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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is a risk that signals a change in the hierarchy at Arsenal

Jake Jackman

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Aubameyang

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang signed for Arsenal on deadline day to enter a new chapter in his career. The Gabon international is regarded as one of the best strikers in Europe and for good reason. He has scored 98 Bundesliga goals during his time at Borussia Dortmund, which averages at a goal every 116 minutes. This is a very impressive record for any player and considering the 28-year-old was not playing on the best team in the division, it deserves even more respect. That said, there are still doubts about the forward, with his attitude being a problem for the various managers that he encountered at Signal Iduna Park.

Although he is moving for a huge fee, reported to be a club record £56 million according to BBC Sport, he is joining a club in 6th position in the Premier League and one generally considered to be in freefall. This isn’t the move that many expected Aubameyang to make when he was scoring for fun in Germany and that is due to the problems that he causes off the field. Goal reported the following quotes from Michael Zorc, who is the Dortmund Sporting Director:

“At some point you can’t tolerate it [lack of discipline from Aubameyang] anymore,”

“I don’t know what’s going on inside his head. We had a very contentious discussion today. We’re not used to this behaviour from him. It can’t go on like this.”

This came after he missed a team meeting ahead of the game against Wolfsburg. The potential move to Arsenal was on his mind, but his decision shows a lack of professionalism and that theme became too common during his time at the club. During the match, his quality finishing was missed as the Bundesliga side failed to make their chances count. However, the dressing room agreed with his omission as shown by the following comments to Roman Burki to Sky Sports, as referenced by AS and FourFourTwo:

“I support it. It was a logical decision.

“There are rules which apply to every player, regardless of how many goals he scores or prevents. It would be a shame if he missed out again due to his stupid actions.”

It is rare for a player to be so critical of a team-mate, but that reflects the negative effect that Aubameyang was having on the team towards the end of his time at Dortmund. The team haven’t been faring well on the pitch, as shown by their current position of 6th. However, those at the club needed to pull together to improve performances on the pitch and the striker opted to take the first exit. That doesn’t bode well for what he brings off-the-pitch and that is one of the biggest issues at the Emirates Stadium at the moment.

Alexis Sanchez has recently departed and many saw that as a positive thing for Arsenal, due to the poor relations that he had with the rest of the squad. The Telegraph reported last year that the Chilean walked out of training after a bust-up with his team-mates before being dropped for the side’s visit to Liverpool. These stories became ten a penny as he time drew to an end in North London and another disruptive influence isn’t what the squad need right now.

Perhaps Aubameyang will be more committed for Arsenal and put more on the line for the team. Initially that will certainly be the case, but as their loss to Swansea City showed on Tuesday, the Gunners need strong characters to turn their form around and the incoming Gabon international isn’t that. He may have a lot of talent, but he isn’t going to grab a game by the scruff of the neck and drag the team to victory when a goal down. For that reason, it may not be the signing needed to turn Arsene Wenger’s men back into serious contenders.

That said, it is a statement of intent that is ultimately a good move from the club. Arsenal needed to put an end to the negativity and show the rest of Europe that they remain a team to be reckoned with. It was always likely that they would lose Alexis Sanchez this month, but the captures of Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Aubameyang have improved the atmosphere among supporters. They can now attack the rest of the season and attempt to get back into the Champions League.

These two big-name signings have not only excited supporters, but they are thought to be the catalyst behind Mesut Ozil’s decision to sign a new contract. BBC Sport report that he has agreed to stay with the club until 2021 and he becomes the highest-paid player in their history. After 18 months of uncertainty, the Gunners can now move forward as a united club with two very good players coming in to replace the poisonous Alexis Sanchez.

Although success is far from guaranteed, Arsenal now have a platform from which to build on. Doubts remain over Arsene Wenger’s ability to produce success on the pitch, but this window has shown that some power has been taken away from the Frenchman. It would have been unlikely that Aubameyang would have been his choice of player, especially at the finances involved, but the club overruled him and ensured that a deal took place. His signing indicates that a change has taken place in the hierarchy of the club and that only be viewed as a positive

Jake is a journalist based in the South East. He is a Newcastle United fan and has a keen interest in Dutch football. Jake can be found on Twitter here - @jakejackmann.

Arsenal

It is too soon for Mikel Arteta to be considered for Arsenal job

The 36-year-old has been linked with the Emirates hot seat.

Jake Jackman

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Mikel Arteta
Photo: Getty Images

Arsenal have a huge summer awaiting them as they will need to appoint a successor to Arsene Wenger and rebuild a squad that has missed out on Champions League football for the second season in a row.

It won’t be an easy task and the board must act swiftly to make sure the club are prepared for the 2018/19 campaign.

Considering Wenger’s departure was announced weeks ago, Arsenal should have made progress in their search for a replacement.

There will be a number of names under consideration and it is important that they do their due diligence to ensure they can start to move in the right direction again.

BBC Sport report that Manchester City coach Mikel Arteta is one of the options being considered by the hierarchy at the Emirates Stadium.

(Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

As a former player, he would be well received by the fanbase, but it would represent a huge gamble by the club.

The 36-year-old was part of the playing staff under Arsene Wenger as recently as 2016.

Although he will know the problems that exist at the club, he may struggle to exert the authority to correct them considering many of the current squad were his peers.

It has only been two years since the Spaniard retired from playing and he wouldn’t have expected to be in the running for a job of this size this soon.

Upon retiring, he took up a coaching role at Manchester City and the experience will stand him in good stead to move into management one day.

After all, he is working with one of the best managers of all-time in Pep Guardiola and Arteta will have played a role in the team’s record-breaking Premier League season.

That coupled with his history with Arsenal makes him an attractive left-field option for the Gunners.

However, the size of the risk attached to an appointment means that the club should look elsewhere this summer.

The club will want stability, but first and foremost, they will want success.

The fact that Arteta has no managerial experience means that he would be learning on the job and the North London side can’t afford to allow that.

(Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Arsenal are a huge club and as the man following Arsene Wenger, the next manager will be scrutinised closely.

It would be a job better suited to a manager with experience and know-how at the top level.

The article goes on to mention both Luis Enrique and Massimiliano Allegri. Either of them would be a better appointment for Arsenal at this time, as they have both managed big clubs previously.

For Arteta, the fact that he is being linked to a job like Arsenal shows how highly he is thought of within the game.

If he wants to go into management, he needs to leave Manchester City and gain experience as a number one.

If he does that, whether it be in England or abroad, he could be ready to take the hot-seat at the Emirates Stadium at a later date.

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Exclusive: Havard Nordtveit – Hoffenheim move, Julian Nagelsmann and facing Liverpool

The Norwegian international discussed his time at Hoffenheim and his experience of English clubs.

Mathew Coull

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Havard Nordtveit
Photo: Getty Images

This summer West Ham United utility man Havard Nordtveit called time on his career with the Hammers, after just one season.

Signed from Borussia Monchengladbach on a free transfer he suffered from the London outfits’ own struggles, the change of stadium and being asked to play out of position at right-back.

After just 21 games for the Hammers, he headed back to Germany, where he had such success previously.

Now, speaking exclusively to The Boot Room, the Norwegian international has discussed working under an exciting new manager, facing Liverpool in the Champions League and coming through the ranks at Arsenal.

Plenty of teams in Germany would have wanted Nordtveit this summer.

He built a fine reputation in the Bundesliga during his time with Gladbach.

In fact, just hours before his July transfer was announced, he was being linked with Bundesliga rivals Hamburg.

In the end, it was Hoffenheim who snapped up the Norwegian. They had just finished fourth in the Bundesliga and it was a brilliant move for the 27-year-old.

(Photo by Patrik Stollarz/Getty Images)

But, as the former Hammer explained from Germany, it has been a topsy-turvy season:

“It went well in the first couple of months. But then my games weren’t as good as I was hoping for,” he admitted. “Then obviously I was not good enough for the team. I have been training hard and lately, it has been back to normal again.

“It’s good to be back in Germany and also I needed half a season to get to know the new coach and the new system. I am looking forward to the rest of the campaign.”

Nordtveit started the season playing in the Hoffenheim back three, but found himself out of the squad entirely from mid-December until last month.

Despite his problems, he did not sulk and simply worked hard to get back into the first-team:

“I am not that person,” proclaimed the Norwegian international. “I have been in that situation before with West Ham and Gladbach. It’s all about giving everything you can instead of moaning.

“You have to be positive,” he continued. “This is a team sport. You have to give your best for the team. If that means you are playing or not you know that you will get the chance in the end.”

This season Hoffenheim and Nordtveit were challenging for the Europa League.

However, at the start of the campaign, the Bundesliga outfit were in Champions League action for the first time in their history.

They took on Premier League side Liverpool in the qualifying rounds, with Nordtveit playing in both games.

Liverpool were not yet working under Mohamed Salah power but still proved far too strong for their German opponents over two legs:

“We knew they were strong. With their attacking forwards they are brutal. We had a very good home game. But in the end, it is a little better a feeling to know we went out of the play-offs against a team that reached the finals,” Nordtveit explained, with a sense of vindication for his club’s exit.

“What Klopp has done with the club is massive and also Salah, at this time, maybe is Europe’s best player.”

(Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)

Hoffenheim’s entrance to the Champions League was masterminded by their brilliant young coach Julian Nagelsmann. The 30-year-old is just a few years older than the Norwegian but has proven himself a top manager:

“He is fantastic,” said an excited Nordtveit. “He has great experience and his own style of play. It is a lot of tactics for every new player. Also when I came in then there was a lot of new things I had to learn quite quick.

“I am now starting to see that I learn something in myself to get into the rhythm that he wants. He is like a young, bright, football professor.”

He then gave him high praise, by comparing him to his former Gladbach boss Lucien Favre:

“He reminds me a little bit of Lucien Favre. He thinks about football 24/7. Small details, always, which can mean we take the three points.

“If I could compare him with someone it would be Lucien Favre, which is not a bad comparison.”

Nagelsmann’s clear ability has seen him linked with taking over from Arsene Wenger at Arsenal.

The Norwegian came through the ranks at Arsenal, but made it clear that he spent most of his time working with the current Arsenal assistant Steve Bould:

“I spoke with him of course but he was more observing the training. I was more with the reserve team.

“I was more with Steve Bould, the legend. He was quite important for me, a really good guy. I think he was one of the more important guys in Arsenal when I was there.”

Working under the Arsenal legend as a young defender must have been a big learning experience for the Hoffenheim player, who speaks highly of his time at Arsenal:

“I went quite early, about 16,17,” remembered the talented utility man. “It was perhaps the most important choice I did in my career because there I learnt how to do the basics in football.

“I did not play much with the first-team but the experience of training with the first-team and getting to know English football and a really high standard was really important to me.

(Photo by Nikolay Doychinov/Getty Images)

“From there, when I moved to Germany, I had the perfect base to have an OK career.

“Jack Wilshere was there before he finally broke through to the first-team. We had Wojciech Szczesny now second goalkeeper for Juventus. Many of the players are having big careers.  

“For me and a lot of the players we were quite lucky to have this opportunity.”

But Nordtveit still remembers his time fondly. He still follows the club, where good friend Granit Xhaka is also playing.

The Gunners have been unable to put a smile on the face of Nordtveit by picking up the Europa League trophy in Arsene Wenger’s final year.

However, with London outfit set to compete in the competition again next season, under a new manager, the two could well come face-to-face. 

That would be an opportunity Hoffenheim’s intrepid Norwegian would relish.

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Arsenal hero Patrick Viera would be an underwhelming appointment for Everton

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Photo: Getty Images.

The managerial merry-go-round is warming up ready for another summer of action and it looks increasingly likely that Everton could be involved as fans grow more and more unhappy with the management of Sam Allardyce. What may come as a greater surprise is that the club could turn to Arsenal hero Patrick Viera to replace him.

According to Metro, Viera is admired by Everton owner Farhad Moshiri and fits the profile that the Toffees are looking for of a young and dynamic coach to take over at Goodison Park.

Viera has also been linked with the opportunity to replace his former coach Arsene Wenger at Arsenal, where he remains a legend, but is currently under contact with New York City, part of the Manchester City group.

(during the UEFA Youth League Quarter Final match between AS Roma and Manchester City on March 17, 2015 in Latina, Italy.

The Citizens would reportedly not stand in his way of a Premier League move and Everton would be happy to offer more than the £2 million that he currently earns per year, but it would be a hugely underwhelming appointment for the blue half of Merseyside.

Whilst Viera has done well in Major League Soccer in New York, he has not achieved enough to have caught the eye of such a high profile club were it not for his playing career.

Given the finances reportedly available to the next Everton manager and the huge pressure to get an underperforming squad up to scratch and matching expectations, it would be a big gamble if the club were to put their faith in Viera.

He may well have potential, but it would be a surprise to see a club of the size and resources of Everton being the ones to give Viera his first opportunity as a Premier League coach.

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