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After a two-year wait Arsenal's forgotten man Carl Jenkinson finally has something to smile about

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After a two-year wait Arsenal’s forgotten man Carl Jenkinson finally has something to smile about

  • Carl Jenkinson last played for the Gunners in a League Cup tie in November 2016
  • He joined Birmingham on loan last season but made only seven appearances
  • The defender earned a second start in just over a week against Sporting Lisbon  

James Sharpe For Mail Online

You wait 701 days for an Arsenal appearance — and then two come along almost at once. There must be a London joke in there somewhere.

It’s something, at least, for Gunners full-back Carl Jenkinson to smile about. 

Jenkinson, the forgotten man for the best part of two years, earned a second start in just over a week as Unai Emery’s side took another step closer to qualification for the Europa League knock-out stages against Sporting Lisbon at the Emirates Stadium.

Carl Jenkinson has had to wait a long time for the chance to impress at Arsenal

Carl Jenkinson has had to wait a long time for the chance to impress at Arsenal

When Jenkinson had been announced in the squad for the previous group match against Sporting last month, where he was an unused substitute, fans had been so surprised to see his name that many admitted they had not realised he was still at the club.

Emery had even named Jenkinson as one of three players who could leave the club this summer alongside David Ospina and Joel Campbell. The other two did depart. Jenkinson, who has a contract until 2020, stayed on.

The 26-year-old returned last week in the Carabao Cup win against League One side Blackpool, his first appearance for Arsenal since another cup outing in November 2016.

The 26-year-old defender earned a second start in just over a week against Sporting Lisbon

The 26-year-old defender earned a second start in just over a week against Sporting Lisbon

The 26-year-old defender earned a second start in just over a week against Sporting Lisbon

This, though, was a step up. A European fixture, albeit with Arsenal’s passage through the group all but assured. His last one of those had also come two years ago this month in the Champions League against Paris-Saint Germain.

There’s not been much football in between either. Just nine games on loan at Birmingham last season, the former England international’s spell blighted by unfortunate injury and uninspiring form.

It was no surprise, then, to see Jenkinson ease himself into this one on the left side of the defence.

Jenkinson has not played much football recently but he was solid enough on Thursday

Jenkinson has not played much football recently but he was solid enough on Thursday

Jenkinson has not played much football recently but he was solid enough on Thursday

He had not much to do early on, but completed any necessary task with quiet efficiency. No messing around. Thump it into touch instead of trying an intricate turn. A solid tackle on Abdoulay Diaby earned an appreciative round of applause from the home fans. Safety first.

Ventures into the final third were few. Better to keep it simple. It’s been a while, after all. When he did get into crossing positions, there was so must rust on his delivery that they barely landed inside the penalty area.

But he was solid enough.

Jenkinson emerged in the second half ready to elaborate. When he saw a cleared corner arching towards him on the edge of the penalty area he was ready.

Jenkinson shakes hands with manager Unai Emery after being substituted in second half

Jenkinson shakes hands with manager Unai Emery after being substituted in second half

Jenkinson shakes hands with manager Unai Emery after being substituted in second half

Jenkinson took aim, swung so hard both feet left the ground, almost missed the ball completely but still managed to shin it straight to Matteo Guendouzi stood 15 yards behind him.

To his credit, he followed it up moment later with a strong block to deny Diaby again. Back to those basics.

He came off on the hour. Another ripple of applause. A smile. A high-five with Emery.

The Arsenal boss has, in the absence of injured first-choice Nacho Monreal, played three different players at left-back in his last three Premier League games. One of them was central midfielder Granit Xhaka. 

Did Jenkinson do enough to make it four this weekend when Arsenal play Wolves? Perhaps not, although the potential hamstring injury to Stephan Lichtsteiner will boost his chances. 

Regardless, you would think Jenkinson won’t have to wait another 701 days for his next game. 

 



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Premier League top scorers: Vardy extends lead over Abraham, Rashford, Aubameyang

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1. Jamie Vardy: 16 goals

2. Tammy Abraham: 11 goals

3. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: 10 goals

4. Marcus Rashford: 10 goals

5. Sergio Aguero: 9 goals

6. Sadio Mane: 9 goals

7. Harry Kane: 9 goals

8. Danny Ings: 9 goals

9. Raheem Sterling: 8 goals

10. Teemu Pukki: 8 goals

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'It's strange for a big team': Pellegrini taking Arsenal lightly as Gunners look to turn form around

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‘It’s strange for a big team’: West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini expects to face Arsenal side hungry to win as Freddie Ljungberg aims to end winless streak

  • West Ham will host Arsenal on Monday night in a Premier League clash 
  • Arsenal are on a miserable run, having gone nine games without a win 
  • West Ham’s form is no better, with Pellegrini’s job at risk in East London 
  • The former Man City boss called Arsenal’s situation ‘strange for a big team’ 

West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini will not be taking Arsenal lightly despite their woeful form.

The Gunners head to east London on Monday night on the back of a nine-match winless streak, their worst run in 42 years.

Arsenal would appear to be there for the taking as the Hammers go in search of only their second win in 10 in the league.

Manuel Pellegrini is expecting a tough challenge against Arsenal despite their 'strange' form

Manuel Pellegrini is expecting a tough challenge against Arsenal despite their ‘strange’ form

Freddie Ljungberg is yet to win as boss in two games since taking over from Unai Emery

Freddie Ljungberg is yet to win as boss in two games since taking over from Unai Emery

Freddie Ljungberg is yet to win as boss in two games since taking over from Unai Emery

The Irons fell to another loss to Wolves in midweek, as they continue to struggle for form

The Irons fell to another loss to Wolves in midweek, as they continue to struggle for form

The Irons fell to another loss to Wolves in midweek, as they continue to struggle for form 

But Pellegrini is anticipating a backlash and warned: ‘I expect to see a team that will try to reverse their results.

‘They have a lot of top players so we cannot be confident that, just because they are not in a good moment, we are going to win the game. We must try to win the game by having a good performance.

‘The advantage we will take is if we play a good game, if we are solid in defence and creative in attack. That’s what the result depends on.

‘It’s strange for a big team (that in) the last 20 years normally play in the Champions League, but football is like that. From one game to another the results change.

‘Is it a good time to play them? The time for our team depends more on our performance than what is happening with the other team.’

West Ham sit just a point off the bottom three, but Pellegrini says he is not fighting for his job

West Ham sit just a point off the bottom three, but Pellegrini says he is not fighting for his job

West Ham sit just a point off the bottom three, but Pellegrini says he is not fighting for his job

Freddie Ljungberg will be in the opposition dugout as Arsenal’s search for a permanent new manager goes on.

Pellegrini admits the Swede, a former Gunners and Hammers midfielder, has a tough task on his hands.

‘Of course for him it is a big challenge in a bad moment for Arsenal,’ added Pellegrini.

‘He is a young manager just starting his career and he will do it the best he can do it. It is not easy but he knows that club well.’

Pellegrini has problems of his own, with West Ham edging perilously close to the drop zone, but as usual he rejected any suggestions that he is battling to save his job.

‘As I always say, the pressure doesn’t link with the results,’ he said. ‘The pressure for me is in every game, to do it better, play well and win the game.

‘You do not need to be in a bad position, without a win in so many games, to start to feel the pressure. Pressure is there always.’



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Arsenal stance on Massimiliano Allegri could change due to former Juventus boss' comments

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Arsenal may no longer consider Massimiliano Allegri to be their next manager because the former Juventus boss is not keen on returning to work before the summer. According to Goal, Allegri is high on the Gunners’ shortlist but his insistence of extending his sabbatical may not work for the north Londoners.

The Italian was interviewed for the job in 2018 before Unai Emery’s appointment and remains interested in the position.

But the successful manager has taken some time off ever since leaving Juve last summer and is very happy with the way things are.

When asked when he will come back to action, Allegri said: “In June. I don’t know if you can call it a sabbatical or not.

“Giovanni [Branchini] and I immediately came to that decision.

“As soon as the relationship with Juventus came to an end, the decision was to take a year out.

“I had 18 years as a player and I’ve been in coaching for 16. I stopped this year after 34.

“I’m happy. I have a chance to reflect, go and talk to people, do things in my private life that I’m passionate about, like going to the theatre, some art exhibitions, reading books.”

JUST IN: Arsenal next manager candidates face three interviews as details of complex process emerge

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