Wenger Gives Fitness Update On Wilshere, Cazorla, Gibbs + More….

By on February 17, 2014

Jack-Wilshere2

Arsenal reached the quarter final of the FA Cup with a 2-1 win over Liverpool on Sunday afternoon despite boss Arsene Wenger making a number of changes for the game.

Jack Wilshere, Santi Cazorla, Tomas Rosicky, Kieran Gibbs, Bacary Sagna and Olivier Giroud were among those who didn’t start and after the game, Wenger explained to Arsenal.com his reasoning behind why they were left out.

Wilshere was expected to be rested ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League clash with Bayern Munich anyway but it turns out he had a stiff back so was an unused substitute yesterday.  Santi Cazrola was suffering from illness so was restricted to just a twenty-minute appearance from the bench while Gibbs was also a late introduction with the boss claiming he had a slight knock.

Rosicky and Sagna were completely rested while Giroud was only brought on for the final few minutes with the Frenchman also given a well-earned breather, although some suggested he may have been dropped amid accusations he cheated on his his wife on the eve of the Crystal Palace game last month.

However, all six players are expected to return to face Munich on Wednesday night for our crucial Champions League last 16 first leg tie at the Emirates, although Mikel Arteta will miss out through suspension.

Striker Bendtner was omitted from the squad entirely as Wenger surprisingly chose to hand youngster Yaya Sanogo his full debut up front. The French Under-21 ace performed well and the Gunners boss feels his performance justified his selection over Bendtner.

Wenger told the clubs official website:

On fitness issues…

Jack Wilshere had a stiff back, after that Cazorla was ill, Gibbs had a little muscular problem, Sagna was tired. But I kept the defensive stability with Mertesacker and Koscielny. I rested Rosicky completely. They will be OK for Wednesday, but we lose Arteta, who is suspended for Wednesday night.

on Olivier Giroud being rested…

He looked a bit tired and… I know where you [the reporters] want to lead me, slowly but surely… he has made a statement and we will deal with it internally. I don’t think there is much more to add to that because I want to respect his privacy as well. I haven’t seen it [his statement].

on Nicklas Bendtner…

Yes of course [he is disappointed not to be in the squad]. He works very hard, very well, but I wanted to give a chance to Sanogo, and I think overall the performance of Sanogo justified it. Bendtner is fit at the moment, and sharp.

I was initially worried when I saw the team sheets before the game yesterday and while we rode our luck at times, thankfully we got the job done in the end and booked our place in the last 8.

Several players were rested which means they will be fresher against Bayern so you have to hand it to Wenger, his gamble paid off. Hopefully it will prove important against the German giants.

What team would you like to see start against Bayern? Share your suggestions below.

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2 Comments

  1. Ian Hawthorne

    February 17, 2014 at 7:17 pm

    Szczesny;
    Sagna,Mertesacker,Koscielny,Gibbs;
    Flamini,Wilshere;
    Chamberlain,Ozil,Cazorla;
    Giroud/Podolski

  2. REBMANN VINCENT

    February 18, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    Szczesny
    Sagna,Mertesacker,Koscielny,Gibbs;
    Ozil,Flamini,Wilshere;Cazorla;
    Podolski, Chamberlain/ Gnabry

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