With the game against Birmingham just round the corner, the news about some of the injured players returning has been pouring in. The latest is that Bendtner and Gibbs are back in squad and Walcott may also be included. Fabregas, who was making good progress and declared himself fit during the international break, is not available. Most of the other players out will be back in 10 days time.
Wenger told Arsenal TV online:
“We have some good news because for a while we have had only bad news. Nicklas Bendtner is back in the squad and Kieran Gibbs is back too. He (Bendtner) was really, really handicapped by groin problems, but they have gone now. Theo might be involved on Saturday as well. He has normal training tomorrow. I might put him in the squad. I will see how he is, but he looks very, very sharp. The only uncertainty is his ankle, but he might be involved. Cesc is very, very short and unlikely to be involved. He has a little chance for Tuesday (against Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League). Sagna is 10 days, Vermaelen is 10 days, Almunia is a question of days, but Van Persie looks to be a bit longer.”
Now that is great news that three of the injured are returning but I am surprised about the delay in Fabregas’ return. First Walcott was a doubt and now Fabregas is completely going to miss the match. Though if he is not fully fit, he should not feature even in the match on Tuesday. It would be good that he returns for the Man City game fully fit. Same goes for Walcott, not to be rushed if not fully fit. Van Persie’s injury is also a concern. He was supposed to be back by mid October. Still if he is taking this long, when he returns he should remain fit for the whole season then.
So for the game against Birmingham we will be having a slightly reinforced squad. Now who so ever may feature in the game against Birmingham, I would like to see three things from Arsenal.
First of all a goal from range or from the edge of the area would be nice. A pass on the edge of the area, one touch to make an opening and the other a shoot straight on goal, clinical finish. We see more than often that we tend to look for the perfect goal, which looks very good, but sometimes it gets frustrating as we tend to lose the ball and get hit on the counter. With most of our team forward, we always end up in a bad position to defend the counter. Possession should be there but in front of goal we should take our chances. We have the ability and the personnel to score from range, just the execution is required. We can score beautiful goals and if we can add the ability to score from range than believe you me goals would not be a problem.
The second thing is a goal from a set piece or corner. We are often criticized for not having plan B. I feel that we have plan B but we fail to utilize it correctly. We fail because our corners, crosses or free kicks don’t even clear the first defender. We should be a threat on dead ball situations and that will be only possible if we deliver correctly on set pieces. We now have the men too who can score from their heads in the shape of Chamakh, Koscielny and Squillaci and all have done it already. All we need is the perfect ball in.
The third thing is not leaving open spaces for the opposition to exploit. We need to keep the gap between the midfielders and defenders to the minimum. It can only be possible if the player employed in the defensive midfield role stays close to the defenders. This will help us to effectively deal with long balls down the centre as they have been a major nuisance to us.
I will end the post by the great news of Ramsey returning to training. He told Arsenal TV online:
“I’ve been doing strengthening exercises and those sort of things for a long time now. I’m starting to feel the benefits and I’m outside training with the fitness coach, and I feel good. It’s great to be back outside and kicking the ball again. I missed it for a long time, but it’s such a good feeling to be back outside. I’m a very motivated guy. I’ve missed a lot [of football] and it’s made me realise how much it means to me. Now I just want to get back and start doing what I used to do.”
I am really looking forward to his return. Hopefully he will be back to playing his best in no time.