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Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal criticize Wimbledon's decision to ban Russian and Belarusian athletes

Wimbledon have banned Russian and Belarusian players from this year's tournament amid the ongoing war in Ukraine (Author: Gardener)

BelarusianAndy Murray and Rafael Nadal speak out against Wimbledon's recent ban on Russian and Belarusian players amid the ongoing war in Ukraine. Speaking to reporters on Sunday ahead of the Madrid Open, Murray said he "doesn't support" excluding players from the competition, but noted that he understood there was no "right answer" to deal with the "difficult" situation . "My understanding of the guidance was that Russians and Belarusians can play if they sign a statement that they are against the war and against the Russian regime," said the British tennis star, 34. "I'm not sure how comfortable I am would feel if something happened to any of the players or their families [as a result of the signing]." "I feel for everyone, I feel for the players who can't play and I don't support either side," added Murray, who is donating all of his prize money to humanitarian aid in Ukraine this season. Nadal also denounced the Wimbledon ban of Russian and Belarusian athletes. "I find it very unfair [to] my Russian tennis buddies, my colleagues," said the Spanish tennis star, 35, during Sunday's press conference. "Let's see what happens in the next few weeks, if the players make a decision on that." Many Ukrainian players have supported the Wimbledon ban, including Sergiy Stakhovsky, who retired earlier this year and joined the Ukrainian army to help out during the war. “Please tell me how fair it is that Ukrainian players cannot return home? How is it fair that Ukrainian children can't play tennis? How is it fair for Ukrainians to die?” RELATED: Novak Djokovic calls Wimbledon ban on Russian, Belarusian players 'crazy': 'I can't support it' Wimbledon officials first announced their decision in a statement in April: 'Given the profile of the championships in the UK and around the world, it is our responsibility to do our part in the widespread effort by government, industry, sporting and creative institutions to limit Russia's global influence by the strongest means." " In the circumstances of such unjustified and unprecedented military aggression, it would be unacceptable for the Russian regime to take any advantage of the participation of Russian or Belarusian players in The Championships," the tournament officials said in a statement. "It is therefore our intention, with deep regret registrations from Russian and Belarusian S players to The Championships 2022.” Despite criticism, officials from the All England Club defended the “agonizing decision” and said the ban was “the only viable option for Wimbledon”. The last time athletes from certain countries were banned from attending Wimbledon was after World War II, when German and Japanese athletes, among others, were banned from playing, according to the New York Times. RELATED: FIFA and UEFA indefinitely suspend all Russian teams ahead of World Cup During a press conference last week, chief executive Sally Bolton cited the club's "responsibility to do our part to limit the possibility of Wimbledon being used to justify the damage done." used to others by the Russian regime." The event, which is one of the four Grand Slam tournaments, would have seen a number of top-ranked Russian and Belarusian players: No. 2 Daniil Medvedev and No. 15 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia, as well as No. 4 Aryna Sabalenka and No. 18 Victoria Azarenka of Belarus Wimbledon is not the only major sporting event to face sanctions over the war in Ukraine Russian and Belarusian athletes are also banned from the upcoming 2022 World Cup, among other major events The Russian attack on Ukraine is a sic h evolving story, and information changes rapidly.

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Andy Murray beats Dominic Thiem in the battle of experienced war horses

The two great champions delivered an entertaining encounter that captured the imagination of the 10,000 or so fans in Madrid (Author: Gardener)

Andy MurrayMurray in last 32 in Madrid Was it the 'Lendl Effect' we saw in Madrid on Monday as Andy Murray beat Dominic Thiem in straight sets? Murray had not won a clay court match in almost five years, and here he outclassed an expert on the surface - a two-time French Open finalist - in just 102 minutes. Murray had flown to Spain from a four-week training block in Florida with his old mentor Lendl, and there were faint echoes of their finest times together, as he served - hitting nine aces - and forehand with a little more panache and assertiveness than in recent times . But to focus on Murray's performance - impressive as it was - would be telling only half the story. Thiem could be one of the eight active Grand Slam champions on the tour. But he hadn't won a game since May last year, largely due to the wrist injury he sustained over the summer. As Murray conceded afterwards, "He's obviously just started playing again, so he's making a few more mistakes than usual." As a result, the match was a meeting of two scarred and experienced War-steeds. While that anomalous first-round collision of the big winners would have grabbed the headlines on the schedule, no one had any idea what to expect given their various injuries and struggles in form. The big advantage of these two men is that they both master an all-court game, so we saw plenty of net play and a plethora of excellent drop shots. No square centimeter of the red clay was left undisturbed. The draw felt favorable for both men given the names they could have encountered. (Djokovic, Nadal, Alcaraz and Tsitsipas come to mind.) But it proved particularly favorable for Murray, who walked away victorious by a 6-3, 6-4 margin. Thiem has boosted his career after a wrist injury. Thiem - whose career peaked when he beat Alexander Zverev in the New York final two years ago - continued in his usual all-out style, but he just wasn't as accurate as he should have been. He coughed up a steady stream of unforced errors, most of them off his forehand wing. And the timing of those mistakes was also sub-optimal, with the forehand flying long at both critical break points. We shouldn't be surprised that Thiem is slowly recovering from his wrist problems. As he begins his comeback, he is still a long way from his old reliability, which Murray acknowledged with a typically gentlemanly comment as they shook hands at the net. "It's great to see you again," Murray said. It'll take a lot of time, but you'll be fine." Afterwards, Murray told reporters that Thiem's ​​forehand fights reminded him of his own wrist injury in 2007 and that he realized how difficult it was for Thiem to "let go of the wrist" and Get the topspin you need to bring the ball down. Murray had to fend off three break points and also came back from a 0-30 deficit in the deciding game when he served for the opener. That moment brought back memories of Murray's prime as he served back-to-back aces to create a set point - which he duly converted when Thiem fired another long forehand. Murray was never a truly elite server by the standards of Roger Federer or Djokovic. At best, however, he has the ability to find aces when he needs them most. Lendl may not be here in person, but his presence on Murray's support team - even remotely - is still a boost of confidence. Afterwards, Murray admitted with a smile that Lendl hadn't actually spoken to him before the match. “I had really hardly played on clay for the last five years. But I was happy with the way I played. I've been working on that a lot over the past four weeks. It changes the way I play the game.”

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"Rangers fail in knockout as Celtic look to go for title distance"

BBC Sport Scotland's chief sports writer Tom English analyzes the aftermath of the Scottish Premiership's last old-firm game. (Author: Gardener)

CelticCeltic 1-1 Rangers: Ange Postecoglou at center of title revival for Scottish championsAs time ticked down at Celtic Park, Rangers pushed forward to reach men who knew they needed a knockout blow. They had to find a Haymaker who would win the game, and during that breathless finale it looked at times like they might pull it off. Fashion Sakala, who had already equalised, became a human magnet for Rangers' best opportunities. He pushed Cameron Carter-Vickers aside and forced a save from Joe Hart, he rose up out of a corner and headed over, he shot on target with six minutes to go and now it felt like Rangers were about to to make it out of the fire. Collecting himself, Sakala slipped his shot deep past Hart and saw him rebound off his left post. Celtic staggered and Rangers unloaded. Carl Starfelt had walked into the ground and he gave him the jelly legs. Carter-Vickers looked at his feet. Watching them watch the game was compelling in itself. Celtic could have played for time but they didn't. Hart later explained that it's not in this team's DNA to settle for a draw when they're aiming for a win and that's what made the final 20 minutes of that game so crazy and so memorable. That spilled out after the final whistle as missiles flew back and forth between rival fans in the Rangers corner of the floor. It all happened after a game from which both teams emerged with a point and their honor intact. Celtic closer to title after draw, Rangers'Celtic are alive again after last season's rage'Celtic are now set to win the league - and they well deserve it. Callum McGregor has won many things at the club but he deserves to win a league as captain because he was a totem. He played his 56th game of the season on Sunday, having played 64 for club and country last season, as well as 58, 69 and 58 in seasons before that. McGregor is Scotland's best player. The point his team earned here takes it to 86 with another nine points in the three games remaining. Excluding the season that was cut short, 86 points is more than their season-ending total when they won titles number two and seven in their nine straight run, and it's the same mark that won title number five and just one point has just before track number eight. If they win the next three games, they will finish with 95 points. That would be the third highest score with 10 championship titles in 11 years. Manager Ange Postecoglou was a great appointment. When the Celtic board was sacked by Eddie Howe, he could have reflexively chosen another top-flight manager from this part of the world, but they didn't. The Aussie has done what only outstanding managers can do - he has recognized the myriad problems that have dogged Celtic over the past season and he has seemingly effortlessly solved what drives them. It was felt early on that each of his players would like to run through walls for him. The club is alive again after the rage of last season. Neil Lennon, Peter Lawwell, Dermot Desmond and co. never deserved the incessant and sometimes poisonous flak they got as the 10-in-a-row drove south - brief memories and all - but Postecoglou has those gloomy days banished. His new recruits have scored 70% of Celtic's league goals and the clean sheets they kept were earned by a new goalkeeper (formerly a considerable problem position), two new centre-backs, a new right-back and so on. Indeed, another new full-back, namely Anthony Ralston, was unwanted before Postecoglou caught him and turned his career around. He's his own man, Postecoglou. When fans have poked fun at referee decisions made against them, the manager hasn't let on the victim role. He has proven to be a strong leader all season. It was a time when talk of Celtic's quest for a head of recruitment and director of football was filling the airwaves. Postecoglou is a manager, coach, recruiter, motivator, redeemer. Postecoglou didn't feel like a completed task after Sunday's competition. He later said something interesting, pointing to a possible league title as just the first phase of what he wants to achieve at Celtic. Improving the team for the upcoming European adventures would be part of where he came from. Its movements in the market in the summer will be fascinating. They were taken to the wire on Sunday by a Rangers side that defies almost all description. In the last month, leading up to Sunday, they played seven games and 11.5 hours of largely high-octane football to Celtic's four games and six and a half hours. Rangers have had to dig so deep over the past four weeks that they've practically tunneled their way through the city to do so. They were 1-0 down and gave up chances that almost made it 2-0. They looked in big trouble but broke off the ropes and started swinging. Even without Alfredo Morelos, Kemar Roofe, Aaron Ramsey and Ianis Hagi, four of the club's most creative players, they still found ways to make it a great tackle. They were an extremely curious bunch. Rangers have now lost points in 11 league games this season. Outside of the Old Firm games, they've drawn Motherwell and Aberdeen when they were a goal ahead, they've drawn Hearts when they conceded in the 90th minute, they've drawn Ross County when they went in conceded again in the 90th minute, drew against Motherwell a second time, lost 2-0 to Dundee United and in the League Cup imploded against Hibs. That screams weakness, but then you look at the flip side and it roars heart and character. Thursday's 120-minute victorious game against Braga was followed by another 120-minute victorious game against Celtic in Hampden. The resilience showed in Leipzig and the spirit off the screen they showed on Sunday. From the deplorable loss to Hibs in the League Cup semi-finals to what we've seen of them in the past while it's Jekyll and Hyde. The only thing you cannot do is underestimate them. Postecoglou didn't do that. In fact, he praised Rangers when the game was over. That's five times he's faced them in the league and cup and it's two wins apiece in a draw. His side are poised to take the league title from a side who made it into the bottom four of the Europa League, a fact that only adds meaning to what he has accomplished in his short stint at Glasgow. It is what he has done but also what he might be able to do in the coming seasons that has mobilized Celtic support. With one deft touch, Postecoglou changed everything.

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Man Utd make swap proposal to land Lautaro Martinez transfer ahead of Arsenal

Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez has been impressive this season and Manchester United have joined Arsenal in the race for his signature (Author: Gardener)

Lautaro MartinezInter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez has been impressive this season and Manchester United have joined Arsenal in the race for his signature. Inter Milan's Lautaro Martinez has been linked with a move to Manchester United. Manchester United have increased their interest in signing striker Lautaro Martinez from Inter Milan this summer. The Argentine has been in excellent form this season, scoring 21 goals in 45 games. He also scored in the Champions League round of 16 second leg against Liverpool in March. That has sparked interest from the Red Devils who are looking for a new striker as Edinson Cavani is out of contract and Marcus Rashford's future is in doubt. According to the Times, new United boss Erik ten Hag is looking to add a new No9 to the squad, with Martinez at the top of the list. In a bid to get the deal through the line, the Red Devils offered a part-swap deal with Anthony Martial for Martinez's services over the summer. The 24-year-old has been linked with a move from Inter since helping the club to their first Serie A title in 11 years. Martinez scored 19 goals and provided 11 assists, forming a dangerous partnership with Romelu Lukaku as Antonio Conte's side edged Juventus and Napoli into first place. Lukaku and Martinez were both tipped to leave the I Nerazzurri last summer but it was only the former who got his move when the Belgian joined Chelsea in a £97million transfer. However, things did not go according to plan for Lukaku, as the 28-year-old scored twelve times in 40 appearances. Despite interest from some clubs, Martinez decided to stay at Inter for the 2021/22 season. Martinez is reportedly looking to join a club in the Champions League and cash-strapped Inter have signaled their intention to sell him for £60-70m. Lautaro Martinez celebrates after scoring for Inter Milan against Roma. Who should Lautaro Martinez sign for this summer? The Gunners tried to lure Martinez away from Inter last year after Mikel Arteta made signing a striker a must in the summer. A deal fell through and Arsenal left without signing anyone up front. With Martinez declaring he wants to continue playing Champions League football, it suggests Arsenal could be favorites to sign him if they finish in the top four. United are set to miss out on a place in top European competition but won't give up on signing Martinez as Ten Hag look to bolster his attacking options this summer. He was in excellent form throughout the season, scoring 16 goals in 28 games. He also scored twice in the Europa League against Leicester City in September.

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Kevin Campbell says Arsenal star must leave club

Kevin Campbell believes Nicolas Pepe has no future at Arsenal as the winger hasn't started a Premier League game in six months. (Author: Gardener)

Kevin CampbellKevin Campbell believes Nicolas Pepe has no future at Arsenal as the winger hasn't started a Premier League game in six months. Pepe, 26, was signed by the Gunners for over £70m in 2019 but has struggled to make a name for himself at the club since moving from Lille. He has barely played this season under manager Mikel Arteta, making just 17 league appearances. Campbell, the former Arsenal striker, thinks the Ivorian is overpriced and suggests he doesn't have the right attitude to play for his old side. Speaking to Football Insider, he said: "Arsenal beat the odds for him. “You see the intensity and focus that Mikel Arteta wants the team to play with. I don't think Pepe fits in. "I said just before Christmas that Pepe had a big couple of months ahead. It would decide whether or not he had a future at Arsenal. Well, he has no future at Arsenal." According to The Sun, Arteta is ready to let Pepe go for £25million this summer, which would mean a significant loss of the fee paid for the former Lille man three years ago. Pepe endured a difficult first season at north London with just eight goals but seemed to turn things around last season after scoring 16 goals in 47 games for the Gunners. However, the emergence of Saka in his favorite right wing position has meant Pepe has had significantly less playing time over the last year. Meanwhile, Arsenal's lack of European football means Arteta has rarely changed his squad this season, further limiting his playing options. Last month, Pepe revealed his dissatisfaction with Arsenal's lack of minutes this season. He said: "It's frustrating not to play. No player likes not to play, but I have to respect the manager's decision. Mikel explained that to me and I know I have to work hard in training to get more playing time. MORE : Nicolas Pepe wants to talk to Arsenal about his long-term future MORE : 'A joy to have' - Mikel Arteta Singles Arsenal- Star Rob holding in crucial West Ham win For more stories like this head over to our sport page. Follow Metro Sport for the latest news

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Alexis Sanchez sends surprise message to Arsenal squad after West Ham's brave win

The departure of Alexis Sanchez from the Emirates left a bitter taste in the mouths of Arsenal fans as he joined rivals Manchester United, but it seems he still burns for his former club (Author: Gardener)

Alexis SanchezThe departure of Alexis Sanchez from the Emirates left a bitter taste in the mouths of Arsenal fans as he joined rivals Manchester United, but it seems he still burns for his former club. Alexis Sanchez sent a surprise message to Arsenal players after their brave win over West Ham. The Gunners secured a vital three points in the top-four race on Sunday as they responded to Tottenham's win over Leicester earlier in the day. Spurs had relegated their Premier League city rivals to fourth, but the Gunners reclaimed the spot as Rob Holding and Gabriel sealed a 2-1 win at the London Stadium. Arsenal players recognized the importance of the final result with wild celebrations ahead of the arriving support. And the Switzerland midfielder received a message of support from an unlikely source - Alexis Sanches. The Inter Milan striker wished his former Arsenal team-mate his best wishes after the West Ham win. Sanchez captioned his post: "Gunners" along with clapping emojis. Sanchez was a fan favorite during his four-year spell at Arsenal between 2014 and 2018, but his departure left a bitter taste in the mouth as he joined rivals Manchester United in a swap deal with Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Sanchez has his own fond memories of London Stadium, where he scored a hat-trick in a 5-1 win in his very first appearance there. Sanchez hopes the gesture could bring Arsenal fans back to his side, similar to the about-face Xhaka has made. The midfielder has put himself in the running for the next Arsenal captaincy, although he was stripped of that back in 2019 when he appeared to berate the Emirates crowd when he was booed after being substituted off mid-game against Crystal Palace . The 29-year-old admitted he was close to leaving Arsenal as he has been linked with a move to Roma, but Arteta persuaded him to stay and he has now established himself as one of the players in the opening group Gunners highlighted - having a positive impact on and off the pitch. Keiran Tierney and Martin Odegaard are favorites to be named the next permanent skipper but Xhaka is not far behind as he took the Norwegian's armband when he was substituted off against West Ham. And Xhaka insists he is ready to take up the captaincy again if asked. "I will never say never," he told Sky Sports when asked about the Arsenal captaincy. An Arsenal captain can be without a bandage and I try to lead the game and the players without a bandage, but if someone from the football club comes tomorrow and asks if I want to take them, I'll be here because I know I can I'm ready to do it again."

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Arsenal-linked German star whom Klopp preferred to Salah

Germany international Julian Brandt might have found himself at Liverpool earlier in his career but the Reds ultimately opted for Mohamed Salah in place of the midfielder (Author: Gardener)

GermanGermany international Julian Brandt may have been at Liverpool earlier in his career but the Reds ultimately opted for Mohamed Salah in place of the midfielder. Julian Brandt has been linked with a move to the Premier League more than once, as Julian Brandt remains linked with a move to Arsenal it's hard not to recall the moment he almost became a Liverpool player. Germany international Brandt is among the players who will leave Borussia Dortmund at the end of the season. Marco Rose's side are second in the Bundesliga by a wide margin and were kicked out of the Europa League by Rangers after finishing third in the Champions League group. Arsenal were reportedly interested in the 26-year-old back in January. Had Jurgen Klopp fought back in 2017, however, Brandt might have become a recruit for Liverpool... To mark Brandt's 26th birthday, Mirror Football looks back at the moments that helped define the German's career. Like a number of Arsenal targets over the years, including current star Martin Odegaard, Brandt burst onto the scene as a teenager before maturing into a top player. He made his Bayer Leverkusen debut before the age of 18 after bidding a six-figure fee from Wolfsburg and has been linked with Manchester United and Chelsea after bursting onto the scene with the Bundesliga club. He made his senior debut under former Liverpool star Sami Hyypia, and the Finn also handed a 17-year-old Brandt a Champions League arc against Paris Saint-Germain. Liverpool themselves eyed the player before the end of the 2013/14 season when then-manager Brendan Rodgers watched the youngster score his first Leverkusen goal against Hamburg. And in 2017, when Klopp wanted to strengthen his Reds squad after qualifying for the Champions League, a move for the German had to be denied. Would Julian Brandt succeed in the Premier League? By 2017, Brandt had tackled bigger and better things without leaving the BayArena. A first 10-goal season for Leverkusen had seen him make his Germany debut ahead of Euro 2016 and just months later he was part of the Olympic squad narrowly beaten to a gold medal by hosts Brazil. The 2016/17 season was not so successful in front of goal. However, there were more minutes under Jogi Low and a seniors' first international goal in a post-season World Cup qualifier against San Marino. "I wouldn't be afraid to sack FC Bayern a second time," Brandt told Bild in the 2016/17 season. Liverpool eventually signed Salah - then at Roma - in place of Brandt Klopp made his preference for Brandt known, according to The Times. However, the Reds' recruiting team were able to persuade Klopp to switch for Salah instead. Ultimately, Brandt decided to stay at Leverkusen because he believed the decision would help his case for a spot in Germany's 2018 World Cup squad. I have to put things in order in Leverkusen," Brandt told kicker in 2017. "Of course there are players who, let's say, a year without European football before the World Cup is a good reason for a change. But if you move to a bigger club a year before the World Cup, you risk taking time to settle in first, which may mean playing fewer games.” Brandt came against in all three World Cup games in 2018 Germany come on While the goals scored by Salah in the 2017/18 season left Liverpool in no doubt they had signed the right man, Brandt also had the best season of his career as the goal's frontman. His 12 goals that season were followed by 10 the following year - plus 11 assists in the Bundesliga - and that was enough for Dortmund to reportedly spend £22million to bring him to Signal Iduna Park. "I have a very good feeling at Borussia Dortmund," said Brandt, who came to the club after Christian Pulisic moved to Chelsea. "One of the main reasons for my move is that BVB just missed out on the title last season, there's still room for improvement and I'm really looking forward to the boys." Dortmund couldn't play Bayern Munich in Brandt's first two seasons catch up and finished second and third. Under Rose they are second again this season, but the winger, who also played in midfield, could still leave BVB. Brandt in his third season as a Dortmunder When Martin Odegaard's transfer from Arsenal was still pending, Brandt had emerged as a possible alternative. Gunners keeper Bernd Leno even admitted to having written back and forth with his compatriot after the joint stay in Leverkusen. "I read the rumors with Arsenal and wrote him a few messages right away," Leno told Sport 1 in 2021. "Julian is a good friend, we had a very good time in Leverkusen and privately we often went out for beers. There was an option for Arsenal to land Odegaard on a permanent deal. Considering the alternative, Liverpool can't be too upset about not getting a Brandt deal through the line.

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William Saliba makes his feelings clear on Arsenal return

Arsenal loanee William Saliba has spoken about his future after impressing for Marseille this season and admitted it would be a "pleasure" to come back (Author: Gardener)

William SalibaArsenal loanee William Saliba has spoken about his future after impressing for Marseille this season and admitted it would be "pleasure" to come back. William Saliba has hinted he would love to stay at Marseille next season if he decides to leave Arsenal during the summer transfer window. The 21-year-old joined the French club on a season's loan last July and has cemented his place in the squad, appearing in 48 games in all competitions. Saliba made his debut on the opening day of the season, helping his team to a 3-2 win over Montpellier. He has since developed an impressive partnership with Leonardo Balerdi in defense and the duo have guided Marseille to 17 goals in the process. However, Saliba's performances have caught the attention of many Arsenal fans who are unsure if the defender will be a part of Mikel Arteta's plans next season. With Gabriel and Ben White starting the vast majority of the Gunners' Premier League games, Saliba's place in the starting XI would not be guaranteed. This could open up the possibility for Saliba to rejoin the side after three consecutive loan spells in France last season. After joining Arsenal for £27million from Saint Etienne in 2019, he was immediately loaned to his former club for the remainder of the season. Saliba then spent six months at Nice in the second half of the 2020/21 season, playing a total of 22 games. It's safe to say his time at Marseille has been impressive and he's recently spoken about his future. Speaking to Amazon Prime, he said: "My wish is to finish the season well and leave on a good note if I don't come back. Will Arsenal finish in the top four this season? It's not like I know I won't come back, it's Marseille, it's my club." Former Arsenal defender Mikel Silvestre believes it would be best for Saliba to go on loan for another season while he continues his development. This is mainly due to the partnership that White and Gabriel have formed. He told Genting Casino: "If you look at Gabriel and Ben White, I think that should be the partnership for next season. If Saliba comes, he will be a backup. "To develop and become a big part of Arsenal going forward. If you put him on the bench for Marseille after a full season, it would be a step backwards in his development."

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Arsenal keeper Aaron Ramsdale 'took a risk' against West Ham, says Dermot Gallagher

Should Gabriel Magalhaes's strike at West Ham have stood? Were Liverpool lucky their winner wasn't disqualified at St James Park? Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher gives his thoughts on the latest Ref Watch... (Author: Gardener)

Dermot GallagherDermot Gallagher dissects the big hot spots of the weekend's action on Ref Watch. INCIDENT: Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale dashes off his line to intercept and appears to catch Jarrod Bowen in the process, but the West Ham forward is booked for the sim. DERMOT SAY: "The result was actually a yellow card for Jarrod Bowen for simulation. People talk about this incident and say, 'Is it a red card from the keeper?' "A red card offense would have to be a serious foul. He wants to stop the player, there's no doubt about that. It's very difficult to send a player off the field when there's no contact in a serious foul play offence "The bottom line, I think the best decision would probably not be a yellow card for the sim. Let's say the goalkeeper rushed, if you will, the player dodged but he didn't simulate." Gallagher added: "I don't think a player has to suffer a serious injury for it to be a It's a serious offence." I think it's very difficult to draw a red card for a player who hasn't had contact with another player. The goalkeeper thinks he has to stop the player and I think he's lucky "Bowen had to dodge him, there's no doubt about that and so I think no yellow card. If the referee had just given a throw-in I think that would be more acceptable. "I think it's a foul by Ramsdale because of the Speed ​​at which he comes out. Bowen has to ride the tackle and will obviously lose his balance in the process. I don't think it's a red card but Ramsdale's rash telling you it's a foul. D u tap the ball around and see the challenge coming. You see Ramsdale coming at you with so much pace and you're doing everything you can to avoid it because you don't want to hurt yourself." He certainly shouldn't have gotten a yellow card for that and I'm more in favor of it being a foul by Ramsdale should be, although he had no contact. That's where the dilemma lies, as he's very lucky not to have hooked up with him because if he had it would have been a definite red card winner. DERMOT SAY: “It was looked at and assumed not to bounce off the hand to a guy scoring. There is no doubt about it, because the game goes on. "The ball may have touched his arm, but it wasn't counted as a handball because it was completely accidental." The referee rightly continues. "If the ball hits your arm, it has to be on purpose, or your arm has to be over your shoulder and in the air. "But I'd say if it hit his arm it was completely accidental and didn't directly result in a goal." INCIDENT: Newcastle defender Fabian Schar and Liverpool midfielder James Milner clash in the run up to the visitors' winner at St James' Park, with referee Andre Marriner playing on. DERMOT SAYS, "I don't think that's a foul." Milner wins the ball and then Schar goes into him. "The ball goes on and as I said, it's not a foul for me. That set the tone for me for the rest of the weekend and I think it was a really good level.” Milner didn't win the ball and went through Schar. He wins the ball cleanly and then Schar finishes with him and goes over. No foul and it's a great referee.” INCIDENT: Richarlison picks up a flare that landed on the pitch and throws it back into the crowd after scoring Everton's winning goal. VERDICT: The incident should be included in the referee's report. DERMOT SAYS: “I would suggest the referee sent it straight to the FA. In his post-match report, he contacted the FA and said: "It was brought to my attention. When asked about the procedure, which the referee has a lot to remember, Dermot added: "That is the advantage of the fourth official." the crowd throws like that. We saw an incident years ago where Jamie Carragher was sent off for tossing a coin back at Arsenal fans once in the FA Cup. "He was sent off that day but that's rare and I think the best practice is really for the referee to let the FA do it because they have the discipline." INCIDENT: The ball appears to hit Heung-Min Son's arm as he challenges Leicester striker Ayoze Perez for a loose ball inside the box but referee Jon Moss waves play on. DERMOT SAYS: “I think Son is taking a huge risk. When a penalty is awarded I don't think he has much argument. "As it was I don't think the referee saw it and the VAR wasn't convinced so it was play on but I think he was lucky. Did the ball hit his arm? Did he move his arm in? I think because of the way he rotates his body he's moving towards the ball. Stephen Warnock on Sky Sports News: "I think it's a penalty and what you can also tell from the incident is that Son has no pressure when that ball falls on him when he has his hands on it and it falls at his feet. "Now he knows he's gone from Ayoze Perez but look at him lashing out at the ball. It's almost like he's saying he made a mistake and that's a natural reaction, when you think you did something wrong." If he thinks I didn't handle the ball, I think he would have run out of the box with it. Body language comes into play again, but I think it's a penalty. "I think his arm is pretty close to his body and he just comes in between. The ball does touch his arm, but I don't think he actually moved his arm to the ball."

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Arsenal's top-four pursuit could be decided by Nuno Tavares' mayhem

Tavares will be targeted by the opposition in all of Arsenal's remaining games and Mikel Arteta will need to find a way to capitalize on the full-back's wild streak (Author: Gardener)

Nuno Tavares'Tavares in action against West Ham on Sunday A flat Arsenal had little bounce against West Ham but grace is hardly a necessity when trying to clear the hurdles that stand between Mikel Arteta's side and a place in the top four. "In England they say ugly to win," said the manager, with a touch of pre-permascowl Mourinho. "But I'm really happy when a team wins ugly." They've taken another precarious step towards a coveted Champions League spot thanks to good defense and unlikely scoring chances from Rob Holding and Gabriel Magalhaes, but it can't Doubts that a West Ham side weary from their Europa League campaign have performed to any degree are merciful. Arsenal need to improve their game against a Leeds side who are struggling for survival with Tottenham ahead of next weekend's crucial derby in north London. It's like two boxers, both insecure and with gaps in defense, going into the championship rounds and draining their reserves while rocky music is overlaid in the background. What these montages fail to explain, however, is that Nuno Tavares attempts to storm the ring while only managing to get tangled face first in the ropes. There is perhaps no player in the Premier League right now who is as captivating as Tavares. That's exactly what happened against West Ham, when the full-back fell into a daydream just before half-time. When Tavares woke up to find that Vladimir Coufal had rushed after him once again, instead of throwing himself bravely into a block, he dallyed half-heartedly into no man's land. After all, in the game before, Tavares had managed to score and concede a pointless penalty against Manchester United as if it were nothing but the standard prize. It is somewhat bizarre that, despite all the scouting and analysis of modern football, a player with such a wild streak, prone to moments of such mad decision-making, should have been deemed suitable by Arteta, a man whose evening could be ruined if he discovers, that someone had tampered with the order of his bookshelf. And yet it is now Tavares who could decide the fate of Arsenal's season. Arteta has never been shy about his reservations, first evident when Tavares was ignominiously substituted off in the first half against Nottingham Forest. Then, with Kieran Tierney ruled out for the remainder of the season, Arteta sought to shift Granit Xhaka to left-back rather than use his willing deputy against Brighton. That experiment proved a costly mistake, with Arsenal's midfield hopelessly unbalanced and Xhaka lacking the pace to fear. Tavares may maraud up and down the wing with a detonator in hand, but perversely it also seems to cause an implosion when not playing against him. Arsenal centre-backs have been strong, with Holding providing an exceptional replacement for the injured Ben White at the London Stadium. And that leaves Tavares, the vulnerable target line for any enemy attack. You don't want to watch, but you can't help but peek through your fingers. That's how Arteta appeared for much of Sunday's game whenever Tavares and Gabriel Martinelli's axis was injured, with both players tending to drift inside. Despite the latter's obvious potential, it's no coincidence that their last three starts together before the weekend ended in defeat. Striking a balance between the sense of adventure that makes Tavares a real threat for the future and eliminating his tendency to wreak havoc at every turn is a task few Trainers would envy. It's not a transformation that can be accomplished overnight or over the course of four games. It's more of a knockdown conversion than an extension of Tavares' natural play. The raw materials are there and it's easy to forget that he's still only 22, in his first season away from Portugal and adjusting to far more than just the pace and punishment of the Premier League. But the stakes leave no room for error and Tavares won't be immune to the sense of dread that now seems to haunt him around the stadium, overshadowing his every touch. It's not the kind of blind faith Arteta likes to indulge in, but if these are the championship rounds, suspect Tavares will come out swinging no matter how detailed the instructions he's given in the corner, most likely with his eyes closed. and he either lands an Ave Mary or Arsenal hits the canvas.

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