Bellerin, Miquel, Podolski and Diaby train ahead of Besiktas tie

Hector Bellerin and Ignasi Miquel joined the first-team squad for training ahead of tomorrow’s Champions League Play-Off Round 2nd Leg tie against Besiktas.

Michael Regan/Getty Images Europe

Michael Regan/Getty Images Europe

Lukas Podolski trained despite reports linking him with a move away from the club before the closure of the transfer window and Yaya Sanogo returned after injury kept him out of the last two games. Olivier Giroud was absent owing to the injury he sustained against Everton.

Theo Walcott, Kieran Gibbs, Mikel Arteta, David Ospina, Serge Gnabry are all still out injured, whilst Aaron Ramsey is suspended following his dismissal in the 1st Leg. Ryo, meanwhile, trained this morning but is not registered to play in the Champions League at this stage. Abou Diaby came through the session unscathed but it’s not clear whether the Frenchman is available for selection.

Wenger has a couple of selection dilemmas to ponder for this crucial game. He must decide whether to persist with Calum Chambers at centre-back and doing so would mean that either Per Mertesacker or Laurent Koscielny would be left out of the side. In the absence of Giroud he must also choose who to play up front, with Alexis Sanchez, Podolski, Sanogo and Joel Campbell all candidates for inclusion.

Failure to qualify would also have repercussions for Arsenal’s youngsters as it would mean that they will not participate in the UEFA Youth League this season.

Players in training today: Szczesny, Martinez, Debuchy, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Chambers, Monreal, Ozil, Flamini, Wilshere, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Alexis, Cazorla, Rosicky, Campbell, Podolski, Coquelin, Ryo, Miquel, Diaby, Bellerin, Sanogo.

Possible team:




Oxlade Chamberlain-Ozil-Wilshere-Cazorla


subs: Martinez, Bellerin, Chambers, Rosicky, Sanogo, Campbell, Podolski.





  1. I move Alexis out left drop Cazorla and Wilshere bringing Rosicky into the middle we should have enough to get by them.

  2. For me …. drop Wilshere and The Ox and put in Rosicky alongside Ozil and Cazorla and Play Poldi upfront alongside Alexis.

  3. wilshere has been good, i have watched just about every minute of arsenal matches this season and in the 4 games so far he has played well. If you look back to the community shield in 2 of the goals the decisive bit of the build up was by wilshere. For me, apart from goals, wilshere has been better than ramsey this season, who has been incredibly sloppy. Cazorla was rubbish last year for the most part, admittedly he did well on Saturday when subbed on.

    1. I agree. I’m a massive admirer of Ramsey but wilshere has been very good and certainly better than ramsey. Been great in build up play and wasn’t far off from pulling off what he attempted in the final third. Fine lines really. My main concern is his lack of tactical understanding when having to defend. Would play them both. If we are going to do well this season we’ll need both ramsey and wilshere firing on all cylinders. They’re both rather rusty but not any less than any other player, give it 3/4 matches and they’ll get there. Kind of pathetic how ppl are putting him down after hyping him up so much. Can’t help but feel they’re subconsciously being affected by media propaganda.

  4. I think the wilshire criticism is mainly coming from ex players, who have no love for arsenal or never played for arsenal. What really annoys me though is that some of out so called fans are buying it.

    Wenger is very subtly changing the way wilshire plays. He is obviously playing the deeper role and ramsey is obviously playing the more advanced. I think his plan is to eventually have jack playing the deepest role and take over from arteta. I believe his aim is to have a midfield trio of jack rambo ozil with a front 3 of Theo ox and alexis, that might not be this season, but I am certain we will see it at least once and with giroud and arteta currently injured, plus santi, poldi rosicky and flamini seemingly not first choice it could be as soon as Theo is back

  5. Wilshere’s fitness is poor yes his building it up and he’ll get better but right now he isn’t there yet. The reason his tactically not in sink with his teammates is because his trying to catch a breather at the wrong times if I’m honest way too much ignoring when his teammates tell him to close men down or (him) trying to delegate others to do that when his in the right position to do that because he knows if he gets passed he won’t be able to chase back. But more games might give him that edge back but theres an attitude which doesn’t suit the style he wants to play in his mind and I feel its either complacency on and off pitch or he doesn’t feel as energetic explained perhaps by the fact his growing and football isn’t the only thing on his mind as it is when he was up and coming (hunger) which is what defines his game like Ramsey in a lot of ways which is why I think Wenger is trying to pair them. But again maybe like Ramsey, Wilshere has to find a way to get back to that energetic style of play which is very pestering for a defender you just don’t like to play against those types you get mad at your teammates especially midfielders for not shutting them down because they cause havoc!!

  6. Wilshere remains far too rash to be a defensive midfielder. Dives into tackles and gets into spats with both opponents and refs/linesmen, which will draw him too many fouls and cards if he is playing a lot of minutes in a front line role there.

    Am not convinced that at this moment Wenger really sees Jack as anything more than a quality backup for Ramsey. All that talk about Khedira did not come out of thin air.

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