Arsene Wenger: I would not vote for anybody in the Ballon d'Or race
Arsene Wenger talks about the Ballon d'Or, Debuchy's shoulder injury and the upcoming game versus Manchester City
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has said that he is completely against the idea of the Ballon d’Or and is a strict believer that football is a team sport. The award is handed out to the best performer in the previous calendar year, courtesy votes from the national team coaches and captains, as well as journalists from around the globe.
“I would not vote for any Ballon d’Or. I’m totally against it. I’m a team lover and a specialist of somebody who loves teamwork. I’m completely against it. I would not vote for anybody,” he said.
Arsenal take on second-placed Manchester City at the Etihad on Sunday and the Frenchman spoke about the shoulder injury suffered by Mathieu Debuchy during last Sunday’s home game against Stoke City, as a result of which the 29-year-old defender will be out of action for three months.
The push was not needed: Wenger
Wenger vented his frustration, saying that the push by Stoke forward Marko Arnautovic was completely unnecessary, but added that the 25-year-old didn’t intend to hurt the Frenchman.
“The push was not needed. I watched it again and in that situation, Debuchy was a bit unlucky as well because there is a little slope just after the touchline and maybe that made it worse,” the 65-year-old said.
“I just think that Arnautovic had no chance to get the ball. I don’t think it was malicious, but it was not needed. These subjects are always very sensitive because I don’t really know what his intention was. It is difficult. It is not obvious. I don’t think he wanted to hurt him, but it was not needed,” he added.
Tough start for Debuchy at Arsenal
Debuchy joined the Gunners last year from Newcastle United for an undisclosed sum but has had a tough beginning at his new club. At the start of the current season, Debuchy suffered an injury to the ligaments in his ankle and had to undergo surgery. That kept him out of action for three months.
The veteran manager felt sorry for him and added that it wasn't his fault that he has endured such a tough time at the Emirates.
“He is destroyed, because he is such a keen player, so professional, so willing.It is his first year here and, of course, he is embarrassed. But it is not his fault,” he said.
He also confirmed that Danny Welbeck is also a fortnight away from returning to action. Last season’s fixture at the Etihad between the two sides was a high-scoring one, with City beating the visitors 6-3 and Wenger said that they lost out on the title only because of their away performances.
“Last year, we did not win the championship only for that reason [the away losses]. We did not perform in the top away games. I believe we have the potential now to be much more stable and to show that we can do it,” Wenger said.