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Wilshere would’ve stayed at Arsenal if Wenger hadn’t left – football news

Jack Wilshere said he would not have joined West Ham had it not been for the departure of Arsene Wenger from Arsenal, claiming his former manager would have ensured his place in the Gunners’ first team.

The 26-year-old midfielder joined West Ham on a three-year deal in July, ending his 17-year association with Arsenal in the aftermath of Wenger’s departure.

And Wilshere has said that Unai Emery’s arrival as head coach altered his prospects in north London and convinced him it was time for a change.

“If Arsene had stayed I would have stayed because of the influence he had in my career and the trust he had in me,” Wilshere told the Islington Gazette.

“He gave me the armband and respected me a lot. So, I had pretty much agreed to stay. And then he left and that changed things.

“Arsene had said to me previously ‘stay and fight your way back into the team’. Because I knew Arsene and knew he had trust in me, I knew I could do that and fight my way into the team.

“I knew that if I got myself fit and was training well that Arsene would put me in – and he did.

“But things were changing at the club and they were going into a new era and maybe it was time for me to leave as well.”

Wilshere, who won the last of his 34 England caps at Euro 2016, has had the start of his West Ham career hampered by an ankle injury.

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He has made four Premier League appearances for the Hammers under Manuel Pellegrini, the last coming on September 1.

Wenger, meanwhile, has been out of work since leaving Arsenal but has suggested that he would be ready to return in January.

The 69-year-old has been linked with the Real Madrid job in recent times, with Julen Lopetegui seemingly on the brink after a dismal run of results.

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Furious Bayern Munich back Kovac amid Wenger rumours: It’s outrageous! – football news

Bayern Munich officials have offered their support to under-fire coach Niko Kovac after press reports linking the club with former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger.

The German giants, on the back of six successive Bundesliga titles, find themselves stuck in an uncharacteristic slump .

A four-game winless run heading into the international break has Bayern sat sixth in the table, four points adrift of leaders Borussia Dortmund. 

Pressure has built on Kovac as a result, with calls for change on the field and in the dugout starting to mount in intensity. 

Bayern fuelled speculation regarding a possible managerial change just a few months after handing Kovac the reins after calling a press conference on Friday. 

President Uli Hoeness, chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic were all in attendance, with the announcement of Jupp Heynckes’ return as coach taking place the last time those three joined forces at a media call.

Rather than announce a change in the dugout, though, the trio came out in defence of Kovac and hit out at his treatment in the German media.

Hoeness said: “I was accused of not publicly defending Niko Kovac. For that I have to clarify something. Why? We appreciate his work. We do not have to publicly back ourselves. This is disrespectful and outrageous, what happens here. This club will now unite in public again.”

Salihamidzic added: “Niko knows we’re behind him, it’s outrageous what’s going on here.”

Rummenigge, meanwhile,  took aim at the press , insisting that some of the reporting had been “sly” and “degrading”. He said: “It is an important day for FC Bayern because we will not allow this degrading, sly factual reporting to continue. From today on we will protect our players, our coaches and also the club.”

Niko Kovac Bayern Munich

Those words will be music to Kovac’s ears, with the Croat having held his own pre-match press conference on Friday in which he talked up the positvity and passion within his Bayern squad.

He said: “The fact is, the results are not right.

“In the first games, the number of scoring chances was the same as in the last four. The problem is that they were not converted. 

“It was a good approach, but ball did not want to go in. We will not question everything and turn everything. We need that little bit of luck. 

“The mood is positive. We also want and have to be positive. The passion is there. 

“Life consists of failure and success. I can assure you that we have trained really well. Everyone desperately wants to play and win.” 

While Kovac is set to remain in his role for now, having penned a three-year contract upon his appointment,  Wenger is among those to have been mooted as a possible successor  if change is sought.

The experienced Frenchman has been out of work since bringing a 22-year reign at Arsenal to a close over the summer. 

Wenger has been quizzed on the Bayern rumours and stopped short of ruling himself out of a future role in Bavaria. 

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He told Bild when discussing the current situation at Bayern: “It’s important that Hoeness and Rummenigge organise the transition. 

“I think the power should stay within ex players. People like Philipp Lahm and Oliver Kahn, it’s important that they take over. Football lives within you. You don’t learn that at university.”

Wenger was, however, reluctant to add himself into contention for a position at Bayern if one becomes available, adding: “That’s not a topic for me. Uli Hoeness and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge trusted Niko Kovac and they have to hold on to him.”

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Henry: Wenger and Guardiola inspirations for my coaching career – football news

Thierry Henry has underlined the huge impact Arsene Wenger and Pep Guardiola had on him during his playing days as he embarks on a coaching career with Monaco.

The France legend was presented to the media on Wednesday after returning to the club where he started out as a professional.

It is Henry’s first management job, having been on the staff with Belgium, and he cited the lessons learned from Wenger at Arsenal and Guardiola at Barcelona as key to his own development as a coach.

“I learned from those I worked with, whether they challenged me, or whether sometimes they did the wrong thing,” said Henry, who has signed a three-year deal with the Ligue 1 club. 

“Arsene unlocked so many things in my mind – what it meant to be a professional, on how to perform.

“You learn from people, but also need to put your own mix into it.

“Pep for me is the reference. I re-learnt how to play the game when I went to Barcelona under him.

“With Pep you can just talk about the game and he will not go to sleep. You will fall asleep and he’s still talking.

“He is way ahead of the game.”

Following Henry’s spell under Guardiola in Spain, the former Barcelona boss has continued to prove himself among the world’s best managers, winning the Bundesliga three times with Bayern Munich before setting a record with Manchester City en route to last season’s Premier League title.

Wenger, meanwhile, stepped away from Arsenal in May, but is now preparing for a return to football following several months away from the game. 

The 41-year-old Henry takes the reins at a side languishing 18th in the table after Leonardo Jardim’s tenure fizzled out.

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Henry knows there is hard work ahead, but he had no hesitation in accepting Monaco’s offer.

“For me when the offer came it was logical,” he said.

“This is where I started. This club will always have a big place in my heart, so to be able to come here and start again is a dream come true.”

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‘Germany needs Ozil’ – Wenger hopes for Arsenal playmaker U-turn – football news

Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger hopes Mesut Ozil can be convinced to return to the Germany team after his retirement following the World Cup.

Ozil cited the “treatment he received from the DFB” in his statement following the tournament, in which Germany flopped.

Joachim Low’s team were unable to qualify from their group, and suffered humiliating defeats to Mexico and South Korea in Russia.

Their poor form has only continued after the Russian showpiece, losing to both the Netherlands – who did not qualify for the World Cup – and world champions France in the UEFA Nations League this month.

Wenger managed Ozil between 2013 and 2018 at Arsenal, and insists that the Germany national team miss the playmaker.

“I think Germany needs Ozil and I hope Low can convince him to come back,” Wenger told Sport Bild.

“Ozil is a super football player and was not the worst at the World Cup.

“I did not love it that he withdrew from the Germany team [because] the Germans respect what he achieved.

“A small bit of motivation disappears when you know that you don’t have to be ready for a World Cup, a European Championship.

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“I love it when the players are as good as possible. He loses a bit if he does not play at an international level.”

Ozil has made six Premier League appearances for Arsenal so far this season, scoring twice.

Germany are next in action in November, facing Russia in a friendly and the Netherlands in the Nations League, with Low’s side in danger of being relegated from their group.

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Cazorla reveals his big Arsenal regret & Wenger’s amazing contract gesture – football news

Santi Cazorla has revealed his big regret at not being able to say goodbye to Arsenal’s supporters while also revealing Arsene Wenger’s special contract gesture.

The 33-year-old joined Villarreal in the summer having finally been able to return to action following a distressing two-year period on the sidelines after various injury complications.

The Spaniard was forced to undergo numerous gruelling surgeries in an attempt to be able to return to the football pitch again – a scenario that he had been told was unlikely at times during his time on the sidelines.

He is, however, now back playing again, and has started all three of Villarreal’s league games this season, but insists that he regrets the manner of his exit from the Gunners and how he couldn’t say a proper goodbye to the fans.

When asked if remaining at Arsenal beyond the summer had been an option, he told The Guardian: “No, they didn’t want to. They were very good, very honest. My idea was to do at Arsenal what I eventually did here [at Villarreal].

“I knew whoever was going to sign me would have to see me first: nobody just gives you a contract. Pre-season with Arsenal, let them see me, then we all decide. But they couldn’t wait to finalise the squad.

“They said they’d help any way they could otherwise. I understood it, respected it. I’m eternally grateful. The people love me there and I’ll always have a connection with Arsenal, so much affection.

“Not being able to say goodbye playing at the Emirates is like a thorn in my side. If I had to leave, I wanted it to be in front of the fans.”

Cazorla also revealed that former Arsenal boss Wenger gave him the chance to renew his contract in the 2016-17 season, even though the club knew he was going to be out for a lengthy period of time.

He added: “Arsene always supported me. He renewed my contract before the first operation, which was an incredible gesture.

Santi Cazorla Villarreal 2018-19

“He called me in: ‘Santi, I’m going to give you the optional year. It’s here, sign it, have your operation with peace of mind.’ That helped me focus on my rehabilitation without fear. I’m eternally grateful for that.”

The former Gunners star also went into detail about the traumatic operations he underwent, with the injury having been exasperated during a 2016 Champions League meeting with Ludogorets.

He revealed: “Half-times killed me, because it got cold, I’d be crippled at the start of the second half and the pain got worse and worse. That night, I cried; it had become too much. I had to stop. Then the problems started.

“I picked it up in the operating theatre and then there was the fact that the wound was open. I’d work on the bike and a couple of stitches would come out.

“Because it was an open wound, bacteria can enter, so another bug gets in. At night, a yellow liquid would come out. Every time they sewed me up, it split again; more liquid.

“They did a skin graft but they didn’t see what was inside – the bacteria eating away, eating away. They never found out which bacteria it was.

“They’d said to me: ‘Don’t worry about playing football, concentrate on regaining a normal life, being able to play with your son or go for a stroll.’ But I didn’t attach too much importance to that because by then I’d already decided to come to Spain, where they told me completely different things.

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“I’d got tired – I’d gone through two or three months of operations. I went to Vitoria the next day and that’s when they found the bacteria – two in the tendon and another in the bone.

“They didn’t know how much of the tendon the infection had eaten. Mikel [surgeon Mikel Sanchez] said: ‘I’m going to have to open you up until I find the tendon.’ They told me they’d have to open, open, open, open and when they did, they saw I had lost 10cm.

“I’d been lucky, they said, it could have been more. When he had to rebuild the tendon, he realised how bad a condition the bone was in. He could put his finger in it. It was like Plasticine. That’s even more dangerous.”

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