All the latest news and gossip from The Emirates this Thursday.
Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino has been full of praise for the club ahead of their meeting in the Premier League this weekend.
“I would say that the team that we’re going to play against on Saturday is the one that’s playing the best football in the league. I think they can win the league, but I also think that there’s other teams that are going to be in the running to win the league. I think it’s going to be a hard-fought competition throughout until the end of the season. It’s going to be very competitive and I think it’s going to be a very exciting end to the season.”
On the subject of the German playmaker he stated:
“I rate Mesut Ozil as one of the top 10 players in the world.”
Arsene Wenger has refused to criticise the FA for playing Jack Wilshere against Germany. Many reports in the press have suggested that the manager is upset at the decision of Roy Hodgson to bring Wilshere off the bench against Germany - believing an agreement before the game suggested he would not feature at all.
"First of all Jack is not injured, that was not the right information. Secondly, I have no problem with the FA, they respected completely what they told me and it was [for Wilshere] to play in one game and be on the bench in the other.”
Wilshere is therefore set to play against Southampton this weekend.
He has also been speaking of his delight at Theo Walcott’s return to first-team action. He suggests that his pace may have been one factor the club have needed recently:
"Strikers who get behind the defenders is a very important quality and Theo [Walcott] has that quality.”
Walcott has recovered from a stomach operation in time to face his former team.
Meanwhile he gave plenty of updates on injury issues at the club. Lukas Podolski should return in three weeks - meaning he could play against Manchester City and if not Chelsea in mid to late December.
Meanwhile Alex Oxlade Chamberlain could be back in a month - the Chelsea game again likely.
image: © Ronnie Macdonald