Jack Wilshere returns at last but Arsene Wenger issues warning
Friday 21 September 2012
Jack Wilshere, the Arsenal and England midfielder, has returned to full training for the first time in over a year. Wilshere missed the entire 2011-12 Premier League season after injuring himself in a pre-season match against New York Red Bulls in July last year.
Arsène Wenger, the manager, is cautious about when Wilshere is likely to feature in a match, but said: "We are so pleased that Jack is back in full training. It's been 14 months and that's a long time for someone at his age. It's an eternity. But it's great news.
"We have to give him a few training sessions to see how he copes and responds to it. That's the delicate, sensitive stage – to choose when to bring him in and out. We'll have to handle that day by day."
Emmanuel Frimpong also trained with the first-team squad yesterday, in his first full session since injuring his cruciate ligament last February, when he was on loan at Wolves.
Arsenal's new striker Lukas Podolski admits he would have preferred to have begun his time at the club alongside Robin van Persie.
When Podolski agreed to sign for Arsenal from Cologne in March, Van Persie was still at the club. But the Dutchman then left for Manchester United the day before the start of the Premier League season and now Podolski can only wonder what might have been.
The German international said: "For me it [would have been] better if he stayed – he is a world-class player and I hoped that he stayed and we played together. But he made a decision and it is the team of Arsenal that is important."
Podolski is set to start at Manchester City on Sunday after his stellar showing against Montpellier in the Champions League on Tuesday, when he scored his third goal of the season. His first was also Arsenal's first goal of the Premier League campaign, after two goalless draws.
He says Arsenal's style of play suits him, but he is reluctant to talk up their chances of silverware this season. "The team and Arsène make it easy," Podolski said. "Last week we played very well. This is the style of football that I like – we play with one or two touches. We play straight to the front.
"But we have only played four or five matches and we are not ready to speak about the title or the Champions League. We must carry on playing like the last few matches and we must keep on fighting."
Even though he refuses to speculate over Arsenal's fortunes this season, he is unafraid of speaking about his long-term future at the club. He has evidence of his loyalty to his former club, Cologne, in the shape of a tattoo on his right biceps.
And when asked whether the Arsenal crest could adorn his other arm in the future, he said: "Maybe in a few years. Maybe I will do the same with Arsenal because I like this club. It is a big club and maybe we can do a tattoo."
Latest in Sport
Arsenal have 'too many strikers' claims Arsene Wenger, despite admitting Lukas Podolski is 'not a real centre-forward'
Arsenal transfer news: Arsene Wenger says he will be 'actively involved' on deadline day... but may not buy a striker despite Giroud injury
Fernando Torres to AC Milan: Jose Mourinho talks up Mattia Destro with Torres on verge of Chelsea exit
Mario Balotelli has been 'spoken to at length' and Liverpool have ensured he lives on Merseyside rather than Manchester
Tottenham vs Liverpool: Hugo Lloris expects Spurs to wipe away shame of 4-0 and 5-0 defeats last season
- 1 Strictly Come Dancing 2014: Gregg Wallace joins line-up as final celebrities revealed
- 3 Oil tanker with $100 million cargo goes missing off Texas coast
- 4 Saudi Arabia executes 19 in one half of August in 'disturbing surge of beheadings'
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward