Category Archives: General Musings

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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Filed under Arsenal, Arteta, General Musings, gooner news, Match Day Postmortem, Premier League

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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Filed under Arsenal, Arteta, General Musings, gooner news, News, Opinions

Where next for Alexandre Lacazette if he leaves Arsenal?

Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette could be on his way out of the Emirates Stadium this summer following his controversial behaviour. The Frenchman was reportedly seen inhaling nitrous oxide, which has further reduced his chances of being with the North London beyond this season.

Though the 28-year-old attacker still has an active contract with the Gunners, it is believed that his recent controversial behaviour might likely force the club to consider incoming offers from interested suitors.

Apart from the recent unprecedented behaviour, the striker’s form hasn’t helped matters in any way. He has to his name this season nine goals from 26 matches in all competitions as he has struggled for form and matches fitness throughout the first half of this season.

Many interested clubs might be happy with the Frenchman’s current situation as it serves as a major boost to their hopes of luring the world cup winner to their respective teams. Speaking of his suitors, who are the two clubs likely to win the race for the former Olympique Lyonnais forward?

1. Atletico Madrid

The Spanish giants have a very bright chance of signing the player this summer as they are guaranteed a Champions League position by the end of this season. According to Spanish news publication AS the Madrid based club see the Frenchman as a perfect replacement for Spanish striker Diego Costa who has been linked with a move away from the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium before next season. The Rojiblancos, if reports bear fruit, are ready to launch a big-money bid for his services as soon as the summer transfer commences.

2. Inter Milan

Former Chelsea head-coach now at Inter Milan dugout, Antonio Conte is strongly rumoured to be a strong admirer of the 28-year-old former Lyon striker. Conte is aware of Lacazette’s goalscoring threats having faced him several during his time at the Stamford Bridge’s dugout. While there are no confirmed reports linking him to the San Siro, former AC Milan player Antonio Cassano advised his compatriot to capture the Frenchman from Arsenal this summer. Lacazette’s move to Inter could also come into fruition should reported Lautaro Martinez possibly move out of the Serie A club before next season as a result of Chelsea and Barcelona’s interest.

Conclusion

Arsenal won’t find it difficult to release the Frenchman, no thanks to his uninspiring form and unruly attitude. However, everything depends on the offers submitted by both clubs as the Gunners would surely love to make a huge profit from the player whose contract remains valid until 2022.

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Filed under Arsenal, General Musings, gooner news, Lacazette, News, Premier League, Transfer Bollocks

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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Filed under Arsenal, Arteta, General Musings, gooner news, News, Transfer Bollocks

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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Filed under Arsenal, Arteta, Ask the Revd., General Musings, gooner news, Opinions, Wenger

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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Filed under Arsenal, Arteta, Aubameyang, General Musings, gooner news, Monday Night Preview, Opinions, Premier League

Gooner News: Arsenal defender explains the severity of his injury

Arsenal and Scotland international full-back Kieran Tierney had admitted dislocating his shoulder “three times in 10 minutes” during the Gunners’ win at the London Stadium against West Ham United in December.

The former Celtic defender, who has capped 12 times for the Scotland senior national team, endured an injury-hit start to his career in English football having joined the Gunners from Celtic in the summer, and the left-back finally made his debut in a Carabao Cup win over Nottingham Forest in September.

Tierney’s debut against Nottingham Forest in September was the first of his 11 appearances for the North London club this season so far, with 11 of these appearances coming against West Ham United at the London Stadium, when the 22-year-old was forced off the pitch after dislocating his shoulder 29th minute into the game.

Speaking to SportBible’s Facebook channel via the Daily Mirror, the Arsenal left-back, who’s currently rated at €23m, has now opened up on the severity of his injury.

Tierney said:

“Mentally it was probably the toughest time of my life. In my head I was thinking, ‘I need an operation now.’ I knew,”

“I knew that devastation straight away and I think you can see it on my face.”

The Scott is now returning to full fitness ahead of schedule and hopes his first game would be in the Premier League under Arsenal’s new boss Mikel Arteta when football action returns to normal.

He added:

“I know the way the team play, how they want to play and how the manager wants to do his things.

“It’s never ideal sitting on the sideline watching but I just want the team to win and be successful.

“Everybody loves going out and playing football but to be mentally tough and to deal with all these obstacles and hurdles that people throw at you, it’s the hardest part but when you get to the other side it’s the most rewarding part.”

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Dani Ceballos deserves a lengthy spell at Arsenal

Arsenal’s display against West Ham United on Saturday wasn’t the best performance we’ve seen from Mikel Arteta’s men this season but they would be happy with the 1-0 victory.

The Gunners took the lead at the latter stages of the game as second-half substitute Alexandre Lacazette found the back of the net in the 78th minute.

Though the French striker deservedly made the headline for his inspiring cameo, one player was arguably the major reason why the Gunners maintained a clean sheet against the Hammers.

Real Madrid loanee Dani Ceballos continued his scintillating performance for the team on Saturday. Fresh from his man-of-the-match display against Portsmouth during the week, Ceballos was included in Arteta’s starting XI against struggling David Moyes’ side.

The Spaniard was brilliant at the middle of the park as he showed the defensive aspect of his game. He snatched the ball from West Ham players on 14 occasions ( The Sun)

Apart from acting as an unstoppable ball-winner during the weekend, the 23-year-old was equally important at the final half of the pitch.

He initiated many of the Gunners attacking moves which almost led to goal if not for their wastefulness in front of goal.

Considering the fact that he made 86 successful passes, he had 100 touches on the ball, and impressive numbers of interceptions against the Hammers, Dani Ceballos was obviously one of the best players on the pitch.

The Spanish star is currently in his best form since he returned from his two-month injury, and Arsenal fans are getting used to the player’s consistent performances on the pitch.

Unfortunately, Ceballos is just on a season-long loan from Real Madrid and he is expected to return to the Spanish side at the end of season.

His recent displays for the Emirates Stadium outfits must have caught Zinedine Zidane’s attention and the Frenchman will love to improve his midfield by integrating Ceballos into his plans for next season

However, It remains unknown if the North London Club can reach an agreement with Los Blancos to make him stay permanently ahead of the next season.

Since he joined the Gunners last summer , Ceballos has featured in 24 games and has been involved in three goals (two assists and one goal) in all competitions (Transfermarkt)

Arsenal fans will hope to see another great performance from their newly found unsung hero when they tackle Manchester City at the Etihad on Wednesday.

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“…king of assists is back” – Some Arsenal fans react to Mesut Ozil and Saka’s performance against Hammers

It was a tough London derby at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday afternoon as the Gunners battled West Ham United to the very end of the match. Mikel Arteta’s men weren’t very lively in the opening minutes of the encounter as they almost concede a quick goal in the opening two minutes of the game.

West Ham’s Jarrod Bowen struck the woodwork in the early stages before Michail Antonio also wasted a glorious opportunity to break the deadlock.

However, the home side grew into the game and they piled much pressure on their visitors but it remained goalless throughout the first 45 minutes of the game.

The second half saw a better display from Arsenal who needed maximum points to boost their Champions League’s qualifying hopes for the next season.

Nketiah, Sokratis and Granit Xhaka all have their chances to put the Gunners ahead but the ball couldn’t find its way into Fabianski’s net.

The Hammers also have some chances of their own at the other end of the pitch and one of them was Antonio’s well-struck header that was saved by Bernd Leno’s mighty hands.

After 78 minutes of actions and some controversies, the host eventually broke the deadlock via second-half substitute Alexandre Lacazette who replaced Eddie Nketiah.

The Frenchman converted from close range after a lovely pass from Mesut Ozil. The goal was initially ruled out for offside by the match officials, but the decision was turned down by VAR after a lengthy check.

With the result, Arsenal now occupy the 9th position on the League table with 40 points. They are five points behind fourth-place Chelsea who play host to Everton at the Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon, and they have a game at hand.

At full-time, some Arsenal fans took to social media networking site Twitter to express delight with Ozil and Saka’s performance against Hammers. While there are some who believed Saka is very good, others cannot stop admitting the Premier League’s “king of assists” is back.

Below are some of the best selected tweets:

https://twitter.com/LacaSweat/status/1236323335115624450?s=20

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Filed under Arsenal, Arteta, Fans, General Musings, gooner news, Match Day Postmortem, Premier League, Saka

Arsenal’s probable line-up against West Ham at the Emirates Stadium

The Premier League’s match-day 29 fixtures is set to kickoff on Saturday’s launch-time as the Gunners welcome West Ham United to the Emirates Stadium.

Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal side were involved in the mid-week FA Cup competition and comfortably secured a 2-0 victory over Portsmouth at the Fratton Park Stadium and a win against the Hammers on Saturday afternoon will make it two wins in two games for the Gunners

Ahead of the London derby, let’s take a look players that could make the match-day squad:

Goalkeeper

German goalkeeper Bernd Leno is expected to return to the starting XI after being rested against the League One side on Monday.

Though Martinez kept a clean sheet against the promotion-chasing side, I’m afraid he hasn’t done enough to displace Leno from Arteta’s first eleven.

Defence

Hector Bellerin, who wasn’t included in the club’s traveling squad on Monday, is expected to regain his spot in the team.

The Spaniard has been a mainstay in the team since he returned from injury, and he will hope to help the Gunners record a famous victory over West Ham. This means that Sokratis Papastathopoulos will return to the bench for this one.

David Luiz will surely keep his spot at the heart of defense alongside Shkodran Mustafi who was left out of the team that defeated Portsmouth.

Though Pablo Mari was immense for the North London club on Tuesday, it is arguably too early to see him leapfrog rejuvenated Mustafi in the pecking order.

18-year-old Bukayo Saka is definitely set for another starting role as long as there are no unforeseen circumstances.

Midfield

Real Madrid loanee Dani Ceballos and Granit Xhaka will feature at the base of the midfield as they will be charged with the responsibility of providing a strong shield for the back four.

Mesut Ozil will feature as the link between the midfield and attack. The German has somewhat returned to form and his teammates will rely on his creativity to provide some goal-scoring opportunities.

Attack

In-form Aubameyang will return to the line-up following his inactive role on Monday. The Gabonese is currently the Gunners top goalscorer and they will rely solely on his goal-scoring abilities during the upcoming encounter.

Nicholas Pepe is tipped to start despite his unimpressive stats in front of goal this season. The Ivorian has struggled to hit the ground running at the Emirates Stadium but Arteta will likely give him a starting berth against West Ham.

Hale End Academy product Eddie Nketiah is expected to be the club’s centre-forward ahead of Alexandre Lacazette due to his present form.

Summary: Arsenal XI (4-2-3-1): Leno; Bellerin, Luiz, Mustafi, Saka; Ceballos, Xhaka; Pepe, Ozil, Aubameyang; Nketiah.

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Good news for gooners has seven-goal striker keen on Arsenal move

There have been speculations that Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta could be forced to look for new strikers in the next transfer window as some of his best strikers are being linked out of the Emirates Stadium.

It is believed that the club’s highest goalscorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could be on his way out of North London in the summer if they fail to qualify for next season’s European competitions.

Another section of the media also have it that French centre-forward Alexandre Lacazette is uncertain to remain at the North London club beyond this season as he could be forced to find a greener pasture next campaign.

However, Arteta’s search for a new striker might not be a long one because there’s one player who’s ready to feature for the team if given the opportunity. Nigerian international striker Josh Maja has revealed his desire to play for the Gunners before the end of his career.

The former Sunderland striker — who was born and raised up in London — has been an Arsenal fan since he was a child and it will be a great accomplishment to put on the club’s jersey.

According to him, playing for the North London club is one of his dream and he will be glad if he achieve it. The 21-year-old is enjoying his best season since he joined Ligue 1 side Bordeaux from Sunderland two years ago.

He has featured in 23 matches for the Girondes in all competitions so far this season, scoring seven goals and three assists in the process.

His goalscoring form caught Chelsea and Everton’s attention during the winter transfer period as reports claimed that both clubs were ready to compete for his services, although, it turned out to be a mere rumor.

Internationally, Maja has one cap for the Super Eagles of Nigeria and he will hope to be involved in Gernot Rohr’s plans during and after the ongoing AFCON 2021 qualifying series.

It is yet to be seen if Arteta and the board member will look towards Maja’s direction, if the need to replace Aubameyang and Lacazette eventually arises before the start of next season.

In other Arsenal news, the Gunners have developed a keen interest in AC Milan central midfielder Franck Kessel who has featured in 120 games for the Serie A giants since 2017.

With Dani Ceballos tipped to return to his parent club Real Madrid in the summer and Torreira’s injury woes, The Express revealed that Arteta hopes to lure the Ivorian to the Emirates Stadium as soon as the transfer market reopens.

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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta taking a step closer to emulating his former boss

Arsenal manager Mikel and his players endured a tough time towards the end of February as they surprisingly bowed out of the Europa League competition last week.

Though the North London club managed a 2-2 aggregate draw with Olympiakos in one of Europa League’s round-32 fixtures, Arsenal couldn’t progress to the next round due to away goal rule which favored the Greeks side.

However, the team started this month (March) on a brilliant note as they defeated League One side Portsmouth 2-0 in Monday’s FA Cup tie. The Gunners traveled to the Fratton Park as favorites judging by both club’s current status and quality players.

Though Kenny Jackett’s men curtailed Arsenal’s pressure during the first 40 minutes of the encounter, they couldn’t prevent the visitors from taking the lead as Sokratis Papastathopoulos found the back of the net before half-time.

Hale End Academy product Eddie Nketiah added the second goal of the game in the 51st minute to give the Gunners a morale-boosting victory. Arsenal are now through to the quarter-final round of the competition.

Having watched his former boss Pep Guardiola won the Carabao Cup for the third consecutive season on Sunday, Arteta would be glad that he is a step closer to emulating his compatriot by laying hold on the FA Cup glory with the Gunners this season.

However, he still has a long way to go because his team will need to overcome Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City, Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur’s challenge to win the trophy.

Knowing this, Arteta told reporters that the team won’t dwell too much on the victory against Jackett’s side because they know the quality of teams they will face in the next round.

He told BBC Sports after the encounter:

“There is a long way to go [in the FA Cup] But we’re on the right path. We’ll see what happens in the draw. We’ll keep going because we love this competition.”

The FA Cup competition is the Gunners only hope of claiming a silverware this season, and the players will do everything possible to end the season on a positive note.

Meanwhile, Arsenal left wing-back Bukayo Saka is set to pen a new deal with the club. According to reports emanating from the Emirates Stadium, the youngster has been offered a new bumper deal while will see him remain at the club until 2025.

This will come as a huge relieve to Arsenal manager who is keen on having the youngster in his team for a longer period of time amid speculations surrounding his future.

Saka was in action on Monday and he’s expected regain his spot in the starting XI when the team play host to West Ham United this weekend.

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Filed under Arsenal, Arteta, General Musings, gooner news, Tactical Bollocks

How Spurs, Chelsea and Man Utd’s Match-day 28 results could determine Arsenal’s top-four hopes

Arsenal’s hope of qualifying for next season’s Champions League has received a massive boost following series of favorable results from other top-four competitors.

Chelsea needed a win on Saturday to boost their chances of laying strong hold on the fourth position, but Frank Lampard’s men failed to defeat 18-place AFC Bournemouth who have been poor all through the campaign.

Despite taking the lead through Marcos Alonso in the 33rd minute of the encounter, the Blues only managed to play a 2-2 draw as they conceded two quick second-half goals.

The Gunners, who are 10th on the Premier League table with 37 points from 27 games, have played a game fewer than other top-four chasers, and they now trail Chelsea with just eight points.

As for Tottenham who are also in the race for a place among the top-four clubs, José Mourinho’s men surprisingly lost 3-2 to Wolverhampton Wanderers in front of the Lilywhites supporters.

Though the result is not totally favorable to the Gunners’ top-four hope because Wolves are also in the race, Mikel Arteta’s side will be happy to see their local rivals drop important points.

Mourinho and his men are obviously missing Harry Kane and Heung-min Son’s services as they are yet to win a single league game since losing both players to injury.

They remain on the 7th position with 37 points, three points ahead of the Gunners. Arsenal won’t have difficulty overtaking them before the end of the season, judging by their current unimpressive form.

We move to Manchester United’s result against Everton in a highly controversial game that was played on Sunday. The Red Devils looked to have regained their confidence having won two consecutive Premier League matches prior to the encounter.

However, Carlo Ancelotti’s men shocked everyone as they took the lead through Dominic Calvert-Lewin in less than 5 minutes of action.

Winter signing Bruno Fernandes equalized for the away side before half-time and both sides settled for a 1-1 draw after some VAR controversial decisions.

The result means the Red Devils are in the fifth position with 42 points, five above Arsenal who should be able to close the gap when they play their one outstanding game.

As much as these results appear to favor the Gunners, Mikel Arteta’s men must make perfect use of this opportunity to close the gap between them and the three Premier League giants.

They must endeavor to win every match left in the season because every point is valuable at this stage of the campaign.

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Filed under Arsenal, Arteta, General Musings, gooner news, Monday Night Preview, Premier League, Tactical Bollocks

Alex Iwobi Or Tammy Abraham: In whose footstep should Arsenal young sensation follow?

Arsenal’s newfound assist king Bukayo Saka is enjoying life at the Emirates Stadium having laid strong hold on a regular spot in Mikel Arteta’s starting line-up this season.

Despite being deployed as a makeshift left-back by Arteta, the 18-year-old has been phenomenal at the final half of the pitch.

He already has 10 assists to his name, and he is obviously not going to stop at that as there are still 11 Premier League matches before the season ends. Carabao Cup and FA Cup also offer him more chances to add to his tally before the end of the season.

As much as Saka’s current blistering form has given him the chance to be an important figure at the Emirates Stadium, the player now finds himself in the middle of an intense international tug-of-war between the Super Eagles of Nigeria and the Three Lions of England.

Born to Nigerian parents, the 18-year-old is eligible to represent the three-time African champions, and he has the equal chance of featuring for Gareth Southgate’s side.

Though it is speculated that the Nigerian FA are ready to convince the youngster over playing for his father’s land, the European powerhouse are reportedly leading the race for his services.

Read also: Mesut Ozil to remain at Arsenal despite 2020-21 UCL uncertainty

Having played for England’s U16, U17, U18 and U19, progressing to the Three Lions squad won’t require much stress or change of playing pattern.

However, he will certainly need to overcome intense competitions from highly experienced players if he must get regular playing-time for the Three Lions.

Leicester City’s Ben Chilwell, Tottenham-owned Newcastle star Danny Rose and Manchester United’s Luke Shaw are all ahead of him in the pecking order of left-backs or left wing-backs available for selection.

Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling, Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho and United’s Jesse Lingard are also competing for a place at both flanks. Hence, choosing England over Nigeria means the player must develop his game in order for him to break into this formidable team.

Unlike playing for England, Saka will need to submit a change of allegiance document to FIFA before he could feature for the West African country.

He will equally need to get familiar with the country’s playing patterns— although, it’s not too different from Southgate’s tactical approach.

Nonetheless, he has better chances of breaking into Genort Rohr’s starting line-up judging by his work-rate and beautiful deliveries into opponent’s box.

Torino’s Ola Aina and Paderborn’s Jamilu, who are Rohr’s regular fullbacks, are not in good form for their respective clubs. This means Saka have a brighter opportunity of becoming the gaffer’s most trusted fullback in no time.

Having said that, it remains unknown if the youngster will follow Alex Iwobi’s footstep, who dumped England in favor of the African side, or he will imitate Tammy Abraham’s decision by ignoring Nigeria’s approach.

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Filed under Arsenal, General Musings, gooner news, Opinions, Saka, Transfer Bollocks

Mesut Ozil to remain at Arsenal despite 2020-21 UCL uncertainty

There have claims and counter-claims surrounding the future of Arsenal’s and ex-Germany international Mesut Ozil. The claims have suggested nothing more than saying the 31-year-old could be on his way out of the Emirates Stadium before the end of his contract next year.

It should be recalled that the player was heavily linked with a move to Fenerbahce during the first half of the season due to lack of regular first-team action under the then Arsenal boss Unai Emery.

Unfortunately, Ozil’s proposed move and talks about his move to the Turkish side failed to materialize as Emery was shown the exit door in November owing to run of poor form.

Ozil then became a regular starter for the Gunners under Freddie Ljungberg, who replaced the Spanish tactician.

Furthermore, Ozil’s be an integral part of Mikel Arteta’s team since he took over from Ljungberg, but there are still claims that the former Real Madrid playmaker could leave Arsenal by the end of the season.

Read also: Aubameyang’s future in doubt: Two reasons Arsenal could lose their key player

However, Ozil’s agent Dr Erkut Sogut has confirmed the player’s desire to remain under Arteta’s tutelage until 2021.

According to him, Ozil still has 15 months left to run on his current deal with the North London club, and he wants to help them return to their glory days as soon as possible.

Sogut said:

“He still has 15 months to go. Until then, he will stay at Arsenal, for sure. He will stay until the end of his contract. There’s no chance he’ll leave.”

Since joining the Gunners from Real Madrid seven years ago, the 92-cap former Germany international has notched up 183 Premier matches, with 33 goals and 53 assists to his name for the Gunners. (Premier League)

He has won three FA Cup trophies but he is yet to lift the Premier League title. He has been an integral part of Arteta’s team this season and the manager will rely on him to help the team qualify for next season’s Champions League competition.

Having crashed out of the Europa League following their 2-1 defeat to Olympiakos on Thursday, the Gunners now need to end the season among the top-four clubs to stand a chance of featuring in Champions League campaign next season.

Meanwhile, Arteta has charged his men to up their game if they must beat Chelsea, Tottenham, Wolves and Manchester United to the fourth position.

Read more from gooner news: Two players who can help Arsenal achieve top-four finish

Speaking after Tuesday’s Europa League ouster, the former Spanish midfielder urge his players to keep believing in themselves and respond brilliantly to the shock defeat suffered at the Emirates Stadium.

Arteta said:

“I just want to concentrate now on lifting those players, getting back the belief, and convincing them that there is still a lot to play for, and move on.”

With 11 Premier League matches to go until end of the season, Arteta and cohorts cannot be ruled out in the race for a top-four finish this season. Arsenal are currently sitting ninth on the Premier League table with 37 points from 27 matches at the time of this article. They are seven points behind Chelsea who are in the fourth position.

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Filed under Arsenal, Arteta, Ask the Revd., Aubameyang, General Musings, Ozil, Transfer Bollocks