Wenger says Arsenal blowout “tough but explainable”

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Hey Arsene Wenger, how was the locker room after Man City clattered into Arsenal to the tune of a second 3-0 in two days?

“Transparency is good, but too much is not good.”

[ MORE: Match recap | City’s 3 goals ]

Arsenal fans would like to see clear through the exterior of club HQ in order to ascertain its board’s plans for its managerial position.

Wenger has a contract through the 2018-19 season, but the Gunners have dropped 10 points back of the Top Four. No, not 10 points back of first, but fourth.

Given the club’s desperation to stay in the Top Four picture after an awful performance Sunday at Wembley, how do you explain the flat start against City (Scoreless into the 15th minute, Arsenal was down 3-3 by the end of the 33rd)?

“It was tough but that’s explainable by the fact of what happened on Sunday and the consequences of the hype about our performance. It hits you. The players put in a huge effort today but unfortunately we had some weak defending.”

It should be noted that Wenger also noted that Manchester City is “the best team in the country.”

Wenger is not worried about his club, he says, though it’s difficult to follow his faith given the last month or so at the Emirates.

Arsenal has lost four of six in the Premier League, including the North London Derby and losses to Bournemouth and Swansea in addition to Thursday’s blowout. Go back one more week, and see the Gunners booted from the FA Cup by Nottingham Forest.

But, he says, it can be better.

“I’m confident we can improve because we’ve done it before and I have confidence in the quality of the players.”

Improve? Sure. Save the season? Better hope AC Milan forgets its form in the next round of the Europa League.

Ronaldo: “I always believe I am the best”

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You’ve got to appreciate the over-sized ego of Cristiano Ronaldo, even if it is deserved.

The 33-year-old Real Madrid striker was bestowed the 2017 Player of the Year award from the Portugal FA, earning 65 percent of the vote. But more than winning yet another trophy to add to his burgeoning case was what he told the media after accepting the award.

“We have to defend what is ours because there is always a Portuguese in the fight (for the top awards),” Ronaldo said, via AS. “I always believe and say that I am the best, whatever they say, and then I show it in the field. We are in the fight year after year.”

Ronaldo did score 42 goals last year for Real Madrid and has scored 18 goals in 2018 alone already for Los Blancos as the club look to go back-to-back-to-back in the UEFA Champions League.

Miazga: “We’re all ready to make an impression” with USMNT

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Last October, for reasons unknown, Matt Miazga didn’t make the U.S. Men’s National Team squad for its final two World Cup qualifiers.

Five months later, he’s risen to the top of the centerback depth chart.

[MORE: Digging into the USMNT roster]

The hulking centerback spoke on Tuesday as the USMNT started off its training camp in Cary, N.C., noting that the youth-laden squad wanted to make an impression to stay in the picture moving forward. With four years until the next World Cup and still more than a year until competitive matches, there is still plenty of shuffling and expanding of the player pool to do before then.

Have a listen to Miazga and enjoy the sights and sounds of the USMNT training camp ahead of its friendly match against Paraguay.


Banker Gaetano Micciche elected Serie A president

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MILAN (AP) Bank boss Gaetano Micciche has been elected president of Serie A.

Micciche, the president of Banca IMI, was chosen unanimously on Monday by the Italian league’s 20 clubs.

He succeeds Maurizio Beretta, who left the position nearly a year ago.

[ MORE: Serie A scores, schedule ]

The league has been under emergency leadership, first by former Italian football federation president Carlo Tavecchio then by Italian Olympic Committee president Giovanni Malago.

Malago recommended Micciche for the position.

The federation remains under emergency leadership following Tavecchio’s resignation in the wake of Italy’s failure to qualify for the World Cup.

Report: Liverpool to resist all offers for Salah

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Liverpool has a message for any club looking to sign Mohamed Salah this summer: Not gonna happen.

The Merseyside club has reportedly said it will “not sell Salah under any circumstances this summer” as the Reds look to hold off the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona, according to The Telegraph. Salah’s four-goal tally against Watford on Saturday took his goal total to an incredible 28 in 32 Premier League games, with another seven goals in cup competitions.

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Liverpool famously kept Barcelona – and Arsenal – off Luis Suarez after the Uruguayan striker wanted to leave in 2013, but Liverpool was only able to stop Barcelona from signing Philippe Coutinho for six months.

As things stand, Liverpool are qualified for the 2018-2019 UEFA Champions League with the club sitting in a top four Premier League place, and keeping Salah is absolutely vital if the Reds want to make a deep run in the competition and compete for a Premier League title. It remains to be seen though if Salah is happy to stay at Liverpool or if a big-money offer from Spain or France can tempt him otherwise to set himself and his family financially for life.