Mikel Arteta hails returning Arsenal star and explains a new side of his game that Arsenal fans can expect to see

Sometimes it’s easy to think that a player might be limited because of the system that they play in, but a change of scenery can suddenly bring out a new side of their game.

Thomas Partey tended to play in a more disciplined role at Atletico Madrid because Diego Simeone likes to keep things tight and his system demands that players are always thinking about defending first.

That did lead to suggestions that Thomas Partey could be a limited player and Arsenal might only use him in a holding role, but he’s starting to show that he can be a true all-round midfielder.

Mikel Arteta was asked about this in his press conference, and it’s clear that he hopes to see Partey become a creative force in the Arsenal midfield going forward:

That’s promising news for the … Read the rest

Araujo and Mingueza: The future is bright

After years of poor squad planning, expensive signings and underperforming veterans, two young talents have, once again, shown the value of La Masia. This has come in the form of defenders Ronald Araujo and Óscar Mingueza. Both are establishing themselves as reliable and confident centre-backs with huge potentials.

This campaign is crucial for Barcelona. The club has been on a gradual decline for several seasons and, in that time, faced some of the worst defeats in its 121 years of existence. As Ronald Koeman has stated so himself, this truly is a transitional season for the Blaugrana.

The team was in desperate need of new blood and rejuvenation in the squad. Though this was partially completed, Barça found themselves short in some positions. This was particularly the case when Gerard Piqué sustained a long-term injury against Atletico Madrid. The Catalan side found themselves without any experienced right-sided … Read the rest

Video: Disgraceful scenes from Lionel Messi as he’s given a straight red for violent conduct as Barca lose to Athletic Bilbao

There’s been a feeling that Lionel Messi has been getting incredibly frustrated at Barcelona this season, and that came to the fore as he was given a straight red in the final moments of their Super Cup loss tonight.

There’s a tangle off the ball but he clearly loses his temper and lashes out at the Bilbao player, so the ref had little choice but to send him off after the VAR review:

Pictures from Spanish Super Cup

It came in the final moments as they were already headed for defeat anyway, but this was Koeman’s chance to win some silverware so he has to be furious with his star man after this

The post Video: Read the rest

Antoine Griezmann bursts after Supercopa loss: “Fu*ked, annoyed, angry”

While Barcelona fell on their knees against Athletic Bilbao owing to a collective, and to a large part, underwhelming individual performances, one player in the Garnet and Blue certainly had a field day – Antoine Griezmann.

The Frenchman opened the scoring in the 40th minute with a grounded shot. After his lead was cut down, Griezmann came up clutch once again in the 77th minute after his spot-on movement in the box helped Barcelona take the lead.

Sadly, it was not to be, as Barça conceded two goals in four minutes to lose what might be their only final of the season. And Griezmann, like several Barcelona fans, could not hide his anger.

He burst out with an opening statement in the post-game presser: “Fu*ked, annoyed, angry. Someone has to shout during these actions. We don’t communicate. We have to work on it,” said Griezmann.

“We concede goals due Read the rest

PICS: Atletico Femenino Supercopa history-makers STUN in mouth-watering Instagram bikini snaps

Atletico Feminino won their first ever Supercopa this evening with a 3-0 victory over Levante UD Feminino – making them one of the best looking teams ever to win a piece of silverware.

Atletico made light work of their Levante counterparts, heading into half-time 3-0 up and holding that advantage for the remainder of the contest, thus winning the game.

Two goals from Njoya Ajara and another from Deyna Castellanos was enough to secure them the trophy on Saturday evening, but as you might expect from a women’s football team from Madrid, there were eleven trophies on the field of the play at kick-off.

MORE: Video: Atletico’s gorgeous ex-Puskas nominee Deyna Castellanos scores stunner from range

While the players’ achievements on the field of play deserve great credit, we do pride ourselves on being lads’ lads at our core, picture something along these lines.

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Lautaro Martínez talks about the summer rumours of playing alongside Messi

It has been quite a while since we’ve last heard about any concrete rumours of Lautaro Martínez potentially joining Barcelona. The Argentine striker was previously a hot target for the Catalans but following a long hassling period with Inter, and some untimely financial issues, the Azulgranas had to abandon their quest.

Now, other players seem to take priority over the young star as Ronald Koeman looks to strengthen the squad even further. However, back in Italy where Martínez is currently playing, the media seem to still have some interest in that particular story.

Recently, the Argentine was asked about the summer rumours of him wanting to play alongside his compatriot, Lionel Messi. The quotes were given to Gazzetta dello Sport but were relayed by Calciomercato.

“It [playing with Messi] was a dream for me too, of course, because playing with him is fantastic. He is the best player in Read the rest

RB Leipzig make decision on Arsenal and Chelsea midfield transfer target

According to Todo Fichajes, RB Leipzig have closed the door on the prospect of Marcel Sabitzer leaving the club in the January transfer window.

Sabitzer has proven his credentials in the middle of the park both in the Bundesliga and on the European stage during his time as a Leipzig player.

As per Todo Fichajes, this has seen him emerge as a target for Arsenal, with Mikel Arteta looking to further bolster his midfield beyond the already recruited Thomas Partey.

MORE: Report – Barcelona man finds himself on Arsenal’s radar

However, if the Gunners were hoping to sign Sabitzer this winter, they’re set to be left disappointed, with Todo Fichajes reported that RB Leipzig will not allow him to leave mid-season.

Brazil legend Rivaldo talks Koeman, Dembélé, Ter Stegen, De Jong

In recent times, club legends and ex-players have come back into the sport as journalists, football pundits, or analysts. Be it Roy Keane criticising Manchester United beyond rationale, or Rafa Benitez’s columns for The Athletic, the game is more welcome for people not, or less associated with the sport to speak their thoughts about it. For Barcelona, one such club legend has been Rivaldo.

The Brazilian attacking midfielder appeared in 235 games for the Garnet and Blue of Barcelona, scoring 129 goals and setting up 41 for his teammates. Rivaldo spoke with Marca this Friday, tackling many subjects and made some big statements concerning the players at the club right now.

Rivaldo started with some praise for Ronald Koeman’s management, even though it has been criticised. “I have always said that the key to managing young talents is not to put too much pressure on them. I Read the rest

Mounting rumours suggest that Neil Lennon has been sacked as manager of Celtic

Calls for Neil Lennon to be sacked have been fervent for a couple of months now. Celtic fans staged demonstrations outside the stadium at various times, directing their anger at both Lennon and the club’s hierarchy.

One of many banners by Celtic fans expressing discontent with Neil Lennon (Manager), Peter Lawwell (Chief Executive) and Dermot Desmond (Majority Shareholder)

Celtic endured one of the worst runs of form in the club’s history with just 2 wins in 12 matches at one stage. The Glasgow giants have the largest budget in Scotland and arguably the best players on paper. However, they failed to qualify for the UEFA Champions League, were one goal away from breaking the record for the most goals conceded in a Europa League group stage, exited the League Cup in the first round and trail Rangers by 21 points in the League.

MORE: Liverpool star Andy Robertson in awkward

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Koeman talks Puig, Dembélé, and Supercup final following penalty shootout win against Sociedad

Ronald Koeman’s Barcelona qualified for the Spanish Supercup final after a heated game against Real Sociedad. Barcelona won on penalties in a cagey affair, and, in the end, deserved to go through.

After an intense extra-time, the Dutchman seemed really happy with his team’s display and win and spoke in the post-match press conference (via Barça TV+).

“I’m very happy with tonight’s performance. We struggled a bit, but we were the better side,” said the Dutchman.

He was also asked about the rotations, particularly Lionel Messi not starting due to a minor injury: “I’m very proud of this team. We have a lot of injuries, and it’s important to have players who can replace them and still offer great things.”

Quite ironically, the game-winning penalty goal was scored by Riqui Puig, who is not known to have the best relationship with Koeman.

“The last penalty? I had four names Read the rest