Tag: Arsenal

Joachim Low: injured Shkodran Mustafi set for “extended layoff”

KAISERSLAUTERN, GERMANY – OCTOBER 08: Shkodran Mustafi of Germany walks injured off the field during the FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier between Germany and Azerbaijan at Fritz-Walter-Stadion on October 8, 2017 in Kaiserslautern, Rhineland-Palatinate. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Germany national coach Joachim Low says that Arsenal’s Shkodran Mustafi is expected to be sidelined for some time after the German international was forced to limp out of Germany’s 5-1 World Cup qualifying win over Azerbaijan on Sunday.

Mustafi, 24, pulled up clutching his right thigh in the 36th minute of the match just before Azerbaijan scored their only goal in the match through Ramil Sheydaev and Low later confirmed he sustained a suspected muscle injury.

“With Mustafi it seems that it is some muscle tear or some muscle fibre tear,” Low said. “It looks a bit more serious. In any case it could force him to a longer break.”

Bayern Munich’s Niklas Sule was also substituted in the 22nd minute as a precaution, with Chelsea’s Antonio Rudiger coming on in his place.

Having already secured their place in Russia next year with victory over Northern Ireland, Leon Goretzka’s brilliant backheel sent Germany on their way to victory at the Fritz-Walter-Stadion in Kaiserslautern on Sunday. Sandro Wagner also continued his fine form by scoring his fifth goal in five caps as Germany topped Group C.

Despite Seydaev’s equaliser, Azerbaijan fell apart after the break, conceding three times in 12 minutes from Wagner, Antonio Rudiger and Goretzka, with Emre Can adding a stunning late fifth.

Germany finished 11 points clear of Northern Ireland, whom they beat 3-1 in Belfast on Thursday to reach Russia, with a 100% record.

But on club level, with Laurent Koscielny having pulled out of France’s squad last week with an achilles injury and Calum Chambers yet to feature this season due to a hip problem, any enforced absence would be a potential headache for Arsene Wenger before Saturday’s trip to Watford.

Arsene Wenger takes dig at cryotherapy ahead of fixture-laden week

Arsene Wenger has slighted modern player recovery treatment and methods by openly questioning whether techniques such as cryotherapy actually work.

The Frenchman has also claimed that he ponders if the wide usage methods across the professional football industry have been pushed by specialists with vested interests.

Arsenal is on the cusp of a fixture-laden week, starting with a home game against West Bromwich at Emirates Stadium on Monday and return to their home ground for another Premier League fixture against Brighton on Sunday, in between of which they would play Bate Borisov in Belarus in the Europa League on Thursday.

Wenger will make sweeping changes to his team for the European tie, but was also clearly unhappy about the pressure that has been placed on his squad, saying with a shrug it was television alone that dictated the timings and decreed the West Brom game be moved to a Monday night and the Brighton match should have a midday start.

He was more animated when asked for an insight into how the club would help the players to cope with the schedule, mentioning cryotherapy, among other things, just stopping short of calling it mumbo-jumbo.

“The players will have warm-downs, they have all that, everybody does nowadays,” Wenger said. “Treatment with the physios, massage, cryotherapy – all the stuff where nobody knows whether it is efficient or not.”

“No one knows because you have a lot of science. If you read the science, some have proved it works and some have proved it doesn’t work. The ones that prove it works are usually sponsored by the guys who say that it does.”

“Is it smoke and mirrors? Yes. Because at the end of the day, since I’ve been in the job, we have improved a lot the medical treatment. A lot. But, still, if you have a muscle problem, it takes 21 days. It took 21 days 30 years ago.”

“We have to respect nature and nobody could make miracles unless they doped the players sometimes. That means they inject players for a big game and the guy plays with an injury, with anti-pain.”

Arsenal Wenger turned down move to United for love of Arsenal “values”

Arsene Wenger says that it was his dedication to Arsenal’s values persuaded him to reject an offer from Manchester United in 2001 and continue his career at the north London club.

Wenger’s 21-year tenure at Arsenal was long peppered with approaches from high profile suitors, which included a move to United. The Red Devils were Arsenal’s primary rivals for the Premier League title during the early part of the century, and one such would have caused shockwaves.

Still, it was something that then United chairman MArtin Edwards, sought to achieve after Sir Alex Ferguson – in a decision later reversed – announced that he would retire at the end of the 2001‑02 season but Wenger opted to turn down a proposal that he admits was attractive.

“You should ask him,” Wenger said of Edwards after the latter claimed in his new autobiography that the pair met in London to discuss a move. “I am always very confidential. One day maybe I will get all the contacts I had during my stay at Arsenal and it would make a few chapters. You should ask Martin Edwards.”

Asked on why he would turn down United, who were the reigning champions when Edwards made his approach, Wenger was more explained he saw no reason to leave a club whose philosophy matched his own.

“Because I love the values of this club and, for me, a club is about values first,” he said. “One day it would be a good chat to have with the press to look at the evolution. You speak about Manchester United, and the evolution in the last 20 years would be very interesting. A lot has changed but when I came here this club was about values that I love in sport. That is why I am still in the competition.”

“So I always question myself. Yes, of course, Manchester United is attractive but am I happy here? The answer was yes.”

Wenger clarified that he was never tempted by a move to Old Trafford. “No, because I was always happy here,” he said. “More than people [were] happy with me, I was always happy here.”