Wenger Cautious with Wilshere’s Ankle
Jack Wilshere is an injury concern for Arsenal FC, and manager Arsene Wenger has admitted that the midfielder’s ankle problem is being carefully monitored by the club’s medical staff due to his history.
The 21-year-old Gunner’s ankle injuries have forced him to miss 17 months of football so far in his career, and the problem popped up again earlier this week in the 2-1 home defeat to Borrusia Dortmund in the Champions League. He was substituted before the hour mark in that game, and now he is a major doubt ahead of the club’s away clash with their fellow Londoners, Crystal Palace, on Saturday.
Talking about Wilshere’s situation, Wenger said: “It’s difficult for us to find the right rhythm for him. Before I played him always and people say I overplayed him. Now I try to be a bit more cautious. It’s difficult because his ankle is up and down a little bit.
“He’s getting better but it’s still inflamed sometimes and responds sometimes to games. But after that it goes down again and is normal. I think he will go through this period of stabilisation. It’s going upwards but sometimes you wonder do I take a gamble or not?”
However, the Frenchman calmed fears of any long-term problem by saying: “He’s 22 years old. He needs competition. I do what the medical people recommend with him because I am not a specialist. They are quite positive about him.”
Ozil was Suffering from Virus
Arsene Wenger has revealed that Mesut Ozil was suffering from a virus earlier this week, and it’s why he wasn’t his usual self in the 2-1 defeat to Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday night.
The German playmaker struggled against the team from his native land, which resulted in the Gunners’ 12-game unbeaten streak getting snapped. Explaining the reason of Ozil’s anonymity in that game, the Arsenal boss said: “He was sick before the game and he was not at his best on the night. He said he was all right, but in the two days before he had a virus and you could see that physically he was not at his best.”
Fabregas Says His Exit Liberated Young Gunners
Cesc Fabregas has expressed his love for Arsenal by saying that he would like to return to the North London club one day in a coaching capacity, if a playing role isn’t possible.
The Spain international left Arsenal for his boyhood club Barcelona in the summer of 2011, but he says that the Gunners are still very close to his heart and that his exit improved the overall quality at the Emirates.
“Arsenal is in my heart and always will be,” Fabregas said. “It was important for me to leave the right way. I think the fans understood. I don’t know if I’ll have the opportunity to go back and play there one day, or maybe after football. The club’s like a family so even if it wasn’t as a coach, I’m sure they’d give me the chance to play a role. It’s a club that is always going to be there and will always open its doors to me.
“I watch the way Ramsey is playing now, how he looks so liberated, and I think maybe I blocked his way. Maybe I was an obstacle. Sometimes you need someone to leave for you to step forward and say: ‘I’m here.’ I’m saying that about Ramsey just as an example … I could say the same for Jack [Wilshere]. It’s the concept I’m talking about, the idea of stepping up. That mental unblocking is so important. Both of them have a brilliant future.
“[They can be] as good as they want. They have quality on the ball and they have the physical attributes. Ramsey’s stamina is spectacular. Wilshere is a bit different to the typical English player: he’s more of a short passer. Ramsay is one of those that you look at and think: ‘He doesn’t stand out in any specific quality, but he does everything, everything, well.’ His touch is good, his movement’s good, now he’s scoring goals too, providing assists. He’s a kid who as a team player is a beast. Above all, he now has the confidence, responsibility.”
“The experience was missing [and] we suffered because of that. Now I think they’ve found a good balance. They have people there who have a lot of experience like [Per] Mertesacker and Mikel [Arteta] and [Lukas] Podolski. I really do think [that Flamini could make the difference].”
Arsenal and Inter to Duke it Out Over Song and Vrsaljko
Arsenal FC are purportedly looking to bring their former midfielder Alexandre Song back to the Emirates from Barcelona, but will have to fend off competition from Inter Milan to do so.
The Gunners sold the Cameroon international to Barca last year, but the player has failed to settle at Camp Nou and isn’t a first-team regular like he was under coach Arsene Wenger at Arsenal.
A few weeks ago, Song was asked by RMC to comment on a potential move back to the North London giants, at which he sounded fairly receptive and said: “I do not know what will happen in the future. But it is true that I spent some fantastic seasons there [at Arsenal]. We will see what happens, but for now I’m a Barcelona player.”
Wenger would have to move quickly if he wants to re-sign Song as Inter Milan are also keen admirers of him. Manchester United have also been linked with him.
Another player for whom Arsenal could have a two-way transfer battle with Inter Milan is Genoa’s highly-rated right-back Sime Vrsaljko.
Adler Claims Multiple Arsenal Snubs
Hamburg goalkeeper Rene Adler has claimed he was twice courted by Arsenal FC earlier in his career, but he rejected their advances on both the occasions. (Metro)
“When I was 15 there was the opportunity to move to Arsenal, but I decided to go to Leverkusen to get a professional contract there,” Adler recalled. “There was also contact after the Under-20 World Cup in the Netherlands. I played against Lionel Messi and some other big names and there was contact with Arsenal.
If an opportunity to move to the Emirates arises again though, he may not be able to say no for the third time.
He added: “I’d like to play in England in the future. You can’t say never in football. Football in England is some kind of religion. The fans, the culture behind the big clubs is very interesting. It’s a big honour for me if a club like Arsenal are interested in me.”
Ox Prepared to Bide Time
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain says he is confident that his time to shine at Arsenal this season would soon come.
The 20-year-old midfielder has seen his opportunities get limited this season due to the arrival of Mesut Ozil, better fitness of Jack Wilshere and emergence of Aaron Ramsey as an undisputed started. But instead of being disheartened or going soft, the starlet affectionately named ‘The Ox’, has assured he is prepared to bide his time.
In an interview with The Sun, Oxlade-Chamberlain said: “Things can change quickly in football. When you’re at a great club like Arsenal, which has the strength in depth it has, you know you’ve got to raise your levels to stand a chance of playing.
“If you look at us now, if everyone was fit we’d have an unbelievably strong squad and it will be a huge challenge to get back in the team. But I’m confident in my ability so, when I get the chance, I will have to take it.”
This image is provided courtesy of football-talk.co.uk