Wenger reveals Ozil, Podolski, Mertesacker will miss start of season
Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger has said his World Cup winning players will miss the start of the season. The trio of Mesut Ozil, Per Mertesacker and Lukas Podolski are on a well-deserved break after helping Germany to success in Brazil.
Wenger revealed that will be too soon to play them in Arsenal’s Premier League opener against Crystal Palace. They are expected to join up with the squad for pre-season training on 11 August, just five days before the clash against Tony Pulis’ side.
“I have given them a good break because I have experience of players who have been in the World Cup final. You need a rest,” he said.
“Will they be ready? Mertesacker prepares well – but for the first game I don’t think they will be ready for August 16.”
L-R: Wenger enjoys some time out with former Arsenal player Thierry Henry, who now plays for New York Red Bulls
“A post-World Cup year is always very difficult and short, the World Cup final was July 13th and the start of the Premier League is August 16,” Wenger said.
“From FIFA we are obliged to give four weeks holiday to the players, so I don’t know how all that works together. It looks impossible to me.
“A post-World Cup year is always very difficult for every big club because the players have been away.”
Meanwhile, Wenger has joined Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal in revealing his scepticism of long-haul pre-season trips.