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Man Utd players react to England duty

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Manchester United’s players have been reflecting on a successful week away with England. The Three Lions made it two wins from two Euro 2020…

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Unai Emery slammed in damning verdict before Arsenal hero then takes swipe at Nicolas Pepe

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Unai Emery has not solved any of the grave problems which existed at Arsenal under Arsene Wenger, according to Paul Merson.

Arsenal made a bright start to the campaign but have not won their last three league games, losing to Liverpool and drawing with Tottenham and Watford.

Last weekend’s capitulation at Vicarage Road particularly brought Emery under fire as Arsenal’s passing out from the back tactics were punished by the Hornets.

And Merson, who played for the club for 12 years, has taken aim at Emery in a column for the Daily Star.

“It’s Unai Wenger at Arsenal at the moment because it’s the same old story,” he said.

“They go 2-0 down against Tottenham and suddenly the shackles come off and they look like the Harlem Globetrotters.

“But then against Watford they go 2-0 up and by the end of the game they’re hanging on for dear life. That can’t happen.

“It’s like the Arsene Wenger days all over again. It’s no different.

“Why is it that just because there’s a new rule where you don’t have to go out of your box at a goal kick, that Arsenal think they have to pass it four yards across their own goal?

“It’s Playstation football. It’s something you’d see on FIFA. Not in the Premier League. Emery will have to change his ways or he’ll soon be out of a job.

“If they don’t beat Aston Villa at the Emirates today the fans might start to turn.”

New signing Nicolas Pepe also felt the wrath of Merson.

The £72million man from Lille has not scored but supplied two assists in six Gunners appearances so far.

“And Nicolas Pepe needs to pull his finger out too,” Merson added.

“He hasn’t looked anything like a £72m footballer so far.”

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Crystal Palace hero Wilfried Zaha opens up on failed Arsenal and Everton summer transfers

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Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha has said that he will always love the club despite wanting to leave in the summer.

Arsenal wanted to sign Zaha but Palace wanted in excess of £70million for him, something which the Gunners could not afford in full.

Once that move fell through, Everton then came in for the Ivorian’s signature.

But Palace wouldn’t listen to their offers either – one of which was said to be £50m plus Cenk Tosun and James McCarthy.

Zaha’s brother Judicael spoke publicly about his sibling’s desire to leave Palace for Arsenal – who he supported as a child.

The former Manchester United winger ended up staying with Palace – the club he professes to love regardless of his summer wishes.

“To be honest what happened in the summer happened,” he told Palace fan site HLTCO.

“Obviously there were things that I was told that did not happen and I was not happy about it.

“I’m still a Palace player and I’m still at Palace and want to do well for the club.

“It’s an honour to play for Palace in the Premier League

“I love Crystal Palace. I feel like the fans and everything in the stadium is different to every club, it is a proper family club. Crystal Palace fans care about your well being.

“I will always love Crystal Palace – whatever happens.

“Even years back when I went to Manchester United I followed everything that happened at Palace. It will not end tomorrow if I ever move.

“I’ve been at Palace since I was eight. Palace is a special place.”

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Kieran Tierney close to Arsenal debut as Unai Emery provides injury update on three stars

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Arsenal manager Unai Emery has offered updates on the fitness of defensive trio Rob Holding, Hector Bellerin and Kieran Tierney.

The Gunners take on Aston Villa at the Emirates tomorrow (4.30pm) looking to respond to their disappointment against Watford a week ago.

Arsenal squandered a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 at Vicarage Road in their second successive draw, both by the same score-line.

A much-changed side recovered to beat Eintracht Frankfurt in their opening Europa League group stage game on Thursday but now getting back on track domestically is their chief ambition.

Their mid-week clean sheet will however have been more than welcome for Emery, whose side have once again struggled defensively this season.

David Luiz, signed from Chelsea for £8million in the summer, gave away a second penalty in just three games at Watford and Arsenal have already leaked eight goals in five league matches.

Such are their problems at the back that Arsenal fans are clamouring for the returns of several stars, with Holding and Bellerin long-term absentees while another summer addition – left-back Tierney – has yet to make his debut due to fitness issues.

But the Spanish boss has revealed the trio are all increasingly closer to 100 per cent, with former Celtic star Tierney closing in on his first appearance after moving south of the border for £25m.

Emery said: ”[Holding] is ready to play. We are playing on Sunday against Aston Villa and on Tuesday against Nottingham Forest [in the Carabao Cup]. These two matches I can decide whether or not to play.

“Hector Bellerin has had a long injury. He needs to go through a process, then we will see how he’s feeling. When he’s confident enough to play, he can start with us.

“With Kieran Tierney, his injury was shorter than Bellerin’s, but the same [process].

“He’ll play [Friday night], we’ll see how he finishes that match and then we have two matches Sunday and Tuesday so, maybe, maybe, he’ll be ready to play some minutes with us.”

Both Bellerin and Tierney lasted an hour of action unscathed as Arsenal’s under-23s drew 2-2 with Wolves last night.

Looking ahead to their return to Premier League action tomorrow, Arsenal have lost just one of their last 20 home games in the division, winning 20.

The Londoners are on a six-match winning streak against Villa, keeping a clean sheet in their past five meetings.

Villa, meanwhile, have lost their last nine away games in the top flight and are one game away from matching their club record of 10 straight defeats on the road set back in 1925.

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