Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger to have final say on whether he starts Mesut Ozil against Norwich with Borussia Dortmund on the horizon
Ozil picked up a minor knee injury while playing for Germany against Sweden but he is expected to at least be named on the bench for Saturday's encounter at the Emirates
Friday 18 October 2013
Manager Arsene Wenger must decide whether to give star man Mesut Ozil a breather when Arsenal look to stay top of the Barclays Premier League against struggling Norwich at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.
The £43million playmaker was substituted late on during Germany's final World Cup qualifier in Sweden, but the problem is not expected to be a major issue.
However, with next week's Champions League encounter against Borussia Dortmund on the horizon, Wenger may decide to instead leave Ozil on the bench as his men look to pick up where they left off when domestic action resumes with the visit of Chris Hughton's men.
"Ozil is alright. He came back with a knock on the knee, but it was just a kick," Wenger said on Arsenal Player.
"We will have a test to see if he is fit enough or not. When you have not played, there is always a little doubt, but not a major one."
Wenger has plenty of options, especially in midfield where Santi Cazorla could be involved for the first time since the win over Tottenham on September 1 following his recovery from an ankle problem, while full-back Bacary Sagna could also be in contention after a hamstring injury.
However, England forward Theo Walcott, who has been sidelined after a minor abdominal procedure, is still two weeks away from being available.
Wenger gave a positive address to shareholders at Arsenal's annual general meeting on Thursday, where owner Stan Kroenke again reiterated the board's desire to deliver success on the pitch.
"We have a huge ambition to win this league again and that is the target of the season," Wenger said.
"I am quite happy that we have shown to you that we are not scared to spend money when we think the players have the quality and we have the funds available to do it.
"I believe we have a huge advantage in that our club is well respected all over the world because we have values, because we are not artificial, because we are based on tradition, we are as well forward thinking and we give a chance to young people who deserve it. That is for me something that is very important to preserve."
New chairman Sir Chips Keswick had opened the AGM, and paid tribute to his predecessor Sir Peter Hill-Wood, who retired earlier this year because of ill health.
With fortunes on the pitch much improved, the atmosphere at the meeting was much less tense than in previous seasons.
Pre-submitted questions from shareholders were read out by Keswick, which included those on whether Kroenke would be looking to take a dividend from his majority shareholding, which was denied, as well as relations with Uzbek-billionaire Alisher Usmanov, whose Red & White Holdings company are now the second largest shareholders at some 30 per cent, and on Arsenal's summer bid to sign Luis Suarez, a player who was banned for racism and biting an opponent.
Earlier, some Arsenal fans from the 'Black Scarf Movement' had staged a small protest outside the entrance to the Highbury Suite.
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