LONDON (Reuters) – Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger gave his backing to the Premier League club’s medical staff and coaches on Friday despite the high number of injuries his squad continues to suffer.
England midfielders Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott both came off early in the 3-0 Capital One (League) Cup defeat by Championship (second tier) club Sheffield Wednesday in midweek and will both be out until after November’s international break.
Jack Wilshere, Danny Welbeck and Tomas Rosicky are all long-term injuries, while Mikel Arteta and Aaron Ramsey are also currently unavailable.
“I trust my medical and coaching staff to do well, we are very well organised on that front,” Wenger told a news conference ahead of Saturday’s visit to Swansea City.
“It’s always a question we have to answer, when we have injuries, by analysing every single case and every single exercise.
“You have not to over-analyse when players are injured. We have not many muscle injuries, although it’s true recently, but it’s post international games that we got all these injuries. Is it linked to that? I don’t know.”
Wenger suggested that Costa Rican international Joel Campbell was an option for the vacant wide position at Swansea, as he is reluctant to disrupt the formation too much by moving Santi Cazorla from the centre.
“I have another 24 hours to make that decision,” he said. “We will find solutions and I have to find the right one.”
Arsenal are second in the table, only behind Manchester City on goal difference after beating Everton last weekend.
“We need a strong defensive performance as Swansea are a team who are doing very well,” Wenger said of the Welsh club, who lie 12th.
The Frenchman also advised his compatriot Remi Garde, who was one of his first signings at Arsenal, to take the vacant manager’s job at Aston Villa.
“I’m convinced he is the front-runner,” Wenger said of the former Lyon manager.
“He has some problems to sort out with his assistants and I don’t know if we will sort them out or not but I believe it is a challenge he should take, whether they are free or not.
“Be faithful to your personality and have the courage to live with your ideas.”
Villa, who are bottom of the Premier League, sacked Tim Sherwood as manager on Sunday.
(Reporting by Steve Tongue; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty and Toby Davis)