Wenger willing to wait for injured Theo

The newspaper spotlight falls on Theo Walcott this morning with Arsene Wenger apparently telling us he won’t rush the youngster back into action after he suffered a back injury.
AW had hoped to have him back for Saturday’s clash with Portsmouth but now says Walcott could miss the visit of Celtic to the Emirates on Wednesday in the second leg of the Champions League play-off and the game against Manchester United next week.
He tells the Sun: “There is a slight concern but we believe it is a question of days and not of weeks. We will see if he is fit to face United but it is always difficult to set a date. I thought he would be available for Celtic, I thought he would be available for Everton, but he wasn’t. That’s why we will be cautious.”
Footballers are like thoroughbred horses these days and managers, especially perfectionists such as AW, won’t rush them until they are completely fit. A sharp and hungry Theo back in the ranks is definitely worth waiting for. With Tom Rosicky and Samir Nasri also sidelined, we will in time need all fit personnel to cover for the inevitable injuries that follow such a punishing schedule. See you soon, Theo!
Meanwhile, in the same paper. Manuel Almunia is talking up Thomas Vermaelen and seems to think he can aspire to the form of a certain Kolo Toure when he was at the top of his game.
Almunia said: “Kolo Toure was one of the best defenders at Arsenal over the last few years and I hope Thomas can reach the same level. He’s a very good defender, has a good left foot, is good in the air and is very competitive. Now he has to keep it going.
“Thomas has been at the club for a few months now and is a very relaxed player – and that makes the people around him relaxed as well. William Gallas, Gael Clichy, Bacary Sagna and myself are all very confident about him. It is very early to make any decisions about him but, at the moment, he is responding very well.”
Aw would appear to concur with Almunia (and why wouldn’t he, of course, after spending £10m on him from Ajax?) and tells the Guardian he is impressed with the impact the Belgian international has had on the team already.
He said: “Yes, I am surprised but we saw that he had the physical strength and mentality to cope and when he was needed he came in. I believe he has a good mix of the physical and technical for a centre-back and it is interesting to have a left-footed player because he gives you angles for the pass which are very important for the midfielder.”
And so to Pompey at home tomorrow…

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