Backpage Roundup: Arteta’s Injury, Wilshere’s GB Withdrawal and More

Wenger Wants Arsenal Quartet to Withdraw From Olympics

According to The Telegraph’s website, Arsene Wenger has told Jack Wilshere to withdraw his name from the Olympics-bound Great Britain team and the injured midfielder is all set to act upon his club manager’s advice.

The England international is not expected to play any part in Arsenal’s current domestic campaign and has also been ruled out of the European Championships due to his injury problems. But the London Olympics will be held in July and there is a good chance that he would be back to full fitness by then.

However, Wenger doesn’t want to risk Wilshere, as he believes that playing competitive international level football without going a proper pre-season campaign could aggravate his injuries.

Wenger has also asked Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Aaron Ramsey and Kieran Gibbs to be careful while making themselves available for Olympics participation. Ramsey has been criticised for lacking energy this season, while the left-back Gibbs has a long history of injuries and the Arsenal boss believes that featuring in a two-week long summer tournament just before the start of the 2012/12 PL season may not be in their best interests.

 

Mikel Arteta Done For Season

Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta has suffered an ankle ligament injury and is not expected to play any further part in his club’s ongoing domestic campaign. The Spaniard had been in good form of late and his injury comes at a very bad time for the North Londoners, who are already short of midfield players ahead of their derby match against Chelsea. (The Guardian)

Yossi Benayoun is ineligible to play against his parent club, while Jack Wilshere is also out for season. Frenchman Abou Diaby still isn’t a 100 per cent fit despite taking part in a practice match recently, which means coach Arsene Wenger would have no choice but to start with the massively out-of-form Aaron Ramsey.

Arteta had rolled his ankle in the Gunners’ 2-1 defeat to Wigan Athletic earlier this week. The ligament damage isn’t too severe but it is still enough to rule him out for the remainder of the 2011/12 season.

 

Szczesny Talks Up Forgotten Man Fabianski’s Qualities

Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny has said that Lukasz Fabianski has immense quality and his fellow Pole’s threat always keeps him motivated to work hard.

Szczesny believes that Fabianski is fully capable of dethroning him from his place in the starting line-up and therefore, he never allows himself to relax. The Arsenal number one refuses to take his place in Arsene Wenger’s side for granted and feels that a small blip in form can allow his rivals to overtake him.

In a recent interview with Arsenal.com, Szczesny said: “I think the quality of goalkeepers at the club is as good as anywhere in the country. I believe Lukasz is the best No 2 in the country. Every time he goes in goal the team is confident he will do a good job, and to have someone like that behind you gives you a lot of motivation to work hard at the training ground.

“I know I have to be at my very best in every game because he is waiting to take my spot. It helps keep you sharp and to be at your very best. I am 22 years old and I don’t think I am the established No 1; I still need to prove myself at this Club.

“If we have this conversation in a few years’ time and I have played 500 games, then I will feel established as the No 1. There is still a long way to go.”

 

Arteta Has Been a Huge Help, Says Santos

Arsenal defender Andre Santos has said that his adjustment to life in London has been facilitated a great deal by midfielder Mikel Arteta. The offensive-minded full-back was recruited from Fenerbahce last year as a direct replacement for Gael Clichy and he says that his transition to a new city and a new club has been quite smooth, thanks to Arteta’s help.

In an interview with Arsenal Player, Santos said: “I get on well with every single one of the players, I treat and respect everyone equally and vice versa. Mikel Arteta is Spanish and our languages are quite similar so he is helping me the most.

“He is always giving me instructions about the Premier League. He played for Everton for a long time and arrived at Arsenal at the same time as I did so he helped me settle. Were always messing around in the changing room, on the pitch during the warm up; he’s always saying something to make me laugh or calling me nicknames but it’s always good spirited with no harm. We work together every day and need these moments of distraction.”

Arsenal FC Target Kalou Attracting Major Interest

According to Goal.com’s sources, Chelsea striker Salomon Kalou is a transfer target for as many as 12 European clubs, including Arsenal and Liverpool.

Coach Arsene Wenger has been a longstanding admirer of Kalou’s abilities and he has previously spoken of his admiration for the Ivorian attacker. His current Chelsea contract will end in the summer and if the Arsenal boss is serious about recruiting him, then he should be ready for some competition as the cue of Kalou’s potential suitors is quite long.