Arsenal’s Arsène Wenger confirms Harpenden’s Jack Wilshere to return against Norwich

PUBLISHED: 10:46 08 May 2014 | UPDATED: 10:46 08 May 2014

The Gunners’ first-team stars Mikel Arteta, Per Mertesacker and Lukas Podolski, were given selected tweets as part of Paddy Power’s ‘ball of shame' at London Colney. Photo courtesy of Arsenal

The Gunners’ first-team stars Mikel Arteta, Per Mertesacker and Lukas Podolski, were given selected tweets as part of Paddy Power’s ‘ball of shame' at London Colney. Photo courtesy of Arsenal

Arsenal

London Colney hosted its final Premier League conference of the season, with Arsenal boss Arsène Wenger confirming that Jack Wilshere will return on Sunday.

The Gunners’ first-team stars Mikel Arteta, Per Mertesacker and Lukas Podolski, were given selected tweets as part of Paddy Power’s ‘ball of shame' at London Colney. Photo courtesy of ArsenalThe Gunners’ first-team stars Mikel Arteta, Per Mertesacker and Lukas Podolski, were given selected tweets as part of Paddy Power’s ‘ball of shame' at London Colney. Photo courtesy of Arsenal

But there is bad news for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain fans as he is “still out” according to the Gunners’ boss at today’s (Thursday) press conference ahead of the match against Norwich.

Asked how much game time Jack, who lives in Harpenden, will get, Arsène replied: “He will be ready for the World Cup, but I don’t know.”

Arsenal beat West Bromwich Albion 1-0 in their final home game of the season at the Emirates Stadium last Sunday (4).

Prodded about the future status of French international Bacary Sagna, Arsène replied that “only he can decide to go”.

He voiced support for Helena Costa being appointed as first female manager at Ligue 2’s Clermont Foot.

There was laughter from members of the press when the Gunners’ boss said: “Why shouldn’t women manage men? In France, we are managed by women at home.

“If you are competent, you get the job.”

He also focussed on young players in England, suggesting that they should increase their training, and spend less time competing.

Arsène said: “I see too many kids who can’t hit the ball, because they haven’t practiced enough.

“I would like to see more training time for those aged from eight to 17 – that is a deficit in the English game at the moment.”

Asked about his own future, the nonchalant boss deflected responding in full once again, saying an announcement would be made “when it is done”.

“Ball of Shame”

Aside from the press conference, Arsenal’s training ground in London Colney has also played host to filming of three players in a bid to disprove naysayers who have criticised them on Twitter.

Three of the Gunners’ first-team stars, Mikel Arteta, Per Mertesacker and Lukas Podolski, were recently given selected tweets from “the nation’s armchair fans” as part of Paddy Power’s “ball of shame”.

Available to see on YouTube from yesterday (Wednesday), the video has been viewed by thousands of people.

The trio clearly had fun responding to, and trying to disprove the “ball of shame” hashtags used to have a pop at Arsenal players.

Mitchel Cooper tweeted: “I reckon that milk turns quicker than Per Mertesacker.”

But Per showed he could indeed “turn quicker”.

Meanwhile Mikel was told: “My nana can take a better penalty than Arteta”.

Despite facing competition from a frisky Nana Wilson, Mikel could not be bettered.

Jack Wilshere and Per recently thanked fans for their support this season at the Emirates, with Per saying on May 4, “Proud to enter this stadium every single game,” while Jack said: “We appreciate it.”

• The Gunners play their next Premier League match against Norwich at Carrow Road, Sunday May 11, 3pm.

• According to Arsenal, a win against Norwich will leave Arsenal six points better off than they were at the end of the 2012/13 season.

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