Arsene Wenger has selection dilemma over Thomas Vermaelen and Wojciech Szczesny ahead of Swansea v Arsenal
The two players were dropped for the midweek victory over Bayern Munich
Friday 15 March 2013
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has yet to make up his mind whether to recall captain Thomas Vermaelen and goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny at Swansea tomorrow - but said “nobody is guaranteed a place”.
Szczesny was left back in London when the rest of the squad travelled out to Munich on Tuesday afternoon, with Wenger revealing the Poland international had been "mentally affected" by the number of games he played this season.
Despite not playing a first-team match in more than a year, Lukasz Fabianski went on to produce a solid display, making some smart saves in the 2-0 win over Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena and could well have done enough to retain his place for the trip to the Liberty Stadium.
Skipper Vermaelen, meanwhile, was left on the bench as Laurent Koscielny - whose late header provided Arsenal's second goal on Wednesday night as they went out on away goals - partnered Per Mertesacker.
Nacho Monreal was cup-tied in midweek and is set to come back into the defence as left-back Kieran Gibbs will be rested after completing his first 90 minutes since his recovery from a thigh problem.
However, Wenger said team selection would always come down to individual form.
"They (Vermaelen and Szczesny) are two outstanding players who are part of our squad. They have played so many games until now. Their position is very important in the squad," he said.
"But every position is up for grabs. You have to face it like that, the last game decides the next one.
"All the players are in the same position. Nobody is guaranteed places in the team.
"Everybody faces the same competition and the players who (have) come in have been on the bench for a long, long time.
"They all have the same problem, the job of being a top-level competitor is to deal with that."
Wenger felt Vermaelen understood the decision to leave him out against Bayern.
"Thomas has a fantastic attitude. He's a guy who is absolutely outstanding with his attitude and motivation," said Wenger.
"He has played many games in many positions and is a very important player in our squad.
"They know there might be rotation with the three centre-backs - Vermaelen, Koscielny and Mertesacker."
Arsenal head to Wales in search of the win needed to keep alive their hopes of gatecrashing the top four once again.
Wenger said: "For us, every game is a cup final now.
"Swansea is always a difficult place to go and we will need to repeat the game we had at Bayern Munich, it is as simple as that - solidarity, fighting spirit and win at all costs."
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