Wenger blasts 'selfish' Pearce

Gunners manager 'frustrated' by absence for England star

Walcott: Sidelined

Loading Market ...

Football Betting

Up To £30 Free Matched Bet

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has hit out at the 'selfish' decision taken by England Under 21 coach Stuart Pearce to call on Theo Walcott this summer.

Young attacker Walcott has yet to feature for the Gunners this campaign after struggling with a back problem.

He turned out for Fabio Capello in the World Cup qualifiers against Kazakhstan and Andorra in June and was then selected by Pearce for the European U21 Championships in Sweden.

It is not known when Walcott will return to action, with the forward considered a doubt for England's 9th September trip to face Croatia, and Wenger has vented his frustration.

He said: "It was a selfish decision by Pearce, he just wanted the results. I spoke to Capello and him and expressed my point of view to them.

Vela injury

"It was difficult because I couldn't really prevent Theo playing for the Under 21s.

"Now he is still unfit because he has not had a proper preparation for the new season.

"I'm not so much angry as frustrated. I cannot see the logic of it. Now both England and Arsenal have a handicap. It's why I didn't want him to play for the Under 21s. After that we were under pressure to rush him back and he got hurt again.

"If he did not get back to us until 29th July and the season starts on 15th August, how can he be fit in time? I knew I would have to start this season without him."

Meanwhile, it has been confirmed Carlos Vela will be sidelined for a month with an ankle injury.