Protest outside Emirates before Villarreal Europa League KO, Daniel Ek takeover latest, Kroenke 'plots transfer spree'

ARSENAL again fans protested against their ownership outside the Emirates before the Villarreal draw which dumped them out of Europe.

On the pitch, a goalless draw was enough to see former boss Unai Emery knock the Gunners out and progress to the Europa League semi-final.

Meanwhile, Daniel Ek and his consortium have held a meeting with the Arsenal Supporters Trust as the Spotify founder steps up his takeover bid.

However, the Kroenke family are reportedly planning a huge summer of spending on transfers as they look to get angry Gunners fans on side.

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Stay up to date with every twist and turn from North London in our live blog…

  • Marc Mayo

    A GAME OF MILIMETRES

    It would have been a very different atmosphere this morning had this crept in…

  • Marc Mayo

    PARTEY'S OVER

    Thomas Partey has failed to live up to the billing of becoming the club's 'next Patrick Vieira', according to Gunners legend Martin Keown.

    A particularly disappointing display in a goalless draw with Villarreal which saw the team crash out of the Europa League led Keown to single him out as a scapegoat.

    Speaking on BT Sport, he said: "We thought we were signing the next Patrick Vieira [in Thomas Partey] but he hasn't looked like that at all.

    "We made a mistake, we should have had two midfield players side by side. We didn't have the right balance in that midfield.

    "Odegaard didn't seem to want to go and press and in midfield Villarreal were just able to pass by."

  • Marc Mayo

    IT BEGINS

    The calls for Mikel Arteta to lose his job have begun with Piers Morgan questioning whether he 'deserves to continue as manager'.

    And the former Good Morning Britain host branded the Gunners' performance last night as 'humiliating' and 'utter crap'.

  • Etienne Fermie

    GOOD MORNING GUNNERS FANS

    Arsena crashed out of the Europa League last night after failing to score at the Emirates.

    The Gunners needed just one effort to hit the back of the net and book their place in the final.

    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang hit the post twice but there can be no excuses for Arsenal’s below-par performance, with Villarreal now playing Man United for the main prize.

    Club legend Maritn Keown had harsh words for Mikel Arteta after the whistle, saying: “Emery was just too smart for Arteta. 

    “We were nervous, tentative, the performance just wasn’t there. We shouldn’t really be surprised when we look at the Premier League, ninth in the table, 19 goals scored from 17 home matches.

    “Inconsistency is rife through the group and it’s cost us. They haven’t had to get out of first gear to manage Arsenal and that’s the most disappointing thing.

    “To go unbeaten the whole season and now to not even make Europe, it’s a real fall from grace. I know we’re talking about new ownership, are we now talking about a change of manager?

    “There’s a crossroads the club now finds itself at, and this is the lowest night I can remember in a number of years.”

    Meanwhile, Arsenal fans descended on the Emirates before the game to protest owner Stan Kroenke.

    The American was key in the failed European Super League.

    And after Man Utd fans protested on Sunday, Arsenal supporters took to the streets outside the Emirates with banners and flares.

    Finally, the Gunners will be sweating over Granit Xhaka’s fitness after he was injured in last night’s warm-up.

    The midfielder, filling in at left-back, suffered a muscle problem before kick-off.

    And Arsenal will have to wait to see how serious it is.

  • Anthony Chapman

    RATINGS

    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang tried giving it a go as he hit the post twice against Villarreal.

    But Martin Odegaard and Bukayo Saka were disappointing in Arsenal’s Europa League exit

    READ THE FULL RATINGS HERE

    Who was Arsenal's best and worst player against Villarreal?
  • Anthony Chapman

    MAX POWER

    Former Juventus boss Max Allegri is the leading contender to become Arsenal's next permanent managerial appointment.

    That's according to bookmakers Betfair, who've priced the Italian at 13/5 to replace Mikel Arteta at the Emirates Stadium.

    Next Arsenal Manager – Betfair

    • Massimiliano Allegri – 13/5
    • Brendan Rodgers – 3/1
    • Thomas Tuchel – 3/1
    • Rafa Benitez – 10/1
    • Patrick Vieira – 10/1
    • Diego Simeone – 10/1
    • Eddie Howe – 11/1
    • Ralph Hasenhuttl – 11/1
    • Gian Piero Gasperini – 14/1
    • Paulo Fonseca – 14/1
    • BETFAIR: 

    Commercial content notice: Taking one of the bookmaker offers featured in this article may result in a payment to The Sun. 18+. T&Cs apply. Begambleaware.org

    KEOWN NOT KEEN

    Martin Keown has blasted Mikel Arteta following Arsenal’s Europa League semi-final defeat by Villarreal.

    He said: “Emery was just too smart for Arteta. We were nervous, tentative, the performance just wasn’t there. 

    “We shouldn’t really be surprised when we look at the Premier League, ninth in the table, 19 goals scored from 17 home matches.

    “Inconsistency is rife through the group and it’s cost us. They haven’t had to get out of first gear to manage Arsenal and that’s the most disappointing thing.

    “To go unbeaten the whole season and now to not even make Europe, it’s a real fall from grace. I know we’re talking about new ownership, are we now talking about a change of manager?

    “There’s a crossroads the club now finds itself at, and this is the lowest night I can remember in a number of years.”

    ARSENAL 0 VILLARREAL 0 (1-2 AGG)

    Arsenal have crashed out of the Europa League after failing to score at the Emirates.

    The Gunners needed just one effort to hit the back of the net and book their place in the final.

    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang hit the post twice but there can be no excuses for Arsenal's below-par performance, with Villarreal now playing Man United for the main prize.

    READ OUR MATCH REPORT HERE

    GAME ON

    We've entered the final 20 minutes at the Emirates and the score is currently Arsenal 0 Villarreal 0.

    The Spaniards are 2-1 ahead on aggregate and Mikel Arteta's men desperately need a goal to reach the Europa League final.

    Can the Gunners find a late winner in London? They may need to start giving it a proper go if they want one…

    FOLLOW THE LIVE ACTION HERE

    • Anthony Chapman

      XHAK TO THE FUTURE

      Granit Xhaka suffered an injury blow in the warm-up for tonight's game against Villarreal.

      The midfielder, set to slot in at left-back, reportedly pulled a muscle minutes before kick-off.

      And he was replaced by Kieran Tierney, who has only just made a return from injury himself.

      FOLLOW ALL THE MATCH ACTION HERE

      Granit Xhaka was injured in the warm-up before Arsenal's game with VillarrealCredit: PA
    • Anthony Chapman

      FANDEMONIUM

      Arsenal fans descended on the Emirates before tonight's Europa League clash with Villarreal to protest Stan Kroenke.

      The American was key in the failed European Super League.

      And after Man Utd fans protested on Sunday, Arsenal supporters have now taken to the streets outside the Emirates with banners and flares.

      FOLLOW ARSENAL VS VILLARREAL HERE

      Arsenal are the latest fans to protest their ownersCredit: EPA
      Fans demanded Stan Kroenke sell up after the failed European Super LeagueCredit: EPA
      The protests came after Man Utd fans stormed Old Trafford on SundayCredit: Reuters
    • Anthony Chapman

      TEAM NEWS

      Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang leads the line for Arsenal tonight against Villarreal.

      Mikel Arteta names an attacking team with Thomas Partey the only recognised central midfielder.

      There's also good news on the bench, with Kieran Tierney back after a lengthy injury spell.

      FOLLOW THE ACTION WITH OUR LIVE MATCH BLOG

    • Anthony Chapman

      EXCLUSIVE BY DAVE COURTNADGE

      Arsenal are set for a transfer overhaul that will see the club swapping scouts for data analysis.

      Jason Ayto is the player recruitment co-ordinator and the club is now using analytics more than ever.

      The Gunners sacked former head of youth recruitment Steve Morrow last season as part of an academy re-structure which saw EIGHT STAFF go.

      The club is also now moving away from the traditional idea of having scouts worldwide due to the increased use of data.

      Mikel Arteta will be hoping the new system will reap rewards
    • Anthony Chapman

      FORWARD THINKING

      Genk’s goal machine Paul Onuachu reportedly hopes to end up an Arsenal player by the end of the summer.

      The 6ft 7in forward has been a revelation at the Belgian club, smashing home an incredible 32 goals in 37 games in all competitions this season.

      Voetbal Belgie reports the 26-year-old is eyeing up a move to the Emirates and is optimistic he could land a dream Prem move by the end of the upcoming transfer window.

      The report states he is willing and able to progress his career to the next step after lighting up the Belgian league.

      Genk are believed to be willing to sell their prized asset for £25million as it could be the best time to cash in.

      Paul Onuachu is a target for Arsenal
    • Anthony Chapman

      ART ATTACK

      Arsenal have no plans to axe Mikel Arteta this summer.

      But club chiefs are eager to see him win the Europa League to salvage a below-par season.

      Eurosport claims Stan Kroenke will back Arteta in the transfer window regardless of their league finish or silverware.

      However, victory in Europe would go a long way to solidifying Arteta's position in the next campaign.

      Mikel Arteta's Arsenal job is safe… for now
    • Josh Graham

      RAM-WOE

      Aaron Ramsey has opened up on his injury frustration at Juventus.

      The Wales midfielder has started just 19 of Juve's 47 games in all competitions this season due to several injury setbacks.

      Ramsey joined the Serie A giants on a free transfer from Arsenal in 2019 but the 30-year-old has failed to hit the heights in Italy.

      The lack of fitness and form has raised speculation that Rambo could return to the Premier League, with Everton linked as a potential summer target.

      Ramsey told FourFourTwo: "It's been a pretty frustrating couple of years for me, picking up little injuries and not being able to get back to full fitness.

      "It's been a strange time in general, which hasn't helped – arriving at Juventus with an injury, trying to get my fitness back, then you're hit by a pandemic and we had to start again.

      "It's been difficult to get any consistency going, and that's had an effect on me playing for Wales."

    • Josh Graham

      AUBA AND OUT?

      Here's how Arsenal could line up tonight against Villarreal.

    • Josh Graham

      UNSEEN FOOTAGE

      Check out this unseen footage from behind the scenes at Arsenal ahead of last week's semi-final first leg against Villarreal.

    • Josh Graham

      REBEL HELL

      Uefa chiefs are threatening two-year European bans for the four Super league rebels who have still not pulled out of the project.

      England’s Big Six were the first to withdraw, with Champions League finalists Chelsea and Manchester City quickest out of the blocks once they realised the breakaway was dead in the water.

      But Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus and AC Milan have still to formally break free of the Super League project.

      And that has left Uefa on the verge of imposing serious sanctions UNLESS the quartet fold in the next few weeks.

      The Prem sides, along with Atletico Madrid and Inter, are expected to accept fines for their parts in the rebellion.

      Uefa head Aleksander Ceferin IS likely to push for softer punishments on the English teams after their rapid U-turns and acceptance of error.

    • Josh Graham

      TAKING THE MIK OUT

      Former Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri is the leading contender to become Arsenal's next permanent managerial appointment.

      That's according to bookmakers Betfair, who've priced the Italian at 13/5 to replace Mikel Arteta at the Emirates Stadium.

      The Gunners are anchored in ninth position having lost a worrying 13 league matches this season and currently sit 12 points outside of the top four.

      The Europa League is their last remaining chance of Champions League qualification.

      However, they'll first need to overturn a 2-1 deficit to Emery's Villarreal before a likely final with in-form Manchester United.

    • Josh Graham

      NO LAC OF TALENT

      Alex Lacazette was voted Arsenal's player of the month for April.

    • Josh Graham

      NEW NWAN

      Arsenal's 14-year-old whizkid Ethan Nwaneri marked his Under-18s debut with a stunning solo goal.

      And incredibly Myles Lewis-Skelly, 14, also came off the bench to score a similar stunner.

      Now supporters are already hoping they could be the next big talents to come through at Hale End after Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka.

      Nwaneri was given a starting spot for the U18s' 6-1 won over Reading on Tuesday evening as both sides agreed to field younger teams made up mainly of U16s.

    • Josh Graham

      FINE ART

      Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta backed Gunners fans' right to protest against the club's owners.

      Arteta said: "I think fans have to be able to express themselves.

      "They have the right do it. We have to prepare for the game in the best possible way and I wouldn't like to use any excuses if something happens with that.

      "I know that the only focus of the fans is to defend the club and they want the best for the team. We will try to give them that.

      "We've been missing the fans so much and we need them."

    • Josh Graham

      ART OF CONCENTRATION

      Mikel Arteta warned his Arsenal stars they must not let talk of a potential takeover put them off ahead of tonight's Europa League semi-final second leg against Villarreal.

      The Spanish boss said: "We have to try to be away from all of the rumours and everything that is happening around the club.

      "We have to focus on the pitch because the best way to help the football club is to win football matches and be competitive at the highest level.

      "It's a massive game for the club and if we win we will be much closer to getting a trophy.

      "Winning always helps for the future, it is the best way to prepare for anything."

    • Josh Graham

      CIECH MATE

      Former Arsenal keeper Wojciech Szczesny could make a surprise Premier League return with Everton or Chelsea, according to reports.

      Juventus are surveying their options in the transfer market in their quest to sign Gianluigi Donnarumma.

      The AC Milan goalkeeper, 22, is out of contract at the end of the season with negotiations on an extension progressing slowly.

      That has opened the door for long-term admirers Juve, as reported by Tuttosport.

      But the Italian would not come cheap given Donnarumma's wage demands and the hefty fee demanded by agent Mino Raiola.

      Therefore the Bianconeri are said to be considering selling Szczesny to raise funds for the deal.

      Everton and Chelsea are named as two clubs being offered the goalkeeper for around £17million.

      Credit: PA:Empics Sport

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