Wilshere Not Injured; No Problems with FA – Wenger
Arsene Wenger has rubbished media reports that claimed he is unhappy with the Football Association for playing Jack Wilshere in both of England’s friendlies against Chile and Germany.
Several media outlets recently reported the 21-year-old Gunner aggravated an ankle injury in the second game against the Germans and that it infuriated the Arsenal boss. However, Wenger has come forward to clarify that neither is Wilshere injured nor did the FA break their agreement over the player’s playing time.
In an interview with Arsenal.com, Wenger said: “First of all Jack is not injured, that was not the right information. Secondly, I have no problem with the Football Association. They respected completely what they told me and it was for Wilshere to play in one game and be on the bench in the other. They did that very well. So there is no misunderstanding there. They did exactly what we had agreed.”
Walcott Back; Podolski 2-3 Weeks Away; Ox a Month
Theo Walcott is fully fit and will be involved in Saturday’s home clash with Southampton, coach Arsene Wenger has confirmed.
The 24-year-old winger has spent the last two months on the sidelines, recovering from an abdominal injury and its subsequent surgery. But now, he has recovered completely and is in line to make his comeback this weekend.
“Theo will be back for Saturday in the squad,” Wenger told Arsenal.com. “He’s completely fit again. He has not played for a long time, of course, he has not played even a reserve team game, but I will put him in the squad on Saturday. Of course you miss a player like Theo Walcott.
“Strikers who get behind the defenders have a very important quality and Theo [Walcott] has that quality. Theo had a good start to the season, he scored goals, he provided chances and had assists. He can always give you a different option in the game and that is of course vital.
“You always want to have a perfect balance (in attack), and if you look at our results our balance was not too bad. But Theo has different qualities to other players and I am very pleased that he’s back.”
But Saturday’s clash with the Saints still comes too soon for Lukas Podolski, who still need a couple more weeks to rebuild his fitness levels.
“He is doing fitness training on the pitch and starts to do some ball work too,” Wenger said of Podolski. “He still needs two or three weeks before we see him on the pitch for Arsenal.”
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – who is nursing a knee ligament injury – is also expected back in a month’s time.
Ozil Signing Made Cazorla Feel ‘Like a Little Child’
Santi Cazorla has revealed he felt ‘like a little kid’ when coach Arsene Wenger broke the news that he has signed Mesut Ozil for Arsenal.
The Gunners shocked everyone on the final day of last summer’s transfer window by landing Ozil in a record-breaking £42.5million from Real Madrid. The fans were ecstatic and overjoyed, and Cazorla says so was he.
“I spoke to friends of mine at Madrid who told me that Mesut was talking to Arsenal and that he wanted to leave,” the Spaniard said. “You think, ‘How are Madrid going to let Mesut get away?’ He’s one of the best players in the world and the truth is you don’t really believe it.
“Then one day the manager said to us, ‘We’ve signed Mesut, he’s going for his medical.’ I was like a little kid. I knew that a great player was coming and that because of the way he plays, he was going to be a perfect fit for us.”
Pochettino Confident of Getting a Positive Result at Emirates
Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino is confident his side can get something out of their Saturday’s trip to the Emirates Stadium.
The Saints this season have taken points off of Liverpool and Manchester United away from home and sit third in the league standings. And their Argentine manager believes they can do the same against Arsenal’s home ground this weekend.
In an interview with SaintsFC.com, he said: “I think it’s going to be similar to the game against Liverpool because when we were playing them they were top of the league. And, as with every game in the Premier League, it’s going to be very exciting, so we’re going to do our best to try and get a positive result.
“We always have to believe that we can get something positive out of every single game that we play. We believe that we can play a very good game and we can get a very positive result in this game – we always believe in that.”
The Saints boss then admitted that the Gunners are currently the best team in the division and singled out their star playmaker Mesut Ozil for praise.
“So far I think in the league Arsenal are showing the best football and they have been the best side,” Pochettino said. “They’re very dynamic and very quick and fast on the counter-attack. They have extraordinary players at their disposal. Way back when Mesut Ozil was playing in Germany he was already showing signs of brilliance with his skills.
“At Real Madrid he acquired a lot more experience at European level and he added to his game. As a player I rate him as one of the top ten players right now on the European stage.”