English Premiership

Wenger to summon Germans

2014-08-17 13:37
Arsene Wenger (AFP)

London - Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admits he is considering bringing his German Soccer World Cup winners back into the squad ahead of schedule for the first leg of Tuesday's Champions League playoff at Besiktas.

The Gunners travel to Turkey having made heavy weather of their opening Premier League fixture at home to managerless Crystal Palace, where a stoppage-time goal from Aaron Ramsey secured a 2-1 victory against a side reduced to 10 men.

Wenger had given German trio Mesut Ozil, Per Mertesacker and Lukas Podolski extra time off following their nation's triumph in Brazil last month.

But with Kieran Gibbs having suffered a hamstring injury against Palace and Jack Wilshere also taken off early following a heavy challenge, the Frenchman admitted he was tempted to issue a recall notice.

"The Champions League qualifier is a massive game for us against Besiktas, we have a short time to recover," said Wenger.

"Normally the German players would not play in that game. We will have to see on Sunday but only in case of emergency.

"Because of the physicality and the organisation level of Crystal Palace it was very difficult for us. We conceded a goal from the first corner they had because we still lack a bit of pace in the final third when we build up into dangerous situations.

"But we kept going and it was enough to win the game. On the first day of the season we were the only team to win at home so that shows you it is difficult for everybody on the first day. We got the three points we wanted, let's focus now on Besiktas."

Marquee summer signing Alexis Sanchez endured a frustrating Premier League debut against a physical Palace side.

The Chile forward, who cost £30 million from Barcelona, looked like a player who was getting used to new surroundings.

"I am very happy with his attitude because he kept on fighting for 90 minutes, even if he is not completely ready physically," Wenger said.

"Tactically he needs to improve his understanding with his partners but he looked lively and dangerous until the end."

Palace were seconds away from securing a point having taken the lead through Brede Hangeland's header from a corner, with Laurent Koscielny equalising just before half-time.

It was still level when Jason Puncheon was sent off for two bookable offences with a minute to go.

A draw would have been a remarkable result given that manager Tony Pulis had quit on Thursday night because the board had only given him three new players in the close season, of which Hangeland was one.

Caretaker manager Keith Millen made it clear that with the transfer window soon shutting a replacement needed to be brought in as soon as possible - and the players given a full explanation of the board's plans.

"Tony loved working with this group day in, day out and you couldn't ask for a group that works harder," he said.

"But the players need to know which direction the club is going.

"Hopefully at the start of the week there will be some more answers. We know we can compete at this level but we have got to get more competition for places. The players are waiting to be given a new direction on the field and off the field.

"We've identified all the summer the areas we need to strengthen but for whatever reason that's not happened.

"The three players we've brought in all had excellent debuts and have made us better but there are areas where we need to strengthen as a club. Tony knew what players he wanted and the club do."

Millen is open to taking the job permanently but it is understood he is not being considered as a front-line candidate.

Read more on:    arsenal  |  champion league  |  arsene wenger  |  soccer

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Saturday, 16 December 2017
Leicester City v Crystal Palace, King Power Stadium 14:30
Stoke City v West Ham United, Bet365 Stadium 17:00
Arsenal v Newcastle United, Emirates Stadium 17:00
Chelsea v Southampton, Stamford Bridge 17:00
Brighton & Hove Albion v Burnley, The American Express Community Stadium 17:00
Watford v Huddersfield Town, Vicarage Road Stadium 17:00
Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur, Etihad Stadium 19:30
Sunday, 17 December 2017
West Bromwich Albion v Manchester United, The Hawthorns 16:15
AFC Bournemouth v Liverpool, Vitality Stadium 18:30
Monday, 18 December 2017
Everton v Swansea City, Goodison Park 22:00
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Who will claim the Premier League title at the end of the 2017/18 season?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.