All the morning news from The Emirates Stadium ahead of the game with Southampton this afternoon.
The in-form midfielder believes the nation has the quality to one day make it to a major international tournament:
"I'm really confident. I think we have some really good players who are keen to learn and to play the way we want to play and the way the manager wants us to play. I think this next championship, with more teams being able to qualify, will give us a great opportunity. We've had a good run of results of late and hopefully can continue that in the new campaign."
On the subject of the failed move for Liverpool striker Luis Suarez he was obviously gutted the Uruguayan did not come to The Emirates:
"Suarez's incredible. I'd have loved it if he had come; his style would have suited us.”
But he also sounded as excited about who they did sign, as he did disappointed over who they did not:
“It's a pity he's not on our team! [Arsenal] saw some doors shut and, when they saw the chance to get Mesut, it was an opportunity to thump a fist on the desk, to make a statement. He's a superb signing. He's brought illusion, optimism and hope."
Arsenal take on Southampton this afternoon … and not much has changed in regards to team news.
Yaya Sanogo, Lukas Podolski, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Abou Diaby remain absent while the club welcome Theo Walcott back to action.
Mathieu Flamini is suspended for the game between first and third and Tomas Rosicky faces a fitness test – which he is expected to pass after recovering from sickness.
image: © Ronnie Macdonald