Saturday, June 24, 2017

Wenger rues fitness woe as Ramsey, Iwobi suffer injuries

SoccerNews in English Premier League 14 Aug 2016

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Arsene Wenger was counting the cost of Arsenal’s loss to Liverpool as Aaron Ramsey and Alex Iwobi sustained injuries in their Premier League opener.

A remarkable game at Emirates Stadium ended 4-3 in Liverpool’s favour, Jurgen Klopp’s side coming from behind to take a 4-1 lead before staving off the hosts’ comeback to clinch the points.

With Per Mertesacker and Gabriel injured and Laurent Koscielny not yet ready for action after his Euro 2016 exploits, Wenger was forced to field Calum Chambers and debutant Rob Holding at centre-half.

Mesut Ozil and Olivier Giroud were also missing from the matchday squad following their travails in France, and a bad day for Wenger was exacerbated as he confirmed Ramsey and Iwobi had suffered respective hamstring and thigh problems.

“We are not ready. Physically we are not ready,” Wenger told his post-match media conference.

“It’s a catch 22 situation with the Euros, you have to give players a rest. They are not ready to play this kind of game and get injured like Ramsey today.

“Or you give them rest and start your season without many of your players. When they have not had the volume of preparation they get injured.”

Asked if the players in question would be fit to face defending champions Leicester City on Saturday, Wenger replied: “I don’t know. We have to be ready next week because we go to Leicester.

“We see first what we can do with the players who are preparing at the moment and how many are injured, can they recover for next week I don’t know.

“We had many players stay very late at the Euros – Aaron Ramsey, Laurent Koscielny, Mesut Ozil, Olivier Giroud, four players who went very late.

“We’ve prepared well the players we have but as well you have to consider we have been a bit unlucky.

“We’ve lost Mertesacker and Gabriel in the preparation and Koscielny is not fit. You have to accept sometimes that you cannot control absolutely everything even if you try to be as intelligent as possible.”

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