Tag Archives: arsenal

Martin Odegaard says Arsenal not competing with Manchester City.

Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard says his side are focused on their own progress and not the challenge of Manchester City in the Premier League title race.

Odegaard’s Gunners beat Manchester United in a thrilling Emirates encounter on Sunday, with Eddie Nketiah scoring twice including a dramatic winner to send Arsenal 11 points clear of United.

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City remain Arsenal’s biggest challengers at the top of the table and the two sides are still to square off three times this season – firstly in Friday’s FA Cup meeting before league clashes in February and April.

City beat Wolves earlier on Sunday before Arsenal reinstated their five-point lead over Pep Guardiola’s side by beating United. The two sides are the clear frontrunners for the title, though Norway international Odegaard insisted Arsenal are maintaining focus in north London first and foremost.

Asked about City’s presence, Odegaard said: “No, honestly, we don’t care about City or any other team. We expected them to win so that was not a big surprise and we just focused on our game, to come here and win and that’s what we did. The way we won this game gives us a special feeling that will help as well.”

Marcus Rashford had given United the lead with a strike from distance in the 17th minute but Nketiah converted Granit Xhaka’s equaliser before Bukayo Saka struck home brilliantly in the second half.

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Lisandro Martinez brought United level with a header from a scrappy set piece, but Nketiah’s late winner ensured Arsenal maintained their lead in the Premier League heading into the FA Cup weekend



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Fans charged with assault on Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsdale.

A spectator has been charged with assaulting Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale following last weekend’s north London derby against Tottenham Hotspur, the Metropolitan Police said Tuesday.

Joseph Watts, 35, has been accused of assault by beating, going onto an area adjacent to the playing area and throwing a missile onto a football playing area at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium following Premier League leaders Arsenal’s 2-0 win.

READ ALSO: Jim Ratcliffe’s Ineos Declares Interest In Buying Man Utd

Watts, of Hackney, north London, was charged on Tuesday and is due to appear at Highbury Magistrates’ Court on February 17.

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Following Sunday’s incident, England’s governing Football Association “strongly condemned” the incident, while Tottenham insisted “violence in any form has no place in football”.

Arsenal’s victory left them eight points clear at the top of the table.

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Scholes names team to win title after Manchester City lose against Man Utd.

Manchester United legend, Paul Scholes, has insisted Manchester City are still favourites to win the Premier League this season.

City threw away a one-goal lead to lose 2-1 to United on Saturday.

Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford struck late in the game to cancel Jack Grealish’s opener.

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Scholes feels United are now title contenders, but still expects City to chase down Arsenal, who can go eight points clear if they beat Tottenham on Sunday.

“We’ve learned that Manchester United can beat a big team when the pressure is on and when they need to.

“Are they in the title race? I think you have to say they are. If they keep people fit, they are one point behind Man City now.

“City are still the favourites for me, they’re still the best team in this league,” Scholes told BT Sport.

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Mikel Arteta speaks amid Chelsea, Tottenham clash.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta says his players are in a “really good emotional state” ahead of Sunday’s north London derby as they aim to avenge last season’s painful defeat at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Arsenal went down 3-0 in May last year as they chased qualification for a top-four spot, with Spurs eventually finishing in the Champions League qualification places instead.

Arteta said there were a lot of things to learn from that game.

“We haven’t won there (at the new stadium), and that’s the challenge we have ahead of us,” he said. “We are in a different place. We have to show that playing the way we want to play.”

READ ALSO: FIFA Opens Disciplinary Proceedings Against Argentina Over World Cup Final

The Spaniard, whose team beat Spurs 3-1 at the Emirates earlier this season, said his players were relaxed ahead of Sunday’s clash.

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“I think the players are in a really good emotional state,” he said. “We are excited, we are enjoying playing together and we are in a good position.

“So we have to improve a lot of the things we still have to do, and we have to maintain the things that have taken us this far.”

League leaders Arsenal, who are five points clear of defending champions Manchester City, have not won away at Spurs since 2014 — five years before their rivals moved into their new stadium.

“Obviously the way we have performed and the results that we have got confidence-wise puts us in a good position,” he said.

“But then it’s something that you have to show in every single match, every opponent and especially every away game brings big challenges and this is no different. We have to prove that we are good enough to go there, play our way and win the match.”

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Arteta admitted Arsenal were “trying to improve” the squad in the January transfer window but would not speak about Shakhtar Donetsk winger Mykhailo Mudryk at his pre-match press conference.

Reports say a big-money deal for the 22-year-old is close.

“We cannot talk about any other players,” said Arteta. “There is some interest in things we’d like to do to improve the team, because we are a bit short in certain areas with the injuries we’ve (picked up).

“We are trying as a club. We are determined to try to improve the team in every window and that’s what we’re trying to do.”

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Man City Will Struggle To Catch Leaders Arsenal – Guardiola.

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Pep Guardiola believes Manchester City have it all to do if they are to overhaul leaders Arsenal at the top of the Premier League table.

Reigning champions City can move back to within five points of the Gunners away to Chelsea on Thursday after Arsenal dropped points in Tuesday’s goalless draw with Newcastle.

“We have to reduce the gap by playing good and winning games, but they (Arsenal) get more than 100 points if they keep this average and we will not catch them,” Guardiola told a pre-match press conference on Wednesday.

“We have to be almost perfect and hope they drop points. Last night they were still excellent.”

READ ALSO: Everton Boss Lampard Defiant After Brighton Battering

Chelsea have won just one of their last seven Premier League games but Guardiola still expects a difficult encounter at Stamford Bridge.

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“It’s the Premier League,” the Spaniard said.

“They’re all tough. They’re a tough side, well-managed. It doesn’t matter what position you are when you go to Stamford Bridge. It is always difficult.”

Aymeric Laporte will be given a fitness test ahead of the journey to London after missing the New Year’s Eve clash with Everton with a back problem but fellow centre-back Ruben Dias is still sidelined with a thigh injury.

Guardiola added: “Ruben is out. Ayme we will see in this afternoon’s (Wednesday’s training session.”

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Aston Villa announce Unai Emery as new manager.

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Former Arsenal manager Unai Emery has been appointed as the new manager of Premier League side Aston Villa following the dismissal of Steven Gerrard on Thursday.

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“Aston Villa is delighted to announce the appointment of Unai Emery as the club’s new Head Coach,” the club said in a statement on Monday night.

Emery’s appointment comes after he resigned from his job with Villarreal following mutual agreement between the Spanish club and Aston Villa.

This is the Spaniard’s second spell in England following a short unsuccessful stint with Arsenal, where he led the Gunners to the final of the UEFA Europa League but lost to Chelsea in the final.

Emery has managed top clubs across Europe including Paris Saint-Germain, Sevilla, Valencia, Spartak Moscow and Almeria.

He also boasts of remarkable achievements in his managerial career so far – he won four UEFA Europa League titles with Villarreal and Sevilla combined, the Ligue 1, Coupe de France amongst others.

The 50-year-old manager is now tasked with the difficult task of overturning Aston Villa’s poor run this season – The Villans have lost six of their 12 league matches, with only three wins and three draws.

He will resume duty on November 1 after his work permit formalities are completed.

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Arsenal, Chelsea & Tottenham monitoring Liverpool Keita contract situation

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A number of Liverpool’s Premier League rivals are keeping close tabs on Naby Keita’s contract talks as they entertain the idea of taking him on a free transfer at the end of the season, 90min understands.

The midfielder has not actually played this season due to a series of niggling injuries, which has been a huge frustration for Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp given the Guinean’s form last season and their other medical woes.


Keita was outstanding for the Reds last term, especially towards the end of the season with many tipping him to start the Champions League final against Real Madrid. However, Jordan Henderson and Thiago were picked ahead of him.

During the summer, Keita’s agents made a concerted push for Liverpool to tie him down to a new deal before the transfer window closed, but when it became clear this wasn’t going to happen, it was made known that he wasn’t happy with the situation.

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The situation remains deadlocked, and Keita’s camp know that interest in his services is strong both from within the Premier League and abroad despite his injury record.

The chance to land Keita on a free is hugely appealing and 90min understands that Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham are among those contemplating an offer.

Chelsea could consider moving on from the likes of N’Golo Kante and Jorginho while Denis Zakaria does not have a long-term future at the club, and the chance to bolster their ranks with a free agent is believed to appeal to the Blues.

Arsenal and Tottenham could also both do with Keita as he would add some real depth to both their thin squads.

There is also major interest in Keita from Germany, Italy, Spain and France should he decide to leave the Premier League, and he would be able to negotiate a free transfer abroad from January.

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Arsenal never let it go beyond a draw against Southampton.

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An improved second-half performance helped Southampton hold Premier League leaders Arsenal to a draw at St. Mary’s on Sunday afternoon.

Granit Xhaka finished well from Ben White’s cross to put the Gunners ahead early on, but the Saints gained some momentum in the second half before Stuart Armstrong brought them level by finishing off a quick counter attack.

Arsenal were quickly into their work in the opening ten minutes as Xhaka and Martin Odegaard went close and their period of dominance was rewarded when Xhaka thumped in White’s cross inside the penalty area.

The Gunners benefitted from a lacklustre Saints start, the home side failing to find any rhythm and gifting opportunities to the visitors. A James Ward-Prowse pass was easily gathered by Thomas Partey and Odegaard then fed Gabriel Jesus, who tussled and got away from Mohammed Salisu before firing into the side netting.

Southampton won a succession of corners but failed to test Aaron Ramsdale, with Jesus going closest when his first-time shot was beaten away by Gavin Bazunu.

Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side had looked pretty toothless in front of goal, the lack of threat being summed up at the start of the second half when Adam Armstrong was gifted the ball in the final third by Gabriel but was hesitant in possession and ended up gifting the ball back to Arsenal.

A few crosses from Stuart Armstrong and Romain Perraud caused hesitation in the Arsenal defence, but Jesus came closest to scoring next only to be denied by a brilliant recovering challenge from Mohamed Elyounoussi, stopping the Brazilian before he could get a firm shot away.

Southampton were more assertive as they game wore on and punished Arsenal for their lack of cutting edge when they drew level. Elyounoussi drove infield and fed Stuart Armstrong, who placed his shot into the far corner beyond Aaron Ramsdale to make it 1-1.

While the hosts pushed forward in an attempt to win all three points, Arsenal were relatively untroubled at the back and were instead left to rue some missed opportunities as their lead over Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table shrunk to two points.

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Southampton vs Arsenal player ratings – Premier League
1. Southampton (4-4-2)
GK: Gavin Bazunu – 7/10 – Had to keep out one Xhaka shot but was powerless to prevent another from hitting the roof of his net. Steady throughout.

RB: Lyanco – 7/10 – Made his first league start of the season. Had Southampton’s first shot on target with an ambitious drive. Was on the front foot in defence.

CB: Duje Caleta-Car – 6/10 – Had a few nibbles at Jesus and Saka which could have ended worse.

CB: Mohammed Salisu – 5/10 – Looked worried whenever Jesus drove forward at the Southampton defence.

LB: Romain Perraud – 6/10 – Rampaged up and down the left hand side, putting in a few dangerous deliveries.

RM: Mohamed Elyounoussi – 8/10 – Remarkable sprint back and tackle denied Jesus with the goal at his mercy. Set up the equaliser with a great run and pass to Armstrong.

CM: James Ward-Prowse – 6/10 – Some sloppy passes handed Arsenal the initiative.

CM: Ibrahima Diallo – 6/10 – A little overwhelmed during the early stages but improved and made a lot of ball recoveries.

LM: Stuart Armstrong – 7/10 – Put a few dangerous crosses into the box before equalising with a well placed effort.

ST: Joe Aribo – 5/10 – Couldn’t hold the ball up when Southampton needed respite from Arsenal pressure.

ST: Adam Armstrong – 6/10 – Got through a lot of defensive work, nicking possession back with some good tackles, but didn’t pose much of a threat to Arsenal’s back line.

SUB: Che Adams (73′ for Aribo) – 6/10

SUB: Theo Walcott (73′ for Adam Armstrong) – 6/10

SUB: Samuel Edozie (80′ for Stuart Armstrong) – 6/10

Manager: Ralph Hasenhuttl – 6/10 – Set his side out in the wrong formation early in the game, handing Arsenal the platform to play. Changes helped Southampton later on to nick a point.

2. Arsenal (4-2-3-1)
GK: Aaron Ramsdale – 6/10 – Didn’t have a proper save to make in the first half before being beaten by Armstrong.

RB: Ben White – 7/10 – Charged forward and delivered a good cross for Xhaka to convert.

CB: William Saliba – 7/10 – Distributed possession well and rarely looked troubled by Southampton’s runners.

CB: Gabriel – 6/10 – A few sloppy moments in possession but they went unpunished.

LB: Takehiro Tomiyasu – 6/10 – A little sluggish in closing down Elyounoussi before the equaliser. Nice and solid otherwise.

CM: Thomas Partey – 6/10 – A couple of interceptions got Arsenal on the front foot in attack.

CM: Granit Xhaka – 7/10 – Tested Bazunu with a fierce drive before arriving in the box to thwack in White’s cross.

RM: Bukayo Saka – 6/10 – Nice interplay with White before Xhaka’s strike. Booked for a dive and not as big a threat as he has been in recent weeks.

AM: Martin Odegaard – 6/10 – Played some nice passes into Jesus and prevented one Saints counter-attack when Arsenal had no players back.

LM: Gabriel Martinelli – 6/10 – Made a few dangerous runs to the byline and into Southampton’s box.

ST: Gabriel Jesus – 6/10 – First sight of goal showed his twinkling dribbling before hitting the side netting. Drove at the Southampton defence but end product was lacking.

SUB: Eddie Nketiah (71′ for Martinelli) – 6/10

SUB: Kieran Tierney (71′ for White) – 6/10

SUB: Fabio Vieira (83′ for Odegaard) – N/A

Manager: Mikel Arteta – 6/10 – His side had the initiative in the early moments but didn’t show the killer instinct to win the game. Arteta responded with changes after the equaliser but their momentum had gone by then.

Player of the match – Mohamed Elyounoussi

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Arsenal defeat PSV – heads for Europa League knockout stage.

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Arsenal secured their spot in the Europa League knockout stage with two games to spare after beating PSV Eindhoven 1-0 at the Emirates Stadium on Thursday.

After struggling to make their dominance count for much of the encounter, midfielder Granit Xhaka smashed a first-time shot home in the 71st minute to make it four wins from four games for Mikel Arteta’s side.

Arsenal are now guaranteed to finish in the top two of Group A and are five points clear of second-place PSV ahead of the return fixture in Eindhoven in a week’s time.

A draw in that match will be enough for Arsenal to clinch the top spot in the group and go straight into the competition’s last 16.

Teams that finish second in their group will face a playoff against a side that drops out of the Champions League.

Thursday’s match had been originally scheduled for Sept. 15 but was postponed due to a lack of available police in London during a period of national mourning following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

But the delay did nothing to halt the momentum of Arsenal that have made a sensational start to the season to top the English Premier League table.

Arsenal were in the ascendancy for much of the first half, though they failed to seriously trouble the PSV goal. Gabriel Jesus, looking for his first Europa League goal, was lively but dragged an effort wide from 20 yards and then just failed to get his head on the end of a Gabriel flick-on from a corner.

Jesus was again heavily involved at the start of the second half, first creating a half-chance for himself before teeing up Bukayo Saka for the clearest opening yet for the hosts.

Jesus sent Saka clean through on goal with an inch-perfect through ball, but the England winger’s tame effort was denied by the feet of PSV goalkeeper Walter Benitez.

But the momentum was only heading one way, and it was no surprise when an Arsenal goal finally arrived with 19 minutes remaining. Takehiro Tomiyasu delivered the assist with a chipped cut back from the right, and Xhaka, evidently full of confidence, swept the ball in on his weaker right foot.

Even after falling behind, PSV, managed by former great Arsenal rival and Manchester United striker Ruud van Nistelrooy, failed to seriously test United States goalkeeper Matt Turner in the Arsenal goal.

(Reuters/NAN)

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Wolfsburg striker Jonas Wind joining Arsenal.

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Wolfsburg forward Jonas Wind has revealed his desire to move to Arsenal in the future as he responded to speculation linking him with a transfer to the Premier League over the summer.

The Danish international made the move to Germany in January after netting 46 goals in 114 games for FC Copenhagen.

Rewarded with a national team call-up, Wind has made 15 appearances for his country and scored five goals in the process as they secured qualification to the World Cup in Qatar.

And, after reports linking the Gunners with a move for the Wolfsburg forward over the summer, Wind admits it would be a dream to one day turn out in Arsenal colours.

“If we look into the future, Arsenal would be a dream destination for me, as it has always been my favourite club,” he told Bulinews.com. “In general, I think the Premier League is the best league in the world, and it would be exciting to play there.

“But as I said, that’s not what I’m focusing on at the moment. I’m doing well here in Wolfsburg, it’s a good club for me, and the Bundesliga is a great league to play in.”

Meanwhile, another reported Arsenal target, Mykhaylo Mudryk, has confessed he “can’t say no” if the chance arises to join the Gunners.

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The 21-year-old has made a big impression for Shakhtar Donetsk, laying on 10 assists and two goals for the Ukrainian outfit last term.

Speaking to CBS Sports, the winger admitted: “I do dream [of the Premier League]. I think every guy dreams about the Premier League.

“Arsenal is a very good team with a very good coach. I like the way they play. Yes it would be hard to say no from my side, I can’t say no but the transfer is not only my decision and my word.”

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Mykhaylo Mudryk admits he ‘can’t say no’ to Gunners.

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Shakhtar Donetsk winger Mykhaylo Mudryk has confessed he “can’t say no” if he gets the chance to join Arsenal, who are interested in signing him.

After impressing with 10 assists and two goals for Shakhtarlast season, Mudryk was linked with a move to North London towards the end of this summer’s transfer window.

Such a move never went through, but Arsenal are reported to still be interested and could make an approach for the winger in January.

Speaking to CBS Sports, the 21-year-old, who has been dubbed ‘the Ukrainian Neymar’, admitted he wouldn’t be able to turn down the chance to join the English side, but is remaining focused on his current club until January comes around.

“I do dream (of the Premier League). I think every guy dreams about the Premier League,” he said.

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“Arsenal is a very good team with a very good coach. I like the way they play. Yes it would be hard to say no from my side, I can’t say no but the transfer is not only my decision and my word.

“In winter we will see. There was a lot of discussion about the transfer and the collapse (of the deal) and who wants me but it’s normal now. I’m in Shakhtar and I want to play in this team.

“I love this team and I love every guy in this team. Shakhtar for me it is now my home but for me it is very important that all my thoughts are about Shakhtar but in the winter (window) we will see.”

As for his nickname, he’d rather be compared to Croatian midfielder Luka Modric.

“It’s not Ukrainian Neymar, it’s the Ukrainian Modric – this sounds better. Modric is a top player and one of the best players of all time,” he added

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Mikel Arteta anticipates Arsenal’s Europa return.

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Mikel Arteta has admitted that he’s looking forward to competing with Arsenal in this season’s Europa League.

The Gunners missed out on European football last season for the first time since 1995/96, shortly before Arsene Wenger took charge.

Arsenal became regular fixtures in the Champions League under Wenger, qualifying for the competition for 19 consecutive seasons, before they dropped down into the Europa League for the 2017/18 campaign.

Three seasons of European football at that level followed before Arsenal missed out on European qualification altogether – Arteta leading the club to an eighth-place Premier League finish in his first season in charge.

But after coming fifth last season, Arteta’s Arsenal are now back in the Europa League, and the Spaniard admitted to the club’s official website that he’s looking forward to their group games against PSV Eindhoven, Bodo/Glimt and FC Zurich

“We missed it last year so much: those nights at the Emirates, the atmosphere, playing against European teams. The preparation is very different, and it’s great,” Arteta said.

“We have to maintain the level of performance we are at right now and the demand will be to do it every three days, which is what you are hoping for when you are at this club,” he added about the need for squad rotation.

“Rotation depends on the level of the opposition, the state of our squad and where everybody is. Let’s take it game by game, see how the fitness of the team is and we’ll make the best possible decisions.

“Does rotation mean we rotate two players, three or 10? You have to weigh up the amount of minutes they have spent together [on the pitch] and find a strategy to get the best out of the team and get the right balance without dropping the level of performance. You need to win today and play a team who is going to get you there.”

Arsenal currently top the Premier League table after winning their first four games, the last of which was a 2-1 comeback win over Fulham at the Emirates Stadium

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Mikel Arteta discusses details of ‘really demanding’ Amazon docuseries.

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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has revealed Amazon docuseries ‘All or Nothing’ filming was ‘really demanding’ and has admitted he hasn’t watched the footage yet.

The docuseries is due to be released on 4 August and will document the Gunners’ 2021/22 campaign – during which Arteta’s side narrowly missed out on UEFA Champions League football.

Speaking to the press during the club’s pre-season tour of North America, Arteta opened up about his experiences being filmed ’24/7′ (via ESPN).

He said: “Honestly, it was challenging but as well I think it was an incredible experience personally, for the club and everybody can see the reality without any boundaries about how it works on a daily basis at the club.

“On a personal level obviously it was really demanding because you are on camera for 24/7.

“You tend to forget about it. So when they talk about Big Brother houses and people can do certain things, it is true because I have experience that you forget about the cameras.

“Probably in the documentary you will see, that I don’t think that now unfortunately. Now probably if we are going to have a camera there, I would not do it. But they are done.”

When asked about his thoughts on the docuseries and whether or not any footage was cut out, Arteta replied: “I haven’t seen anything. I think I’m the only person at a senior level that hasn’t seen it.”

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Bellerin, in order to secure perm move to Real Betis at edge of giving up rest of his salary.

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Arsenal defender Hector Bellerin is supposedly ready to give up the rest of his salary in order to seal a permanent move to Real Betis this summer.

The 27-year-old has been on the books in North London since 2011 after leaving Barcelona’s youth academy, and he became Arsene Wenger’s first-choice right-back from a young age.

However, Bellerin soon fell out of favour under Mikel Arteta due to injury woes and dipped form, which led him to return to his homeland with Real Betis for the 2021-22 season.

Bellerin managed five assists in 32 games for Manuel Pellegrini’s side in all competitions last season, helping the Verdiblancos finish fifth and qualify for the group stage of the Europa League.

The Spaniard’s move to Betis was a straight loan with no option or obligation to buy, and as things stand he is due to be a part of Arteta’s squad for pre-season

Bellerin only has 12 months left to run on his deal in North London, and he is supposedly willing to take drastic measures to end his 11-year spell at the Emirates Stadium.

According to The Mirror, Bellerin is willing to forgo the entirety of his £100k-a-week salary for next season in order to leave, which would see him miss out on a total of £5.7m.

However, Arsenal are said to be holding out for a fee for the right-back – who was a teammate of Arteta’s before his compatriot’s retirement in 2016 – and have no intention of ripping up his deal.

The Gunners reportedly want £8.5m to sanction Bellerin’s exit and are determined to avoid another high-profile contract termination, which has seen numerous players walk out of the door for nothing in recent memory.

Mesut Ozil, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Sead Kolasinac and Sokratis are among those who have left the Gunners for nothing after being frozen out of the squad and cancelling their contracts early.

Since coming through the club’s youth academy, Bellerin has scored nine goals and provided 29 assists in 239 games for Arsenal in all competitions under three different managers.

The Spain international has won three FA Cups and three Community Shield crowns in North London, and he also became Copa del Rey champion with Betis last term.

Arsenal currently have Takehiro Tomiyasu and Cedric Soares battling it out for the right-back spot, while Brooke Norton-Cuffy could be given the chance to prove himself in pre-season.

William Saliba’s return from Marseille will also help to bolster Arsenal’s backline, and a move for Ajax centre-back Lisandro Martinez has also been mooted in recent days.

On the opposite side of the defence, Nuno Tavares has allegedly emerged as a transfer target for Atalanta BC, who will need to pay in excess of £30m to sign the 22-year-old.

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Mikel Arteta admits he is at fault over Arsenal’s slump

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Mikel Arteta has refused to blame the Arsenal players for the team’s recent underwhelming form, instead insisting he must take most of the responsibility.

The Gunners look set to miss out on Champions League football after consecutive defeats to Tottenham and Newcastle have left them two points behind the former with just one game left to play – Spurs need to lose to bottom-side Norwich to give Arsenal a chance.

After the loss to Newcastle, midfielder Granit Xhaka did not hold back in his scathing assessment of the squad, blasting their weak mentality and urging some of the team to ‘stay at home’ if they aren’t feeling up for the fight.

Unsurprisingly, Arteta refused to follow suit and instead urged critics to focus on him.

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“I am the maximum responsible [person] all the time,” he said.

“If somebody has created an expectation this year that no one in this room probably would talk about at the start of this season, it’s those players that are there.”

The defeat leaves Arsenal needing a massive favour from Norwich, who must beat Spurs to give the Gunners any hope of returning to the top four. Spurs’ +15 advantage when it comes to goal difference means, should they draw against Norwich, then Arsenal would need to beat Everton by 16 goals to move ahead.

“We need to win and we need a defeat from them, and we know that in football, that’s always possible, and if anything happens, you have to be there in order to do that,” Arteta said of his side’s top four hopes.

“Today, you have to put your head down, swallow all the disappointment that we all feel, hopefully, and tomorrow start again.”

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UCL: Mikel Arteta tags Tottenham clash as “most defining moment”

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Mikel Arteta has labelled Arsenal’s north London derby against Tottenham on Thursday as the “defining moment” of their season as they chase a return to the Champions League.

Eddie Nketiah’s double sealed a 2-1 victory over struggling Leeds on Sunday to leave Arsenal on the brink of ending their five-year exile from top-tier European football.

Fourth placed Arsenal sit four points clear of fifth placed Tottenham with three games left for both teams.

A victory in the crunch clash at Tottenham would be enough to book a Champions League berth for the first time since 2017 and Gunners boss Arteta is relishing the opportunity.

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“We are going to go for that match with the same enthusiasm that we always do but knowing that this can be a defining moment,” Arteta said.

“It can be another layer of motivation for us to really go for it. I can’t wait for the game.

“We have earned the right to play that game in that context. We started the season with nine or 10 players out and playing the best two teams in Europe.”

While Arsenal are looking optimistically towards a memorable end to the season, third bottom Leeds have slumped into the relegation zone after a second successive defeat.

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Leeds, below fourth bottom Burnley on goal difference, host Chelsea on Wednesday before ending the season with games against Brighton and Brentford.

Jesse Marsch insisted his team will do everything in their power to avoid slipping back into the Championship after two seasons in the top tier.

“I think we had a really bad start and dug a hole for ourselves which we didn’t need to,” he said.

“Obviously we are in a difficult situation. We have to regroup and figure out what we can do.

“Our backs are against the wall. We are in the relegation zone but we have to fight for our lives.”

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Mikel Arteta breaks silence after signing new deal with Arsenal.

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Mikel Arteta wants to take Arsenal to the “next level” after signing a new three-year contract that will keep him at the Premier League club until 2025.

The 40-year-old, who took charge in 2019 following the dismissal of Unai Emery, is close to leading Arsenal back into the Champions League after a five-year absence.

The Gunners are fourth in the Premier League table, two points clear of north London rivals Tottenham with just four games to go.

“We want to take the club to the next level and to compete really with the top teams. In order to do that, we have to be playing in the Champions League,” Arteta said in a club statement.

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“We have to be able to evolve the team, improve our players, improve all departments, generate even more connection with our fans, improve the atmosphere at the Emirates, be able to recruit top, top talent and the best people for this club to drive this project to that level.”

Arteta, who won the FA Cup during his first year in charge at the Emirates, has steered Arsenal back towards the top of the table after their worst start to a season for decades.

The Spaniard was facing calls for his sacking back in September but he has been rewarded for keeping faith with his young players as well as cutting ties with club captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who moved to Barcelona in January.

Arsenal have enjoyed impressive recent wins over Manchester United and Chelsea to take control of fourth place but face a potentially decisive derby against Spurs next week.

Arteta, whose team host struggling Leeds on Sunday, revealed at his pre-match press conference that he was offered the new contract after Arsenal suffered successive defeats against Crystal Palace, Brighton, and Southampton last month.

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The former Gunners midfielder took that as a sign of how committed the club were to him.

“The club offered me the contract when we lost three matches,” he said. “That doesn’t happen in football.

“That’s a part of what they think, the conversations that I had, the belief that they have in myself, the coaching staff, in what we are doing, and the people that we have now owning this football club and leading this football club.”

Arteta hopes the new deal will prove a boost to his squad as they battle to return to the Champions League.

“They thought the best moment was to do it right now, to give a final push to the team, to give some clarity about what we have to do in the summer, in the future,” he said.

Arsenal women’s manager, Jonas Eidevall, whose side are challenging for the Women’s Super League title, has signed a new deal taking him to the end of the 2023/24 season

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In-form Arsenal lashes West Ham; maintains 2 points lead ahead Spurs.

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Arsenal maintained their two-point lead over Tottenham in the battle to qualify for next season’s Champions League.

They were 2-1 winners at West Ham to move back above Spurs, who earlier beat Leicester 3-1 thanks to a Son Heung-min double.

Arsenal’s centre-backs got the job done to keep the Gunners on course to end a five-year absence from the Champions League.

Rob Holding’s header from Bukayo Saka’s corner put the visitors in front at the London Stadium.

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West Ham had one eye on the second leg of their Europa League semi-final against Eintracht Frankfurt in midweek, but David Moyes named a strong side and was rewarded with an equaliser before half-time from Jarrod Bowen.

The Hammers’ strength from set-pieces has been one of the successes of their season.

But they were undone at the back from another corner as this time Gabriel Magalhaes turned in Gabriel Martinelli’s cross.

Tottenham took full advantage of Leicester naming a much-changed side ahead of their Europa Conference League second leg against Roma.

Harry Kane powered home a header from Son’s corner midway through the first half and Son doubled the lead on the hour mark after a pass from substitute Dejan Kulusevski.

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Son scored a third in the 79th minute to kill the game, curling an unstoppable effort into the top corner for his 19th Premier League goal of the season before a late consolation for Kelechi Iheanacho.

“No-one could have imagined when I arrived in November we could be in this race still, but these players are deserving to fight for such an important place,” Conte told the BBC.

“It is not easy to qualify for the Champions League in England.”

The battle for fourth could come down to a north London derby between Tottenham and Arsenal on May 12.

But Mikel Arteta’s men will hope to extend their lead to five points next weekend when they host relegation-threatened Leeds, while Spurs face a daunting trip to title-chasing Liverpool

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Mikel Arteta backs Arsenal youngsters to cope with top-four pressure.

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Mikel Arteta is confident that Arsenal’s crop of young stars can cope with the mounting pressure as they seek to seal a place in next season’s Champions League.

Arteta’s side are fourth in the Premier League with five games left as they fight to return to Europe’s elite club competition for the first time since 2016/17.

The Gunners, two points clear of fifth-placed Tottenham, have climbed into the top four thanks to a set of gifted players developed by Arteta including Emile Smith Rowe, Bukayo Saka, Eddie Nketiah and Nuno Tavares.

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Now they must prove they can perform when the pressure mounts, starting on Sunday at London rivals West Ham.

“For most of them it is (their first experience) but it’s been like this for the last two or three months where everyone is talking about it,” Arteta told reporters on Friday.

“They can feel the importance of every match but this is what we want in April and May, for things to play for.”

Arteta has steered Arsenal back towards the top of the table after their worst start to a season for decades.

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The Spaniard was facing calls for his sacking back in September, but he has been rewarded for keeping faith with the youngsters, as well as cutting ties with club captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who made a January move to Barcelona.

“We have very different players in the squad and we have a very different environment,” Arteta said when asked to explain how he turned the tide.

“I think the unity that exists right now between the team, the staff, our supporters and externally is completely different and is very beneficial for the team.”

Arsenal have enjoyed impressive recent wins over Manchester United and Chelsea to take control of fourth place but with a potentially decisive north London derby looming against Tottenham in May, Arteta knows the top-four battle is likely to go down to the wire.

“There will still be some twists and turns, we all have difficult matches to play,” he said.

“We had two really good results that put us in a really good position. But it is about doing it again at West Ham.”

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Brazilian head coach rubbishes ‘lies’ about rumoured Arsenal move

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Brazil head coach Tite has strongly dismissed rumours he is in talks to replace Mikel Arteta as Arsenal manager after the 2022 World Cup.

Brazilian media ran with a story last week suggesting that the Gunners had already opened negotiations about replacing Arteta for the 2022/23 Premier League season – ignoring the fact that Arsenal are in the best position they have been in for a long time right now.

The idea of Arsenal replacing Arteta with Tite always seemed pretty nonsensical, and now the Brazil boss has confirmed that there is nothing to this story.



“I am sad because an information is broadcasted to the public and it’s a lie,” he said.

“The information is a lie. And the people that I represent, that feel identified with me, rest assured that Tite has personal moral conduct and values his professional conduct. I know the responsibility that bears at Brazil’s national team.

“Sorry, Arsenal. Sorry, Arteta. This is not true, it didn’t come from us. There’s absolutely nothing.”

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Back in the real world, Arsenal are loving life under Arteta, who has navigated a bumpy start to life at the Emirates and now has the Gunners as odds-on favourites to return to the Champions League next season.

Arteta’s young core have risen to fourth in the Premier League standings, three points ahead of Manchester United having played one game fewer, and those in charge at the club are fully supportive of the Spaniard.

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Emile Smith Rowe expected to miss England friendly against Switzerland.

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Arsenal star Emile Smith Rowe is expected to miss England’s friendly with Switzerland at the weekend after missing training on Thursday.

Smith Rowe has been one of Arsenal’s best players this season and has been rewarded by his inclusions in Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions squad, making his international debut against Albania back in the November break before then scoring his maiden goal in San Marino.

While still at the start of his fledgling England career, it appears Smith Rowe will have to wait a little longer for his third international cap due to a minor injury.



Speaking in a press conference on Friday, manager Southgate said: “Emile didn’t train today, so I would think unlikely he’ll be involved tomorrow. Nothing too serious but we’ll check to see whether he can be involved.”

Southgate also provided updates from elsewhere in the squad, revealing Raheem Sterling is fit as well as his disappointment at Bukayo Saka’s withdrawal from the squad due to Covid-19.

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He added: “Raheem is absolutely fine. It was a shame to lose Bukayo but we’re back in those moments with Covid where there is a spike in the country and we’ve had the same.”

Saka issued an update of his own on Instagram, posting: “I am gutted to withdraw from England camp but I have tested positive for Covid-19 and I will be isolating until I am negative. I’ll be supporting the boys from home this weekend and I can’t wait to be being back doing what I love soon.”

England’s preparations for this month’s friendlies have been hit by a raft of withdrawals due to injury. Aaron Ramsdale, Sam Johnstone, Reece James, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Tammy Abraham all had to drop out from the original squad due to fitness issues. Kyle Walker-Peters, Tyrick Mitchell, Ollie Watkins and Fraser Forster were all called up as replacements

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Arsenal to discuss new Bukayo Saka contract.

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Arsenal have held exploratory talks with the agent of Bukayo Saka over the prospect of extending his contract.

Saka inked a new deal in the summer of 2020 after an intriguing breakout season at the Emirates, but his career has skyrocketed since then and the 20-year-old has quietly emerged as one of the top wide men in the Premier League.

With nine goals and five assists to his name this season, Saka has found himself speculatively linked with a transfer to Liverpool.

Nevertheless, The Athletic note that Arsenal are well aware that they need to keep Saka happy and appreciate that he is worth more than his current contract, which is set to run until 2024.



As a result, informal talks have been held between Arsenal and Saka’s agent to discuss the possibility of an extension, with an official offer expected to be tabled in the near future.

Arsenal are hopeful that their commitment to Saka, on top of his longstanding relationship with the club, will help them get a deal over the line, but there is an acceptance that financial factors and the offer of Champions League football could be key.

Saka is the team’s top scorer with nine goals and is also second on the assist charts, having played an immense role in dragging Mikel Arteta’s side back up the Premier League table after a disappointing start to the campaign.

The Gunners have made it back to the top four, sitting three points ahead of closest rivals Tottenham Hotspur having played one game fewer.

Arteta’s men also have a favourable fixture list between now and the end of the season, although late April will bring an immense triple-header in which Arsenal must navigate Chelsea, Manchester United and West Ham if they are to keep their European hopes on track.

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Arsenal at the edge of UCL return after Bukayo Saka “put one away”

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Arsenal took another big step towards ending a five-year exile from the Champions League as Bukayo Saka’s strike beat Aston Villa 1-0 to open up a four-point lead in fourth in the Premier League.

The Gunners could even increase that gap with a game in hand over fifth-placed Manchester United and were well worthy of the three points against a toothless Villa despite the narrow scoreline.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta had complained about the tight turnaround his side faced after Wednesday’s 2-0 home defeat to Liverpool.

That defeat ended a five-game winning run and there was no sign of tiredness from the visitors in the early stages.



Emile Smith Rowe returned to the starting line-up as one of two changes as Gabriel Martinelli and Aaron Ramsdale missed out through illness and injury respectively.

Smith Rowe had the first chance inside the three minutes when he fired over from Martin Odegaard’s pass.

Odegaard and Thomas Partey were dominating the midfield and a nice move between the two deserved a better finish from the Ghanian as he fired straight at Emiliano Martinez.

The former Arsenal goalkeeper then denied his former club the opening goal with a stunning save low to his left to prevent Ezri Konsa turning into his own net from Saka’s dangerous cross.

Saka was a constant threat and fittingly got the only goal on 30 minutes when Villa failed to clear a free-kick and he fired low past Martinez from the edge of the area.

Arsenal players surrounded referee Andy Madley moments later begging for a red card after Tyrone Mings caught Saka, but the England international got away with just a booking.

Villa improved after the break but lacked the creativity to break Arsenal down as Philippe Coutinho failed to hit the heights of his best form since joining on loan from Barcelona.

John McGinn curled a shot just wide and Ollie Watkins’ deflected effort came back off the outside of the post with Villa’s best chances to snatch an equaliser.

Ramsdale’s absence meant Bernd Leno was making his first Premier League appearance since August.

The German was not forced into a save until the final kick of the game when he parried Coutinho’s free-kick to safety and was mobbed by his teammates at full-time as Arsenal celebrated a big three points in their quest to get back to European football’s elite competition.

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Mikel Arteta wants Eden Hazard.

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Arsenal have made ‘contact’ with Real Madrid over a sensational move for Eden Hazard.

Hazard have endured a nightmare three years since arriving at Santiago Bernabeu for an astronomical fee, with injuries and poor performances restricting his influence.

His poor fortune has continued this season with the Belgian managing just one assist in just under 700 minutes of La Liga football.

According to Foot Mercato, Arsenal could be ready to offer Hazard a fresh start. They report that the Gunners have made ‘first contact’ over a potential deal with Mikel Arteta said to be personally keen on the signing.



Hazard would likely have to take a sizeable wage-cut to move to north London and his arrival would not seem to fit in with Arsenal’s recent recruitment policy. In recent seasons the Gunners have tended to sign younger players to develop. A high-earning 31-year-old would seems out of step with technical director Edu’s preferences.

Hazard has also been linked with newly-monied Newcastle United in the past and it remains to be seen whether the Magpies would go in for him again.

The forward has been tenuously touted for a Chelsea return, though the club’s current ownership situation makes this impossible at this time.

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Bukayo Saka’s Euro 2020 final penalty miss was ‘great’ for his career: Arteta.

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Mikel Arteta has hailed Bukayo Saka’s ability to rebound from his penalty miss in the Euro 2020 final, claiming the event was a huge turning point for his career.

Saka missed the decisive penalty in England’s shoot-out defeat to Italy last summer, after which he was hounded by some horrible racist abuse on social media.


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In response to that abuse, many fans spoke out in support of Saka and fellow targets Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford, standing alongside the trio and backing them to remain top players for years to come.

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In Saka’s case, he has elevated his game to new levels this season, blossoming into a genuine Premier League star, and after watching him play a key role in Arsenal’s 3-2 victory over Watford on Sunday, Arteta claimed the penalty miss may have actually been a good thing.

“I think Bukayo had an experience in the summer that not a lot of players would ever have and I think it was great for his career because the football world showed how much they like him and how much they respect him,” Arteta said.

“I think that was a big boost for him to realise in difficult moments that people are going to give him support, and the club did exactly the same as his teammates.

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“Then it’s about giving him that space. What he is already doing is phenomenal and he needs that room. Don’t read too much, do what you do.

“Football is his priority in life and you can see that every day in training and he needs to continue to behave and live the way that he is doing.”

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When asked directly if he thinks Saka is better for the experience, Arteta said: “I think so.

“I think experiences like that mark your career. And what you learn from those difficult moments is much more probably than if you had scored that goal.”

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