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Coutinho’s agent sends Arsenal important message amid Mesut Ozil dispute

Philippe Coutinho's agent and long-time Arsenal fan Kia Joorabchian has waded in on Mesut Ozil's spat with the Gunners.

Joorabchian says the dispute – which saw Ozil axed from Arsenal's Premier League squad – is the result of "pure stupidity" and that both parties are missing out.

Ozil hasn't kicked a ball for the Gunners this season, despite being the club's longest serving player and highest earner on £350,000-a-week.

Last week Ozil learnt he had been left out of the Gunners' Europa League squad, before discovering this week that he hasn't been named in Arsenal's Premier League squad.

Ozil released an angry statement on Wednesday in which he accused the club of showing a lack of loyalty. Arteta stood by his decision in a press conference that night.

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Joorabchian has dealt with his fair share of issues between high profile players and clubs.

Just last season the agent was required to find an emergency loan club for Coutinho just one season after he completed a £142million move to Barcelona.

Joorabchian believes the situation at Arsenal is lose-lose for both parties, and has suggested Ozil's agent has failed the German.

"I don't see any winners in this situation," he told talkSPORT. "Ozil is not teaching Arsenal a lesson by sitting out and not playing, and Arsenal are not teaching Ozil a lesson by omitting him from the Premier League squad.

"I don't see who wins in a situation where you don't find an agreement between each other. It's just pure stupidity.

"I think it's the essential role of the agent not just to bring high transfers to clubs, but also where there's a problem to fix it. I think that's what the role and job title says.

"There was a situation at Everton where Theo Walcott wasn't going to get enough game time and so he moved to Southampton, because they were very proactive.

"The role of the agent in the case of Mesut is to ensure he plays.

"He's a big player, but he just doesn't fit the Arsenal mould today. He has a lot of talent, he's a World Cup winner, this is a player who should be playing somewhere right now."

Has Mesut Ozil played his final game for Arsenal? Have your say here.

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How Liverpool, Man Utd and rivals’ performance has been affected without fans

As well as know, fans have been missing from Premier League games since the restart due to the coronavirus pandemic.

It almost seems normal now to see empty stadiums while the country’s best teams battle it out.

But the lack of atmosphere inside grounds is actually have a direct affect on results, a study has found.

BettingOdds.com have analysed the statistics from the 140 Premier League games played since the restart and compared them with the last 140 games prior to June 17th

We all want fans to be allowed to attend games again as soon as possible.

But are there some sides that mighty actually be better off playing in empty stadiums?

That could well be the case for Manchester United, who have seen an average increase of 0.37 points per game since the restart.

Chelsea are in a similar boat at 0.5, while Tottenham are just behind on 0.36.

Arsenal have remained pretty consistent with an average increase of just 0.17 points per game, while Aston Villa have profited the most by jumping from an average of 0.77 to 1.57 points, an increase of 0.8.

On the flip side, Liverpool are one of those that have struggled most with a decrease of 0.86, though they did have one hand on the Premier League title at that stage.

Sheffield United have seen the sharpest drop off, going from an average of 1.71 points per game to 0.8, a decrease of 0.91.

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Full standings based on points per game increase since the restart behind closed doors

1: Aston Villa – Before: 0.77 After: 1.57 Increase/Decrease: 0.8

2: Southampton – Before: 1.21 After: 1.93 Increase/Decrease: 0.72

3: West Ham – Before: 0.79 After: 1.36 Increase/Decrease: 0.57

4: Chelsea – Before: 1.36 After: 1.86 Increase/Decrease: 0.5

5: Manchester United – Before: 1.71 After: 2.08 Increase/Decrease: 0.37

6: Tottenham – Before: 1.5 After: 1.86 Increase/Decrease: 0.36

7: Leeds – Before: 1.77 After: 2.07 Increase/Decrease: 0.3

8: Manchester City – Before: 1.92 After: 2.21 Increase/Decrease: 0.29

9: Brighton – Before: 0.93 After: 1.14 Increase/Decrease: 0.21

10: Arsenal – Before: 1.5 After: 1.67 Increase/Decrease: 0.17

11: Everton – Before: 1.64 After: 1.79 Increase/Decrease: 0.15

12: Wolves – Before: 1.43 After: 1.57 Increase/Decrease: 0.14

13: Leicester – Before: 1.29 After: 1.29 Increase/Decrease: 0

14: Newcastle – Before: 1.19 After: 1.14 Increase/Decrease: -0.05

15: Burnley – Before: 1.5 After: 1.08 Increase/Decrease: -0.42

16: Crystal Palace – Before: 1.29 After: 0.79 Increase/Decrease: -0.5

17: West Brom – Before: 1.46 After: 0.86 Increase/Decrease: -0.6

18: Fulham – Before: 1.92 After: 1.29 Increase/Decrease: -0.63

19: Liverpool – Before: 2.79 After: 1.93 Increase/Decrease: -0.86

20: Sheffield United – Before: 1.71 After: 0.8 Increase/Decrease: -0.91

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Prem managers stay in jobs longer than rest of Europe’s top five leagues

Premier League managers stay in their jobs for the longest time in Europe’s top five leagues.

And, incredibly, they stay twice as long in the Premier League as compared to Serie A, according to a major new survey on football management.

The study by research firm RunRepeat looked at data from the last decade and 815 managerial spells from the Premier League, Serie A, La Liga, Bundesliga and Ligue 1.

Premier League managers get an average of 69.4 games in charge compared to Serie A where managers last an average of 34.1 games and, incredibly, 44 managers have lasted less than ten games in Italy’s top division.

December is also the most dangerous month for managers as it is when they are most likely to get sacked according to the survey.

Survey author Vyom Chaudhary admits that the data and results on English football have been “skewed” by Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger staying in their jobs for so long.

Former Manchester United boss Ferguson and ex-Arsenal boss Wenger managed 1033 and 828 league games respectively. Without these two cases, Premier League managers average 56.1 games, thus putting Ligue 1 on top with 58.2 games.

Chaudhary said: “Serie A and La Liga have provided the least amount of stability to its managers during the past decade. 

“Ligue 1 and Premier League sides are comparatively patient with their managers and refrain from making mid-season changes. 

“What was even more striking about Serie A was the fact that relegation-threatened clubs often make multiple managerial changes in a single season. Our analysis suggests that the majority of these changes end in failures.

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“When it comes to relegation battles, Premier League clubs are more likely to make good managerial decisions than their counterparts in other leagues.

“The January transfer window might be controversial, but it plays a major role in managerial recruitment. Clubs forced to make mid-season managerial changes are most likely to do so during the months of December and January.”

The study also reveals the following:

  • Threat of relegation and being stuck in a relegation battle is the biggest reason for change.
  • Premier League clubs are most likely to make good managerial decisions in a relegation battle – leading to clubs staying up.
  • There is a direct link between changing managers in December or January – because clubs that do then go and buy in the January window.
  • August is the safest month for managers, although both Marcelo Bielsa (Lazio) and Stefano Pioli (Palermo) left their jobs without managing a single game.
  • The majority of the sackings during the off-season are made by top-half clubs, while the bottom-half clubs have dominated the sackings during the regular season.

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Carragher names Van Dijk replacement Liverpool should sign in January

Jamie Carragher has urged Liverpool to sign Dayot Upamecano in January to help fill the giant void left by Virgil van Dijk.

The Dutchman is set to miss most of the season after sustaining a nasty anterior cruciate ligament injury against Everton.

Jordan Pickford's reckless challenge forced the defender off the pitch and he will now need to undergo knee surgery.

Speaking on Monday Night Football, Carragher said Van Dijk's absence will massively hurt Liverpool's Premier League title chances.

The former Reds defender also urged Liverpool to react by bringing any transfer plans for next summer forward to January.

“Liverpool's next signing had to be a centre-back next summer anyway,” said Carragher.

"That was the next one, that has to be brought forward to 1st January – not the end of the month.

"Upamecano, at Leipzig, there’s talk of him. He's not the profile of Van Dijk. But that's the one Liverpool wanted next summer.

“Bring it forward, pay the extra money and do it on January 1st. That means Liverpool have to get through the next 11 league games without Van Dijk. They have to go big in terms of a signing.”

When asked on who he thinks will win the title, Carragher replied: "I can't see anyone else winning the title except Liverpool and Manchester City.

"On the back of Van Dijk, I'd now say Manchester City are favourites."

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Harvey Elliott lays out plan as he breaks silence on Liverpool loan exit

New Blackburn Rovers loan signing Harvey Elliott has outlined his plan to help the club achieve promotion to the Premier League.

The Liverpool winger penned a deal on Friday to spend the rest of the season with the Championship outfit, and told the club website of his excitement at being presented with a new challenge.

"I can’t wait to get started and I’d like to thank Rovers for giving me the opportunity to come here and show everyone what I can do," he said.

"It’s a really good club and I’m really looking forward to getting started with the team. It’s been a hectic last couple of days not knowing what I’d be doing, but I’m really happy to be here.

"I’m really looking forward to meeting the boys and working with the gaffer and the staff.

"I was excited when I heard of the interest. I wanted to see what the club was all about so I watched a couple of games and researched everything about the club and the squad, to see the competition in my position."

Elliott's signing capped off a frantic deadline day for Rovers, who also added Barry Douglas, Tom Trybull and Aynsley Pears to their ranks.

The 17-year-old continued, stating that he feels the club are in a good place to push for promotion this campaign.

"The team have got off to a great start and hopefully we can reach the end goal by getting promoted to the Premier League.

"The style of play is very similar to what I’m used to. It’s a team that press well, play out from the back and allow players to play with freedom really," he added.

"I’m excited and hopefully I can fit in well here. My main priority is about working hard for the team. I think every player needs that work and desire for the team.

"I’m creative and want to give this my best shot for the team and the gaffer.

"Rovers is my club, I need to work hard and I will be doing all I can to help us back to the Premier League."

Elliott made two top flight appearances last season for Liverpool and is regarded as a highly promising talent with bags of potential.

He could be in line to make his debut for the Lancashire side on Wednesday as they travel to fifth-placed Watford in the Championship.

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Micah Richards outlines why he is "genuinely excited" about Arsenal under Arteta

Former Manchester City and Aston Villa defender Micah Richards believes Arsenal can mount a genuine challenge to finish in the Premier League 's top four this season.

The North London club currently sit fifth in the table following defeat at City on Saturday, but have welcomed a number of new faces over the summer including veteran winger Willian and marquee signing Thomas Partey.

Richards told Sky Sports following the final whistle that he sees Arsenal as more disciplined since the arrival of boss Mikel Arteta, with the addition of midfielder Partey providing some much-needed structural integrity in the centre of the pitch.

"They were well-drilled," he said.

"If you look at Arsenal over the last couple of years, you didn't know their shape.

"At least now, they've got a shape, they've got a structure, everyone is buying into what Arteta is doing and it's great to have Thomas Partey coming on, you can just see different pictures and where people are going to be plugging holes.

"I'm genuinely excited for Arsenal, I don't believe they're ready to challenge for the title yet, but I think top-four is a realistic aim for them this season."

Raheem Sterling 's first-half goal proved to be the deciding factor in Saturday's match, with the visitors missing a number of key chances to snatch something from the game.

Both Bukayo Saka and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang were denied by City goalkeeper Ederson, with Richards naming Arsenal's lack of ruthlessness on the day as a key reason behind the result.

"In the second half Arsenal didn't look good, but there were quick moments where on another day you put them two chances away, it's a different game," he continued.

"I think that's the difference between Arsenal and Man City.

"They'll be putting their chances away, Arsenal are just on their way to putting those chances away."

Arteta's side will be looking to put things right next weekend as they welcome Leicester City to the Emirates Stadium for their next Premier League encounter.

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Tottenham and Everton must use this weekend to prove they are in title race

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Teams like Tottenham and Everton need to use this weekend to show they are in the title race.

Because if Manchester City can get beat letting five goals in and Liverpool can get beat letting in seven, the door is open this season.

The fear factor with those teams is gone. I think it’s down to having no fans in the stadiums because all the top six clubs have lost already this season.

I think having no crowd is really kicking in now. I think it’s affecting players and teams and performances.

It’s going to keep on doing that too so there are going to be a lot more shocks.

Once you get into a rough patch in a game, it can be hard to get out because the fans aren’t there to pick you up and energise you.

The top clubs are feeling it.

But it just shows that if you start well and you have the belief, you could be right in there with them at the end of the season.

Gareth Bale coming in for Spurs could be a game-changer because I can see him, Harry Kane and Heung-min Son scoring 50-odd goals between them.

Bale could play his first game back for them against West Ham and you just know he is going to be desperate to turn it on.

Don’t discount Everton either though. If they beat Liverpool this weekend for the first time in forever, they will believe they can do something special.

Everton are flying. They still need to prove they’re the real deal. But what better way to do that than by beating Liverpool?

That would be massive for them. It would be huge mentally. It would show they have what it takes to be contenders.

And if they can stay in the race by January, they have the money to go again in the transfer market as well.

The league is as open as ever before and Everton are taking advantage.

Carlo Ancelotti is not there for a holiday. He wants to win. Why shouldn’t he be ambitious?

Before, I would have said Everton would take a draw in this game. I’m not sure about that now. They have threats all over the team now.

James Rodriguez can unlock a defence. Dominic Calvert-Lewin is absolutely on fire. Richarlison can cause you problems. They are dangerous.

Everton will definitely be thinking they can get in the top four this season. They just need to be consistent.

Not having Alisson is a big, big miss for Liverpool too. Jack Grealish breezed through and dinked it over Adrian when Aston Villa thrashed them.

That doesn’t happen if Alisson is in goal.

Over the course of a season a top goalkeeper saves you points. Alisson probably saves them eight or ten points over a season.

Liverpool have got to get through this period without him. Top teams bounce back from a result like that. But it’s an opportunity for Everton and they need to take it.

Are they a flash in the pan or are they in it for the long haul? We’re about to find out.

Centre-back is the problem for England

England will not win a major tournament while there’s such a shortage of top class centre backs in this country.

I don’t want to have a go at Harry Maguire because he’s having a hard time right now and some players cope better than others.

I had all the problems in the world when I was a player. When I was on that pitch they all disappeared. But some people take that stuff on the pitch with them.

This is bigger than Harry Maguire anyway. Kyle Walker is a full back. He’s lightning quick but he switches off when he plays centre back.

Eric Dier is a midfielder. He just doesn’t look as secure as a centre back. John Stones must be thinking: “Where’s my career gone?”

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Conor Coady has probably been the pick of the bunch lately. But Tyrone Mings is not ready. Defensively we are just not good enough.

We’re not blessed with world class centre backs like we were when Rio Ferdinand, John Terry, Sol Campbell and Ledley King were around.

Now, it’s our Achilles heel. And it might be time for Gareth Southgate to try something different there. Maybe give Declan Rice a go?

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EFL reject Premier League’s "disgusting" £50million Covid rescue package

EFL bosses have rejected the Premier League’s £50m bail out after it was branded “disgusting.”

Gillingham chairman Paul Scally says every League One club was against it after EFL clubs met on Thursday to discuss the latest offer which is expected to be formally rejected.

The EFL later confirmed it has been rejected and said: “EFL Clubs are appreciative that a formal proposal has now been put forward, the conditional offer of £50million falls some way short of this.”

It was also met with anger and recriminations while Scally has also called for FA chairman Greg Clarke to quit after it was alleged that he “initiated” talks over Project Big Picture.

The Premier League offer was put to the EFL for League One and Two clubs with an undertaking they would also step in to stop any of them going bust.

Scally said: “I’m stunned, shocked and disgusted by it. They are a disgrace coming forward with an offer like that.

“I was on the League One and there was not a single person from the 24 people who spoke up for it. The reality is it comes down to about £20m because the rest is a grant. £20m? Really. It’s shocking.

“Let’s see what their next step is because I can’t believe even fans of Premier League will be comfortable with clubs spending £1.2billion while smaller clubs go out of business.

"The Premier League will have to be careful because fans will get fed up of their greed.”

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That comes on top of an explosive document in which under-fire EFL chief Parry claims FA Chairman Clarke “produced” earlier this year, including the idea of Premier League 2 and B teams as part of reforms.

Clarke has subsequently insisted that he left talks over Project Big Picture after a threat of a breakaway league emerged.

But Scally said: “I’m probably the wrong person to ask if Greg Clarke should resign as he should never have got the job in the first place. He was working at the EFL while applying for a job at the FA.

“I don’t have a problem with him initiating talks but he then denied it and has tried to hang Rick out to dry when all Rick is doing is trying to save the EFL and the EFL clubs. Rick is the one doing a great job for the EFL.”

The Premier League insist the offer will remain on the table, they will also happily engage with the EFL while they have also pledged to talk to any club from the Championship, League One or Two facing financial difficulty and potentially bail them out.

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Premier League confirms Project Big Picture snub and details of EFL bail-out

The Premier League has confirmed in a statement that all 20 clubs have "unanimously agreed" to ditch Project Big Picture.

It emerged earlier on Wednesday that Manchester United and Liverpool had been forced to abandon the plans after other top-flight sides emphatically snubbed the proposals in an emergency meeting.

Now the Premier League has reaffirmed the clubs' desire to launch a "strategic plan for the future structures and financing of English football".

As part of that – a bail-out will be provided for clubs in Leagues One and Two, but not those in the Championship who are seen as more financially stable.

And the Premier League also reiterated their desire to get fans back in grounds as soon as possible, stressing that football is "unsustainable" behind closed doors.

The statement read: "All 20 Premier League clubs today unanimously agreed that Project Big Picture will not be endorsed or pursued by the Premier League, or The FA.

"Further, Premier League Shareholders agreed to work together as a 20-club collective on a strategic plan for the future structures and financing of English football, consulting with all stakeholders to ensure a vibrant, competitive and sustainable football pyramid.

"Clubs will work collaboratively, in an open and transparent process, focusing on competition structure, calendar, governance and financial sustainability.

"This project has the full support of The FA and will include engagement with all relevant stakeholders including fans, Government and, of course, the EFL.

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"Also at today's meeting it was agreed to make available a rescue package which aims to ensure that League One and League Two clubs will not go out of business as a result of the financial impact of COVID-19 and be able to complete the 2020/21 season.

"League One and League Two clubs rely more heavily on matchday revenue and have fewer resources at their disposal than Championship or Premier League clubs and are therefore more at risk, especially at a time when fans are excluded from attending matches.

"This offer will consist of grants and interest-free loans totalling a further £50million on top of the £27.2m solidarity payments already advanced to League One and League Two this year, making a total of £77.2m.

"Discussions will also continue with the EFL regarding Championship clubs' financial needs. This addresses Government concerns about lower league clubs' financial fragility.

"Football is not the same without attending fans and the football economy is unsustainable without them. The Premier League and all our clubs remain committed to the safe return of fans as soon as possible."

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Thomas Partey explains why he will not have ‘Partey’ on back of Arsenal shirt

Thomas Partey says that he is sticking with the name 'Thomas' on his Arsenal shirt because it's more familiar.

Arsenal's new signing has posed in the club's colours for the first time since joining on Deadline Day.

But his No.18 will not be accompanied by the name 'Partey'.

Speaking for the first time, he said: “I’ve seen that there are Parteys everywhere and even the photographer asked me why I don't use Partey on my shirt.

“I said it’s because I started with Thomas and people are familiar with Thomas, so I need to go with Thomas.

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“I’ve seen that everyone has been excited and everyone is willing to win something and all the trophies that come their way. I think that’s the goal and objective for everyone here and that’s my goal also.

“It’s something that is difficult and we all know that it’s difficult, but we’re working towards it and I think we are ready. We have to go all out and try to achieve all of that ourselves.

“I think it was a new challenge for me. I've always wanted to play in the top leagues and the Premier League is one of the top leagues, so I'm happy to be here.

“I think it’s a great challenge, I want to experience new challenges and also in a great family like Arsenal, I am ready to give it my all and try to help this great club come back to where they belong.”

Arsenal completed the signing of Partey by triggering his buyout clause on Deadline Day – with just 30 minutes to spare.

He is unlikely to start against Manchester City this weekend, as manager Mikel Arteta has said that it might take some time for him to adapt to the league.

Partey said: “I have been watching the Premier League since I was in Ghana, and I think most of my Ghanaian friends and most of the people in Ghana watch the Premier League and La Liga.

“I still have much to develop, I still have more to learn with this new family. I will have to learn more things to achieve all my goals, and achieve the goals of the club as well.

“I think there is no pressure on me. I like to challenge myself, I like new challenges as I said and it's all about learning fast, learning quickly how it goes and you just get used to it and everything works.

“I think I have to be quick, make sure that I learn everything as fast as I can. In football, I have to make sure I do everything on the training ground and make sure Mikel sees that I am ready to play for him.

“I like to play in the big matches, but it all depends on the coach and whether he wants me to play on the next match or not. It depends on him. I need to get used to the squad and then train with the before we can see what we will happen.”

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