Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger surprised many by including Mathieu Debuchy from the beginning in our FA Cup semi-final victory over Reading in what was his first start since January after he suffered a dislocated shoulder.
Hector Bellerin, who has filled in admirably in Debuchy’s absence, wasn’t even included in the match-day squad and many were sceptical as to whether the French international was ready for a game of that intensity.
According to the boss however, an ankle injury troubling Bellerin influenced him to hand the young Spaniard with a much needed break.
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“It was a bit risky,” Wenger admitted to Arsenal Player.
“Bellerin has played recently with some ankle problems and Debuchy was back so I thought it was a good moment to do it.
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“Debuchy had cramps just before the end of the game but I couldn’t change him, but he is a French international and must be capable of playing in a semi-final against Reading.”
Wenger’s ruthlessness has been an admirable trait this season with his loyalty to players a hinderance in the past. There is no room for sentiment at this level and he is starting to realise that.
One big decision left for the boss is whether or not to start Wojciech Szczesny in the final this summer, after he had another shocking game at Wembley.