It seems that a story has been created out of a nothing challenge.
Arsene Wenger has said the injury incurred by Jack Wilshere during England’s friendly win in the week was an accident.
Both Wilshere and Daniel Agger went to contest the ball which resulted in the Gunners midfielder coming off second best – with a hairline fracture to his foot and six weeks on the sidelines for his troubles.
Some reports in this morning’s newspapers have suggested that the Arsenal boss was looking to blame the centre-half for Wilshere sustaining the injury. At what is such an important period of the season for Arsenal, where they face fixtures against Everton, Bayern Munich, Tottenham, Chelsea, Manchester City and Everton again – a run that could determine whether season ends with success or disappointment you can under Wenger will have been upset to lose one of his most talented players for that period.
Wenger has said: “I believe it was accidental.”
The Arsenal manager summed it up nicely, it happens in a contact sport.
The only thing that Agger can be guilty in this instance is a terrible first touch which led to him needing to slide in to a challenge in order to retain possession for Denmark.
There are of course the odd irrational arguments that the Liverpool centre-back set out to put Wilshere on the sidelines given that the two sides are level on points. So irrational in fact there is a petition calling for Agger to be banned – but that may have been following the equally ridiculous petition calling over Luis Suarez after John W Henry’s comments about the striker’s contract clause at Anfield last summer.
Incidentally, football fans do have the right to be irrational in support of their team – but that sort of irrationalism is bordering on the absurd.
But this Agger incident is no worse than the odd sliding challenge you see in every football match across the world, it was slightly mistimed - and unfortunately in this case, Wilshere has sustained an injury due to his commitment to try and kick the ball away from the Dane - but instead hit his foot.
image: © Ronnie Macdonald