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Arsenal boss admits fitness concern over Laurent Koscileny
Arsene Wenger has admitted he fears for the fitness of Laurent Koscielny during the international break ahead of Arsenal’s crunch double-header against Manchester United and PSG.
The Gunners boss says he never interferes when it’s comes to competitive games but hopes that international managers will consider resting key men like Koscielny for friendly matches.
Koscielny is expected to start for France during their World Cup qualifier against Sweden this evening but Wenger is concerned that Didier Deschamps may then start the defender in their friendly with the Ivory Coast on Tuesday.
With Arsenal facing a huge game at Old Trafford on Saturday lunchtime and then hosting PSG in a pivotal Champions League clash four days later, Arsene is hoping that Deschamps will give Kos the night off next week.
Arsene is quoted as saying by the Metro:
‘When it is a competitive game I never intervene,’
‘When it is a friendly game, for example now Koscielny goes to the French national team, he has played every single game apart from the first game and France play a friendly against Ivory Coast,’
‘In the second game, on Tuesday night, I can’t see the purpose of Koscielny playing that game. I can understand completely that he plays against Sweden but it’s difficult to understand that he would play the full game against Ivory Coast as we play Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain [In Arsenal’s next fixtures].
‘So if it’s not needed, you try to find a compromise to suit both parties.’
The ‘club vs country’ situation is always going to cause problems and it’s very rare that international managers show sympathy for the clubs and rest key players during an international break. That’s why it was so surprising when Joachim Low decided to give Mesut Ozil a breather this month.
Arsene is right to worry about his players while they’re away with their countries and this has been highlighted once again by the news that both Alexis Sanchez and Hector Bellerin have picked up knocks this week.
Let’s hope we don’t suffer any more injuries over the next few days as we’re already likely to be without a number of players for the United and PSG games.