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Nov 5, 2008

Adebayor out for three weeks

Arsenal's depleted squad has been further rocked by the news that key striker Emmanuel Adebayor will be ruled out for three weeks due to the ankle injury he picked up in Saturday's physical encounter at Stoke City.

The news will further enrage Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who claimed that Stoke set out to intentionally hurt his players during the Gunners' 2-0 defeat at the Britannia Stadium. Winger Theo Walcott (shoulder) and right-back Bacary Sagna (ankle) were also hurt during the clash.

"The only intention is to hurt you and I can show some tackles where I can prove what I say," Wenger said in the aftermath of the Premier League match.

"Do you think (Rory) Delap tried to play the ball when he tackled Walcott? Or that [Ryan] Shawcross tried to play the ball when he tackled Adebayor off the pitch. All the players have been injured deliberately."

With an increasingly busy physio room and Robin van Persie set to serve a three-match ban after receiving a red card against Stoke, Wenger is quickly running out of players and could do without further injuries.

"Adebayor will be three weeks," Wenger confirmed ahead of Wednesday night's Champions League group game against Fenerbahce. "Walcott could be days or weeks. It is the shoulder he had the surgery on."

On the plus side captain William Gallas, who has been out since the 4-4 draw with Tottenham Hotspur with a hamstring problem, could return for Fenerbahce's visit to the Emirates and Sagna is back in the squad.

Football Association disciplinary chiefs are yet to decide if Wenger's comments regarding the Stoke game amount to bringing the game into disrepute, although a decision on whether to charge the Frenchman could be made this week.

On Wednesday Stoke manager Tony Pulis responded to Wenger's criticism by accusing the Frenchman of hypocrisy and trying to dupe the public.

"In Stoke-on-Trent on Saturday evening Mr Wenger talked openly about Arsenal's encounter with Stoke, as being a 'typical English encounter'," Pulis told the clubs official website.

"He commended my team's organisation, my team's commitment and confessed that on the day Stoke City thoroughly deserved to win the game. Very open and very honest.

"In London 48 hours later and 150 miles away from Stoke-on-Trent, Mr Wenger changed tack and has tried to rewrite history.

"His comments about my team are there for everybody to read and certainly made me smile, along with I'm sure 27,000 supporters at the game, millions of TV viewers and the massed press who interviewed him after the game."

"Remember there was only one red card on Saturday and the last time I watched the game it certainly was not a Stoke City player who received it.

"I and my Football Club have tremendous respect for Mr Wenger and Arsenal football club, but as Mr Wenger is such a learned professional and on a great day in American electoral history, I would like to remind him of Abraham Lincoln's great quotation, 'You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time'."

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