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Will ‘positive’ Pepe start against Liverpool?

With two wins from two, Unai Emery is pleased with our start to the season - but knows we face our first major examination on Saturday.

Our head coach discussed the game against Liverpool, Mesut Ozil's return, Matteo Guendouzi's impact and more.

Get your third kit before the boys wear it on Saturday

Read on for a full transcript from his press conference:

on whether this weekend’s game will show where the team is at…
Good afternoon, it’s a big challenge. Each match is a big challenge and each match is for us to prepare best as possible. The idea is to continue creating in our way and style. We need to be strong and also we can recover some players to be fit. I think we are closer to achieving everyone being ready to play, but we need some more time. For Saturday we are in a good spirit and our players are ready to play with big ambition to do something important.

on if his team will need to be more reserved at Anfield…
It’s a big stadium with a big atmosphere and I want to play every match in our amazing stadium with our amazing supporters in our home. But we need to play away and face big teams with big supporters. I think the motivation for us is very big on Saturday. We are going to have some Arsenal supporters helping us and it’s a big challenge. It’s going to be a different game to Burnley because the team is different. They are going to demand different tactical issues, but we want to play and show how we are now. It’s a big test to show their capacity and our capacity.

on Xhaka and Ozil’s availability...
Tomorrow is the last training and we are going to decide tomorrow. Today they trained, but really, I need tomorrow to have the last training, to be really sure how we can be better there. I know some players need to be fit and to improve 100 per cent to be in their best fitness. But tomorrow is the day. Really I am positive with some players for Saturday but I don't want to decide today or to say to you today how we are because tomorrow can change.

on if Mesut is back from illness...
I think he needs to be fit and also he is training as normal with the team. I think this is the first way to achieve that fitness. After that, to help us with his capacity.

on what we will learn this weekend about the team...
We really are in a very good position but we only played two matches in the Premier League. We are going to play 38 in total, so really to be in this moment with the possibility on Saturday to achieve first position is amazing and a really big possibility. We know it's only the beginning but we can be positive and optimistic for that match and wishing to show our moment against  them, but knowing that it is going to be difficult but it is a very big challenge and a very big opportunity for us to do something.

on how he makes sure what happened last season doesn't happen again...
Each match, each moment, each season is different. We can use last year, two years ago, three years ago, four years ago. But really it's about our moment and this moment. Anfield is a big atmosphere with their supporters, they are a very good team and they advantage for us in their progress and in the last years. In Anfield they have one step more in feeling strong, but it's not for us, it's for all. We need to take our best performance and to go there with a good feeling and also thinking we can achieve that performance individually and collectively to be strong and to have our chances. We are looking forward to going there and showing that.

on whether Matteo Guendouzi will sign a new deal and how impressed he has been by him...
We have a lot of young players and they can develop a lot. We are going to help them, to push them and also they need to break different levels and achieve individually in their performance. We are here to help them and give them chances. Matteo is very young but he has talent and his talent is also to adapt to what we need or what is needed in the Premier League. It's also to be physically strong. We are working tactically and individually to improve, we are working with him on the videos and on the pitch and we are speaking to him because it's a big challenge for me, for our coaches and for him to achieve a big level here. He is in this process. Last year, for me he was very good in his process but he missed a lot to achieve in his career the big performances and big moments for him and to help us. But really I am very, very optimistic with him because he has this talent and I think we can also improve him on other things, like physically we are working with him in the gym, and mentally. He's a young player with potential who can now help us to achieve the best performances.

on issues of abuse on social media...
I have them because it's important to be closer to the supporters and the people, to give them information, individual and collective, from me and from the club, to be closer to them. The [social media] is you - [if you can’t] control it if you don’t use it positively, it can be negative. I only use it when I think it can give me some good information or help me in some opinion. But really, when people cannot control the social media, it’s not positive for us.

on VAR...
For me, VAR is positive. It's coming to help us, to help the referees and to be fair in different circumstances in one game. After this, I think it's also right to think to not stop the intensity and the rhythm in the matches and not to stop for a lot of minutes. At the moment, sometimes it’s going to be positive for us, sometimes it’s going to be negative. But really, now, in my mind, it's positive for everybody, for every team and for the Premier League to help them. Sometimes it's helping us, sometimes it's not helping us, but it's fair.

on Nicolas Pepe...
The most important thing is, like a person, to help him and his family to feel comfortable here. Now he is three weeks into working here with us. He didn't do the pre-season here but he’s progressively feeling better. For example, in the first match, he played 15 minutes in Newcastle, then he played 45 minutes against Burnley. I think his individual performances are progressively getting better. For Saturday, he is maybe ready to have more minutes. I am going to decide tomorrow, but really his progress has been positive and has been good for the team and for him. The most important piece of the adaptation is to help him to feel easy and be comfortable with us.

Copyright 2019 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source.

Arsene Wenger
This news item was provided by the Arsenal FC News Feed website - the original link is: http://feeds.arsenal.com/~r/arsenal-news/~3/0icZcrQmtUE/will-positive-pepe-start-against-liverpool

Junior Agogo: Ex-Ghana, Nottingham Forest and Bristol Rovers striker dies aged 40

Junior Agogo played for 15 clubs during a 15-year career

Former Ghana, Nottingham Forest and Bristol Rovers striker Junior Agogo has died at the age of 40.

Agogo, who began his career at Sheffield Wednesday, played 27 times for his country and scored 12 goals.

He finished his career at Hibernian in 2012 having also had spells in the United States, Cyprus and Egypt.

Agogo suffered a stroke in 2015 and struggled with his speech afterwards, telling a BBC Four documentary in 2017 he felt anxious about his language.

Agogo sealed his place in the hearts of Ghana fans with his performances at the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations where he scored three goals including a late winner against Nigeria in Accra.

"I think that was the goal that sealed his popularity in Ghana," Laryea Kingston, the former Hearts midfielder said. "During the tournament we could feel his influence in the team grow and his popularity go up but that goal sealed everything."

Despite playing alongside big names like Michael Essien and Asamoah Gyan, Agogo was the team's star man.

"A lot of fans didn't know but those of us in the team knew he was going to be good for us," Kingston added.

"He spent a lot of time in the gym and his strength reflected in the way he played. He simply wanted to score goals and make a mark for the team and I am glad he did.

"He had a word for everyone, enjoyed a good dance, could tease a lot and take it too. This has really hit a lot of us."

His former clubs were among those to pay tribute on social media.


This news item was provided by the BBC Sport - Football website - the original link is: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/49434573

McBurnie leads Swansea chants at QPR

McBurnie was on his day off, say Sheffield United

Last Updated: 22/08/19 12:35pm

0:25 Sheffield United striker Oli McBurnie enjoyed his night with the Swansea fans

Sheffield United striker Oli McBurnie enjoyed his night with the Swansea fans

Sheffield United's £20m club-record signing Oli McBurnie got reacquainted with the Swansea faithful on Wednesday night, as he joined them in the away section at QPR.

Videos emerged on social media after the game of the former Swansea striker leading the away fans' chants at the Kiyan Prince Foundation stadium during the Championship match - which the Welsh side won 3-1.

McBurnie, who Sheffield United say was on his day off, said, "Lost my voice", in a tweet in the early hours of Thursday morning responding to Swansea midfielder George Byers' complimentary post about the travelling fans.

The Scotland international was a hit among the Swansea fans and it clearly went down well with his old club, who tweeted an image of McBurnie enjoying himself at the game with the caption, "Once a Jack...".

McBurnie left the Swans in the summer to join Premier League club Sheffield United for an initial £17m, rising to £20m with add-ons.

He has made two substitution appearances for the Blades this season, and is yet to score his first goal for the club.

The 23-year-old scored 22 goals and had four assists for Swansea in 42 Sky Bet Championship appearances last term.

Swansea sink QPR

Swansea won 3-1 at QPR to continue their excellent start under new boss Steve Cooper.

Borja Baston's 70th-minute penalty put them back in front soon after Jordan Hugill's equaliser and Sam Surridge rubber-stamped the victory by nodding in Andre Ayew's cross from close range 10 minutes later.

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This news item was provided by the
SkySports | News website - the original link is: https://www.skysports.com/football/news/11688/11791139/oli-mcburnie-ex-swansea-striker-leads-chants-in-away-end-at-qpr

Can you name our last 30 scorers at Anfield?

We're on the road again this weekend, when we face Liverpool in the Premier League. 

We've had mixed fortunes at Anfield since 1992 and have scored some truly memorable goals, but how well do you remember these previous encounters?

We've listed our last 30 scorers away to the Reds - not including the hosts' own-goal scorers - and have given you five minutes to get as many as possible - good luck! 

* Indicates player scored more than one goal in that game

Copyright 2019 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source.

Arsene Wenger
This news item was provided by the Arsenal FC News Feed website - the original link is: http://feeds.arsenal.com/~r/arsenal-news/~3/Q4EQ9XoU5KY/can-you-name-our-last-30-scorers-anfield

Jones may drop ‘unsettled’ Butland

Butland makes two mistakes as Stoke lose 3-1 to Preston

Last Updated: 21/08/19 11:01pm

0:51 Jack Butland had a night to forget against Preston

Jack Butland had a night to forget against Preston

Nathan Jones conceded he might have to take "unsettled" goalkeeper Jack Butland out of the Stoke starting line-up after his two errors proved costly in a 3-1 defeat to Preston.

Butland was at fault for Preston's first two goals as he let low shots from outside the box squeeze past him.

There has been speculation that Butland could move abroad during this month while he also looks set to miss out on Gareth Southgate's England squad for upcoming games against Bulgaria and Kosovo.

Speaking after the defeat to Preston, Stoke manager Jones suggested the noise surrounding Butland has had an impact.

"We are travelling on the bus and there's a big story about Jack being left out of the England squad, it's all unsettling," he told Sky Sports.

"Maybe I need to put him out of the firing line and wait until the window shuts to get his head focused because all the stories are about what's not happening to Jack rather than him being Stoke City goalkeeper.

2:03 Highlights of the Sky Bet Championship match between Preston and Stoke

Highlights of the Sky Bet Championship match between Preston and Stoke

"We haven't done a lot wrong but tame shots have gone in and they haven't had to work hard for the third goal. We had enough opportunities to get something out of the game but you can't do that when you give away the goals we did.

"We keep shooting ourselves in the foot. It's frustrating and things have to change. We have to be a but more streetwise and not concede silly goals.

"We have had chances that were as good as, if not better, than them tonight, but it was never really a contest because of how we went about it."

The defeat means Stoke are winless from four matches and remain bottom of the Championship.

"It's been difficult," said Jones, who has only won three league matches since he was appointed in February.

"We haven't done the basics well enough. Things just haven't clicked at the minute. We thought we had turned a corner this summer. We recruited well and have a good group but errors have really cost us. Maybe that's me and the team I picked, we have to revaluate and see where we are.

"It's nothing to do with systems, it's not how we are playing, we are not getting carved open, it's just we are not doing the basics right."

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This news item was provided by the
SkySports | News website - the original link is: https://www.skysports.com/football/news/11688/11790911/jack-butland-nathan-jones-may-drop-unsettled-stoke-goalkeeper