‘Walcott injury was not England’s fault’

Arsene Wenger says he does not blame England for the injury picked up by Theo Walcott while on international duty.

Walcott suffered an injury to his hip/groin in training last Thursday and was forced to miss the World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro.

The forward has been ruled out of Reading’s visit to the Emirates on Saturday, but Wenger is not holding the English national team responsible for Walcott's absence.

“When they fight for points, he uses the players like he wants to,” he said. “I don't interfere in that. When it's a friendly, you try to influence a bit in your favour when it's needed.

“I believe that every manager does that. When it's competitive like it was in the last two games, just let the manager get on with it.

“The international manager is under pressure to deliver wins. He just uses the players like he thinks is right to do it.

“It's more important that there is a good communication between the two medical departments, that you say for example 'be careful. In the next two days give him a rest'. That is more important. When the games come, the manager has to choose the players that can help him to win the games.

“We have a good relationship [with England] and I have no concern about that [how Arsenal players are treated on international duty]. Walcott is an accident that could have happened here.”

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