Mesut Ozil’s future remains as one of the many issues that the Arsenal board must address over the coming weeks. There had been stories suggesting that the German wanted to remain at the club, but he was waiting until it was confirmed that Arsene Wenger would stay on as manager before agreeing to a contract extension. However, the German international has told Bild that his future doesn’t depend on Wenger remaining in charge:
“I have always said I’m very happy at Arsenal. Everything fits here – the club, the fans and the city. Arsene Wenger was also one of the main reasons why I joined Arsenal,”
“However, I also know that in football everything moves very quickly and a lot differently to what you had planned. Therefore, it would be wrong to say that my future is dependent on the coach.”
The midfielder gives nothing away in these comments and he will need to be persuaded that Arsenal are headed in the right direction before he signs a new contract. He is reaching a crucial stage of his career and he will want to be at a club challenging for major honours. Although the German is happy in North London, he needs the club to match his own ambitions.
Alexis Sanchez has been criticised a lot in recent weeks for the way he has behaved on and off the pitch. However, one of his team-mates have come out in defence of the Chilean. Petr Cech has labelled claims that the attacker was laughing at Arsenal’s 5-1 thrashing against Bayern Munich ‘disrespectful’. Sanchez had been photographed laughing alongside the goalkeeper, but Cech has stated that his team-mate was just as upset as the rest of the squad:
“It is sad and he was as sad as I have seen him. Unfortunately, when you say the sentence, ‘had we scored the second goal everything could look different’ and then you do ‘ooph’ [exhale] you know, but in the end the reality is you are 5-1 down and somebody twists it and says you are laughing on the bench.”
It is difficult to know whether Cech is telling the truth or if he is simply defending one of his team-mates from further bad publicity. However, it is good to see that the Arsenal players are behind Sanchez as there had been some speculation that the squad had turned on the Chilean international. Nobody will ever know what Sanchez said on the bench, but in future, he needs to be more careful of his actions and how they could be portrayed.
Aaron Ramsey managed to get back on the scoresheet at the weekend and he has been discussing his team’s FA Cup win over Lincoln City. He managed to score the winner in the 2014 FA Cup final and he is excited at the opportunity to return to Wembley:
“Of course [it’s a big boost]. We’re disappointed to be out of the Champions League but I love this competition.
“I’m delighted to be going back to Wembley and hopefully we can have something to look forward to and can get back to the final.”
It is a great opportunity for Arsenal to win a trophy and they need to make sure that they are at their best to come out on top. The semi-finals will be contested by four of the Premier League’s top six, which will make for an incredibly competitive tournament. Although the Gunners have struggled in big matches this season, they have the quality to go on and win this competition. If they do, it could be the perfect end to Arsene Wenger’s reign.
Featured image: All rights reserved by Stuart MacFarlane