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The Unai Emery-Mesut Ozil Feud Continues Taking An Uncertain Turn

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Since the beginning of the season, there have been rumors flying out regarding quarrels between Arsenal manager Unai Emery and Mesut Ozil.

Be it being subbed off during the 3-2 loss against Chelsea to being excluded from the squad in the victory over West Ham and most recently, eliminating the playmaker from the starting XI against Bournemouth.

Even though the gaffer and the player have denied any possibility of a bust-up, fans and pundits are getting more and more skeptical about the pair’s sour relationship as the season progresses.

The German’s exclusion from the starting line-up at Vitality Stadium drew a lot of eyes as many believed there was no genuine justification for the same. Emery added fuel to the fire when he hinted that he did not trust his best-paid player to do the job and cope up physically with 8th placed Bournemouth.

The Gunners came back in action after 2 weeks of international break. However, since Ozil was not a part of his national team, there was little need for him to be rested. Additionally, since the subsequent fixture was against FC Vorskla Poltava in The Europa League, it was well obvious that first team players will not feature as the London Giants had already made it to the next stage of the competition which further questions the decision for the Gunners’ No.10 to settle for being an unused substitute.

Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown, who got in a feud with the German and his agent last season, has reason to believe that Ozil should be ‘extremely concerned’ about his place in Emery’s plans for the future. The former English international revealed,

“Ozil must be asking himself why he is not in the team. He will point to the draw with Liverpool – Arsenal’s best performance of the season – and can say that result was delivered with him in the team.

“As a player, I would have been concerned reading Emery’s comments after the Bournemouth game. Emery will have been talking about the same things with Ozil day in, day out on the training pitch and will have felt that he had given the player enough chances. But I fully expect Ozil to come back into the side for this game.”

The last statement of Keown offers some hope to Arsenal fans as they would love to see their star midfielder back in action in the North London Derby. The former German international was the heart of the team as the Emirates outfit beat their fierce rivals 2-0 last season. Orchestrating every attack and getting the best out of his team-mates sufficed for Ozil to earn the man of the match title.

However, times were different back then as Arsene Wenger’s successor does not cut off slack for Ozil the same way and the widely reported bust-ups do not help much. It can only be speculated if the gaffer will include the playmaker in his starting XI.

I think Emery is getting the best out of Mesut Ozil. The tough-love approach used by the manager may be precisely what the playmaker needs and a few reminders time and again that he has to earn his place in the team irrespective of being the club’s highest-paid player can help.

I don’t think the former Sevilla boss would name the World Cup winner as one of his 5 captains if he did not believe in him and his ability. I would love to see our No.10 back in the starting line-up against Spurs but an unbeaten run of 18 games is enough for me to trust any decision made by Emery as long as the results continue to pour in.

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Tweets and Photos: Liverpool players celebrate reaching Champions League last-16

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Liverpool are through to the Champions League knockout rounds after a 1-0 win over Napoli at Anfield last night. Mo Salah’s first-half goal and…

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Granit Xhaka A Massive Revelation For Arsenal Since Unai Emery’s Arrival At The Emirates

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Arsenal fans have been crying out for a quality holding midfielder for the past decade and their wish had been fulfilled with the arrival of Borussia Mönchengladbach captain, Granit Xhaka in 2016.

Xhaka promised so much, long-range passing, brilliant shooting, and leadership to name a few qualities, however after a short cameo in his first season, he promised very little thereafter.

Lunging into unnecessary challenges, leading to a booking and slow on the ball were the main problems which left Arsenal fans frustrated at times.

However, with Unai Emery coming in this year, Granit Xhaka was made 1 of the 5 captains on his list. He also introduced different strategies and tactics to the Swiss which has been a revelation till now for Arsenal.

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Xhaka has shown many positive changes since Unai’s arrival – better passing, commanding the ball well, better defensive record and yes scoring through some wonderful free-kicks.

Lucas Torreira’s arrival has benfited Xhaka’s form more than anything else. Torreira’s defensive capabilities unleash the Swiss’ passing as well as attacking skills. Their partnership in the midfield has been very crucial to the Gunners’ Unbeaten Run.

In my opinion, this has to go down to Emery. He must have instructed the players not to get too comfortable. Players will start as per their performance, not prestige, as we can see with Ozil’s situation.

One can say Xhaka is in his prime years and is only 25 years old which makes the Arsenal’s midfield future proof.

Emery knew the potential of the Swiss International and hence adorned him the captain’s arm-band, hoping to keep discipline while maintaining leadership.

Xhaka hasn’t got a single red card this season, but earned five yellow cards which cannot be overlooked. His passing has been questioned a couple of times, however, in the majority, he has provided some splendid crosses and passes.

Overall, Xhaka has been a more well-rounded box to box midfielder. Also, Rob Holding has improved well from last season. Although unfortunately, Rob suffered a very bad injury (ACL) against Manchester United and will probably won’t feature again for the Gunners this season.

Emery and his tactics have not only worked in Xhaka’s favour but also with other players like Holding, Iwobi. Arsenal fans need to give him more time and after a few more transfer windows, we can think of lifting some serious silverware.

Arsenal now face Qarabag in their final group stage fixture of the Europa League on Thursday.

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Premier League fear Sterling and Aubameyang racism storms are damaging their brand

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Premier League fear racism storms involving Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Raheem Sterling are damaging their global brand

  • A banana was recently thrown towards Arsenal star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
  • Raheem Sterling was allegedly racially abused by a Chelsea fan last weekend
  • The Premier League swiftly condemned the Sterling incident at Stamford Bridge 
  • But it’s understood there are concerns the incidents are having an impact on the way the Premier League is perceived 

Sami Mokbel for the Daily Mail

The Premier League fear the two high-profile racism storms that have rocked English football are damaging their global brand.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Raheem Sterling have been at the centre of two racism controversies in as many weeks, triggering questions about how tolerant English football is.

The Premier League swiftly released a statement condemning the incident at Stamford Bridge concerning Sterling, who was allegedly racially abused by a Chelsea fan.  

A Tottenham fan threw a banana skin at Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang this month

A Tottenham fan threw a banana skin at Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang this month

Raheem Sterling was the victim of alleged racist abuse during Premier League loss at Chelsea 

Raheem Sterling was the victim of alleged racist abuse during Premier League loss at Chelsea 

Raheem Sterling was the victim of alleged racist abuse during Premier League loss at Chelsea 

But while the flashpoint has dominated the news agenda in recent days, the incident has hardly been visible on the Premier League’s official website.

Sportsmail also understands the body’s own in-house programming have kept reporting of the flashpoint involving Sterling to a minimum, in what appears to be an effort to curtail the impact of the incident.

Their in-house coverage of the north London derby on December 2, which saw a Tottenham fan hurl a banana skin at Arsenal striker Aubameyang, did include a discussion on the incident.

They have also reported on the Sterling incident, but without the level of exposure it has been given by independent broadcasters.

The Premier League fear the two high-profile racism storms are damaging their global brand

The Premier League fear the two high-profile racism storms are damaging their global brand

The Premier League fear the two high-profile racism storms are damaging their global brand

Sterling has been praised for the manner in which he appeared to laugh off the vile abuse

Sterling has been praised for the manner in which he appeared to laugh off the vile abuse

Sterling has been praised for the manner in which he appeared to laugh off the vile abuse

Indeed, it is understood there are concerns the incidents involving Aubameyang and Sterling are having an impact on the way the Premier League is perceived across the world.  

Top-flight chiefs have successfully shaped the Premier League into one of the most lucrative and multi-cultural divisions in world football.

But there is a realisation the two incidents, that happened in the space of six days, could seriously damage the gleaming image they have worked so hard to nurture.

Despite the two episodes occurring in such close proximity, league bosses are hopeful the incidents are not part of a growing and wider problem of racism in England’s top division.

The Sterling incident has hardly been visible on the Premier League’s website in recent days

The Sterling incident has hardly been visible on the Premier League’s website in recent days

The Sterling incident has hardly been visible on the Premier League’s website in recent days

The Premier League have undertaken some excellent work in trying to eradicate racism from English football.

They have supported and worked closely with anti-racism body Kick it Out to ensure grounds have become more tolerant.

Equally, through various grassroots programmes, the Premier League have sought to educate youngsters about prejudice.

Yet there is an acknowledgement behind the scenes that much more has to be done to ensure the problem does not escalate. 



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