We take a look at the key news stories surrounding Arsenal from the day.
Wenger wants Ox to stay at Arsenal
Earlier in the week, Arsene Wenger confirmed that Arsenal were in negotiations with 7 players over contract extensions. One of those players was supposedly Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. However, reports emerged soon after claiming the English winger was “frustrated and bemused” over talk of a new contract, as he had not been approached by Arsenal representatives over a new contract.
Wenger has now cleared up the confusion, saying it is his wish that Oxlade-Chamberlain stays at Arsenal.
“I want Oxlade-Chamberlain to stay at the club,” he added. “I bought him at a very young age and I think he is developing well,” he told the club’s official website.
“This season he is making steps, he is moving forward and overall when you invest so much time and work and the player has as well [you want him to stay]. I think the player loves it here. He is integrated with the qualities we want him to have and overall I want him to stay.”
Thierry Henry says Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil are the future of the club
Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez have been brilliant for Arsenal this season, with the duo’s performances being one of the key reasons for Arsenal’s successes so far. Alexis Sanchez has been a revelation in his new role as a striker, and Mesut Ozil has already better his goal tally from last season in less than half as many games.
Arsenal are desperately trying to secure the pair to new contracts, and Henry feels they must do everything they can to do just that in order to secure the club’s future :
“Arsene Wenger and the club are clever enough to know that they have to secure those deals,” Henry told Sky Sports.
“Are they going to stay? I want them to, but you don’t know what is happening behind closed doors. We both know how important Mesut Ozil is, and even more now how important Alexis Sanchez is. Him playing through the middle has made the real difference this year.”
“What he can do is amazing, on and off the ball. If you want to build a future, they are the future of the club. You build the team around those guys.”
There is no doubt that Arsenal are well aware of this, but progress on new contracts for the pair has been slower than they would have liked.
Ancelotti confident of thwarting Arsenal
Carlo Ancelotti has said he is confident that his team can progress against Arsenal this season. Reacting to the draw, Ancelotti had this to say:
“The are two very interesting games, which I now look forward. I have confidence in my team and hope that we reach the quarter-finals. To do so, we have a good starting position for the game in London in the first leg in the Allianz Arena. Arsenal currently has a very good team and a coach that I appreciate.” he told the club’s official website.
“The Londoners are currently top in the Premier League and have only lost once in the league this season. It’s going to be difficult, but I’m confident. “
Bayern are top of their domestic league, tied on points with Red Bull Salzburg, and this year’s tie definitely looks like a more exciting prospect than the foregone conclusions in seasons gone by.
Eddie Howe reveals reason for benching Jack Wilshere against Burnley
Wilshere was missed as Bournemouth lost 3-2 to Burnley, after Eddie Howe opted to change tactics for the game and start Benik Afobe and Callum Wilson up front, while leaving Wilshere on the bench.
And Howe has now revealed his reasons for benching Wilshere, citing their need to protect the on-loan Arsenal midfielder :
“The need to protect Jack from the workload meant, in our opinion, he had to miss one of our three games in eight days,” said Howe, according to ClubCall.
“We felt, with the physicality of Burnley, the way they play and a couple of tactical tweaks from us, this would be the one the team would benefit from (Wilshere missing) most.”
It just goes to show how carefully the manager is treating Wilshere, as the Englishman looks to put in his first injury free season in years. Wilshere has been a key part of Bournemouth’s team this season, and although he has yet to register a goal or an assist, has been praised by Bournemouth players and his manager for his performances.
Thierry Henry’s hilarious reaction to Arsenal draw
Everyone knows how much Thierry Henry loves Arsenal, and his reaction to the UEFA Champions league draw showed it. The former Gunner also went on to say that this shouldn’t perturb the Gunners, as they will have to face teams of that quality at some point if they want to win the Champions League.