Arsene Wenger will hold heart-to-hearts with fully fit duo before Arsenal trip to West Brom
By Editor Wayne Veysey| Former Evening Standard, Press Association and Goal chief correspondent with 17 years experience of breaking big stories, including exclusives like this
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Arsene Wenger will hold heart-to-hearts with French duo Laurent Koscielny and Olivier Giroud before selecting the pair for Saturday’s trip to West Brom.
Wenger claimed he “didn’t recognise” Koscielny in France’s 2-0 defeat to England on Tuesday as the defender struggled to come to terms with the emotions of the occasion following the Paris atrocities last Friday.
The Arsenal manager, who was in the French capital when the terror attacks took place, revealed how troubled Koscielny was by the events.
“You could see that on Tuesday night he was not himself,” explained Wenger at his weekly media briefing on Thursday. “It affected him deeply and I didn’t recognise the player I saw on Friday night on Tuesday night.
“I will talk with him. It’s a big game for us. I have not talked to him yet, but I will talk to him to see if he is completely recovered and focused.
“You have to trust the player in these kind of situations. Today in the Premier League you don’t get away with it with 80 per cent focus.
“You have to be completely committed. What I will want from him is that he’s completely committed and feels ready. If not, I will not play him.”
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An Arsenal dressing room source has told Football Insider that Wenger will also check with Giroud to assess his state of mind before Arsenal’s visit to the Hawthorns on Saturday.
Giroud was a second-half substitute against England on Tuesday and scored last Friday as France beat Germany at the Stade de France.