Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger not concerned whether John Terry features for Chelsea
Thursday 27 September 2012
Arsene Wenger maintains Arsenal must focus on their own performance against Chelsea on Saturday - and not whether John Terry is in the side.
The verdict from Terry's disciplinary hearing into a charge the Blues skipper used racist language on the pitch could come as soon as today.
Should the Football Association independent regulatory find the former England captain guilty of a racist slur towards QPR's Anton Ferdinand in October last year, then the centre-back would likely be facing a lengthy ban.
Wenger, though, insists the Gunners must only concentrate on themselves as they look to continue a positive start to the new season, having cruised into the fourth round of the Capital One Cup with a 6-1 victory over Coventry last night.
The Arsenal manager said: "It is a case that has been spoken about a lot in the media, I just don't think I have to come out on that, and just let the FA do their job.
"We do not want Chelsea to be weaker. We want to beat a Chelsea team that has all their assets and we do not even think about that.
"What we focus on is on our side, try to be at the best possible level, because, anyway Chelsea has 25 players of top level.
"Terry in the big games has experience and leadership qualities that can always important. We have no speculation about that at all."
Arsenal made sweeping changes for last night's tie against the npower League One strugglers, when Theo Walcott scored twice.
Captain Thomas Vermaelen will be in contention for the Chelsea game, having recovered from flu.
Emmanuel Frimpong came off the bench to mark his return following a lengthy spell on the sidelines with a knee injury.
Fellow midfielder Jack Wilshere is also close to a comeback and both will feature in an Under-21s game at West Brom on Monday afternoon.
Wenger said: "It is another important step, but he has not played for 14 months so we have to calm your impatience a little bit.
"It is fantastic for him, especially for him.
"When you are at that age and are out for such a long time, that is absolutely massive to take."
Wilshere's injury problems saw him miss the whole of last season, and also forced out of contention for Euro 2012.
England have a World Cup qualifying double-header next month against San Marino at Wembley and then in Poland.
Wenger, though, warned against expecting a full-blown return at international level for the 20-year-old midfielder just yet.
"I think that will be too early for him. He has not played for 14 months," said Wenger.
However, the Arsenal manager joked: "Who does England play, San Marino? I think he can play in that game!"
Latest in Sport
Manchester United can learn lessons from the transfer template of rivals Manchester City
Pavement The Forum, London
Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea top the list of the Premier League's most expensive squads
Bayern Munich 'training camp' to supply refugees with food, footballs and German lessons
David De Gea, Peter Odemwingie and the 18 weirdest transfer deadline day stories
- 1 More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
- 4 Make your voice heard: Sign The Independent's petition to welcome refugees
- 5 Refugee crisis: Aylan's life was full of fear - in death, he is part of 'humanity washed ashore'
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up