December 11 2013 Latest news:
By James Cunliffe
Friday, October 25, 2013
Arsene Wenger has revealed that Mesut Ozil played against Borussia Dortmund with a virus but that he at Mathieu Flamini are available for tomorrow’s trip to Crystal Palace, though Jack Wilshere is a doubt.
Arsenal’s record signing had perhaps his least influential game for the Gunners in Tuesday’s 2-1 Champions League defeat at home to the German side and Wenger attributes that to not fully recovering from an illness.
“He was sick before the game and he was not at his best on the night,” the manager said. “He said he felt all right but in the two days before he had a virus and you could see that physically he was not at his best.
“Dortmund were organised to stop us playing our game and one of their game plans was to stop Ozil from getting in the game.
“They did that well but on top of that, certainly, Mesut was physically not at his best on Tuesday night.”
Flamini was rested in midweek after being concussed in last weekend’s 4-1 win over Norwich City, but the Frenchman midfielder will be available for the trip to Selhurst Park.
“Flamini is available because it was not an injury it was just a precaution,” Wenger said.
“Wilshere will be checked later by the medical people and we’ll see if I involve him or not.
“Everybody else is available.”
Wilshere suggested after the Dortmund game, in which he was substituted due to an ankle problem, that despite surgery it was a long-standing issue which he is able to manage, so should be fit for tomorrow’s game.
Wenger confirmed that today, saying: “He hasn’t got a major problem but as I told you [media] before the season started, I will have to monitor him until he is completely through that period without any doubts and that’s what I try to do.”
Wenger also admitted that his current crop are not averse to the situation of having to bounce back from a defeat, having lost on the first day of the Premier League season to Aston Villa but now leading the way at the top of the table.
“We want to respond quickly,” Wenger said. “We have faced that already this season. I am confident in that capacity of my team to respond very quickly in a very strong way. That is the target tomorrow.
“The defeat against Villa was under exceptional circumstances and didn’t reflect the game.
“On Tuesday night I felt we were victims of having wanted to win the game too much. The heart took over the head a little bit and we opened ourselves us up into a position where we lost this game.
“It was not reflecting the real game.”