Arsenal head coach Unai Emery is certain Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac are both mentally prepared to feature in Saturday’s Premier League clash at home to Burnley.
The duo were unavailable for last weekend’s 1-0 win at Newcastle as the police investigate “further security incidents”.
Both players were targeted by car-jackers in north London last month, with security camera footage showing Kolasinac confronting the offenders after they approached Ozil’s car. The two players emerged unhurt during the incident in Golders Green.
Neither had trained last Friday before Arsenal released a statement later in the day announcing they would be unavailable for selection at St James’ Park.
But Emery confirmed that both players had returned in the build-up to Arsenal’s first home game of the season and was in no doubt that they would be ready if called upon against the Clarets.
Asked if the pair would be mentally ready for Saturday, Emery replied: “Yes, 100 per cent.
“Really my focus is to be positive and focus on making sure the players are 100 per cent in their minds here.
“I want to help them to be with us, back to normal training, thinking about football. Above all, I want them to be able to focus on each training session and each match.
“They came back to training with us on Tuesday. They came to start training with us and really Mesut Ozil is a little sick, he didn’t train yesterday but he trained today with us.
“I think each training gives us good information and good different options with them also to take the decision if they’re going to be with us on Saturday or be in the first XI. But we are going to wait until tomorrow, our last training session.
“Am I pleased that they’re back? Of course. For us, for me, first they’re a person and second they’re a player.
“We’re continuing our way with all the players who are ready with us and consistent every day in training.
“When they are training regularly every day and consistent every day it’s good news for us because we can choose them to help us in matches – and the first match is Saturday.”
None of Arsenal’s summer signings started in the victory at Newcastle as Emery eases them into his set-up.
The likes of David Luiz, Dani Ceballos and Nicolas Pepe will be keen to force their way into the side this weekend, although Granit Xhaka may miss out due to bruising on his back and leg.
“Each player is different and really after Newcastle this week the players have been working well,” he added.
“Today was the same. We can decide and choose different options for each position in the squad.
“We need to be competitive and we need different options to decide who is better for each match.
“If I have some doubt it’s good because it’s positive and after we are going to decide and it can depend on training tomorrow.”
Provided by Press Association Sports
West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini has revealed he wanted Liverpool Super Cup hero Adrian to stay at the club.
The Spanish goalkeeper left West Ham as a free agent at the end of last season having lost his place to Lukasz Fabianski.
Adrian looked set for another season as back-up keeper when he completed a surprise move to Anfield just 10 days ago.
Yet the 32-year-old found himself immediately thrust into the spotlight following an injury to first-choice keeper Alisson Becker.
And Adrian became an instant Reds hero when he saved Tammy Abraham’s key penalty in the shootout against Chelsea in Istanbul on Wednesday night as Liverpool lifted the Super Cup.
Pellegrini said: “I’m very happy for him, because he played a lot of years here at West Ham. He’s a very good goalkeeper.
“For different reasons he couldn’t find an arrangement to continue here. We wanted him here because not only is he a good goalkeeper but he is a good player for the squad.
“He signed for Liverpool and put in a very good performance and I’m happy for him.”
Pellegrini takes West Ham to Brighton on Saturday looking to bounce back from their 5-0 opening-day mauling by former side Manchester City.
“It was not a good start to the season, we made too many mistakes and we need to improve to be a competitive team,” he added.
“We must be consistent in our style. All the preparation, or the most part of it, is in the way we can improve our style of playing.
“One defeat will not change our mindset. We have built a good squad. We must try to play better, we must defend better but it is just one game.”
Pellegrini is sweating on the fitness of record signing Sebastien Haller and Brazilian playmaker Felipe Anderson ahead of the trip to the south coast.
“They are trying to recover from the kicks they had in the last game. We will see tomorrow, we have some doubts,” he said.
Midfielder Jack Wilshere has trained all week despite coming off with a dead leg against City.
Skipper Mark Noble remains sidelined by a calf injury but is expected to return to training next week.
Kick It Out issued a “call to action” to social media companies after Chelsea forward Tammy Abraham was the victim of online racial abuse.
Abraham’s penalty was saved by Liverpool goalkeeper Adrian to hand the Super Cup to the Reds on Wednesday night, and the 21-year-old was the subject of abusive posts on Twitter.
There have been a series of unsavoury incidents already this season and Kick It Out were quick to condemn it.
“Last night we received reports of racist abuse at Tammy Abraham on social media after Chelsea’s UEFA Super Cup match,” a Kick It Out statement read.
“Such abuse is now increasingly predictable, but no less disgusting.
“We send our support to Tammy and reiterate our call for Twitter and other social media companies to clamp down on this level of abuse. This is a call to action – we want to know what they are going to do to tackle this insidious problem.”
Christian Pulisic said he and his Chelsea team-mates would get behind Abraham after his shoot-out miss.
Frank Lampard’s reign as Blues boss got off to the worst possible start on Sunday as a second-half capitulation resulted in an embarrassing 4-0 loss at Manchester United.
Chelsea had precious little time to dust themselves down before Wednesday’s Super Cup clash in Istanbul, where they drew 2-2 with Jurgen Klopp’s Champions League winners after extra-time and went to penalties.
Back-up goalkeeper Adrian denied substitute Abraham to seal the Reds’ 5-4 triumph in Turkey, but Pulisic struck an optimistic tone after the defeat and was confident the miss would have no long-term impact on the England Under-21 forward.
“It’s penalties, man – somebody has to miss,” Pulisic said.
“He’s going to get his head up. Obviously it’s tough but penalties are like that. He can deal with it and he’ll be fine.
“He’ll move on, he’ll score a goal in the next game and everything will be forgotten. We’re there for him.”
Pulisic felt it was the second game in a row where Chelsea’s performance had not been rewarded with the right result.
“It was harsh on us,” the United States international said.
“A few things just didn’t go our way, a few decisions and in the end, to lose on penalties, that’s just how it goes.
“But we can be really proud of how we played. I don’t feel that we had a fair result at Old Trafford either.
“We’ve been creating enough chances to win these games and we just have to keep going and keep fighting.”
Pulisic had a goal ruled out for offside after setting up Olivier Giroud’s opener, only for Sadio Mane to level shortly after half-time.
The Senegal international put Liverpool ahead early in extra-time, only for Jorginho to make it 2-2 after Adrian was adjudged to have brought down Abraham in the box.
The striker wasted a great chance to win the Super Cup before the match went to a shoot-out, where Adrian denied the 21-year-old’s decisive spot-kick.
There does appear to be a real togetherness being fostered by Lampard, whose belief in youth and understanding of the club’s values makes Pulisic confident that a first win is close.
“It’s been great working with him,” the ex-Borussia Dortmund star said.
“We’ve learned a lot so far and I think you can see the team forming.
“We have a lot of great players which makes it easier. We’re on a good path.
“I felt great,” Pulisic said after his first start.
“To be out there with these guys… they are easy to play with. I’m happy that I can get some more minutes in and move forward with this team.”
Chelsea, meanwhile, confirmed on Thursday the club had taken legal action against 11 ticket touts, one of whom has received a six-month jail sentence, operating in the locality of Stamford Bridge on and around match days as part of an ongoing undercover operation which will continue throughout the 2019-20 season.
A statement from Chelsea read: “We remain committed to working alongside the Metropolitan Police and Local Authority to eradicate ticket touting from Stamford Bridge and will continue to operate a comprehensive and long-term operation to combat this problem.”
Provided by Press Association Sports