Wednesday 13 November 2019

Wenger bemoans rough treatment for Wilshere

Sunderland 0
Arsenal 1

Jack Wilshere was the best player on the pitch for 50 minutes against Sunderland, although it was the 40 Arsenal had to play without him that caused concern for Arsene Wenger.

Jack Wilshere was the best player on the pitch for 50 minutes against Sunderland, although it was the 40 Arsenal had to play without him that caused concern for Arsene Wenger.

Having starred against Brazil for England, Wilshere buzzed around the Stadium of Light, prompting and probing as Sunderland struggled to get hold of the ball, let alone do anything with it.

England look a much better side with Wilshere on the pitch and so do Arsenal, so the sight of him tumbling to the turf five minutes into the second half and immediately gesturing to the bench that he needed to come off was worrying.

His thigh had been heavily strapped at half time, although the Arsenal manager calmed fears later when he claimed the damage was limited to bruising from one of the many heavy challenges he was subjected to. It was not a subject Wenger was likely to let slide.

"Jack can't walk properly, but we think he should only be out for four or five days," said Wenger. "He took a big kick on the thigh in the first half and I wasn't happy with some of the tackles, especially on Jack. He doesn't need a bodyguard, but he did not get the free-kicks he deserved. I don't want him to have any special protection, I just want a foul to be given when there is one."

There was nothing overly violent about Sunderland's challenges, but they did try to impose themselves physically.

Arsenal should have had more to show for their dominance in the first half than Santi Cazorla's strike, but they lost their control almost as soon as Wilshere departed.

Carl Jenkinson certainly lost his head. The full-back was only brought into the starting line-up when Laurent Koscielny pulled a calf muscle during the warm up. He looked like a player who had expected to be watching from the bench. Booked for a late challenge on Adam Johnson in the first half, he was dismissed for an equally poor and unnecessary tackle on Stephane Sessegnon.

That Sunderland were not dead and buried in this game before half time was almost solely down to Simon Mignolet. The Belgian made two good saves to keep out Theo Walcott inside the first five minutes and another two before half time to deny Aaron Ramsey. That Arsenal came away with all three points rather than one, was also down to the excellence of Szczesny, although Walcott did hit a post.

Telegraph

Irish Independent

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