Arsenal host a relegated Aston Villa in the final game of the Premier League season. The Gunners have an outside chance of finishing second on the table.
Arsenal welcome back Mesut Ozil for this week’s tie. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Per Mertesacker, and Danny Welbeck are set to miss the last game of the season. Welbeck sustained a knee injury which will keep him out for nine months and because of which he will miss the Euros. This comes mere weeks after he recovered from his last injury, which kept him out for a year.
Wenger spoke in his pre match press conference, on how ‘devastated’ the club was at Welbeck’s injury and insisted they will support him to cope with the pain. He said, “We are all devastated and very sad. When I say I’m very sad, the whole team is thinking like that. It is surprising news. I expected him to at worse miss the Euros, and that is already bad. To be out for such a long time, he had just come back after a year out.”
Recent reports emerged linking the long-serving manager to a 2 year contract extension. Wenger was quick to falsify this information. He said, “That’s completely wrong. I don’t know where this information comes from. You can treat that as just an invention and no more. It’s absolutely false. I would like the press to check this information with myself or the club before they give it out. We both would have denied it.”
This game will be the last ever Arsenal game for Mikel Arteta, Mathieu Flamini and Tomas Rosicky. All three are out of a contract this summer and are set to leave the club. According to ESPN, Wenger spoke of the trio and spoke of what a loss it would be. “Arteta has been a great leader,” he said. “Tomas Rosicky has been with us for 10 years, I think everybody loves him as well. Flamini has been an extremely strong leader as well on the pitch and off the pitch. We lose three big personalities.”
Arsenal will look to end a disappointing season on a high with a win against a Villa side who have nothing to play for. It has been a season of disappointment once again, with the Gunners slipping up in the race when it most mattered. The atmosphere at the Emirates has been hostile in recent times, with a lot of fans calling for Wenger to be sacked. A win today would give the Gunners’ faithful some confidence in their manager, their squad and it would serve as a happy end to the careers of the departing Tomas Rosicky, Flamini and Arteta.