All the latest news and views from Ashburton Grove…
As a round of friendly international fixtures is placed (in)conveniently three days ahead of the 2013-14 Premier League season, Arsenal have a number of players called up for England duty, namely: Theo Walcott and Jack Wilshere.
On Monday, Here Is The City commented on Theo's ankle injury, however, Three Lions boss Roy Hodgson has quashed fears the fast forward would miss the start of the Gunners' campaign but, according to the press, the national manager will incur the wrath of Arsene Wenger by 'risking' him in the battle with the Auld Enemy, Scotland, on Wednesday.
'Theo took a slight knock at the end of training, but we believe he’ll be okay,' said Hodgson. 'He’s very much still in contention.'
Other Arsenal stars training with Hodgson include Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Wilshere who, unlike previous years due to injury, has had the benefit of participating in a full pre-season. Regardless, Wenger has maintained a careful course with Jack and the midfielder is yet to play in a full 90 minutes.
This is not lost on Hodgson, who is quoted by The Independent to have said: 'I have not had the benefit of Jack Wilshere for a qualifying match or an important match so we are pleased to have him back. We are aware of the fact that Arsene is careful with him at Arsenal and I will be careful with him as well.'
On to the transfer news…
Ray Parlour has told ESPN that Arsenal need to spend, which is a viewpoint reinforced by Bob Wilson who believes a marquee signing is in order. The two targets remain, as always, the two Luis/Luiz's: Suarez and Gustavo, of Liverpool and Bayern Munich respectively.
Of course, the Suarez story refuses to die and Steven Gerrard has sung a song from the hymn book borrowed from the Liverpool management and owners: he ain't going nowhere, mug (although that's a slight paraphrase).
image: © Ronnie Macdonald