By Giuseppe Muro

Arsène Wenger says Cesc Fabregas will be as much of a 'winner' as the rest of the Arsenal squad should they lift the Carling Cup - even if he won't play any part in the Final.

The Arsenal captain limped off after just 14 minutes of Wednesday's 1-0 win over Stoke with a hamstring injury and has since been ruled out of Sunday's game against Birmingham.

Fabregas made his League Cup debut in the 4-0 win at Newcastle in the Fourth Round and sealed Arsenal's place at Wembley with the third goal against Ipswich in the Semi Final. Even though he won't be involved, Wenger feels Fabregas still deserves a medal.

"I'm against the idea that you've only ‘won the trophy' if you play in the Final," said the manager. "That's not true, it is all the players who participated in the competition.

"But people look at the photo - sometimes one guy has played only the Final, and others aren't involved who have played all the games before.

"No one talks about him in the photo, but maybe he scored you a winner in the 92nd minute on a dark night where you needed really to fight, and it doesn't get recognition afterwards. That's not right.

"You can only play [with] 11 [players] and, if he was fit, he would play. Now he is not fit. We have to focus on finding another balance, be efficient and win. He will be happy if we win it because he's participated."

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
25 Feb 2011