Unai Emery has been offered public backing by the Arsenal hierarchy, but warned results must improve.
Emery’s position is under scrutiny after a run of just two wins from their last 10 Premier League games.
However, Arsenal head of football Raul Sanllehi and managing director Vinai Venkatesham say they have no immediate plans to make a change of manager.
“We firmly believe Unai is the right man for the job,” they told Arsenal staff at a meeting.
“We are as disappointed as everyone else with both our results and performances at this stage of the season.
“We share the frustration with our fans, Unai, players and all our staff as they are not at the level we want or expect. Things need to improve to meet our objectives for the season.
“We are all working intensively behind the scenes to turn things around and are confident we will.
“We never take our fantastic support for granted. We hope we can all stick together and get behind the team in this challenging period, as together we are stronger.”
Xhaka ‘hurt’ by hostile criticism
Meanwhile, Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka says he has been hurt by the “extreme hostility” directed towards him from the supporters, but has promised to prove his worth.
The Switzerland midfielder has not played for the club since.
“It was very hurtful and frustrating,” Xhaka told Swiss newspaper Blick.
“I can’t understand a reaction like that even now, especially the vehemence of it and the extreme hostility directed against me.”
Xhaka was booed as he walked off the pitch as he was substituted against Palace, prompting him to cup his ear, take his shirt off and head straight down the tunnel to the dressing room.
“When my shirt number lit up on the fourth official’s panel and our own fans broke into gleeful jubilation, that hit me very hard and really upset me,” he added.
“Insulting and swearing at your own captain will cause upset and a bad atmosphere for the team you are actually supposed to be supporting; that makes no sense to me and weakens the team’s spirit.”
Arsenal manager Emery said last week that he was unsure whether the midfielder would play for the club again, adding that “he was not ready” to return for Saturday’s match at Leicester, which the Gunners lost 2-0.
Xhaka, though, says he is fully committed to the club and is ready to move on from the incident.
“I’ve been 100% behind the club and my role as a player since I came here,” he said.
“I’m proud to be playing for this big club. I’ll continue to stay positive, give my all to an even greater extent and prove that I’m an important part of this great team.
“Last week in particular was a very special, emotional experience for me but I’m doing very well again, I’ve trained well this week and am looking forward to my next assignments.”
Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante is back in the squad for Tuesday’s Champions League Group H game with Ajax.
Kante, 28, has made just five starts in an injury-hit season, most recently suffering a groin problem.
“We’ve been able to get some work into him, he’s in the squad and he’s available,” said manager Frank Lampard.
Midfielder Ross Barkley (ankle) and defender Andreas Christensen (thigh) are also in training after injury lay-offs last month.
Victory at Stamford Bridge would see Chelsea go three points clear of Ajax in Group H and put them in a strong position to progress to the quarter-finals, with games against Valencia and Lille remaining.
“I said at the start that this group would be tight because all the teams could take points off each other. That has been proved to be correct,” said Lampard.
“After losing the opening game against Valencia, which was disappointing, we have shown a great reaction from that.
“I have to accept it’s expected of Chelsea to go through and that is no disrespect to any other teams. I have said already how hard the group is but it is more about our own expectations.
“That is maybe why we had that reaction. We wanted to prove ourselves, we wanted to go to Ajax and Lille and get results, and we did.
“But we won’t get carried away with ourselves in this group.”
Can Chelsea maintain 100% record against Dutch sides? – the stats
- Ajax have never lost an away Champions League match in England (W1 D3 L0), winning most recently away at Spurs in April 2019. Their last away European Cup defeat on English soil was in April 1980, a 2-0 semi-final defeat against Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest side.
- Chelsea have a 100%-win record in Champions League matches against Dutch opponents, beating Feyenoord twice in the 1999-2000 season and Ajax this season.
- Ajax have won their last five away Champions League matches – prior to this run, the Dutch side had won just four of their previous 38 away games in the competition (W4 D13 L21).
- Ajax manager Erik ten Hag has managed more away UEFA Champions League games without losing than any other manager (seven games), winning five and drawing two. Only two managers have lost none of their first eight away games in the competition – Louis van Gaal (first 14 games) and Pep Guardiola (first 11 games).
- Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi has scored one goal every 47 minutes for the Blues in the Champions League (3 goals in 141 minutes) – the best minutes per goal ratio of any Chelsea player in the competition.
- Dusan Tadic has been directly involved in eight of Ajax’s last 14 goals scored in the group stage of the Champions League (five goals, three assists), including six of their last seven away from home (three goals, three assists).
Former Labour MP Luciana Berger is to fight the seat of Finchley and Golders Green in north London for the Liberal Democrats at the next election.
She has chosen not to contest her current seat, Liverpool Wavertree, which she has represented since 2010.
Ms Berger quit Labour in February, blaming a culture of anti-Semitism in the party and personal attacks on her.
The Lib Dems came third in the London seat in 2017, but hope to do better due to their Brexit opposition.
The Jewish MP was a founding member of the Change UK party which launched in the run-up to the European Parliament elections in May.
However, she quit the party after its poor performance and joined the Lib Dems earlier this month.
In a letter addressed to her Liverpool Wavertree constituents posted on Twitter, Ms Berger says she made the decision with her husband, with whom she has two children.
“Balancing personal and and professional responsibilities is complicated for everyone,” she writes.
“As a family, we have had to make a decision about how best to navigate work and raising our young children.”
She adds they had decided to move to London after the next general election “after a great deal of thought”.
In a statement, Liverpool Wavertree Lib Dems said they regretted her decision to contest a different seat but “understood the reasons for doing so”.
Richard Kemp, who leads the Liberal Democrat group on Liverpool Council, said Ms Berger had been subject to “appalling anti-Semitism and gender bullying” during her time representing Labour in the constituency.
She has spoken of receiving thousands of anti-Semitic taunts online, as well as death threats.
An internet troll who sent anti-Semitic messages to Ms Berger and other victims was jailed for more than two years in 2017.
Liverpool Wavertree has been regarded as a safe Labour seat since boundary changes in the 1990s. The Lib Dems came third with less than three 3,000 votes in 2017.
In contrast, Finchley and Golders Green is a marginal seat which has fluctuated between the Conservatives and Labour since it was created in 1997.
According to the UK Polling Report, the constituency has the largest Jewish population of any seat in the UK, with more than 20% of residents describing themselves as Jewish in the 2011 census. It is also a heavily pro-Remain constituency.
The Lib Dems had selected Clareine Enderby to contest the seat.
Under different boundaries, the constituency of Finchley was represented by former Conservative leader Margaret Thatcher for more than 30 years between 1959 and 1992.
Conservative Mike Freer retained the new seat with a 1,657 majority in 2017, an election in which the Liberal Democrats received only 3,463 votes.
Ms Berger’s move follows that of her fellow Lib Dem Chuka Umunna, who has decided to fight the seat of the Cities of London and Westminster, rather than Streatham in south London, whose MP he has been since 2010.
Police surrounded flats in east London when a man barricaded himself in and threatened to blow up the block.
Nearby residents in Barking were forced to leave their homes after the man also threatened to burn down the building.
Fire and ambulance crews were called to Elsdown House, Wheelers Cross, late on Tuesday, although there were no injuries reported.
A man was later detained and was given medical treatment by paramedics at the scene, the Met Police said.
Evacuated residents, who had been told to go to The Gascoigne Community Centre, in St Ann’s, were later told they could return home.