Arsene Wenger Press Conference: Team news, Injury update, Alexis and Gabriel
Arsene Wenger has been speaking to the media ahead of Arsenal’s Premier League match away to Leicester City.
On the injury front Wenger revealed “we have no new injuries. We have an uncertainty about Gabriel as his case will come forward today and we will find out if he is suspended or not and overall that is the news we have.”
Wenger also provided an update on Francis Coquelin’s injury which forced him off at half-time in the 2-0 defeat to Chelsea last Saturday and to miss the Capital One Cup win against Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday night.
“He is progressing well, but he will not be available for Leicester, said Wenger. He has a scan today but the evolution is quite positive. He might start practice tomorrow. He has a little chance for Tuesday, and a bigger chance for Man United. It is very difficult to be definite today.”
“They are all doing well. Jack just had surgery so at the moment he cannot do anything. Danny is doing well, Tomas Rosicky as well.
He confirmed that Wilshere’s operation had been “very successful and touch wood hopefully all goes well now.”
On concerns about the form so far this season of Alexis Sanchez, Wenger said.
“I played him very early before he was completely fit, physically.”
“That is one explanation [for his form].
“The second is that every player who has won a big trophy with his national team takes some while to settle and come back to his best. These are the two main explanations for me.
“I think he has had 31 shots on goal since the start of the season and with his finishing qualities that should allow him five to six goals. Knowing that the finishing is a bit linked with your form and it is a bit cyclic as well, that is where he should be at the moment.
“That will come back, I don’t worry for Alexis Sanchez. Even when he doesn’t score he is still a major threat for everybody and I am confident he will score very soon.”
On the challenge of facing an in-form Leicester City and recovering from the defeat at Chelsea, Wenger said:
“It is difficult but I must say that our away record has been great.
“We do not go into these games feeling that we have too much of a handicap because we have done extremely well away from home.
“If you look at our results away from home, they are among the best and I think we have been the best away from home. That shows we have the mental qualities. In these two games we played with 10 men under very unfortunate circumstances.
“We showed what fighting is about on Wednesday night because the game was more about commitment and mental resources than fluency. That’s what we showed on Wednesday.
“It keeps us in all the competitions and that is something that is a very positive feeling. It shows that we have a big squad at a very strong level and I have always considered that because I have confidence in every single player.”
Asked whether Gabriel would be ready to play against Leicester if he’s cleared by the FA, Wenger said: “He will be. Mentally I have looked at him and he was sorry for what happened and very disappointed, but he is a fighter and his attitude in training the whole week was completely focused and motivated.”
Asked how Gabriel is progressing in learning English Wenger added. “It’s still not great. One of the advantages maybe of not speaking much English is that he doesn’t understand that much about what’s going on [with the FA and the Costa incident].”