Arsenal boss Unai Emery has said that he is optimistic of starting with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Nicolas Pepe in the frontline sooner rather than later. The Gunners boss has restricted from utilising the trio from the starting lineup and they have shared the field together for just 36 minutes in the opening three games of the season.
Speaking in a press conference, Emery said that he is thinking about the possibility of fielding the trio from the starting XI, although he did not confirm the same, he told: “Yes, but be calm. My decision in each moment is thinking about how we are. For example, with Lacazette he had a problem with his ankle This week is the best week of the last three weeks.
Arsenal midfielder Joe Willock has said that he is leaving the dream of playing for the club after becoming a regular member of the first-team squad this term. The youngster has been in the fold over the past few campaigns but he has not been able to secure regular first-team football when it came to the Premier League.
However, there appear a change in the same with manager Unai Emery rewarding with successive league starts against Newcastle United and Burnley to start the season and the latter of those witnessed him play through the entire 90 minutes. Speaking after the Clarets game, Willock acknowledged that he is delighted to earn regular gametime under Unai Emery while sharing the same playing field with close friend Reiss Nelson, he said: “It shows how good the academy is. We’re all coming from the same place, Hale End, and we’re all progressing. To play alongside my closest friend in Reiss is amazing – it’s a dream come true. I’m just living my dream.”
Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos has revealed that Arsenal manager Unai Emery has played a key part in luring him to the north London side this summer. The Spain international had found himself at the midst of a battle between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur for his signature but ultimately, he decided to join the Gunners on loan after receiving assurances of regular gametime under Emery.
Speaking to the club’s official website, he said: “I knew I had the confidence of the coach, which was very important for me from the start. I was aware of the responsibility that wearing this shirt entails and it was a tremendously proud moment when I decided to join Arsenal. The coach was the turning point in terms of me joining this massive club. He’s a Spanish coach and he knows me from my time at other clubs. I’m really happy to be able to help Arsenal achieve our objectives.”
West Ham midfielder Jack Wilshere has said that Ryan Fraser would be a great signing for Arsenal, should he make the move from Bournemouth this summer. The Scotland international has been heavily touted to leave the Cherries in the transfer window after having declined to sign a new deal beyond next season.
Speaking to Football.London, Wilshere spoke fondly about Fraser with whom he played at Bournemouth during a season-long loan stint. He added that the Scot has the right attitude and determination on the playing field and he would be the perfect fit for the Gunners, should he join them this summer.
Belgium manager Roberto Martinez has said that Yannick Carrasco may not necessarily have to pursue a fresh challenge away from the Chinese Super League in order to secure a place in the national team. The 25-year-old has recently been tipped to make a return to Europe this summer but Martinez remains relatively unperturbed with the player’s club status.
Speaking to HLN, Martinez said that he has no concerns with the league status of Carrasco and it is up to the winger to decide his future, he told: “Yannick feels his moment has come. Who am I to stop him. He doesn’t necessarily have to leave China. I even plan a visit to the country, also to see [Mousa] Dembele. Playing football in China is not an issue for me.”
Arsenal manager Unai Emery has confirmed that the club won’t be able to bank on the services if Henrikh Mkhitaryan when they face Chelsea in the Europa League final next week. The Armenian’s participation in the final had been doubtful due to his country’s poor relations with Azerbaijan and Emery has now revealed that the playmaker has decided not to travel to Baku for personal reasons.
Speaking in a press conference arranged by UEFA, he said: “It’s bad news but we cannot do anything for this issue, it’s a very personal decision and we need to respect him. I don’t understand the political problems now, but I must respect [his decision]. I spoke this morning with Mkhitaryan and it’s a personal decision. I respect him. He wants to play to help us by being with the team but they spoke, both him and his family, and decided not to go. I come from the Basque Country and we had a big political problem that finished five or six years ago, and I can understand it is a very personal decision for his family and also thinking in their country.”
French midfielder Francis Coquelin has said that he has no regrets about parting ways with Arsenal at the beginning of 2018. The midfielder had barely featured for the north London side during the first half of the 2017/18 season and this convinced him to make the switch to Los Che, where he was assured of a regular starting role.
Speaking to Goal.com, Coquelin said that he had approached a vital stage in his career and he had to take the decision to leave the Gunners in order to secure more gametime, he told: “I am at an important stage in my career. I had little game time with Arsenal. And I wanted to see and experience something else. I chose a club with a strong history, and that is welcoming. And right away, I felt great here. Yes, I was playing matches, but not necessarily the most important ones… I still need to grow.”
Bosnia international Sead Kolasinac has said that he is unconcerned regarding the ongoing speculation regarding his position at Arsenal. The 25-year-old has been a regular in the left-back/left wing-back role for most of the season but there have been doubts whether he can keep his place with Kieran Tierney and Nicolas Tagliafico considered to replace him.
Speaking to Goal.com, Kolasinac said that there will always be speculation at a big club like Arsenal and he is only focused on the proceedings for the season, he told: “I think you will always have that speculation, that happens at a club like this. I just look at us as a team at the moment and I want us to finish as positively as possible and I want to be a part of that. What happens in the summer, I don’t know. But I’m very happy at Arsenal, I’m really pleased to be playing for a club like this.”
Former Manchester City defender Danny Mills claims that it is a major disadvantage for Arsenal to be playing the second leg of the Europa League quarter-finals away from home. After having come back from a huge deficit against Rennes, Arsenal were disappointed to learn about facing Napoli in the next stage of the Europa League. Even though Napoli have not been as good in the 2018-19 campaign, the quality of the team certainly means that it is a difficult test for the Gunners. It has just been made to due to the scheduling of the second leg matches.
Arsenal were set to play the second leg at home at the Emirates Stadium. However, Chelsea also had a similar Europa League draw and they were up against Slavia Prague in the second leg tie at the Stamford Bridge. Since UEFA decided that it cannot have to London clubs playing on the same evening, it was decided to shift one of the ties are the other way around. As a result of Chelsea’s FA Cup success last season, the West London outfit took precedence in the draw and they were handed a second leg tie at home. Arsenal, meanwhile, will be playing the first leg at the Emirates and the second leg will be at the Stadio San Paolo.
Former Arsenal star Lee Dixon believes Mesut Ozil does not look hungry since signing a new contract during the backend of last season. The German footballer has been in-and-out of the starting lineup under Unai Emery during the current campaign and this has recently generated doubts regarding his long-term future with the club.
In a report covered by The Sun, Dixon has said that Ozil may have been affected following the contract extension last year, where he was made one of the highest-paid players in the division. He added that the midfielder’s performances have not been up to the mark and there has been an evident lack of hunger when compared to recent seasons.