Arsene Wenger provides latest on Theo, Ox, injuries and Joel ahead of Arsenal’s clash with Swansea
Arsene Wenger has been speaking to the media ahead of Arsenal’s visit to South Wales to take on Swansea at the Liberty Stadium tomorrow afternoon. The match kicks off at 3.00pm (GMT).
The Gunners go into the match with a mounting injury list. Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are the latest additions. Both picked up muscular injuries early in the 3-0 Capital One Cup defeat to Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday night.
Arsenal’s training and fitness regime is back under the spotlight one more.
Former Wales fitness coach Raymond Verheijen said earlier in the week that Arsene Wenger was a dinosaur when it came it came to Arsenal’s training and rehabilitation methods.
Responding this morning to the comments by Verheijen. “This guy looks like he knows absolutely everything,” Wenger said “I am amazed that he knows more than all our physics and all our doctors. I trust my medical staff to do well and my coaching staff to do the fitness planning very well.
“I can only invite you one day to see what work is done behind and we have some players who are more injury prone than others , but we are very well organised on that front.
“We have two kind of injuries – the injuries who will be coming back after Christmas, which is Rosicky, Wilshere and Welbeck. [Then] we have the short-term injuries. Most of them like Arteta, Ramsey, Oxlade-Chamberlain should be back after the international break.
[Why injuries happen] is always a question we have to answer when we have injuries. We have to analyse every single case and every single exercise and I think you have to not over analyse when players are injured. When a player is injured, they are injured, this has always happened. We have not too many muscular injuries but it is post-international games we get all these injuries and is it linked with that? I don’t know. What I’m focused on tomorrow is to continue our run.”
With Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Ramsey sidelined, Joel Campbell may get a rare Premier League start for the Gunners tomorrow. He has not played a minute in the Premier League this season, but did start against Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday..
“I have been very impressed with him, his attitude is outstanding, his daily dedication in training and his desire to improve is absolutely outstanding,” said Wenger. “I think he can be a big help for us, and he can play centre forward don’t forget that. I think in the coming two to three months he can be a very important player for us.”
“It is always disappointing to lose players but we are equipped first of all with the quality of our squad and we are equipped mentally as well to deal with anything,” the manager said.
“My short-term option is [to play] Campbell or get one more defensive midfielder in like Flamini and put Cazorla on the flank. I haven’t decided yet. We will find solutions and I have to find the right one.
“This is a challenge for me and for the players who come in to show their quality. At the end you can find yourself with a bigger squad – that is what happened with Coquelin and Bellerin last season.”
Wenger also defended his decision not to buy an outfield player during the summer transfer window.
“I said during the transfer period that we would take players who can strengthen our squad, but we did not find them,” he said. “The question was not even ‘do we sign them or not?’ we have not found one player who could strengthen our squad.
“We need to get everybody back. We have a very big squad. We are not shutting the door as well [in January]. If we find opportunities, we will do [them]. Having everybody back, especially offensively, I feel we have what we need.”