Backpage Roundup: Cazorla Wants to Be More Prolific, Gunners Rubbish Wilshere Injury Report, Cech in Szczesny Out, Miyaichi’s Loan Extension and More

Cazorla Wants to Be More Prolific

Santi Cazorla says that he wants to go on a scoring spree for Arsenal as the Barclays Premier League enters the final phase of the 2012/13 season.

The Spanish playmaker has become an instant hit for the Gunners since joining them last summer from Malaga, and while a total of 11 goals in his debut PL campaign is healthy enough, he wants to increase that tally significantly before the end of the season.

In an interview with Arsenal.com, Cazorla said: “It’s an aspect of my game I’ve always tried to improve. Last season at Malaga I hit nine and my target was to go beyond that. I think a figure of 11 goals this season is good for a midfielder, but I think I can score more and improve in that facet of the game.

“Everything influences it (the improvement in front of goal). You have to try and improve as an individual and, ultimately, if you’re better, the team makes you better too. It all works in tandem and you need the two to come together, the individual and the collective.”

 

Gunners Rubbish Wilshere Injury Rumours

Injured midfielder Jack Wilshere is not set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines and should be fit for the game against Reading FC later this month, Arsenal FC have confirmed.

The announcement rubbishes media reports which recently claimed that the 21-year-old Gunner has aggravated his left ankle injury and would miss the remainder of the 2012/13 season.

A club spokesman told the press: “Nothing has changed in Jack’s recovery, there’s no setback or further damage to his ankle and no concern about any long-term problems. Jack was told to rest and we are still on course for him to resume training and be available for selection for the home game against Reading.”

 

Cech on Arsenal’s Radar

Arsenal FC have decided to replace their out-of-form goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny with Chelsea’s Petr Cech, according to a report published by the Daily Mail.

The tabloid claim that the Gunners have ran out of patience with their Polish goalie and want the Blues’ number to take over from him next season.

Chelsea have a ready-made replacement lined-up for Cech in the form of 20-year-old Thibault Courtois, and if the Czech international is made available for transfer in the summer, then Arsenal will be gunning for his signature.

 

Latics Want Miyaichi Loan Extension

Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez has expressed his desire of keeping on-loan Arsenal winger Ryo Miyaichi at DW Stadium beyond this season.

The 20-year-old Gunner joined the Latics on a season-long loan last summer but has made only seven appearances for them due to injuries. He picked up a fresh ankle injury last weekend and is unlikely to return this season.

Martinez is a fan of Miyaichi and he says he would like to get an extension on the starlet’s loan deal if his parent club permits.

He said: “We will have to speak with Arsenal and we need to assess and make sure they are happy with the progression of the player. Ryo is a footballer that we really admire and has an incredible future in front of him so if we could work with him for a longer period we would be very happy to do that.”

 

Dropped Pair Still Have Arsenal Future – Wenger

Arsene Wenger says that captain Thomas Vermaelen and goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny are still important members of his Arsenal side despite them recently losing their place in his starting line-up.

The 63-year-old Frenchman benched Vermaelen and rested Szczesny in last Wednesday’s 2-0 defeat of Bayern Munich, and preferred Laurent Koscielny and Lukasz Fabianski over the aforementioned pair in last weekend’s 2-0  win over Swansea City too. His decision led to rumour mill churning out reports of the out-of-favour duo’s summer departure but Wenger insists that they are still very much part of his long-term plans.

Wenger said: “They are two outstanding players who are part of our squad. They have played so many games until now. Their position is very important in the squad. All the players are in the same position: nobody is guaranteed a place in the team. When you go into this job, you know you have competition.

“Everybody faces the same competition and the players who have come in have been on the bench for a long, long time. They all have the same problem. The job of being a top-level competitor is to deal with that. Every position is up for grabs. You have to face it like that. The last game decides the next one.”

“Who gave Wojciech a chance from nowhere in the youth teams? It was me because I rate him highly and have a big respect for what he has done. But we all have ups and down physically and mentally and he has played many, many games this season. Maybe I should have rested him in the cup games but I did not do that. It is normal that you have ups and downs. He is a young goalkeeper.

“Thomas Vermaelen has played many games in many positions and is a very important player in our squad. They know there might be rotation with the three centre-backs – Vermaelen, Koscielny and Mertesacker.