You have to hand it to Arsene

As you would expect, Arsene Wenger has come up with a solution to avoid a similar situation to that of Denilson on Saturday against Everton when he went down injured and lost possession and David Moyes’ men nearly scored. Handball!
This morning’s Daily Mail reckons AW has invited controversy by ordering his players to handle the ball when they lose possession due to injury.Denilson was on the ball in midfield at the Emirates on Saturday when he suddenly collapsed in pain clutching his side, allowing Everton to launch a quick counter attack which almost won them the game.
Manuel Almunia saved from James Vaughan to stop his side going 3-1 behind and we argued afterwards that the visitors should have kicked the ball out so the Brazilian could receive treatment.
AW’s view: ‘I wasn’t upset that Everton played on. I said to Denilson that if that happens you have to commit a handball. I’m very serious. If you go down and there hasn’t been a foul, you cannot ask Everton to stop their counter attack and not score. So, if you go down like that, at least put your hand on the ball and it’s a free-kick.’
So exactly what was wrong with Denilson, who went down as if a sniper in Block 112 had singled him out? Wenger continues: ‘It is a little bit mysterious at the moment. It could be an intercostal (muscle) problem. I’ve just seen him in the dressing room and he can walk quite normally. We have to see if it is a broken rib, if it is a deeper problem with his lungs.’
The paper reminds us that Denilson has only just returned from a stress fracture of his back and there were fears he might have a recurrence of the problem. That would have posed another midfield problem for Wenger at a time when Alex Song is away with Cameroon at the Africa Cup of Nations but, according to the Mail, 21-year-old Denilson hopes to be fit to play at Bolton on Sunday.
‘I think I’ll be ready for Sunday,’ said Denilson, who will have a scan on Monday to make sure. ‘I was just running with the ball and felt this pain in my side. I couldn’t run, I couldn’t stop the ball but I feel okay now. It’s not my back, it’s my side.’ I think the cold got to him, poor lamb.
Elsewhere this morning, the Sun tells us that AW has told his Arsenal players they have 18 months to convince him to stay on as manager for the rest of his life.  The Frenchman’s current contract runs out at the end of next season and AW, 60, has admitted he is taking his time before making a decision on his future.
The paper says AW told French TV if he signs a new contract it will be for the long-term and he would not look to work elsewhere.
Wenger added: “I am giving myself a bit of time to think. What is important is that the club is in good hands, whether they are mine or someone else’s. Whether I personally leave on a positive or negative note is a little bit less important.”
In the Mirror, AW talks about the absence of Alex Song and the impact it will have on us while he is on bullet-dodging duty with Cameroon in the Africa Cup of Nations.
“I knew before Song left for the African Nations, unfortunately, that he’d be missed,” Wenger said.”I do not want to draw a quick conclusion about missing him because too many players were off the pace.
“We struggled for a while when we lost Van Persie to injury as well, so we have to find a new balance, new responsibilities, and a share of responsibilities in our game. I’m looking for players in the transfer window. I said many times I have an open eye on the market and, if the right opportunities come up, we will do something. But at the moment I must say I’m still only looking.”
He expands on his thoughts on the trouble in Angola in the Times but insists neither Emmanuel Eboué or Song should return in light of the shootings.
“When you hear sometimes there’s unrest in the suburbs of London, you still live well in London,” he said. “When I speak to my friends in France, they ask me: ‘Is a revolution happening in London?’ I don’t like this culture of fear, either. I hate that.”
Wenger, however, acknowledged that some details about security in Angola are worrying. “You hear many noises now that they were told not to travel by bus,” he said. “So I don’t know what happened there. And, as well, why no one from the official organisation was travelling with them.”

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