EPL

Arteta has high expectations for Jesus as new-look Arsenal prepare to make a statement

By Sports Desk August 04, 2022

Mikel Arteta expects Gabriel Jesus to offer a lot to Arsenal as the new-look Gunners hope to hit the ground running with an early statement of intent in the new Premier League season.

Arsenal had been in dire need of attacking reinforcements after allowing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang leave mid-way through last season and then letting Alexandre Lacazette's contract expire.

Brazil international Jesus was quickly identified as a primary target and Arsenal sealed his £45million signing in early July, allowing him to link up with Arteta once again having worked together at Manchester City.

Some expressed doubts over Jesus being the right sort of player to fill the void given he had rarely been seen as dependable enough at City to be their first-choice striker – he spent most of last season playing on the right wing.

But he has looked extremely sharp in pre-season, scoring seven goals in five games, including a hat-trick in a 6-0 win over Sevilla last weekend.

While pre-season form may not count for a lot, Arsenal fans' expectations have understandably increased – not that Arteta is worried.

"When you bring top players, they're coming from top clubs and they've been extremely successful over the years, they're going to expect that [high expectations]," Arteta told reporters ahead of Friday's Premier League opener against Crystal Palace.

"The role Gabby has here is going to be very different to the role he had in his previous club, and need some time and adaptation.

"We're all surprised with how quickly he's done it [adapted], but we have to share that responsibility.

"He's an enormous talent and a player with a mentality that's so contagious and is going to give us a lot."

Jesus' arrival and early form have increased positivity around the club, and Arteta is seemingly setting his sights high.

"It's great that people are excited but there's a lot of excitement across the Premier League because a lot of clubs have done a lot of business, getting stronger and stronger, and the competition is really big. We're focusing on what we want to do, and we want to be at the top of that table," he added.

Another major change over pre-season was the appointment of Martin Odegaard as the club's new captain.

Lacazette had been captain until his departure, with the Frenchman taking the armband when Aubameyang was stripped of the role last year.

The Arsenal captaincy has been contentious in recent seasons, with Aubameyang not the first to seemingly struggle with the responsibility, but Arteta has a good feeling with Odegaard.

"This season we had the opportunity to do it in a way I believe could work, picking a player, Martin, who's been with us 18 months, who in my opinion represents values of the club in the perfect way," Arteta said.

"He's well respected by everyone in the team, he's admired by the staff, has experience even if he's 23 because [he is captain] for the national team [Norway], and then he's got that drive and passion for the game that he promotes every single day and in the way he plays.

"I'm very happy to have someone like him and he's onboard, enjoying the responsibility. He'll need support but it's a huge thing for him as well."

Arteta also delivered some positive injury news on the eve of the season's start. While Kieran Tierney, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Fabio Vieira and Emile Smith Rowe have been struggling with injuries in recent weeks, as many of three of them could travel to Selhurst Park.

However, Arteta would not reveal which is set to miss out.

"Good question," he said. "You'll find out tomorrow [Friday]."

Related items

  • Tuchel comments under investigation by the FA Tuchel comments under investigation by the FA

    Thomas Tuchel's post-match comments about referee Anthony Taylor following Chelsea's 2-2 draw with Tottenham are under investigation by the Football Association (FA).

    Tuchel was furious at some of the decisions made by Taylor during the feisty stalemate at Stamford Bridge, a game that saw tensions boil over.

    The German suggested Spurs' first goal should have been disallowed due to the offside Richarlison standing in Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy's line of sight, and then he felt aggrieved over the visitors' second equaliser due to two incidents.

    Firstly, he felt Kai Havertz was fouled by Rodrigo Bentancur in the build-up to the corner that Harry Kane ultimately headed home from, and at the same set-piece Cristian Romero avoided being penalised for pulling Marc Cucurella to the ground by his hair.

    Tuchel and Spurs coach Antonio Conte clashed during and after the game, with their second confrontation resulting in both bosses being shown red cards.

    This was a particular bone of contention for Tuchel, who sarcastically said: "I cannot coach but the referee can whistle the next game? Good."

    Chelsea fans have voiced their displeasure with Taylor before, but Tuchel went even further when asked about the supporters' concerns, as he suggested "the whole dressing room of us, every person thinks that."

    He was then pushed on whether the players are worried when Taylor is the official in charge, and he added: "Yeah, of course."

    Stats Perform understands the FA is already looking into Tuchel's comments, meaning disciplinary action could be forthcoming.

    The FA's investigation will focus on whether Tuchel has brought the game into "disrepute" by implying bias or attacking the integrity of a referee.

     

  • Klopp mocks early critics of Nunez and Haaland Klopp mocks early critics of Nunez and Haaland

    Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp thinks it is "crazy" how quickly critics were on the backs of Darwin Nunez and Erling Haaland in pre-season.

    Uruguay striker Nunez joined the Reds from Benfica in a transfer potentially worth £85million (€100m) in June, while Manchester City sealed a reported £51m (€60m) deal with Borussia Dortmund for Haaland a month earlier.

    Both major investments were seen as deals that could widen the gap between them and the rest of the Premier League, though each player has courted criticism.

    For Nunez, the flak arrived as early as his first pre-season game after missing a big chance in a 4-0 defeat to Manchester United.

    Haaland was then ridiculed for a difficult day against the Reds as Klopp's side won the Community Shield at the end of July.

    Nunez scored in that win over City before coming off the bench to find the back the net and provide an assist for Mohamed Salah in a 2-2 draw at Fulham, while Haaland marked his Premier League debut with a double in a win at West Ham.

    For Klopp, the desperation tp write players off is unhelpful and unfair.

    Speaking to Sky Sports ahead of Monday's clash with Crystal Palace, Klopp said: "Five weeks ago, when we started pre-season and [Nunez] had his first game and it didn't look great from the outside world.

    "Not for us, but it's crazy how quick we judge people… wow!

    "Imagine if somebody did that to us and said, 'First day of work, it didn't work out. Go home, we never want to see you again! And you don't get a second chance by the way' – we would have all been long gone! No chance.

    "Everybody can now see, 'Ah he's a proper striker' – so good for us and good for him.

    "He's a handful and is a different type to what we had. He's very lively and very energetic. Physically he's really strong and technically he's really good, that obviously goes together with being more settled and confident and more secure in yourself in a new environment.

    "You can't say, 'Come on, you have to give me 100 per cent immediately' – you have to develop it and that's what we're doing at the moment and in a good way.

    "It's funny as well, we won against Manchester City the week before the season and everybody was asking, 'Will Haaland score this and that?'

    "A week is like 10 years in football!"

    Klopp has had to contend with the disruption of several injuries already, but he reiterated the Reds are not planning to go into the transfer market.

    "If there was the right player and an opportunity, we would have done it, we would do it, but I don't see it because we had a lot of conversations already and it doesn't look like something will happen," he added.

    "I'm happy with the strength, size and quality of my squad but we have injuries. There are plenty of solutions for it. One of them is the transfer market, but that only makes sense if you can bring in the right player.

    "All the other solutions are inside the squad. We have too many injuries, that's clear. Naby [Keita] will be back for Monday and Kostas [Tsimikas] will train for the first time, so he might be back as well."

  • Klopp confident the goals will come for Reds winger Diaz Klopp confident the goals will come for Reds winger Diaz

    Jurgen Klopp is confident the goals will come for Luis Diaz after the winger was wasteful in the 2-2 draw at Fulham last weekend.

    Diaz missed two Opta-defined 'big chances' in the Reds' opening match of the Premier League season at Craven Cottage, rattling the post in the first half.

    The Colombia international took no time to settle at Anfield following his big-money move from Porto in January, scoring six goals and providing five assists in 26 appearances last season.

    Liverpool lost Sadio Mane to Bayern Munich in June, but Klopp is backing Diaz to help fill the void left by the Senegal forward.

    Asked if Diaz can score 10-15 goals this season, the Reds manager said: "Oh definitely, that is his quality. We need to see but of course that is his potential.

    "We work on it but not with Luis specifically. We don't take him out because the other two scored and he didn't, so we show him how. That's not necessary. It's not a problem. You can't force it

    "Last week people were asking ‘How can you play without Sadio?' but in November/December everybody was thinking about when he would score the next goal, and Mo [Salah] was on fire. You just let it go.

    "You see the situations Luis had, big chances, and he was just unlucky. He started on the first day with us and took part in all the sessions and that is the most important thing.

    "All the rest will come. In the long term it is of course not a problem. It is about being prepared and fighting through moments like this."

    Klopp called for patience with Diaz ahead of Liverpool's first home game of the season against Crystal Palace on Monday.

    He added: "When Sadio played against us, he scored three times for Southampton but it was not that he scored every week. He didn't even start the game when he played against us.

    "So the consistency came with the confidence and with the team-mates, the structure of our game. So that is what we're working on that doesn't change. The way we play should help strikers. It is the way we play. It's the way we bring the boys in the situation.

    "Of course it is about whether it is in you or not, but it's the way we play, how we position the players, how we protect the players, where we win the balls back.

    "And it is how the boys can use their speed in these moments. They will be in a lot of goalscoring situations and that then makes you the player we remember."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.