Category Archives: Arteta

Five Things We Learned: Arsenal 0-1 Manchester City (Premier League)

Raheem Sterling’s second minute header guided Manchester City to a staggering 18th win in a row. It’s a victory which maintains their 10 point lead at the top of the Premier League table.

It was a gritty, hard-fought performance from the Blues, with maybe one eye on the important Champions League Round of 16 first leg in midweek. The first 20 minutes were electric, but it was Raheem Sterling’s flicked header from a Riyad Mahrez cross that broke the deadlock.

After yet another win, here’s five things we learned from the game…

Ruben x John are the partnership for big games

Want to start this point by saying I have absolutely nothing against Aymeric Laporte – he’s a terrific footballer. But I just get this air of solidity whenever John Stones and Ruben Dias are partnered at the heart of the defence.

Again on Sunday, Arsenal’s front line never got a meaningful chance. Dias was even involved in the build up to the goal, playing a brilliant cross-field ball to Riyad Mahrez. The Portuguese international was rightly awarded MoTM by Sky Sports and I don’t suppose John Stones will have been far behind him.

Fernandinho rolling back the years

It was maybe a surprise to see Fernandinho on the team-sheet yesterday after a string of imperious performances from his positional counterpart, Rodri. However, the Brazilian still showed, even at 35-years-old, he’s still got immense quality.

If City’s forward line were not as wasteful, Fernandinho would’ve had a hand in a number of goals yesterday. Typical from him, cutting any Arsenal danger out at source and starting a counter attack of our own on numerous occasions.

Oh please Ferna, just sign an extension.

Wasteful City

There’s not really many negatives to take from winning your 18th game in a row to be honest, but missing lots of chances could be one to address.

I bring this up because with the Champions League up next, Guardiola will no doubt hammer the importance of being clinical to his players. After the first goal yesterday, the Blues could’ve easily been 3-0 up by the half hour mark if they took their clear cut opportunities. Mix that in with late chances for Joao Cancelo and Gabriel Jesus and it’s a recipe for disaster in a knockout competition.

Pep says rotation is key

One key thing to pick up post match is Pep Guardiola’s comments about rotation. He said; “People talk about the records but to do that you have to win games like this many, many, many, many times. We don’t have time to do anything, just recover and prepare mentally as strong as possible as a team.”

He also mentioned he’ll have to change players for the game midweek and then again for West Ham next Saturday. Even today, the brilliant Phil Foden was given a well earned rest and you’d expect him to return in midweek with the hectic schedule. The likes of Aymeric Laporte, Kyle Walker and Ferran Torres will all be important for Manchester City as they still look to compete on all four fronts.

18 in a row

Remarkable, truly remarkable. If it didn’t already, surely this run rivals the one we put together to win the title in 18/19. 18 wins in a row in all competitions, in a season like this, is a brilliant achievement.

In that run we’ve beaten Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham and Arsenal twice. From as low as 13th in the table in early November, City have managed to create a 10 point gap at the top of the table – and they’ve shown no signs of slowing down.

 

Source: Sports Illustrated

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Manchester City v Arsenal: Three players to watch out for

Manchester City welcome Arsenal to the Etihad Stadium in what would be the first Premier League game in more than two months due to COVID-19 pandemic. The Citizens, who are on the verge of qualifying for next season’s Champions League competition, battle Arsenal who are struggling to qualify for Europa League competition as they sit in the ninth position.

It won’t be out of place to predict an outright win for the Manchester club if both teams’ form before the Coronavirus-enforced break is to be considered. However, this is football where anything is possible. As the Gunners faithful continue to hope that Mikel Arteta’s side will record a surprise result against Manchester City, we make a quick rundown of three unlikely players who could help the team do the unthinkable.

1. Nicholas Pepe

Are you surprised to see his name in my list? You don’t have to be shocked. The Ivory Coast international is obviously a good player who can easily score goals, but that hasn’t been happening since he joined the team last summer.

Pepe has had too many underwhelming displays this season, especially against big teams, and it would be a huge surprise if his goal against Guardiola’s men end up being the difference between both teams. He is no doubt one player who could win many matches for Arteta’s men, but just like many other Arsenal fans – would be surprised to see him do that in this encounter.

2. Granit Xhaka

Granit Xhaka is another player who could surprisingly help the Gunners overcome City’s pressure come July 17. Though the Swiss midfielder is yet to find the back of the net this campaign, his revitalization under Arteta has been wonderful. He could break his personal deadlock against City’s goalkeeper Ederson in the much-anticipated encounter.

3. David Luiz

The last time David Luiz scored a goal was over eight months when he found the back of the net against Crystal Palace in a game that ended 2-2. The Brazilian is known for scoring from set-pieces and he could do the same for the Gunners at the Etihad Stadium.

Meanwhile, his contract saga might likely affect his performance on the pitch as he is heavily linked with a move out of the club this summer. This is why he makes my list of unlikely players whose goals might help Arteta record first victory over his former boss.

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What will Federico Bernardeschi bring to Arsenal

Arsenal has reportedly developed an interest in Juventus star Federico Bernardeschi who is said to be considering a move out of the Turin club due to lack of regular game time under Maurizio Sarri. Despite being one of Juve’s important players during Allegri’s reign, Bernardeschi has struggled for regular first-team actions this campaign as he’s not rated by the former Chelsea boss.

The 26-year-old has started just nine league matches this season and he is set to move to a new club this summer. Arsenal manager Arteta, who currently has some contract issues to sort out, is now looking at the prospect of luring the Italian international to the Emirates Stadium ahead of next season.

According to reports coming out of the North London club, the Gunners are keeping close tabs on the player with the hope of completing his signing when the summer transfer window reopens. Bernardeschi is relatively unknown to many Arsenal fans and it is very likely they know nothing about their latest transfer target.

We take a quick look at the player’s profile and predict what he would possibly add to the team should he eventually move to the Premier League giants. Bernardeschi is a natural right-winger who can equally feature at the left flank. The Italian is versatile enough to play in an advanced part of the midfield which means he might be the best man to replace unsettled German midfielder Mesut Ozil.

In terms of what the player would bring to the table, Bernardeschi is a speedy player who loves beating defenders with his pace. He will surely enhance the Gunners ability to make quick counter-attacking moves during matches due to his speed and abilities to make key passes.

According to WhoScored’s ratings, Bernardeschi is a free-kick specialist and he has very laudable crossing techniques, which means the Gunners will likely see an improvement in their chances of scoring from dead-ball situations. Having won two Serie A titles with the Scudetto Champions, Bernardeschi’s winning mentality will likely play a huge role in boosting Arsenal’s morale in their quest for their first Premier League title in more than 16 years.

Conclusion

Joining Arsenal would be a great deal for the 26-year-old who will hope to begin his Arsenal career on a bright note. However, it may take him a while before settling into the team owing to the fact that he hasn’t stepped out of the shores of Italy all through his seven-year-old professional career.

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David Luiz recent comment shows why Arteta must overhaul his defence this summer

Arsenal defender David Luiz’s future continues to be subject of speculation among transfer media outlets. The Brazilian is presently linked with a departure from the Emirates Stadium just after a year with Mikel Arteta’s side.

It is believed that Arsenal manager and the club’s hierarchies are hoping to convince the 33-year-old to remain with the team for another season due to his experience and importance to the youngsters coming through the ranks.

Unfortunately, the World Cup-winning centre-back seems to have made up his mind over his future following his recent comments in which he revealed his desire and determination towards seeing that he reunites with Benfica next season.

According to him, he is in talks with Vieira to know if he stands a chance of joining the team in the summer as he could leave the Gunners as a free agent by the end of this campaign.

It should also be recalled that the former Chelsea star told Brazilian TV station SporTV, as reported by Football London, that he loves to return to Benfica before the end of his career.

He told the North American media outlet that he loves the Portuguese club so much that he wouldn’t mind losing any trophy in order to play for Bruno Lage’s side once again.

The information David Luiz is passing across to his current employers is simple — this is the right time to dump the English Premier League for the Portuguese Premiera Liga side.

Judging by the turnout of events, it is high time the Gunners intensify their search for a new defender who will take over from the want-away star.

It is obvious Arteta and his employers have a very slim chance of seeing Luiz in North London beyond this season; hence, there is a need to make wholesome changes to the defensive formation.

The backline has been poor throughout this term having conceded 36 League goals in 28 games despite the presence of the highly-rated and experienced defender.

Now that Luiz spell as a Gunner is as good as over, Arteta must add another experienced and quality player who can serve as a source of inspiration to the youngsters on and off the pitch.

Newly signed defender 19-year-old defender, William Saliba, who is on loan at Ligue 1 side Saint-Étienne, is reportedly seen as Brazilian’s replacement by the club’s executives but it appears too early for Saliba to step into the vacuum that would be created by Luiz’s departure. Just as predicted by former Arsenal star Martin Keown.

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Manchester City v Arsenal: Is the Premier League return too soon for Arsenal?

The date has been set, players are getting ready and managers are finalizing their tactics ahead of the Premier League’s return date. According to the Premier League chief executive Richard Masters, the English Premier League is set to return on the 17th of June after a two months break due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, the most exciting feature on the return date is scheduled to take place at the Emirates Stadium where the Gunners will play host to second-place Manchester City. The Etihad Stadium outfits haven’t been in their best form throughout the season as they surprisingly dropped some points in matches and many tipped them to win outrightly.

Arsenal, on the other hand, is struggling to qualify for next year’s Champions League competition as they currently occupy the 9th position. A win for the North London club will boost their hope of finishing among the top clubs while Manchester City’s dream of beating Liverpool to the trophy (which is almost an impossible task) will receive a major boost.

However, the most fascinating aspect of the upcoming encounter is the fact that Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta will be up against his former boss Pep Guardiola. It should be recalled that the Spaniard was Guardiola’s right-hand man when the Citizens clinched their second consecutive Premier League title last season. All eyes will be on the former Arsenal midfielder to see how his players would fare against the In-form Manchester City team. As much as the Gunners faithful are expecting Arteta to prove a point against his ex-boss, the encounter comes too early for an inexperienced tactician who could fail to live up to fans’ expectations.

Firstly, the manager hasn’t gained the required experience to record a surprise result against Manchester City. He has overseen just 15 games as first-team manager which is nothing compared to Guardiola’s 627 Matches. Another reason why the clash comes too soon for the Gunners is the fact that they might struggle for form due to the prolonged Coronavirus-enforced break. Just as Arsenal players, Guardiola’s men are equally going to be affected by the long break but Guardiola’s experience might just be the difference between both teams.

Our Thought

This is not to say that Arteta doesn’t stand a chance against his former boss. This is football where nothing is impossible, but the Gunners fans shouldn’t expect too much from the young manager who obviously needs more time before delivering consistent results.

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Why Arsenal’s move for Phillippe Coutinho does make sense

Arsenal have reportedly commenced transfer negotiations with Barcelona for former Liverpool playmaker Phillippe Coutinho who has endured a difficult time since he left the Reds two-and-a-half years ago. The Brazilian and Barcelona was far from his best during his debut season with the Camp Nou outfits who paid £142m to Liverpool for his services.

As part of their decision to cut their losses, the Catalans accepted a season-long offer from Bayern Munich for Coutinho’s services prior to the start of this season. Though the playmaker hasn’t really returned to the beastly form he is known, he has shown glimpses of brilliance for the Bavarians this campaign having scored eight goals in 22 league matches.

It was initially reported that the Bundesliga powerhouse might explore the €120m release clause in the deal with the Blaugranas in the summer transfer window, although the German club has publicly debunked the report. Bayern’s decision to turn down the chances of signing the attacking midfielder on a permanent deal has ultimately offered Premier League side Arsenal a great opportunity to bring Coutinho back to England’s top-flight league next season.

According to the transfer report making headlines via Football London, the Gunners are more than ready to complete the 27-year-old’s signature before the next campaign.

Is Arteta making the right choice by targeting a player who seems to have past his prime or Can Arteta help the player return to his best form once again? Here are three reasons why Arteta’s desire to bid for the Brazilian star is a great and welcome idea.

1. Getting used to the Premier League would not be a problem

Coutinho is no stranger to the English Premier League and its physically demanding nature having played 152 league matches for Liverpool (Premierleague.com). The Barcelona playmaker knows what to expect from English opponents, hence he won’t find it difficult to hit the ground running as soon as he joins the Emirates Stadium outfits.

2. His experience makes him Ozil’s perfect replacement

Mesut Ozil’s future has been a subject of speculation for some months as the German star continues to be linked with a move out of North London. Though the Gunners have reportedly made a list of youngsters who could replace the unsettled star, Coutinho appears to be one of the best players for the Gunners playmaking position due to his experience and obvious quality.

3. His versatility and goalscoring potentials

Signing Coutinho arguably means getting a three-in-one player because he can feature as an attacking midfielder, a right-wing, and a left-winger. He could swap positions with Nicholas Pepe or Lacazette during matches depending on Arteta’s tactics and formation.

Apart from his versatility, Coutinho has proven to be a goalscoring midfielder who can inspire the team to victory if the strikers fail to find the back of the net. Having played 39 games in all competitions this season, the Brazilian star has been involved in 17 goals (Transfermarkt) which means he is guaranteed to score some important goals for Arteta’s side.

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Has David Luiz done enough to remain at Arsenal beyong this season

Arsenal completed an unexpected deadline-day move for Chelsea defender David Luiz so much to the surprise of many football fans across the world.

Though many Arsenal fans believed Unai Emery would sign two or more players during the final day of the transaction period, only few persons would ever have imagined seeing Luiz at the Emirates Stadium prior to the start of the campaign. This was as a result of the intense rivalry between both clubs; there were few hours to the end of the summer transfer window and the Brazilian star wasn’t getting any younger.

David Luiz’s departure was sanctioned by Frank Lampard, the deal was sealed by both clubs and the Brazilian was unveiled to the Gunners faithfuls who had mixed feelings about the players move to the Emirates Stadium. How has he fared, nine months after the famous move from West London to North London? We take a look at his performance under Unai Emery and Mikel Arteta to see if he deserves to be offered a new contract or not.

Defensive Duties

The Brazilian has been a mainstay in Arteta’s starting lineup since he joined the team and he has somehow lived up to expectations. He has featured in 32 matches in all competitions and has a record of 1.5 aerial duels won per game. He won 75 tackles in all competitions before the season was brought to an unexpected break in March.

Nonetheless, the 33-year-old still has to add more qualities to his overall performance if he must remain with the North London club for more seasons. Luiz is definitely one of the most experienced defenders in the team and his young teammates are obviously looking up to him for inspiration. Our ratings —6/10

Goalscoring Record

Though the defender’s main assignment is to prevent opponents from scoring or going past them, Luiz was expected to score some breathtaking free-kicks just as he did during his time at Chelsea and PSG. Unfortunately, he hasn’t replicated such form for the Gunners. His goal scoring ratio has drastically dropped as he has scored just two goals and an assist in 32 games. Our rating 5/10

Conclusion

The Brazilian defender is a great player but his overall performances has dropped a bit, which could affect his chances of being with the North London club for long. Considering his age and his desire to return to his former club Benfica, it might be impossible for Arteta and his employers to retain the Brazilian star after this season. I guess the Gunners executives would love to invest big on a more and adventurous centre-back in the summer transfer window.

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Arsenal’s move for Orkun Kokcu could spell a bad news for Reiss Nelson

Today on gooner news is about the club’s move for Eredivisie youngster Orkun Kokcu this summer which will believe could spell a bad omen for Reiss Nelson should the move materialise.

The Emirates outfit are reportedly on the verge of signing Eredivisie youngster Orkun Kokcu with reports that the club has beaten likes of Chelsea, Sevilla, Valencia and Real Betis in the race for his signature. Arsenal has been a strong admirer of the Turkish U21 international but all their previous efforts to bring him to the Emirates Stadium were fruitless as Feyenoord were unconvinced by the offer submitted by the North London club.

However, emerging reports appears to be positive for the Gunners with reports coming out of the player’s camp via HITC, revealed that the youngster is set to complete his £25m switch to Mikel Arteta’s side as he had already turned down the chance to extend his stay with the Eredivisie side.

Though the 19-year-old is relatively unknown to many Arsenal fans across the world, Kokcu is one of the best teenagers in the world and also in red-hot form at the moment. He’s got speed and his goalscoring ability is not bad for a player of his age. His overall performances for Feyenoord before the abrupt end of the season due to the Covid-19 was inspiring and great, which makes him a good buy for the Gunners should they eventually wrap up the deal in the summer ahead of the other suitors has the reports says.

Any move that will see him an Arsenal player this summer might come as bad news to one of Arsenal’s Hale End academy products Reiss Nelson as he might be pushed down the pecking order under Arteta. The English youngster hasn’t done enough to gain a permanent spot in the team’s starting lineup due to his uninspiring displays in some of the matches he has played under Mikel Arteta’s watch.

Nelson is yet with a goal to his name neither does he has any assist despite registering 11 Premier League matches for the London club both under Freddie Ljungberg and Arteta. Hence, an urgent need for him to up his game if he really wants to be part of the team when the 2020-21 season begins or risks losing his position to the young and versatile Turkish U21 international.

Meanwhile, a loan deal isn’t totally out of proportion for the youngster as he could be shipped out of the club on a loan move to any European side in order to gain more first-team experiences when the next season begins. A loan move to either EFL Championship, Spanish La Liga, Belgium’s Jupiler League or Eredivisie will definitely help his development as long as he is getting regular game-time.

However, let’s keep our fingers crossed and see how events unfold as regards Kokcu’s proposed move to the Emirates Stadium.

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Kai Havertz to Arsenal: What will he bring to the team?

We discuss today on gooner news, the potential signing of Kai Havertz to Arsenal. The 20-year-old Germany international has been linked to Arsenal in a rumoured £70m move with Manchester United and Manchester City also in the race for his signature.

The German Bundesliga finally returned from its two months break last weekend and so was Kai Havertz who scored two lovely goals for Bayer Leverkusen against Werder Bremen on Monday. The young striker was one of Arsenal’s major transfer targets during the winter transaction period but the German side failed to sanction his sale to the Premier League outfits.

Though the Bundesliga side has made it clear they want to keep their precious jewel beyond this season, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta isn’t giving up on his hope to lure the 20-year-old German international to the Emirates Stadium before next season. In the meantime, we face stiff competition from Chelsea and Liverpool in the race for the player’s services as both clubs are keeping close tabs on his performances.

However, should we end up beating all other interested suitors to his signature, the questions on everyone’s mind would be — what will Havertz bring to the team; is he really needed by the Gunners and who should serve as a sacrificial lamb during the upcoming transfer window?

1. What Will He Bring To The Team?

* Huge Attacking Threat

Havertz is known for his ability to make tireless attacking runs as he can juggle the ball really well. He will definitely add more threats to the Gunners attacking prowess due to his attacking style of play. He knows how and when to dribble, his through balls in the final half of the pitch are impressive and will surely help the Emirates outfits in the desire to lift first Premier League title in 16 years.

* More Depth to the Gunners squad

The player’s versatility is another reason why the Arteta should push on with his plans to capture the 20-year-old star. Havertz has featured as an attacking midfielder, a centre forward, a right midfielder and centre midfielder for club and country. Therefore, signing Havertz simply means adding more depth to the team as he can be called upon to feature at any of the aforementioned positions, depending on Arteta’s tactical approach to games.

2. Is He Needed At The Moment

Judging by the Gunners underwhelming display at the attacking department this season, it won’t be out of place to advise that Havertz should be brought to the team’s set up to support Aubameyang, should the Gabonese remains with the team.

3. Who Should be the Sacrificial Lamb?

Either Mesut Ozil or Alexandre Lacazette should be allowed to leave in the summer in order to create space for the youngster. As much as Ozil is an experienced figure in the team, his overall performances throughout the season have left so much to be desired. Just like Ozil, France international striker Lacazette is also far from convincing and his recent controversy isn’t helping matters. Nonetheless, it is left for Arteta and his employers to decide who should be placed on the outgoing transfer list.

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Should Granit Xhaka leave Arsenal?

It all began on the 25th of May 2016 when a certain Switzerland international completed a stunning £35m move to the Emirates Stadium from Borussia Mönchengladbach despite interests from other interested suitors. He wasted no time before becoming a regular starter under Arsene Wenger despite massive competition for a place in the Frenchman’s team. Though sometimes makes some unexpected howlers, the 27-year-old is seen as an inspirational figure to his teammates on and off the field of play.

Controversial Moment

His importance to the team got to a whole new level when he was reportedly voted as the team captain by his teammate during Unai Emery’s time at the helm of affairs. Unfortunately, that turned out to be the beginning of his trying times as many fans weren’t impressed with the player’s decision to make him the captain.

Things got out of control between the Xhaka and the fans during a Premier League game against Crystal Palace last year. He was booed by his own fans and he furiously replied ‘fuck off’ while walking off the tunnel. He was immediately stripped of the captain armband and couldn’t make Emery’s team list in many subsequent matches as part of the club’s decision to punish him for his unruly action.

Should He Consider Moving Out Of The Emirates Stadium?

Though Xhaka is enjoying life under Mikel Arteta, he is far from becoming a fan favourite and it is not advisable to remain in a club where you struggle to gain supporters’ affection. It was revealed during January’s transaction period that Bundesliga side Hertha Berlin were strongly interested in his services but he turned down the chance to part ways with the Gunners.

Considering the unhealthy relationship between Xhaka and Arsenal fans, it might be good for the centre midfielder to search for a new team where his services will be appreciated. In addition, the 27-year-old midfielder might fail to command regular action next season if Arteta eventually signs top defensive midfielders, such as Ndidi or Thomas Partey, who are both linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium.

Our Final Verdict

Considering the quality of players who could join the team in the summer and his relationship with the fans, I believe putting an end to his four-year stay at the Emirates Stadium might be the best decision. Returning back to Germany will be a great idea as he won’t spend much time getting used to the ways things are done in the country’s top-flight league.

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Why Mikel Arteta help could help Arsenal to Santi Cazorla return to the club

Former Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla revealed to newsmen his desire to be part of Mikel Arteta’s backroom staff if he was given the chance.

The Spanish international, who currently plays his club football with Spanish side Villarreal, was Arteta’s teammate during their days at the Emirates Stadium and he didn’t rule out the chance of reuniting with his countryman in the North London club.

The partnership with the former Everton star will definitely bring the best out of the team as they both know the club’s philosophy and how to integrate it into the team.

Apart from bringing his experience to the team, Cazorla’s switch to the Emirates Stadium will possibly boost the club’s hopes of luring Villarreal youngster Samuel Chukwueze to the team.

Chukwueze, 20, has been a subject of transfer speculations for a while now as he is being linked with a move to top European clubs, including Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Barcelona and the Gunners.

According to Daily Mail, the Nigerian impressive dribbler is being monitored by Liverpool manager Jurgen who is very keen on adding more deadly youngsters to his team.

The media outlet further revealed that the German manager launched a surprise £30m bid for the player’s service but was rejected by Villareal in the winter transfer window.

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard is also keeping close tabs on his performances for the Spanish side, hoping to compete with Klopp and Guardiola for the player.

However, considering the relationship existing between Chukwueze and Cazorla, it won’t be out of context to say that the North London club might be the player’s next destination.

The Spaniard can easily convince the young winger by letting him know the importance of choosing Arsenal over all other suitors.

He could equally promise him a regular game-time at the North London club  — as long as he is in top form  — which will surely influence Chukwueze’s decision regarding his next destination.

The highly-rated Nigerian is one of the skilful youngsters tipped to change clubs in the next summer window. He has featured in 30 matches for the Yellow Submarines this season, scoring four goals and four assists before the season was halted due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Other youngsters who are linked with a switch to the North London club include Bayer Leverkusen’s Kai Havertz and Feyernoord’s Orkun Kokcu, but nothing is set to happen until the world gets rid of the ongoing global crisis.

Meanwhile, it remains unknown if the Gunners board members are ready and willing to hire Cazorla as Arteta’s assistant considering his lack of coaching experience.

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Three reasons why Unai Emery failed at Arsenal

Unai Emery was hired by Arsenal board members as Arsene Wenger’s replacement after many reports linked top managers with the position.

Former Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri was first tipped to be the next Gunners boss, before highly-rated and experienced tactician José Mourinho was listed for the job.

Former Real Madrid Manager Rafael Benitez was equally linked with a switch to the Emirates Stadium, but it was the former Sevilla and Paris St-German boss who won the race.

Much was expected from the 48-year-old due to his successful Europa League campaigns with Sevilla where he won back-to-back trophies.

Emery showed great promises in his early days in the dugout as he recorded 11 straight wins and played 22 matches without defeat. That’s not all, he equally led his team to the Europa League final only to be thrashed 3-1 by Chelsea.

Unfortunately, his second season as the manager was a total contrast to what he did in the first term as he was far from convincing.

His team were obviously uncoordinated on the field of play and he lost too many matches, which eventually led to his dismissal.

Looking back to the manager’s short spell as the Gunners boss, we picked out three major reasons why the Spaniard failed to deliver.

1. Poor managerial skill at the top level

Being a manager is more than giving instructions to players or creating weekly team list, it has to do with the manner with which you relate with the players in the team.

It has a lot to do with the way you react to emerging issues in the team and in the media. It’s quite unfortunate Emery doesn’t realize how bad he was when it comes to managing the players at his disposal.

Firstly, creating an unhealthy and appalling relationship with Mesut Ozil — one of Arsenal’s best players — was his first error at the North London club.

Though the former German international wasn’t consistent in his performances, there’s a better way Emery could get him back to his best other than excluding him from team list.

Xhaka’s captaincy row and controversial moment with the fans was equally mishandled by the manager which further buttressed the fact that Emery needs to improve his managerial skill if he must succeed in future endeavors.

2. Lost the dressing room

Another reason why Emery didn’t stay long as Arsenal manager was his inability to control the dressing room. He totally lost control over his players and the solidarity wasn’t there at all.

He created a division in his team as some folks belonged to Ozil’s group while some are for Xhaka and Aubameyang respectively.

It is said that a family divided against itself cannot stand, and that was a clear picture of what happened to Unai Emery’s team.

3. Largely depleted or off-form squad

Emery inherited a squad of players who are low in confidence and are mentally unprepared for greater challenges. Unfortunately, the manager didn’t help matters as he was involved in many controversies with his players.

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Arsenal’s rising academy stars that could replace Aubameyang next season

Arsenal’s Hale End academy has witnessed the promotion of many youngsters to the first team. Players like Alex Iwobi, Joe Willock, Eddie Nketiah, Smith Rowe all graduated from the youth squad to the main team before some of them left for greener pastures.

Bukayo is currently the latest successful player produced by the famous academy, and certainly won’t be the last as there are some top teenagers who are close to gaining a spot in Mikel Arteta’s squad.

In this post, we shall be discussing on the top three youngsters who will likely make their first-team debut during next season. Who are the players?

1. Folarin Balogun

Folarin Balogun is a deadly striker who has a very bright future ahead of him. The 18-year-old is highly rated by the club’s hierarchies due to his goalscoring ability which saw him converted 25 chances in 19 Premier League (U18) matches last season. The England U19 international is a powerful striker who is comfortable using both legs. His dribbling skills and confidence in front of goal are other qualities that distinguish him from most of his peers.

In fact, some media outlets are tipping him to replace Pierre-Emerick Aubameyamg next season should the Gabonese striker decide to leave North London this summer. What’s the player’s chance of making his first-team debut next season? 70% I would say.

2. Miguel Azeez

Azeez, 17-year-old centre midfielder, was included in the Gunners Europa League squad prior to the start of the season, which further signifies how he’s highly rated by the North London club. He needs no introduction to many Arsenal fans because his beautiful goal against Aston Villa in one of U18 fixtures was well celebrated by the fans on social media.

The goal was enough to bring him to limelight and he has since been in Arteta’s list of youngsters to be promoted. Apart from his eye for goal and attacking potentials, Azeez’s defensive qualities are equally topnotch as he possesses the energy to make tireless runs during matches. Having featured for the U23 team, Azeez is really close to breaking into Arteta’s team and we believe he has 65% of doing so next season.

3. Sam Greenwood

Scoring 12 goals in 14 games is not an easy task to accomplish, but that was achieved by Greenwood while playing for England’s U17 team. His versatility remains his strongest potential as he can feature as a right winger, left winger or centre forward.

Greenwood has become one of the highly-rated youngsters in the Hale End academy despite joining the youth team last season. He is tipped to make it through to the senior team next season as we give him 70%.

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Ozil makes list as one of top three PL star who could leave this summer

Today on gooner news

Having inherited his current squad from his predecessor, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is expected to make wholesome changes to his team in the summer before the start of next season. The Spanish tactician will surely sanction the departure of some players who didn’t suit his playing style an d players who have failed to live up to their billings since he took over from Lljunberg in January.

In the meantime, we take a look at the players in the team and how they’ve performed so far this season before unveiling the list of three players who are likely to be shown the exit door in the summer. See the names below:

1. Mesut Ozil

The German has struggled to make a meaningful impact in the team since the start of the campaign. Though he had a very turbulent time under Unai Emery who often omitted him from the squad list, the former Real Madrid man wasn’t in great form before the League was stopped. The 31-year-old hasn’t done enough to remain untouchable at the Emirates Stadium and he could be told to leave in the summer. He has just a goal so far this season despite featuring in 23 matches in all competitions. The fact that he is close to the end of his contract with the north London club will further force the Gunners into parting ways with him as they would want to cash-in on his signature.

2. Henrikh Mkhitaryan

The former Manchester United player is yet to make his debut under Arteta as he is currently on a season-long loan at Roma. Unfortunately, the Armenian international might fail to feature for the North London side as he could be told leave this summer as part of the manager’s overhauling process. As much as Mkhitaryan can be deadly on his day, his inconsistency might likely be the main reason why his contract won’t be renewed by the club’s hierarchy.

3. Mohammed Elneny

Just like Mkhitaryan, the Egyptian midfielder is currently on loan after failing to break into Unai Emery’s team before the start of the season. The midfielder, who has been a regular starter for Turkish side Besiktas, might equally find it very hard to claim a spot in Arteta’s squad in the coming season despite his fine display in turkey before the league was halted by the coronavirus pandemic. It is believed that Besiktas hierarchies are looking at the prospect of signing him on a permanent deal in the summer which means the Egyptian international may not return to the Emirate Stadium in the nearest future.

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Filed under Arsenal, Arteta, Ask the Revd., gooner news, Ozil, Premier League

4 reasons why £23m-rated Victor Osimhen could be Arsenal’s new Thierry Henry

Arsenal and Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang remains yet uncertain to remain at the Emirates Stadium beyond this season as he’s close to the end of his contract with the Gunners. The 30-year-old France-born was the north London club’s most in-form player before the football season was halted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Though it is believed that Arteta and his employers are doing everything possible to see him extend his current at the Emirates, but it remains to be seen if they will be successful in their mission. With doubts over his future with the Emirates, there are reports linking the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester United and Chelsea all vying for his signature this summer, and it won’t be out of place to suggest that the Gunners ought to begin by now their search for a replacement.

Speaking of an ideal replacement to Aubameyang, no other player comes to mind other than former VfL Wolfsburg youngster Victor Osimhen – who currently plies his trade for France Ligue 1 outfit Lille OSC – who should be Arsenal’s top candidate to replace the Gabonese forward should he eventually face the exit door at Emirates this summer.

However, many will doubt what makes Nigerian international the right choice for Arsenal and why Arteta should enter into transfer lock horns with Chelsea and Manchester United for his signature? Answering both questions, below are four candid answers to these questions on why Arsenal should go all out and invest on the 21-year-old forward as they aim for Premier League glory next season.

1. Goal-scoring potentials

Osimhen, 21, was one of the deadliest strikers in French Ligue 1 this season so far with 13 goals and five assists to his name from 27 league appearances. Osimhen also has to his name two goals in the UEFA Champions League for Lille in five matches despite his side’s unimpressive performance in the group stage of the competition. He went on from this to scoring three goals for his side in their domestic League Cups, racking up his goal tally this season to 18 goals from 38 matches in all outings. To lose Aubameyang this summer and replace him with a below-par forward would be a serious blow for the Gunners judging by how star-studded the Premier League now is.

2. Age is on his side

Osimhen is in the prime of his career as he is just 21 years of age. Unlike Aubameyang who is 30, the Nigerian star still more years ahead of him meaning the Gunners will enjoy more of his services should everything go on as expected.

3. Impressive adaptability

If Arsenal must replace Aubameyang without any difficulty, they must go for a player who will quickly get used to the ways things are done in the country’s top-flight league. Despite spending a few months at Stade Pierre-Mauroy, the Nigerian forward was able to adapt to his new environment as he developed a great understanding with his striking partners Jonathan Ikoné, Loïc Rémy and the whole team. He will likely do the same at the Emirates Stadium judging by his obvious hunger and desire for more successes and playing alongside Nicolas Pepe, Alexandre Lacazette, Mesut Ozil and the rest of the team.

4. He is relatively easy to get

Though Chelsea and Manchester United are leading the park for his services, Osimhen won’t be too difficult to get, unlike other European youngsters. His price tag, which is believed to be at £23 million (€27m Transfermarkt), shouldn’t scare the Gunners off which is relatively cheap and affordable. It should be recalled that former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger tried capturing the youngster in 2015 following his record-breaking display during the U17 World Cup but the Frenchman was beaten by German side Wolfsburg. It remains unknown if Arteta will develop an interest in the player when the summer transfer window begins. Hence, we keep our fingers crossed as we monitor how things unfold.

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Filed under Arsenal, Arteta, Ask the Revd., Aubameyang, gooner news, News, Premier League, Transfer Bollocks