Arsene Wenger fears Arsenal will not be ready for the start of the season and admits he has not had the time he would have liked to prepare his team for the new campaign.
Arsenal only one more warm-up game in the diary before their Barclays Premier League season opener on August 18 and a dozen first-teamers are yet to play a meaningful preseason game this season.
Wenger claims that new signings Lukasz Podolski and Olivier Giroud are unlikely to be ready to start the new season, while we still don’t know about the status of Robin van Persie and Theo Walcott.
With Arsenal back in the UK, expect to see more movement on the Santi Cazorla and Nuri Sahin deals, as well as some of Arsenal’s bloated squad finally leaving the club.
“Bendtner, Squillaci and Park will be on their way to go somewhere,’ said Wenger on Sunday. ‘Arshavin, it depends. We have to sit together and talks. He could still have a future at the club.”
Injuries continue to be a bane as Wilshere will not play before October, according to Wenger, who added:
“Sagna will be short for the start of the season and Rosicky will not be back until September, in my opinion.
“Rosicky did fantastically well for us at the end of the season, so it is a big blow. The injury he has got comes from the European Championships.
“Podolski and Giroud may take longer than expected. I cannot play them in pre-season, so I will ease them in the Premier League.”
Wenger is so worried about not being able to work with Podolski and Giroud this preseason that he has set up a second training camp in Germany ahead of Arsenal’s game against Cologne on August 12 so that playera can get some time together:
“The players who were out here will have had enough games but some players will have only one game” Wenger said.
“I decided to have one game behind closed doors to try and get a good opponent but at the moment it will be behind closed doors against ourselves.
“I have organised a training camp in Germany ahead of the Cologne game. It is a little bit unusual for us.”
Arsenal were originally scheduled top go o a tour of Africa which is when the likes of Podolski and Giroud would have had a chance to get a couple of games in before the start of the Premier League season. But when that was cancelled, did nobody at Arsenal think to schedule some additional preseason games? Obviously not!!