Arsene Wenger is said to be extremely angry with Daniel Agger after a rash challenge left the Arsenal midfielder with a broken bone in his foot during England's 1-0 friendly win over Denmark.
As reported by John Cross of the Mirror, Wenger is allegedly upset after the Liverpool defender's attempt to win the ball ruled his player out for at least six weeks:
Arsene Wenger is fuming with Daniel Agger after his challenge left Jack Wilshere’s World Cup hopes hanging by a thread.
The Gunners midfielder, in a surgical boot last night, is out for at least six weeks and faces a desperate race against time to be fit for Brazil.
While Wilshere has time to recover for the World Cup, he is going to miss a vital run of action during Arsenal's quest to gain silverware this season. The Englishman's clash with Agger was a tight one that could have gone either way, but there's no denying the Liverpool centre-back lunged with excessive force, especially considering it was a friendly encounter.
Wenger will be without one of his key men for an intimidating run-in, as noted by Bleacher Report UK (March 8's FA Cup game with Everton is missing):
Arsenal's fixtures in February and March. Daunting? Daunting: pic.twitter.com/usSakG0wKs— Bleacher Report UK (@br_uk) January 26, 2014
Agger has shown little remorse for his actions and believes he had a right to go for the ball, per Cross' report:
"It was 50-50. You have to go for those challenges," said Agger. "I was going for the ball and I think I got the ball, but the referee didn't."
Contrary to reports, Wenger acknowledges the tackle was accidental, per Arsenal's official Twitter account:
Roy Hodgson was more than likely to include Wilshere in his World Cup squad before the unfortunate incident took place. The England boss said it "would be a bit sad to leave out someone who is 100 per cent fit and in fantastic form, in favour of someone else who wasn’t fit and might just recover during the tournament."
Even so, Matt Law of The Telegraph confirms the Gunners star will be given the chance to prove he should be in the squad:
The England manager and his staff will give Wilshere every opportunity to prove his fitness, which may see him named in the 30-man party for the Portugal training camp and Peru game even if he has barely played for Arsenal.
The truth is, England possess very few players who flaunt Wilshere's technical ability on the ball. Adam Lallana was arguably the Three Lions' brightest spark when he came off the bench to set up the winning goal, but he is unlikely to replace Wilshere in the starting line-up when the Arsenal man is fully fit.
It's more likely the Southampton star would take Jordan Henderson's slot, if we're judging on the starting XI from the Denmark match.
Did Daniel Agger use excessive force during his tackle on Jack Wilshere?
Wilshere has made 28 appearances across the Premier League and Champions League this season, scoring five goals and providing four assists, per WhoScored.com. He has often enjoyed stunning one-touch link-up play with Olivier Giroud, as highlighted by his memorable passing goal against Norwich.
The 22-year-old's injury is likely to see Kim Kallstrom make his debut during the FA Cup tie with Everton, per an alternate Law article. Arsenal's sole signing of the transfer window is likely to benefit from the situation, but will be called upon to make an instant impact if he is deployed against the Toffees.
With Arsenal and Liverpool currently locked on 59 points in the Premier League, four behind leaders Chelsea, Agger's tackle has left many Emirates fans seething. A petition has arrived calling for the Football Association to suspend the defender, as reported by Metro.
At this stage of the season, occurrences such as Wilshere's injury threaten to have a major impact on the team's chances of achieving success. Even at full strength, there's no denying Arsenal's squad was going to struggle with its difficult fixture schedule.
Players such as Kallstrom and Mesut Ozil will now be tasked with stepping up in Wilshere's absence. Their ability to do so might just define the season for Wenger and his men.