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Raul Sanllehi backs Unai Emery to ‘turn things around’ despite ‘disappointing’ start to the season


first_imgAdvertisement Raul Sanllehi backs Unai Emery to ‘turn things around’ despite ‘disappointing’ start to the season Advertisement Unai Emery has come under increasing pressure (Picture: Getty)Arsenal head of Football Raul Sanllehi has defended Unai Emery and says the Spaniard retains the club’s backing to ‘turn things around’ at the Emirates.Saturday’s 2-0 defeat to Leicester means the Gunners have won just one of their last seven matches in all competitions.Large portions of Arsenal’s fanbase have turned on Emery in recent weeks and he’s been heavily criticised for his handling of the club captaincy after Granit Xhaka was stripped of the armband.Reports in Spain this weekend claimed the Gunners had spoken to former Barcelona boss Luis Enrique about replacing Emery but, speaking to staff in a pre-arranged meeting today, Sanllehi suggested Arsenal will be sticking by Emery.ADVERTISEMENT Comment Emery’s side have won just one of the last seven (Picture: Getty)‘We are as disappointed as everyone else with both our results and performances at this stage of the season,’ said Sanllehi.AdvertisementAdvertisement‘We share the frustration with our fans, Unai, players and all out staff as they are not at the level we want or expect.‘Things need to improve to meet our objectives for the season, and we firmly believe Unai is the right man for the job, together with the backroom team we have in place. We are all working intenstively behind the scenes to turn things around are confident we will.‘We never take our fantastic support for granted. We hope we can all stick together and get behind the team in this challenging period, as together we are stronger’.More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing ArsenalArsenal take on Southampton at the Emirates after the international break and anything but three points would increase the pressure on Emery’s position.The Spaniard has given the captain’s armband to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang following Xhaka’s removal but members of the squad are reportedly miffed by the decision and feel the Swiss has been ‘thrown under the bus’.MORE: Bournemouth’s Ryan Fraser in ‘advanced talks’ over Liverpool move in January swap deal for Harry Wilson Metro Sport ReporterMonday 11 Nov 2019 4:41 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link507Shareslast_img read more


Hughes makes flying start as Southampton reach FA Cup semis


first_imgSouthampton joined Tottenham and Manchester United in the semi-finals, with Leicester and Chelsea meeting in the last quarter-final later on Sunday.It will be Saints’ first appearance in the last four in 15 years. Nevertheless, a trip to Wembley in the semi-finals could provide a welcome tonic as the new manager tries to make his presence felt.It was essential Southampton avoided following in the footsteps of Manchester City, West Ham and Bournemouth — top-flight sides who had all perished against third tier giant-killers Wigan in the FA Cup this season.They achieved that aim thanks to second half goals from Pierre Emile Hojbjerg and Cedric Soares. Wigan, United Kingdom | AFP | Mark Hughes enjoyed the ideal start to his Southampton reign as the struggling Premier League club reached the FA Cup semi-finals with a 2-0 win at Wigan on Sunday.Hughes was hired as Southampton manager this week to replace the sacked Mauricio Pellegrino and the former Saints striker had an immediate impact on his new team.Hughes’ main goal is to help Southampton preserve their top-flight status and they dropped into the relegation zone on Saturday as Crystal Palace won in the league while the Saints were preparing for their quarter-final.center_img “It was an important day for the players today. I have been really impressed with the quality of the talent I have,” said Hughes, who was sacked by Stoke earlier this season.“They have lost a bit of confidence recently but they are good players.“We stood up to Wigan. It was a statement of intent and a start.“We have work to do in the Premier League, but we will enjoy this moment.”Share on: WhatsApp Pages: 1 2last_img read more


Steelers prepping for relentless Watt, Texans


first_imgCleveland Browns outside linebacker Jabaal Sheard tackles Pittsburgh Steelers running back LeGarrette Blount (27) in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014, in Cleveland. The Browns won 31-10. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)ITTSBURGH (AP) – J.J. Watt isn’t the kind of player to walk into a coach’s office and make demands.The way the Houston Texans defensive end is playing, there’s no need. The ball seems to end up in his hands regardless of where he lines up, whether it’s on the defensive line or during the occasional snap at tight end.“He never lobbies,” coach Bill O’Brien said. “He doesn’t do that. There are other guys that lobby for things, but he’s not a lobbyist.”What Watt is – at the moment anyway – is the most dominant defensive force in the NFL, even if the Texans (3-3) are hardly a finished product heading into Monday night’s game at Pittsburgh (3-3).And for all the ridiculously athletic plays Watt has made over the season’s first six weeks, he’d trade his own burgeoning MVP candidacy for the first significant victory of O’Brien’s tenure.The truth is, for all the fireworks Watt has provided, the Texans have just 10 sacks and are 27th in total defense. That’s not exactly the way to make inroads on Indianapolis in the AFC South.“Obviously up front, we need to get after the passer,” Watt said. “That’s what I can control in my group. We need to get after the passer, we need to be sound in our coverages in what we do and put pressure on guys, and obviously we knock out some of those plays and it’ll be a big help.”Yards haven’t been an issue for the Steelers. Points, however, are another matter entirely. Pittsburgh’s offense sputters to a halt whenever it nears the end zone.The Steelers have only turned seven of their 19 possessions inside the opponent’s 20 into touchdowns, a major reason they have alternated wins and losses despite having what quarterback Ben Roethlisberger described as the franchise’s most explosive attack in his 11-year career.“We’ve got to find a way to score,” left tackle Kelvin Beachum said. “It’s not magic or secret to it. We’ve just got to get it done.”Some things to look for as the Texans try to snap a two-game losing streak and the Steelers attempt to bounce back from a debacle in Cleveland that marked the franchise’s worst loss to its closest rival in 25 years.CLOSE CLOWNEY: Houston’s pass rush might get a needed boost with the possible return of rookie linebacker Jadeveon Clowney, who has missed the past five games with a knee injury. O’Brien said there’s a “50/50” chance Clowney could play, a move that would force the Steelers to shift some of their attention away from Watt.BOUNTIFUL BELL: Pittsburgh second-year running back Le’Veon Bell has blossomed into one of the league’s best all-around backs. He is second in the NFL in yards from scrimmage and is second on the Steelers in receptions (28) behind star wide receiver Antonio Brown. Yet Bell has just one touchdown, a 38-yard sprint against Cleveland in the opener.POOR PRESSURE: While Houston isn’t getting to the quarterback with regularity, at least the Texans are disruptive. That’s not the case in Pittsburgh, which has just nine sacks and allowed unheralded opponents such as Brian Hoyer and Mike Glennon to put up big numbers.Coach Mike Tomlin called out his outside linebackers, saying they need to be more disruptive. Jason Worilds, making more than $9 million this season, has just two sacks.“He’s had some good games and performance in pockets of games, and he’s had some games where he’s been less impactful,” Tomlin said of Worilds. “We’re compensating him to be consistently impactful and that’s what we’re searching for.”FEELING POSSESSED: The Texans know one way to help out their defense is to keep the offense on the field. It’s not happening with any regularity. Houston is 16th in time of possession (29:43) because of some issues on third down.The Texans are converting just 37 percent (28 of 76) of their third downs. Lengthier drives would help keep Watt fresh even if the possessions don’t necessarily result in points.“You always love the explosive plays and I’m not saying we want to avoid those, I’m saying we want to be able to string together some first downs, some good drives, keep the defense off the field and control the tempo,” quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick said.NO PANIC: A 21-point thumping by the Browns hasn’t set off alarms with the Steelers.“There’s no time to panic,” Roethlisberger said Wednesday. “You guys are waiting for us to panic. We’re not panicking.”___Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP_NFLlast_img read more