Wenger Won’t Rush Wilshere
Arsene Wenger has admitted that he will have to be careful in incorporating fit-again midfielder Jack Wilshere back in the Arsenal first-team.
The 20-year-old playmaker finally returned to full training on Thursday after spending more than a year on the sidelines due to a series of ankle, knee and foot injuries.
While Wenger confirmed that Wilshere is fully fit and his injury troubles are completely over, he says that he won’t rush him back in action.
“We will see how he responds to the training now. We will have to be a bit patient, a bit cautious, because when a guy has been out for 14 months it takes a while to get back to match fitness. Jack is fit to practise and play, but to put high-level performances in takes time. He will need a few games in the reserves,” the Arsenal boss said.
Arteta Impressed With Gibbs and Jenkinson’s Consistency
Mikel Arteta has praised the consistent level of performances that Arsenal’s young full-backs Kieran Gibbs and Carl Jenkinson have delivered so far this season.
Both the defenders have been part of the Arsenal defence that has conceded just two goals in five matches and Arteta is impressed by their contributions in this newfound defensive solidarity at the back.
In a recent interview with Arsenal.com, Arteta said: “I think they’ve been very consistent. I think Gibbsy has been playing really well. I think he’s finding himself more comfortable going forwards. He’s rapid and can make a big difference. It’s tough for a wide man to defend [against] a full back like him.
“Carl is finding himself more comfortable. He’s had four or five games under his belt, he’s done a whole pre-season with us and you can see he’s confident. Against Montpellier he put a brilliant cross in for Gervinho to score the goal. That’s what we need because we’re missing players. When you’re replacing someone like Bac [Sagna] it’s not easy because you’re under a lot of pressure. I think they’ve been really good.
“The challenge is to maintain the level and to keep up to the high level. I think that’s very difficult, but Carl’s done that in the last few games and hopefully he can maintain that.”
Nasri Doubtful for Arsenal Match
Former Arsenal midfielder Samir Nasri’s participation in Sunday’s Premier League clash with the Gunners is a major doubt due to a hamstring injury.
The Manchester City man picked up the injury in his side’s midweek game against Real Madrid and is now highly unlikely to be fit to host his former teammates at Etihad Stadium.
“I do not think he will be ready for Sunday. We will try but it is difficult. I hope he will be okay for next week,” the Blues’ manager Roberto Mancini told the press.
Podolski Loving Arsenal Life; Could Get an Arsenal Tattoo
Lukas Podolski has said that he is enjoying the brilliant start to his Arsenal career and acknowledged the support everyone has provided to him in his new surroundings.
The German international, who has netted three goals in five games for Arsenal, said: “When I came on the first day to the club everyone made it easy for me. Not only the team around the team, the coaches, the physios, the president and all the staff make it easy for me. We have only played four or five matches and I have three goals and I am very happy about the good start for me and for the team.
“Last week we played very well. This is the style of football that I like, we play with one or two touches. We play straight to the front, but we have only played four matches and we are not ready to speak about the title or the Champions League. We must carry on playing like the last few matches and we must keep on fighting.”
The 27-year-old, who famously inked himself with an FC Koln tattoo as a sign of love for his hometown club, likes his new team so much that he is already considering having an Arsenal tattoo.
“Cologne meant so much to me because I was there for a long time, maybe I will do the same with Arsenal because I like this club. It is a big club and maybe we can do a tattoo. We can speak about this in the next three or four years,” Podolski added.
Aneke’s Debut Red Has Crewe Seeking an Extension
Arsenal youngster Chuks Aneke’s loan spell to Crewe Alexandra could be extended, the Railwaymen manager Steve Davis has revealed.
The teenage midfielder joined Crewe on a month-loan loan deal earlier in September and played his first game for his new club last weekend. However, his two-footed tackle on his debut got him a straight red and an automatic three-match ban, meaning that he will be serving a major part of his Crewe deal on suspension. Therefore, Davis says that his club may have to get an extension from Arsenal for Aneke’s services.
In an interview with CrewAlex.net, Davis said: “We are now without Chuks for three games and it is disappointing because we are short of midfield players. It is also disappointing for Chuks because he wanted to come here and show everyone the ability he has.
“He wants to play and we will discuss about extending his loan or not when the time comes. We haven’t made a decision yet and I will contact (assistant manager) Steve Bould at Arsenal and discuss things. He would have seen the challenge and know that he isn’t that sort of player. Chuks has ability and it is a shame that he hasn’t been able to have the impact he would have wanted because of his three-match suspension.”
Mannone Highlights the Impact of Hull Move on His Career
Vito Mannone believes that his last season’s loan spell at Hull City has enabled him to be in a position to compete for Arsenal’s first-team goalkeeping position.
The 24-year-old Italian has done a fine job for Arsenal between the poles in the absence of number one gloveman Wojciech Szczesny so far this season, and his impressive performances have made him a genuine contender for a place in the starting line-up in the upcoming game against Manchester City too.
To be competing with Szczesny for the number one position seemed impossible for Mannone last winter when his confidence was down and form was poor. He was then loaned to Hull, where he got back to the basics and kept six consecutive clean sheets at one point.
In a recent interview, he spoke fondly about that loan spell, which has turned out to be a career-defining decision by him.
Mannone said: “Every goalkeeper has his own path, and I had mine. I had bad times and I just rolled up my sleeves and worked hard. Then, I thought: ‘Let’s go to Hull.’ Nobody wants to go there really, but I found a good club, good fans and I gained experience. I played games as a number one – 24 games in a row – so that’s what I needed. It helped me going onto the pitch thinking: ‘Okay, I can be number one now’.
“The keeper is one of the most important positions because you can make a save and bring the three points home or you can do a mistake and everything is your fault. I am ready for it. Before the Southampton game the boss talked to me, and for the first time I felt he understood I was ready to be number one. I hope, after this result, something has changed.”