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The players were subsequently withdrawn from the squad for the Gunners’ Premier League opener at Newcastle due to ‘further security incidents’.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.”

Mason Mount injury update: Chelsea hopeful midfielder could face Liverpool after scan reveals no ligament damage

18 Sep

Chelsea were handed a major boost ahead of their Premier League clash with Liverpool after a scan of Mason Mount’s ankle revealed no ligament damage.

The England midfielder suffered a nasty blow during the 1-0 defeat to Valencia in the Champions League on Tuesday night, sparking fears of a lengthy lay-off.

Mount’s injury looked potentially serious
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Francis Conquelin’s heavy challenge ended Mount’s debut in Europe after just 16 minutes, but reports suggest the injury is not as bad as first feared.

According to The Sun, the 20-year-old underwent a scan on Wednesday morning, which revealed he only suffered a sprained ankle.

Mount’s absence against Valencia showed his importance to the Blues, who lacked a creative spark without him.

Former Arsenal midfielder Coquelin was booked for his challenge on Mount
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The Blues reportedly maintain hopes that he will be fit for the visit of Liverpool to Stamford Bridge on Sunday, which seemed very unlikely when he limped off on Tuesday night.

It is understood Mount will undergo another scan in the coming days once the swelling on his ankle has gone down.

He has already netted three times in the Premier League this season, with all-but of Chelsea’s 11 goals coming from either him or Tammy Abraham.

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 can break into Premier League top six this season, claims Harry Redknapp

18 Sep

Harry Redknapp believes Leicester or West Ham can break into the top six this season.

The Foxes are widely-tipped to breach the upper echelons of the top flight this campaign 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 top six 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’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.”

Manchester United news: Victor Lindelof commits future to Premier League giants by signing new contract until June 2024

18 Sep

 

Victor Lindelof has signed a new long-term deal at Manchester United which runs until June 2024, the Premier League side have announced.

Lindelof, 25, joined the club in 2017 from Benfica and has since gone on to make 74 appearances for the Red Devils.

United have the option of extending the contract by a further year.

More to follow…

Manchester United legend Nemanja Vidic reveals admiration for Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk

18 Sep

Liverpool centre-back Virgil van Dijk has received high praise from Manchester United legend Nemanja Vidic, who says the Dutchman is ‘definitely’ one of the world’s best.

Van Dijk is one of the favourites for this year’s Ballon d’Or after helping Liverpool lift the Champions League title last season.

Virgil van Dijk has been an outstanding acquisition for Liverpool
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The Dutchman has completely transformed the Reds’ back line since his £75million arrival from Southampton in 2018, and his signing has proven the catalyst in Klopp’s Merseyside revolution.

Hailed for his calming presence, physical power, superb reading of the game and ability with the ball at his feet, the 28-year-old has made an incredible impact at Anfield.

And five-time Premier League winner Vidic has told talkSPORT he ‘admires’ Van Dijk and his style of play.

“He is definitely one of the best defenders in the world,” the Serb told talkSPORT’s Ian Abrahams at the PGA Pro-Am at Wentworth.

“He has shown that week-in week-out, he had a top season last year.

“Obviously this season as well, they [Liverpool] are competing for all the trophies, so what he has to do is maintain his form, keep his feet on the ground and deliver again.

“I admire what he does, he’s a top player.”

Van Dijk won the Defender of the Year and Men’s Player of the Year prizes at this year’s UEFA awards – and is widely tipped for the Ballon d’Or
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Vidic is remembered as one of the Premier League’s greatest ever defenders and as part of one of the greatest ever defensive partnerships alongside Rio Ferdinand.

And the 37-year-old explained the secret behind why he and Rio were so successful at the back for Sir Alex Ferguson’s all-conquering Red Devils team.

“It takes time,” he said.

“It’s not just about the ability of the players, it’s about understanding each other, being good friends off the pitch and wanting to improve together as well.

Vidic and Rio Ferdinand were almost unstoppable for Manchester United
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“Me and Rio, we didn’t have the selfishness to think I was better or he was better. We didn’t need to prove that I’m better than him or he was better than me.

“We just wanted to be a team, do our best for the team and win trophies and I think that’s why we managed to create that good partnership over the years.”

Listen back to talkSPORT’s interview with Nemanja Vidic IN FULL above

Manchester United legend Paul Scholes ‘disappointed’ by handling of Romelu Lukaku transfer and club’s failure to sign replacement striker

18 Sep

Paul Scholes believes Manchester United made a mistake not signing a striker during the summer transfer window – despite letting Romelu Lukaku leave.

Lukaku left Old Trafford to join Inter Milan in a £72million deal last month, leaving the Red Devils short of attacking options.

The Red Devils were linked with Mario Mandzukic and Paulo Dybala throughout the summer, but both moves failed to materialise.

Romelu Lukaku has impressed during his first few games with Inter
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The Red Devils were linked with Mario Mandzukic and Paulo Dybala throughout the summer, but both moves failed to materialise.

This means Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been left with only Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial as senior strikers in his squad, with youngster Mason Greenwood quickly promoted to United’s first team to provide cover.

However, many regard Rashford and Martial as more naturally gifted wingers than strikers, though they have featured through the middle for United this season.

Scholes is worried about his former club given this lack of depth up front.

The former midfielder told talkSPORT: “That’s the one thing that disappoints me.

LIVE on talkSPORT

Check out all the live commentaries coming up across the talkSPORT network this week

  • Olympiakos vs Tottenham (Wednesday, 5:55pm) – talkSPORT
  • Shakhtar Donetsk vs Man City (Wednesday, 8pm) – talkSPORT
  • PSG vs Real Madrid (Wednesday, 8pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • Eintracht Frankfurt vs Arsenal (Thursday, 5:55pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • Leicester vs Tottenham (Saturday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORT
  • Leeds vs Derby (Saturday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • Everton vs Sheffield United (Saturday, 3pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • Newcastle vs Brighton (Saturday, 5:30pm) – talkSPORT
  • West Brom vs Huddersfield (Sunday, 12pm) – talkSPORT 2

“He [Solskjaer] obviously knew they were going to sell Lukaku at some point, but not to have a centre-forward lined up seems like a mistake to me.

“Whether they did, whether it dragged on too long from the club’s point of view, I don’t know.

“They’re going into a season without a centre-forward when it’s a club that is known for its attacking style and had probably four centre-forwards in its heyday.

“So to go in there with Rashford and Martial, who you’re not quite sure if they’re left wingers or centre-forwards, we don’t know. But I’m sure it’ll get sorted.”

United boss Solskjaer has confirmed 17-year-old Greenwood will make his second senior start when Astana visit Old Trafford in the Europa League on Thursday.

The teenage striker was handed his senior debut by Solskjaer in the Champions League earlier this year, and he’s made substitute appearances in four of United’s five opening Premier League games of the season.

Manchester United youngster Max Taylor returns to training after successful cancer treatment

18 Sep

Manchester United have announced youngster Max Taylor is back in training having undergone successful treatment for cancer.

The Under-23s defender has been having chemotherapy after being diagnosed with the deadly illnessin February.

Max Taylor has been away from the academy for 11 months
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Taylor, formerly known as Max Dunne, has responded well to treatment and was back among his Under-23 teammates on Wednesday.

The 19-year-old told the club’s website: “I feel immensely proud and happy to be back on the training pitch with my team-mates and friends.

“Without the invaluable support of my family, team-mates and, of course, the nurses and doctors, my return to training at this stage would not have been possible.

“I want to thank all of the club’s medical and sports science staff that I have worked with throughout my rehabilitation.

 

“The next step is to continue working hard in the gym, and out on the grass, to hopefully make my return on the pitch.”

Taylor joined Manchester United in 2014 and signed his first professional contract in February 2018.

The boyhood United fan is yet to make an appearance for the first-team.

LIVE on talkSPORT

Check out all the live commentaries coming up across the talkSPORT network this week

  • Olympiakos vs Tottenham (Wednesday, 5:55pm) – talkSPORT
  • Shakhtar Donetsk vs Man City (Wednesday, 8pm) – talkSPORT
  • PSG vs Real Madrid (Wednesday, 8pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • Eintracht Frankfurt vs Arsenal (Thursday, 5:55pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • Leicester vs Tottenham (Saturday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORT
  • Leeds vs Derby (Saturday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • Everton vs Sheffield United (Saturday, 3pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • Newcastle vs Brighton (Saturday, 5:30pm) – talkSPORT
  • West Brom vs Huddersfield (Sunday, 12pm) – talkSPORT 2

Philippe Coutinho: Bayern Munich is ‘more of a family’ than Barcelona and Liverpool

18 Sep

Philippe Coutinho is enjoying life at Bayern Munich and says it’s ‘more of a family’ than his previous clubs, Barcelona and Liverpool.

The Brazilian endured a nightmare spell at the Nou Camp having joined for a mega £142million fee from the Premier League giants in January 2018.

Philippe Coutinho is spending the 2019/20 season on loan at Bayern Munich
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The German champions have an option to buy Coutinho for £109.8million following the end of his season-long loan.

The 27-year-old rejected a late move to Tottenham in the summer transfer window, while Liverpool turned down the opportunity to sign their former star again.

Coutinho is now settled in Germany, having made three appearances for Bayern to date.

“The first few days they showed me the facilities, I met my team-mates, the coaches,” he told Sky Sports.

“Every day I feel a little better, I am very happy. Bayern are more of a family than my old clubs.

“I know there’s the atmosphere of Liverpool, but it’s even more of a family here.”

Bayern begin their Champions League campaign against Red Star Belgrade on Wednesday night.

Hugo Lloris admits he will probably not retire with Tottenham and could move to MLS

18 Sep

Tottenham captain Hugo Lloris has revealed he does not expect to retire in north London and could end his career in the MLS.

The 32-year-old goalkeeper has been at Spurs since 2012 and has three years remaining on his current contract.

Hugo Lloris has suggested a move away from Tottenham is on the cards, perhaps to the United States
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Lloris admitted to his expected departure while discussing his future, but he insists he is solely focused on the short term right now.

“I do not think I’m going to finish [my career] at Tottenham,” Lloris told France Football.

“I still have a few years ahead of me. In any case, I will do everything to make the most of it. You also have to know when to say stop at the right time, but I’m not against the idea of ​​discovering something new.

“That could be the United States. I do not know, I always had trouble looking in the medium term. I am more focused on the short term.

“In football, things go so fast. We are here tomorrow and after that we’re elsewhere. You have to be careful. I could finish over there [MLS], we’ll see.”

Tottenham face a tough away trip to Greek side Olympiakos – live on talkSPORT – as they get their Champions League campaign under way, and Lloris wants to go one better than last season when Spurs were beaten by Liverpool in the final.

LIVE on talkSPORT

  • Olympiakos vs Tottenham (Wednesday, 5:55pm) – talkSPORT
  • Shakhtar Donetsk vs Man City (Wednesday, 8pm) – talkSPORT
  • PSG vs Real Madrid (Wednesday, 8pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • Eintracht Frankfurt vs Arsenal (Thursday, 5:55pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • Leicester vs Tottenham (Saturday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORT
  • Leeds vs Derby (Saturday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • Everton vs Sheffield United (Saturday, 3pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • Newcastle vs Brighton (Saturday, 5:30pm) – talkSPORT
  • West Brom vs Huddersfield (Sunday, 12pm) – talkSPORT 2

He added: “When you arrive at a level, the important thing is to do everything to stay at the same level, especially the level we arrived at last year, as the runner-up of the Champions League.

“It’s not a coincidence. We’re doing something well, we’re building something strong.

“But we cannot drop the level. We need to build the consistency to improve, to get even closer to what we are all looking for – trophies.”