Arsenal played the first leg of the Champions League play off last night and ended up taking a slender lead into the second leg.
In terms of injuries, however, Arsenal are two more players down.
First off, left back, Kieran Gibbs, got off injured. He was having a decent game before he was substituted in the half time break.
Djourou,who came on for Gibbs after the break with Vermaelen going at left back, himself got off injured ten minutes later. Djourou produced one crucial block during his time on the field before he was replaced by Jenkinson.
After the game, official Arsenal site released this statement (later taken down):
“Kieran Gibbs and Johan Djourou both picked up minor hamstring problems during Arsenal’s 1-0 win over Udinese on Tuesday night. Gibbs was replaced by Djourou at half time and the Swiss defender was in turn replaced by Carl Jenkinson 10 minutes later. Both players could miss Saturday’s game against Liverpool.”
Arsenal official twitter account tweeted this:
INJURY NEWS: Gibbs and Djourou have minor hamstring problems and could miss Saturday’s game against Liverpool
With Traore already injured, during the reserve game against United, we are left with no left backs and only three first team defenders. Jenkinson filled in at left back last night and he wasn’t comfortable back there. The big question now is who are we going to see in defense against Liverpool? Wenger will certainly have to make some tough decisions! I shudder even at the thought of losing one of Vermaelen or Koscielny now.
In transfer news, last night, Arsenal announced that Carlos Vela and Pedro Botelho are going to spend the 2011/2012 season on loan in Spain.
Vela will join Real Socieded, he was unveiled today. Botelho will join Rayo Vallecano.
Although, I would have loved to see Vela play for us this season, I have to admit this loan move is the best option for him to play regular football. He has the talent and in my opinion he hasn’t been given a fair chance at Arsenal to show that. Spanish game will suit him better and will polish his skills further. Maybe, next year he will play for us. The only concern is he might not return as these loan moves usually turn out to be permanent transfers in the end.
Apart from this, Alex Song is going to serve a three match ban, starting from the Liverpool game, after he accepted the FA charge. He was charged with violent conduct after the game against Newcastle United for stamping on Joey Barton.
The FA statement on the official Arsenal site said:
Arsenal’s Alex Song will begin a three-match suspension with immediate effect after he accepted a charge of violent conduct. Song was charged following an incident during Arsenal’s fixture at Newcastle United on Saturday, August 13.
This is further bad news for us because our claim for Gevinho’s red card has already been rejected. And seeing how Song performed yesterday, he is going to be missed dearly in the next three league games. He will, however, be available for the second leg against Udinese.
With players going down left and right for Arsenal through suspension and injuries, it looks to be a tough two weeks for us. With this pace, I am afraid by the end of this month, we won’t have a first team to field. I hope this makes Wenger realise that our squad is not big enough as he is claiming.