Wenger Offers Fitness Update On Attacker + Key Man Could Miss West Brom
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has given an update on the fitness of Theo Walcott and revealed that he may leave Laurent Koscielny out against West Brom
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has given an update on the fitness of Theo Walcott and revealed that he may leave Laurent Koscielny out against West Brom due to concerns over his mental state.
Walcott hasn’t featured in any of our last three matches after suffering a calf injury during our disappointing Capital One Cup defeat at Sheffield Wednesday last month.
The England international was initially expected to return after the international break but it soon emerged that the injury was worse than first thought and no specific time-frame was put on his recovery.
However, speaking to the media at his pre-match press conference on Thursday morning, Wenger told reporters that Walcott is still at least 1-2 weeks away from returning to action.
“Walcott is still one or two weeks away and then we have Welbeck, Rosicky and Wilshere coming later.” Wenger is quoted as saying by the International Business Times
This means Walcott is certain to miss the next two games against West Brom and Dinamo Zagreb but depending on how he recovers, he could be back in contention for the trip to Norwich next Sunday. Failing that, Theo should be available when Sunderland come to the Emirates on December 5th.
Another key player who may not line-up against West Brom on Saturday is Laurent Koscielny as Wenger has admitted the centre-back was deeply affected by the Paris terror attacks.
Koscielny was playing for France against Germany at the Stade de France when the attacks occurred on Friday night and he was out-of-sorts during the defeat to England on Tuesday.
Wenger has admitted he didn’t recognise Koscielny at Wembley and will leave the centre-back out against West Brom this weekend if the defender feels he’s not ready to play.
“He had a fantastic game against Germany. And you could see that on Tuesday night he was not himself. It affected him deeply and I didn’t recognise the player I saw on Friday night on Tuesday night,” Wenger is quoted as saying by the Express.
“I will talk with him. I have not talked to him yet, but I will talk to him to see if he is completely recovered and focused.
“It’s a big game for us. You have to trust the player in these kind of situations. Today in the Premier League you don’t get away with it with 80% focus. You have to be completely committed.
“What I will want from him is that he’s completely committed and feels ready. If not, I will not play him.”
If Koscielny is left-out this weekend then Gabriel Paulista will be on stand-by to step in and start alongside Per Mertesacker in the centre of defence.
We head to the Hawthorn’s sitting level on points with Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table so will be looking to keep the pressure on with a win against the Baggies ahead of City’s huge clash with Liverpool.
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