Arsene Wenger’s latest update on Frimpong’s recovery and Diaby’s injury

December 30, 2010

We have an away game at St. Andrew’s  in two days time. Wenger, today, gave the latest on the squad ahead of the fixture while speaking to Arsenal.com.

Diaby: Out for three weeks

Wenger confirmed that from last night’s game we have only lost Diaby to a calf injury. He is to undergo tests but could be out for a minimum of three weeks according to Wenger.

Kieran Gibbs is still out due to his ankle injury, Vermaelen is not yet back and Almunia is also injured.

Fabregas, however, will return after his suspension. Rest of the squad will be available for the match against Birmingham.  

Wenger also gave the latest update on Frimpong who has been out since pre-season with a knee injury. He was sidelined for 9 months of which close to 6 months have already passed. Even so he is making good progress in his recovery from the injury. Wenger confirmed today that he is coming along well and close to running. In a month’s time he will be back to playing in training.

Wenger told arsenal.com:

“We lost Diaby last night for a while and he will have a scan today [Thursday] but in my opinion he will be out for over three weeks.

Of course Thomas Vermaelen is not back, Manuel Almunia is still injured and Kieran Gibbs is injured as well with his ankle. He is not back but everybody else should be available.”
 
“He is coming along well for a guy who has a cruciate.

“You count nine months and it is now nearly six. He is close to running and in one month he should start to play in training.”


Player Ratings: Wigan 2 – 2 Arsenal

December 30, 2010

The overall team performance was very much below par yesterday. We started very casually and never really stepped up. We enjoyed a good patch late in the first half but that was all individual brilliance. As a team we never really clicked today and here questions arise like where was the balance when the starting team was picked? Maybe Wenger will know about it.

The defence was quite shaky and never looked comfortable whenever Wigan were on the attack. The communication wasn’t there and at times most were caught out of position. The midfield is also to be blamed for our woes at the back as they never supported the defenders.

The midfield didn’t create much today. There were some moments where it looked like we were stepping up but the next moment it was all quiet.

Upfront, none of the players had any understanding among them.

Coming to player ratings:

Fabianski (5.5): He is a good shot stopper and is fine whenever the ball stays low. He just can’t make up his mind on the aerial ones and just doesn’t marshal his defence. Two goals in two games conceded in almost the same manner i.e. getting caught out of position. Besides that he did well in stopping N’Zogbia’s shots in the second half

Sagna (6): Wasn’t at ease today although showed good work rate while sweeping the flanks. Should have done better on the corner that led to the equalizer.

Koscielny (5): He makes mistakes and then covers up. Why not avoid the mistakes and make life easier!!?? Was caught out of position many times yesterday. Did make some vital interceptions though. Gave away a soft penalty, although IMO it wasn’t. Still should have done better and he needs to stop doing costly mistakes.

Squillaci (5): Scored an own goal, although he couldn’t have done anything else due to the way he was caught. Bedsides that did a fair job but needs a lot of improvement.

Eboue (4): I had my doubts before the game in starting him, and they were confirmed after the game. He was harassed all night by Nzogbia. He was caught out of position many times and never was comfortable on the flanks.

Denilson (5): Very poor in the first half, rather being a holding midfielder he was completely absent. Improved somewhat in the second half.

Rosicky (6.5): One of our better players out there. He tried really hard and some of his passes were good but the players around him were too slow. Dropped down deep at times to get the ball and did well for his part.

Diaby (no rating): Not even half an hour had passed and he was substituted for an injury. While he was on did nothing of worth. I hope he does get back to his best because we will need him,

Arshavin (6.5): Anonymous in the first part. Woke up for like 10 minutes in which he changed the game and then went back to his usual self. Made an assist and scored an awesome goal in those 10 minutes. If somehow he can play like that for just 60 minutes, we would be having no problems in winning games. He did miss a chance in the second half that would have killed the game. We only want that he should play consistently because we know what he can do.

Chamakh (5): Another one of his disappointing games. Didn’t know what to do. Missed a few half chances besides contributing in defence.

Bendtner (6): He too like Arshavin was absent for most parts of the game. Did better in the second half. Scored a very well taken goal. He needs to step up though if he wants to be starting regularly.

 Subs:

Wilshere (7) was an example out there to others. He tried hard, made things happen and did his job superbly. Was involved in most of the things upfront and he brought some spark to our game when he came on. Nasri and Walcott were brought on far too late. No ratings for them.

Final word

Disappointing, yes!, but  it’s not a disaster. We didn’t lose and it was a type of match which we could have easily lost.  We have dropped two points and the manner of dropping the points is questionable. And yes, we could have done better but every day is not a holiday. We still have 19 games to go and anything can happen in them. At the moment we need to focus on our next couple of games and make sure the mistakes done yesterday are not repeated.

We have a a few days to prepare for our next match at Birmingham. It will be more difficult than this and I hope we do show up for it like we did against Chelsea.


Arsene wenger on the points dropped and making 8 changes to the team

December 30, 2010

After the impressive win against Chelsea, it was necessary to follow it up with a win. However, that didn’t materialize as we were held by 10-men Wigan.

Wenger, after the game, admitted that Arsenal didn’t do enough in the second half after coming back to lead the game. He was disappointed that they dropped points by conceding a goal when Wigan were reduced to 10 men.  According to him it was a difficult game as Wigan were committed. He acknowledged Wigan for fighting hard and never giving up.

However, Wenger maintained that Arsenal did well in coming back and dominating the game in the first half but was disappointed that they couldn’t continue with it in the second. In games like these you have to score the third because it can end up very easily as a draw.

Wenger, however, didn’t blame the 8 changes, that he made for the match, for the points dropped. He defended his decision on making the changes after the match by saying that it wasn’t a problem as he cannot play the same team every match with two games coming up in quick succession.

Many would argue that Wenger shouldn’t have made these many changes. I for one feel that although the changes were necessary, Wenger should have kept the balance of the team. Starting Denilson with Diaby, Bendtner with Arshavin, Eboue against N’Zogbia where some of the odd choices. However, with the team put out, we should have still won had we showed some urgency.

On the impact of this game on title race, Wenger commented that it will be known at the end as Manu also dropped points.

After the match, Wenger said:

“We were 2-1 up and playing against ten men and we dropped two points. Overall, it was a difficult game with high levels of commitment from Wigan. They caught us a bit at the start and after that we came back into it a little bit. In the second half we didn’t do enough and we conceded two goals from two set pieces.

Credit to them, they didn’t give up. I thought we tried very hard. The pitch became more and more difficult for us to put passes together. They defended deeper in the second half and it was more difficult for us to find space. Wigan fought very hard today. I felt in the first half we had a great dominance and came back well but in the second half we didn’t produce enough or offer enough.

We had a disadvantage that Wigan played three days ago and only 48 hours ago we played a big game in the evening. I had to change it because we play on Saturday and again on Wednesday so we can’t always play with the same team. But I don’t think that was a problem at all.

Last night Manchester United drew 1-1 with Birmingham, we drew 2-2 today so we will know at the end of the season. It was a difficult game, you always felt that any mistake at the back and we could pay for it. As long as we didn’t score the third goal in this kind of game it can end 2-2.”