Arsene Wenger focused on Arsenal
Arsene Wenger would not address the English Football Association's verdict on the John Terry racial slur case Thursday, saying Arsenal must focus on their own performance against Chelsea on Saturday (7:45 a.m. ET on ESPN2) -- and not whether Terry is in the side.
"We do not want Chelsea to be weaker. We want to beat a Chelsea team that has all their assets and we do not even think about that," said Wenger. "It is a case that has been spoken about a lot in the media, I just don't think I have to come out on that, and just let the FA do their job."
The FA on Thursday dealt Terry a four-match ban and a £220,000 ($356,356) fine following the player's four-day disciplinary hearing for an Oct. 23, 2011 racial slur toward QPR's Anton Ferdinand during their Barclays Premier League match.
Wenger said the Gunners must only concentrate on themselves as they look to continue a positive start to the new season, having cruised into the fourth round of the Capital One Cup with a 6-1 victory over Coventry Wednesday.
"What we focus on is on our side, try to be at the best possible level, because, anyway Chelsea has 25 players of top level," Wenger said.
"Terry in the big games has experience and leadership qualities that can always important. We have no speculation about that at all."
Wenger also added he was relieved Arsenal would not be facing Didier Drogba for the first time in eight years.
"I don't know if Chelsea miss him, but we don't miss him. He did a lot of damage against us," said Wenger.
Arsenal made sweeping changes for Wednesday's tie against the npower League One strugglers, when Theo Walcott scored twice.
Captain Thomas Vermaelen will be in contention for the Chelsea game, having recovered from flu.
Emmanuel Frimpong came off the bench to mark his return following a lengthy spell on the sidelines with a knee injury.
Fellow midfielder Jack Wilshere is also close to a comeback and both will feature in an Under-21s game at West Brom on Monday.
Wenger said: "It is another important step, but he has not played for 14 months so we have to calm your impatience a little bit.
"It is fantastic for him, especially for him.
"When you are at that age and are out for such a long time, that is absolutely massive to take."
Wilshere's injury problems saw him miss the whole of last season, and also forced out of contention for Euro 2012.
England have a World Cup qualifying double-header next month against San Marino at Wembley and then in Poland.
Wenger, though, warned against expecting a full-blown return at international level for the 20-year-old midfielder just yet.
"I think that will be too early for him. He has not played for 14 months," said Wenger.
However, the Arsenal manager joked: "Who does England play, San Marino? I think he can play in that game!"