Wenger on Bendtner’s goal and performance and Sagna’s injury

January 26, 2011

Arsenal qualified for the finals of the Carling Cup after beating Ipswich town. Arsenal scored three goals in the process but  had to wait for an hour to find the first goal. It was Bendtner, who opened the scoring for Arsenal in style when Wilshere found hin with an excellent pass.

Speaking after the match, Arsene Wenger acknowledged that both the goal and the pass by Wilshere that led to the goal were great.Wenger also enjoyed the goal scored on the corner that saying that it was fantastic for him as Arsenal score very few goals on corners.

Speaking of Bendtner’s performance, he said that it he had an outstanding game. Wenger said that he is getting sharper and sharper with every game as players returning from injuries are not hundred percent and get better by playing.

He talked about rotation being vital as Arsenal has played a lot games in December and January. He said that the rotation also shows that he has the confidence in his squad.

Regarding Sagna’s injury, Wenger said that he had a concussion and needed to go to the hospital. He was sick after the game and there was pain at his nose, but wenger said the most worrying was the concussion of his head. However, Wenger was hopefull that there will be good news in the morning.

Arsene Wenger after the match said:

“It was a great goal, yes, with a great ball from Wilshere as well. He had an outstanding game tonight. I must say I enjoyed the corner as well because we score so few goals from corners, for me it is fantastic.

We rotate, I rotate from game to game because we play nine games in January and we played eight or nine in December as well. I show them as well that I have confidence in every player, no matter how big the game is. Of course sometimes when a player has not played for a few weeks, when he comes in he is not 100 per cent, but after a few games Bendtner is getting sharper and sharper.

Sagna had a concussion. He has to go to hospital, he was sick after the game. He has pain at his nose but the most worrying is the concussion of his head. Hopefully we can get good news tomorrow.”


Arsenal 3 – 0 Ipswich Town: Wembley!! here we come | Bendtner, Koscielny and Fabregas scored the vital goals

January 25, 2011

Arsenal 3 – 0 Ipswich Town ( aggregrate 3 – 1)

Wembley!! here we come. A good performance sees us through to the finals of the Carling Cup.

Thanks to an awesome goal from Bendtner, that opened our account, Koscielny for the second and Fabregas for striking the final nail in the coffin.

We had plenty of chances but just couldn’t find the net due to some good defending by Ipswich. We enjoyed the  a lot of possesion but Ipswich were frustrating us. It all came down to a brilliant goal from Bendtner in the 61st minute that opened up the game.

Koscielny scored the second from a corner with his head in the 64th minute.

Fabregas found the net for the third after a good counter attack in the 77th minute.

Besides that there were plenty of chances with Van Persie hitting the post, in the first half, being the major one.

One grey area was Sagna getting injured and I hope he isn’t badly hurt and returns quickly.

Anyways, a great result and a great finish by Arsenal. Let’s hope we do the job at Wembley, where we will either meet Birmingham or West Ham.


Arsenal vs Ipswich Town: Preview and Starting Eleven

January 25, 2011

So this is it, the final obstacle in our way to Wembley. A top performance from us today and we are there and hopefully it will be a start of more great things to come from this team.

Ipswich is leading by a goal coming into this game and their game plan will be to frustrate us by parking the bus and hoping to score on the long balls. And mind you they are much disciplined at the back. But seeing what our team did at the weekend against Wigan, I have no doubt that we will go through but we have to be at that level and never switch-off.

We just have to give our best and not take them lightly. Wenger has said that he will rotate for today’s game also. I feel that we should start with the same team that started against Wigan, with one or two changes, and kill the game off early. The more we delay in killing the game the more Ipswich will fancy their chances.

For the starting eleven, Szczesny is going to stay in goal with Djourou and Koscielny retaining their places. On the left, Gibbs should replace Clichy but on the right I will start with Sagna.

In the middle I will keep the same trio of Wilshere, Song and Fabregas as it is vital that we dominate the midfield today.

Up front I will start with Van Persie and Walcott but rest Nasri and bring in Arshavin on the left.

Probabale starting XI: Szczesny, Sagna, Djourou, Koscielny, Gibbs, Wilshere, Fabregas, Song, Walcott, RVP, Arshavin

Start with this team today Wenger and we will be in the finals with one hand on the trophy and hopefully we will claim it.

I won’t make any score predictions but  keep everything crossed for this one. This game won’t be a walk in the park but we can make it by giving a quality performance.

Come on Arsenal!!!Wembley is waiting!!!


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 Arsenal.com):

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.”


Chamakh and Denilson have minor knocks, Diaby and Squillaci are a week away from returning

January 20, 2011

Speaking to Arsenal TV online today, Arsene Wenger gave the latest update on the squad ahead of the Wigan game.

After last night’s game, there are some uncertainties on the availability of Denilson and Chamakh for Wigan. Both of them picked up minor knocks in the game against Leeds but it’s too early to say if they will be available or not.

The manager said that overall there are no new injuries as both of them are ‘small doubts’. According to Wenger, Chamakh looked better even today after picking up a minor knock to his knee while Denilson will be checked tomorrow to see how he responds to the knock on his hip.

As for the other injured players, they are still not yet ready to be back.

Wenger confirmed that Diaby and Squillaci are not far away but won’t be ready at the weekend. A week is what Wenger gave for their return.

As for Fabianski, Wenger said that they will have to remain patient as his shoulder still gives him pain.

Wenger, while speaking to TV online said:

“We have some uncertainty about Chamakh and Denilson. Denilson has been hit on the hip and we will see how he responds tomorrow morning. Chamakh today looks good so overall I don’t think we have lost anybody last night. They are small doubts.
 
Diaby and Squillaci are not far away but they will not be completely ready for the weekend. They will be one week I think.

Fabianski is still out unfortunately with his shoulder. It still gives him pain and we have to be patient about that.”


Player Ratings: Leeds 1 – 3 Arsenal

January 20, 2011

This was yet another fine performance from Arsenal. A high tempo start, early goal, possession play and killing off the game when required.

The defending was quite good. At times Gibbs was caught out but others covered up well for him.

In the middle we passed the ball around well with pace and precision. The pressing and movement was also good.

Upfront, the goals that were scored were all brilliant, but still we need to be more clinical and convert what we create.

Coming to player ratings:

Szczesny (6.5): Didn’t have much to do, it was a stunning shot that led to the goal. Did well when called upon.

Sagna (8): Top class performance. Our right side was rock solid. Scored an awesome goal and provided good support in attack on the right.

Djourou (7.5): No mistakes today. A solid and disciplined performance. Aerially dominant as well.

Koscielny (7.5): Same as Djourou. Good solid defending. Was again quick to close down the Leeds players. He certainly plays well when around Djourou.

Gibbs (6.5): A decent performance. Good going forward but still needs improvement at the back. Made some good interceptions  though.

Song (7): Good work rate, good distribution of the ball and great in breaking down the Leeds play.

Denilson (6.5): Kept it simple and passed the ball around well. No ‘Denilson’ mistakes today. Some of his touches were quite good at times.

Nasri (8.5): Man of the match for me. He gave us a brilliant start and really carried the team well in the first half. His movement was good and opened up Leeds very easily. Cool finish on the first goal too.

Arshavin (5.5): He started brightly but then again lost his touch. Missed a simple tap in the first half and his shots on goal were way over at times.

Chamakh (6.5): Linked up play nicely, good work rate but again should have scored a goal.

Bendtner (6.5): His first touch was poor, missed a simple tap in and was anonymous at times. However, improved as the game progressed and delivered an inch perfect cross for Van Persie to score the third goal. Besides this made a couple of good runs and helped in defending.

Subs:

Fabregas (7) and Van Persie (7) were great when they came on. They increased the tempo of our game and made things happen. Fabregas started the move that led to our third goal that Van Persie scored. Clichy (no rating) had little time to make an impact.