Arsenal head coach Unai Emery aims to “reduce the distance with the other teams” in the Premier League this season after their 2-1 win against Bayern Munich in the International Champions Cup on Wednesday.
Eddie Nketiah proved to be the match-winner as Arsenal made it two wins from two on their pre-season tour of the United States with a 2-1 victory over Bayern Munich.
After a goalless first half, Emery’s side took the lead four minutes after the restart when Louis Poznanski diverted Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s cross into his own goal before Robert Lewandowski equalised with a fine header.
The match looked to be heading for a draw but young forward Tyreece John-Jules worked his way down the left side of the Bayern penalty box to cut the ball back for Nketiah to tap home two minutes from time.
Newcastle skipper Jamaal Lascelles has called for a united front after Steve Bruce was announced as the club’s new head coach.
Bruce’s appointment has not gone down well with fans who were desperate for Rafael Benitez to extend his stay at St James’ Park and some have called for a boycott of the opening Premier League fixture against Arsenal on August 11 in protest at owner Mike Ashley’s running of the club.
However, speaking ahead of the club’s opening pre-season fixture against Wolves in the Premier League Asia Trophy in Nanjing, Lascelles urged players, staff and fans to pull together.
The defender told Sky Sports: “I’ve always said it, we’ve just got to stick together as one, that’s the best thing we can do.
“We can’t go pointing a finger or having a go at anyone, we’ve just got to stick together, that’s the best way.”
Academy coaches Ben Dawson and Neil Redfearn have taken charge of training since the players returned from their summer breaks and while Lascelles has been impressed by their work, he is happy Bruce is now in post.
He said: “We’re all looking forward to it. We’ve been waiting for him to come in. There’s been speculation and now it’s confirmed, we’re pleased and we’re looking forward to it.
“He’s a very well-known manager who’s done well in the Premier League and the Championship.
“We’ve been working hard with Ben and Neil – they’ve done a great job and the rest of the staff have helped us out as well.
“Now the manager has come in, we’re really looking forward to it.”
Former Magpies striker Shola Ameobi also welcomed the appointment as an antidote to the uncertainty which has engulfed the club in recent weeks.
However, he admitted recruitment during what remains of the transfer window will be key with Salomon Rondon and Ayoze Perez, who scored 23 league goals between them last season, no longer on the books.
Ameobi said: “Ultimately, they were our goals last year and we all know, especially in the Premier League, goalscorers come at a premium. I know Steve will be coming in, that will be his priority.
“In terms of the squad, we’ve got a decent squad and that is the void we need to fill straight away.
“It’s very hard to make signings without a manager and ultimately, the manager has to make those decisions.
“Hopefully Steve will be coming in knowing what he needs to do. Whether or not we can get that over the line is another question because the time frame is very short.
“He has got all the experience in the world, he’s been doing this a long time and he’s got broad shoulders. I think he’ll be able to cope with the demands of this job.”
However, a statement issued on behalf of nine fans’ groups left the new man in little doubt as to their feelings over his appointment.
It said: “Steve Bruce is an unambitious appointment by an unambitious owner. To go from a world-class manager in Rafa Benitez, who brought stability and unity to the club to Steve Bruce – who frankly wouldn’t get a job at any other Premier League side right now – in the space of six weeks is beyond disappointing.
“Most Premier League clubs look to the continent or lower divisions for young, promising, forward-thinking managers in the mould of Pochettino, Gracia and Santo – who bring a new brand of football to a highly-competitive league.
“In Bruce, Mike Ashley has opted for a manager who has been relegated from the league numerous times – he isn’t even a safe pair of hands.
“Bruce’s appointment is testament to Ashley’s continued mismanagement of Newcastle United football Club, which has been the hallmark of his tenure. It’s now time for him to sell the club to a party that genuinely wants to take the club forward.”
Copy provided by Press Association Sport
Newcastle have appointed Steve Bruce as Rafael Benitez’s replacement as their search for a new manager finally came to a close.
The Magpies have confirmed the 58-year-old Geordie has left his job at Sheffield Wednesday to become the 10th permanent boss of controversial owner Mike Ashley’s 12-year-plus reign on a three-year deal.
A club statement said: “Newcastle can now announce that Steve Bruce has been appointed as the club’s new head coach.
“The 58-year-old, who was born in Corbridge, Northumberland and raised in Wallsend, returns to Tyneside after signing an initial three-year contract and will be joined at St James’ Park by coaches Steve Agnew and Stephen Clemence.”
Bruce and his staff are due to fly out to China to meet up with the players, who open their Premier League Asia Trophy campaign against Wolves in Nanjing on Wednesday morning.
The new boss said: “I’m delighted and incredibly proud to be appointed as head coach of Newcastle. This is my boyhood club and it was my dad’s club, so this is a very special moment for me and my family.
“There is a huge challenge ahead of us, but it’s one that my staff and I are ready for. We’ll roll our sleeves up and we’ll be giving it everything from the off to ensure supporters have a successful team that they can be proud of.”
Bruce’s arrival is unlikely to placate fans still fuming at Benitez’s exit a little more than three years after the club failed to agree a contract extension with the 59-year-old Spaniard, who has since taken over at Chinese club Dalian Yifang.
However, managing director Lee Charnley was delighted to have got his man after lengthy negotiations with the Owls over a compensation package.
Charnley said: “Steve has a deep affection for Newcastle and we are very pleased a coach with his vast experience and connections to the club and city has joined us.
“Steve knows what this club means to supporters and to the region and he will put his heart and soul into leading our talented group of players with the full support of our staff.
“The hard work for Steve and his team starts immediately and we will be fully prepared for the challenge of a new Premier League season.”