Wilshere Set to Play Just One Friendly on Wenger’s Request
Arsene Wenger is hoping that Jack Wilshere features in just one of England’s two friendly matches, after he held a detailed discussion with the Three Lions boss Roy Hodgson over the midfielder’s fitness. (The Mirror)
Wilshere has been struggling with niggling ankle injuries for the past few weeks, and making him play in both the upcoming friendlies against Chile and Germany could jeopardise his long-term health. Therefore, the Gunners boss asked his England counterpart to go easy on the 21-year-old, after which it is expected that he will be used in Friday’s clash with Chile but not against the Germans next week.
By skipping the second game, the player will then have enough time to rest his troubled ankle and get ready for Arsenal’s next league assignment when league football resumes at the weekend after this one.
Benzema’s Signing Will Make Arsenal Champions – Shearer
Karim Benzema’s potential arrival at the Emirates Stadium would turn Arsenal FC into genuine title contenders, claims BBC pundit Alan Shearer.
Despite the fact that the Gunners sit at the top of the Barclays Premier League, Shearer isn’t convinced that they are genuine title contenders. However, if they recruit Real Madrid’s Benzema in January, the Newcastle United legend would then back them for the title.
In an interview with talkSPORT, Shearer said: “They [Arsenal] looked a bit leggy, they looked a little bit lethargic on Sunday at Old Trafford, and there wasn’t the fizz and the buzz around the midfield we have seen in recent games. Bearing in mind what we saw them do to Liverpool at the Emirates, when they pulled those three centre-halves all over the place with their movement, I didn’t really see [Nemanja] Vidic, [Phil] Jones, when he went to centre-half, and [Jonny] Evans being pulled around half as much as Liverpool’s centre-halves.
“[Olivier] Giroud, as well, he has had a very good start [to the season] but he looked a bit leggy on Sunday. They have had a fantastic start, you can’t deny that. But if you were to give them a world class centre-forward like Benzema then people might have to start revising their opinion.”
Winterburn Stresses Need to Buy Giroud Backup
Former Arsenal left-back Nigel Winterburn has become the latest ex Gunner to stress the need to buy a quality backup for striker Olivier Giroud.
It is no secret that Arsenal lack depth in their frontline, with Giroud being their only top quality centre-forward. His understudy, Nicklas Bendtner, has failed to impress in his sporadic outings so far this term, which has led to Giroud starting all of the club’s league fixtures this term. The heavy workload on the Frenchman’s shoulders has made him lose a bit of his freshness and guile of late, which was evident in his lacklustre showing in the club’s 1-0 defeat to Manchester United last weekend.
While the return of Theo Walcott and Lukas Podolski would provide a bit of relief to Giroud, Winterburn is of the opinion that buying a new, out-and-out striker would be even better.
In an interview with Goal.com, the 49-year-old said: “One key area which I think everyone is debating is the centre forward role. Giroud is having to do a lot of work, without a rest, so it’s hard work for him. I would like to think that they may try and bring someone in, whether that will be a permanent signing or a loan signing.
“If you get the likes of Walcott back, Podolski back, then the bench is looking completely different. You’ve got a lot more midfield and attacking options. I don’t know Wenger’s thinking about [them] coming back, and if they can fill that role, but they are completely different to Giroud.
“The way Arsenal play you need that good link-up striker. I just feel that a centre forward would be the main objective for Arsenal, to cover Giroud if he loses a bit of form or gets fatigued. I think that’s very important.”
The defeat at Old Trafford was Arsenal’s second in the league this term. When asked if he believes the loss could derail the North Londoners’ campaign, Winterburn replied in the negative and added: “I don’t think so. They were on a good run last year and then lost to Villa, but they came back very strongly. The only thing you can say is that because Arsenal haven’t been in a [title] challenging position for a while, people will say ‘we don’t know what’s going to happen with them’. That’s why there’s doubt there.
“The signs I’ve seen so far this season have been very good and make me think they are going to be up and around the top. If Arsenal don’t win their next game then people will start to doubt them. But at the moment I don’t think there’s any reason to do that.”
Szczesny Injures Ankle with Poland
Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny has a new injury to deal with, after it was confirmed that he missed training with Poland due to issues with his ankle.
The Gunners number one suffered concussion against Manchester United last Sunday but recovered to finish the game after receiving lengthy treatment. However, now, the big Pole has injured his ankle and his participation in his country’s upcoming friendlies against Slovakia and face Republic of Ireland is doubtful.
The exact nature of the injury has not been identified yet.
Mark Lawrenson tells Wenger to Buy Benteke
Liverpool legend Mark Lawrenson has advised Arsenal FC to pursue Aston Villa striker Cristian Benteke’s signature instead of Real Madrid star Karim Benzema’s.
The Gunners have been linked extensively with a January move for Benzema, who despite hitting a goal trail recently, is still one of the least liked players at Santiago Bernabeu. But Lawrenson believes Benteke’s graft and not Benzema’s craft is what the Gunners need up front.
“If I were Wenger I’d give Aston Villa whatever they want for Christian Benteke,” the 56-year-old former defender said. “What an option he would give them – particularly with the chances they would create for him.
“Olivier Giroud can’t possibly play every game with Arsenal fighting for silverware on several fronts. Benteke would share the load, bully defences and give the Gunners the depth up front that they need.”
Bendtner told to Leave Arsenal
Nicklas Bendtner has been told by Denmark manager Morten Olsen to leave Arsenal for the sake of his international career.
The 25-year-old striker has played just four games for the Gunners so far this term, and with Arsene Wenger plotting moves for new forwards, his situation at the Emirates is unlikely to improve. That’s why he has been advised to seek pastures new, where he could get regular playing time.
Olsen said: “Bendtner scored two great goals for us in the game against Italy, but there were also things he lacked in the match and this only comes through playing games. It is for this reason that he should find something new this winter, and so, we know that well. I think he will make the recommendation to himself and that is the main thing. Footballers want to play football. He has maybe 10 years left to go; he must use them well.”
This image is provided courtesy of www.telegraph.co.uk