Press Association Manager Arsene Wenger has challenged Arsenal to continue to let their football deliver all the right answers in the quest to stay top of the Barclays Premier League. The Gunners produced the perfect response to the midweek Capital One Cup exit at home to Chelsea with a cohesive display to defeat Liverpool 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium and move five points clear. Wenger’s men, who had been well beaten by Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League a fortnight ago, weathered some early pressure from the Reds before Santi Cazorla fired them in front on 19 minutes with a well-taken finish after his header hit the post. “You could see that the (confidence) level is high,” said Wenger, who will check on the fitness of Jack Wilshere after the England midfielder missed out against Liverpool because of an inflamed ankle. “We had a great defensive solidarity, we were always quick and sharp going forward, and that is the kind of game we want to play. “This win will increase the level of confidence in our group and it will maybe convince some sceptical people that we have a chance at challenging for the title.” Wenger knows Arsenal cannot afford to rest on their laurels if they are to meet the challenges of November head on. “We go from game to game, we have Dortmund on Wednesday, it is another big game,” the Gunners boss said. “We are in a position where we want absolutely a result and the win over Liverpool puts us mentally in a better condition.” Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny feels the players showed they have the needed mentality to stay the course this season. “We knew it was a very important game for us, we knew that winning this game would mean a lot and create a gap in the table at the top,” the Poland goalkeeper said. “If you look the consistency of our performances, recently you can see that we want to challenge for the title this year. “You can see with the quality of our performance that we are up for it.” Full-back Kieran Gibbs is also doubtful for Tuesday night’s Champions League match against Dortmund after he limped off with 10 minutes left because of a calf problem. Aaron Ramsey cracked home a sublime second goal, his 10th of the season, on the hour to secure an eighth Premier League win for the Gunners, who head to Germany for a crucial European tie next week before travelling to Manchester United on Sunday. “I felt conclusions were a bit too quick this week, it was only one game,” said Wenger. “We live in a world where you are questioned. The only response we can give is on the football pitch. I said that many times and that is part of our job. “I am pleased we have won a big game at home, I think it was important for the future.” Arsenal managed to shackle the threat of in-form Reds strikeforce Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge, who were never really allowed to gain any ground in the final third. There were, though, some moments of concern for the Gunners, notably when Jordan Henderson waltzed through their half and into the penalty area before horribly scuffing his shot. Liverpool also had a goal ruled out, which would have made it 1-1, after taking a free-kick too quickly for the liking of referee Martin Atkinson, while Suarez – the subject of two summer transfer bids from Arsenal – also brushed the outside of the post and then dragged a late chance wide. However, Wenger’s men also stretched Liverpool’s three-man defensive line, with Ramsey denied by goalkeeper Simon Mignolet and Olivier Giroud chipping just wide in the second half.
(CMC) – CAPTAIN Jason Holder said the aggression displayed in yesterday’s seven-wicket victory over Pakistan was a blueprint of the type of cricket West Indies hoped to produce going forward in the ICC World Cup.Bowling with pace and hostility, the Caribbean side needed less than two hours to crush Pakistan for 105 off 21.4 overs then raced to their target in the 14th over with veteran opener Chris Gayle lashing a stroke-filled 33-ball 50.“I think our style was just to be aggressive. We just want to be aggressive against whoever we’re playing. It’s just something that we need to do in order to pick up wickets,” Holder told a post-match media conference.“I think with the modern-day game, if you are not picking wickets up throughout the innings you’re going to struggle to contain teams. So we just want to be aggressive even if we give up a few runs up front, trying to get wickets.“One of the things we’ve spoken about in the recent past is just trying to have that mindset to take wickets, because if you’re not taking wickets you’re going to struggle.”He continued: “I think for every single team in the competition, looking to pick up wickets throughout the entire innings has been a common trend. If you don’t get wickets continuously throughout the innings, you’re going to struggle to contain teams at the very back end.“It’s something you have to do, whether it be through spin, which is the way a lot of teams have gone, or through good fast bowling, which is the direction we’ve been going.”Rookie speedster Oshane Thomas revelled in a fresh pitch and overcast conditions, roughing up the Pakistani batsmen to end with four for 27 while Holder picked up three for 42.Andre Russell was sensational in a pacey three-over burst, taking two for four to initiate the Pakistan collapse.“I thought we bowled really well. We got wickets with the new ball and really set them back, slowed their momentum and quite fortunately for us we were able to keep picking up wickets and they never recovered from the position they were in at the very beginning,” Holder said.“I think when we batted it was a clinical performance as well, obviously Chris starting nicely. He put the accelerator on them and was supported by (Nicholas) Pooran in the very end.”He added: “Thomas has been excellent. The last game he got five wickets then he comes and follows it up with four wickets here today. It was great to see him running in and bowling fast. That’s one thing we ask of him, just to be aggressive in those middle overs, as I said before.“He’s working out quite nicely for us. It’s just a matter for us to be consistent with it, and at times not get carried away in terms of overdoing it.“Andre’s spell had great impact, obviously. It started the slide for Pakistan, and again, he’s one of those players who run in and give it their all. He has a lot of force going through his body, and he’s one player who will give you 110 per cent every time he steps up to the plate.”West Indies, rated underdogs in the tournament, will now face title-holders Australia in their second match next Thursday also at Trent Bridge.And despite yesterday’s convincing victory, Holder said West Indies would remain grounded, especially with a long way to go in the tournament.“I’m not thinking too far ahead. We’ve got Australia in the next encounter. As I said to the guys, we’ve got a long tournament here; it’s just a matter for us to take it game by game and I’m not getting ahead of myself,” he pointed out.“We just want to be consistent. The only thing we can focus on and control is cricket, and we’ve got three departments to make sure we’re clinical in – our batting, bowling and fielding, and I just want us to be the best we can in terms of performing our roles for the team.”
AS the world celebrates a new Olympic Day with countless talks, online classes, seminars, trivia and demonstrations, Pan Am Sports has chosen this day to launch for the first time in history a free Virtual Training course for high-performance coaches in the Americas.The objective, according to a release shared yesterday, is to continue supporting and guiding our coaches and technicians. Organising this interesting virtual course will undoubtedly be very helpful for the professionals who are in charge of the development of our athletes.With the name ‘Course in Sports Psychology for High-Performance Coaches’, the course will be led by Spanish psychologist with vast experience and world recognition, Jose Maria Buceta. He has worked with various Olympic representatives as well as Real Madrid.This 16-hour total online course will be absolutely free and will be presented in Spanish with simultaneous translation into English. It is made primarily for coaches, technicians and fitness trainers who work in high-performance and are recognised by their National Olympic Committees.There will be four sessions, with one airing each week throughout the next month. The live classes will be on July 8, 15, 22 and 29. In addition, reading and supporting documents will be used throughout the course and a Certificate of Participation from Pan Am Sports will be delivered following its conclusion.“We have limited space in this important virtual course, so a total of 6 registrations have been provided for each National Olympic Committee. Registration opened yesterday, June 23, and will close on the deadline July 3.“At Pan Am Sports, we are very aware of the difficult time we are experiencing with the coronavirus pandemic and the importance of this type of course aimed at coaches, but that also directly benefits our athletes.It is for this reason that we invite high-performance coaches not to take advantage of this opportunity and register for this First Virtual Training organised by the Pan American Sports Organisation.