The international break is truly underway as it is evident from the boredom and amount of news about Arsenal and the infinity number of players linked with us again. The major change is the good news that we have had in the shape of the injured players returning after the international break and most of them are not involved with their home teams during the Internationals.
First of all the Fabregas will return just after the International break for the match against Birmingham. Fabregas has declared himself fit but will not be featuring in the Spanish team for the Internationals. The next player in line is Theo Walcott who is making good progress but will not be rushed and will be available for the Man City match. Almunia is also expected to recover from the elbow injury.
Bendtner is hopefull to return by the end of this month as he has said:
“Now I am ready [to train]. Some of the boys have time off because of their internationals, but otherwise I train together with the other first-team players at Arsenal and I have enjoyed myself so much. I have no pain in the groin and have trained so hard physically that maybe I am in my best shape ever.”
Gibbs is also to return from his injury after he missed the Chelsea match and under-21 playoffs.
Vermaelen’s achilles injury is healing slowly and he will take some time to return.
Van Persie who was expected to return by mid October will return at the start of next month.
The biggest news is though the return of Aaron Ramsey during sometime in November:
According to Wales caretaker boss Brian Flynn:
“I’ve spoken to Aaron and he’s making great progress. He told me he will be back in full training in three weeks. He’s a great talent and we all want him back playing again. It’s great news for Arsenal, Wales and of course for Aaron himself.”
So in a month’s time we will have almost all of our first squad back and hopefully none of the others will get injured in the process. We would need the whole team back now as we now have to record a decent run of wins. With matches every three days, we would need to rotate the squad to avoid burnout and injuries. It will also ease up the load on certain players specially Wilshere and Chamakh who have been involved in every mach this season.
Other than that we have 11 players on International duty. Diaby is though a concern for the French team and hopefully not for us.
“Abou Diaby has not trained since Monday. The state of his ankle is reassuring, but the exams a little less so. We will make a final decision tonight (Thursday) or tomorrow [regarding Tuesday], but for Saturday, it [recovery time needed] will be too short.”
I hope they don’t rush him other wise we might be the ones suffering as a result as it has happened before.
In other news, Telegraph.co.uk has reported that Arsenal may go on pre-season tour overseas for the first time since Arsene’s arrival. Last time this proposition was rejected by Arsene due to less time available after the World Cup, but next season it might be possible due to fewer engagements. The full report is here.
Coming to the players linked, we are being linked with a number of keepers again. Maarten Steklenburg of Ajax whom Man Utd are also scouting is one of them. We are also facing challenge by Barcelona for Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper, Gorka Iraizoz . Whereas, Mark Schwarzer has come out and said that a January move can be done. He said:
“A lot can happen between now and January. What will be will be, If there’s an opportunity in January, then we’ll explore it. It was probably one of my hardest periods ever, this is the only time in my career I have ever tried to force an issue. I don’t have time on my side. If you were a 30-year-old you would walk away and say ‘fair enough, I understand’. But I’m almost 38 and I want to fulfill an ambition. The sheer opportunity that was there.That was very flattering [the interest from Arsenal], but sometimes you’ve just got to grin and bear it and just get on with normal life again as much as possible, You just have to get your head down and work as hard as possible.”
Well it’s all speculation and with the number of keepers linked with us by now, we would have to play a whole team of keepers. For me we are sticking with our current keepers. And even if we move for one it would most likely be Schwarzer. Other than that we will be getting our third and fourth choice keepers to come up and take the no.1 jersey in due time. For now Wenger believes in Fabianski and Almunia, and for all I know it’s not going to change in the near future, so we are pretty much done with the keepers till the next season. Though, I will love to see myself proven wrong in the January transfer window with a new keeper coming in.
In addition to this our third choice keeper Vito Mannone has come out and said:
“I don’t get regular playing time at Arsenal. I would consider a six-month loan deal just to play. I am happy in London, I love the Premier League. Last year I played nine games and with me, Arsenal never lost. They brought Almunia back (to the starting XI) and then Fabianski started in the game at Chelsea (last weekend). I get annoyed when I don’t play, it’s not as if the other two do that well. But if I’ve signed a contract extension until 2014 it is because they must value me.”
Deja vu!! Is it just me or has this happened before? Szczesny came out and said something of this sort, the next moment he was on the bench as a sub ahead of Mannone. Has this become the current trend? Say a few words about leaving and then be selected in the team.
I know it must be frustrating for the players not to get regular play time and for that they have every right to say they would rather go on a loan move. But what impact does this leave on the young players still coming up. This wasn’t the case before. And both times that it has happened they have clearly said that either of the keepers ahead of them are not good, and the irony is that they might be right. Still, I believe no matter how good or bad they are, they have to respect the decision of Wenger and wait for their chance. As for the loan move, I believe it will be the better option for Mannone and it will give Wenger some breathing space too, as yet another player coming up and saying that he is better will certainly leave Wenger in a tough position to decide.
That’s all for now. More of the International monotony to come.