Wenger opts to give Shaaban derby duties

Arsene Wenger has stated that he does not discriminate between selecting English players and foreigners for his Arsenal side after choosing Sweden's Rami Shaaban to play in goal instead of Stuart Taylor for the north London derby today.

The Arsenal manager has given a Premiership debut to Shaaban while David Seaman recovers from a groin injury.

Shaaban, who kept a clean sheet in the goalless draw with PSV Eindhoven in the Champions' League on Tuesday, is selected in preference to Taylor, who is English and impressed as Seaman's deputy last season. Arsenal ended the PSV game without an Englishman on the field but Wenger said he has no intention of constructing his side that way.

"When you pick a team for Saturday, you don't look at the passport," the Frenchman said. "If I spent what I did for Francis Jeffers, it shows I am conscious of the problem and I want some English faces but it would be offensive to the English players if I said that you are playing because you are English. I hope I might never have to say that to anyone."

One Englishman Wenger will welcome back into the side tomorrow is the former Spurs defender Sol Campbell, who returns after a back injury forced him out of the PSV match. Last season Campbell suffered intolerable abuse when he went back to White Hart Lane where the sides shared a 1-1 draw, with Arsenal winning 2-1 when they played at Highbury.

"When you play Tottenham, it is prestige and rivalry, the same excitement but a bit different," Wenger said.

His Spurs counterpart, Glenn Hoddle, said now is as good a time as any for his team to be facing their rivals. "The game against Arsenal is always massive, whenever it comes up, whatever form you're in. Form goes out of the window to a certain degree.

"There is a lot of pride at stake. We've come off a draw and two losses and are having a bit of a blip. We have got to turn it around. There is no better way to turn it around than winning against Arsenal. They are not in the greatest of shape, having won only one game in the last six or seven."

News
peoplePair enliven the Emirates bore-draw
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark episode 8, review
News
Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband (R) and Boris Johnson, mayor of London, talk on the Andrew Marr show in London April 26
General electionAndrew Marr forced to intervene as Boris and Miliband clash on TV
News
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions