Arsenal welcome AFC Bournemouth to the Emirates Stadium in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon, in a game that should see the home side come out of top to return to winning ways after a mini slump in recent weeks. The Gunners have failed to win four of their last six, but face a Bournemouth side struggling for goals on the road and consistency which could see Arsene Wenger’s men bouncing back.
Interim England boss Gareth Southgate has decided to call-up Jack Wilshere to his England squad for the World Cup qualifier against Scotland. The central midfielder has been on loan at Bournemouth from Arsenal.
Despite being highly-rated it seems Wilshere has not yet hit top form on the south coast just yet. However, it seems he has impressed sufficiently to earn himself a recall to the England squad.
Has not really impressed for the Cherries
One of the most high-profile moves of transfer deadline day saw Arsenal and England midfielder Jack Wilshere move to Premier League rivals Bournemouth on a season-long loan deal.
The deal is seen as one for Wilshere to get some game time and establish himself again after recent campaigns of injury nightmares. The move has seen Wilshere’s long-term future with Arsenal questioned.
Set to be offered a contract extension
However, according to the Daily Star Arsenal set to offer the midfielder a contract extension in January. Asked about the midfielder’s long-term future Gunners boss Arsene Wenger said: “I want him to extend, yes, I think [talks will start] around December,”
Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe has dismissed rumours linking him with becoming the next Arsenal boss next summer when Arsene Wenger’s contract expires. Media speculation suggested that the rookie boss is one of the frontrunners for the job.
Dismissed speculation about Arsenal job
However, at his weekly press conference prior to his team’s game against West Brom, he said: “I’d rather be linked doing something right than the other way, but my only focus is winning with Bournemouth.
“I am loyal. I love the town and I want to continue that association for as long as possible.
Having realised that he will have difficult time breaking into Arsenal’s first team following the string of injuries that kept him out of action for the most part last season, Jack Wilshere made a surprising decision just a couple of days prior to closure of the summer transfer window.
With new England boss Sam Allardyce deciding to overlook Arsenal midfielder for 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Slovakia, the talented yet injury-laden midfielder asked his club to allow him to leave Emirates on loan in order to get regular playing time and get himself back on Allardyce’s radar.
Arsenal defender Calum Chambers has been linked with a loan move away from the club with Watford reportedly keen to secure his signature for 2016/17. The England international hardly played for the Gunners last season, and won’t want another season on the periphery given how important it is that he’s playing regular football to boost his development.
Chambers made only two Premier League starts for Arsenal last season, amassing little over than 300 minutes of game time in the top-flight, and found himself behind the likes of Laurent Koscielny, Gabriel and Per Mertesacker in the backline. Watford aren’t the only side looking to give his game time however, with Crystal Palace, Bournemouth, Swansea City and former club Southampton all named as potential suitors.
If Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain makes an appearance against Leicester this weekend it will be the midfielder’s 100th Premier League appearance. He will be the fourth youngest player to ever reach that milestone at the age of 22.
Struggling for starts
Unfortunately for the England international he may have to settle for a place on the Arsenal substitutes bench on Sunday, because he is by no means a certain starter for the Gunners, despite being around the first team for a long time.
Former-Arsenal striker and now Bournemouth striker Benik Afobe has revealed that he believes his former-team will again fail to win the Premier League title, despite the Gunners only being five points behind league leaders Leicester in the table.
Doubts about the title
Afobe who played against the Gunners in the Cherries 2-0 defeat at the Vitality Stadium, told the Metro: ‘It would be great if Arsenal win the title but it has been the same story every year,’
‘This is the time of the season when they normally fall behind and start losing games they should be winning.
Arsenal’s 2-0 win at Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on Sunday was vital. Prior to kick-off the Gunners were eight points behind league leaders Leicester in the table, after the Foxes recorded a sensational 3-1 win at title rivals Manchester City.
Kept their nerve
Recent results had consigned Arsenal to fourth spot in the table, but Arsene Wenger’s side kept their cool to record a win on the south coast through goals from Mesut Ozil and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. It was much-needed following a four game run without a win in the top-flight.
Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez played 80 minutes in the Gunners’ 2-0 win against Bournemouth on Sunday afternoon, but showed he’s still building up his match fitness. The Chilean international was far from his best at Dean Court, spurning one notable opportunity, and will clearly need more time to capture his best form.
After latching on to an aerial pass, Sanchez fired over from close range, a chance who would normally bury, and was guilty of being wasteful in possession at times. Given offside more times than any of his teammates, while struggling to beat his opposite marker when on the ball, supporters will have to be patient see the best of their prolific attacker.