Friday, October 19, 2007

Lehmann out, Eduardo in for Bolton Clash

Arsene Wenger has announced that he will stick with Manuel Almunia in goal for tomorrow's game against Bolton despite the return of Arsenal's former first-choice keeper Jens Lehmann from injury. Fans are beginning to question whether Lehmann has a place at the club any more, as Wenger has completely left him out of the squad, keeping Lukasz Fabianski as the second choice goalkeeper.

"Jens Lehmann played very well for Germany," Wenger told "But Almunia will play against Bolton. He must be patient and fight for his place.

"Patience is not his best quality and Jens will fight every day to be back in the team but I have three world class keepers here now.

"In our job you must always fight hard and be able to cope with any situation that you deal with.

"At the moment he must be strong enough to deal with it."

Eduardo da Silva, arguably Arsenal's biggest Summer signing, is set to take Robin van Persie's place for the Bolton clash, after the Dutchman was injured in the Netherland's midweek win over Slovenia.

The Brazilian-born Croat will have to play well to keep his spot when van Persie returns, as Emmanuel Adebayor and van Persie have both been in fine form of late. Theo Walcott is also slated to get a chance as a central striker, but Nicklas Bendtner will be disappointed to find that he will not play alongside Adebayor in van Persie's absence.

"Eduardo, it could be time for him,” said Wenger at a Friday press conference. “He has started very well.

"He is certainly intelligent enough to fit into the side, Walcott will too. Walcott will get a chance in this position because I feel now he is ready to play through the middle.

"We are in October and Theo has already played a part. He made a big impact last time he came on and you know things change quickly. In football you have always to be ready, and it’s a good opportunity for him as well, not only for Eduardo. If he is strong, he will play.

"Bendtner will [play] as well, but he is more in Adebayor’s position than someone to play with Adebayor."