No hiding place for Unai Emery's men as Arsenal fans look ahead to new Premier League season

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Unai Emery's team will have no 'hiding place' when the league commences.

Arsenal supporters accept the new-look team under head coach Unai Emery will have “no hiding place” when the Premier League season gets under way.

Here, we look at the hopes and fears for the 2018/19 campaign of The Gooner Talk‘s Tom Canton, Andrew Thompson and Kenny Ken as the north London club prepare for life after Arsene Wenger.

BRING ON THE CHAMPIONS

Arsenal open their Premier League campaign on Sunday at home against defending champions Manchester City, which will prove the first genuine test for new boss Emery.

The Spaniard faces a stiff early examination of the approach and the make-up of his team, with an away fixture at Chelsea to follow.

Kenny says: “The first two fixtures are unforgiving, there is no hiding place. We are playing the champions and then the FA Cup holders, both two excellent teams.

“It is highly likely we will end up with no points, that is just because of the teams we are playing.”

Tom adds: “We need to get behind this team and realise change is not going to occur in four or five weeks of pre-season. You can’t expect that (defensive stability) of Unai Emery straight away from day one, it is simply not going to happen.

“It is going to take time for the players to adjust. We are going to have to wait and see.”

Arsenal open their campaign against a strong City side.

Arsenal open their campaign against a strong City side.

KROENKE IN CONTROL

American tycoon Stan Kroenke has moved a step closer to completing a full takeover of Arsenal after minority shareholder Alisher Usmanov accepted an offer worth in excess of £550million for his stake.

Kenny, born in Holloway Road, was not surprised by the move and feels “nothing is really going to change”.

He says: “Stan was never going to spend big money anyway, he never did when he had 67 per cent shares, and we don’t expect him to spend now he will have 100 per cent.

“Don’t waste your time with protests (at the game on Sunday). He is a businessman first and foremost – and nothing you do or say will stop him from taking total control of the club.”

Andrew, who lives in New York, says: “We still have to make money for this to be a worthwhile business venture for Stan, that is the key.

“For me, Arsenal are going to be the crown jewel (for Kroenke), the one that is going to make him money from where he can then go out and do what he wants to do in other ventures.”

Kroenke is nearing a complete takeover of Arsenal.

Kroenke (c) is nearing a complete takeover of Arsenal.

TRANSFER DEADLINE DASH

The future of midfielder Aaron Ramsey was unclear ahead of Thursday’s transfer deadline, with the Welsh midfielder in the final year of his contract.

Kenny says: “We cant have a situation we had with Mesut (Ozil) and Alexis (Sanchez) where players are going into their last year where they could possibly leave on a free.

“Aaron harbours ambitions to play abroad, and if someone if going to pay him £250,000 a week, then obviously he is going to get that ambition.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if Chelsea had a sniff, they are a big club and he wouldn’t have to leave London, so I don’t expect him to be at the football club (past the deadline).”

Aaron Ramsey's future remains unclear.

Aaron Ramsey’s future remains unclear.

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Cardiff captain Sean Morrison confident the Bluebirds can soar in the Premier League

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Cardiff captain Sean Morrison is confident the Bluebirds can stay up.

Cardiff captain Sean Morrison is confident the Bluebirds can draw on the success of last season’s promoted trio and survive in the Premier League.

Brighton, Huddersfield and Newcastle all stayed up last term, only the third time all three promoted teams have managed to do that in the 26-year history of the Premier League.

“What happened last season gives us great encouragement,” Morrison said.

“It was the first time that’s happened for a long time, but it shows what can be achieved. The main target is to stay up next year, that’s the be-all and end-all.

“It will be a big achievement to stay in the Premier League and that’s what we’ll aim to do.”

Cardiff – whose only previous Premier League season came in the 2013/14 campaign – were the surprise package of the Championship last term when finishing runners-up to Wolves.

The Bluebirds were one place off the bottom of the table when Neil Warnock took charge in October 2016.

But the 69-year-old veteran steered Cardiff to a 12th-placed finish that campaign before claiming a record eighth promotion in his first full season in charge.

Warnock has strengthened his squad ahead of the new season by adding QPR goalkeeper Alex Smithies, Preston defender Greg Cunningham, Norwich winger Josh Murphy and Bristol City striker Bobby Reid.

He failed to persuade Liverpool’s Marko Grujic to have a second spell at the club but could recruit Real Betis midfielder Victor Camarasa on loan before Thursday’s transfer deadline.

“We all know it’s a step up from the Championship and it’s going to be tough,” Morrison added.

“But we’ve got a great manager here, the right guy for the job. It’s going to be exciting, and if you apply yourself and do it right the world is your oyster.”

Morrison is one of a handful of Cardiff players with experience of the top-flight.

The 27-year-old centre-back made 16 Premier League appearances for Reading during the 2012/13 season.

“It’s been a while and a hard slog getting back to the top,” Morrison said.

“But I always believed I would get back there and to do it with a club like Cardiff is incredible.

“Junior (Hoilett) has played about 100 games in the Premier League and some of the boys have played handfuls here and there.

“Any experience is good to pass down to others, but the boys who haven’t got it are hungry to do well and prove themselves.”

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Tottenham and England forward Harry Kane welcomes arrival of second child

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Harry Kane has become a father for the second time.

Tottenham and England striker Harry Kane is celebrating the arrival of his second child.

Kane’s fiancee Kate Goodland has given birth to Vivienne Jane Kane, with the Three Lions captain sharing the news on Twitter.

He wrote: “Our beautiful addition to the family! Vivienne Jane Kane. So proud of @KateGoodlandx for having the most amazing water birth with no pain relief at all #mygirls #hypnobirthing”

Kane, who captained his country to the semi-final of the World Cup and won the Golden Boot, already has one daughter, Ivy, born in 2017.

The 25-year-old has had a busy 48 hours after returning to pre-season training with Spurs on Monday following a three-week break after his exertions in Russia.

Kane had said that he would want to play in Saturday’s Premier League opener against Newcastle, but Mauricio Pochettino is likely to wait to see how he fares in training on Thursday and Friday.

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