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Koscielny May Not be in Right Frame of Mind to Play, Says Wenger

Koscielny was playing for France on Friday when three suicide bombs exploded outside the Stade de France.

Published: 20th November 2015 08:01 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th November 2015 08:04 AM   |  A+A-

Laurent Koscielny_AP

LONDON: Arsene Wenger is unsure whether Laurent Koscielny will be mentally able to play for Arsenal tomorrow (Saturday) after sensing that his defender was "deeply" affected by the terrorist atrocities in Paris.

Koscielny was playing for France on Friday when three suicide bombs exploded outside the Stade de France and Wenger, who was himself near to some of the attacks last Friday, felt that the trauma of the incident was evident in his defender's performance against England on Tuesday.

Arsenal play West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns tomorrow and, as well as talking to Koscielny, Wenger will be carefully monitoring his player's reaction in training.

Wenger-AP.jpg"He had a fantastic game against Germany and you could see that on Tuesday night he was not himself," said Wenger. "It affected him deeply and I didn't recognise the player I saw on Friday night on Tuesday night. I will talk to him to see if he is completely recovered and focused.

"You have to trust the player in these kind of situations. Today in the Premier League you don't get away with it with 80 per cent focus. You have to be completely committed. What I will want from him is that he's completely committed and feels ready. If not, I will not play him."

Olivier Giroud has also been with the France squad over the past week, while Santi Cazorla was in the Spanish team who had their match in Belgium on Tuesday cancelled due to the security threat.

Although Mesut Ozil and Per Mertesacker were not with the German squad, and Mathieu Flamini and Mathieu Debuchy are no longer in the France squad, Wenger is conscious that the attacks could impact on his players in different ways.

"Of course, you have to talk about it, to deal with it," he said. "I believe in the French national team they did talk about it but, after a while, you want as well to come back. Life has to be stronger than fear and the way for us to get on with life is to focus on our job."

Wenger thought that it was right for France's match against England on Tuesday to go ahead.

"I was not far from the event and I think everybody who was in Paris on Friday night was in shock," said Wenger. "The whole city was shocked. France is, like England, a tolerant and generous country and to discover how much your own citizens hate you and hate the country is of course a huge shock for everybody. You wonder what is going on there."

 

 

 

 



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