Wenger: I trust my players
Arsene Wenger has every faith in his squad as they prepare for their Group H clash against Slavia Prague.
By James Dall
Last Updated: 07/11/07 10:10am
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has every faith in his squad as they prepare for their Group H clash against Slavia Prague, live on Sky One.
Alexander Hleb, Cesc Fabregas, Kolo Toure and Tomas Rosicky have all remained in North London, as the French tactician looks to rest his stars after a draining seven days.
Wenger admitted that it is a risk to rotate his starting XI, despite destroying Karel Jarolim's men 7-0 last time round.
He also confirmed that Gilberto Silva will definitely start, whilst voicing his belief that The Gunners are more than capable of performing without the mercurial Fabregas.
"It is always a gamble whatever decisions you make, but I trust the players I take," Wenger explained.
"Gilberto will play. He is captain of the Brazilian national team; you cannot say he is a big gamble.
"For me it does not change because we leave Fabregas at home that we cannot win the game.
"Cesc has nearly played every single minute since the start of the season.
"If you get him injured, it's three or four games out. If you can give him a breather at some stage it is not too bad."
Alexandre Song is set to slot into defence alongside William Gallas, and Wenger has backed the 20-year-old to come through what could be a testing evening.
"It will be a big test for him. He is very strong in one against one, reads the game well and is calm, good on the ball, that is important for us," he continued.
"If you ask him, he prefers to play central midfield, but I feel that he just wants to play.
"I never had any doubts about him. There are things that you cannot cheat when you see someone everyday in training."
Wenger also gave his thoughts on the seemingly ongoing debate of a winter break, insisting that at present incorporating one into the Premier League schedule is not essential.
"We have a big enough squad to give the players a rest when it is needed and so can cope without a winter break," he added.
"Players who play abroad sometimes have the Christmas period to go home, but here in England they like to keep Christmas going and to have a break after.
"Let's not be stupid, we cannot go down to 18 (teams) in the league and you do not have less games than before, you always have more.
"But at the moment there is still a reasonable break in the summer."