Mesut Ozil fit and available for Arsenal against Cardiff - Unai Emery
Arsenal coach Unai Emery says Mesut Ozil is fully fit and available for Sunday's Premier League game at Cardiff, and insisted he hasn't paid much attention to speculation about a rift between the two.
Ozil missed last weekend's 3-1 win over West Ham because of illness, with Emery forced to deny there had been a training ground bust-up between them.
The German playmaker was back in training on Tuesday and is expected to be in the squad for Sunday's game.
"He's training normally with the club every session this week," Emery said. "We started Tuesday and every day we are doing the training and he's normal with the group. It's for that, he's OK."
A source has since told ESPN FC that the reports of a training ground spat were incorrect. It was the first controversy that Emery has had to deal with since coming to England, but the Spaniard said he wasn't bothered by it.
"I know you are a lot of journalists working for the media in TV, radio, newspapers. I have respect for you. But it's only when the news is not true, that for me it's a problem. But in my career I'm not stopping for the news when it isn't true."
Emery didn't say whether Ozil will start, though, with the German's role in the team under some scrutiny after he was substituted midway through the second half against Chelsea two weeks ago. Emery said he still isn't completely happy with Arsenal's high pressing game, and called for a more sustained effort against Cardiff.
"We want to do the high pressing against the opposition," he said. "After [the West Ham] game I analysed it with the players. We started the match well but then we lost the control for moments in the game. Then we finished the last 20 minutes really well. I want to continue that in the next match this Sunday against Cardiff, a different game, but just to continue our momentum."
However, Emery remained vague about the prospects of holding midfielder Lucas Torreira getting his first start for the club. The summer signing has come off the bench in Arsenal's first three games, even though he's viewed as a key component to making Emery's pressing style work.
"I am very happy with the player and I think every player can play. They also are working very well every day and demanding of me with their works, to start the games," Emery said.
"I like this spirit and also the possibility to play for the first XI is OK. Then there is a possibility to stay on the bench and then play."
Emery also confirmed that teenager Reiss Nelson will spend the season on loan at German club Hoffenheim in order to get more playing time, but will sign a new contract extension before leaving. The 18-year-old was used frequently in cup competitions by Arsene Wenger last year but has not been included in any of Emery's squads.
"It's a good chance for him to take minutes in and play, and then come back with us because I think he is signing a new contract with us," Emery said.
The Spaniard also explained his decision to ban sugary fruit juices from the club's training ground after he took over from Arsene Wenger this summer. However, he said fresh-pressed juices are still allowed.
"I like fruit a lot and I like fruit juice. But with a lot of sugar? Not very well," he said.
"And when I was very young, my father was coming every day with one fresh orange fruit juice. I like in my life, more of that. It's for that, when I arrived here, I asked only for that from the cook. And the players, I think, are the same. They prefer their orange juice fresh."