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first_img0Shares0000Alexandre Lacazette’s superb strike put Arsenal on course for victory against Everton© AFP Adrian DENNISLONDON, United Kingdom, Sep 23 – Alexandre Lacazette fired Arsenal to a fourth successive Premier League win as the French forward’s superb strike inspired a hard-fought 2-0 success against Everton on Sunday.Unai Emery’s side rode their luck in the first half at the Emirates Stadium as Everton wasted a host of chances to punish a sloppy opening from the Gunners. But Lacazette ensured that lethargic spell wouldn’t prove costly when he smashed a sublime opener in the second half.Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang doubled Arsenal’s lead moments later when the Gabon forward was allowed to slot home despite being clearly offside.That controversial effort shattered Everton’s resolve as Arsenal celebrated a flattering victory that lifted them to sixth place in the Premier League.The north Londoners have now won their last five games in all competitions, yet, not for the first time, this was a far from convincing display.A first clean sheet of the Emery era was a welcome sight for the Arsenal manager, but he will know there is still plenty of room for improvement in all areas.Everton, without a win in their last 25 visits to Arsenal, could consider themselves unlucky, but their first half profligacy proved decisive.Marco Silva’s team have lost their last two matches and have won only one of their six league games this season.After a laboured start from Arsenal, they finally pieced together an incisive raid when Hector Bellerin’s cross found Aubameyang at the far post.Aubameyang scuffed the ball back to Nacho Monreal and the Arsenal defender saw his strike pushed away by Everton keeper Jordan Pickford.If that move show-cased the best of the attack-minded Bellerin, Everton’s next chance underlined the Spaniard’s defensive frailties.A long pass into Richarlison should have been easy for Bellerin to subdue, but he allowed the Brazilian forward to turn away from him far too easily, and it took a good save from Petr Cech to spare his team-mate’s blushes.Richarlison, back after serving a three-match ban, was a constant menace to the ponderous Arsenal defence and he went close again with a low curling effort from the edge of the area.There were plenty of empty seats around the Emirates and, with Arsenal struggling to find any rhythm, those who had shown up were growing restless by the time Lucas Digne’s free-kick was tipped over by Cech.– Majestic –Theo Walcott scored 56 times at the Emirates during his 12 years with Arsenal and the Everton winger, making his second return to his old club, almost added to that total just before half-time.Sprinting onto Gylfi Sigurdsson’s pass, Walcott had a clear sight of goal but shot straight at Cech in a familiar sight to Arsenal fans who endured the winger’s erratic displays for so long.Arsenal lost Greek defender Sokratis to injury, leaving the Gunners even more vulnerable to Richarlison, who immediately seized on Sigurdsson’s pass and unleashed a powerful drive that forced Cech to save.But, having escaped without punishment for their tepid first half, Arsenal seized the lead in the 56th minute.Lucas Torreira stole possession in midfield and quickly recycled the ball to Aaron Ramsey, whose pass found Lacazette in space on the left side of the area.Lacazette had been anonymous until that point but, taking a touch to size up his options, the French forward guided a majestic curling shot into the top corner for his second goal of the season.If that was tough on Everton, there was worse to come for Marco Silva’s side three minutes later as Arsenal scored a dubious second to seal the points.Mesut Ozil surged away down the right flank and when the Arsenal midfielder’s pass reached Ramsey, he flicked the ball to the offside Aubameyang.The linesman’s flag stayed down and Aubameyang did the rest, planting a cool finish past Pickford for his fourth goal of the season.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

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first_img 5. Slaven Bilic (West Ham United) – After an excellent 2015/16 season, the pressure on Bilic to further build the reputation of the Hammers will only have heightened as the club move to the Olympic Stadium. He quickly made his mark on an uninspired squad last term, coaching the style of play desired by the Irons’ owners, with Dimitri Payet at the hub of their success. A swift start will be wanted at their new ground, but Bilic seems up for the job. The question is, will expectations be too high, especially with a Europa League campaign – starting in July – to cope with? 20 20 20 20 11. Aitor Karanka (Middlesbrough) – Boro have been the most active of the newly-relegated clubs so far, suggesting their intent to cement their place in the top flight. The club, therefore, should be hoping to seal a mid-table finish. The pressure will be on Karanka to deliver on England’s biggest stage. Stream the Premier League live on talkSPORT this season! Click here to see our line up of live games in August and September.Excitement for the new Premier League season is rising.There’s less than a month to go until kick off, with plenty of new faces on and off the pitch to look forward to seeing in action.And earlier in the summer, we ranked each club in England’s top flight based on expectations for the 2016/17 season – but what about each sides’ manager?Which boss might struggle next term? Who could be leading the fight at the other end of the table?Taking these questions into consideration, check out the full ranking of every Premier League managers’ expectations for next season by viewing the slideshow above. 20 15. Francesco Guidolin (Swansea City) – Guidolin came to the rescue when the Swans looked as though they would be in for an ugly relegation battle. The Italian took over in January, guiding the club to a comfortable mid-table finish. The Welsh outfit should be looking, at minimum, for a similar position next season. Guidolin’s summer business will be interesting. 20 13. Mark Hughes (Stoke City) – Hughes is quietly developing an exciting Potters squad, with such players as Xherdan Shaqiri transforming their style of play. But despite suggesting they had the potential to seal one of the European spots last season, they fell just short and a repeat of their challenge could be all the more difficult next term. There isn’t too much weight on Hughes’ shoulders, though. 20 18. Sam Allardyce (Sunderland) – Allardyce is in the frame for the vacant England position, with Sunderland releasing a statement confirming the Football Association have held talks with their boss. Three Lions aside, though, the 61-year-old has another challenge in keeping the Black Cats away from the drop zone. Not much is really expected of Allardyce as a struggle is again predicted. Staying up with a bit more comfort would be a major improvement. Or maybe even just staying at the club! 12. Walter Mazzarri (Watford) – Last season was a difficult affair for the Hornets, who dwindled as the campaign progressed. Many were disappointed by Quique Sanchez Flores’ departure, but it seems a change was necessary. The club’s owners will provide new boss Mazzarri with the transfer kitty required, which only adds to expectations for the incoming term. Taking over at Vicarage Road would be a challenging job for the best of managers, making Mazzarri’s summer preparations crucial. 6. Arsene Wenger (Arsenal) – Expectation is always high at Arsenal, and after a second-place finish last season you might expect fans to dream of the title. But the reality is that plenty of fans expect more of the same, meaning the Gunners to be also-rans when it comes to the title. It’s difficult to know where to start with Wenger. The Frenchman has become more generous in the transfer market over the past few seasons, but a sustained title challenge has been out of his side’s grasp for 12 years. Nonetheless, it could be his final campaign at the Emirates – as he enters the last year of his contract – and he will want to go out on a high. The question is will he deliver? 20. Sean Dyche (Burnley) – read the reasoning for Dyche’s position below, then click the arrow above, right, to find out where YOUR club’s manager finishes in our ranking based on expectations for next season – Having remained in charge of the Clarets despite their relegation from the Premier League in the summer of 2015, the club seem content with Dyche’s progress. Given this, expectations won’t be too high. He again isn’t likely to be handed a large transfer kitty and could be reliant on Andre Gray to deliver the goods. 1. Pep Guardiola (Manchester City) – There’s no question expectations are at their highest over Guardiola. The Spaniard arrives in Manchester after glittering spells with Barcelona and Bayern Munich, where he will be looking to instantly add to his trophy cabinet. The Premier League title will be a priority, but City’s owners are also keen to make an impact on the Champions League (last season’s run to the semi-finals was overdue, but the lame performances against Real Madrid were a major disappointment). This is Guardiola’s chance to dismiss the critics who claim he’s had it easy, winning the title in leagues where only one or two clubs are serious contenders. That said, he has vast resources with which to sculpt a winning team at City, and the presence of his prickly rival Mourinho at Man United only serves to ramp up the expectation. Bring it on! 20 20 20 10. Alan Pardew (Crystal Palace) – Pardew must improve next season. For the second half of last term the Eagles were in dreadful form, picking up just 11 points after the festive period. His transfer activity, so far, suggests Pardew knows improvements are necessary, with Andros Townsend, James Tomkins and Steve Mandana having been lured to Selhurst Park. Should their performances fail to improve, his position could be under threat. 7. Mauricio Pochettino (Tottenham Hotspur) – This season it will be tougher for Pochettino to guide Spurs to another top four finish. With the spending of Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City, along with the appointment of top class managers at the league’s biggest clubs, not forgetting a Champions League campaign to cope with, there are so many challenges to face that simply weren’t there last term. It’ll be disappointing if Tottenham fail to seal a Champions League place, but fans won’t be getting too carried away. 20 20 14. Claude Puel (Southampton) – With his managerial career limited to Ligue 1, the appointment of Puel could be considered a gamble by the Saints. Nonetheless, as predecessors Ronald Koeman and Mauricio Pochettino proved, Premier League experience isn’t essential. Expectations likely won’t be too high on their new boss – in fact, it feels like Saints’ recent punching above their weight has, if anything, heightened expectation of it soon coming to an end, considering their annual talent sale. The transfer window may be important and he has got his business off to an exciting start, sealing a deal for the highly-rated Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg. 20 3. Jurgen Klopp (Liverpool) – While rival supporters might struggle to see Liverpool seal a spot in next season’s top four, Kopites on the whole believe they have a top class manager and expect to see an improvement on the last two seasons. His activity in the transfer market already this summer has suggested he knows exactly what he’s after; a contrast to the confusion of Brendan Rodgers’ business. The club’s owners will be demanding far more, particularly in the league, from their German coach in his first full term in charge. With no European football to distract him or his players, the aim will be a top four finish. At the very least, a vast improvement on last season’s eighth place is expected. 9. Ronald Koeman (Everton) – After ditching Southampton, much is expected of Koeman at Goodison Park. The Toffees, with a talented squad including Ross Barkley and Romelu Lukaku, immensely disappointed last season. The club will be patience with their progress under the Dutchman, but a top eight finish should be the minimum expected next term. 20 4. Antonio Conte (Chelsea) – Considering all the silverware that’s made its way to Stamford Bridge in the last decade, expectations on Conte aren’t as high as they might previously have been ahead of his debut season at Stamford Bridge, but Roman Abramovich will demand no less than a return to the top four. With no European football to contend with, the Italian can really get to work on settling his new squad. But despite the talent in their ranks, it could still be a difficult campaign for the Blues – who are in somewhat of a transitional period – and patience could be key. 20 20 20 2. Jose Mourinho (Manchester United) – Mourinho has a fair few critics to silence at Old Trafford following a disastrous first half of last season with Chelsea. The Portuguese coach has given the impression he has landed his dream job and a return to the top four is the very least expected with his new club, though in truth he will be desperate to eclipse both Chelsea and Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City. He’s already spent a large chunk of his transfer kitty and will likely continue to splash the cash until the close of the summer window. Being in the Europa League could serve Mourinho well, as he can be expected to field weakened line ups, saving his big guns for the Premier League, while Guardiola will have to juggle the Champions League at the same time as coming to grips with the ferocious competitiveness of the Premier League. 19. Tony Pulis (West Bromwich Albion) – Pulis has done a fine job since being appointed in January 2015, guiding the Baggies to Premier League safety with little fuss involved. Next season will simply be a case of more of the same. They might not excite supporters with their performances, but they continue to prove a nuisance to their domestic rivals. With quality rising around them, however, Pulis may need to signal a message of intent in the transfer window. 20 20 17. Eddie Howe (Bournemouth) – Such has been his rise to prominence, Howe has often been linked with taking over as England manager. The Cherries board will hope this isn’t playing on his mind ahead of the new season as they look to improve on their challenging second half of last term. At only 38 years old, Howe has a long future in management ahead of him and Dean Court has acted as the perfect platform to nurture his talent in the dugout. 16. Steve Bruce (Hull City) – Bruce’s position was reportedly uncertain after the Tigers’ play-off triumph, but it seems he is staying put. He’ll be hoping to see his side settle quickly on their return to the Premier League, and with the number of experienced players in their side, they could have enough to avoid a relegation scrap. He could, however, face an early battle to keep his job if they again struggle to adapt. 8. Claudio Ranieri (Leicester City) – Last season was a dream for Ranieri. But his triumph was more than deserved. After the criticism of his appointment at the beginning of their title-winning campaign, the Italian wasted no time in silencing those doubting his ability. While retaining the Premier League trophy isn’t widely expected next term – particularly with the possibility of more key players following N’Golo Kante out of the King Power Stadium – it would be disappointing if the club aren’t again proving a nuisance to the customary top four. 20last_img read more

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