FA Cup rotation likely: will we get Partey started again?

We begin our defence of the FA Cup today, a trophy we’ve won more than any other club, when Newcastle come to the Emirates later on.

I expect Mikel Arteta to rotate his squad quite a bit today. There’s a Premier League game on Thursday, we face today’s opposition in the league the following Monday, and although the schedule itself hasn’t been as taxing as it might have been, this is more about keeping players who haven’t had minutes fresh rather than resting those who have.

It’s quite something to think that someone like Emile Smith Rowe, about whose potential the manager spoke in glowing terms, could be sitting this one out to save him for Palace when just a few short weeks ago this was the kind of fixture you’d be looking for him to play in. It must be tempting to stick with what works, but like … Read the rest

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer gives update on injured Man United star in wake of hefty collision during FA Cup triumph

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has shed light on the condition of Eric Bailly after the centre-back was withdrawn during Manchester United’s victory over Watford.

United’s win over the Hornets was less than convincing, but they returned to winning ways and progressed to the next round of the FA Cup – what else matters?

All that will be of concern to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in wake of the game is the condition of Bailly, who was forcibly taken off as a substitute after a hefty collision with goalkeeper Dean Henderson.

MORE: Opinion: Solskjaer deserves more credit for United’s league turnaround

At the time of the incident it looked as though it could have been a head injury, concussion being the assumption, hence why the physios were so insistent to get him off the field.

Arsenal take a loan for cash flow … and squad management?

Morning all.

It’s Friday, on Saturday we play Newcastle in the FA Cup, but I’ll leave any previewing of that game till tomorrow.

Let’s start this morning with news from yesterday which saw the club announce they had taken a £120m loan from the government’s Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF) scheme.

The statement read:

We are taking a short-term £120 million loan through this facility to partially assist in managing the impacts of the revenue losses attributable to the pandemic. This is a similar approach to that taken by a wide variety of major organisations across many industries including sport, and is repayable in May 2021.

The CCFF is designed to provide short-term finance at commercial rates during the pandemic to companies that have strong investment ratings and which make significant contributions to the British economy.

Now, with billionaire owners, some might wonder why this isn’t something KSE themselves … Read the rest

Fraser Forster reveals he always wanted a second bite of the cherry at Southampton and was never interested in returning to Celtic

Southampton goalkeeper, Fraser Forster, was pursued by Celtic for some time in pre-season. The goalkeeper was also linked with a return to the Glasgow club this month, as the Hoops look to fill the void between the sticks since he left. However, his recent start and clean sheet against Liverpool meant that was looking unlikely, before Forster put the final nail in the Celtic transfer coffin today.

The former England international told the Daily Echo : “It’s been a strange few years, it’s been a tough few years Obviously it’s a club I love a lot. I had some fantastic times here in the past and I’ve always been keen to come back and try and play here.

MORE: Video: “Football deserves to continue,” manager gives his verdict on Coronavirus threat to the game

“That’s all I wanted to do in the summer. I wanted to come back and give … Read the rest

The Next Step

The world feels a little lighter after three consecutive Arsenal victories. Whether the decision to introduce Emile Smith-Rowe into the team was forced onto manager Mikel Arteta or whether it was always part of his plan is open to debate- sometimes a coach finds solutions and sometimes solutions find the coach.

What is important is how a coach develops an idea and responds to the inevitable opposition responses. As I wrote last week, simply having a competent number 10, capable of popping up into spaces and creating passing lanes for his teammates has overhauled Arsenal’s previously stodgy football.

Smith-Rowe is still a young player with injuries in his past so he will need to be looked after. Very few players are capable of playing every game in any case, so another creative midfielder should still be near the top of the club’s shopping list in January. Smith-Rowe’s emergence as … Read the rest

West Ham transfer news: Haller set for record-breaking move tomorrow, Lyon identify a replacement for Moussa Dembele

David Moyes has been pretty outspoken on his attacking options (or lack of them) in recent weeks so we can only presume that Sebastian Haller is leaving the club to make way for an upgrade.

The Ivorian striker just hasn’t lived up to his early billing since moving to England so it makes sense to move him on, but it turns out it will still be a record breaking fee if that move goes through:

West Ham minds will immediately turn to who the replacement will be, so it’s definitely exciting news to see that Lyon striker Moussa Dembele has been … Read the rest

Covid concerns + January transfer departure rumours

Morning. Hope you’re all doing well out there. Although the football in 2021 has given us a lift, the world is still a strange, scary place and I hope you’re coping and doing the best you can to stay safe and healthy.

Covid-19 cases have gone through the roof here in Ireland. Proportionately I think we’re one of the highest anywhere in the world after a completely predictable rise after the restrictions were lifted to allow people to have a ‘meaningful Christmas’. That will lead to even tighter restrictions now, and for what? Nothing that couldn’t have waited, a turkey dinner FFS, but no politician wants to be seen as the Grinch who cancelled Christmas. Imagine thinking it’s preferable to be seen as the one who caused a massive spike in infections and who filled up ICU beds to capacity inside a couple of weeks. That’s a complete abdication of … Read the rest

Bruno Fernandes hilariously trolled by SAVAGE compilation after Man United are beaten by Man City

Manchester United talisman Bruno Fernandes has been brilliantly trolled by a savage ‘compilation’ put together by a rival fan on Twitter after an uncharacteristically illusive display during his side’s Carabao Cup semi-final defeat to Manchester City on Wednesday evening.

Fernandes has arguably been the player of the season so far in the Premier League, with his influence a major contributor to how and why United find themselves in an unlikely contention for the title. However, he was unable to prevent his side from being beaten by City at Old Trafford.

MORE: (Video) Solskjaer hints at resting Man United star ahead of Watford clash

The Portuguese midfielder, who oftentimes pops up with a moment of magic to save United’s blushes in their time of need, had no tricks up his sleeve tonight which could overturn the deficit and turn the contest in the Red Devils’ favour. As a result, it’s City … Read the rest

William Saliba loan should have happened sooner

Morning all.

Let’s start this morning with William Saliba, following confirmation of the news yesterday that he will join Nice on loan until the end of the season.

It’s been clear for some time that this was going to happen, the question was more about his destination than whether or not he’d go on loan. Nice are currently 12th in Ligue 1, having won 6, drawn 4 and lost 6. Sadly the Arsenal connection there is gone, Patrick Vieira was fired as Head Coach at the start of the December, but hopefully he’ll get plenty of minutes and time to play.

Speaking about the move, Technical Director Edu said:

“William Saliba is a player with a huge amount of talent and potential. We’re confident he will have a great career with us but we must remember that he is still only 19 years old and has a lot of

Read the rest

Report suggests Arsenal outcast has given his approval to re-join his former club

Although Arsenal struggled to offload several squad members in the summer, it appears that the January window could be kinder to them.

Only they will know if it’s a case of other clubs getting more desperate or some players reducing their wage demands in a search for regular football, but Sead Kolasinac and William Saliba have already completed moves this month.

Greek defender Sokratis has also been at the centre of rumours about a January exit, and it appears that a reunion with Genoa is a real possibility:

It’s worth noting that nothing has been agreed yet and the report also hints that Mustafi has been sounded out as an alternative, but they do confirm Sokratis has given his approval to return to the Serie A club.

He moved to … Read the rest