Premier League Playback: Why Arsenal’s fans must support Arsene Wenger

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ARSENAL’S FANS WRONG TO TURN ON WENGER

The video below is disturbing, vile and downright wrong. Arsene Wenger — the man who has delivered three Premier League titles, five FA Cups and has helped the Gunners battle with Europe’s elite year-in, year-out for almost two decades — deserves better than this.

Okay, fans of sports teams have the right to voice their opinion and they are openly able to do that in the kind of society we live in. But have some class and show some decorum, Arsenal fans. Waving banners calling for Wenger to leave at West Brom was pushing it and the scenes as the team boarded a train at Stoke to head back to London on Saturday was totally unacceptable.

[ RELATED: Watch full match replays ]

Arsenal have only won once in nine trips to the Britannia Stadium and their style just doesn’t match up well with the Potters. Never has, and probably never will. Especially away from home. Yes, if Wenger is serious about his team at least finishing in the top four, they must beat teams like Stoke. They defended poorly and were caught cold at a fired-up Brit as their young stand-in defenders were found out early as Stoke’s giants bombarded them and led 3-0 at the break. But defeats happen and Arsenal’s fans must learn to take them better.

Wenger signed a new contract at the end of last season after winning the FA Cup and when he calls time on his career at Arsenal, they will build a statue of him outside the Emirates Stadium, such has been his positive influence on the fortunes of the north London club and the PL in general.

It is so easy to say “the past is the past, we want to win now” but take a step back and think where Arsenal could be if Wenger didn’t turn up as boss back in 1996. All is not lost this season. Arsenal is five points outside the top four and are in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League. Our analysts break it down in the video above, as Arsenal had plenty of problems against Stoke.

But is berating your manager in public really going to change results on the field or yield any positive outcome whatsoever? Nope.

Premier League Schedule – Week 15

Result Recap & Highlights
Aston Villa 2-1 Leicester Recap and watch here
Hull City 0-0 West Brom Recap and watch here
Liverpool 0-0 Sunderland Recap and watch here
Man City 1-0 Everton Recap and watch here
Newcastle 2-1 Chelsea Recap and watch here
QPR 2-0 Burnley Recap and watch here
Saints 1-2 Man Utd Recap and watch here
Stoke 3-2 Arsenal Recap and watch here
Tottenam 0-0 Palace Recap and watch here
West Ham 3-1 Swansea Recap and watch here

THE TITLE RACE BLOWN WIDE-OPEN

And then there were two.

Chelsea is still leading the way in the Premier League but Manchester City have closed the gap to just three points after Week 15.

 [ VIDEO: PL highlights ]

Jose Mourinho blamed ball boys (seriously) and bad luck as his side tasted defeat for the first time this seaosn by losing to Newcastle United on Saturday in the early game. Man City knew a win at home to Everton in the late game on Saturday would put them just three points behind Chelsea with the busy festive season fast approaching.

They edged past the Toffees thanks to Yaya Toure’s PK but a worrying knee injury to the PL’s leading scoring and City’s talisman Sergio Aguero keeps the title race tilting slightly in Chelsea’s favor. For now.

[ RELATED: Latest PL standings ]

With Chelsea beaten for the first time in 15 games this season, we will now see the true character of Mourinho’s men to bounce back in the face of adversity. Manuel Pellegrini and City have been in the position before (see last season) and will not be overawed by the challenge of a three point deficit to go top. The title race is well and truly on.

USMNT UPDATE: CAMERON SHINES IN STOKE’S BIG WIN

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Click to enlarge – Cameron’s heat map vs. Arsenal. Source: Opta
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Click to enlarge – Cameron’s touches vs. Arsenal. Source: Opta.

Overall it was a good week for the Americans Abroad as Brad Guzan bagged a second-straight win with Aston Villa and Jozy Altidore got a start at Anfied as he helped Sunderland grind out a 0-0 draw against Liverpool. Tim Howard’s Everton lost 1-0 to Man City but his side dominated large spells of the second half, as the Toffees remain in the bottom half of the standings in the only blip for the U.S. national teams’ PL contingent.

There was no doubting where the star performance from an American player came.

After a long spell out due to surgery at the start of the season, Stoke City’s Geoff Cameron is coming into his own in his third season in the PL. The USMNT star has played at right back, center back and now in holding midfield twice in his last four games.

[ RELATED: Cameron on Arsenal, versatility and more ]

His versatility makes him invaluable to the Potters and his play in central midfield during Stoke’s shock win against Arsenal followed on from his impressive display in the engine room against Manchester United at Old Trafford. Composed on the ball, strong in the air and providing valuable protection to Stoke’s back four, Cameron is in great form.

source: Getty Images
Can Cameron cement himself at DM for the USA?

If you take a look at the heat map on the left you can see he sat square in front of Stoke’s backline and was able to help them see of a late onslaught to seal a valuable win. On the right is his touch map, which shows that Cameron got involved all over the pitch and was crucial in breaking up Arsenal’s quick counter-attacks. He has stated all along that he’s a holding midfielder or center back and despite excelling at right back over the last two seasons for Stoke, Cameron is staking his claim to be tried out in the engine room for the USA. Against Belgium in the last 16 of the World Cup he locked down Marouane Fellaini and Jurgen Klinsmann should give Cameron a return to midfield in 2015.

With plenty of speculation around the Bostonian during the last transfer window, expect the same to happen in January after his latest string of fine displays as an unsung hero for Stoke.

CAN WEST HAM BREAK INTO THE TOP FOUR?

As bubbles drifted out of the various machines by the side of the pitch at Upton Park on Sunday, West Ham’s fan not only belted out their famous “Forever Blowing Bubbles” theme song after yet another win. If you listened carefully enough chants of “We’re gonna win the league” could be heard.

[ RELATED: Three things we learned ]

Andy Carroll’s double and a goal on his return to fitness for Diafra Sakho meant the Hammers coasted past Swansea City 3-1 after going behind early on. They deserved their win and have now won three-straight and are in the top four of the PL standings. Can they stay there?

[ RELATED: Can West Ham finish in the top four? ]

With the goalscoring exploits of Carroll, Sakho and the ingenuity of Stewart Downing getting plenty of the praise, the Hammers will need a slightly less flashy but extremely important player to keep putting in monumental performances like he did on Sunday, as he broke up Swansea’s usually fluid midfield. After the game I asked West Ham manager Sam Allardyce about Alex Song and his vital role for West Ham since joining on loan from Barcelona.

“He gives us a little bit more in terms of how we can be composed about the way we play. We have earned quite a bit of respect know and we are coming up against teams who sit back behind the ball. Alex Song is a quality player who is able to break that kind of system down with his passing. He is very cool and calm on the ball and waits for the right the opportunity and plays the right pass forward. That gives us a dimension in terms of breaking teams down who sit behind the ball, like Swansea did today. That will happen more and more now because of the position we are in and the respect we’ve gained.”

Sporting his classic Puma King kicks (the ones with the massive tongues, remember those?!), the former Arsenal man has been an absolute bargain. After the game he revealed he’s not sure if his loan move from Barca will be permanent after this season but on this showing the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool and plenty of other top teams in the PL will want to snap up Song. The Cameroon international was certainly happy with the win and his performance. Check out his Instagram post below. Not sure about the shoes, Alex…

http://instagram.com/p/wT8acGl3Kd/

Premier League Playback comes out every Monday as PST’s Editor and Lead Writer takes an alternative look at all the action from the weekend. Read the full archive, here

Man City vs Man United: How to watch live, stream link, team news

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Manchester City vs Manchester United: Erling Haaland is set for his Manchester derby debut when the two-time defending champions host the rapidly improving Red Devils at Etihad Stadium on Sunday (watch live, 9 am ET on Peacock Premium). 

STREAM LIVE MAN CITY vs MAN UNITED

Haaland has taken the Premier League by storm with an absurd 11 goals scored in his first seven games after (ostensibly) choosing Man City over Man United before leaving Borussia Dortmund this summer.

Six weeks ago, Manchester United had not a single point from their first two games, including a 4-0 thrashing at the hands of tiny Brentford, but Erik ten Hag has since switched tactical course en route to four straight wins, including a 3-1 victory over PL leaders Arsenal last time out, to set up this hugely intriguing showdown on Sunday.

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Man City vs Man United

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]


How to watch Manchester City vs Manchester United live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 9 am ET, Sunday
Online: Stream via Peacock Premium


Key storylines & star players

Despite a pair of disappointing draws (Newcastle and Aston Villa), it’s been an unbeaten start to the 2022-23 season for Man City, who still lead the PL in possession (66.4 percent per game) while also becoming an unstoppable offensive force from last season (14 goals in their first seven games) to this season (23). That’s not to say it’s been easy as Manchester City go through a tactical shift of their own to better appeal to the big Norwegian’s poaching abilities. Though they have been forced to grind out results a few times already this season, it’s highlighted a newfound spontaneity for a side that’s been as regimented as any in the world. Will that freedom be what ultimately lands Pep Guardiola his first Champions League trophy since 2011, and perhaps a third straight PL title (and a fifth in six years) to boot?

As for Manchester United, the Ten Hag era has been a wild roller-coaster ride already, short as it’s been. The back-to-back defeats were one thing, but the abject performances were the real cause for discontent. While picking up the four straight victories, the Dutchman has also settled on a midfield setup with Scott McTominay and Christian Eriksen operating in (effectively) a double pivot with Bruno Fernandes the most advanced of the three. It has brought defensive stability, of course, but more importantly the change has revealed a deadly counter-attacking side. Each of Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford and Fernandes have scored twice during the winning run, with new boy Antony also getting in on the fun on his debut. With space in behind (and the proper service from deep), Ten Hag might just have his first winning formula (albeit quite unlike him).


Manchester City team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Kalvin Phillips (shoulder), John Stones (hamstring), Benjamin Mendy (suspension – MORE) | QUESTIONABLE: Aymeric Laporte (knee)

Manchester United team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Harry Maguire (hamstring), Marcus Rashford (thigh), Brandon Williams (undisclosed), Mason Greenwood (suspension – MORE) | QUESTIONABLE, Donny van de Beek (knock), Martin Dubravka (knock)

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Premier League injury news, 2022-23 season

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Premier League injury news: It’s time to take a look at which players might be unavailable for matchweek 8 of the 2022-23 Premier League season, due to injury.

[ MORE: How to watch the Premier League on NBC ]

Prior to every matchweek this season, we’ll update this Premier League injuries page with the latest news and update, so make sure to check back regularly to see how your favorite — or least-favorite — club is getting on.

Let’s check out the latest Premier League injury news, below.


Arsenal injuries

OUT: Emile Smith Rowe (groin), Mohamed Elneny (thigh) | QUESTIONABLE: Thomas Partey (knee), Oleksandr Zinchenko (calf),, Kieran Tierney (head), Cedric Soares (knock), Reiss Nelson (thigh)

Aston Villa injuries

OUT: Diego Carlos (achilles), Lucas Digne (ankle), Boubacar Kamara (knee) | QUESTIONABLE: Matty Cash (hamstring), Cameron Archer (adductor)

Bournemouth injuries

OUT: David Brooks (fitness), Lloyd Kelly (knee) | QUESTIONABLE: Joseph Rothwell (thigh), Benjamin Pearson (undisclosed), Ryan Fredericks (undisclosed)

Brentford injuries

OUT: Christian Norgaard (achilles), Keane Lewis-Potter (knock) | QUESTIONABLE: Ethan Pinnock (knee)

Brighton & Hove Albion injuries

OUT: Jakub Moder (knee), Enock Mwepu (illness) | QUESTIONABLE: Adam Lallana (calf)

Chelsea injuries

QUESTIONABLE: N’Golo Kante (hamstring), Edouard Mendy (knee), Marc Cucurella (illness), Carney Chukwuemeka  (illness)

Crystal Palace injuries

OUT:  Jack Butland (hand), Nathan Ferguson (foot), James McArthur (groin) | QUESTIONABLE: James Tomkins (undisclosed)

Everton injuries

OUT: Ben Godfrey (broken leg), Yerry Mina (ankle), Nathan Patterson (ankle), Mason Holgate (knee), Andros Townsend (knee) | QUESTIONABLE: Dominic Calvert-Lewin (knee)

Fulham injuries

OUT: Harry Wilson (knee), Joao Pahlinha (suspension), Manor Solomon (knee) | QUESTIONABLE: Antonee Robinson (ankle)

Leeds United injuries

OUT: Rodrigo (shoulder), Stuart Dallas (thigh) | QUESTIONABLE: Adam Forshaw (ankle)

Leicester City injuries

OUT: Ricardo Pereira (achilles), Ryan Bertrand (knee) | QUESTIONABLE: Patson Daka (illness)

Liverpool injuries

OUT: Naby Keita (undisclosed), Curtis Jones (calf), Calvin Ramsay (undisclosed), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (hamstring) | QUESTIONABLE: Ibrahima Konate (knee), Andrew Robertson (knee), Caoimhin Kelleher (groin)

Manchester City injuries

OUT: Kalvin Phillips (shoulder), John Stones (hamstring), Benjamin Mendy (suspension – MORE) | QUESTIONABLE: Aymeric Laporte (knee)

Manchester United injuries

OUT: Harry Maguire (hamstring), Marcus Rashford (thigh), Brandon Williams (undisclosed), Mason Greenwood (suspension – MORE) | QUESTIONABLE, Donny van de Beek (knock), Martin Dubravka (knock)

Newcastle United injuries

OUT: Aleksander Isak (leg), Jonjo Shelvey (thigh), Matt Ritchie (calf), Emil Krafth (knee), Karl Darlow (ankle) | QUESTIONABLE: Allan Saint-Maximin (hamstring), Chris Wood (ribs)

Nottingham Forest injuries

OUT: Omar Richards (calf), Moussa Niakhate (thigh), Orel Mangala (undisclosed) | QUESTIONABLE: Emmanuel Dennis (knock), Morgan Gibbs-White (knock), Scott McKenna (knee)

Southampton injuries

OUT: Valentino Livramento (knee), Romeo Lavia (undisclosed)

Tottenham Hotspur injuries

QUESTIONABLE: Hugo Lloris (quad), Dejan Kulusevski (undisclosed), Ben Davies (knee), Lucas Moura (achilles)

West Ham United injuries

OUT: Nayef Aguerd (ankle) | QUESTIONABLE: Benjamin Johnson (hamstring)

Wolverhampton Wanderers injuries

OUT: Raul Jimenez (groin), Sasa Kalajdzic (torn ACL), Nathan Collins (suspension), Chiquinho (knee)

Ever Wonder why Arsenal moved from South to North London?

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Our ‘Ever Wonder’ series will run throughout the 2022-23 Premier League season and focuses on key stories behind the history, tradition and culture of all 20 Premier League clubs.

[ MORE: Check out our ‘Ever Wonder’ series in full ]

Have you ever sat there and wondered why certain chants became iconic at a club? Why a team has a certain nickname? Why they play in those colors? How they were founded? Yep, us too.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA

This season we will be digging deep to tell the stories of the rich history, tradition and culture from around the Premier League and give you the answers to things you want to know more about.


Ever Wonder why Arsenal moved across London?

Based in Woolwich in south east London, the club was originally founded in 1886 as a group of workers from the Woolwich Arsenal Armament Factory decided to set up a club.

They were originally called Dial Square because of a sun dial atop the entrance to the factory. Seriously.

As for the factory itself, it served the British Army with ammunition and explosives research and 80,000 people worked there during the First World War.


Red jerseys and stadium struggles

Dial Square then became Royal Arsenal and players from Nottingham Forest joined the club, hence the now famous Garibaldi red jerseys which Forest, established 20 years before Arsenal, gave them.

After moving around several stadiums in Plumstead, which was based on the outskirts of London at the time, Arsenal then became Woolwich Arsenal and it stayed that way until 1913.

Struggling financially due to Plumstead being in an isolated area and not easy for people to travel to compared to other London clubs, Woolwich Arsenal were looking for other locations to move to from their Manor Ground home.

Arsenal vs Liverpool at the Manor Ground in Plumstead


Bombing accelerates move

During the suffragettes battle for equality for women in the UK, targeted bombings were carried out at high profile venues.

One such bombing occurred at Arsenal’s home stadium, destroying the grandstand at the Manor Ground in 1913 which would reportedly cost over $1,220 to repair.

With a significant bill to pay to repair the stadium and the club once again teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, the largest shareholder of the consortium who bought the club in 1910, Sir Henry Norris, decided to move the club to Highbury in north London in 1913 after a failed attempt to merge Fulham and Arsenal, the two clubs he was chairman of.

Arsenal moved to Highbury Stadium


Controversial 12-mile move from South to North London approved in 1913

Amid uproar from fans in Woolwich and north London, it still happened and famed stadium architect Archibald Leitch built their home ground at Highbury.

That is when the Arsenal we know today was truly born.

They soon became known as ‘The Arsenal’ in 1914 and then dropped ‘the’ to become known simply as Arsenal in 1919 as football resumed in England following the First World War.


Feud with Tottenham begins

In-between then a feud had already bubbled up with Tottenham. Of course it had.

Arsenal were promoted to the first division at the expense of Tottenham amid huge controversy and after a league vote, Arsenal took Spurs’ place in the first division.

Hence a bitter rivalry was born and Tottenham’s fans like to remind Arsenal to, shall we say, ‘head back to Woolwich, please, because north London is ours.’ The real version is obviously less polite.


The Gunners have never looked back

Financial success, being close to a London Underground station and improved facilities were the main reasons Arsenal moved 12 miles across London to north London in 1913 and it is where they have remained ever since.

London’s most successful team (in terms of the number of major titles and top-flight titles), the decision to move Arsenal across England’s capital city is still bearing fruit over 100 years later.

They’ve come a long way from a team set up in a factory which made explosives for the British Military.

Fantasy Premier League Week 9: Who to captain, top transfer targets

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The return of the Premier League from international break brings, as usual, injuries, intrigue, and a load of, “Who’s good at dealing with travel?” to our Fantasy Premier League discussion.

Rather than delve deep into stats that analyze the last part of that, let’s take a look at the first several weeks of the Premier League season and ask: Who’s piling up the points?

[ MORE: Premier League odds, predictions ]

And let’s also look deeper than the obvious answers; Erling Haaland and Gabriel Jesus have been the genuine article for Manchester City and Arsenal, respectively, but who else is consistently dropping decent numbers?

We’ll also ignore some penalty takers, as surely Alexis Mac Allister won’t spend his season heading to the spot with the same regularity he has for Brighton early in it.

Here’s the “All-Fantasy Premier League XI” heading into Week 9, but before that, how about a couple of captain and transfer options?

This week is highlighted by some Bees, who seem to have people forgetting both how unlucky they’ve been and how fortunate their hosts have been in recent weeks…

Add and/or captain Week 9: Ivan Toney, Brentford at Bournemouth, 7.3M

Add, Week 9: David Raya, Brentford at Bournemouth, 4.5M

Add, Week 9: Kyle Walker-Peters, Southampton vs Everton, 4.5M

Add, Week 9: Lucas Paqueta, West Ham vs Wolves, 6.0M

Captain, Week 9: Mohamed Salah, Liverpool vs Brighton, 12.9M

Captain, Week 9: James Maddison, Leicester vs Nottingham Forest, 7.9M

Goalkeeper

Nick Pope, Newcastle (5.2 million, 38 points): After not facing a single shot in Newcastle’s 2-0 win over Nottingham Forest on Opening Day, the Burnley transfer has made 30 saves over six more matches. He’s twice claimed bonus points

Defenders

William Saliba, Arsenal (4.9 million, 44 points): Almost as many goals (2) as clean sheets (3) for the CB.

Joao Cancelo, Manchester City (7.2 million, 42 points): A goal, an assist, and three times earning bonus points for his managers.

Kieran Trippier, Newcastle United (5.4 million, 35 points): Same as Cancelo, but with Newcastle.

Midfielders

Kevin De Bruyne, Manchester City (12.3 million, 45 points): Two matches with multiple goal contributions, the same number as the mere two times he’s been held without one (and one of those was a 21-minute appearance).

Pascal Gross, Brighton (6.0 million, 42 points): Can he keep it up? Seems unlikely, but the midfielder was essentially playing forward for Graham Potter. Will it stay the same under Roberto De Zerbi?

Marcus Rashford, Manchester United (6.6 million, 40 points): Still trading under 7.0 million and listed as a midfielder. Please and thank you.

Gabriel Martinelli, Arsenal (6.6 million, 39 points): The quiet gem of Arsenal, he’s showing us why Mikel Arteta kept trotting him out last season.

Alexis Mac Allister, Brighton (5.6 million, 39 points): Pens won’t last forever.

Bernardo Silva, Manchester City (7.0 million, 39 points): And to think he could’ve left for Barcelona…

Forwards

Erling Haaland, Manchester City (12.0 million, 73 points): An actual monster.

Harry Kane, Tottenham Hotspur (11.4 million, 50 points): Derby day looms.

Ivan Toney, Brentford (7.3 million, 47 points): How long can Brentford hold onto him? A complete center forward.

Aleksandar Mitrovic (6.9 million, 41 points): Can he keep this up in the Premier League as the focal point for Fulham with a stint as Serbia’s focal point in the middle.

Gabriel Jesus (8.0 million, 39 points): His heroics have been well-covered.