We take a look at some of the key stories doing the rounds regarding Premier League side Arsenal.
Wenger Defends Mesut Ozil
Speaking in his pre-match press conference ahead of Arsenal’s boxing day clash against West Brom, Arsene Wenger spoke in defence of his midfielder Mesut Ozil, who has come under fire this season for recent performances in big games, especially after last week’s loss to Manchester City.
Wenger insisted that Ozil had to do his job like everyone else and he isn’t given any special preference when Arsenal aren’t in possession of the ball. “I don’t give him any leeway when the team doesn’t have possession. He has to do his job like everybody else and usually he does it well.”
He went on to say that against City, the 28-year-old ‘suffered’ more than others when they weren’t in possession. “At City, he suffered more than others because we didn’t have enough of the ball. Unfortunately, if you want to have the ball, you have to win it back.”
The Frenchman believes that Ozil works much harder than people give him credit for and that he, along with the rest of the team, had to respond to their critics on the pitch.
Eboue Reveals Battle With Depression
In a recent interview with The Telegraph, Eboue spoke about his battle with depression and contemplating suicide after he was banned for a year by FIFA from football until he settled a debt with his former agent, reported to be in the region of £1 million.
Reflecting on what was the darkest time of his life, he said, “There are a lot of days when I don’t feel like getting out of bed. One day I wanted to kill myself. My family keep me strong, it’s them that I have to think about but if I was alone, I worry about what I’d have done to myself by now.”
He was released by Galatasaray at the end of the 2014-15 campaign, having not played a single game. After signing a one-year deal with Sunderland in March this year, he was released in April, only 22 days later and he still has a little over 4 more months left on his sentence.
He went on to say, “My son Mathis is seven and plays for Arsenal’s academy. Every time I go there with him people ask me what’s going on and it makes it worse. ‘Emmanuel, have you retired?’ So I have to explain my situation. It makes me more depressed. The people who know me, when they see my face, they can tell I’m not happy. This is the lowest I’ve been in my career, it’s a bad time.”
Wilshere Wants To End Chelsea’s Winning Streak
Arsenal are currently 9 points behind league leaders Chelsea, who host Bournemouth on Monday as they look to extend their historic winning streak to 12 games. But on-loan Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere hopes that he can do his parent club a favour and stop Antonio Conte’s side in their tracks.
According to the Mirror, he said, “They look strong. I want Arsenal to do well so if we can beat them and do Arsenal a favour, everyone is happy. It is a difficult game going to Stamford Bridge. Chelsea are a good team, they are unbeaten for 11 games.”
The Englishman was linked with AC Milan and Roma in the summer, but snubbed moves to Italy to join Bournemouth in order to get more game time. Wilshere is enjoying a good individual season under Eddie Howe at Dean Court. He has made 13 Premier League appearances for the Cherries this season, only missing out against Arsenal.