Arsenal vs Wigan: Preview and Starting Eleven

January 21, 2011

An early preview for the match against Wigan as I am going to hit the road today and wont be able to do it tomorrow. And incidently I will miss my first match of the season too.
Anyways coming to the match, it’s against Wigan and this time it’s at our home. Three weeks back, Wigan snatched a draw against us at the DW stadium when Squillaci scored an own goal.

However, this time with our first team available and no new injuries, I have no doubt that we will get the maixmum points. But again goals will matter and for that we will have to be clinical in front of goal.

Uptill now the injury news is that Denislon and Chamakh have minor knocks but they are expected to be available for the match. Still I dont expect them to start, even if they are fit. Fabianski, however, is still out so Szczesny will remain in goal for this one.

The options at centre back is limited aswell, so Djouoru and Koscielny will retain their places along with Sagna, who was superb against Leeds. Clichy will however return to replace Gibbs.

In the middle Song will retain his place, Fabregas will be a sure starter and Wilshere will return after his rest.

Upfront, Van Persie and Walcott will return and they must and Nasri will drop to the left side.
Probable starting XI: Szczesny, Sagna, Djourou, Koscielny, Clichy, Song, Fabregas, Wilshere, Walcott, RVP, Nasri

Wigan’s approach to this game will be no different form what it was the last time. They will rely on set pieces and counter attacks. Charles N’zogbia will will always be a threat and we will need to keep him out of the game.

If we can keep the ball down and keep it moving at pace, we will have the game in our hand. However, we will have to be carefull on the counter attacks and make sure that we don’t give away too many freekicks in our half.

Keep your fingers crossed and enjoy the match.

Wenger on Vermaelen’s procedure and return to competitive football

January 21, 2011

Thomas Vermaelen has undergone a procedure to recover form his Achilles injury that has kept him out of competitive football since September last year.

Arsene Wenger answered a few questions regarding Vermaelen’s situation on Thursday.

When asked about the treatment that Vermaelen has undergone, Wenger replied that it wasnt a real surgery but a procedure.  A tendon called the Plantaris tendon, that lies next to the Achilles tendon was cut off. Wenger said that it’s a strucuture that is very rarely injured and most people don’t even have it that was causing the discomfort.

Wenger further added that it was a very light procedure and Vermaelen is even walking now. As for his return, Wenger said that if all goes well he will back in six weeks.

When asked about the time frame, Wenger confirmed that six weeks is for him to return competitively of which two weeks are without training and four weeks for preparation.

When asked about why Sweden was chosen for the procedure, Wenger said that the medical team sought out the best opinions and with only two specialist available in Europe for this problem, it was decided  by the medical staff to do it in Sweden.

When asked about the people if they were the best available, Wenger answered  that’s what they have tried to do and hopefully this procedure will cure the problem, which has taken so long to be diagnosed in the first place.

Wenger’s reply to the questions (source

What treatment has Thomas Vermaelen undergone?
“It was not a real surgery, it is what you call a procedure. I am not a medical specialist but what they took off is what you call the plantaris tendon. This is a structure that is very rarely injured and they tell me many people do not have one at all. It’s a little tendon next to the Achilles tendon where he had the friction.”

And apparently he was not even knocked out…
“No. It is a very light one, he is walking today. The time to be back, if all goes well, they tell me is six weeks. A bit more, a bit less I don’t know. But I count six weeks. ”

Is that six weeks to get back to full training?
“To be back competitively. Two weeks without training and four weeks preparation.”

Why did you choose Sweden for the procedure?
“Because the medical team sought out the best opinions and found two specialists for that kind of problem in Europe. In the end our medical team decided to do it in Sweden. ”

So they were the best people in the world then?
“That’s what we tried to do. We were a bit speechless because you never find any problems with Achilles and the pain is still there. At some stage we had to find out, so we are hopeful this procedure can solve his problems now.”