- Premier League
Wenger to rest Arsenal's German trio
Arsene Wenger has admitted German trio Mesut Ozil, Per Mertesacker and Lukas Podolski are set to miss the start of Arsenal's Premier League season so they can recover from the exertions of winning the World Cup.
Germany beat Argentina 1-0 in the final with Ozil, Mertesacker and Podolski all playing a role in the seven-game run to bring the trophy home.
"I have a decision to make, do I bring them early and play them straight away and lose them in October or November or do I give them the needed rest to recover and get the hunger back?" said Wenger.
"So I have chosen the second solution knowing that it is a bit risky because on top of that we have the qualifier for the Champions League group stage and they might not be ready for that."
None of the three players will even return to training until August 11, which is just five days before Crystal Palace visit for the teams' Premier League kick-off.
That return date will force them out of the Community Shield against Manchester City on August 10, though Wenger hasn't ruled out Mertesacker for the Champions League two-legged qualifier following the Palace match.
Wenger admits the move is risky with three of his best players not in the mix for the early going but insists they need time to rest and recover.
"The distance between the final of the World Cup and the start of the Premier League is too short," said Wenger. "And that is why it is very difficult to predict how everyone will cope with that because the preparation time is too short and the rest time is too short.
"A guy who is coming off a high of winning the World Cup, you can not ask him three weeks later to fight for his life when you are going to Swansea or to Stoke, it takes some time to recover."