Arsène Wenger will talk to Laurent Koscielny before Arsenal’s trip to West Bromwich Albion on Saturday to assess whether the France player, who was so visibly affected by the atrocities in Paris when he returned to playing in France’s friendly against England at Wembley, feels able to return to the Premier League with full focus.
The Arsenal manager said: “He had a fantastic game against Germany. And you could see that on Tuesday night he was not himself. It affected him deeply and I didn’t recognise the player I saw on Tuesday night. “I will talk with him. I have not talked to him yet, but I will talk to him to see if he is completely recovered and focused. It’s a big game for us. You have to trust the player in these kind of situations. Today in the Premier League you don’t get away with it with 80% focus. You have to be completely committed. What I will want from him is that he’s completely committed and feels ready. If not, I will not play him.”
Wenger was also in Paris in Friday night, and outlined his sense of “huge shock” about the terrorist attacks. He had been due to attend France’s friendly against Germany at the Stade de France but as he was running late decided to watch the match on television from his hotel.
“In the end in the hotel we were quite secure, but the streets were empty, completely empty. I was not far from the event and I think everybody who was in Paris on Friday night was in shock. France is, like England, a tolerant and generous country and to discover how much your own citizens hate you and hate the country is of course a huge shock for everybody. You wonder what is going on there. Why does this country get this kind of treatment? “I believe at the moment nobody in France has found an answer or a real explanation for what’s going on and why, because what was targeted was the way of life, basically. Football, going out, listening to music. It’s more way of life that is targeted than any individual community. “I was more under shock than fearful, because you could be scared of what was going on because it was four different places attacked in the centre of Paris, so you don’t feel secure anywhere.”