By Richard Clarke
Andrey Arshavin will miss the next three Arsenal games after aggravating a groin injury while on international duty this week.
Speaking to Arsenal TV Online on Thursday, Arsène Wenger admitted he was “upset” the midfielder had played a full 90 minutes for Russia in Wales the night before. The manager had taken him off against Manchester United 10 days earlier after he had picked up the problem during the 2-1 defeat at Old Trafford.
There is better news about Tomas Rosicky, who returned to competitive action for the Czech Republic on Wednesday, and Cesc Fabregas, who made a scoring comeback for Spain. But the manager is unsure about the fitness levels of both players for the weekend trip to Manchester City.
Thankfully, the quartet of French internationals have certainly come back unscathed from their travels.
“We have had one piece of bad news,” said Wenger. “Arshavin has come back injured from the Russian game last night.
“We are upset because he should not have played. He was not in a condition where he could afford to play 90 minutes. We took him off against Manchester United because he was injured already at half-time. He will be out for Saturday, Wednesday and certainly next Saturday.
“As for Tomas, he played 54 minutes in good shape. Of course we have to be cautious. But the good news is he is back and he played. I don’t know if he’ll be in the squad for Saturday.
“Cesc played [for Spain] but I have not actually seen him yet. One of the discomforts of the international break is that you don’t know when your players will come back or what state they will be in."
Finally, Wenger confirmed that Theo Walcott’s back problem has cleared up. The England international only needs fitness now and he could be ready after the Champions League trip in midweek.
“Theo is rid of the injury now,” said Wenger. “What is important now is to get him competitive again. He has not had any normal training sessions with the team. But I hope that will happen soon. He should be available next week.”
Arsenal TV Online subscribers can see the full video interview on Friday. In it the manager talks about:
- the sale of Toure and Adebayor to Man City
- whether he has any regrets
- their strength as top-four contenders
- their financial clout
- recruiting young players from overseas
- his dealings around deadline day
- the chance emerging for Philippe Senderos
- reacting to the Manchester United game