- Wenger to hand attacker first start of the season against Reading
- Arsenal boss offers injury update on Cazorla & Giroud
- Ratings: Cech shines but Ozil fails to spark as Arsenal held
- Video: Arsenal 0-0 Boro: Lackluster Gunners drop valuable points
- Teams: Arsenal v Middlesbrough: Cazorla out, Elneny in
- Team news: Wenger’s update on Ramsey, Welbeck, Giroud & Cazorla
- Preview: Arsenal v Boro, team news, line-up & prediction
- [Photos] Arsenal duo step-up injury comebacks in training today
- [Photos] Arsenal boost as injury doubt trains ahead of Boro game
- Arsene Wenger sets comeback date for forgotten Arsenal man
Wenger Confirms Ozil, Mertesacker & Podolski Will Miss Palace Game
Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Arsenal’s World Cup winning trio of Mesut Ozil, Lukas Podolski and Per Mertesacker are all likely to miss our season opener against Crystal Palace next month.
The trio are currently away enjoying a well-earned holiday after helping Germany lift the World Cup in Brazil and as per FIFA guidelines, they have been given a four week break by the club.
With the cup final win over Argentina happening on the July 13th, they are not due to return to pre-season training until August 11, so are already guaranteed to miss the charity shield clash with Manchester City.
However, as they will have just five days to prepare for the Premier League opener against Palace, the boss has confirmed they trio are unlikely to be available for the game at the Emirates on the 16th.
‘I have given them a good break because I have experience of players who have been in the World Cup final. You need a rest.
‘Will they be ready? Mertesacker prepares well – but for the first game I don’t think they will be ready for August 16.’
‘A post-World Cup year is always very difficult and short, the World Cup final was July 13th and the start of the Premier League is August 16,’
‘From FIFA we are obliged to give four weeks holiday to the players, so I don’t know how all that works together. It looks impossible to me.
‘A post-World Cup year is always very difficult for every big club because the players have been away.’
Obviously this is a big blow and it will leave our squad depleted for the visit of Palace. Mertesacker in particular is going to be a big miss, and I don’t see how we can sell Thomas Vermaelen any time soon as he’ll have to fill in alongside Koscielny.