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    Stan Kroenke staying at Arsenal a GOOD thing after American snubbed Daniel Ek bid with Gunners moving in right direction

    SIX MONTHS since his £2billion bid for Arsenal was rejected, Daniel Ek is still sitting by the phone waiting for a call from Stan Kroenke.So his ears probably pricked up this week when it was confirmed that Silent Stan is writing out a £590million cheque to settle a long-running legal dispute.
    Arsenal owener Stan Kroenke pictured in 2019Credit: Getty
    Spotify founder Daniel Ek made a bid to buy ArsenalCredit: Getty
    The row has been going on since 2016 when Kroenke decided to move his American football team from St Louis to Los Angeles.
    He’s already forked out £3.75billion to build a new Rams stadium in LA and a further £410m in relocation fees.
    But if Spotify kingpin Ek hopes this latest compensation payment to the city of St Louis might force Kroenke into accepting his Emirates offer, he is going to be disappointed.
    Because when you’re a multi-billionaire married to the Walmart heiress, money is never an object.
    That’s bad news for all those angry Gooners who have been protesting long and loud against their club’s absent American owner.
    But maybe it is not so bad for manager Mikel Arteta and the expensive young squad he has quietly been assembling over the past year.

    Because the last thing Arsenal need right now is more behind the scenes upheaval, just when they finally appear to be getting their act together.
    Last week’s chastening defeat by Liverpool, following earlier beatings by Chelsea and Manchester City, confirmed how much work still lies ahead.
    But it is not too fanciful to suggest that they are decent contenders for fourth place and the final Champions League qualification place.
    They are certainly no worse than Manchester United or Tottenham right now and it’s difficult to imagine West Ham holding on to their current lofty position, no matter how well things are going right now.
    Arteta was allowed to spend more than any other Premier League manager over the summer months.
    And he received unwavering support from the owners when they were pointless and goalless after three games this season.
    Kroenke has also put his hand in his pocket to pay off the dressing room malcontents who were poisoning the atmosphere at the club’s London Colney training ground.
    So now Arsenal have the youngest and arguably most enthusiastic group of players in the Premier League.

    They’re still way off the finished article — and no club has suffered more false dawns than this lot in recent years.
    But at least they appear to be moving in the right direction and that was more than most supporters expected when their team failed to qualify for Europe for the first time since 1995.
    Signing up for the European Super League was a major mistake by Kroenke and he deserved the flak which came his way.
    Ek tried to exploit that explosive situation to seize control of the club and recruited legendary players Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira and Dennis Bergkamp to front his bid for power.
    Even when their move was rejected, Henry stubbornly ins- isted: “We’re not going away.”
    But Vieira has already jumped ship after joining Crystal Palace as manager and Ek has been strangely quiet in recent months.
    They know that Silent Stan won’t be relocating any time soon.
    And perhaps that’s not such a bad thing for Arsenal after all.
    CROUCH DOWNER
    WITH four English teams top of their Champions League groups and a new £2billion TV rights deal just signed with NBC, Premier League football would seem to be in a pretty good place.
    But ex-Sports Minister Tracey Crouch begs to differ and has led a review which is recommending the appointment of an independent regulator to run the game in England.
    Not in Scotland, though, because their football is going swimmingly.
    And who will appoint this regulator? The Government, of course.
    Now you and I might think that the very last thing football — or any other sport for that matter — is crying out for is more involvement from Boris Johnson and his political cronies.
    But Tracey knows better and with everything else this Government touches turning into gold, I’m sure football can now strap in for a trip to the sunlit uplands.
    Ex-Sports Minister Tracey pictured in 2018Credit: News Group Newspapers Ltd
    NO WAVE GOODBYE
    BAYERN MUNICH have slashed the wages of five unvaccinated players and Werder Bremen have dumped their manager following claims of faked Covid certificates.
    Meanwhile, tennis star Novak Djokovic looks set to miss next month’s Australian Open as he refuses to confirm that he has been double jabbed.
    Eddie Howe spent his first match as Newcastle boss in isolation and West Ham’s Europa League tie at Rapid Vienna was played in an empty stadium.
    We might like to think coronavirus has finished with sport in this country but with lockdowns all across Europe don’t rule out another UK wave.
    Markus Anfang quit Werder Bremen following a fake Covid vaccination certificate scandalCredit: Reuters
    ASHES TO CRASHES
    ANOTHER Test series, another sobbing Aussie captain quitting in tears.
    Turns out that Tim ‘nice but dim’ Paine wasn’t quite the squeaky clean leader needed to restore the reputation of cricket Down Under.
    So now, ‘Sandpaper’ Steve Smith is back as vice-captain while the newly-promoted Pat Cummins is probably deleting his internet history as we speak.
    And while they’re up to their necks in sleaze, England captain Joe Root and numerous Yorkshire team-mates are accused of turning a deaf ’un to racist abuse.
    All we need now is for the BBC and Sky commentary teams to be dragged into the row. Sorry, what’s that?
    Tim Paine resigned as captain of the Australian Test cricket team over a sexting scandalCredit: PA
    PILLOW TALK
    IF you thought some YouTuber fighting a geriatric former boxer was as low as pay-per-view could go, think again.
    Because coming very soon is the world’s first Pillow Fighting Championship.
    The organisers promise: “All the excitement of MMA but none of the blood.”
    Presumably all fights will be at featherweight.
    The world’s first Pillow Fighting Championship More

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    ‘Awful thing to see’ – Arsenal’s Kolasinac suffers ‘shocking’ injury during Bosnia and Herzegovina’s clash with Finland

    ARSENAL defender Sead Kolasinac suffered a ‘shocking’ injury while playing for Bosnia and Herzegovina against Finland.Kolasinac was forced off injured after just 39 minutes following a nasty challenge from Jukka Raitala.
    Sead Kolasinac suffered a ‘shocking’ injury while playing for Bosnia and HerzegovinaCredit: Getty
    The Arsenal star limped off injured and will now be an injury concern for Mikel ArtetaCredit: AFP
    The Finish defender was rightfully sent off by Premier League official Michael Oliver.
    Kolasinac, 28, has made only four appearances for Arsenal this season as he fights for his spot in Mikel Arteta’s squad.
    But the horror tackle and subsequent injury will not help his case if he faces time on the sidelines.
    One fan tweeted: “Shocking. Some tackles deserve more than a red card and that’s one of them.”
    Another posted: “It was a crushing tackle, very dangerous and inappropriate. Hope he gets well soon.”
    One said: “Looks like a break. Feel sorry for him, he’s got seven months left on his contract and hasn’t played much lately.”

    One added: “Even as a Finn that was awful thing to see.”
    Kolasinac has played more times for his country this season than for the Gunners.
    But he has not had the best of luck on international duty, as he was also on the wrong end of another shocking red card challenge in September, from France’s Jules Kounde.
    The Gunners defender had been in line for a summer move away, with Fenerbahce linked.
    Kolasinac spent the last six months on loan in Germany with Schalke, making 17 league appearances.
    But he failed to seal a permanent move as he linked back up with Arsenal at the start of the season.
    Calum Chambers keeps in top form with Arsenal training More

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    Tottenham to rival Arsenal in £65m transfer swoop for Dusan Vlahovic with Antonio Conte desperate for Harry Kane support

    TOTTENHAM are plotting to snatch Serbian sensation Dusan Vlahovic from under the noses of rivals Manchester City and Arsenal.New Spurs boss Antonio Conte wants another striker in January to take the weight off Harry Kane.
    Spurs are planning a move for Dusan VlahovicCredit: Rex
    Antonio Conte wants another striker in January to take the weight off Harry KaneCredit: Rex
    The ambitious Italian only took charge of the North Londoners at the beginning of this month.
    But he has already made it clear to chairman Daniel Levy and managing director of football Fabio Paratici that he needs more options in attack.
    Vlahovic is top of Conte’s shopping list after bagging 21 goals for Fiorentina in Serie A last season.
    The frontman, 21, has netted eight goals in 12 league games this term and Italian giants Juventus are also keen.
    He was already on Paratici’s radar when the Italian joined Spurs as their new recruitment guru last summer.
    With Vlahovic’s contract due to expire in 2023, Fiorentina are said to be willing to cash in on their £65million-rated marksman.

    But Tottenham are facing stiff competition from the Gunners, City and Juve — although reports in Italy claim the player’s agent is refusing to take Arsenal’s calls amid speculation he has agreed terms with another club.
    If that club is Juventus, it could be a double disaster for Conte — as the Old Lady has been offering another Spurs target, winger Dejan Kulusevski, as a makeweight in the deal.
    Paratici was the man who signed the Swedish wideman, 21, for the Turin giants back in January 2020.
    Tottenham are also keeping tabs on Club Brugge’s 20-year-old attacking midfielder Charles De Ketelaere ahead of the January transfer window.
    Although the Belgian is said to prefer a switch to Prem champs City.
    But despite calling for reinforcements in January, Conte is refusing to give up on the club’s forgotten stars.
    He has told outcasts Dele Alli and Harry Winks — tipped to leave after being frozen out by former bosses Nuno Espirito Santo and Jose Mourinho — they still have futures at the club.
    And they have responded well to being drilled hard by Conte during the international break.
    The England pair are among ten senior stars who were put through their paces by the Italian and his coaching staff this week, while their pals were away with their countries.
    Antonio Conte reacts to Spurs’ goalless draw with Everton More

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    Aubameyang SLAMMED by fans after trying to poach certain Odegaard goal but gets it ruled out for being miles offside

    ARSENAL star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was criticised by fans for depriving Martin Odegaard and his team of a second goal against Watford.The Gunners lead 1-0 at the Emirates following Emile Smith Rowe’s opener on 56 minutes but had the chance of sealing the win after 73 minutes when Odegaard’s right-footed shot from the penalty box went towards Ben Foster’s far post.
    Arsenal star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang cost his team a second goal against WatfordCredit: PA
    However, Aubameyang stretched his leg out to put it in himself and the goal was disallowed as the star striker was caught well offside.
    Fans weren’t happy with the Gabon international’s initiative and took to Twitter to air their frustrations.
    One fan tweeted: “Aubameyang has been an absolute joke today man.”
    Another one said: “If we end up losing this its on Aubameyang.”
    A third posted: “Aubameyang has been a totally [sic] disaster in every way possible this afternoon.”
    That Arsenal fan wrote: “Aubameyang has been f*****g dreadful today. If this isn’t 3 points it’s on him.”
    And this supporter stated: “Disaster class from Aubameyang.”
    MORE TO FOLLOW More

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    Tomiyasu reveals how he made immediate U-turn to join Arsenal after snubbing Tottenham deadline day transfer

    TAKEHIRO TOMIYASU has revealed that he snubbed Spurs on transfer deadline day. The Japanese defender, 22, went on to join Arsenal just hours afterwards.
    Arsenal’s Takehiro Tomiyasu takes on Aaron Cresswell at the Emirates StadiumCredit: PA
    DAZN Japan heard from Tomiyasu that the £20m man made the U-turn on deadline day, moving to North London from Bologna.
    He said: “I thought I was going to Spurs. On deadline day, I rejected them.
    “Arsenal asked me to join them and I did immediately”
    Tomiyasu has gone on to play seven Premier League games for the Gunners at right-back.
    After making his league debut in the 1-0 win at home to Norwich in September, the Japanese international’s run in the team has coincided with an upturn in form for Arsenal.
    Arteta’s team are yet to lose a Premier League game with him in the side and have only conceded four goals in those seven games.

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    They currently sit in sixth position in the table and club legend Martin Keown thinks they are in the running for a European spot.
    Watford lie in wait for Tomiyasu and his team on Sunday at Vicarage Road.
    Arsenal are also hopeful that Kieran Tierney will return at left-back after a spell out injured.

    Arsenal fans reckon Takehiro Tomiyasu is ‘better than Ronaldo’ as clip of him tackling Man Utd star in Serie A emerges More

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    Arsenal in running for Europe after stunning Premier League turnaround and with Ray Parlour-like Smith Rowe, says Keown

    ARSENAL have put themselves in a position to claim a European spot come the end of the season, says Martin Keown.Keown also praises young star Emile Smith Rowe, 21, saying that he ‘completes’ the Arsenal team and notices similarities to the Gunners legend Ray Parlour.
    Arsenal star Emile Smith Rowe likened to Ray Parlour by Arsenal hero Martin KeownCredit: Getty
    Talking to the Evening Standard, Keown reckons that Arsenal have given themselves a chance to strike for Europe but it will all come down to their consistency.
    It has been a rollercoaster season so far for the Gunners, who found themselves bottom of the Premier League in August, starting with three consecutive defeats.
    They have since hit form and now sit in sixth position. Keown asks fans to respect the job of Mikel Arteta and his players.
    He said: “Arsenal fans need to be able to see a team that is competitive, that can play winning football and strikes the balance as a team that is developing.
    “They are just three points off Man City, who thumped them 5-0, and we have to respect the turnaround.
    “They’ve put themselves in a position to strike for Europe, but where they end up will be down to their consistency.

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    “Arsenal are very much rebuilding a reputation – this is a new group, a new beginning.”
    A large part of the turn in success is down to the form of youngster Emile Smith Rowe.
    His recent hot streak has seen talk about a place in Gareth Southgate’s next England squad, announced at 2o’clock this afternoon.
    Smith Rowe scored in Arsenal’s 2-0 win at Leicester last weekend and has claimed the plaudits of many.
    Smith Rowe applauds after a goal against Leicester
    Martin Keown has compared the Croydon youngster to Ray Parlour, who won the Premier League three times with Arsenal over a 13-year career with the club.
    Keown said: “Ray was a player that probably never got the credit he deserved.
    “Ray didn’t stay out wide out all the time, he would tuck in, deep into midfield. I’ve seen Smith Rowe do that quite a few times.
    “It makes the team more complete, when you have the players that are looking to play with the ball and without.” More

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    Arsenal verdict: England boss Gareth Southgate could have tricky decision to make on No1 spot after Ramsdale masterclass

    ARSENAL are fast restoring the status quo – as well as providing a contender for save of the season.As their fans sang: ‘I like it, I like it, Saka and Emile Smith-Rowe’ to the run of Quo’s Rocking All Over The World, keeper Aaron Ramsdale was proving a hit far and wide for his display.
    Arsenal keeper Aaron Ramsdale could be pushing for an England spotCredit: Reuters
    And Gareth Southgate will surely have noted this performance with England preparing for the World Cup in 12 months time.
    While goals from Gabriel – his first of the season – and Smith-Rowe sealed the points inside 18 minutes, there is no doubt that Ramdale’s saves were just as important.
    None more so than his wonder stop just before half-time, from a James Maddison free-kick, when he somehow managed to tip the ball on to the crossbar.
    Even goalkeeping royalty Peter Schmeichel tweeted: “Best save I’ve seen for years by Ramsdale’.
    Ramsdale, 23, carried his form into the second half, with Leicester creating enough chances to wipe out the Gunners’ early lead.
    Arsenal showed they meant business from the start, Kasper Schmeichel was busier in the opening stages than he has been in entire games previously.

    But Mikel Arteta’s side had to show the other side of their game after the break with Leicester pushing for the goals to get back into it.
    However, a run of seven games uneaten gives the Gunners boss plenty to build on for the rest of the season.
    The Gunners’ attacking prowess was plain to see in the opening stages as their smooth passing game had Leicester on the back foot with Bukayo Saka a tormentor.
    While the visiting fans were in jubilant mood at their side’s quickfire start, the home supporters chanted ‘Get into them’ – a sure sign that Arsenal’s dominance was a worrying sign for a team Brendan Rodgers wants to be challenging for European football.
    There was little sign of that as Arsenal continued to rebuild their reputation after an infamously shaky start to the season.
    For those who saw this as a match to test their revival, the answer came soon enough.
    But Leicester were always going to carry some threat. And when they did, Ramsdale was there.
    The horror shows of Brentford and Manchester City are now fading fast as Arsenal are beginning to show they can see out a game and hold on to a lead, even if it was their goalkeeper who kept them in command.
    Arsenal reveal their sensory room so fans with ‘reduced sensory stimuli’ can enjoy games More

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    Arsenal fans fear November injury ‘curse’ will strike again with Ben White, Kieran Tierney and Rob Holding all crocked

    ARSENAL fans are fearing the first team will once again be struck by their annual November injury curse.The north Londoners have repeatedly been plagued by injury in the penultimate month of the year in all but one of the seasons since the 2009/10 campaign.
    Ben White is tended to by Arsenal’s physio during their 2-0 win over Leeds on Tuesday nightCredit: EPA
    Norway international Martin Odegaard is currently on the sidelinesCredit: GETTY
    As is Scotland defender Kieran TierneyCredit: PA
    And the substitution of Ben White in Tuesday night’s 2-0 win over Leeds has left fans – who are already missing the crocked Kieran Tierney and Martin Odegaard – fearing the worst.
    One tweeted: “It’s not even November and we’re losing players to injury. The Arsenal is well and truly back.”
    Another said: “Pray that the Arsenal November Injury Curse doesn’t do overtime in those three.”
    And another said: “Ben White played every game for Leeds in the season they got promoted, and near enough every game for Brighton last season.
    “We’re now 11/12 games into this season and it looks like he’s already pulled his hammy. The Arsenal injury curse ladies and gents.”
    One remarked: “Has Ben White been struck down by the Arsenal injury curse?

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    “Walks fine = 6 months injury table?”
    Arsenal will be back in action on Saturday afternoon, travelling to the King Power Stadium to take on Leicester City.
    And Gunners chief Mikel Arteta is hoping both Tierney and Odegaard will be available for the trip to the Midlands.
    He said: “They are both out with two different injuries.
    “They tried yesterday but they didn’t feel great.

    “Hopefully in the next few days they can feel better and be available for Leicester.”
    When pressed on White’s withdrawal, the Spaniard said: “With Ben and with some others, he had a bug, so he wasn’t feeling great.
    “I think something happened around here, he wasn’t feeling great in the second half and we decided to take him off.”
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    Arsenal boss Arteta says Ben White, Kieran Tierney and Martin Odegaard set to return at Leicester More