Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta insists that he has a “duty” to defend his club after his explosive VAR rant at full time in the Gunners’ 1-0 loss to Newcastle United....Click Here To Continue Reading>>
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has affirmed that he has a “duty” to defend his club as he doubled down on his officiating outburst after Saturday’s 1-0 loss to Newcastle United.
The Gunners were condemned to their first Premier League loss of the season at St James’ Park courtesy of an Anthony Gordon strike, which stood despite three separate VAR checks.
Bruno Guimaraes also avoided a red card for an apparent elbow onto the head of Jorginho, sparking a verbal assault from Arteta in his post-match media duties, as the Spaniard labelled the decisions to go against his side a “disgrace”.
Arteta also claimed that he felt “sick” and “embarrassed” by the standard of officiating in the Premier League, before Arsenal also backed up their manager in a club statement, hitting out at the “unacceptable” refereeing performance over the weekend.
VAR controversy also reared its ugly head in Tottenham Hotspur’s 4-1 loss to Chelsea on Monday, where Spurs had two men sent off, although Ange Postecoglou – who was booked in that match – insisted that referees command respect no matter what.
Arteta faced the media again before Wednesday’s Champions League clash with Sevilla, and the 41-year-old insisted that he would continue to defend Arsenal in the “best possible way”.
“It is my duty to stand in front of you, to stand in front of the cameras and give a very clear and honest assessment of what happens in the game. This is what I did, reflect very openly how I felt that the team played and how they game was conditioned by this result with the decisions that were made,” arsenal.com quotes Arteta as saying.
“It’s the duty, my duty is defending my players, supporting my players, supporting my club, defending my people in the best possible way and this is what I’m going to do time after time.
“I do it the way I feel with the evidence and being as clear as possible and I always do it. When we play brilliantly, to say that, when we have lost, to take my responsibility, the first one me to do it. It’s the way that I am and I have to defend my club.
“I think we have to really stand for our people, our values and who we are. And when the club has done it, it’s done it in very specific moments with the right reasons, and it shows the unity and understanding that’s within the club, to position ourselves in a really clear and honest way. That’s our duty as a club.”
The Spaniard attracted particular criticism for his rant after claiming that “mistakes happen” following Liverpool’s unjust 2-1 loss to Tottenham, where a significant error saw Luis Diaz’s goal wrongly ruled out for offside.
When pressed on his earlier comments, Arteta simply stressed that he is trying to help create a “better game”, adding: “I stand for the same words that mistakes are part of football in any other way, and we are here to constructively improve the game in everything that we can, and this is what we have been doing.
“As a club, me the individual with my duty as a manager in the managers’ meeting, to give our opinion, our voices and to raise it in the most constructive ways together and [create] a better game, that’s all.”
Amid the officiating controversy, Arsenal lacked ingenuity in attack without the services of captain Martin Odegaard, who was ruled out with a fitness issue after coming off the bench to score a consolation against West Ham United in a 3-1 EFL Cup defeat.
Arteta admitted that he was still unsure of Odegaard’s availability for the visit of Sevilla and revealed that his absence against Newcastle had nothing to do with his late appearance at the London Stadium, which was questioned at the time.
“Gabriel [Jesus] won’t be fit. With Martin, it’s still uncertain. The rest, no news so far,” Arteta added. “It’s no relation with what we had and what happened the day before the game against Newcastle; they are two different topics and things.”
Arsenal sit top of Champions League Group B with six points from their opening three matches, and victory over Sevilla would guarantee them a spot in the last 16 if Lens beat basement side PSV Eindhoven.
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Erik ten Hag hails “very important” Harry Maguire after summer exit talk
Manchester United head coach Erik ten Hag praises central defender Harry Maguire for turning his Red Devils career around....Click Here To Continue Reading>>
Manchester United head coach Erik ten Hag has hailed Harry Maguire for his contribution to the team’s recent impressive results in the Premier League.
The Red Devils have won each of their last three league fixtures against Fulham, Luton Town and Everton, keeping clean sheets in all three games.
Maguire has been a vital player for the 20-time English champions in recent weeks, playing the full 90 minutes in each of their last six Premier League games, which have brought five wins.
The England international was heavily linked with a move away from Old Trafford over the summer, with West Ham United believed to have had an offer accepted for him.
However, the 30-year-old decided to stay at Man United to fight for his place, and the ex-Sheffield United youngster is now first pick in the middle of the defence.
Maguire’s form is keeping Raphael Varane out of the side, and there is an argument that Ten Hag’s first-choice centre-back pairing will be Maguire and Lisandro Martinez once the latter has returned from injury.
Jonny Evans had been featuring alongside Maguire before picking up an injury, with Victor Lindelof now filling in as the left-sided centre-back.
Ten Hag has lavished praise on Maguire for ‘fighting back’ from a difficult period, hailing the centre-back’s “mentality” and “very important” contribution to the team’s recent success.
“Absolutely. Very important. And he fought back and he showed great mentality. He can be proud of himself. But as I say: we are in a season, we are in the right direction,” Ten Hag told MUTV.
“Harry is in the right direction with this team. Now we make the next steps because we want to be successful and Harry is very ambitious. He wants to win trophies. So then, you know, you have to give every day your best.”
Maguire is now set to remain at Old Trafford, especially as there is huge uncertainty surrounding the futures of Varane, Evans and Lindelof.
Varane is believed to be keen to leave the Red Devils next year, with a number of clubs from Saudi Arabia said to be keeping a close eye on his situation.
Both Evans and Lindelof only have contracts until next June, meanwhile, although it is thought that a 12-month extension will be activated in the latter’s deal.
Scott McTominay is another player who was heavily linked with a move away from Man United over the summer, but he has also been vital for Ten Hag in recent weeks, coming up with four goals in all competitions.
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Newcastle United rise to fifth with deserved win over Manchester United
Newcastle United jump to fifth in the Premier League table with a deserved 1-0 win over Manchester United at St James’ Park.
Newcastle United made it three successive wins against Manchester United in all tournaments for the first time in over 100 years with a deserved 1-0 Premier League victory over the tepid Red Devils at St James’ Park.
A succession of chances came and went for Eddie Howe’s men in the first half, but Man United’s luck ran out when Anthony Gordon fired home early in the second half to sink Erik ten Hag’s team – who were second best all afternoon – although a concerning injury to Nick Pope partially marred the Magpies’ success.
While a decimated Newcastle side put out the exact same XI from their Champions League draw with Paris Saint-Germain, a handful of changes from Ten Hag saw Anthony Martial, Kobbie Mainoo, Diogo Dalot and the returning Marcus Rashford come into the fold....Click Here To Continue Reading>>
However, Ten Hag’s alterations did little to stem the flow of a rampant Newcastle, who saw almost all of the ball in the opening stages and came close in the 18th minute through Miguel Almiron, but Andre Onana was equal to his low effort.
Alexander Isak and Jamaal Lascelles both came close in the few moments that followed; the former had a strike deflected wide by Harry Maguire before Lascelles headed over the bar, which was then shaking in the 40th minute as Kieran Trippier’s free kick landed just an inch too high.
Newcastle’s shot counter displayed a whopping 14 as the referee’s whistle blew to signal half time, but Man United’s clean sheet remained intact, mainly thanks to their hosts’ wastefulness in the final third.
Any harsh half-time words from Ten Hag clearly did not have the desired effect, as Newcastle finally made one of their many forays forward pay in the 55th minute, where Gordon gave the hosts a fully merited lead.
The sloppy Red Devils were punished for losing the ball in the defensive third, allowing Trippier to flash a low ball across the six-yard box, where Gordon was on hand to tap home at the back post.
The ex-Everton man’s opener saw him stretch his St James’ Park scoring streak to four successive Premier League matches, and Ten Hag responded by calling upon Antony and Rasmus Hojlund in place of the ineffective Martial and Rashford.
Man United’s alterations did little to spark any life into the meek visitors, who were indebted to Aaron Wan-Bissaka for making a crucial block to deny Lewis Miley in the 78th minute, but it was Fabian Schar’s turn to deny Sergio Reguilon from scoring a sensational volley with a terrific block of his own four minutes later.
As Pope dived to meet Reguilon’s blocked shot, though, the Newcastle number one injured himself and stayed down as Man United built their next attack, which was stopped in its tracks to allow the stricken Pope to receive treatment.
The Englishman was able to rise to his feet, but he was evidently struggling with his shoulder and slowly trudged off to be replaced by ex-Man United loanee Martin Dubravka.
The Newcastle number two had only been on the field a few moments before an Antony volley flew past him and into the back of the net, but Maguire – whom the ball took a nick off – was in an offside position, and the linesman’s flag came to the hosts’ rescue.
The Red Devils were granted nine minutes of additional time to try to find a leveller, but Newcastle stood firm to leapfrog their visitors into fifth spot in the table, bumping Ten Hag’s men down to seventh in the process.
Newcastle have four full days to rest up before a trip to Everton on Thursday, while Man United will return to their Old Trafford headquarters to meet Chelsea on Wednesday.
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Kobbie Mainoo ‘set to double Manchester United wages’
Manchester United midfielder Kobbie Mainoo is reportedly set to double his wages at Old Trafford on account of becoming a first-team regular for Erik ten Hag....Click Here To Continue Reading>>
Manchester United midfielder Kobbie Mainoo is reportedly set to double his wages at Old Trafford following his first-team breakthrough.
The 18-year-old is regarded as one of the brightest prospects in the Red Devils’ setup but was denied the chance to make an impression in the early stages of the 2023-24 campaign due to an ankle injury sustained in pre-season.
Mainoo took months to recover from the affliction, but the teenager has since exited the treatment room and was trusted by Erik ten Hag from the first whistle in last weekend’s 3-0 Premier League win over Everton.
Mainoo – who made his debut for the Red Devils against Charlton Athletic in a January EFL Cup clash – received high praise for a performance well beyond his years and was then brought off the bench for his Champions League debut against Galatasaray a few days later.
Sofyan Amrabat was given the nod in Europe instead of Mainoo, but the Fiorentina loanee was overlooked for the youngster in Saturday’s trip to Newcastle United, where the Red Devils fell to a 1-0 defeat.
Amid Man United’s indifferent form on the field and protracted takeover saga, Mainoo has been a shining light for the 20-time English champions, and his rapid rise is now set to be rewarded.
According to the Daily Star, Mainoo is currently on a modest £10,000 per week at the Theatre of Dreams, but his salary will soon double to £20,000 per week owing to a clause in his contract.
Back in February, the Red Devils tied the 2005-born lynchpin down to a new long-term deal until the end of the 2026-27 campaign, with the option of an additional 12 months.
Rather than Man United agreeing another fresh deal with Mainoo, the midfielder’s existing terms apparently include a clause stipulating that his wages will double in size once he becomes a first-team regular.
The report adds that Mainoo’s salary increase has not been triggered just yet, but he is “close” to taking home an extra £10,000 per week, and he would already be on a higher wage had he not spent a couple of months in the treatment room.
The 18-year-old – who has been with the club since the age of nine – completed 80 minutes of Saturday’s showdown with Newcastle, which was his sixth first-team appearance for the Red Devils.
However, Mainoo and his Man United teammates were run ragged by Newcastle, who deservedly picked up a 1-0 win in freezing temperatures thanks to a second-half Anthony Gordon goal.
Having also been beaten by the Magpies in this year’s EFL Cup and a 2-0 loss at St James’ Park in the 2022-23 Premier League, Man United have now suffered three successive defeats to Newcastle in all competitions for the first time since January 1922.
The Red Devils’ sixth league loss of the season has bumped them down to seventh place in the Premier League table, and the visit of Chelsea to Old Trafford is next up for Ten Hag’s troops on Wednesday.
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