Wenger confident Stoke's Shawcross will not need protection

Arsene Wenger insists Ryan Shawcross will not need any extra protection at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

Shawcross is set to face the Gunners for the first time since his challenge resulted in young midfielder Aaron Ramsey suffering a double leg fracture during the Premier League game at the Britannia Stadium in February.

Ramsey has now recovered full fitness and is currently on loan at npower Championship side Nottingham Forest.

The Gunners boss insists with Ramsey now on the road back to full fitness, it is time to draw a line under the saga.

Asked whether Shawcross would need extra protection at the weekend, Wenger said: "I can reassure you that will not be needed. What happened in the past, happened in the past.

"We have come out on that - I don't think there is any need to add any fuel on it and just focus on playing football as we always do and respecting our opponents.

"What is important is we want to see a football game where both teams play good football.

"It is Arsenal against Stoke. Every game is different and it is a new start.

"We do not have any preconceived ideas before the game happens on any individual.

"We want to win the game, focus on it and respect our opponent as we always do."

England Under-21 international Shawcross, who was called up for the senior squad against Egypt in March, was distraught following the incident, and has sent messages of support to Ramsey.

Wenger reflected: "It is only Ramsey who can forgive Ryan Shawcross for what happened to him. I cannot forgive. I have not that power.

"If you were the manager of Aaron Ramsey, who is 18 and has two bones broken in his leg, you cannot say you are not upset, it absolutely normal you are upset.

"I gave my feelings at the moment, what we were focused on after that was to get Ramsey back to playing again, what he is just starting to do now.

"We care about Aaron Ramsey and his career. We did not focus on Shawcross, that is why I don't feel there is any need to talk about that."

 
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