Arsene Wenger cautious on Jack Wilshere’s full fitness for World Cup

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Arsenal have certainly missed their talented homegrown midfielder Jack Wilshere in recent weeks, as the Gunners starlet has once again been sat on the treatment table.

Wilshere, 22, broke his foot whilst on England duty on March 5 in a friendly against Denmark and when asked about Wilshere’s availability for the World Cup this summer, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger remained laid back but insisted he would be fine as long as he was “completely fit.”

What Wenger is alluding to is that he doesn’t want Wilshere forced into having to play in numerous warm-up games before heading to Brazil with the Three Lions.

Our friends over a Soccerly take up the story below, as Wilshere could make his long-awaited return this weekend against West Brom and then feature in Arsenal’s first FA Cup final since 2005 when they play Hull City on May 17.

Also, Wenger gave an update on another of Arsenal’s England internationals who has been out injured: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

The Gunners had hoped to have him back for this weekend’s Premier League match against West Bromwich Albion, but he might not now be available until their league finale at Norwich ahead of the FA Cup final on May 17. England have three warm-up matches and a training camp ahead of their World Cup Group D opener against Italy in Brazil on June 14 and Wenger believes that will give the 22-year-old Wilshere sufficient time to get to full fitness.

“It is not a gamble if he is completely fit. It is a strengthening of the (England) team,” Wenger said Friday. “If there was a medical doubt then yes it would be a gamble, but I think he will be completely safe and on that front medically he should be all right.”

Wilshere’s fellow Arsenal midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is also hoping to be a member of Hodgson’s World Cup squad. Oxlade-Chamberlain missed Monday 3-0 win over Newcastle at the Emirates Stadium, that cemented Arsenal’s grip on fourth position and a place in next season’s Champions League, because of a niggling groin problem,

“Chamberlain at the moment has an inflamed groin,” said Wenger. We will see how he progresses. “For the World Cup he should be okay, for us, will he come back for the end of the season? I don’t know,” the veteran French manager added. “It is not a gamble if he is completely fit. It is a strengthening of the (England) team,” Wenger said Friday. “If there was a medical doubt then yes it would be a gamble, but I think he will be completely safe and on that front medically he should be all right.”

CCL: Lodeiro from 45; Royer’s diving header — SEA, RBNY lead (video)

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After 45 minutes of their respective CONCACAF Champions League knockout-round quests, things are going unnervingly well for the Seattle Sounders and New York Red Bulls.

[ MORE: FC Dallas disappoint in CCL; Club America flying ]

If you’ve watched Major League Soccer teams try, try and try again — only to eventually fail in spectacular fashion — in CCL over the years, you might say things are going a little too well.

There’s still another 45 minutes to be played on Thursday — plus the return legs next week — but both the Sounders and Red Bulls hold 1-0 halftime leads, and the vitally important away goals which come with it. Nicolas Lodeiro’s 45-yard, first-time lob of the Santa Tecla (El Salvador) goalkeeper in the 15th minute has already been eternally etched into the memories of Sounders fans.

Just 15 minutes later, Daniel Royer perfectly executed the diving header and got on the end of Bradley Wright-Phillips’ curling ball into the box to Jesse Marsch’s side ahead of Honduran side CD Olimpia.

Villarreal DF Semedo charged with attempted murder

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MADRID (AP) A Spanish judge has charged Villarreal defender Ruben Semedo with attempted murder and ordered him to be temporarily detained without bail.

Court officials in Lliria say on Thursday the Portuguese player is also charged with assault, robbery, illegal detention, and illegal possession of firearms.

Semedo testified before a judge on Thursday, and left the court in handcuffs.

The 23-year-old Semedo was detained early Tuesday, accused of tying up, assaulting and threatening another man last week. Authorities say he and two other men allegedly held the victim captive while they robbed his apartment.

Semedo’s agents told Spanish media the player denies any wrongdoing.

Villarreal on Tuesday said it was investigating Semedo and would take appropriate disciplinary action.

Villarreal signed Semedo from Sporting Lisbon last summer for a reported fee of $17 million.

Wenger: Arsenal “complacent, had no ideas” in Ostersunds loss

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Perhaps Sunday’s League Cup final had already reached the forefront of their minds, but Arsene Wenger admonished his players, whom he said were “complacent, not focused” and “had no ideas” for much of Thursday’s Europa League defeat, at home, to Swedish side Ostersunds.

[ MORE: Premier League TV schedule | Man United vs. Chelsea ]

The Gunners advanced to the round of 16 on the back of their 3-0 first-leg victory last week, but Wenger was understandably displeased by the effort he saw and expressed such feelings in no uncertain terms, before quickly easing up and praising the fact they were able to pull back a goal against the current fifth-place team from Sweden — quotes from the BBC:

“We were not at the races in the first half,” said Wenger, who saw his side booed off at half-time and full-time. I think in the second half it was much better and we should have scored a few goals.

“In the first half, we were in trouble and in danger because we were complacent, not focused and were open every time we lost the ball. We had no ideas with the ball and that’s why we were in trouble.

“We responded very well because we did the job to qualify, but that’s what we have to take from the night and that’s all.”

With Arsenal now trailing fourth-place Chelsea by eight points (and seven back of fifth-place Tottenham Hotspur), winning the Europa League might just be the Gunners’ last chance at qualifying for next season’s Champions League.

Batshuayi racially abused by Atalanta fans

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Borussia Dortmund striker Michy Batshuayi says he was subject to racist chants from Atalanta fans during a Europa League game in Italy.

The Belgium international, on loan from Chelsea, tweeted:

Dortmund advanced to the round of 16 by drawing 1-1 to beat Atalanta 4-3 on aggregate on Thursday.

The game was played at Mapei Stadium in Reggio Emilia because Atalanta’s home stadium is unsuitable for UEFA games.

There have been several incidents of racism at Serie A matches this season.