Wenger takes blame for Arsenal's FA Cup ouster at Stoke

Posted By: Staff

London, Jan 25(ANI): Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has said that he is to blame for the team crashing out of the FA Cup at Stoke.

Wenger had started the game with only two first-team regulars in Cesc Fabregas and Denilson as Arsenal lost 3-1.

He gave a second debut to Sol Campbell, but kept Andrey Arshavin and Eduardo on the bench and left out William Gallas.

"If you win, it's ok. If you don't, it's your fault. I have to stand up for it. I didn't have much choice as - apart from Gallas - Sagna, Vermaelen and Clichy could not play," The Sun quoted Wenger, as saying.

"They will be back for Aston Villa in midweek and might have missed that if they'd played against Stoke - apart from Gallas. If you look at our schedule, you can't always play the same eleven," he added.

Wenger further said that he had taken a risk with the game, as most of his players are suffering injuries.

"We have 10 injuries and we're going into a period where we cannot rotate very well. I knew it would be tight, but I had more hope that putting the three players on near the end would give us more chance of winning the game. It was a risk," Wenger said.

"Some of the players were a bit too young to face a physical fight. It was always important we could cope with a physical game," he added.

His comments also indicate that Arsenal's tough upcoming Premier League fixture list may have been key to his decision to select an inexperienced side for the game.

Arsenal, who last won the Premier League in 2004, have surged back into the title race by winning eight times in an unbeaten 10-game spell following a 3-0 home defeat by Chelsea. (ANI)

Story first published: Monday, January 25, 2010, 12:46 [IST]
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