speaking to ESPN, Mariner does not feel the Belgian would fit the scheme of things with his former club, who have mainly adapted to the possession-based game which involves plenty of passing, he said: “Fellaini to Arsenal, how does that make me feel?. Not great. I don’t get excited about it.