Maurizio Sarri emerges with points from new boys’ wild helter-skelter | Amy Lawrence

Italian has good fortune Chelsea have started with two wins while Unai Emery must feel aggrieved Arsenal are stuck on zeroFor two managers new to English football, bringing their own ideas and cultures to these shores, it did not take long to experience the full chaos of the Premier League in all of its maddening, unpredictable, helter-skelter glory. At half-time, as Maurizio Sarri and Unai Emery went back to their dressing rooms to digest a splurge of goals, misses and some harrowing defending, it must have been a challenge to know where to start to try to make sense of it all. The lurching turbulence and shifting tension was relentless. Sarri did not mind admitting that during the most wayward period for his team he would have been better off smoking than watching. Related: Marcos Alonso strikes late as Chelsea beat Arsenal in five-goal thriller Continue reading...

Marcos Alonso strikes late as Chelsea beat Arsenal in five-goal thriller

This ended up feeling like a vindication of all the caution expressed publicly by Maurizio Sarri and Unai Emery in the campaign’s early days. Chelsea, relieved to have a player of Eden Hazard’s calibre to fling on to make a difference, triumphed here at Arsenal’s expense and celebrated in the giddy din at the final whistle. But for all the excitement this furious contest whipped up it also provided evidence as to why these teams are outsiders in the title race. Marcos Alonso’s winner came late on, with Petr Cech twice going on to deny Hazard the rewards his eye-catching cameo deserved. The Belgian only featured for 29 minutes but probably still provided the stellar impact of the afternoon. As it is, having clawed their way level and missed too many opportunities for comfort in a madcap opening period, Arsenal have lost their opening two topflight fixtures for the first Continue reading "Marcos Alonso strikes late as Chelsea beat Arsenal in five-goal thriller"

Tony Adams: ‘I put down alcohol. But I couldn’t put down fish and chips’

The ex-Arsenal captain on football’s drinking culture, the joy of Hobnobs – and why food is his last weakness I regret my own parents not teaching me to cook. Thank god for my wife, a fantastic cook. Her name was Poppy Teacher [a member of the whisky family] when I met her, when I’d given up drink and self-medication. I encountered a loving family, very knowledgeable of the bad effects of alcohol, but I can still say I wake up with a Teacher’s every morning. That’s my joke. I was raised in Dagenham, opposite the police station and the bakery. My early memories are full of fear – of going to school crying, where food was very similar to prison food. [In 1990 Adams crashed his car into a wall when more than four times over the drink-drive limit.] Continue reading...

Why Lucas Torreira should start against Chelsea

  Lucas Torreira should start against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in place of Matteo Guendouzi as the dogged Uruguayan international will patrol the centre of the park relentlessly for the Gunners and act as platform for the likes of Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil to flex their creative dexterity, whilst disrupting Jorginho and N’Golo Kante’s […]

Arsenal hope for big things from the diminutive Lucas Torreira | Amy Lawrence

The Uruguayan caught the eye in the World Cup. Now the Gunners hope he will do the same for them Time for Torreira. That is the motto Arsenal chose to accompany all their messaging about the most pivotal of the five new recruits they have welcomed to try to help Unai Emery rework the shape of the team. Arguably, time for Torreira is long overdue in the sense that Arsenal have missed the kind of characteristics he possesses for aeons. It feels like a long time since Arsenal went to Chelsea armed with a midfield ready to compete seriously in that department. Once upon a time they used to approach this fixture with a feeling of superiority that came from years unbeaten at Stamford Bridge. A look at the lineup towards the end of that era spells out why they felt able to walk so tall. A central midfield built Continue reading "Arsenal hope for big things from the diminutive Lucas Torreira | Amy Lawrence"

Chelsea v Arsenal: match preview

Maurizio Sarri and Unai Emery are still feeling their way into a new league. Yet this derby may provide a far better gauge of their capabilities than Chelsea’s walkover at Huddersfield, or Arsenal’s toils against Manchester City. Sarri, who is considering offering Eden Hazard a first start, believes his opponents “will be competitive” under Emery this season in the pursuit of a place in the Champions League. Lucas Torreira may start for the visitors, who may need the Uruguayan’s steel in the centre. Dominic Fifield Saturday 5.30pm BT Sport 1 Continue reading...

Premier League: 10 things to look out for this weekend

Chelsea and Arsenal promise goals and flaws, Fulham need to tighten up at Spurs and will sparks fly again when Benítez meets Warnock? With two teams in flux, Chelsea’s derby with Arsenal is a meeting that promises goals. Both sides are vulnerable in defence and dangerous in attack. Although beaten comfortably in the end, Huddersfield exposed Chelsea’s weakness to attacks down the wings last week and Arsenal may aim to do likewise, while David Luiz, in particular, will likely struggle to keep up with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the middle. But Chelsea’s midfield thrusters – who could include Eden Hazard from the start as well as N’Golo Kanté in all-new Roving Mode – could wreak havoc at the other end, especially if certain Arsenal midfielders remain dozy when it comes to defensive duties. That is something Unai Emery needs to change and he could start by picking Lucas Torreira instead Continue reading "Premier League: 10 things to look out for this weekend"

Juventus plotting shock swoop for 20-year-old Arsenal prospect

As per a report published by Sportitalia, serial Serie A champions Juventus are supposedly plotting a shock swoop for Arsenal’s 20-year-old prospect Stephy Mavididi, as it’s emerged that the Turin-based giants have allegedly stated that they’ll offer him an attainable gateway into the first-team at the Juventus Stadium, if he initially flourishes in the club’s […]

Pleas for Usmanov’s riches may add to Big Six but result in Glasgow United | Paul Doyle

Careful what you wish for Newcastle and Everton fans – more competition could stave off a European Super League, but forward-thinking billionaires may find other corners to cut It’s a good thing that Alisher Usmanov is not, so far as we can tell, Sacha Baron Cohen in disguise. Otherwise there would be no telling what kind of abominations the ostensible Russian billionaire could get needy football fans to commit in return for a hint of investment in their club. Since last week’s announcement that Usmanov is selling his stake in Arsenal to Stan Kroenke – and thus will soon have another £550m testing the strength of his finely tailored pockets – individual supporters of various clubs have been publicly appealing for salvation from the Russian moneygod, boasting of their clubs’ proud histories and limitless potentials while trying not to appear offputtingly desperate, although hooked is exactly how a lot of Continue reading "Pleas for Usmanov’s riches may add to Big Six but result in Glasgow United | Paul Doyle"

Toni Kroos calls Mesut Özil’s claims of racism around Germany team ‘nonsense’

• Midfielder says Özil’s international retirement ‘not in order’
• Özil claimed he was scapegoated for his Turkish backgroundToni Kroos has criticised former Germany teammate Mesut Özil for the way he announced his international retirement over claims of racism, which the Real Madrid midfielder called “nonsense”. The 29-year-old Özil announced he would no longer be playing for the national in July after Germany crashed out of the World Cup group stage. He said he had faced “racism and disrespect” because of his Turkish roots. Continue reading...

David Ospina joins Napoli on loan deal from Arsenal

• Italian club have option to sign goalkeeper on permanent basis
• 29-year-old had fallen down the pecking order at ArsenalDavid Ospina has joined Napoli on loan with the Italian club having the option to buy the goalkeeper from Arsenal on a permanent basis. Ospina has fallen down the pecking order at Arsenal following the arrival of Bernd Leno from Bayer Leverkusen for €22m (£19.2m) this summer, with Petr Cech maintaining his status as the club’s No 1 goalkeeper. The Colombian has therefore decided to move on. Continue reading...

We all have a brand to protect | The Fiver

Sign up now! Sign up now! Sign up now? Sign up now! Petr Cech has always stood high up in the Fiver’s estimation. During the Last Days of Wenger it would be the amiable shot-stopper who invariably fronted up to the media after spineless defeats and demoralising capitulations, trailing acquiescently behind a relieved press officer before he could even retreat to the showers and crack open the Wash & Go. Speaking of shampoo, Joe Hart used to be railroaded into similar confessionals after England humiliations; maybe disarming honesty is just a goalkeeper-ly thing. In which case you take Cech at face value when he says he is not at all happy with the wags behind Bayer Leverkusen’s Social Media Disgrace output.

To recap, Cech had just endured a rather challenging start to Arsenal’s New Era, at times finding the ball – with which he had been instructed to weave pretty Continue reading "We all have a brand to protect | The Fiver"

Petr Cech in online spat with Bayer Leverkusen over Twitter remarks

• Arsenal goalkeeper stung by tweets highlighting error
• Leverkusen: ‘Joke taken more personally than it should’ Petr Cech has become embroiled in an online spat with Bayer Leverkusen after the Bundesliga club’s Twitter account mocked his performance for Arsenal in Sunday’s defeat by Manchester City. With the new head coach his team encouraged to play from the back, Cech looked uncomfortable on the ball at times against City. He was preferred to the summer arrival Bernd Leno, who joined from Leverkusen for £19.2m. A video of Cech almost scoring an own goal attempting a pass began circulating on Twitter – with Leverkusen’s English account then getting involved. Continue reading...

Premier League: 10 talking points from the weekend’s action

Guendouzi is one of Arsenal’s few reasons to be cheerful, Naby Keïta is a thrilling talent no matter whose shirt he’s wearing, and Richarlison already looks worth the money Wherever Arsène Wenger was watching, he would have approved of Mattéo Guendouzi’s presence at the base of Arsenal’s midfield. The 19-year-old was poached from Lorient, exactly the type of under‑the-radar Francophone deal in which the former manager delighted. Eager and energetic, his tousled locks and upright style make him stand out but, with City interchanging midfield passes at breakneck speed, Unai Emery had exposed him to a heavy workload – neither Granit Xhaka nor Aaron Ramsey showed much dedication to defensive duties. When Raheem Sterling blazed past him to score City’s opener, Guendouzi’s inexperience was exposed but so was neglectful defending from Mesut Özil and Héctor Bellerín. His passing was often chaotic but so was that of his midfield partners, particularly Continue reading "Premier League: 10 talking points from the weekend’s action"

Assessing Unai Emery’s first Arsenal match in the Premier League

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> The Unai Emery era began on Sunday with a 2-0 defeat to Manchester City. The defending Premier League champions seemed sharp, especially for the opening match of the season. It was clearly evident, however, that the Gunners were playing their first competitive game in nearly three months. Arsenal’s front line squandered solid scoring chances throughout the match and the distribution from defense was noticeably shaky. While the ending result was fairly predictable, it was interesting to catch a glimpse of what Emery is bringing to his new team. The former PSG boss deployed a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Granit Xhaka and Matteo Guendouzi playing just behind an advanced Aaron Ramsey in midfield. Structurally speaking, the aforementioned formation is similar to what Arsene Wenger utilized during his last few years as Arsenal manager. There were, however, differences in how the players were expected to play. Emery clearly wants his goalkeeper to play Continue reading "Assessing Unai Emery’s first Arsenal match in the Premier League"