Alan Smith fires warning to Arsenal star Nicolas Pepe after Mikel Arteta signs former Chelsea winger Willian

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first_img Metro Sport ReporterFriday 14 Aug 2020 3:48 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link5.3kShares Comment ‘The Ivory Coast winger has blown hot and cold so far, which is not a great quality in Arteta’s book.‘Undoubtedly talented, Pepe has got to kick on if he’s going to survive because, in the short term at least, Willian can provide great know-how and quality on that right side.’After Arsenal confirmed a deal for Willian, manager Mikel Arteta said: ‘I believe he’s a player that can really make a difference for us.‘We had a clear intention to strengthen in the attacking midfielder and the winger positions.’More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityFollow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.For more stories like this, check our sport page.MORE: Arsenal plot ‘active’ summer transfer strategy after signing WillianMORE: Arsenal confirm Willian’s shirt number after signing winger on free transfer Arsenal have signed former Chelsea winger Willian on a three-year deal (Picture: Getty)Alan Smith has warned Arsenal record signing Nicolas Pepe he must ‘kick on to survive’ at the club after Mikel Arteta signed former Chelsea winger Willian.The Gunners have signed Brazil international Willian on a three-year deal following his departure from Stamford Bridge. He will wear the No.12 shirt for Arsenal.Willian made more than 300 appearances for Arsenal’s London rivals Chelsea and helped the Blues win two Premier League titles and the Europa League.Smith remains unsure whether Willian will prove to be a success at Arsenal but says his arrival has piled the pressure on Ivory Coast star Pepe.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTPepe joined the Gunners last summer for a club-record fee of £72million and endured a mixed first season in north London.Discussing Arsenal’s move for Willian, former Gunners striker Smith told Sky Sports: ‘It is time to move the project forward by adding quality in certain positions, which is not easy at all when money is tight.‘Willian’s free transfer from Chelsea looks like the first step, which surprised me at first given the Brazilian’s age. Alan Smith fires warning to Arsenal star Nicolas Pepe after Mikel Arteta signs former Chelsea winger Willian Alan Smith has warned Nicolas Pepe he has to ‘kick on to survive’ (Picture: Getty)‘Just turned 32 with lots of miles on the clock, Stamford Bridge has surely seen his best days.‘So was this just a convenient move because he has the right agent? Something foisted upon Arteta by Raul Sanllehi, the head of football?‘Or does Arteta see something in Willian that can improve the team straight away?‘One thing is for sure, as a right-sided attacker, his arrival asks immediate questions of Nicolas Pepe, signed at exorbitant cost this time last year. Advertisement Advertisement 🆕 New club. New colours. New beginnings.👋 Welcome to The Arsenal, @WillianBorges88! 🔴 pic.twitter.com/B7Tl01BXLe— Arsenal (@Arsenal) August 14, 2020last_img read more


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first_imgAfter a long summer of acquisitions and speculation as to how they’ll pan out, Doc Rivers and the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night will open the 2015-16 season with a road game against DeMarcus Cousins and the Sacramento Kings (on Prime Ticket).It’s time to see if the many moves Rivers made as head coach and president of basketball operations will bear fruit.“I’m looking forward to the season,” he said this week at practice. “I want to see what we have. Everybody’s better.”The Clippers added, among others, Lance Stephenson, Paul Pierce, Josh Smith and Wesley Johnson. Rivers noted how the San Antonio Spurs added LaMarcus Aldridge and David West and how Ty Lawson is now with Houston. “But it still doesn’t equate that you’re better yet, until you get on the floor — for us, for San Antonio, for whoever made the changes,” Rivers said. “Houston, you know, getting Ty Lawson, that’s a huge get.• BONSIGNORE: Best Clippers roster will require best from Doc Rivers“But even though you add all that talent, it still doesn’t mean you’re better. You have to get into the season and find that out.”Point guard Chris Paul, who is entering his 11th season and fifth with the Clippers, would like that process to be as quick as possible. That was evident when he was asked what was different about the opening of this particular season.“New faces, a lot of new faces,” he said. “So, obviously, everyone’s still getting used to each other. But we don’t have time to work our way into the season. I always say it’s good to figure things out and win at the same time. “For us, we’ve gotta come out full speed ahead and be ready to go.”Sixth-man Jamal Crawford echoes that sentiment.“That would be nice, yeah,” he said. “If you can learn lessons in wins, I think that’s always better than learning in losses. It would be nice to get off to a fast start, but it won’t be the end of the world if we don’t.“But I anticipate us doing that.”• HEISLER: Happily, they’re still the ClippersOne of the questions Rivers has been asked time and again is, who will start at small forward? Since Stephenson started there the final two exhibition games, it figures he’ll be the guy.“Yeah, most likely, but I’m not sure,” Rivers said Monday.It could still be Pierce or Johnson, though if it’s not Stephenson, it will likely be Pierce. To Rivers, it matters little. He even gave an unsolicited lecture to a reporter who had the temerity to ask him about it yet again.“Again, I think you guys are far more focused on who starts than me, I’ll put it like that,” he said. “To me, it’s not a big deal. It’s who finishes. I think, if I could change all you guys for one thing, I’d get you to focus on who finishes the game. That’s the most important part of the game, all right?”One thing’s certain, these guys are amped up about what could be a history-making season for the franchise, which has never been past the conference semifinals.“I’m excited,” Paul said. “I think we’re one of the few teams that control our own destiny and I say that because talent-wise we have it. Now we’ve just gotta put it all together and make sure everybody buys in.“Like I told Blake (Griffin) and DJ (DeAndre Jordan), I think the biggest key for our team this year is going to be unselfishness. We’re all going to have to give up ourselves to the team in order to get what we want.”center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more


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first_img NBA playoffs 2019: Joel Embiid says 76ers ‘can win it all’ Having gone 2-0 up in the series, the Trail Blazers lost Game 3 — a contest that saw the Thunder’s Dennis Schroder imitate Lillard’s “Dame Time” celebration by tapping his wrist.And those actions did not sit well with Lillard, who marked his remarkable game Tuesday and series-winner by waving to the Thunder bench before being mobbed by his teammates. Related News NBA playoffs 2019: Rockets’ Clint Capela playing through illness NBA playoffs wrap 2019: Raptors, 76ers advance with blowout wins; Trail Blazers eliminate Thunder DAME CALLS GAME IN #PhantomCam! #NBAPlayoffs#RipCity pic.twitter.com/JNNGimxYwk— NBA (@NBA) April 24, 2019″The game, the series was over, that was it. I was just waving goodbye to them,” said Lillard, who became the first player in NBA playoffs history to score 50 points as well as a winning buzzer-beater.”After Game 3, Dennis Schroder was out here pointing to his wrist, they were out there doing all these celebrations, doing all this stuff and we kept our composure.”After one win that was what they decided to do, and we were just like, ‘OK, what we want to do is win four games’ and then when we win those four games there’s not gonna be nothing to talk about so that’s what that was.”On his winning basket, shot over Paul George, Lillard said: “I was standing there looking at the rim and I was like, ‘This is a comfortable range.’ Damian Lillard took satisfaction in sending the Thunder out of the NBA playoffs after seeing his celebration mocked earlier in their first-round series.The Trail Blazers advanced to the conference semifinals in spectacular fashion Tuesday, Lillard’s 37-foot buzzer-beater securing a 118-115 victory and a 4-1 series victory. “My trainer, Phil Beckner, we were working out the other night in OKC and he was like, ‘Take a few deep ones.’ He was like, ‘You’re gonna hit one of these’ and when I was standing there I was like, ‘I’m gonna shoot it.'”He was a little bit off of me and I was like, ‘It’s enough space for me to raise up and shoot it for the game.’ At the last second, he stepped towards me a little bit and I was like, ‘OK, I’m gonna pound dribble, side step, raise up.'”I just had to let it fly, shoot the ball high in the air to give it a chance and that’s what I did.”last_img read more