Arsenal defender Sead Kolasinac opens up about carjacking incident: ‘Mentally this was hard’

18 Sep

Arsenal defender Sead Kolasinac has spoken out for the first time about the terrifying knife attack on him and Mesut Ozil.

Kolasinac and Ozil were attacked by knife-wielding carjackers in north London last month, with video footage remarkably showing the former jumping out of the car and bravely chasing off the thugs.

Kolasinac has opened up about the carjacking incident
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The players were subsequently withdrawn from the squad for the Gunners’ Premier League opener at Newcastle due to ‘further security incidents’.

Kolasinac is now back in the first-team, while Ozil has managed just 71 minutes all season as he started his first game in the 2-2 draw at Watford on Sunday

And the Bosnian full-back, talking ahead of the Europa League opener with Eintracht Frankfurt, has admitted it was mentally tough to get back into football following the incident.

“Well, of course I’m happy to be back. Of course mentally this was hard, missing also training for a couple of days,” Kolasinac told the media.

“I made up for it. I’m back and happy to be back with the team and able to perform with them on the pitch with the team.

“About what happened I don’t want to talk about it in details. It’s happened and it’s something that belongs to the past. The same with Mesut.

“We are back and we focus on our job and team. We have a very important match ahead here in Frankfurt.”

Arsenal boss Unai Emery offered up the rather bizarre excuse that Ozil was instead being rested alongside Sokratis Papastathopoulos – who has played every minute of the opening five Premier League games of the season.

“We are playing now a lot of matches and I want to use different players and also can have some rotation in the first 11 and in the 19 players in the squad for tomorrow and Sokratis and Mesut they rest this match,” he said.

Ozil has played just 72 minutes of action this season
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“I prefer after the Sunday match to rest that match and to train and to be ready for Sunday.

“Because we are going to play another match on Sunday. My decision is because he played and also I’m thinking tomorrow the focus and the first 11.

“After that I decided who are the players who can be the best for tomorrow and also the players not and that is Sokratis and Mesut.

“Really the first match he played on Sunday, he played well and was good physically – also giving us his capacity and skills and after his first minutes (of the season) it was good for us.

“Now he is ready to help us, not tomorrow but on Sunday – we are going to play another match and tomorrow we are thinking to do some rotation.”

Thibaut Courtois: Real Madrid goalkeeper hasn’t kept a single clean sheet since FEBRUARY after conceding cheap goal against PSG

18 Sep

Thibaut Courtois’ disastrous patch of form for Real Madrid doesn’t look like it will end any time soon.

The former Chelsea shot-stopper gifted PSG the lead in their Champions League clash on Wednesday evening after allowing Angel Di Maria’s shot to squeeze past him at his near post.

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Courtois has had a torrid time at Real Madrid since his move from Chelsea[/caption]

With the scoreline at 0-0, the ball was put into the box by Bernat, with Di Maria latching onto it before squeezing the ball at the near post past the Belgian.

It wasn’t the best effort from the Argentine, but it was certainly one that Courtois should have saved – and following on from the error a stat has emerged which truly does not make for great reading for Los Blancos fans.

Courtois remarkably hasn’t kept a clean sheet for Real Madrid since FEBRUARY – almost eight months – letting in a total 56 goals in his first 40 matches at the club.

His error represents yet another moment in the Real career where he has failed to cover himself in glory.

Zinedine Zidane sold Keylor Navas to the French champions in the summer, and seeing him line up in the opposition area was a stark reminder for Real fans of what they were missing.

The Belgium international, named the best goalkeeper at the 2018 World Cup, signed a six-year deal with the Spanish giants after completing a £31.5m move from Chelsea last year.

Manchester United legend Paul Scholes plays down THAT magical pass in Vincent Kompany’s testimonial – ‘It was luck!’

18 Sep

Manchester United legend Paul Scholes has played down that magical pass in Vincent Kompany’s testimonial, insisting it was more ‘luck’ than anything else.

Although the night was ultimately about Kompany, Scholes also stole the headlines with some sublime passing and one particular piece of flair which caught the eye.

He produced an outrageous no-look pass to Robin van Persie with the outside of his right boot in the 58th minute, reminding us all that he’s still got it.

Scholes rolled back the years during the testimonial
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“I think it was a little bit lucky and I think it’s been blown out of proportion a little bit!” Scholes exclusively told talkSPORT.

“I really enjoyed it. It was for a great cause and Vincent Kompany’s a legend at Manchester City for what he’s done.

“It was a pleasure for us to play because it was a really good night.”

Meanwhile, Scholes also said it would be no ‘big loss’ to United should Paul Pogba leave the Premier League giants in the near future.

The 26-year-old continues to divide opinion at Old Trafford, having endured a rollercoaster spell since rejoining the club from Juventus three years ago.

The French midfielder hinted he was ready to go during the summer transfer window and was heavily linked with with moves to Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid and Barcelona.

And Scholes remains unconvinced with the enigmatic midfielder, who he says has made it ‘quite clear’ he wants to depart United once again.

Scholes added: “I think it’s quite clear he wants to leave the club.

“He wanted to move to Real Madrid [in the summer] and for whatever reason it didn’t happen.

“If they ask him to stay for a year then we’ll see what happens. But I don’t think it will be a big loss to United [if he does go].

“At the end of the day his form hasn’t been great anyway over the last three or three years he’s been there.

“I’m sure there’s more players there who can step in and do just as good a job.”

Olympiakos fight back from two goals down to claim deserved draw with Tottenham in Champions League opener

18 Sep

Olympiakos fought back from two goals down to claim a deserved 2-2 draw with Tottenham at the Karaiskakis Stadium in Athens.

Spurs, against the run of play, were awarded a penalty in the 25th minute when Harry Kane was tripped by Yassine Meriah.

Kane scored a penalty but Spurs failed to claim victory in their first Champions League match
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The England striker gave the keeper no chance as he side-footed the ball into the roof of the net to put Spurs 1-0 up.

Spurs doubled their lead on the half-hour when Lucas Moura collected a pass from Ben Davies and lashed the ball past Jose Sa.

Dele Alli thought he had put his side 3-1 in front early in the second half, but VAR confirmed the returning forward was offside when he side-footed home.

Olympiakos pulled a goal back just before half-time when Mathieu Valbuena played in Podence and he found the bottom corner with a well-placed shot.

The hosts were awarded a penalty of their own after 51 minutes when Jan Vertonghen was adjudged to have fouled Valbuena
The Frenchman stepped up and sent Hugo Lloris the wrong way to level for the home side.

And ultimately, despite a persistent bombardment of the Olympiakos defence, Mauricio Pochettino’s men were unable to find a winner to claim their first victory of their European campaign.

More to follow…

Emmanuel Adebayor spent the weekend making ‘your mum’ jokes to Arsenal fans to celebrate tenth anniversary of THAT goal

18 Sep

It’s safe to say Emmanuel Adebayor remains of the most unpopular players among Arsenal fans.

The relationship between the striker and supporters quickly deteriorated after he joined the mass exodus of Arsenal players to sign for the rich and powerful Manchester City.

Adebayor with one of the most iconic celebrations in Premier League history
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This week marks ten years since the Togolese marksman scored for City against his former club and infamously ran the length of the pitch to celebrate in front of the fans of his former employers.

It was an iconic Premier League moment –  and it’s clear he has no regrets after trolling Gunners fans even more over the weekend.

The 35-year-old took to Instagram to mark the moment with a picture of the celebration, complete with ’10 year anniversary’ and a handful of celebratory emojis in the caption.

The forward evidently has plenty of time on his hands while plying his trade in the Super Lig for Turkish side Kayserispor.

 

 

And as expected, Gunners fans did not take kindly to his post, throwing all sorts of insults at him and lamenting him for having the audacity to goad them all over again.

However, the striker decided to take them on himself in the most petty and hilarious way possible by dishing out ‘your mum’ responses in return.

After almost a decade since City claimed that iconic 4-2 win over the Gunners, it is remarkable that Adebayor remains a thorn in the side of Arsenal fans.

So for now, it’s best you don’t mention his name to Gunners fans unless you’re deliberately trying to wind them up.

West Ham and Leicester backed for Premier League top six charge this season by Harry Redknapp

18 Sep

Harry Redknapp believes Leicester or West Ham are both in with a real chance of breaking into the Premier League’s top six this season.

The Foxes are being tipped by many pundits to breach the upper echelons of the top flight despite the loss of Harry Maguire to Man United, with Brendan Rodgers adding some solid recruits to his squad in the summer.

West Ham, who also added some big money signings to their ranks, have also been tipped to give the big guns a run for their money, with the exception of Man City and Liverpool who are widely expected to be battling it out for the Premier League crown come May.

West Ham have made an impressive start to the campaign
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The Hammers have gone under the radar in the battle for European football, with Leicester, Wolves and Everton all considered to be the leading names to upset the apple cart.

However, Wolves have struggled with the rigours of Europa League football so far this campaign, while Everton have proved to be inconsistent.

Leicester are the only side who are holding their head as genuine contenders, and Redknapp is backing them and West Ham to replace one of the teams in the ‘Big Six’ come May.

“I like the look of West Ham,” he said. “I think West Ham will certainly be top eight this year and if anyone’s getting to the top six it will be them or Leicester.

“They’re the two teams that could knock one of the big six out this year. They look very good.

Rodgers is taking aim at the top six
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“I like what I’ve seen from them so far –  I have not seen them live yet but I’ve watched every one of their match on the box.

“They have some great forwards and look really exciting.”

Redknapp also admitted he was pleased to see his nephew Frank Lampard’s largely positive start in charge of Chelsea.

“He will do well. He’s a clever lad, bright as a button and knows the game,” he continued.

“He’s brought the kids in and the ones that have come in have done great so far.

“The boy [Mason] Mount got an injury last night but Tammy Abraham is scoring goals. He’s doing good.”

Mesut Ozil rested by Unai Emery for Arsenal’s trip to Eintracht Frankfurt despite playing just 71 minutes this season

18 Sep

Arsenal boss Unai Emery has explained why he has left Mesut Ozil out of his squad for Thursday night’s Europa League clash against Eintracht Frankfurt.

Ozil has played just 71 minutes of football this season – having made his first start in the 2-2 draw with Watford on Sunday, which saw the Gunners surrender a two-goal lead at Vicarage Road.

Ozil missed missed the start of the season after being the target of an attempted carjacking alongside team-mate Sead Kolasinac, while he has also struggled for fitness and form
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But, despite Ozil’s lack of game time, Emery insists the playmaker is in need of a rest ahead of this weekend’s Premier League clash with Aston Villa and has been left out of the trip to Germany.

Sokratis Papastathopoulos – who has played every minute of the opening five Premier League games of the season – has also been left behind in England.

“We are playing now a lot of matches and I want to use different players and also can have some rotation in the first 11 and in the 19 players in the squad for tomorrow and Sokratis and Mesut they rest this match,” said Emery.

“I prefer after the Sunday match to rest that match and to train and to be ready for Sunday.

“Because we are going to play another match on Sunday. My decision is because he played and also I’m thinking tomorrow the focus and the first 11.

“After that I decided who are the players who can be the best for tomorrow and also the players not and that is Sokratis and Mesut.

“Really the first match he played on Sunday, he played well and was good physically – also giving us his capacity and skills and after his first minutes (of the season) it was good for us.

“Now he is ready to help us, not tomorrow but on Sunday – we are going to play another match and tomorrow we are thinking to do some rotation.”

Rob Holding, who has not made an appearance so far this campaign, makes the trip overseas as he returns from a serious knee injury.

Meanwhile, youngsters Joe Willock, Bukayo Saka, Reiss Nelson and Emile Smith-Rowe are also part of the Arsenal squad.

Smith-Rowe certainly made his mark in last season’s competition, scoring twice in the group stage before he was sent on loan to RB Leipzig.

Arsenal take on Frankfurt at 5.55pm and you can listen to LIVE commentary on talkSPORT 2

Mauricio Pochettino will stay at Tottenham for a ‘very, very long time’, claims ex-Spurs midfielder Ossie Ardiles

18 Sep

Former Tottenham midfielder Ossie Ardiles has dismissed the notion that Mauricio Pochettino could leave Spurs, insisting the Argentine will stay at the club for a ‘very, very long time’.

Since his arrival at White Hart Lane 2014, the 47-year-old has led Spurs to their best ever Premier League finish and last season he led the Lilywhites to the Champions League final for the first time in the club’s history.

Poch last month insisted he is happy at Spurs
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However, there has been constant question marks over his long-term future, with rumours in the summer strongly linking him with the Real Madrid job.

Despite the speculation, Poch reiterated his commitment to Tottenham last month, revealing he has turned down several job offers elsewhere.

And Ardiles, who himself managed Spurs for a brief spell from 1993-94, believes there is no better manager who could be in charge of the club at this moment in time.

“Pochettino is an absolutely wonderful manager so we cannot be in better hands to be perfectly honest,” he said.

“He works extremely hard, he’s a very, very honest guy, an honest manager, very good tactically.

“When you go there there’s a family atmosphere which he has created, so we cannot be in better hands. He’ll stay for a long, long time.”

Spurs sit third in the Premier League table after five matches, seven points adrift pace-setters Liverpool, and Ardiles believes it has been a strong start to the season.

“[It’s been] very positive. I believe that there are two teams to beat – Liverpool and Manchester City – but I think we are one of the teams that can beat them and we are going to try and fight with them all the way,” he continued.

“We have a very, very strong squad. That showed last season and in the Champions League as well. We do have a very strong squad but we have to be a little bit better and I hope we will do it this year.”

Tottenham advance interest in Fenerbahce striker Vedat Muriqi after sending scouts to watch forward for SECOND time

18 Sep

Tottenham have advanced their interest in Fenerbahce’s Vedat Muriqi after reportedly sending scouts to watch the striker in action for a second time.

Last week, it is believed Manchester United and Tottenham had scouts present to watch the forward as he turned out for Kosovo against England at St Mary’s.

Twitter: @Kosovanfooty_
Muriqi is in hot demand[/caption]

Muriqi, 25, was on the score sheet as his side were defeated 5-3 win by England, netting his seventh international goal in 22 appearances after slotting home the penalty spot.

The goal saw the forward continue his superb run of form after he scored against the Czech Republic in the previous fixture and also netted twice in three league games since arriving at Fenerbahce from Çaykur Rizespor over the summer.

Muriqi only signed for the Turkish club in July after impressing for Caykur Rizespor with 17 goals last season.

The Super Lig giants paid just £3.1m for his services – and according to Sport Witness, via NTV, the north London club are now considering a summer move for him after watching him in action over the weekend.

The report states Fenerbache will demand a significant amount more than they what they paid for him if United or Spurs are to make a bid for him in January or next summer.

Last week, Muriqi’s spoke highly of his teammate’s talent,.

Muriqi netted from the spot against England last week
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He told Turkish outlet Aksam: “I compare him to Lewandowski. I think he will be at Bayern’s level in two-three seasons.”

Another Turkish publication, Sabah, report that Muriqi has no release clause in his contract at Fenerbahce.

The report also states United and Spurs will have to fend off interest elsewhere for his services, with West Ham, Napoli, AC Milan, Inter Milan, Atletico Madrid and Valencia all said to be keen on the prolific striker.

Eidur Gudjohnsen slams ‘disrespectful’ Ross Barkley after Chelsea midfielder fluffs last-gasp penalty to salvage point against Valencia

18 Sep

Former Chelsea striker Eidur Gudjohnsen has slammed Ross Barkley for his decision to take – and miss – his side’s last-gasp penalty against Valencia.

The England midfielder decided to take the spot-kick despite the presence of regular takers Jorginho and Willian on the pitch.

Barkley missed a late penalty

Barkley then thundered his penalty off the top of the crossbar, meaning Frank Lampard’s managerial bow in the competition got off to the worst possible start.

Lampard insisted Barkley is the designated penalty taker when he is on the pitch, but it was evident was a clear disagreement between the players after the spot kick was awarded.

“It’s almost disrespectful to your team-mates to do something like what Ross Barkley did this evening,” Gudjohnsen said on BT Sport.

“I’m pretty sure it’s clear who is the penalty taker before the game.

“Just to create all the fuss, the tension between your team-mates and yourself and then go on to miss the penalty, you just put yourself under so much more pressure than actually just taking a penalty.”

Gudjohnsen also said captain Cesar Azpilicueta should have taken control of the situation.

He continued: “If you’re the manager in a situation like this, where you’ve got one, two, three, four players standing over the ball, and there is a question on who is going to take the penalty, don’t you want your captain to step in and say, ‘Listen, it’s been decided before the game who is the penalty taker’?

“Show that authority as the captain to make the decision for everyone who’s on the pitch.”

Chelsea’s defeat means they are now under pressure to get good results against Lille and Ajax.

The Blues travel to Lille in two weeks time in the hope of bouncing back from the defeat.