Patrice Evra

Xhaka slams ‘bulls***’ criticism of Arsenal

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Arsenal have been targets for a lot of criticism recently.

Granit Xhaka is usually at the center of it.

The Gunners captain came out all guns blazing after they lost 1-0 at Sheffield United on Monday, as he addressed Patrice Evra‘s comments that Arsenal are “babies” and always will be due to their mentality.

“We have to stop about mental [strength] bulls*** like this. For me, it is the same whether you play home or away – you have to win and show big character and a good game and not to always find the same excuse,” Xhaka said. “A lot of people they speak too much. It is not the first time he has spoken something about us. I have a lot of respect for him as he was a great player but you have to be careful what you say. But it is not only him – a lot of people speak a lot of bulls*** about us. It’s always the same.

“For me it is strange as they were in the same situation as us, they were players as well. Sometimes it is good and sometimes it is not always good but every week they speak bulls*** like this every week. I tell you the honest truth, I’m not interested in what people say and speak. We have to speak in our group to improve things and work hard and not listen to these people.”

Xhaka and Arsenal have only lost twice this season, 3-1 at Liverpool and 1-0 at Sheffield United.

But aside from being fifth in the table and two points outside the top four, pressure is being placed on Unai Emery and his squad as they’ve narrowly beaten Bournemouth, Burnley, Newcastle and Aston Villa so far. Their performances aren’t instilling confidence in anyone that they can seriously push for a top four finish this season.

Has much changed under Emery in the past 15 months? Nope. This is pretty much the same Arsenal team making the same old mistakes and looking vulnerable away from home. Nothing new here. Sure, some new players have arrived, but David Luiz, Pepe and Sokratis have all been hit and miss so far and it has been left to Matteo Guendouzi and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to try and rescue the Gunners each and every week.

Emery was supposed to change their style of play, develop them into a stronger team defensively and improve their chances of challenging for trophies once again.

None of that has happened, and it doesn’t look closer to happening. That is why the critics are circling around the Gunners. Monday was the perfect opportunity to prove their mentality had changed and they are a stronger, more balanced team under Emery. They aren’t and something drastic will have to change for them if Emery is going to win over the fans, and pundits, once again.

Carragher apologizes to Evra over Suarez t-shirts

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Jamie Carragher has apologized to Patrice Evra after Liverpool wore t-shirts in support of Luis Suarez in 2011.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

The day after Suarez was banned for eight games by the English Football Association, who found him guilty of racially abusing Evra, Liverpool’s players put on t-shirts with Suarez on the front and back during their warm up in a Premier League game against Wigan Athletic.

Carragher and Evra were both analysts for our partners at Sky Sports in the UK on Monday Night Football for the clash between Sheffield United and Arsenal, and discussed the current problems with racism in the game.

“There is no doubt we made a massive mistake; that was obvious,” Carragher said.

Liverpool’s former vice-captain asked Evra how he felt regarding the situation with Suarez, and the former Man United, Juventus and Monaco left back revealed his disgust at the way the situation was handled.

“When I saw it I was like, this is ridiculous. This is unbelievable,” Evra said. You put your own club in danger when you do those things. You always have to support your player because he is from your team but this was after the ban. If it was before and we were waiting for the sanction, I would understand. What message do you send to the world? Supporting someone being banned because he used some racist words.”

Click play on the video above for the full discussion between Carragher and Evra.

Patrice Evra announces retirement

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Manchester United and France legend Patrice Evra has announced his retirement from the game.

“I love this game!”

Evra, 38, has become a social media star in recent years for his upbeat personality and posting videos about his general life with the statement above featuring front and center.

He is now planning a move into coaching, and revealed that Sir Alex Ferguson believed he could become a great manager in the future. Such is his popularity at United, some are suggesting he could become a member of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s coaching staff somewhere within the Red Devils’ setup.

“I started the course for the UEFA B licence as a coach in 2013,” Evra told Gazzetta dello Sport. “Now, I want to finish that so that I can take the A licence. In other words, in a year and a half I will be qualified to manage a team.”

The French left back won five Premier League titles, three League Cups, a Club World Cup and the UEFA Champions League with United, and made 81 appearances for the French national team during his glittering career.

Evra made his name at Monaco before moving to United during the January transfer window in 2006 alongside Nemanja Vidic, who have both since been described as two of the best signings Sir Alex ever made.

He went on to play for Juventus where he won two Serie A titles, plus Marseille and West Ham in the latter stages of his career. He also worked his way back into the France squad after the debacle of the 2010 World Cup which ended up in him being stripped of the captaincy and banned for five international games. He was also banned in 2017 after kicking a Marseille fan, they club he then played for, before a Europa League game as he reacted to being abused by the supporter.

But it is at United where he will be remembered most fondly.

A solid, no-nonsense left back who could also surge forward and help attacks, in his prime Evra was one of the finest left backs in Premier League history. He was named in the PFA Team of the Year on three occasions, plus the FIFPro World XI in 2009, and alongside Rio Ferdinand and Vidic he was a key factor in United’s run to win the 2007-08 UEFA Champions League.

Patrice Evra returns to PL, signs with West Ham

Photo by Laurens Lindhout/Soccrates/Getty Images
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LONDON (AP) Former France defender Patrice Evra joined West Ham on a short-term deal on Wednesday, three months after getting fired by Marseille and banned from UEFA competitions for kicking a fan before a Europa League match.

The 36-year-old left back returns to the Premier League after ending a trophy-laden, eight-year spell at Manchester United in 2014. In his last season at United, he played under coach David Moyes – now the manager of West Ham.

Marseille ripped up Evra’s contract after he aimed a kick at the head of one of the French club’s fans before a Europa League match against Portuguese club Vitoria on Nov. 2. UEFA banned Evra from European club competition until June 30 but he is free to play domestic league soccer.

Evra apologized for his actions soon after the incident, saying he’d responded to “disgraceful provocations” by some fans.

Evra’s contract with West Ham runs until the end of June.

“It was the fastest thing I have done in my life,” said Evra, who flew to London from Dubai to complete the move once he was told about West Ham’s interest.

West Ham is short of cover at left back because Arthur Masuaku is serving a six-game ban for spitting at an opponent. Evra joins an aging defense that also includes Pablo Zabaleta (33) and Jose Fonte (34).

Evra has played 81 times for France, captaining the national team at the 2010 World Cup.

Evra banned from all UEFA competitions after attacking his own fans

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Patrice Evra has been banned from all UEFA club competitions until June 30, 2018 after attacking one of his own fans at Marseille.

So, the remainder of the 2017-18 season in the Europa League and Champions League. The left back was also handed a $11,650 fine.

[ VIDEO: Watch Evra’s attack ]

Evra, 36, was sent off before Marseille’s game at Vitoria Guimaraes on Nov. 2 for aiming a kick at one of his own fans after an altercation on the side of the pitch.

Marseille then had to play the entire game with 10-men and Evra’s future at the Ligue 1 club is over with Marseille banning him and the French club saying his deal has now been terminated as they also claim the decision was mutual.

Now, if he decides to carry on playing elsewhere, Evra will not be available to play in European club competitions for the next seven months.

Evra’s glittering career with Monaco, Manchester United and his resurgence at Juventus in recent years — he has won eight league titles (five in England, two in Italy and one in France) and a UEFA Champions League title at United — looks like it will end in controversial fashion.