Football

Wenger blames Stoke for injuries

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has accused Stoke defenders Rory Delap and Ryan Shawcross of deliberately injuring Theo Walcott and Emmanuel Adebayor.

Both Gunners stars were hurt by tackles during the Potters' 2-1 win at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday and will miss Wednesday night's Champions League clash against Fenerbahce at the Emirates Stadium.

"Do you think Delap tried to play the ball when he tackled Walcott? Or that Shawcross tried to play the ball when he tackled Adebayor off the pitch. All the players have been injured deliberately," said Wenger.

Walcott has a chance of recovering from a shoulder injury in time for the visit of Manchester United on Saturday but Adebayor is unlikely to be able to face the champions.

On Saturday's defeat, Wenger said: "I read that my team were not brave. All I can say is they are brave and, for me, you need to have more courage to play football when you know that someone is tackling you from behind without any intention to play the ball.

"The only intention is to hurt you and I can show some tackles where I can prove what I say. The one who is tackling is not the brave one. For me the brave one is the player who is trying to play football.

"I am not ready to listen to things that are completely untrue and make people who are cowards, for me, look brave."

The Frenchman was also adamant it was not the first time opponents had hurt his players with reckless challenges, with the badly-broken leg Eduardo suffered against Birmingham last season the most notable example.

Defender Bacary Sagna was also hurt against Stoke and had been receiving treatment on an ankle injury in a bid to be fit for Wednesday's game.

Wenger added: "Do you want me to tell you the players we have lost here? Diaby, deliberate foul from behind, Rosicky, deliberate foul, Eduardo, deliberate foul. Now we lose Walcott, deliberate foul, and we have lost Sagna - deliberate foul on him."

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Topics:
Arsenal
Emmanuel Adebayor
European News
Stoke City
Football
Ryan Shawcross
Rory Delap
Manchester United
Bacary Sagna
Birmingham
Eduardo
Theo Walcott

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