The England manager Roy Hodgson has admitted that he would have liked to have Jack Wilshere in his squad if Arsenal hadn’t declared him unfit, but he insists that he has no argument with Arsene Wenger over his refusing to release the Gunners midfielder.
Arsenal were thought to be on the verge of signing a big, strong, tough tackling defensive midfielder in the summer, with Yann M’Vila and Etienne Capoue two of the favourites. The window opened and closed and Arsenal, despite having money to spend did not sign an enforcer.
Just over a year after buying Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain from Southampton, senior figures at Arsenal are ready to give the 19-year old England international a new and improved contract as a reward for his fantastic, form and improvement since coming to the Emirates. The Ox works as hard as his namesake and has got a brilliant attitude.
Santi Cazorla has been outstanding for Arsenal since moving from La Liga side Malaga in the summer. His name was unfamiliar to many people in this country and their is a common assumption that he is struggling to get a place in the Spanish national side. Cazorla may get a rare start this week as Spain travel to Belarus for the first of two World Cup qualifiers, the second being against France.
The Netherlands manager Louis Van Gaal has picked Robin Van Persie for the game against Belgium next Wednesday, but he has admitted that the only reason he picked the Arsenal captain is because RVP has told him he will be playing at least 45 minutes for the Gunners today against Lukas Podolski’s old club Koln.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Carl Jenkinson can hardly wait for the season to start, and that has to be a good thing. 20-year old Jenkinson and 18-year old Oxlade-Chamberlain began their Arsenal careers at almost the same time after joining the club last summer but had different amounts of success.
Nicklas Bendtner did Arsenal a favour at Euro 2012. He put himself in the shop window with some performances that Gooners must have thought beyond him. He wasn’t good enough for Arsenal to want to keep him, that ship sailed a long time ago, but he will earn the Gunners a transfer fee.
The ex-England star Gareth Southgate, who is now heavily involved with the FA and is tipped to be their next technical director is a bit worried about the future of the senior England side, and doesn’t think there enough home-grown stars being brought through in the Premiership compared to the other big European teams.