Quiet confidence and a title-winning defence? Arsenal’s season assessed

first_img 5. But Arsene Wenger’s dictatorship might be far from over – Wenger, as most are fully aware of, is out of contract at the end of the season. But despite many feeling he has now overstayed his welcome, it doesn’t feel as though he is approaching the end of a remarkable time in north London. He’s flirted with the England job in recent months, but has done little to suggest he will be walking away from the Emirates in June. It’d be foolish to predict whether the Frenchman stays or goes. A new contract just might be on the table. 5 5 2. Their transfer policy is changing for the better – It looked as though the summer transfer window would be the most irritating of all for Arsenal supporters. Arsene Wenger sealed an early deal for Granit Xhaka at the end of May, but it wasn’t until the end of the market that two more marquee signings arrived. Wenger is bringing in players in their prime – Mustafi, Xhaka and Perez being their latest – and it would be lazy to suggest the Frenchman hasn’t made an attempt to sign a world class striker over the past two summers. Arsenal are making noise in the market, suggesting a change in the tentative policy that has seen their rivals march ahead. 5 No one’s got too carried away by Arsenal’s start to the season, but should we be taking more notice?Arsene Wenger’s side sit second in the Premier League, trailing Manchester City only on goal difference, and lead the way in their Champions League group.While the Gunners are no strangers to kicking off their campaign well, there is a subtle sense of change in north London that their rivals – and fans – might not want to underestimate.In light of this, check out five things we’ve learned about Arsenal this season, so far, by scrolling through the gallery above. 1. Few are getting carried away by their great start, but Arsenal will be quietly confident – read all about this below then click the arrow above, right, to take a look at four more things we’ve learned about Arsenal this season – If it was Liverpool sitting in Arsenal’s position in the Premier League, the furore from their fans would be borderline ridiculous. For the Gunners, though, such a start less surprising. If they do avoid an injury crisis over the festive period, the north London outfit have to be considered serious challengers at the top of the table. But even if they are forced to adapt without key personnel, Arsenal’s squad is arguably better equipped than it has been for some time, a feeling that will be rife around camp. The players won’t be getting carried away, just yet, but they will be quietly confident. 3. Arsenal, at last, may finally have a title-winning defence – Arsenal’s centre back partnership, even more so than their centre forward options, has been the source of much frustration at the club. There have been no complaints over Laurent Koscielny’s quality, but it’s been quite the opposite for Per Mertesacker and Gabriel Paulista. Summer recruit Shkodran Mustafi, though, has left many feeling Arsenal finally have a top class pairing in the heart of their defence. Mustafi already seems an influential figure with his new team-mates, despite aged just 24. His no-nonsense approach could be crucial in helping the Gunners to grind out results when it really matters. 4. Jack Wilshere and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain might be finished at the Emirates – It might really be game over for Wilshere and Oxlade-Chamberlain. The former is spending the season on loan at Bournemouth and the latter, despite a good game against Ludogorets this week, is as far from the first team as he has ever been in his time with the club. For Wilshere, it’s difficult to fathom what he’s expecting to achieve from a so-called brave move to Dean Court. Would Sir Alex Ferguson, for example, have persevered with the pair for as long as Wenger has? Unlikely. 5 5last_img read more

US coach Jurgen Klinsmann fired on heels of blowout loss in Costa

first_imgRelated posts:Costa Rica humiliates the United States 4-0 in World Cup qualifier Costa Rica heads into must-win game against United States Costa Rica scores key victory over Trinidad & Tobago in World Cup Qualifying Costa Rica seeking revenge against the United States Former German international striker Jurgen Klinsmann was fired Monday as head coach of the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team after losing two straight 2018 World Cup qualifying matches, including last week’s 4-0 blowout to Costa Rica.U.S. Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati announced the firing without naming a replacement. The United States does not face another World Cup qualifier until March.“Today we made the difficult decision of parting ways with Jurgen Klinsmann,” Gulati said in a statement. “We want to thank Jurgen for his hard work and commitment during these last five years. He took pride in having the responsibility of steering the program and there were considerable achievements along the way.”Klinsmann went 55-27 with 16 drawn in a coaching tenure that began on July 29, 2011, when Gulati named him to replace the fired Bob Bradley on a team where Bradley’s son Michael was a star midfielder.Klinsmann, 52, guided the U.S. on a team record 12-match win streak in 2013 and his 16 triumphs and .761 win percentage that year set U.S. marks. But the Yanks stumbled to fourth in the 2015 Gold Cup, also losing a playoff to Mexico for the Confederations Cup.Earlier this month, the U.S. squad stumbled badly in opening the final round of North American (CONCACAF) qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, falling 2-1 at home to arch-rival Mexico and then 4-0 at Costa Rica.Bruce Arena, a five-time Major League Soccer champion coach now with the Los Angeles Galaxy, is thought to be a prime candidate to replace Klinsmann. The 65-year-old American coached the U.S. team to the 2002 World Cup quarter-finals and guided a 2006 US lineup that exited in the group stages.Under Klinsmann in 2014, the U.S. matched their 2010 World Cup showing by reaching the last 16. Facebook Commentslast_img read more