Backpage Roundup: Gnabry in Arsenal Squad, Arteta Doubtful for Olympiakos Game, Jenkinson Refuses to Reveal International Plans and More

Jenkinson Refuses to Discuss International Future

Carl Jenkinson has assured that his only target at the moment is to keep getting better and better for Arsenal and is certainly not paying any mind to speculation about his international future.

The Arsenal starlet’s mature performances at the right back position have some people suggesting that he should be called up for England squad despite the fact that he has represented Finland at both under-19 and under-21 levels.

While Jenkinson failed to rule out playing for England, he has made it clear that choosing international allegiance is not on his agenda at the moment and he would just like to concentrate on his Arsenal future.

When some reporters pressed him for a comment on this issue, he said: “To be honest I’m just concentrating on my club football, that’s my bread and butter. I’m just focused on the here and now and the next game and that’s tomorrow with Olympiakos.

“Finland have contacted me. I’ve told them my exact words when I spoke to them was ‘I’m focusing on my club football’ so that’s all there is to it. You can read into that how you want. I’m going to have to make a decision at some point. As I’ve said many times, I will cross that bridge when I come to it. Until then I’m just concentrating on each game as it comes.”

 

Gnabry Included In Arsenal Squad

Arsene Wenger has included teenage winger Serge Gnabry in his 18-man Arsenal squad that will take on Olympiakos in their Champions League Group B meeting at Karaiskakis Stadium on Wednesday.

The 17-year-old German, who played his first-ever senior game for Arsenal in the 6-1 thrashing of Coventry last week, is expected to start the Olympiakos game on bench.

The Arsenal boss is a big fan of Gnabry’s talent and therefore, the former VfB Stuttgart starlet has been promoted to the first-team ahead of schedule.

In an interview taken last month, Wenger backed Gnabry to have a bright future and said: “Serge Gnabry is a great hope for the future, I rate him highly. If he continues his development, I think he could play in the first team this season. At the moment he needs to work and ensure he remains fit. He is in the category of Oxlade-Chamberlain and Walcott – guys who have great power, great pace and good dribbling skills. He has goalscoring potential.”

 

Wilshere’s Return Delights Burton

Arsenal reserves coach Terry Burton has revealed that everyone at the club is delighted to see fit-again midfielder Jack Wilshere back on the playing field.

The 20-year-old playmaker had been sidelined since the summer of 2011 due to a series of ankle and knee injuries, but has finally gotten over his fitness issues. He played an hour of football in Arsenal under-21′s game against West Brom on Monday and ended 14 months of absence from competitive football.

In a recent interview with Arsenal.com, Burton talked about Wilshere’s comeback and said: “It’s like all players when they come back for their first game: they realise how difficult and tough it is. You always have to make that first step, and he has done that and that is fantastic. He is a quality player, it is great for the club that he has taken that first step on the road towards getting back into the first team.

“I think he is delighted to have been back on the pitch, as we all are. It is a start, now he just needs to keep working hard to play the football we know he is capable of playing, which we know is very exciting. When he runs with the ball, it is very close to him and as he runs he always has his head up and is looking for opportunities to play people in. What you can’t duplicate in training is that match sharpness and players coming in at you, so he will have benefited from that in this match.”

 

Arteta Doubtful for Olympiakos Game

Mikel Arteta’s involvement in Arsenal’s upcoming game against Olympiakos depends upon a late fitness test, which he will have to pass due to an ankle injury he suffered during last weekend’s 2-1 defeat to Chelsea.

The news was conveyed to the press by coach Arsene Wenger, who said: “Arteta will have a test tomorrow on an ankle injury. Diaby is out with a thigh injury. Szczesny will be two or three weeks still.”

Wright Backs AVB to Have a Successful Season

Ian Wright has backed Tottenham Hotspur manager Andre Villas-Boas to win some silverware for his team this season.

The Portuguese tactician experienced a difficult start to his Spurs career but has since masterminded his team’s recovery and recently saw his men defeat Manchester United 3-2 at Old Trafford.

Wright is impressed by the performances of Villas-Boas’ men and he believes that they have a good chance of winning a trophy this season.

In his column for The Sun, the Arsenal legend wrote: “I think AVB will do well at Spurs. They have got Panathinaikos in the Europa League and it’s a competition they could do well in, not forgetting their boss won the competition with Porto. AVB feels that Spurs could win the trophy and I do not disagree.”