By Chris Harris

Arsène Wenger insists Eduardo has the mental fortitude to cope with the fall-out from his Champions League ban.

The Croatian striker was suspended for two matches after being found guilty of attempting to deceive the referee when he won a penalty against Celtic last month.

Arsenal have appealed against that decision but Wenger feels that Eduardo is already paying a heavy price for being singled out by Uefa.

The 26-year-old has been jeered by opposition fans ever since the Celtic incident and had a decent penalty shout turned down when Croatia lost to England at Wembley on Wednesday night.

“The situation has been created by the media impact of his case,” explained Wenger at his pre-match press conference.

“That [the opposition taunts] is not the worst, the worst is that now he is not given penalties when they are penalties. That is much worse. The one last night against England was a penalty.

“You want everybody to be treated fairly, and I do not believe he is treated fairly. There was a good opportunity to take a media campaign against many players, which the media did not do. You cannot give him the feeling that he has been treated fairly.”

Eduardo is suffering at the hands of opposition fans at the moment but he has plenty of support in the wider football word.

And Wenger has no doubt that the man who returned from the horrific injury he suffered at Birmingham last year can overcome this rather less painful obstacle.

“Any situation you face as a top-level player you have to deal with, and you can only do that by being mentally strong,” said the Frenchman.

“I do not believe it will affect his game. He is a player who has gone through much more difficult things than that.

“On the one side, a good way to deal with that is that he is in good health. This is a minor event compared to what he has gone through before.”

Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source
10 Sep 2009