Arsene Wenger has explained his reasoning to rest a group of key players for the Community Shield win over Chelsea and gave an update on Alexis Sanchez
Arsene Wenger admitted that Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey are doubts for Arsenal’s Premier League opener against Leicester City on Friday night.
Arsenal beat Chelsea on penalties to win the Community Shield this afternoon, and did so without Ozil, Ramsey and Alexis Sanchez, who only recently returned to the UK from Chile.
While Sanchez will work hard this week to be ready for Friday, Wenger said that his other key midfielders could struggle: Ozil only has a “little chance” to be fit while Ramsey is also struggling.
“I left them all out because some are short of preparation, like Alexis Sanchez,” Wenger explained.
“Mesut Ozil got a kick on his ankle, it’s swollen, couldn’t play or practice yesterday. Overall we will see, he has a little chance to play on Friday night. Ramsey has a chance to play, but I think he could be short as well with a little calf problem.”
While the Premier League is very different from pre-season, Wenger said that his team have shown the right tempo so far this summer for them to start the season well. “We want to find a good balance between the confidence we can get out of this game and the urgency that every Premier League game demands,” he said.
“We had some bad starts recently in the last four years, in the first games of the PL, but we had the intensity in our games in preparation that is needed to be ready, so let’s go into the Premier League with the same discipline, the same spirit and see where we can go.”Last year was disappointing for Arsenal in the league – they came fifth – which Wenger put down to the negative attitude which he now admits was due to his own silence over his future. But with that now resolved, Wenger was confident that the team could move on and progress this season.
“It is down to us to keep the positive atmosphere around the team,” he said. “A lot [of the negative atmosphere] was created by my own situation, maybe I made a mistake. But overall I believe it is down to us. The trend has always to come from the team.”