Arsenal pair Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott fit for Southampton
Frenchman also denies rift relating to Wilshere's England appearances
Thursday 21 November 2013
Arsene Wenger last night insisted that Jack Wilshere is fit to play for Arsenal against Southampton on Saturday, and that he was relaxed about his involvement for England during the recent internationals.
Arsenal midfielder Wilshere played in both Wembley friendlies, completing 71 minutes against Chile last Friday before being named as a substitute for the Germany game on Tuesday. He came on with 26 minutes left of the 1-0 defeat, during which time he sustained a kick to the calf.
Wenger, though, moved quickly yesterday to say that Wilshere was fit to face third-placed Southampton in the Premier League at the Emirates tomorrow, and that he did not mind how Roy Hodgson had used him. “First of all Jack is not injured, that was not the right information,” Wenger told Arsenal.com.
“Secondly, I have no problem with the FA, they respected completely what they told me and it was [for Wilshere] to play in one game and be on the bench in the other. They did that very well. So there is no misunderstanding there.”
Wilshere’s fitness is naturally an important topic at both club and international level as he waits to rediscover his rhythm and form after a lengthy injury lay-off. Wilshere has started just one of Arsenal’s last five games, and that was the home Capital One Cup defeat to Chelsea. Although Wenger has repeatedly said he sees Wilshere as a deep-lying midfielder, he has been primarily used in wide areas this season.
Wenger has other good injury news, with Theo Walcott set to return to the first-team squad for Saturday’s game. The England winger has not featured for three months with abdominal injury.
“Theo will be back for Saturday in the squad,” said Wenger. “He’s completely fit again. He has not played for a long time, of course, he has not played even a reserve team game, but I will put him in the squad on Saturday.”
Tomas Rosicky has been ill and will be assessed today, while Lukas Podolski is three weeks away from a return but Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will be out for at least one more month.
Latest in Sport
Arsenal have no plans to stock Petr Cech inspired caps in club shops - yet
Nathaniel Clyne joins Liverpool: Transfer news live - Arda Turan decision, Petr Cech reaction, Sergio Ramos to Manchester United
Christian Benteke to Liverpool: Aston Villa striker ready to reject Tottenham
Nigel Pearson: Leicester City sack manager despite Premier League survival
Arda Turan announcement expected on Friday: Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United possible destinations
- 1 Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
- 2 Russian officials ban yoga because it's too much like a religious cult
- 3 German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
- 4 Ginger Pride festival to take place next summer, organisers say 'time of bullying gingers is over'
- 5 Facebook rainbow profile pictures likely being tracked by social network
The moment a Queen's Guard soldier lost it and drew his gun at annoying tourist
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Pentagon accuses Russia of 'playing with fire' over nuclear threats towards Nato
They are neither a 'state' nor 'Islamic': Why we shouldn't call them Isis, Isil or IS