Ozil, Podolski, can still play Arsenal's opening game - Here's how

Lukas Podolski 2 Germany

Arsenal's German stars cannot be totally out of their opening games of the season - It all comes down to them

Arsenal's World Cup winning Germans return to the club exceptionally late this summer, with just days before the season officially begins.

FIFA enforced holiday break dictates Mesut Ozil, Lukas Podolski, and Per Mertesacker start back on August 11, one day after Arsenal play the Community Shield against Manchester City.

It has led manager Arsene Wenger to suggest the trio will not available for the club's opening Premier League fixture against Crystal Palace days later.

Wenger told The Mail last week: "Will they be ready? Mertesacker prepares well - but for the first game I don't think they will be ready for August 16."

The real issue, therefore, is that the readiness of the players - is entirely down to them.

If Ozil, Podolski, and Mertesacker truly are focused on being available for selection on the first day of their season, now is the time to start preparing.

While regulations may not permit them to officially join back up with their club, they can still put in the graft and hard yards to ensure they keep up their fitness.

If they can keep their fitness at a top level, so they can hit the ground running when they officially return, there really should be no issue in terms of whether they can play against Crystal Palace.

Certainly for Podolski, he should be motivated to do so in an effort to try and earn his first team spot, which is at extra risk thanks to Alexis Sanchez's arrival.

How they condition themselves, or whether they do at all during their holiday, is down to them - but they ought to prepare themselves for phone calls from Arsene Wenger urging them to do all they can so the club can make a fast start.

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