Wenger fires back at Mourinho over playing Lacazette against Manchester United

Arsene Wenger: I was being honest over Alexandre Lacazette fitness

Wenger denies employing mind games with Lacazette

We can not take any of these games lightly after tonight's game against BATE, and I am sure that there will need to be changes by the time we facr Newcastle at home in one of our easier games, but until then I expect Wenger to play with his strongest side available as we fight to get back into the Top Four.

"Next week we go into a week with three games and so some players need competition, some experienced players".

Instead, Lacazette was named in an Arsenal side that slipped to a first defeat at the Emirates Stadium since March and scored the consolation goal as Jose Mourinho's United left north London with all three points. What did you want me to do? Mourinho said he doesn't believe Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola's claim that David Silva is a doubt. I can only play with 11 players and the players have to deal with that and so do I. Then came the dig at Wenger over Lacazette. It has been suggested that both players need to leave in January if they are to make their respective World Cup squads, something that is already something of a long shot in Walcott's case.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has defended his rotation policy, stating he does what is in the best interest of the club, not the player's national teams.

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The only player, apart from long-term absentee Santi Cazorla, who has is struggling with an injury is Shkodran Mustafi.

Wenger, though, says he can not put the needs of worldwide football ahead of his duties to the Gunners. "One of the positives is that the behaviour of the squad is remarkable and impeccable". The trio have not started a Premier League match between them so far, but have played regularly in the Europa League.

The other supposed upside was that the Europa League would give chances to players who weren't playing often - if at all - in the league, to show their manager they deserved a chance. "We voted many times - that is what you call democracy".

He said: 'I know what I'm capable of doing, I just want to stay fit and healthy and let my football take care of itself.

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