Jack Wilshere set for ankle scan
Monday 01 August 2011
Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere is to undergo a scan tomorrow which could determine whether he misses England's friendly with Holland next week.
Wilshere had been expecting to have his ankle injury assessed today after lasting just seven minutes of yesterday's Emirates Cup draw with New York Red Bulls.
But the scan was put back to tomorrow, with Wilshere confirming on his Twitter account: "Ankle scan tomorrow now!!"
Manager Arsene Wenger last night revealed the initial prognosis was for Wilshere to be absent for a week, which would rule the 19-year-old out of the Gunners' final pre-season friendly at Benfica on Saturday.
And the Arsenal boss put himself on another collision course with England by declaring that unless Wilshere recovered in time to play in Portugal, he would not be available for the Wembley international four days later.
Wilshere was forced to look on yesterday as Arsenal threw away another lead to surrender the Emirates Cup to the Red Bulls.
A packed Emirates Stadium booed the Gunners at the final whistle, betraying their fears that the club were set for another season of bitter disappointment.
But goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny was defiant about Arsenal's chances of ending their six-year silverware famine, insisting they were good enough to mount a sustained challenge for the Barclays Premier League title.
"I'm confident, from what we've seen so far," the 21-year-old said.
"Hopefully, we can step up a level and use the experience of last season to win the Premier League."
That looks a fanciful prospect on the evidence of the Emirates Cup, which saw Arsenal twice throw away commanding positions.
Some critics have even suggested they may find their top-four spot under serious threat this term.
But Szczesny said: "That's not the way I see it.
"I see it that we are Arsenal Football Club and we should do our best to win the Premier League, not fight for a top-four place.
"I start the season thinking that we should win the Premier League. I feel we have the quality to do so."
The Pole admitted, though, that there was still "a lot of room for improvement" required from Wenger's men ahead of their Premier League opener at Newcastle on August 13.
"We have to make sure we go to St James' Park on the first day of the season and end up on the winning side."
Wenger will continue his efforts to strengthen the squad before then, with centre-backs Phil Jagielka and Christopher Samba continuing to be linked with the north Londoners.
Valencia winger Juan Mata is another reported target but Szczesny felt there was no need for panic buys.
"If the boss decides to add one or two players then fair enough," he said.
"But I believe the squad he has is good enough to win the Premier League."
It is movement in the opposite direction which is of more concern to Arsenal supporters.
Wenger insisted yesterday there was nothing new to report on Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri, speculation over whom has dominated the club's pre-season.
Szczesny denied that had been an unwelcome distraction for the rest of the squad.
"Not at all," he said.
"I don't pay attention to it. I don't think the players in the dressing room do. It doesn't affect us."
The keeper claimed he had not thought about the consequences of Fabregas' departure, adding: "He is the captain. He is still the captain, and I hope he will remain at the club."
But he admitted losing both Fabregas and Nasri would be a huge blow.
"It would be a big loss because they are great players," he said.
"But they are still at Arsenal and I hope they stay."
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