Just my fault – Arteta name the palyers letting him down.
Mikel Arteta wants no excuses from Arsenal despite Tottenham's north London  derby boost | Evening Standard

Mikel Arteta has admitted that he isn’t happy that he hasn’t been able to Arsenal forward Eddie Nketiah.

The 21 year-old has only been selected to start three Premier League matches this term, with around two-thirds of the campaign completed, in comparison to starting seven last season, despite only returning to the club in January.

Eddie Nketiah

Nketiah is currently on course to play less minutes in his first full season in the first-team squad than he did in around half the time last term, and you could understandably have questions as to why.

You have even more questions if the manager’s following comments ring true, with Arteta claiming that our youngster has done everything that has been asked of him and remained professional throughout.

MA said ahead of the Burnley clash this weekend (via Arsenal.com): “Well, when we’re talking about management, this is one of the hazards to leave someone like Eddie out of the squad, but at the moment everybody has been fit and we have so many options upfront. But it hurts as well because of how Eddie behaves and trains every day and because he’s a player from our academy, but he will have his chance.

Eddie Nketiah Says Lacazette, Aubameyang 'Always' Looking to Help Him at  Arsenal | Bleacher Report | Latest News, Videos and Highlights

“He needs to be patient and he’s showing no signs of lacking attitude or anything like that, it’s the complete opposite. He’s a joy to work with and he deserves minutes and if he doesn’t get it, it’s just my fault.

“Yeah, there is because he needs to play and we’ve been wanting to use him a little bit more on some occasions and we didn’t. To be fair, when he’s played, he’s played well, but at his age and for what he’s done the last two or three seasons, he needs more minutes. It’s something we have to talk about openly and make the right decision.”

Nketiah hasn’t really done much when coming off the bench in the PL this term, notching just one goal in his 14 league outings this term, but his time on the pitch has been limited.

Arteta wants players to feel important, admits to Nketiah regrets –  Arseblog News – the Arsenal news site

I’m not sure why Eddie was allowed to play wider last season, but this season he has solely been played down the middle if there isn’t enough minutes to go around centrally, especially as some of his better matches were from playing wide in my opinion.

Nketiah certainly appears to have been mismanaged this term, and his treatment isn’t likely to help us in our bid to keep Folarin Balogun either, who is out of contract come the summer.

Has Nketiah done enough to warrant more starts? Is it Arteta’s fault for not providing enough minutes to build some level of form?



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Why I deserved some respect’ – Luis Suarez said Barcelona told him

I deserved some respect' - Suarez reveals Barcelona told him he was 'too  old' to compete at the top | Goal.com

The Uruguayan forward has been scoring freely for Atletico Madrid since leaving Barcelona

Luis Suarez has revealed the most disappointing aspect of his departure from Barcelona was that the club said he was too old to perform at the highest level.

Suarez left Barca for Atletico last September, in a transfer Camp Nou icon Lionel Messi described as ‘crazy’, and he has gone a long way to proving the club were hasty in their actions by firing his new team to the summit of La Liga.

The 34-year-old Uruguayan is happy in his new surrounds, despite admitting it was tough to uproot his family, but is still irked by being billed as too old.

“What really bothered me was when they told me that I was old and that I could no longer play at a high level, be up to [the task of fronting] a great team,” Suarez told France Football. “That’s what I did not like.”

Luis Suarez won't celebrate if he scores against Barcelona for Atletico -  Barca Blaugranes

Suarez claims his record stood up to the closest scrutiny, and that the club erred in signing players not on an elite level.

“If I hadn’t done anything at a club like Barca for three or four seasons, I would have understood,” he said. “But, every year at Barca, I scored more than 20 goals per season. I have always had good statistics, just behind Leo (Messi). 

“Today, we can see that it is not easy to play at Barca … A lot of players who signed there did not have the level that was expected of them. Me, I played for six years at Barca maintaining a certain level and living up to what was expected of me.

“At Barca, circumstances have changed, the club needed changes. And I accepted it. The only thing that bothered me was the way [it happened]. I think I deserved some respect.

“It was a decision that I could not prevent. I felt like I was no longer being counted on, so with my pride I told myself that I was going to continue to show what I am worth. This is why the idea of going to Atletico, a competitive team, appealed to me.”

The transfer fee Atletico Madrid paid Barcelona for Luis Suarez revealed -  Football Espana

Suarez is correct in his statement that in every season at Barcelona, he scored upwards of 20 goals a season.

His peak campaign was in the 2015-16 season, when he netted an astonishing 59 goals in all competitions. It was a term in which he scored more goals than Messi, and won the European Golden Shoe.

His goals return was excellent in 2016-17 (36) and 2017-18 (31), but the trend was downward and in his final two seasons at the club he netted 23 and 21 goals.0:161:02

It could be argued Barca were justified in their decision, but the anger about the way in which it was handled has spurred the former Liverpool man on.

He has netted 16 goals for Atletico so far this term and they top the Liga table by three points – albeit their form has dipped in recent weeks with just one win from their last four games.



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Why are Manchester United called the Red Devils?

Solskjaer is two good Man Utd players from the sack

The Manchester side have long been associated with the strange moniker of “the Red Devils”, but how did it come about?

Manchester United are most commonly known as “the Red Devils”, though they have taken on a slew of other nicknames throughout the history of the club.

It is “the Red Devils” moniker that has stuck, however, though its origin is interesting as the Manchester side weren’t always associated with the nickname.

Solskjaer insists that Man Utd aren't out of the title race -  Football365.com

Why are Man Utd known as “the Red Devils?”

Manchester United were actually known as “The Heathens” in the early days of the club, dating to when they were established in 1878. Back then, they were first known as “Newton Heath Football Club”.

They only renamed themselves as Manchester United in 1902 as part of their club rebrand, when their most common name was simply just “United”.

In 1945, when the legendary Sir Matt Busby took over the club, he introduced a wealth of youth players into the side which led to them being called “The Busby Babes” by the press.

Man Utd midfielder reveals cunning plan to get Pogba to stay

After the tragedy of the Munich Air Disaster in 1958, however, which claimed 23 lives, and those of eight players – Geoff Bent, Roger Byrne, Eddie Colman, Duncan Edwards, Mark Jones, David Pegg, Tommy Taylor and Billy Whelan – the nickname “The Busby Babes” was deemed inappropriate and subsequently retired.

Busby, then, sought out a new nickname for the side, and drew inspiration from the English rugby side Salford that had toured France in the 1930s.

Their kit consisted of a red shirt, with the French press branding them as “Les Diables Rouges” – which translates to “the Red Devils”.



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Arsenal investigate Aubameyang over possible Covid-19 rules breach
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Arsenal are investigating whether captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has breached the club’s strict Covid-19 protocols.

There are suggestions that the 31-year-old, who scored a hat-trick as the Gunners beat Leeds United 4-2 on Sunday , may have broken lockdown rules and the club’s bio secure bubble.

Gunners chiefs are planning talks with the forward after footage of him getting a new tattoo appeared on social media.

What happened?

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Aubameyang was filmed getting his new tattoo on the Instagram account of Spanish tattoo artist Alejandro Nicolas Bernal.

Neither Aubameyang or Bernal were wearing masks during the inking, which saw the Arsenal forward get the tattoo on his hand.

Current UK Government regulations state that all mobile and static tattoo parlours must remain closed during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

What have Arsenal said?

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Arsenal have stated that they plan to sit down with Aubameyang to determine exactly what has gone on before deciding whether any further action is necessary.

A statement from the club said: “We will speak to the player about this matter and establish what has taken place.”

So what happens next?

Arsenal want to determine exactly when Aubameyang got the new tattoo, as that currently remains unclear.

No further action will be taken until the club ascertain for certain whether any rules have been broken and their own strict bio secure bubble has been breached.

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Aubameyang has only recently returned from a trip abroad after he was given time off by the club to visit his ill mother .

The Gunners skipper missed games against Southampton and Manchester United before returning to the squad.

Speaking after he scored a hat-trick against Leeds on Sunday , he thanked the club and the fans for the support they had given him while he was away.

“It’s been a tough time for me but now it’s time to get my smile back, to win games and score goals,” he said.

“Everyone has given me a lot of love. I’m really proud to be a part of this family, so I have to say thank you to everyone at the club, and the fans as well because I received a lot of messages.

“I’m really happy and these goals are for them.”



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Why Arsenal 19 years picked as world’s best for his age.
Bukayo Saka with the Player of the Match award (Photo via England on Twitter)

Speaking to Oh My Goal last week, Matteo Guendouzi answered questions on a range of topics. When asked about the best current young talent in football, he initially named Kylian Mbappe, before adding that Bukayo Saka is the best for his age.

“I’d say Kylian Mbappe without any hesitation,” Guendouzi said. “And if we’re talking even younger, I’d say Bukayo Saka from Arsenal.”

Guendouzi also gave Unai Emery as the best coach he’s worked with and Mesut Özil as the best player he’s played with. Perhaps some fans will find that a little controversial given the current situation at Arsenal, but you can totally understand both answers.

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Emery was the coach who really gave Guendouzi a chance to perform for a top team in a top European league. Özil and Guendouzi have clearly always been close and the German international has a great reputation despite his recent struggles.

On a lighter note, Guendouzi put forward Sead Kolasinac and Nicolas Pepe as the funniest players he knows. He also put Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang just ahead of Wilfried Zaha as the fastest on the pitch, joking “he’s left me in his smoke a few times”.

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Guendouzi is currently away from Arsenal on loan with Hertha BSC. Though he dropped out of the team last Friday against Bayern Munich under their new manager, he had a good impact from the bench, which will hopefully see him back in again next time.



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Why Paul Pogba was got Injury Says Ole Gunnar Solskjær
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Manchester United will be without Paul Pogba for a few weeks after the midfielder was injured in the 3-3 draw with Everton.

January’s Player of the Month has been in exceptional form and was performing well as the Reds led the Toffees in the first half, only to signal to come off when appearing to suffer a problem that has now been diagnosed as a thigh-muscle injury.

Fred replaced the World Cup winner as the Reds ultimately secured only a point, despite a tremendous overall performance at Old Trafford.

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A scan was required to assess the extent of the damage and, unfortunately, Pogba now faces an enforced spell on the sidelines with key games at home and abroad coming up.

Of course, he will miss Tuesday’s Emirates FA Cup fifth-round encounter with West Ham United, in addition to the Europa League ties against Real Sociedad.

“It’s an injury that will take a few weeks to heal,” manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer informed MUTV’s Mark Sullivan in an exclusive interview on Monday afternoon. “He’s just started his recovery, working with the medical staff and we’ll get him back as soon and as safely as we can.

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“Of course, Paul has been very important for us and we’re not going to take any risks. [So it is] A few weeks definitely. 

“You never want to be injured and, especially, now Paul was really finding his form and enjoying his football. For us, we just have to take as many points and wins as possible, when you lose players.

“We’ve been very healthy and strong for a long period so we can’t moan too much.”



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Why Liverpool banned from Germany for RB Leipzig Champions League
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Liverpool’s Champions League clash with RB Leipzig has been thrown into chaos with the Premier League champions banned from entering Germany due to coronavirus restrictions.

Jurgen Klopp and his side are scheduled to play the first leg of their last-16 tie at Leipzig’s Red Bull Arena on February 16.

Why can Liverpool not enter Germany?

Germany has introduced stringent rules prohibiting international travel from areas deemed high risk due to mutations of the coronavirus, such as the United Kingdom.

Airline travel into Germany from these regions is prohibited until at least February 17, one day after the game is slated to go ahead.

The news has not come as a significant surprise in Germany. At the beginning of the week, the Federal Ministry of the Interior (BMI) announced that the new restrictions would “initially not allow any exceptions for professional athletes”.

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On Thursday, the BMI confirmed that a Champions League match would not be grounds for a special permit.

“The Federal Police informed the association that the described constellation does not fall under the exceptional circumstances of the Corona Protection Ordinance,” the BMI told the Sport Information Service (SID).

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UEFA has given Leipzig until February 8 to organise an alternative plan to allow the match to go ahead.

Where could the game be played instead?

It is possible, but unlikely, that the two teams could agree to switch their home games, so the first leg on February 16 is played at Anfield. The second leg is scheduled for March 10, giving extra time for a solution to be found or restrictions to be eased.

However, it is very unlikely that Liverpool would agree to this as the club would not be keen to lose the advantage of having the decisive second leg on home soil.

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The game could be played at a neutral venue in a country with less strict coronavirus restrictions, with Russia and Hungary suggested as possible destinations by German outlet Bild.

Points will not be deducted but if a satisfactory plan is not submitted to UEFA by February 8, Liverpool will be awarded a 3-0 win.

Factoring away goals into the equation, that would put Klopp’s side at a huge advantage going into the second leg at Anfield.

Leipzig made it to the semi-finals of last year’s tournament, with Liverpool knocked out at the quarter-final stage by Atletico Madrid shortly before England went into lockdown.



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Mikel Arteta confirms Arsenal may appeal David Luiz red card at Wolves
David Luiz red card: Arsenal could appeal decision as Mikel Arteta 'can't  see any contact' | Evening Standard

Mikel Arteta confirmed Arsenal would consider an appeal against David Luiz’s red card after his game-changing dismissal in the defeat at Wolves.

Luiz was sent off for the third time in Arsenal colours after being adjudged to have committed a last-man challenge in first-half stoppage-time on the Wolves striker Willian Jose by referee Craig Pawson.

Contact appeared to be minimal, but the decision was upheld by VAR Jon Moss and the dismissal was compounded when Ruben Neves converted the resulting penalty to erase Nicolas Pepe’s opener at Molineux.

Joao Moutinho’s stunning second-half effort fired Wolves to a 2-1 victory over the Gunners, who ended the game with nine men after goalkeeper Bernd Leno was sent off for handling the ball outside his area.

Mikel Arteta gives promising injury news update after David Luiz forced off  vs Molde - football.london

The defeat ended Arsenal’s seven-game unbeaten run in the Premier League and Arteta confirmed the Gunners would consider appealing Luiz’s red card.

“Sat here, I would say yes, let’s go straight away,” Arteta said. “But we have to speak with legal and the club and make the decision what the best thing to do is.

“I’ve seen the replay 10 times from five different angles, and I cannot see any contact. I would like to see if VAR have different angles.

Frank Lampard masterclass' - Chelsea fans love what David Luiz has done for  Arsenal vs Wolves - football.london

“I don’t want to think that [the decision was made on David Luiz’s reputation]. I’m sure they made the decision based on seeing something. I was expecting to see something but didn’t see anything.

“Of course it changed the game – playing for 45 minutes with 10 men in the Premier League, without your central defender, of course it changes the game.

“It was a big decision. If the officials got it right, and can justify they got it right, I will put my hand up and apologise. But I didn’t see any contact and that is really frustrating because it was a big moment in the game.

“The way we lost the game is where it really hurts, it’s painful, but I have to take the positives. We didn’t concede any chances but Moutinho scored a ‘worldie’ and it’s 2-1. Bernd comes out and hits the ball with his hand, it’s a clear red card and we’re down to nine players and it’s almost impossible to win



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Why Marcus Rashford receives racist abuse following draw with Arsenal
Marcus Rashford took the knee ahead of kick-off at the Emirates

Marcus Rashford has described racist abuse he received following Manchester United’s 0-0 draw against Arsenal as “humanity and social media at its worst”.

Rashford took to his Twitter account after Saturday’s draw at the Emirates to call out the abuse but refused to take screenshots of the messages as “it would be irresponsible to do so”.

He said: “Humanity and social media at its worst. Yes I’m a black man and I live every day proud that I am. No one, or no one comment, is going to make me feel any different. So sorry if you were looking for a strong reaction, you’re just simply not going to get it here.

“I’m not sharing screenshots. It would be irresponsible to do so and as you can imagine there’s nothing original in them. I have beautiful children of all colours following me and they don’t need to read it. Beautiful colours that should only be celebrated.”

Gareth Southgate explains his plan for Chelsea's Reece James after surprise  England decision - football.london

Chelsea defender Reece James, West Brom’s Romaine Sawyers and United’s Axel Tuanzebe and Anthony Martial have also been targeted this week.

Manchester United have confirmed that the insults were of a similar nature to those received by the club’s other players earlier in the week.

The Football Association has vowed to work with the Government and social media platforms to eradicate racism from the game.

A statement released on the FA’s official Twitter account on Saturday said: “We are united with all of football in our abhorrence of any racist abuse. This is not acceptable in any part of society.

“We will continue to work with the rest of the game, the government and social media platforms to remove this – and all elements of – discrimination from our sport.”



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Why Solskjaer says he has open and direct conversations with Pogba
Paul Pogba's renaissance comes at perfect time for Manchester United | The  Japan Times

The France international midfielder has been in excellent form in recent weeks

Manchester United head coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has revealed he has open and honest conversations with Paul Pogba.

The France international has been the subject of plenty of media attention this season, mainly down to the comments of his agent Mino Raiola, who has said he wants to get Pogba out of Manchester United.

Since Raiola made his explosive comments in December , Pogba’s form has improved.

He has been influential in games and has been scoring goals, and now looks settled in a United side that is top of the Premier League.

Solskjaer has earned praise for getting the best out of the former Juventus man, and he suggested frank conversations have played a part in the upturn in form of the 27-year-old.

On this day 2016: Paul Pogba returns to United in world record transfer

“Paul’s job is to get himself fit and play football,” Solskjaer said. “My job is to be open and honest with him and give him my advice and I’ve never had a problem with him.

“I talk openly and directly with Paul. I’m not going to tell anyone what my advice to him is but I have always had a good relationship with him.

“He comes from a great family, he’s very understandable, he’s a very sensible boy and he knows what I’m talking about when we speak.”

Paul Pogba and Manchester United are stuck together - The Busby Babe

Pogba has been criticised for not contributing enough to United, but Solskjaer says that is not the case – and that the multi-lingual Frenchman works behind the scenes to help move the club forward.

“He’s upfront and honest with me too,” Solskjaer said. “And what people don’t see with Paul is even when he isn’t playing he’s contributed loads in the background.

“Sometimes he’s even acted as the interpreter – even when he isn’t playing.

“He always respects my decisions and we’ve always had a very good working relationship.”



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