Arsenal are yet to score at home this season and Wenger will be hoping that his players can get off the mark against Stoke today. Arsenal announced last week – barely 24 hours after the transfer deadline – that Welbeck’s ongoing knee problem would require surgery and a significant recovery period.
Injury to Welbeck leaves Olivier Giroud as the Gunners’ only recognised striker fit for selection, with Theo Walcott and Alexis Sanchez having been mainly used as wide players.
“Of course, I am confident I have enough cover and enough quality”.”The solutions we had were not convincing at all”, Wenger added.
Wenger has been in charge of Premier League outfit Arsenal since 1996 and has been key in the club establishing themselves as one of the biggest in the world.
Wenger was hopeful about the German’s return despite the towering defender not taking antibiotics “On Wednesday he was not good, we had to send him home”.
“He was very close, but he could not tolerate the final step up in his rehab”, Wenger said.
“His immediate future and his future at the weekend is that he will be involved with our game against Arsenal”, Hughes said. People want always the absolute certainty that they will be absolutely successful. In England, it’s something they do well – to give the coach confidence and support.
“They have (Ibrahim) Afellay, Bojan, (Xherdan) Shaqiri, (Mame) Diouf up front and Charlie Adam in midfield. I did not lie to you, I gave you the information I had”, he said.
“Maybe in the past teams would fear going to the Emirates or Old Trafford or Stamford Bridge”. I don’t think that’s the case any more.
The German has impressed so far this season, and if he continues to create chances his strikers will eventually start finishing them. We have players who can cause them problems. “He will be out certainly until Christmas”. “He scored a great goal because you needed technical quality to score and timing in the finish”.
“He was talking to me about Real Madrid and, at that time, he was very interested in the club and what was happening”.
Wenger, though, does not believe there should be any extra edge to the encounters, which have seen flashpoints such as when Stoke captain Ryan Shawcross left then teenage midfielder Aaron Ramsey with an horrific double leg break in February 2010.