Arsene Wenger has explained that he brought Mathieu Debuchy back into the side due to ankle problems suffered by Hector Bellerin.

The Spaniard has been in superb form since being drafted into the side in Debuchy’s absence and it was something of a shock to most when he was excluded from the semi-final squad.

Speaking to, the manager explained the decision which has seen many, this site included, question his decision.

LONDON, ENGLAND – APRIL 18: Hal Robson-Kanu of Reading holds off Mathieu Debuchy of Arsenal during the FA Cup Semi Final between Arsenal and Reading at Wembley Stadium on April 18, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

“It was a bit risky.” the manager said.

“Bellerin has played recently with some ankle problems and Debuchy was back so I thought it was a good moment to do it.

“Debuchy had cramps just before the end of the game but I couldn’t change him, but he is a French international and must be capable of playing in a semi-final against Reading.”

Kieran Gibbs was also thrown into the semi-final despite not having played in around a month due to Nacho Monreal’s excellent form, another decision which saw the manager questioned.

“You wait, you wait, at some stage you have to play a game,” Wenger continued. “Kieran Gibbs has not played for a while but he didn’t suffer physically too much.

“Ideally you want everybody to be happy.

“It is part of the job and the most important thing is to get results, for the fans and everybody involved with the club. The majority dominates the minority.”

Who the manager turns to for the game against Chelsea is anyone’s guess but with Eden Hazard in their side, he could very well opt for the experience and control of Mathieu and Nacho rather than the youthful exuberance of Bellerin and Gibbs.

Nice to have the choice for a change, really.

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Writer. Feminist. Dreamer. Gooner. Owner of, writing about Arsenal since 2008. Sometimes found in the Guardian, & elsewhere talking queer issues, politics & football. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.