News, views and rumours relating to Arsenal in the past 24 hours.
In early team news, midfielder Tomas Rosicky will return to the squad after recovering from a hamstring injury suffered earlier this month. However, the Gunners will be without Theo Walcott, Santi Cazorla, Yaya Sanogo, Lukas Podolski, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and Abou Diaby who remain sidelined with injuries.
Arsene Wenger ‘rubbished’ suggestions Arsenal could win the title, asserting his belief that it was ‘absolutely ridiculous’ to discuss the potential league winners at such an early stage of the season, despite the Gunners’ two-point lead at the top of the Premier League table.
“In our job the most important thing is to have a good balance between ambition and humility; ambition because of course we want to win (the league), but humility as well because we know we have only played six games and to speak today about the title is absolutely ridiculous,” explained the Frenchman.
However, as The Independent reports, Wenger also counted Arsenal ‘in’ for the title race which the boss believes is ‘open’ and his side contenders in.
“We have a chance [for the title] but it is very open,” Wenger said.
“You can add Liverpool, Tottenham and Everton to the top four, so it will be interesting. What has changed to years before is that at 80 per cent you will not beat any team in the Premier League. You have to be at least between 95 and 100 per cent and that promises a very interesting season.”
Meanwhile, defender Bacary Sagna called for ‘serious focus’ in the title race.
"We have the quality to do it and I think we can do it, but we have to stay focused until the end and we have to keep working hard," he explained.
Sagna also praised his teammate Olivier Giroud for his strong start to the season in his second term in England.
"He is always questioning himself," said Sagna.
"He knows what he did well and what he did wrong. He tries to work on it during training sessions and tries to communicate with the boss.”
"He is a very good player, good physically in front of the goal and finishes well. We need to give him time and I think he will improve even more, and be more decisive,” added the fullback.
Midfield ace Jack Wilshere praised the Gunners’ ‘steel’ for their win at Swansea, following a difficult second half under pressure from the home side.
"We started that towards the end of last season. We knew we had to win games because we had to get that fourth spot," said the England international.
"I think we have continued that into this season and that's vital in this league. You saw that Manchester United and Manchester City slipped up and I remember a few years ago when I broke into the team, when they lost, we lost. We failed to capitalise, but this time we did, which is nice.
"I think we showed a different side to our game and hopefully we can continue that," he added.
In other news, Wenger believes Arsenal legend Robert Pires can ‘educate’ youngsters at the club. The Frenchman has been training with the squad at London Colney to keep his fitness levels up but the boss ruled out re-signing him, given that he is 39 years of age now.
"No Robert Pires will not join us, he was born in 1973. He is still very fit and a great player and we are always happy to have him in training but he just occasionally comes in to practice," said Wenger.
"It's a great opportunity [for the young players]. He practices with the young players with the under-21 team, and I feel always there is no better education than playing players at that age with top-level players."
image: © jorge-11