Mikel Arteta has said Mesut Ozil's wages will never have an impact on his selection as the German waits to make his first appearance for the club since the restart of the Premier League.
Ozil, who earns £350,000 a week and is Arsenal’s highest earner, has not featured in any of any of their four matches since the restart and missed Sunday’s trip to Sheffield United with “back soreness”.
Ahead of Arsenal’s meeting with Norwich City tonight, Arteta said he expects any player who is not in the team to feel “hurt and disappointed”. Ozil, having opted against taking a pay cut, has earned almost £2m without playing a competitive minute since Arsenal returned to training in May, but Arteta said the 31-year-old’s salary has no bearing on selection
“Never,” he said. “Players are paid whatever they deserve because there are two parties here [the player and the club] and that should never be something I have to judge.” (© Daily Telegraph, London)
Arsenal v Norwich City,
BT Sport, 8.0
Lampard quick to act over Mount’s ‘naive’ mistake
Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard has revealed he gave Mason Mount a lecture that was brief and to the point after he broke social-distancing rules with West Ham’s Declan Rice.
Mount and pal Rice were pictured having a kick-about together in March shortly after the suspension of the Premier League season.
Lampard said: “I had the shortest word possible because I saw Mason, in a couple of places, get compared to players who went out and partied, stayed out all night and did different things. Mason’s breach was very innocent, and, as you say, naive. I had the shortest-ever conversation with Mason. He was pretty apologetic and said he got it wrong straight away”
On how Mount’s relationship with Rice could impact tonight’s game, Lampard added: “There is only one thing I will ask of Mason. He texts Declan, he smiles at him in the tunnel, but if and when they go up against each other, he has to try to beat him in every individual battle that he can. ”
West Ham v Chelsea,
Sky Sports, 8.15
Bruce: League not the same spectacle with the supporters
Steve Bruce has warned that the Premier League will suffer if fans are not allowed back into stadiums for the start of next season.
Bruce acknowledged Project Restart has been a triumph, after fears the season would be lost completely, but he warned football will lose its appeal without fans.
“If you were going to take a football fan for granted, I don’t think anyone will do that now,” he said. Newcastle travel to Bournemouth today and Bruce added: “It’s not the same spectacle. The Premier League is the most successful league because of the great players, but also the support. We shouldn’t take them for granted.”
Bruce does not know whether he will be Newcastle manager next season, as the club wait for a decision from the Premier League on the proposed takeover by a Saudi Arabian-led consortium. “Will I be Newcastle manager next year? I sincerely hope so. I can only plan ahead and presume I will,” he said.
Bournemouth v Newcastle,
Sky One/Sky Sports 6.0