Wenger Bans Handshakes to Combat Flu Bug
By IBTimes Staff Reporter | October 6, 2012 8:15 PM EST
Arsene Wenger has banned his players from shaking hands until further notice. The Frenchman is battling an outbreak of flu among his players.
It is believed that England winger Theo Walcott may have introduced the virus into the Gunners' squad after returning from international duty early because he was unwell. In addition to Walcott, Belgian centre back Thomas Vermaelen and young midfielder Francis Coquelin have also been ill, although both players have now recovered.
The infected players were joined by members of the support staff, and a concerned Wenger has introduced emergency medical protocols to contain the virus. This includes asking for the training ground to be disinfected and dressing rooms cleaned. However, his concern over handshakes is what really stands out.
"We have improved the level of hygiene in the dressing room, we clean everything. It is funny, but shaking hands is one of the biggest things to spread virus. I shake hands with everybody, but we are advised not to do it when there is a high level of risk. At the moment it has passed and is not a high level. A few have it, but it is not (necessarily) the case that they got it here," Wenger said.
"It is a good excuse not to shake hands before the game. If you shake hands the viruses go around the league," he added.
Germany international Per Mertesacker was also unavailable, for the game against Olympiacos, due to the illness. However, the tall centre back should be fit enough to play West Ham, which will be a boost for the Gunners' ability to defend the serious aerial threat the Hammers' on-loan Andy Carroll poses.
"It was always intense. It is a concentration challenge. You can have a virtual domination and lose the game. West Ham are well balanced, a good mixture between direct and technical play. He is a good manager because he lasts," Wenger said about Hammers' manager Sam Allardyce, adding, "Our relationship is all right. I respect everybody, even if I don't look like I do."
Arsenal travel to Upton Park to play newly promoted West Ham. The Gunners find themselves in the odd position of trailing West Ham in the league table. Wenger's side has nine points from the first six games and is in eighth place, while their hosts have two more points and sit in seventh.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
Join the Conversation
- Jules Bianchi Latest Update: F1 Driver's Father Says Son In A Desperate Situation
- Manny Pacquiao Chasing Floyd Mayweather Jr. Because Of Money But Says Undefeated American Is Afraid Of Filipino - Analysts
- Floyd Mayweather Trains Justin Bieber In The Boxing Ring
- Jules Bianchi Latest Update: Driver's Mother Says People 'Shirking Responsibility' About The Accident
- Novak Djokovic Aims For World No. 1 Rank In 2015, Becker Says
- iOS 8 Jailbreak Release Date Likely this October 2014 with Pangu not Evad3rs Firming Up as Creator
- Top 4 Free-To-Download Apps for Fuller iPhone 6, 6 Plus Experience
- Battery Saving Android 5.0 Lollipop Feature Extends The Battery Life Of Your Android Device By 90 Minutes And Displays Orange Bar While Power Saving Mode Is On
- Chilling: New ISIS Video Addresses Australia; Aussie Teen Delivers Message
- Apple Inc. (AAPL) Stock Set to Soar Beyond $100 Despite Decline After New iPad Launch
- Russia Beefs Up Gold Reserves To Offset Heat of Sanctions And Undercut Dollar
- Australia's 'No Way' Anti-Asylum Seeker Poster Sparks Outrage