All the latest news, views and transfer rumours from the Emirates Stadium...
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has given his players some time off following Saturday's 4-1 win over Sunderland, but midfielder Mikel Arteta has played down the murmurings that Gunners stars are suffering from a busy schedule by praising the depth of the squad, but singled out Mathieu Flamini for praise.
“I think [Flamini's arrival] helps the team because we can rotate players and we can play differently,” Arteta told Arsenal’s website. “We can play with two [in midfield] and it gives us another option.
“No-one has been able to play every game this season. I think the league is getting more demanding… you need a big squad, you can’t afford to have only 11 players.”
Meanwhile, forward Lukas Podolski has refused to rule out the possibility of returning to Koln at some point in his career. Podolski joined the club as a ten year old before he was snapped up by Bayern Munich in 2006. But when he failed to make an impact at the Allianz Arena, Podolski headed back to Koln for three years, then made the move to North London - but the club so close to his heart could yet see the German international again.
"You can't exclude everything in football. FC Koln will be my club always and forever. You never know what's gonna happen in the next years," said Podolski.
Another Arsenal player whose future may lie in Germany is defender Johan Djourou. The Swiss international is currently on loan at Hamburg, but says he wants to stay at the club rather than return to the Emirates Stadium.
"I know the coach, I love the club, I love the city. Hamburg is incredible," Djourou said. "The club has so much potential. We have to go way up. The fans are great. The mood is different than in England. If all goes well and the club also want to, I would stay."
image: © Ronnie Macdonald