Date:Wednesday October 4 2006
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger says he blames his own poor decision not to rest Robert Pires in the 2002 title and fa cup run in, for the Frenchman's horrible injury.
Arsene 'The Wizard' Wenger says he could see that Pires was weary but still made the choice to play the 2002 Player of the year.
Speaking in the live web chat yesterday, Wenger made the admission.
'I have made many wrong decisions and I will give you one example. When Robert Pires got injured in 2002 on the left flank he was the best player in the world. That week I had decided not to play Pires against Newcastle but the closer we got to the game the more I thought I would play him because if we won that game we would nearly be there [in the FA Cup]. I changed my mind 24 hours before the game and then he got injured.'
I went home and thought I was stupid because I should have done what I had planned... He missed the World Cup and I feel afterwards it was a bad decision. It is not fate because I was convinced it was time for him to be rested because he had shown signs of fatigue, so your coordination drops and then you get injured. Deep down I knew I was right not to play him but I was weak when it came to pushing the decision through.' Wenger confessed.
I personally feel Wenger is being far to hard on himself and taking his fatherly responsibilities a bit too far.
The injury Pires suffered was as a result of a dodgy landing, nothing more, any player, fit or otherwise could have suffered the exact same fate.
I guess this goes some way to prove the ultimate responsibility he feels for his players, and how it plays on his conscience when things don't got right for his boys and red and white.
It is things like this that set apart from other managers, and why I wouldn't swap him for anyone in the world.
Date:Wednesday October 4 2006
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