Connect with us

Sports

Europa League specialist Emery threatens Arsenal’s shot at salvation

Published

on

Sitting 10th in the Premier League, the Gunners are on course for their worst league finish since 1995.

But Mikel Arteta’s men are also just three games away from only the club’s third ever European trophy and a much-needed ticket back into the Champions League for the first time in five seasons.

All is not well at the Emirates on or off the field. Ahead of Friday’s 1-0 defeat by Everton, thousands of fans demonstrated against Arsenal’s owner Stan Kroenke, calling on the American billionaire to sell the club following his role in a collapsed European Super League.

It is easy to see why Kroenke sought the guaranteed income the Super League would provide.

For 19 seasons between 1998/99 and 2016/17, the Londoners never failed to qualify for the Champions League. Now they are set to finish outside the Premier League’s top four for a fifth consecutive year.

That decline started prior to Emery’s 18-month spell in charge between May 2018 and November 2019.

The Spaniard missed out on the top four by a point and got to the Europa League final in his only full season in charge, but was dismissed just four months into his second.

Arsenal were one of 12 breakaway clubs seeking the reassurance of top level European football every season without facing the perils of having to qualify.

“I want to win for myself and for Villarreal. (Two years ago) I was defending Arsenal’s red colours in that final against Chelsea, now I feel that affinity for the yellow of Villarreal. I have that competitive instinct, that responsibility I owe the club and everyone I represent with my decisions.”

A three-time Europa League winner during his time at Sevilla, the 49-year-old has won 28 out of 31 knockout ties in the competition across spells at four different clubs.

Revenge is also on Villarreal minds for those with a far longer connection to the club than Emery.

A first ever major trophy is also the Spanish side’s only route into next season’s Champions League.

“The two clubs have their own history between themselves,” added Emery. “It will be a great contest, regardless of my having coached there recently.”

In the other semi-final, Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is aiming to reach a final at the fifth time of asking since taking charge of the Red Devils against Roma.

Under the Norwegian, the English giants have twice fallen at the last four in the League Cup and in the semi-finals of last season’s Europa League and FA Cup.

With United realistically assured of a top-four finish in the Premier League, but too far off Manchester City to mount a title challenge, ending a four-year trophy drought is the major prize left on offer for Solskjaer’s men this season.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sports

Matiangi Hosts Kenya Prisons Athletes At Magereza House.

Published

on

Interior and Coordination Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i, on Wednesday 12th May hosted the Kenya Prisons Athletes and Volley Team to a luncheon after the teams jetted back from Poland.

The Athletes travelled to Poland to participate in the World Athletic Relay Champions where they performed exemplary well.

Our sports people need motivation. That is the approach we have taken with our athletes from the Kenya Prisons Service, to encourage them surpass themselves in future regional and global competitions,” Cs Twitted.

Kenya Women’s Prisons Volleyball team manage to secure a bronze in the just concluded African Volleyball Club Champions tournament in Tunisia.

Matiang’i congratulated the team and also confirmed the government commitment to support the sports.

Continue Reading

Sports

Man City crowned 2020-21 Premier League champions

Published

on

Pep Guardiola’s side have had to wait to rubberstamp their latest triumph, following changes to the fixture schedule and their own slip-up.

A late defeat to Chelsea last weekend as closest rivals United won at Aston Villa kept City’s champagne on ice but they finally reclaimed the Premier League title from Liverpool before kicking a ball again as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side were beaten 2-1 on Tuesday after making 10 changes to their starting line-up.

City have now won three Premier League titles and eight major trophies under Guardiola, who last year signed a new two-year contract to remain at the club until 2023.

City boss Guardiola described this season’s title win as the “hardest one” and dedicated the triumph to the fans who have had to stay away from the matches and the late, great club icon Colin Bell, who passed away earlier this year.

“This has been a season and a Premier League title like no other. This was the hardest one. We will always remember this season for the way that we won. I am so proud to be the manager here and of this group of players,” Guardiola said in a statement.

“They are so special. To come through this season – with all the restrictions and difficulties we’ve faced – and show the consistency we have is remarkable. It is relentless. Every single day, they are there, fighting for success, trying always to be better. They have been so, so resilient.

“That is equally true of each and every member of our backroom staff, who have worked tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that our players are fully equipped to take on the unexpected challenges and new routines throughout such a turbulent year.

“Not forgetting, of course, all of the staff across our organisation who work to make this club the success it is. Whether that’s been from the offices at the City Football Academy or working from home, the efforts of every employee in such trying circumstances have contributed to this achievement.

“At the start of every season, the Premier League is the most important title for us. This is the one where you have to be there every three days, playing all your rivals home and away. Only by being the very best, week in week out, can you win this competition. It is a huge success.

“It is so important to say a huge thank you to all our fans. In our toughest moments, we couldn’t hear the crowd get behind us as usual, but we know they are with us everywhere we go and that has lifted us. I promise them we sense their love, we appreciate it and we could not have done what we have done without it.

“I hope we can all celebrate together one day not too far away. It has been such a hard year for so many people. This one is really for our fans and for Colin Bell and all his family.”

Continue Reading

Sports

Kariobangi Sharks coach William Muluya confident his charges can sustain a title run-in.

Published

on

Kariobangi Sharks head coach William Muluya is confident that his charges are ready to tussle for the league title to the wire when it resumes on Wednesday.

Muluya has predicted that all the top eight teams have the ability to win the FKF-PL 2020-21 crown at the end of the term.

“Those matches coming thick and quick should give us an opportunity to move close to leaders so as to pile pressure at the top.

Even if we are not leaders, we should not give leaders a breathing space which means when they make a plus we should also do the same,” Muluya said, adding that, “Any team in the region of top eight, be it Tusker, KCB, AFC Leopards, Bandari, Sofapaka, is capable of running away with the trophy this season.”

The soft spoken, youthful tactician has revealed that his boys, led by the league’s top scorer Eric Kapaito, who has so far 14 goals, are in good shape to lock horns with visitors Kakamega Homeboyz in the mid-week fixture.

“We have prepared ourselves very well since the boys have been training individually, from home, before we started team-training a week ago.

Sharks are fourth-placed on 28 points, eight behind leaders Tusker but may cut the gap to five with win over Homeboyz thanks to their game in hand.

They have won eight matches, drawn four and lost only three in the 15 matches they have played, prior to the ban on sports by the government due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

You can also read: Deputy President’s Daughter June Ruto Off The Market

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2021 The Big Issue |Another Valhalla Product