Arsenal v Swansea: Arsene Wenger confirms Laurent Koscielny ruled out but hopes to have both Kieran Gibbs and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Gibbs was mistakenly sent off by referee Andre Marriner during the 6-0 defeat to Chelsea which Wenger has labelled 'a nightmare'
Monday 24 March 2014
After Arsenal cancelled their Monday morning press conference in order to focus on preparations ahead of their must-win Premier League fixture against Swansea tomorrow, Arsene Wenger has said that the squad is determined to respond to Saturday’s “nightmare” 6-0 defeat to Chelsea.
The Gunners capitulated at Stamford Bridge, as they conceded three goals and had a man sent off within 20 minutes. Even though referee Andre Marriner mistakenly dismissed Kieran Gibbs instead of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Arsenal already looked to be consigned to defeat at Chelsea ran rampant to strengthen their title challenge.
“Everyone at the Club is focused on giving the right response to Saturday's defeat at Chelsea when we play Swansea City on Tuesday night,” Wenger stressed, writing in an email sent out to fans of the club.
“The game at Stamford Bridge was a nightmare for us and I take full responsibility for it. The players are deeply disappointed, as we all are.
“We have to think deeply about it because it is not the first time it has happened in this kind of game. It all went wrong and we failed completely on Saturday because we did not turn up with a performance.
“We felt we prepared properly, but we did not produce what we can, so it is puzzling. After 20 minutes, the game was over and it became a long afternoon.
“That is the most disappointing thing, that we were never in the game. It is puzzling because we were knocked over basically without feeling we had been in the match.
“Now we have to win our next game. That is what we have to focus on. It's vital that we show character and respond in the right manner on Tuesday night against Swansea City. We are all determined to put this performance behind us and respond.”
Arsenal head into the clash with the Swans without influential defender Laurent Koscielny, after the Frenchman limped off at half-time and failed to show for the second half at Chelsea due to a calf injury he picked up. Captain Thomas Vermaelen looks set to return to the starting line-up, with Wenger confirming on the club’s website http://www.arsenal.com that Koscielny will undergo a scan to determine the extent of the damage at some point today.
"We have lost Laurent Koscielny for Tuesday's game with a calf problem. I don't know how long he will be out for. He has a scan today [Monday]. Everyone else should be available," Wenger confirmed.
The blow means 19-year-old Hector Bellerin, recently on loan with Championship side Watford, is likely to be drafted in, but Wenger remains hopeful on being able to call on both Gibbs and Oxlade-Chamberlain for Tuesday’s encounter.
"There is a question mark about Chamberlain,” Wenger admitted. “The situation over his suspension will be decided today. After that I will make a decision. At the moment he is in the squad. We expected Kieran Gibbs' suspension to be overturned.”
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