Arsene Wenger has given his press conference this morning in the build up to the West Ham game this weekend. Here's what he said in relation to the team news, as quoted on Arsenal.com
It's a classic hamstring. That means he will be out for three weeks, four weeks maximum. He will not be available for England as well.
on the frustration for Oxlade-Chamberlain…
It's very frustrating for him because he played more games than ever this season. In the last two months I feel he was a bit in and out. He has shown again on Monday night what an important player he can be for Arsenal and for England. It's a shame that in the final sprint and he's not there.
on how the Ox reacts mentally…
How much I don’t know but it is affecting him because he loves to play. He is keen to play for England and I think it is a big blow for him. He knows as well that it is the type of injury where you can recover quickly and come back. But it is not an ideal moment.
on England squad announcement…
It's coming too soon for Jack Wilshere and Oxlade-Chamberlain.
on Jack Wilshere…
I don’t know how long it will be before he returns because we have to respect the progression of his training.
on Flamini and Gabriel…So unfortunately it seems that the reports are true about Chamberlain which is bad news but what's even worse is the fact that Wenger doesn't know how long Wilshere will be out, I mean how many times have we heard this now? It's beyond ridiculous. The good news though is that Flamini (whatever you think of him) is available and Gabriel will be returning slightly sooner that expected. The return of the skipper is also most welcomed.
Flamini is back in the group today and available for selection. Gabriel should be back on Sunday.
on when Arteta will return…
In fact he’s in full training today. I think three weeks.
Here's a look at some of the other headlines as per Arsenal.com;
On the tight top 4 race..
“I like it because every game is important and you feel it is a period where you need composure, focus and mental strength, “It is interesting to watch your players and see how they respond to that.On Bellerin being offered a new contract and will it impact on Jenkinson..
“It's important to have a good mixture between focus and composure. That's not easy to find because the tension can be too big.
“Every year it gets more difficult because you have more teams who can compete for [the top four]. In future years it will be even harder. We know that every single game is decisive now. We are already looking forward to the next game.”
"That is true. "Will it impact on Carl Jenkinson? At the moment in my head, no".On how the Monaco game affects team selection…
"I agree that the Monaco game is a very important game in the Champions League. Tomorrow is of the same importance. That’s why I just have to focus on tomorrow. What can affect my team selection is the players who have played a number of game this season. I always rotate game by game but never more than two or three"Right it's good to know that Wenger won't be affected by the Monaco match when picking his team, as the West Ham game should be the focus as we have plenty of time afterwards to worry about the Champions League tie. Also it's good to see that the reports about Bellerin signing a new contract is true as I was speculating on yesterday, have a look at that here.
Wenger was also talking about Sanchez, and had this to say about him;
“We are very happy with him - he is a credit to Chile because he shows qualities that I hope you all have in your country,“He is committed, ready for a fight and has a huge desire to win and of course he is an exceptional player".So that's that, he was also complimentary on Song and said that he looked 'focused and motivated'. Let's hope we can build on the United performance and get the win as this could turn out to be a big weekend with some big matches. On Sunday United play Spurs at Old Trafford and if they manage to lose that game after being knocked out of the cup then that would be a huge blow to them. No, I don't worry about Spurs, even if they win Sunday. As Roy Keane once said; 'Spurs will always let you down'.
Right that's it for now, more from me later so have a look out for that. Follow me on twitter here @ Cosmic__Kid. Also I wrote a piece on the breakdown on the 'British Core' at Arsenal, for All Arsenal.com, so have a look at that and let me know what you think.
Subjectively, Cosmic Kid.