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Unai Emery admits Tottenham are currently better than his Arsenal side

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Unai Emery admits Tottenham Hotspur are currently better than his Arsenal side as he prepares for his first north London derby

  • Unai Emery admits that Tottenham are better than his Arsenal side at present
  • Emery will experience his first north London derby at Emirates Stadium  
  • The Arsenal boss is close friends with Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino 
  • Tottenham are third in the table, three points ahead of rivals Arsenal 

Mark Mann-bryans, Press Association Sport

Unai Emery will experience a north London derby for the first time on Sunday and admits his friend Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham are currently better than his own Arsenal side.

After replacing Arsene Wenger in the summer, Emery has started his tenure as Gunners’ head coach with some positive performances and is enjoying an 18-match unbeaten streak heading into his first taste of derby-day in England.

The 47-year-old came up against Spurs boss Pochettino during their time managing in Spain, with Emery recommending the then-Espanyol coach as his replacement when he left Valencia.

Arsenal head coach Unai Emery admitted that Tottenham are better than his Arsenal side

Arsenal head coach Unai Emery admitted that Tottenham are better than his Arsenal side

Pochettino instead ended up coming to England, firstly with Southampton and now at Tottenham, and has earned a reputation as one of the best coaches in the Premier League.

His side ran roughshod over Chelsea in securing a 3-1 victory at Wembley last weekend and will be keen to dish out defeat to Emery in his first north London derby.

While Spurs are drawing the plaudits, Emery’s Arsenal will leapfrog their neighbours in the table if they win at the Emirates Stadium as the Spaniard prepares to encounter yet another local rivalry at close quarters.

‘The Seville derby is very, very passionate,’ the former Sevilla coach said.

‘I lived different derbies like Real Sociedad v Athletic Bilbao, like CSKA Moscow v Spartak, PSG v Olympique Marseille.

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino is a good friend of Arsenal boss Emery

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino is a good friend of Arsenal boss Emery

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino is a good friend of Arsenal boss Emery

‘Sevilla v Betis is with the passion because they are two teams with very big and passionate supporters and here in England I think I am going to live Sunday the first derby and think it is similar with the passion.

‘Sometimes in the history, Sevilla is better and sometimes Betis are better. I think here it is the same.

‘At the moment, Tottenham is better than us in the table and better than us last year but in history Arsenal is better at other moments that Tottenham.

‘I think we are going to live with two (sets of) supporters and I think it will be a very good atmosphere.

‘The first match is in our stadium and with our supporters and we want on Sunday to give them the best performance and can give them our energy and our things on the pitch to help them push us.’

UNAI EMERY’S RECORD AGAINST MAURICIO POCHETTINO 

Played: Seven 

Won: Four

Drawn: Two

Lost: One

Speaking in the build-up to Sunday’s derby, Pochettino said he and Emery are ‘very good friends’.

They will finally meet again after Emery’s roundabout journey to Premier League management – and he has been impressed by what he has seen from Pochettino to date.

‘His career is very, very consistent,’ Emery added. ‘His structure in every team is very clear and also with good performances, usually he was working in Spain then at Southampton and also at Tottenham with young players and usually every young player improve with him or with his staff.

‘I think he is deserving in his career like the best, with the likes of (Pep) Guardiola and (Diego) Simeone, he is a very big coach.’

Asked if he thought Pochettino could be tempted to leave for the likes of Real Madrid, Emery replied: ‘At the moment I think he is happy in Tottenham and there is a lot of respect for him from the club.

‘Every coach we know how they work but it depends on results and the respect from the team where you are – here in England there is big respect to the coaches in the Premier League and he is doing well in Tottenham.’



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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.

3-4-3 : SEVEN Changes Made With Mkhitaryan, Iwobi To Start | Strongest Arsenal Lineup Against Qarabag

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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