Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was unlucky not to be part of the FA Cup final squad Arsene Wenger revealed, but he is fit to travel with the England squad to Portugal this week. Also, Jack Wilshere avoided any setbacks during his brief but important cameo against Hull City, and is feeling positive ahead of this summers World Cup. You can see a whole range of WC odds at FC Bodog.
Fears that Oxlade-Chamberlain may not be ready to link up with the England squad had started to spread especially when he was not on the team sheet. However the Arsenal star was just short of match fitness ahead of Saturday’s final, with Wenger opting for fully fit options in his squad rather than risking the youngster.
The Ox has not featured since April 20 with a persistent groin injury, but Wenger revealed he was on the brink of returning over the weekend and could have played some minutes.
The Arsenal boss said:
He was desperate to play. Pain-wise, he could have played. I judged him short physically and I felt that, in the game, I wanted to play the players who were completely fit and prepared.
They said to me he can play 20 or 30 minutes but you cannot programme it like that. That’s why I left him out.
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He is on the way up but he needs more fitness work now. He is okay for England. It was a difficult decision to leave him out.
Wilshere was a little more fortunate after making his second appearance from the bench in the space of a week. The England international injured his favoured left foot in early March playing for his country and played in the decisive second half of extra time in Saturday’s final.
The midfielder is feeling fit and healthy after gathering some match sharpness, and is looking forward to the Three Lions World Cup preparations.
I haven’t been in the squad (before the final day of the league season) because we agreed with the manager that it was right that I got a good base fitness.
I have been in the last two squads and I have played 45 minutes altogether. I feel fresh and a good week of training in Portugal will do me good.
The news is refreshing for both the players and Gooners who will be eager to watch some of their favourite stars in action this summer. It appears The Ox has just managed to return to fitness in time and will be eager to prove himself under Roy Hodgson over the next few weeks.
Good luck to both Jack and Alex on their England endeavors, bring home the World Cup please. It’ll be nice to have another London victory parade.