In today’s news roundup, reports from Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger’s press conference, in which he revealed the team news ahead of the weekend clash with Burnley. The Frenchman also spoke regarding transfer rumours, especially about Jack Wilshere.
In other news, interviews from Aaron Ramsey and Alexis Sanchez, along with the manager’s take on Hector Bellerin. All this and more in the roundup.
Fitness update: Debuchy, Arteta and Wilshere ready to return to first team
Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Mikel Arteta, Abou Diaby, Jack Wilshere and Mathieu Debuchy are all fit and could return for Arsenal against Burnley this weekend.
All three midfielders featured in an U21 game in midweek against Stoke, a 4-1 win for the Gunners and are available once again for first-team selection. Debuchy, meanwhile, will make the squad for the trip to Turf Moor but is lacking match fitness.
Arsene Wenger also revealed that Laurent Koscielny could be in contention for Saturday’s game after recovering from a groin injury picked up against Liverpool, though he still has to undergo a fitness test. Wojciech Szczesny is also set to return from a minor rib injury.
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) April 9, 2015
At Colney. Wenger: "Koscielny will have a test today to see how far we can go. He has a scan yesterday which looked quite good."
— James Olley (@JamesOlley) April 9, 2015
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) April 9, 2015
Wenger says Arsenal under ‘no pressure’ to sell
Arsene Wenger has played down Manchester City’s reported interest in Jack Wilshere and says Arsenal are under no pressure to sell him.
There was some typical dross in the tabloids this week claiming the England international could be a summer target for the reigning Premier League champions.
But in his pre-Burnley press conference, Arsene Wenger was quick and definitive in pouring cold water on such rumours:
You can imagine my answer and send it to Sky Sports News.
We are not in a position anymore where we have to sell our best players.
Everybody can have a really big impact over the rest of the season, Jack included.
That depends on the game, the fitness, the availability and the need of the team. Everybody is exactly the same.
Sanchez reveals that manager forced him to change his style
Alexis Sanchez has been sensational since joining the club this past summer, but he claims Arsene Wenger forced him to change his playing style following his move from Barcelona, according to Goal.
The Chilean has unbelievable skill and technique, and strikes fear into his opponents with the ball at his feet. He needs to learn when to release the ball however, and understand that he can’t always do everything himself.
He was occasionally criticised at the start of the season for holding onto the ball too long – dribbling when he should have picked out a team-mate instead.
He has since revealed that Wenger has forced him to change his style, claiming that the Frenchman has instructed him to relax at times:
My aim is to improve in every training session.
I love to play with the ball so much that sometimes they ask me to relax and leave the ball a bit!
Aaron Ramsey reveals secret behind Arsenal resurgence
Aaron Ramsey’s form has been somewhat erratic this season, with injuries hampering him somewhat. He has found his best form once again in recent weeks however, and claims it is down to the fact that he is trusting his natural ability, as reported by the Arsenal’s official website.
He has now revealed the reason for his dip in form, insisting that he was trying too hard to replicate his displays from last year, instead of letting his natural talent shine through:
That was probably what I was guilty of at the beginning of the season where I got off to a good start and then the goals dried up a bit.
Then I started focusing too much on how to score, putting too much power on the ball when I should have just let it happen naturally. It’s nice when you don’t really think about it too much and just do it.
Throughout this season I’ve had injuries and it’s taken me a couple of games to get back into it.
With my style of play, I like to get up and down the pitch, that’s why it takes me a couple of games to get back into it, to get my fitness up again.
When I’ve been out for that period of time and getting back into it, it’s quite challenging for me physically and that tires you out in certain things like your decision-making.
It’s important for me to get a couple of games in so that I feel I’m ready to go then.
Bellerin is a ‘real Arsenal player’ says Wenger
Hector Bellerin has been a revelation at right-back this season, and Arsene Wenger is convinced he’s “a real Arsenal player”, despite recently being linked with a move back to Barcelona, as reported by the Daily Mail.
The 20-year-old has really stepped up this campaign, and has been superb in the absence of our unlucky summer signing Mathieu Debuchy. Wenger has admitted to being surprised at just how quickly the Spaniard has broken into the first team, but has praised him for adapting so well:
I’m surprised how quickly he has settled in and that’s down to personality.
I’m convinced that he has adapted very well. He had some difficult starts, at Borussia Dortmund, but he has recovered very well and has improved permanently.
He and Calum Chambers are only 20 years old now and they have both had outstanding first seasons together. Bellerin came at the age of 16, so I consider him as a real Arsenal player.
Other interesting stories on allarsenal.com