Fab Euro blow after win over Clarets

We’re gonna win the league…and now you’re gonna believe us! Well, believe Arsene Wenger anyway. The great man is predicting the glorious Gunners will be top of the pile come the end of the season and today’s papers are full of his beliefs after the 3-1 win at home to Burnley. Oh, and the small matter of claiming the Champions League too!
The Mail says AW insists we can win both the Premier League and the European Cup after a fourth successive league victory lifted us level on points with title favourites Chelsea.
The paper says AW accepts that he has not had a deep enough squad in recent seasons but he believes his young side now have the necessary experience and resilience to claim a double.
‘I think we can,’ he said. ‘But it depends whether we keep our players and avoid more injuries.’  Next is the Champions League on Tuesday, when we have to overcome a 2-1 deficit against Porto to reach the quarter-finals. ‘Two months ago I would have said that our best chance is in the Champions League but now I would say that it’s the Premier League,’ said AW .
But the win over the Clarets – thanks to goals from Cesc Fabregas, Theo Walcott and Andrey Arshavin – didn’t come without a price. And the News of the World reports that our Champions League hopes have been ‘dealt a huge blow’ with Fabregas a major doubt to face Porto.Fabregas limped off in the first half suffering a recurrence of hamstring trouble. AW said: “He has a hamstring problem and we don’t know how big the damage is. We will see on Monday how he is. We must make a late decision as to whether he plays on Tuesday. It’s the same hamstring he hurt before, his right one. It was a shame because he scored a magnificent first goal for us. His finish was class.”
Walcott had a stormer yesterday and capped his fine performance with a superb goal and AW said of him in the Sunday Mirror: “Theo Walcott gave you the great response you waited for. He does what a player has to do – not talk in the newspapers and let your performance talk on the pitch. He didn’t answer any critics other than with a good performance and that’s what you want from a player. That shows he is mentally strong.
“I was quite sure he would respond with a good performance but you never know, it affects you when you get criticised. The way he answered that at his age is remarkable.”
In the Telegraph, AW says he believes the threat of injury from reckless challenges has impeded the development of Walcott’s game.
The paper says a week after Aaron Ramsey suffered a broken leg in a challenge from Stoke’s Ryan Shawcross, AW said that opponents panicked by Walcott’s pace have resorted to dangerous tackling, singling out Birmingham City’s Liam Ridgewell for his efforts this season.
“You put yourself in the mind of a player at 17 years of age who runs 100 metres in 11 seconds: what do people do? He got some tackles against Ridgewell this year where there was no intention to play the ball,” Wenger said.
“You know every time you will get the ball people will just try to stop you at any cost.
“It’s difficult to take when you’re 18 if you know always the intention of the guy who comes against you is to stop you, to get your pace. Now he starts to deal well with that.”

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