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WENGER BLAMES FAB FOR THEO KO; WENGER IN ROW OVER THEO.

Byline: JOHN CROSS

ARSENE WENGER last night attacked Fabio Capello after ruling Theo Walcott out of England's next World Cup qualifier.

The Arsenal boss revealed Walcott has suffered another setback with his back problem and blames Capello's decision to allow the England winger to play in the under-21s tournament in June.

Wenger says Capello will now "pay the price" after ruling Walcott out of next month's friendly with Slovenia and the qualifier with Croatia when England can book their World Cup place. He said: "Theo will not be available before the Manchester City game and certainly not for the Man United game next week. I believe it will be a problem for England as well. I didn't want him to play for the Under-21s. I know how it works.

"The player comes back later than everybody else, he doesn't have a decent preparation, you are under pressure to rush him back, you play him earlier than you should, he gets an injury and you see him again in October. That's what usually happens and that's why I was adamant he does not go with the Under-21s. And in the end England will pay the price as well."

Wenger was furious with England under-21 boss Stuart Pearce for calling up Walcott even though he had already established himself in the senior team.

Walcott was the hat-trick hero of England's victory in Croatia but struggled with injuries last season.

Wenger is still smarting at Walcott's treatment by Pearce, particularly as he was twice left on the bench.

CAPTION(S):

UNHAPPY Wenger must do without Theo Walcott UNDER FIRE Pearce
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Aug 22, 2009
Words:267
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