Arsenal news

Wenger backs Giggs for Olympics

October 22, 2011

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes Manchester United winger Ryan Giggs is the perfect player to lead Great Britain's football team in next summer's Olympic Games.

Arsene Wenger
GettyImagesArsene Wenger wants none of his players involved in Euro 2012 and the Olympics

• Fergie: No Olympics for Euro 2012 stars

The Frenchman, however, does not want any of his young Gunners to be involved in both the European championships and London 2012. The Football Association this week kept the door open for England's players to have the opportunity to play in both tournaments.

Wenger said: "I think it's good if Great Britain does well at the Olympic Games but we have to find a common, sensible solution to the use of the players.

"I would be happy that Giggs plays. Not because he plays for Man United but because I think Giggs has never had the chance to play at international top level tournaments. So for him it would be something fantastic and he's still good enough to do it."

Wenger, however, is concerned that Arsenal, with Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott, Aaron Ramsey, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Kieran Gibbs all potentially available for the Great Britain team, should not lose top talents for what could be crucial matches, for example, in Champions League qualifying.

Wenger said: "I have a lot of sympathy for everybody but imagine the team who plays a qualifier for the Champions League like we did and it goes on in the period of the Olympic Games. There can be a conflict of interest on the club side and the country side.

"It would be great for England to win the Olympic Games, I'm happy if they win it but it's important for us as well to have our players when we need them.''

On the prospect of losing five of his young talents to Olympic competition, he added: "We have to find a solution. I don't know how we can find a solution in the modern game. Before it was an under-23 tournament. Now for England it looks as well to be an over-35 tournament.

"There is a conflict between use of the players at the club and for the country. When you speak as a manager of a club people think you are against the country.

"I am not against the country, I am happy if England does well, why should I not be happy when the team does well? But if you were manager of Arsenal Football Club you would worry as well about having your players when you need to win football games."