Marco Rose arrived at the Westfalenstadion to much fanfare last year after an impressive spell with Borussia Mönchengladbach. As it turns out, he’ll go down as a one-season wonder (of sorts).
He’s been sacked by Dortmund after a campaign in which they have meandered to second in the Bundesliga, eight points off Bayern Munich at the summit, and failed to win any silverware. BVB went out of the Champions League at the group stage, the Europa League in the knockout play-offs and the DFB-Pokal in the round of 16, also losing to Bayern in the final of the DFL-Supercup.
In light of her contract extension, Miedema has given some additional insight into her reasons for sticking with Arsenal and her ambitions for the years ahead. “Five years ago I came to Arsenal because I wanted to help that club move up,” she said. “Once we won the league and in the past few years we have been close. Last season we were in the running until the last day, but Chelsea won it in the end.
“I said to Arsenal that we have to develop further and really have to win titles. If not, I’ll have to take another step. I will be 26 in a year so there are still many opportunities. But my focus is now completely on Arsenal.” There’s more from Miedema here.
While the pitch invasion discourse continues apace this morning, the latest following Thursday night’s incursion at Goodison Park is that police are looking into an altercation between Patrick Vieira, the Palace manager, and a fan. More on that here.
The good news for Arsenal this morning is that Vivianne Miedema has signed a new contract with the club.
Miedema has scored 117 goals in 144 games since arriving from Bayern Munich in 2017 and is, to put it mildly, an absolute phenomenon. “I think the most beautiful thing about the game is building something with a team and with people around you that you really want to be around,” she said, following the announcement that she will be staying in north London.
“I do feel like I have got that at Arsenal. I feel like, for me, winning titles with Arsenal will mean a lot more to me than winning them with another club at the moment. And that’s what I obviously hope to achieve with Arsenal.”
The Premier League’s final weekend is upon us. There’s something reassuring about that, isn’t there? The season must end, so it can start afresh, rising like a phoenix from the ashes, in August. A time to be born, a time to die, and a few weeks in between where footballers neck piña coladas on a yacht moored off Mykonos before jetting off to fulfil their commercial duties on a pre-season tour of Florida.
Before we start thinking about lucrative friendlies in Orlando, however, there’s the small matter of deciding the title race and the relegation battle. Why is one a race and one a battle? We don’t make the rules, those are the appropriate metaphors as laid down by the Football Writers’ Association. At the top of the table, Manchester City lead Liverpool as they prepare to host Aston Villa at the Etihad. Jürgen Klopp’s quadruple chasers welcome Wolves to Anfield, knowing that a win combined with a draw or a loss for their title rivals will be enough to see them crowned champions of England for the second time in three seasons.
At the other end of the table, one of Leeds or Burnley must drop, screaming, through the Premier League trapdoor. Again, apologies, but when it comes to cliches, we don’t make the rules. Burnley’s 1-1 draw with Villa on Thursday evening lifted them above Jesse Marsch’s men on goal difference, giving them a slight advantage going into their season-defining game against Newcastle at Turf Moor. Leeds travel to Brentford needing to better Burnley’s result or face a return to the Championship after only two seasons back in the top tier.
Then there’s the top-four scrap, where Tottenham have the edge on Arsenal thanks to their 3-0 win in the north London derby last week and their nemeses’ subsequent self-destruction at St James’ Park. Mikel Arteta needs to preside over a win against Everton, who are safe following their chaotic comeback against Crystal Palace, and hope that Antonio Conte fails to outwit Norwich’s Dean Smith, or The Project™ will face a considerable setback and Arsenal will extend their Champions League hiatus to at least six years.
Elsewhere, West Ham could trade places with Manchester United if they beat Brighton away and Ralf Rangnick ends his tenure with a suitably underwhelming result against Palace. The Hammers have a superior goal difference, meaning that even a draw for Rangnick’s side at Selhurst Park would allow West Ham to swap the Europa Conference League for the Europa League with a win.
As for the dead rubbers, Chelsea, safe in third, host relegated Watford and Leicester face Southampton in a mid-table melee at the King Power Stadium. Today will be all about the managers, with pre-match press conferences and build-up to come. The Scottish Cup final, Women’s Champions League final and League One play-off final are also on the agenda this weekend, as are the finales of Serie A and La Liga.