Wales manager Chris Coleman has accused Arsene Wenger of taking a “cheap shot” for blaming Aaron Ramsey’s injury on them. Arsenal boss Wenger criticized Wales for playing Ramsey in last month’s Euro 2016 qualifier against Andorra after qualification for next summer’s finals in France had already been secured. Ramsey suffered a hamstring injury playing for Arsenal against Bayern Munich the following week and is not expected to return to action until after the November international break.
But Coleman hit back at Wenger by saying Wales had received no correspondence from Arsenal saying they were concerned by Ramsey’s fitness, as had been sent to England regarding Theo Walcott.
“If he (Wenger) has got a problem with my selection of one of his players then pick the phone up and tell me,” Coleman said when announcing his squad for the Nov. 13 friendly with Holland.
“Our jobs are hard enough as managers without having a little chip at each other, especially a cheap shot like that.
“We didn’t have a phone call from the Arsenal manager or any correspondence from their medical team and that is a green light for us to play the player.
“We had that correspondence from Real Madrid over Gareth Bale and I saw that Wenger spoke to Roy Hodgson to warn him about Theo Walcott to warn him.
“Why didn’t he call me up? Just a five-minute phone call to say ‘be careful’ and that’s exactly what I would have done. But I never got that phone call. Nothing.”
Ramsey returned from Wales duty in October, having played 90 minutes against both Bosnia-Herzegovina and Andorra, to play the full game against Watford the following Saturday, scoring in a 3-0 Gunners win. But he lasted less than an hour against Bayern the following Tuesday as he was forced to come off with a hamstring problem.
“We sent Aaron back fit because he played against Watford for 90 minutes,” Coleman said.
“I saw the game and after 75 minutes Arsenal are 3-0 up, so take him off and rest him as they still had two subs to use.
“Then on Tuesday he pulls up after an hour, so how we get to the assumption that was our responsibility after a game-and-a-half I have no idea.
“It doesn’t serve me or us as a country to upset clubs because the players don’t belong to us.
“It’s not in our interest to gamble with players and we never do it, so don’t point the finger at us.
“We have been vigilant and a lot of work goes into our preparation, but if we don’t get warned that this player could be in the red zone it’s a green light for us.”
Coleman also criticized Wenger for bringing Bale into the Ramsey row. The Real Madrid forward suffered a recurrence of a calf injury four days after having also played full games against Bosnia and Andorra. Bale is expected to return for Real against Sevilla in the Primera Division this weekend but, like Ramsey, has not been named in Coleman’s 23-man squad to take on Holland in Cardiff.
“What I would say (to Wenger) is don’t comment on Gareth Bale as he doesn’t play for Arsenal, it has nothing to do with them,” Coleman said.
“We’ve always had good conversations with Real Madrid and that’s the way it should be done.
“We’ve spoken to them this week and I would imagine Gareth will figure in their next game, but they want to use this time wisely and carefully to try and get him up to speed after his injury.
“I understand where Real Madrid are coming from, we respect that and Gareth wants to do what’s right.
“There’s no need to take a risk. We’ve seen Gareth wants to play every game for his country and score goals, but he can concentrate on staying in Madrid and getting fitter.”
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