Press Pass: Arsenal's impossible task?
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has conceded he "overplayed" midfielder Jack Wilshere in recent weeks, after confirming his talisman will be out of action for up to a month.
Wenger would not be drawn on speculation that Wilshere's injury is more serious than preliminary assessments suggest, with his plan to rest the 21-year-old for a month sparking speculation Arsenal may face an extended period without their star midfielder.
Yet the Gunners boss has been assured by medical experts that a period of rest will resolve the bruising in Wilshere's right heel, with his withdrawal from action described by Wenger as precautionary ahead of Wednesday night's Champions League clash with Bayern Munich.
"Maybe I overplayed him, but only in the last two games," Wenger said, according to the Daily Mail. "It is difficult to rest him because he is a winner and when you ask how he feels, he says 'perfect'.
"If he did not have a history, you could say he could go on, but the specialist said he should stop. It is more about prevention. We trust people who are specialists in this area and they told us we have to stop him for a short period.
"We do scans and he has some inflammation on his heel. The last time we let him carry on, it turned into a stress fracture. Maybe it can be good for him to have a little breather. It is not welcome, but it is the right thing to do."
Meanwhile, Wenger has moved to play down suggestions that he is losing faith in goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, after 'resting' his first choice stopper for the Champions League game in Munich.
"He has played many games, a lot under pressure," he said. "He had one or two games when he was performing less, but it is difficult with goalkeepers. Do they find their confidence again when you give them a breather or just keep playing them.
"I decided to give him a breather and time for him to refresh. This is not because of the pressure, but when people talk about you there is a feeling you cannot afford any more errors.
"It is only his second season at the top level. If you look at the number of goalkeepers at the top level, you do not have many of that age. He has played many games and it is difficult to absorb everything that goes with being at a big club."