By Richard Clarke
Gael Clichy’s season is over.
The full back has been absent with a back problem ever since the Champions League Quarter-Final first leg at Villarreal on April 7.
It was hoped the injury could have cleared up before the end of the season. But, having gone out in the Semi-Final at the hands of Manchester United on Tuesday, Arsène Wenger does not want to take any chances.
The 23-year-old will now rest up until pre-season training begins in July.
“It is finished [for Gael],” said Wenger. “We would have put a little pressure on the recovery period had we gone to the Champions League Final. But now we will not take a gamble.”
That was the bad news ahead of the game against Chelsea. The good news is that Arsenal picked up no injuries after their European exit. There is a slight doubt over Andrey Arshavin (flu) but the Russian is expected to feature.
“We have nobody really injured from Tuesday night," said Wenger. "Arshavin has some flu today so we sent him back home. But I believe he will be OK. So it will be the squad from Tuesday with Arshavin available.”
Arsenal TV Online subscribers will be able to see the full video interview on Friday morning. In it the manager talks about:
- the ‘11-minute game’ against Manchester United
- the crowd on the night
- his chat with Kieran Gibbs
- the other Semi-Final
- the merits of a Barcelona v Manchester United Final
- the 'third place play-off' between Chelsea and Arsenal
- Hiddink’s tactics against Barca
- the effect of those midweek defeats on both sides
- his immediate thoughts about strengthening in the summer