Gunners boss discusses his team following opening weekend defeat
Arsene Wenger has admitted that his Arsenal team were not ‘physically ready’ to face Liverpool ahead of their 4-3 opening weekend defeat to Jurgen Klopp’s side.
Wenger picked a starting XI without Laurent Koscielny, Mesut Ozil and Olivier Giroud, who were all given extra time off following lengthy European Championship campaigns.
Centre-backs Gabriel and Per Mertesacker were both injured, meaning Wenger was forced to select young partnership Calum Chambers and Rob Holding at the back as part of a make-shift defence.
During the match, Aaron Ramsey was forced off due to a hamstring injury and Alex Iwobi picked up a thigh problem.
The Arsenal team were booed off after the defeat, despite Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Chambers reducing the deficit from 4-1 at one point.
And Wenger admitted after the game that his squad were not physically prepared for the first game of the season.
“We pushed players today like Ramsey,” he said.
“It is an impossible situation to get players back from the Euros and prepare.
“We played a very good first half and were unlucky to concede a goal just before half-time and after that, we paid for a lack of experience. We are not ready physically.
“You are in a catch-22 situation with the Euros, whether to give players a rest who need it.
“They are not ready to play this sort of game and get injured, like Ramsey, or you give them a rest and not have them for the start.
By Ben Kelly – @benkelly_10