Arsene Wenger on why Fabregas started on the bench and Samir Nasri’s injury

April 3, 2011

Arsenal’s title hopes were dealt a major blow after yet another lackluster performance which left Arsene Wenger disappointed and frustrated.

Speaking after the drawn game against Blackburn, Arsene Wenger admitted that it was a frustrating performance which lacked energy and sharpness and how it’s a major concern to see the team perform as such. The manager added that it is difficult to find one reason for such a display as he conceded that part of it was down to Blackburn’s good defending and more of it down to the poor offensive performance from the team.

When asked about why Fabregas started on the bench, the manager revealed how the decision was a difficult one and down to the concerns of Fabregas as in the past he has been troubled by his hamstring when returning from injury. Arsene Wenger explained that with the number of setbacks Fabregas has had this season, it is only logical that things are done step by step in order to avoid a recurrence of the injury.

Regarding Nasri’s head injury which was suffered early on in the game, the manager gave good news by saying how he is alright and will be available for next weekend.

After the game, Arsene Wenger said:

“It was a frustrating performance because we had no pace in our game. Overall it was a flat performance with a lack of energy level, a lack of sharpness. It was quite a big concern to see what we have seen today.

It is difficult to identify one special thing. I felt we started OK and after our game became flat. Very few players looked to have the resources to put the pace up in the game. Part of it is down to the fact that Blackburn defended well but I don’t put the majority of reasons down to that. I feel it is more down to our poor offensive performance today.

It was a difficult decision but you could see that he still has some concern. I believe he is over his injury. He got a little setback at the Nou Camp, but before the game he was fit. Today he was fit, but there was some still reluctance in his head, so I decided not to start him. He has had a few setbacks of course so he did not know completely if he could play 90 minutes. It takes step-by-step to get completely back and be free in his head and not concerned about the injury. He was concerned about having a recurrence.

[Samir Nasri] is all right.”