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Arsenal EXCLUSIVE: Unai Emery surprise revealed – ‘If anyone says different they’re lying’

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Arsenal EXCLUSIVE: Unai Emery has settled in well (Image: GETTY)

Former Sevilla and PSG manager Emery replaced Arsene Wenger at Arsenal in the summer.

The Gunners stars had been listening to Wenger for 22 years, however, the Frenchman decided it was time to walk away.

Emery, who is well known for his meticulous management, playing out from the back and demanding his players cover certain distances during games, has settled in well in north London.

The Spaniard has also proved he isn’t afraid to make key decisions, with Emery opting to keep his summer signing Bernd Leno on the bench, telling Aaron Ramsey he can leave and playing tough with Mesut Ozil.

The big thing for me is that he’s won the dressing room over

John Hartson

After losing against Manchester City and Chelsea in their opening two Premier League games, the Gunners have gone on a 14-game unbeaten run, including 11 consecutive wins.

And speaking ahead of the Gunners’ Europa League clash with Sporting Lisbon on Thursday evening, BT Sport pundit Hartson revealed Emery’s quick start shocked him.

When asked if he’s been surprised by Arsenal under Emery, Hartson exclusively told Express Sport: “It has surprised me and if anyone tells you they’re not surprised, they’re lying.

“To go 14 games unbeaten, to show that character… he’s not frightened to make big decisions, look at Aaron Ramsey’s situation. Look at Mesut Ozil at the start of the season too.

Arsenal EXCLUSIVE: John Hartson hailed Unai Emery

Arsenal EXCLUSIVE: John Hartson hailed Unai Emery (Image: GETTY)

“They’ve defended strongly and it’s been a lot better at the back this season. He’s implemented that on the training ground and they’ve become more solid.

“They look like a team that everybody’s in sync. He’s changed a lot which is great and the form and results are showing that.

“The big thing for me is that he’s won the dressing room over. The players are trusting and believing in him and that’s difficult.

“It doesn’t matter who you are, we’ve seen big managers, some of the best in the world with the biggest reputations, go to clubs and not win the players.

Arsenal EXCLUSIVE: Unai Emery's side are on a 14-game unbeaten run

Arsenal EXCLUSIVE: Unai Emery’s side are on a 14-game unbeaten run (Image: GETTY)

“For Emery to go in with a great CV, winning all the Europa League’s and everything else, to make such an immediate impact, it’s been very impressive.”

Emery won the Europa League three times during his time with Sevilla, which earned him a spell with PSG.

The Spaniard’s pedigree in European competitions was attractive to Arsenal, who knew they needed the right man to replace Wenger at the Emirates.

Emery has opted to play Alexandre Lacazette as his centre forward, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang settling for a spot on the left wing.

And Hartson has praised Emery’s team selection this season, claiming the 47-year-old has brought a feel-good factor back to Arsenal.

“I just think he’s doing the right thing. He’s playing a strong team,” he added.

“If you can get off to a flyer and you’re in a situation where you can win the group early, it gives you a great opportunity to bring a few of the fringe players in.

“He’s going the right way about it. Emery’s come in, he’s won the players over, which is very difficult because the players have been listening to one manager for 20 years.

Arsenal EXCLUSIVE: Unai Emery is getting the most out of Mesut Ozil

Arsenal EXCLUSIVE: Unai Emery is getting the most out of Mesut Ozil (Image: GETTY)

“He came in with a great CV but he still has to go and win the players, show them the way in terms of how they follow his philosophy and ideas. He’s done that.

“They’ve had a wonderful start and they’ve been on a great run. Lacazette is keeping players out.

“That feel-good factor after a lot of negativity is great. The players look a lot more buoyed now.”

Watch Arsenal v Sporting exclusively live on Thursday 9th November from 8pm on BT Sport 2. Watch on TV and via the award winning BT Sport App. For more info visit bt.com/sport.

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Three Hugely Important Takeaways From The Brighton Vs Arsenal Game

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Arsenal were held by Brighton & Hove Albion to a 1-1 draw as they put up a sub-par performance. After the first twenty minutes of the Brighton Vs Arsenal game, the Gunners simply lacked the cutting edge and decisiveness to win the game.

A shambolic performance in the Brighton Vs Arsenal match at the Falmer Stadium allowed Chelsea to gain a two point advantage to be placed fourth in the league table. Currently struggling, Manchester United comfortably won their match against Huddersfield town and have now reduced the deficit to 6 points.

Aubameyang once again initiated the goal scoring for the Gunners as his lovely curling effort gave them a 1-0 lead over the Seagulls. It was a culmination of poor defending and unnecessary panicking from the Brighton defense which allowed Aubameyang to unleash a beautiful curler for the starter.

Arsenal were the dominant force for the first twenty minutes and produced a substantial amount of chances. The ex-Dortmund striker could have had a hat-trick inside the first half, only if he had latched onto the chances and finished clinically. Credit must be given to Matt Ryan for making some great saves to keep his team in the hunt.

After the half hour mark, things started to ease out for the home team as they slowly started to take control of the proceedings of the Brighton Vs Arsenal tie. At the 35th minute, a long ball from Davy Propper found Stephen Lichsteiner, who fumbled a simple heading to gift the ball to Locadia, who found the equalizer for Brighton. Leno had already committed himself forward and it was a regulatory striker finish past the keeper into the net.

The second half saw Arsenal plummet in terms of creativity on the field. They simply could not string together a set of passes for the forwards to shoot at the goal. To sum up, the Brighton Vs Arsenal game was so bad that the Gunners only managed one shot on the target in the second half.

Why Lucas Torreira Is Arsenal’s Unrivalled Best Signing Of The Season

Brighton were stubborn in defense and did not allow the Gunners an inch of space to shoot. The substitutions made by Emery didn’t help the cause further. It was a dampening day at work for the visitors as they were tactically dominated by the mid table team.

With the Anfield trip next on their schedule, Arsenal needed the three vital points from the Brighton Vs Arsenal fixture to ensure they remain in hunt for the top four. After having dropped points here means Arsenal will now need to get a win against Liverpool at Anfield – a much more daunting task.

Here are the three talking points from the Brighton Vs Arsenal match:

1. Arsenal Need To Sort Out Their Defense ASAP

Injuries to defenders has plagued the Arsenal defense. Yet again it was a sub-standard performance by the Arsenal defense.The defenders simply lack application and are committing silly errors in front of the goal in crunch situations.

The transfer window does not open until new year. Once open, Arsenal definitely need to target solid center backs if they want to challenge for the fourth position in the league and the cup competitions.

With the most important fixture coming up before New Year against Liverpool at Anfield, if the defense isn’t sorted out, Leno will be left helpless against a much fierce Liverpool attack. Emery somehow needs to find a solution to the defensive woes.

2.Arsenal Are Over-reliant On Aubameyang For Goals

It was once again Aubameyang who kick-started the goal scoring for the Gunners. He had two more solid chances but was denied by some exquisite goal-keeping of Ryan. Aubameyang is the leading goal-scorer in the Premier League with 13 goals. Arsenal have always relied on him to dish out the goals.

It is high time that the other players stepped up and contributed more to the attack. Lacazette’s substitution during the Brighton Vs Arsenal game for Aaron Ramsey at the hour mark did not help the cause further. Although, he missed two big chances, but by far he was the most significant player on the pitch for Arsenal.

The Gabonese striker regularly made inroads into the shaky Brighton defense. Arsenal need Aubameyang to continue his rich form when they go up against table toppers Liverpool on 29th December at Anfield.

3. The Mesut Ozil Saga Continues Even For The Brighton Vs Arsenal Fixture

Emery substituted Mesut Ozil, the most creative player on the pitch at half time. The result was evident with Arsenal unable to push forward once Ozil was gone. The Gunners lacked the inventiveness once the German was gone.

There were no more risky passes or through balls in the second half of the Brighton Vs Arsenal tie. Aubameyang had no support and Torreira’s off day saw things go from bad to worse. It is evident that there are certain problems between Ozil and Unai Emery but Arsenal need to resolve them expeditiously.

Brighton’s goal in the Brighton Vs Arsenal match was somewhat Ozil’s fault too as he failed to track back in time. This led to him being substituted at the start of the second half.

Given his experience in big matches and the amount of creativity he brings to the team in the absence of a natural right winger, it is imperative that Emery continues to trust Ozil. The team is already bereft of Henrikh Mkhitariyan and hence Ozil should be included in the starting lineup against Liverpool.

Follow Arsedevils for more news and updates on Arsenal.

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Arsenal star Aaron Ramsey backed to make Juventus switch by Andrea Pirlo

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Juventus are currently top of Serie A, which is no surprise considering they’ve won the Italian league title for the past seven campaigns.

Despite their nine-point lead at the summit, manager Massimiliano Allegri is still keen to bolster his squad.

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World Cup winner Pirlo wasn’t surprised to hear of the interest in Ramsey, revealing that he is a fan of the Welsh international.

“Ramsey is a great purchase,” Pirlo said on Sky Sport Italia.

“Juventus are preparing another excellent deal. He is a strong player and could do very well.”

The Bianconeri have made a habit of picking up top players from other European clubs on free transfers, Ramsey could be another, his Arsenal deal expiring in the summer.

Pirlo himself joined the Italian giants after his contract expired at Milan in 2011, showing that his former club have a keen eye for a bargain.

This season Emre Can joined on a free from Liverpool with Dani Alves joining from Barcelona for nothing in 2016.

Sami Khedira is another player who made the switch after seeing his contract expire, and has gone on to play 118 times for Juventus, scoring 20 goals.

Ramsey has been quiet on his Arsenal future this season, but it has been widely reported that Unai Emery and the former Cardiff man have quit talks after failing to agree terms.

Before the season began Emery had been vocal about Ramsey’s place in the Arsenal squad, stating before that that a new contract was on it’s way.

“I’m very happy with him,” said Emery in August.

“For me, every day, every training session, he has the ambition I want.

“He’s working with a quality, the type of ability that I want. I want to work with him.”

The Gunners are currently fifth in the Premier League table with 11 wins from their 19 games.

Emery’s side face a tough trip to Anfield on Saturday as they hope to leapfrog Chelsea into the top four.

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Mo Salah has his say on Kalidou Koulibaly racist abuse

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Liverpool star Mo Salah has waded in on the racist abuse directed at Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly. The Senegalese defender was targeted by Inter…

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