Paul Merson tips Unai Emery to play a three-man defence with David Luiz at Arsenal

first_imgDavid Luiz is set to become a key part of Arsenal’s defence (AMA/Getty Images)Paul Merson believes Unai Emery is working towards playing a three-man defence at Arsenal following the arrivals of David Luiz and Kieran Tierney.Luiz was a surprise signing from Chelsea on deadline day, while the Gunners also strengthened their left-back by landing Tierney from Celtic in a £25 million deal.Tierney is currently injured while Luiz was an unused substitute in Arsenal’s 1-0 victory over Newcastle United at St James’ Park on Sunday.But Merson believes both players will eventually become a key part of Emery’s system at Arsenal.ADVERTISEMENT‘When you’re looking at them and you’re naming them players, I wouldn’t be surprised if he started going to a three at the back,’ Merson said on Sky Sports’ ‘The Debate’ show. Advertisement Comment Paul Merson tips Unai Emery to play a three-man defence with David Luiz at Arsenal Kieran Tierney joined Arsenal in a £25m deal from Celtic (Getty Images)‘Play them two and David Luiz in the middle of them.AdvertisementAdvertisement‘He can come out and play, you’ve got Tierney playing as one wing-back.‘I think it suits all of the defenders.‘If you have three centre-halves playing there it gives all of them something to fall back on.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 City‘If Tierney can get forward he can play, so he’ll want to get forward.‘They’ll want to bomb forward down the other side and they can score goals.‘I’m looking forward to Arsenal this season. I was quite impressed [against Newcastle], I was quite impressed.‘It was a hard game, going to Newcastle, first game of the season, a couple of new players.‘For me it was comfortable and [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang what a goal, what a goal.’More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenal Metro Sport ReporterTuesday 13 Aug 2019 10:08 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link Advertisementlast_img read more

USC leaves little hope for rest of the season

first_imgOllie Jung | Daily TrojanIt’s a simple fact that most sports fans are hopeless optimists. Dodger Stadium has been packed to the brim for the opening two games of the World Series in support of a team that last won it all during the Reagan administration. Tens of thousands of people pack the Coliseum week-in, week-out every year despite more than a decade passing since the Trojans’ last national title. Optimism is sports’ lifeblood, and even the most jaded fan has the slightest sliver of it.But for the last week, it has felt like Notre Dame bled every last drop of that optimism during last Saturday’s massacre in South Bend.Like many others, I have been almost blindly bullish when it comes to these Trojans since January. Ignoring all the warning signs for a far more challenging, target-on-your-back season to come, I basked in the Rose Bowl glory, completely convinced that the trifecta was coming in 2017: a Pac-12 championship, another victory in Pasadena and a return to the national championship.Nearly 11 months later, and here we are. USC is still a frontrunner for the conference crown, but with the ultimate prize out of reach, the remainder of the season will only determine what sort of silver lining the program can take into next fall. Some have called for head coach Clay Helton to be fired, and others have declared redshirt sophomore quarterback Sam Darnold a bust.I instinctively want to defend the Trojans. I want to point to Helton’s strong 22-9 record at the helm and remind everyone of what Darnold did against Texas and Utah this year. But there’s not much I can say that doesn’t ring hollow after USC last Saturday. I feel like a flat-earther: The facts are staring me in the face, but I’ve somehow talked myself into something different.I’ve died on worse hills, though (I was convinced Blake Bortles would be a good NFL quarterback for far longer than I am proud of). What really scares me is that the nightmare may not be over. The Trojans are traveling on back-to-back weeks coming off arguably their two most taxing games this season. And like the losses at Washington State and Notre Dame, Arizona State is expected to have a sold-out crowd at its back. The Sun Devils beat then-No. 5 Washington and Utah in their last two games, and they will look to catapult themselves into the thick of the Pac-12 South race with an upset over USC.After ASU, Arizona arrives at the Coliseum, and the Wildcats could be coming off a home win over Washington State, riding speedster quarterback Khalil Tate. Tate put up nearly 400 yards against UCLA — 148 through the air and 230 on the ground with three total touchdowns. After facing Arizona, the Trojans go to Colorado, then return home to face UCLA to wrap up the regular season. How great can you feel about any of those games? My greatest fear is when all is said and done this season, USC will have had a seven- or eight-win season with a trip to the Holiday Bowl — no different from the days of Steve Sarkisian and Cody Kessler.There’s no bright spot to look to anymore. Darnold hasn’t hit his peak all season. The rushing attack that opened the year so promisingly has been derailed thanks to injuries. Special teams coughed up the ball and left easy points on the board in recent weeks. An intimidating defense that ranks among the nation’s best in forced turnovers got dominated in South Bend. Week-to-week improvement hasn’t been this team’s forte, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see another error-filled night in Tempe on Saturday.It’s hard for me to believe that Helton and company will suddenly clean things up to win the Pac-12, which means that after all the fanfare, it’s just another lost season. I would say that the Trojans finally stole away all my optimism, but there is just a bit left — the hope that they will prove me wrong and win out … and win it all next year.Ollie Jung is a senior majoring in print and digital journalism. He is also the sports editor of the Daily Trojan. His column, Jung Money, runs Fridays.last_img read more

Gifford Pinchot staff moves in at fort

first_imgThe longtime home of the Timberwolves is now the headquarters of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest.The transition is taking place this month as the Gifford Pinchot staff moves into a newly renovated structure in Fort Vancouver National Historic Site.The agency’s new headquarters is part of the “front row” — a century-old landmark comprising four Vancouver Barracks buildings that face Officers Row.“I love it,” Forest Supervisor Gina Owens said this week as staff members unpacked boxes and outfitted their new work areas.The new HQ is at the west end of the series of buildings, just across Fort Vancouver Way from the O.O. Howard House. It has been vacant since 2010, when the Army Reserve’s 104th Division — the Timberwolves — was transferred north to Joint Base Lewis-McChord.After the National Park Service took over the east and south portions of Vancouver Barracks in 2012, it kicked off a renovation project to bring the 1900s-era front-row structures into a new century of public service.Welcoming the foresters is the first step, said Tracy Fortmann, the National Park Service’s superintendent at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site.It’s not just a landlord-tenant relationship.“A big benefit is the partnership with the Park Service,” Owens said. The agencies already collaborate on events such as national Get Outdoors Day.A Forest Service representative is now on duty at the park’s Fort Vancouver Visitor Center, which means increased public interaction for both agencies.last_img read more