December 8 2013 Latest news:
By James Cunliffe
Friday, October 25, 2013
Arsene Wenger is open to the return of Cesc Fabregas to Arsenal after the midfielder admitted he’d love to coach the club when he hangs up his boots.
The midfielder, who joined the Gunners as a teenager from hometown team Barcelona and went on to play 303 game before returning to Catalonia in 2011, admitted his love affair with the north London is still strong.
At 26 years old the end of his playing career looks a long way off, but the Spaniard also said in newspaper interviews this week that he thinks Arsenal now have the squad to maintain a strong challenge for the Premier League title after eight years without silverware.
“I hope he’s right on the two sides,” Wenger said. “He’s usually a good judge and that he will come back one day shows that he’s kept fond memories of this club.
“I’m very happy that players of his intelligence, technical ability and knowledge of the game [want to] come back one day. I’ll watch them from somewhere up there [heaven].”
He added: “Some players are impatient when they get to their 30s and [if] they feel they cannot win the Premier League they want to go somewhere they can win it.
“Cesc was a special case because he left Barcelona at the age of 16. He’s a Barcelona boy and they had the best team in the world.”
One of the reasons that Arsenal are being once again talked of in terms of the title has been the introduction of £42.5million signing Mesut Ozil, which appears to have reinvigorated the club.
The manager is prepared to unleash the German and Santi Cazorla on managerless Crystal Palace tomorrow just as he did last week when Arsenal tore apart Norwich City.
Cazorla returned from injury last weekend to team up with Ozil for the first time and, though the Spaniard was demoted to the bench for the midweek Champions League defeat to Borussia Dortmund, while Ozil was subdued after suffering with an illness, Wenger sees no reason why the two playmakers can’t complement each other.
“The more you have the better is it. They can play together,” he said.
“I did not start Cazorla on Tuesday night because I did not feel he was completely ready physically, but when he came on he did well.
“Ozil said he was alright, but in the two days before he had a virus and you could see that physically he was not at his best.
“Dortmund, though, were organised to stop us from playing our game and one of their game plans was to stop Ozil from getting into the game and they did that.”
The Gunners travel across London to face an Eagles side that saw boss Ian Holloway resign on Wednesday after just one win in the opening eight games.
Wenger will have Mathieu Flamini to pick from tomorrow after a mild concussion picked up during last weekend’s victory over Norwich kept him out of the Dortmund game.
Jack Wilshere will be assessed after an ankle problem flared up in the defeat to last year’s Champions League finalists.
The England international was on target with his second goal of the season in the victory over the Canaries, finishing of a flowing team move that had fans and pundits purring.
Then on Monday the midfielder saw Patjim Kasami fire in a wonder-strike for Fulham against tomorrow’s opponents Palace and tweeted: “Well there’s my ‘goal of the month’ prize gone!!!! Take a bow! #player #MNF”
Perhaps unsurprisingly for his Wenger there was no contest. Asked whose goal was better, the manager said: “Wilshere, without a doubt.
“You know why? Because Kasami scored an exceptional goal but many players in the Premier League can score a goal like that.
“To score Wilshere’s goal is much more difficult.”