Category Archives: News

The FA continues to investigate the incident between Gabriel and Henderson

During Arsenal’s 3-2 win over Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium, defender Gabriel Magalhaes was spotted exchanging words with Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson.

After Gabriel Jesus won a critical penalties, which Bukayo Saka converted for the Gunners, the Brazilian got into a confrontation with Henderson.

Referee Michael Oliver brought the game to a halt as he hurried to the sidelines to speak with both Mikel Arteta and Jurgen Klopp.

It’s believed to have related to a dispute that occurred in the penalty box during a tense encounter at the Emirates Stadium.

Witnesses stated that the confrontation had subsided by the time both sets of players arrived in the tunnel, but new video has emerged showing the pair continuing to exchange words after the initial incident.

According to The Mirror, the Football Association (FA) has engaged the services of specialist lip readers to analyse footage as they continue their inquiry, while players who were nearby during the intense brawl between both sides may also be asked what they saw and heard.

In a video shared on Tuesday to the Tasty Football YouTube account, both sets of players embrace quickly after the final whistle, with Henderson initially high-fiving England colleague Aaron Ramsdale and Gabriel hugging fellow center-back Virgil van Dijk.

Gabriel and Henderson both fade out of view before reappearing briefly as the two shake hands, albeit for a brief moment.

Following the handshake, the Liverpool captain attempted to get the Brazilian defender’s attention, involving Roberto Firmino in the conversation to seemingly encourage Gabriel to talk to him, with Klopp also in the vicinity and talking to Gabriel.

The outcome of the FA’s investigation is still yet to be concluded, but both clubs have vowed to follow the FA’s disciplinary procedures on the matter.

The FA released a brief statement after the match, which read: “We are aware of an incident that took place during the match between Arsenal and Liverpool. We are in dialogue with the match officials and will review the details of the incident.”

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Is Arsenal still interested in Marco Asensio?

Safe to say the club’s seems to be heading on a good path having recorded straight four wins, three from the Premier League and the 3-0 smashing of AFC Wimbledon at the Emirates for the EFL Cup third round competition.

Next up, we travels on the way down to Falmer Stadium to take on Graham Potter’s Brighton and Hove Albion side in the Premier League. Ahead of this match, top-notch Premier League prediction service in the likes of Soccer-picks would no doubt have us strong favourite for all three points in this match.

So elsewhere, there are report we have not given up hope of signing Marco Asensio from Real Madrid, according to a report.

The Gunners had a £34m bid rejected for the winger in the summer, with Los Blancos boss Carlo Ancelotti keen to keep him at the Bernabeu.

However, Asensio has started just two of the first seven La Liga games of the season and could be sold in January as Real Madrid look to raise funds for Kylian Mbappe and Erling Braut Haaland.

The Daily Star states that Mikel Arteta remains interested in taking the 25-year-old to North London and will make another bid for him once the transfer window re-opens.

Asensio showed his talent with a hat-trick in Real Madrid’s 6-1 win over Real Mallorca last week. Leicester City, Everton and Leeds United were all also interested in signing the Spaniard in the summer and it remains to be seen how the transfer saga will unfolds in January.

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Arsenal predicted lineup vs Man City – Premier League

Holla, our torrid start to the 2021/22 Premier League continues and likely to be put to final test today as we prepares for a trip to the Etihad Stadium to take on the title holders Manchester City.

The 2-0 defeat at Brentford was followed up with another lost at home to Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea side. The below-par performances from the team has seen questions raised over the future of Mikel Arteta’s as the Gunners boss and a win today would go a long way to ease pressure up his sleeves.

That said, let take a look at our predicted lineup for today:

1. Between the sticks and in defence

Bernd Leno (GK) :- Aaron Ramsdale is gunning for his spot, but Leno will likely retain his place for a little while longer at least.

Cedric Soares (RB) :- With Hector Bellerin still pushing to leave, Arteta doesn’t have many options on the right. Expect Cedric to start ahead of Calum Chambers.

Rob Holding (CB) :- Gabriel is back in training but isn’t ready to return yet, while Ben White remains out with COVID-19, so Holding will keep his spot here.

Pablo Mari (CB) :- Injuries mean Arsenal don’t have any other options at centre-back. Mari will start.

Kieran Tierney (LB) :- The star of Arsenal’s defence, Tierney had a rough day against Chelsea but will be determined to bounce back with a bang for this one.

Prediction:

As a die-hard Gunner, I would never put a bet up against my club and owing that, I’m still of the opinion seeing my side get a point today at the Etihad, if not three points betting with soccer-tips.

2. Middle of park and the midfield

Granit Xhaka (DM) :- Once billed as a potential replacement for Rodri at Atletico Madrid, Xhaka will be directly up against the Spaniard on Saturday.

Albert Sambi Lokonga (DM) :- With Thomas Partey still out injured, Lokonga’s baptism of fire is set to continue.

Bukayo Saka (RM) :- Saka has been battling a minor knee injury but is likely to be fit enough to start.

Martin Odegaard (AM) :- Fresh off completing 60 minutes against West Brom in midweek, Odegaard will make his return to Premier League action against City.

Emile Smith Rowe (LM) :- Likely to start on the left on paper, expect Smith Rowe to rotate with Odegaard to try and overwhelm City’s back line.

3. In attack

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (ST) :- Back from COVID-19, Aubameyang should be ready to go for this one and he may end up rotating his time with Alexandre Lacazette, whose recovery from the virus is a little behind his team-mate’s.

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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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Filed under Arsenal, Arteta, News, Premier League

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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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

Emmanuel Adebayor ranked amongst Arsenal’s best former players from Africa

The Gunners are known for the opportunity given to African players to feature in their team. African stars including Emmanuel Frimpong, Yaya Sanogo, Kolo Toure, Emmanuel Eboue, Nwankwo Kanu, Alex Iwobi, Gilles Sun, Jehad Muntasser, and Carlin Itonga have all featured for the North London club in the time past. Many of the listed players had a very successful spell with the team while others failed to live up to expectations before leaving the Emirates Stadium outfits.

However, we shall be unveiling the top five players who had a memorable experience at the Emirates Stadium. So, Who are the best players to have featured for the Gunners in history?

5. Emmanuel Adebayor

The Togolese striker is fifth on the list following his relative success during the three years he’s spent at the Emirates Stadium. The highly controversial star joined the Gunners in 2006 from Monaco and he went on to feature in 143 matches scoring 62 goals in all competitions.

The 2007-08 season was arguably his most productive campaign in the Gunners’ red and white jersey as he found the back of the net on 30 occasions from just 40 starts. Unfortunately, Adebayor didn’t win any trophy with the team before he was captured by Arsenal rival Manchester City in 2009.

4. Alex Song

The Cameroon legend rightly occupies the fourth position due to his breathtaking performances he put up throughout his days with Arsene Wenger’s men. Unlucky not to be part of the invisible Gunners, Song joined the team in 2005 from Bastia (first on loan before the deal was made permanent) and he stayed at North London for seven years. Though the defensive midfielder wasn’t consistent in his early days with the team, he can prevent best players from going past him whenever he’s in fine form.

He would be remembered for his wonderful display in his last few seasons with the club when he finally showcased his potentials and quality. Unfortunately, that wasn’t good enough to prevent the French manager from sanctioning his move to Barcelona in 2012. Did he won any trophy with the Gunners? Sadly No

3. Kolo Toure

The inspirational and sturdy Ivorian deserves the third spot, thanks to the defensive prowess he showcased throughout his days with the team. Despite coming from a lowly-rated Ivorian side ASEC academy in 2002, the former Liverpool man stood his ground against amidst intense competition for spots in starting lineup. He established a formidable partnership with Sol Campbell at the heart of the defence, and he played a massive role in the team’s record-breaking run to 2003-04 EPL title without a single defeat.

2. Lauren

This is another Cameroonian on the list and he justifiably stays in the second position. He was part of the ‘invincible’ squad having joined the Gunners in 2000 through to 2007 in which he played 241 games scoring nine goals in the process. He helped Arsene Wenger’s men to two EPL titles, and he did these same with his country as he led them to two back-to-back AFCON trophies.

1. Nwankwo Kanu

44 goals in 198 games, Nwankwo Kanu tops our list of best five African legends that have featured for the North London club. Despite spending just five seasons under Wenger, the versatile player won two EPL titles, two CAF player of the year awards and two BBC African player awards. It will interest you to know that he was part of the highly-rated invisible Gunners team.

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Filed under Arsenal, Emmanuel Adebayor, Fictional Bollocks, gooner news, News, Opinions, Premier League, Wenger

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

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

Burnley v Arsenal – Match preview, insights and predictions

Hello folks, I hope you lads and lasses are all up for another Sunday night action pack performances happening at the Turf Moor against Burnley?

Arsenal’s business this transfer is arguably one of the best since a while. Taking over the reins of the club from his predecessor, Mikel Arteta seems to be on the right track as Arsenal manager in the long-run.

The signing of Pablo Mari and Cedric Soares to Arsenal on loan is one of the club’s best winter windows business well done in recent memory with the potential option to buy, and also, they’ve loaned out six youngsters, including Emile Smith Rowe, Konstantinos Mavropanos and Tyreece John-Jules.

Considering how the winter transfer business at the club have panned out in the past, it can be said that the entire just concluded window is zero risks and incredibly high reward for the club at stake. That being said, Mikel Arteta’s reign as the Gunners head-coach continues with a trip to Turf Moor this weekend as we take on Sean Dyche’s Burnley, and the Spaniard looking to build on a mixed start since taking over at the Emirates last month.

Here are five insights you need to know about Sunday’s clash…

  • The Clarets have lost their 11 matches against Arsenal in all outings, a poor run for Burnley dating as far back as 2010.We have won our last 10 Premier League games against Burnley with our last 11 wins in a row against an opponent in the Premier League between 1994 and 2004 against Manchester City.
  • Funny and odd as it sounds, the Clarets haven’t led Arsenal for a single minute in 11 Premier League. And according to stats, the only team to have played more games against an opponent without ever leading is Championship side Portsmouth against Chelsea with a record of 14 Premier League games between these two sides.
  • Arsenal is favourites for three clear points heading into this fixture with none of Burnley’s last 17 Premier League outings ending in a draw with any team. Sean Dyche’s men have won seven and lost 10 league matches. However, the Lancashire side has won two matches in a row on three separate occasions in that, but they are yet to record three in a row win in the league since April 2019.
  • At the moment, we are unbeaten in our last six Premier League away games – winning one and drawn five matches. And should the odds be in our favour on Sunday night, we could hit a goldmine as the club has not drawn five consecutive away league games since August 1948.

Predicted Line ups:

Burnley Predicted Line ups: Pope; Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor; Hendrick, Westwood, Cork, McNeil; Rodriguez, Wood

Arsenal Predicted Line ups: Leno; Bellerin, Luiz, Holding, Saka; Torreira, Xhaka, Ozil; Pepe, Aubameyang, Lacazette

Who is the referee for the day?

Chris Kavanagh.

What time is kick-off?

14:00 BST.

Betting ddds?

Burnley – 13/5: Draw – 13/5: Arsenal – 1/1

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Filed under Arsenal, Arteta, Ask the Revd., General Musings, gooner news, Match Day Postmortem, News, Transfer Bollocks

It’s backs to the wall…

It has been a very difficult day for Gooners everywhere. The sight of Fabregas walking onto the pitch at the Camp Nou in front of thousands of cheerings Catalans was difficult to take. It felt something like that reaction when you saw your first proper girlfriend hanging around with some other gobshite immediately after she dumped you. You both knew the break-up was coming, your friends warned you about the other bloke and you prepared yourself as best you could. But the sight of them happy together still hurt, and there  wasn’t a damn thing you could do about it. Not without making a complete tool of yourself, anyway.

Then it got worse. The FA charged both The Arse and Newcastle with ‘failing to control their players’ following the events of last Saturday, and Song himself was charged with violent conduct. ‘Failing to control’ always sounds like a ludicrous charge to me, when applied to a match incident – what is AW supposed to do, run onto the pitch with a fire extinguisher? Anyhow, the club have until 18th August to respond (I suppose a really obscene voicemail message probably wouldn’t be acceptable) and the appeal againt Gervinho’s suspension and response to Song’s charge will be heard on 16th August.

While all this was happening Samir Nasri took it upon himself to complain via his official Twitter account that he was the subject of ‘disrespectful’ treatment by supporters during the Newcastle game. If he thought that was disrespectful, I’d love to know what he made of the response from Gooners to his whinge – I wouldn’t be surprised if he never Tweets again (not for an Arsenal audience, at any rate). But perhaps that is just the point. It seems safe to assume his departure is imminent, so he has nothing to lose by alienating supporters at this stage. Like most, I’d be glad to see the back of him. Show us the money City, and we might even do something useful with it.

Unfortunately, at the very point when we might have hoped for some reassurance from the club, the manager has been voicing his concerns over the level of support exhibited by Gooners for the team:

“I am worried our fans are not behind the team…The players deserve it…It is important there is a love between the fans and the players and the players have shown their commitment which deserves the support of our fans…Sometimes the credit players get is linked with the amount of money you paid for them…It is frustrating sometimes because it looks like players are judged just through the money they cost.”

This was greeted with more than one “lost the plot” remark by Gooners on Twitter this afternoon. This is clearly a reference to the exhortations of away supporters at SJP last Saturday, urging him to get the chequebook out.  But when have we failed to acknowledge players who show commitment? And when have we failed to support players who were not purchased for large transfer fees?

The reality is the squad needs strengthening, as he has acknowledged himself. The fact that the overwhelming majority of Gooners want to see the quality of the playing staff improved by the acquisition of new players does not infer that the current squad are not supported. AW would do well not to confuse frustration with disloyalty.    But it hardly needs repeating that the reason most players have a higher value is because they are better players than those who are cheaper. There are many obvious and recent exceptions – Carroll, Downing, Henderson and so on. Whether any of us like it or not, if you want to improve your squad by acquiring new players of experience and proven ability, you are probably going to have to spend more than you would like to. Will he do so? Here’s what he said on the club website today:

“We are not scared to spend money if we find the right player. But spending money is not the right target in itself. We want to find the right player and whether it is for £2 million or £20 million we will do it.”

How, we may ask, will he determine who is the right player? He asserted:

“We are not frightened to spend money but we have to be convinced the player is better than what we have…That is our main concern, to bring quality. We have quality, but want to add more quality.
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The manager is feeling the pressure at the moment. I have some sympathy for him but he does himself no favours with observations like these. No-one wants ambiguity or general observations. Is Cahill, or Jagielka or even Dann better than Squillaci? It doesn’t matter what you or I think – it’s up to him.

Tomorrow we face Udinese in an absolutely critical CL qualifier. I hope that the team get the best possible support – but if we go behind things could get ugly, and I worry that defeat will leave us in a pretty desperate condition to face Liverpool next weekend. It seems almost daft to say it but our season could be defined by the events of the next two weeks – and it’s only August.

So make as much noise as possible and get behind the lads – show Udinese, Barca, the manager and the rest of English football what supporting Arsenal means to us. And if that entails dropping the money chants so be it, at least while the match clock is running.

UP THE ARSE!

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