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“Fit, sharp, strong” Wilshere disappointed to miss England cut

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“I’ve felt fit, sharp and strong all season and believe I should be in the squad!”

So goes some of the reasoning why Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere believes England coach Gareth Southgate made a mistake in leaving him out of this summer’s World Cup squad.

[ MORE: West Ham talks manager plans ]

Wilshere, remarkably still just 26, has 34 caps despite being plagued by injuries for three seasons before a 38-match campaign this season.

Southgate is bringing just seven listed midfielders to England, and one is essentially a winger in the form of Raheem Sterling.

Making the squad ahead of Wilshere are Dele AlliEric DierJordan HendersonJesse LingardRuben Loftus-Cheek, Raheem Sterling.

Wenger endorses Arteta as future Arsenal manager

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Mikel Arteta has rose to be the odds-on favorite to become Arsenal’s next manager, and the outgoing boss has given his backing to the Spaniard.

Arsene Wenger praised Arteta’s leadership ability, his passion, and of course knowledge of the club in an interview with BeIN Sports. Arteta of course played for Arsenal from 2011-2016 and was one of the Premier League’s best midfielders during his time in England, first with Everton and then with Arsenal.

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“He has all the qualities to do the job, yes and I think as well he is one of the favorites,” Wenger said. “He was a leader, and he has a good passion for the game and he knows the club well, he knows what is important at the club and he was captain of the club. Why Not?”

As was a sign of the fact that Wenger didn’t have enough different voices on his coaching staff, Arteta left Arsenal in 2016 for Manchester City, where he’s worked under Pep Guardiola for the last two seasons. Arteta is set to meet with Arsenal executives for talks today, and he could in theory be named manager by the end of the week.

Wenger has confirmed that he is not part of the hiring process to hire the next Arsenal manager.

Report: Arteta, Arsenal to meet on Thursday

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Arsenal could have its successor to Arsene Wenger by the end of the week.

That’s if talks with former Gunners midfielder and current Manchester City assistant Mikel Arteta go well.

[ PL TOP 10: GKs and backs | Mids and forwards ]

Already reported as a clear favorite for the job, Arteta will speak with the Gunners brass on Thursday. Sky Sports also says he’d be allowed to bring his own backroom staff.

Pep Guardiola won’t stand in the way of his assistant moving up in the Premier League world, and it would certainly be interesting to see how Arteta would attack and defend his former side.

When Arteta retired from Arsenal in 2016, he was a teammate of several current Gunners’ stars including Mesut Ozil, Laurent Koscielny, Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey, Hector Bellerin, and Nacho Monreal.

Meanwhile, the Metro is reporting that Arsenal is ready to spend $102 million on Freiburg defender Caglar Soyuncu, Borussia Dortmund center back Sokratis Papastathopoulos, and Bayer Leverkusen goalkeeper Bernd Leno.

Revisiting PST’s preseason Premier League predictions

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Back in August, we asked our staff to pick its 1-20 table and answer a bevy of roundtable questions.

[ MORE: Atleti wins Europa League ]

The crystal ball ain’t so crystal clear.

The table

— Five of six writers had Manchester City lifting the Premier League trophy, with Nick Mendola’s (me) audacious 90-point total the closest to City’s actual 100 points. Kyle Bonn picked Manchester United to win the league.

–Nick Mendola’s (me) equally audacious prediction that Burnley would finish 20th with 18 total points has had him apologizing on this page for months. Way to go, numbskull.

— No one called more than one relegated team correctly. Swansea had three people pick it for the drop, while I was the lone one to tab West Brom. JPW and Andy Edwards failed to name a single relegated team.

— Who had a team finishing the most spots higher than they did? JPW and Andy Edwards had 16th place Southampton finishing 8th. I had eventually relegated Stoke in 11th, while JPW had them 10th, and Andy Edwards had them 7th!

— Chelsea’s fifth place finish was a surprise to everyone; Only JPW had them finishing lower than second… in third.

— Surprised Arsenal finished in sixth? Kyle Bonn, Andy Edwards, and Matt Reed aren’t.

The roundtable

— We asked who’d go the further in the Champions League, and JPW was the only one to name Liverpool (although he hedged in a bit by saying the Reds and Man City).

— We asked who’d score the most league goals between Romelu LukakuHarry Kane, Alvaro Morata, Alexandre Lacazette, or Sergio Aguero? Four correctly went with Kane, with Kyle Bonn wrong with Lukaku and this humble writer wrong with Lacazette.

— We asked which Premier League player would feel worst about his decision to leave his previous PL club, and we were all wrong (except perhaps JPW’s choice of Wayne Rooney, but that’s debatable). Dan Karell said Virgil Van Dijk, Matt Reed said Nemanja Matic, and I said Kyle Walker. All are probably quite happy with the manner of their seasons.

— We asked who’d fare better between manager Marco Silva, Frank De Boer, or Mauricio Pellegrino. They were all fired, though Silva’s departure was least his fault. So JPW wins again.

— We predicted who’d get fired first. The winner was Frank De Boer, but we all named men who’d get the sack. Craig Shakespeare (JPW), Paul Clement (me), Marco Silva (Matt Reed and Kyle Bonn), and Mark Hughes (Dan Karell).

— We asked which newly-promoted club will finish higher. Four of the five said Newcastle, with someone trying to hide his bias by saying Brighton.

— We asked who’d finish highest and lowest of this group: Southampton, Stoke City, West Bromwich Albion, West Ham United, Leicester City.

Leicester finished highest and West Brom finished 20th. Dan and I correctly tabbed Leicester, while four of us correctly pegged the Baggies as the lowest.

— As for who would get promoted from the Championship, so far we’re 1/12. That could move to three if Dan and Kyle are correct in picking Fulham. Matt tabbed Cardiff City.

Report: NYCFC’s Vieira put off by Arsenal conversation

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Maybe next time call him when you’re serious, Arsenal.

Patrick Vieira feels like his former club only called him about their open manager’s position as a “token gesture,” according to Sky Sports.

[ MORE: Arteta the “clear favorite” ]

The New York City FC boss and Arsenal hero, 41, has been hailed for the job he’s done in taking over for Jason Kreis at the Bronx-based MLS club in 2016.

Sky says Arsenal will begin its interview process this week, and that Mikel Arteta is the favorite. As for Vieira:

Vieira, who is currently head coach of MLS side New York City FC, was left disappointed after speaking with the club and feels the call was merely a token gesture to one of their former players.

Vieira played nine of his 18 professional seasons with the Gunners, winning three Premier League titles and three FA Cups.