Granit Xhaka and Unai Emery losing fans fast at Arsenal

Arsenal manager Unai Emery admitted that his captain Granit Xhaka was wrong to storm off the Emirates Stadium pitch while removing his shirt and gesturing toward the jeering crowd during Sunday’s 2-2 draw against Crystal Palace.

Xhaka cupped his ear as he left the pitch before walking straight down the tunnel and his manager said that it was the wrong reaction toward the home side’s supporters.

“He was wrong, he was wrong,” Emery said in his press conference. “But I think now [we] stay calm and also speak with him, speak inside around that. His reaction was wrong. We are here because we have supporters. In football we are the workers inside [the pitch] but we play for them. We need to have respect for them when they are applauding us and also when they are criticising us.”

Emery declined to comment on Xhaka’s future status as Arsenal captain, a role the Swiss midfielder was given on a permanent basis just last month, beyond saying: “First I want to speak with him and speak with the club, and we want to stay calm.”

Arsenal appeared to be set for a comfortable win when goals from Sokratis Papastathopoulos and David Luiz gave them a 2-0 lead inside the opening 10 minutes, but Palace hit back through Luka Milivojevic’s penalty and Jordan Ayew.

The Milivojevic spot kick was awarded via VAR after Wilfried Zaha was initially booked for diving by referee Martin Atkinson and Arsenal were further incensed by a technology-adjusted decision late in the game when what appeared to be Sokratis’s second goal was ruled out for an apparent foul by Calum Chambers.

“But our goal, the third goal, he is not fouled,” Emery said. “That is not a foul. Who is the person who checked that? If the referee watched that action on the TV, I am sure he would not decide that it was a foul.”

Emery went on to suggest that the incident should have been looked at by Atkinson on the pitchside monitor, adding that he believes the system will reduce officiating errors in time when it is used correctly.

“When the referees use [VAR] in the right way, I think it’s going to be amazing because it will reduce the referees’ mistakes,” Emersy said. “This evening, maybe this week, they are starting to check more because they are thinking they need to check more actions because a lot of difficult decisions for the referee are coming, and they want to take more time to check that.”

Source: ESPNFC

Klopp ‘didn’t like the menu’ at United says Mourinho

Jose Mourinho goaded Jurgen Klopp after Liverpool’s 1-1 draw with Manchester United by saying the German manager “did not like the menu” at Old Trafford.

Liverpool needed a late equaliser to salvage a point against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side and afterward Mourinho was quick to remind Klopp that he has failed to win at United in five attempts as his team dropped points for the first time this season.

“He didn’t like the menu,” Mourinho told Sky Sports. “He likes meat and he got fish. United, with the limitations they have at the moment, they played with five at the back, were solid and didn’t give the chance of transition. Jurgen Klopp didn’t like the menu.

“They [Liverpool] missed quality to play against a team with a low block. They have a fantastic record of so many victories. But they have limitations against teams with low blocks. They can smash opponents that play the way they want to play against.

“Jurgen clearly has frustrations. It’s a fantastic situation for his team. But at Old Trafford — which is a special place to win — he [Klopp] never did it.”

Klopp admitted after the match that he was indeed left frustrated at what he believed was a foul on Divock Origi in the build-up to Marcus Rashford’s first-half opener. Liverpool would have gone in at half-time level had VAR not chalked off a Sadio Mane goal before Adam Lallana came off the bench to score an equaliser five minutes from time.

“We were good enough for a point,” said Klopp. “The first goal I think everyone can agree it was a foul, but with VAR it is not a clear foul. That is the situation. We didn’t lose but it was an obvious foul.

“Then we got a disallowed goal. I didn’t see it back but it was probably handball but everything just seemed to go against us.”

Klopp also seemed to disagree with Mourinho’s assessment that his team don’t play well against defences that sit back and accused Man United of always playing that way in his experience in the Premier League.

“We always play against the wall. We need to do better but it is how it is,” Klopp added. “We play very often against a team like this. Maybe we can do better. One point is completely fine. We carry on.”

Klopp’s annoyance focused on Victor Lindelof’s challenge on Origi before Dan James raced away to cross for Rashford to score on 36 minutes. The goal was checked by VAR after referee Martin Atkinson had allowed the game to continue and Solskjaer insisted the right outcome had been reached.

“No chance [that it was a foul], we’re not playing basketball,” said the United boss. “He touched him, but it’s not a clear and obvious error.”

Source: ESPNFC

Koeman has clause allowing him to join Barcelona in Netherlands contract – KNVB

Netherlands boss Ronald Koeman has a clause in his contract which would allow him to leave if Barcelona came in for him, a KNVB director said.

Koeman, whose goal won Barca their first-ever European Cup in 1992, has enhanced his reputation as a manager since taking over the Dutch national side.

He led them to the UEFA Nations League final, following successive major tournaments for which they failed to qualify before he arrived, and his team’s impressive performance has led to strong links he could return to Camp Nou as manager.

“I hope that we can work together for a very long time, because I think it is going very well,” Nico-Jan Hoogma told FOX Sports NL. “But Ronald has long indicated that he wants to be a Barcelona coach someday.

“Let’s see what will happen. Success at Oranje will certainly help him, just like everyone else helps us. But again: I hope the trajectory continues up to and including the World Cup in Qatar.”

Asked whether there was a specific Barcelona clause, Hoogma added: “Agreements have been made about that. They have to pay for that.”

Koeman was named Netherlands boss in February 2018 following the failure to qualify for that summer’s World Cup, and his contract will take him up to Qatar 2022.

Barca boss Ernesto Valverde came under pressure over the summer after giving up a three-goal first leg lead to crash out of the Champions League for a second successive season before suffering defeat to Valencia in the Copa del Rey final.

Koeman was among the names linked as a potential replacement, but Valverde stayed. Ex-Ajax, Benfica and Valencia boss Koeman played for Barca from 1989 to 1995, where he won four successive La Liga titles as well as the 1992 European Cup.

Source: ESPNFC

Rashford played ‘best game in 10 months’ says Solskjaer

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hailed Marcus Rashford’s performance after the 1-1 draw with Liverpool branding it “his best game for 10 months”.

Rashford put United in front in the first half — his first goal from open play since August — before Adam Lallana’s late equaliser and Solskjaer was so impressed with the 21-year-old’s display the Norwegian said it was his best game since he took over from Jose Mourinho nearly a year ago.

“It was his best game, maybe, in 10 months for me,” said Solskjaer. “He runs off the shoulder, chases, defends well and got hold of the ball. You could see he is growing and getting stronger.

“I’m disappointed we can’t sit here and talk about a win but of course the performance is very positive.

“They’re so disappointed in the dressing room but we played against a very good team and we’ll kick on.”

Solskjaer takes his team to Partizan Belgrade in the Europa League on Thursday before a trip to Norwich on Sunday.

Paul Pogba is due to have a scan on his foot on Monday and there is hope Jesse Lingard and Luke Shaw will be able to return soon.

Axel Tuanzebe was due to start against Liverpool but was replaced with Marcos Rojo after picking up a thigh strain in the warm up.

“I don’t know how [Tuanzebe] is but hopefully both him and Jesse will be back soon,” said Solskjaer.

“Anthony [Martial] will be able to play more. There is a test on Paul to see where he’s at and when he’ll be back. Luke, not too long. [Nemanja] Matic has played on with a little problem.”

Source: ESPNFC

Spurs fortunate to draw bottom Watford

Dele Alli struck an 86th-minute equaliser to deny bottom club Watford their first Premier League win of the season at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

The hosts lacked just about everything in a poor opening 45 minutes, and they fell behind inside six minutes as Abdoulaye Doucoure calmly turned home Daryl Janmaat’s delightful low cross. But after a defensive mixup, Ben Foster could only direct his punched clearance into the shoulder of All, who made no mistake from close range as Tottenham snatched a 1-1 draw.

Spurs were boosted by the return of Alli, who made just his second Premier League appearance of the season, and the England midfielder proved his side’s saviour with a late late equaliser following another lengthy spell of VAR confusion.

The hosts improved significantly after the break, largely down to the introduction of the energetic Son, who could have ensured all three points had his powerful effort early in the second half rattled the net instead of the crossbar.

Tottenham lost one of their main attacking threats ahead of this one after Christian Eriksen failed a late fitness test, and the Dane’s absence was plain to see as Spurs lacked creativity for large periods of the game.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side looked void of confidence at times and could have been the architects of their own downfall if not for Alli’s equaliser in a woeful defensive display.

Source: ESPNFC

Niklas Sule suffers ACL tear, faces race to be fit for Euro 2020

Germany international Niklas Sule suffered an anterior cruciate ligament tear in his left knee during Bayern Munich‘s 2-2 draw with FC Augsburg on Saturday, the Bavarian club announced on Sunday.

The defender will undergo surgery on Sunday and now faces a race against time to be fit for the Euro 2020 finals, which starts in eight months’ time, should Germany qualify.

He suffered the injury in the opening stages of the game when he landed awkwardly on his left leg and immediately reached for his knee.

Limping off the pitch at Augsburg, Bayern’s and Germany’s worst fears became reality following an examination early on Sunday in which the full extent of Sule’s injury was revealed. Bayern described the injury was “a big blow.”

German boss Joachim Low added: “That’s bitter news for Niklas himself, and we wish him all the best. But losing him also hurts us and compromises the development of our young team.

“Niklas is a face of the new generation. He was an anchor in our plans.”

Sule had started all 12 competitive matches for Bayern this season and could now be replaced in the starting lineup by former Germany international Jerome Boateng, who was close to completing a move to Juventus this summer and had been expected to leave the club in the winter.

Bayern have already conceded 10 goals this term and following Saturday’s draw with Augsburg, and have only won four of their first eight league games this season. This is Sule’s second ACL tear in his left knee, having suffered the same injury during the 2014-15 season when he was still a Hoffenheim player.

Source: ESPNFC

France call up Guendouzi for injured Pogba

France head coach Didier Deschamps has replaced injured Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba with Arsenal‘s Matteo Guendouzi for the upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers.

Pogba suffered an ankle injury during last weekend’s 1-1 Premier League draw away at Southampton, while Guendouzi helped to secure a 2-2 draw at home to Tottenham Hotspur in the North London derby assisting Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s equaliser in a fightback from 2-0 down.

Speaking at a news conference at Clairefontaine on Monday afternoon, Deschamps initially refused to rule Pogba out and revealed he was undergoing tests in Manchester, but has since confirmed Guendouzi’s call-up to the senior squad via Les Bleus’ official Twitter account.

“Paul has an ankle problem,” Deschamps said at the time. “He is currently undergoing exams in Manchester and I am waiting for the results. If he were already unavailable, then I would say.”

Guendouzi, 20, has worked his way up from under-18 to under-21 level with France and only made the step up to the Premier League in the summer of 2018 when he moved to Emirates Stadium from Lorient in France’s Ligue 2.

As well as Pogba and the likes of Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe, Deschamps had to rethink his initial plans to select Manchester City’s Aymeric Laporte so recalled Barcelona’s Samuel Umtiti, and has granted Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane a few extra days because of dental issues at short notice.

“I spoke with Aymeric to get his news,” said Deschamps. “I will not go into details. I have no problem with Samuel and we also had a chat.

“The question was raised when I made my choice, but Aymeric got injured, so Samuel coming back was logical. His situation with Barcelona has not changed, though — he is not playing but he is in good condition.

“Raphael needed emergency dental work in Madrid earlier. If possible, he will join us on Tuesday evening. Otherwise, no later than Wednesday. He does not need to be replaced.”

Deschamps was also quizzed on goalkeeper Alphonse Areola and made clear his concerns regarding the PSG man’s loan move to Real Madrid until the end of the season to create space at Parc des Princes for Keylor Navas.

“I will not pass comment on PSG’s decisions,” Deschamps said. “What I know is Alphonse has always answered the call for us.

“He will be No. 2 with Real. Will he play a little, or not at all? I do not know. If he does not play at all, obviously it could become a problem.

“We will see between now and the October international break.”

France face Albania and then Andorra in a Stade de France doubleheader during this international break.

Source: ESPNFC

Wenger: I am desperate to sit on bench again

Arsene Wenger has said he struggles to deal with the possibility that he will never manage a football club again.

The former Arsenal boss has been out of work since calling time on his 22-year period at the North London club after the 2017-18 season.

The Frenchman said he has turned down offers but he is desperate to return on the bench one day and experience the intensity of football.

“I can’t live with the fact that I’ll never be on the bench again,” he told beIN Sports. “I might go for an intermediate position. I would like to experience one more time the intensity of a competition.”

Wenger had previously said he expected to return to management in January but he continues to work as a pundit on television.

Wenger also said it was difficult to move on from Arsenal, where he won three Premier League titles and a record seven FA Cup trophies.

“I never felt that I could live without Arsenal, being disconnected with the club,” he added. “I had to take a distance by being positive.

“Sometimes you could become a bit bitter because you don’t have the same excitement anymore and I’m very happy to have survived that in a very positive way.

“I’m happy to have disconnected and being seen like a baby who has evolved from a distance.”

Source: ESPNFC

Man Utd’s Daniel James named club’s Player Of The Month

Daniel James has been named Manchester United‘s Player of the Month for August after an impressive start at the club, after joining in the summer.

James, who signed from Swansea in June for a fee of £15 million, came off the bench to score the final goal in the 4-0 opening day victory over Chelsea on his debut, and has since scored twice more to make it three goals in four appearances.

He hit a late equaliser against Crystal Palace before United conceded a stoppage time winner and opened the scoring away at Southampton on Saturday, but the Saints fought back to claim a 1-1 draw.

The Wales winger’s positive performances have come in spite of United’s lacklustre results so far this season. Since beating Chelsea 4-0 at Old Trafford, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have failed to claim another victory, only managing draws against Wolves and a ten-man Southampton, either side of the loss to Crystal Palace.

James, 21, won the award with ease, after earning 61% of the overall vote, with fellow new signings Harry Maguire (3%) and Aaron Wan-Bissaka (36%) also nominated.

Source: ESPNFC

Transfer News: Inter Milan offer Icardi loan to PSG

Inter Milan striker Mauro Icardi has been offered on loan to Paris Saint-Germain, who are thinking about recruiting the Argentina international.

The Nerazzuri have tried to offload him all summer and dropped him from the first-team squad. He is not part of manager Antonio Conte’s plans this season. Despite the club’s desire to be rid of him, Icardi has rejected other teams who have shown interest.

Now Inter Milan have offered him to PSG, who are looking for a striker after the recent injuries of Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe. PSG sporting director Leonardo is thinking about recruiting Icardi. The French champions can afford his wages, and he will add more threat attacking-wise. With Neymar set to remain at the club, Icardi would offer another option to Thomas Tuchel.

Icardi and his wife and agent, Wanda Nara, are considering moving to Paris as well. The transfer window closes on Monday evening in France, so there is plenty of time for PSG to make a deal happen. Icardi has scored 121 goals in 219 Serie A matches for Inter.

Also Sunday, Paris announced the arrival of goalkeeper Sergio Rico on loan from Sevilla with an option to buy him next summer. He will be the No. 2 behind Keylor Navas, whose transfer from Real Madrid will be official on Monday. PSG keeper Alphonse Areola will be going the other way to the Spanish capital.

PSG are also looking at options at right-back, but a deal before the end of the window will be more difficult to get done.

Source: ESPNFC