Arsenal sweat on star’s fitness

Mikel ArtetaArsenal are sweating on the fitness of Mikel Arteta after he was on the receiving end of a wild lunge from Fulham’s Steve Sidwell.

Sidwell saw red just 12 minutes into the game after he caught Arteta with a late two-footed tackle, and although the Spaniard was able to see out the game, boss Arsene Wenger cannot say for sure whether or not he has escaped unharmed.

Wenger was also unhappy with the tackle from Sidwell, who has only just returned from a three-match suspension, and says Arteta was lucky to escape without a broken leg.

“I think the referee could only give a red card (to Sidwell),” Wenger revealed. “We will see. He played the second half. I don’t know how much damage is done. It is a kick, a bad kick.

“I don’t know if he has twisted his ankle or not. In these kind of things it is a question of a fraction of a second. If you are fully on your foot at the moment you get it you break your leg.

“If you ease a bit off maybe that is why he got away with it.”

Fulham boss Martin Jol also hit out at Sidwell and says there is no way he can defend his player following such a bad tackle.

“I can’t defend him because that would only sound ridiculous,” Jol said. “I was annoyed with him, but he says it is not intentional. He will regret that tackle. It was the first foul that spoilt the game.”

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