Greetings. It’s Thursday already, May’s on the horizon, the European Champions are a mere matter of weeks away but most importantly of all, there’s just a few more games to go before we can put this mad, bad season behind us.
But first it’s Norwich at Emirates stadium on Saturday for the first of our final three fixtures of the season and as we build up to the game, Arsene Wenger has provided an injury update to the official site, saying:
We have no big problems injury wise and there is not much time to go. The players are all available now. It looks good for the [European Championship]. Ideally, the players are not injured. Their injuries are accidental and traumatic injuries. It is good they have hope to go to the European Championship.
With Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Santi Cazorla back in full training, the boss also discussed team selection for the weekend, suggesting he faces a good problem in picking his starting XI with so many players to choose from. He said:
It is difficult and easy because all the players are at a good level. Any decision will be good, and any decision will be is bad as well because you have to leave a good player out. No, I don’t know (the last time he had a fully-fit squad) because between you have some players who make their place in the team like Iwobi and Elneny who we brought in January so there is more competition for places now. It’s Oxlade-Chamberlain’s first week in full training now, so I don’t think I will select him this weekend. Santi might be in the squad this weekend, I don’t know yet. He is available. Everyone is available, but maybe Oxlade-Chamberlain is not competitive yet.
It sounds like Cazorla may be ready for a place on the bench at least against the Canaries and it will also be interesting to see if Jack Wilshere is deemed sharp enough now to play a full game.
Regular readers will no doubt be aware I’m far from a fan of Aaron Ramsey playing in central midfield and would much rather Jack being paired alongside Mohamed Elneny or Francis Coquelin in front of the defence. But with only two from five, if you include Cazorla, it will certainly be interesting to see what the manager goes with.
Moving on and Mesut Ozil has been speaking to Sport-Informations-Dienst about, amongst other things, his future with Arsenal following rumours of interest in his services from Barcelona, as well as ongoing contract negotiations to prolong his stay in north London. Here’s what our German schemer said:
I am very happy that I am able to experience this incredible city first hand and that I am able to play for such a big club. Everyone who has been here knows that there’s plenty to do in London. There’s no hurry (to sign a new deal), I still have two years on my contract. We will sit down at the end of the season. I will definitely return to Germany at some point. I feel at home there, and my family are all there. I’ve got a lot of options in a sporting sense. I’m not saying I’ll definitely return to the Bundesliga or that I will definitely go to Turkey. With that said, I’m not ruling it out. I may well see out my career here in England.
So certainly not the “Arsenal ROCKED as Ozil declines new deal and demands move away” reports we’ve seen recently, rather, just an honest answer from the player when questioned over his future plans. Arsene said recently that both Ozil and Alexis Sanchez were keen to stay at the club and nothing the former says above contradicts that.
See you on Friday.