Arsène Wenger has revealed that the Arsenal captain, Cesc Fábregas, has suffered a recurrence of his hamstring problem and will be out for possible two weeks. “He is very disappointed because it is becoming a bit of a problem for him, but it is very superficial,” said the Arsenal manager.
Alex Song and Theo Walcott are also out of the FA Cup quarter-final at Manchester United on Saturday, with Robin van Persie a doubt, while Wenger revealed that the club could consider an emergency loan for a goalkeeper as cover for the injured Wojciech Szczesny.
The Frenchman also refuted his charge from Uefa for improper conduct in the fall-out from Arsenal’s Champions League defeat to Barcelona. The manager and the midfielder Samir Nasri have been charged for “inappropriate language” towards the Swiss referee Massimo Busacca after the final whistle at Camp Nou, where Arsenal lost 3-1 after having Van Persie controversially sent off. The disciplinary case will be heard by Uefa on 17 March.
Busacca showed Van Persie a second yellow card for shooting at goal just after he had blown the whistle for offside with the Dutch forward claiming he had not heard it because of the noise of the 95,000-plus crowd.
Wenger confronted the Swiss official after the final whistle and angry exchanges continued inside the tunnel. Speaking at Thursday’s press conference ahead of the quarter-final at United, Wenger said: “I deny completely any charge. I do not understand where that comes from. It is a shame for me that the referee took the decision to send Robin van Persie off. It was the wrong decision.
“The first leg was a fantastic advert for football and the second game has been destroyed. People now will only remember the sending off. It would be good for Uefa to show some humility, to apologise for what has happened, not charge people who have done nothing wrong.”