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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta says his side have “made strong steps” this season, regardless of how their final two Premier League games play out.The Gunners travel to relegation-threatened Nottingham Forest on Saturday, knowing defeat would hand the title to Manchester City.
Arteta’s side were seven points clear at the top on 26 December but are now four points behind City.We have built that core and that foundation,” Arteta said.
There’s a lot of quality, a lot of youth, a lot of enthusiasm, but as well surrounded by a lot of good people with the right experience, with a lot of leadership around them.We have to continue to do that because the demands, the expectations, the challenges next season will be even higher.”
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Arsenal lost just once in the league between the start of the season and February, establishing a strong lead at the top of the table.But three consecutive draws against Liverpool, West Ham and Southampton in April were followed by a 4-1 defeat at Manchester City.
The Gunners got back to winning ways at high-flying Newcastle on 7 May, but were beaten 3-0 at home by Brighton last weekend as Guardiola’s side opened up a lead on their title rivals.When teams have let big leads go in title racesHave Arsenal ‘bottled’ the title race?’Pain is part of football’With City having played one game less than Arsenal, defeat at Forest on Saturday would confirm Guardiola’s team as champions before they host Chelsea on Sunday.
A draw would keep Arteta’s team in the race mathematically – they could finish level on points with City, but the reigning champions have a far superior goal difference.When asked if how Arsenal’s season has played out was “painful”, Arteta said: “It depends on what the pain is.
“There are lots of moments to be extremely pleased with what we’ve done. Let’s see where we finish in the next two games.
Pain is part of football – when you don’t win, when you don’t perform at your level, it has to hurt.”It has to hurt the right way and you have to use that pain to become better and to find answers and solutions that can help you win more.
Lia Walti will miss the rest of Arsenal’s season but “should be able to recover” in time for the World Cup, says Gunners boss Jonas Eidevall.
The Switzerland midfielder, 30, was stretchered off in Wednesday’s 4-1 win at Everton after a challenge by Aggie Beever-Jones.The 19-year-old apologised for the tackle which earned her a red card.
She’s out for the season for us but the initial examination is that it’s not too bad,” Eidevall said on Friday.It’s not a multiple-months injury, so she should be able to recover in the time before the World Cup which is of course very important for her as a player.
“I’m very happy for her that it wasn’t more serious – I was afraid it could be so that was a relief, but unfortunately she can’t be on the pitch for Arsenal this season.”
WSL injuries: ‘It’s tough thinking you’ve ruined a career’
In his news conference on Friday, Everton manager Brian Sorensen said Beever-Jones, on loan from Chelsea, was “really devastated” after the game.At the end of the day, Aggie is young, she’s growing, she’s learning as a player.
She gets too eager to win the ball back and she’ll learn from that, of course.”Walti, who has made 18 Women’s Super League (WSL) appearances for Arsenal this season, will hope to be back in time to captain Switzerland in their first World Cup game against the Philippines on 21 July.
Third-placed Arsenal take on Chelsea and Aston Villa in their remaining WSL games, with a strong finish needed to guarantee Champions League football next season.
Toney’s suspension starts immediately, but he can return to training with Brentford four months before it ends on 17 September.
“We are waiting for the information so we know what we can do. What he’s allowed to do, especially for the first four months,” added Frank.One thing is for sure, we will do everything to be there for him, support him and be aware of the mental health in it.
“He’s made some mistakes, but we need to be there, and want to be there, for him and help him. We just need to know what we are allowed to do.”Frank said, like Toney, he was waiting until the independent Regulatory Commission published its written reasons for the verdict before talking about the specifics of the case.
However, he did say “in general” gambling was an issue “we need to be aware of in society”, despite Brentford being sponsored by a betting company.
Frank added: “It is a challenge, for me personally, all the advertising for gambling done by clubs [and] individuals in the game – I think that’s an issue, for me.
“I don’t know the full details of how much support or education the authorities provide. I know the Premier League and FA have a lot of initiatives in place that try to educate people out there.
“Education is the key thing. Across the world, education is the number one thing if you want to change a culture and mindset. That takes a lot of hard work and patience.”
The 232 breaches Toney has been found guilty of took place between 25 February 2017 and 23 January 2021, during which time he represented Scunthorpe United, Wigan Athletic, Peterborough United and Brentford.We need to be aware of the mental health in this,” said Frank.
van is a footballer but he is also a human being that has family, a partner, young children, a mum and dad, siblings and friends and he has been on the front pages quite a lot.We need to do whatever to support him in that aspect.”
Toney has scored 20 goals in 33 Premier League appearances this season and, even though his FA ban started straight away, Frank said a hamstring injury would have ruled the forward out of the club’s final two games of the season against Tottenham and Manchester City.Now it’s done, he [Toney] has got a very good mindset of, ‘OK, it is what it is and then move forward’,” added Frank