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Wenger: Gunners facing a 'moment of truth'

ARSENAL manager Arsene Wenger believes his side's "moment of truth" begins now.

By the end of October, the Gunners will have faced the Premier League's two bottom clubs - Norwich and QPR - and reached the halfway stage of their Champions League group after a home game against Schalke.

And Wenger knows that maximum points from those three games will be vital for momentum, while there is also a League Cup tie at Reading to be squeezed into this month.

"In October the moment of truth starts for the team," Wenger said.

"The league establishes itself a little bit and the Champions League goes to decisive moments.

"Therefore of course, it's important to be decisive and convincing.


"The target is always the same (after an international break). When they come back, we want to quickly focus on our own targets again and get the team back mentally on our next game.

"I believe that we'll work and the team, after our last performance at West Ham (a 3-1 win), will want to continue the good run and focus well."

Wenger will be without Theo Walcott for tomorrow's trip to Carrow Road as the England forward has not recovered from the injury suffered against San Marino last Friday.

"He has an injury to his chest and lungs," Wenger added.

"We have to treat that clinically.

"He's quickly short of breath when he makes an effort but it's bruising and that will heal.

"It's no major concern but it will take we think about two weeks to be back to a normal level."

Kieran Gibbs is also ruled out due to an injury picked up against West Ham, while Vito Mannone continues to deputise in goal as Wojciech Szczesny recovers from a niggling ankle problem.

Fellow goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski saw a specialist yesterday with a new ankle ligament problem.

Jack Wilshere and defender Bacary Sagna both played in a specially arranged reserve game in midweek as they step up recovery from long injury lay-offs, but are unlikely to travel to Norfolk.

Striker Olivier Giroud, a summer signing from Montpellier, finally opened his Premier League account for the Gunners at West Ham, but has maintained he was never overly concerned.

Giroud said: "I kept trust and confidence about my quality and my talent.

"Sometimes, when you are a striker, you have difficulty in scoring, but you have to ignore the doubts and just concentrate on your work on the pitch.

"I knew the goal would come, so I persevered."