Gibbs and Djourou join the injured! Vela and Botelho off on loan, Song suspended for three games

August 17, 2011

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.

 

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We need more players like Emmanuel Frimpong, Chris Samba wants to take the next step, Carlos Vela is staying at Arsenal!

June 24, 2011

These past few days have been really boring with nothing new happening. And in all the boredom, Samba’s signing has gone from being interesting to done to a matter of want-to and don’t-want-to and we are still where we were when we played the last game of the season. It now seems that Blackburn is not willing to sell their backdone. Blackburn’s manager, Steve Kean, has been quoted as saying, in regard to Samba’s possible departure

“We don’t have to sell him. He signed a five-year contract in the last window and he’s one of the players we would like to keep… we are going to try and hold on to all our good players.”

Well it was surely going to happen. On the other hand, Samba himself has come out said that he is ready to take the next step and hopes that Blackburn won’t “put a stick in the wheels”.

“I know there are discussions with some clubs. If a good opportunity arises, I want to seize it. It is necessary that the club understands that I want to go one step further. I hope they will not put a stick in the wheels. It’s been four and a half years I have been at Blackburn and two years I have played in relegation battles.”

This does sound similar to our own situation of Fabregas to Barca, the only difference in that Fabregas hasn’t publically said that he wants to move away (or has he?). Now I can’t tell what will happen in this case but one thing is for sure that if we really are moving in for him then we will be required to pay a hefty price. Is Wenger willing to pay such a price? This is a question that can be answered by Arsene alone, although, I myself am convinced that this summer he will. When remains to be seen!

By the way, the thing that made me laugh was when I read the same story that has been out there for the last two years, ‘Arsenal moving in for Phil Jagielka’. Seriously, do the people who right such stories don’t think for an instant what they are writing. One moment we are after Samba, Jagielka isn’t even mentioned, the next, as soon as Blackburn says we won’t sell him, we are after Jagielka. It is one thing to speculate and another to just put up the same story that has been read over and over again. They must really believe that people don’t think! 

Anyways moving on, the latest development on Clichy is that he wants a move to Liverpool despite an offer from Roma that includes £30 million wages for 5 years according to The Sun. Is Liverpool offering more in wages or Clichy doesn’t want to play European football next season? Sounds quite ridiculous to me but if this report is true then Clichy will have his reasons.

The only new development is in regards to Carlos Vela. His agent is saying that Vela is going to stay at Arsenal as he is very much in Wenger’s plans. His agent, Eduardo Hernandez has told ESPN Radioformula in Mexico

“I have had eight conversations with Arsenal, the most recent was last Friday, and Carlos is an Arsenal player, he will stay at Arsenal and is not for sale. The process with Carlos is a little bit slow. Arsene Wenger is an extremely demanding coach, he sent him on loan for six months to West Brom not with the results he wanted, but, nevertheless, everything is going very well.”

We have seen very little of Vela at Arsenal and I believe it has been unfair on him. He himself hasn’t been able to grab the opportunities and make his mark.  But that also is our own fault as we have been playing him out of position. His finishing is good, can improve, still the main problem is that we cannot get the best out of him by playing him wide. That is why I think the best option for him will be to move away from Arsenal or go on loan for a whole season. We do need a striker though and Vela is not the solution for next season. It is all my opinion though and we can’t really say what Wenger has in his mind.

Before I conclude, I would like to share what Emmanuel Frimpong has said on twitter about being ever shown the door at Arsenal

“Arsenal FC is pumping through my veins. I will never leave Arsenal even if I get released I will beg on both knees to stay they’re going to have to escort me [out].”

If only we can have the same attitude from all our players!


Will we get a new defender?!, Vela off to West Brom and Szczesny is our first choice keeper

January 29, 2011

With so many players linked over these past few weeks, and with us short at the centre back position, one would have been hundred percent sure that a defender would be signed in order to make up for the numbers at the back. As it stands the transfer window is almost over and there are no signs that a a new player will be coming.

During this transfer window, I haven’t talked much about the players linked because speculations always end up futile. The other reason being that I did an article back in December, where we were in a similar situation, and I had said that to avoid similar situations in the future we must sign a defender in the January transfer window. That article didn’t go down well with the readers. The timing of the post maybe wasn’t good but the problem was there and we still haven’t addressed it. We survived that period and thankfully we have survived it again this month, and I hope we won’t have a similar situation in the future. But we have an opportunity to solve it, yet we haven’t taken it.

We still have time but with Squillaci returning, Vermaelen on the way and Song also able to play at the back, there is only one percent probability that a defender will be signed.

Following is what Arsene Wenger said yesterday:

“I focus on my squad and I feel we have 22, 23 outfield players who can cope with what we need. Vermaelen looks to be making good progress, Squillaci is back available, so that was the only position we were short, at centre-backs. If I don’t make any signings it is because I have not identified a special player who could strengthen our squad at the moment.”

So that’s that. I won’t go more into this. Wenger knows more for sure and I hope he is right on this one and I hope we don’t have similar situations as we head into the final lap of the season and don’t rue this opportunity.

Coming onto other news, Vela is off on loan to West Bromwich. It’s about time that a move has been made because he deserves to play games and staying at Arsenal he was getting many. It’s a good opportunity for him to prove his worth and I wish him the best of luck.

Also Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Szczesny is Arsenal’s number one keeper.

“At the moment Wojciech is No 1. He’s done nothing for me to take him out. [As for Sunday], I can rotate the goalkeepers. In the Cups I sometimes play different ones. “

This has come at the right time as we have looked pretty solid with Szczesny in goal. He still has a lot to learn but with him, there is a feeling the the defenders are more confident. And with Fabianski also doing great, the goal keeper situation looks fine. As for Almunia, he will have to prove his worth but it’s quite clear that he will have a hard time in doing that.

That’s all for now. Tomorrow is yet another Cup match and this time the opposition is from League one. I don’t see anything but a win for us. Enjoy the game where ever you are and have a great day.


Wenger: Nasri’s contract will be finalized in summers, Rules out signing Eden Hazard in January

January 8, 2011

For a couple of days now there has been news floating around that Nasri was going to pen down a new deal extending his contract. His current contract ends in 2012.

Well the reports are true in a sense but the contract will be finalized at the end of the season.

Wenger is, however, confident in the extension of Nasri’s contract, as he said that Nasri’s agent has already been approached and the process will be completed in the summers.

The reason for delay, Wenger, gave was the main focus being on the competitions at the moment. And he further added that there is one year still left in his current contract expiry.

Wenger regarding Nasri’s contract said:

“We’ll sort that out during the summer. We have met his agent already but we’ll finish the job in the summer.

[At the moment] we focus on the competition. Anyway, there is still one year to go [on Nasri’s contract] in the summer.

You can reproach me that I’m always confident.”

Wenger has also completely ruled out the signing of Eden Hazard from Lille in January. Eden Hazard has been heavily linked with a move to Arsenal these past few weeks. The player himself came out saying that he would love to play for Arsenal as young players are encouraged there.  

Arsene, however, has ruled it out by saying that the offensive department already has many players. He added that players like JET and Vela are not finding first team action and are being loaned out due to the same reasons.

However, Wenger didn’t rule out signing him ever. He said that it will depend on the situation at the end of the season.

Wenger regarding Hazard said:

“In the offensive department we have many players. If I give Carlos Vela and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas out on loan it is because we have what it takes.

At the end of the season we’ll have a look at the situation but at the moment it’s completely ruled out.”


Wenger on Vela’s future and Ramsey’s loan extension

December 31, 2010

Aaron Ramsey, after recovering from his injury, made a comeback in a reserve game last month. He was, however, loaned out to Nottingham Forest to get much needed match fitness. He had a possibility to appear in 7 games for them till 3rd January, the stipulated time for his loan spell.

However, due to the weather conditions, he has been restricted to only one a few appearances. With the loan spell nearing an end, there were suggestions that his loan spell might be extended.

When asked about this, Wenger, today in his pre match press conference confirmed that he is not going to extend the loan. Wenger further said that he would have thought about it had Diaby been fit. As it stands there is no such temptation.

Although Aaron isn’t completely ready for the league but Wenger hopes that he will make it by February.

Regarding Vela’s future, Wenger commented that if a possibility arises, he will be loaned out. Wenger emphasized on not selling him as he regards Vela highly.

At the moment with too many options upfront for Wenger, Vela hasn’t featured frequently for Arsenal. For a player like him, he needs to play regularly and Wenger said that the solution will be to loan him out to give him the games he deserves.

Wenger in his pre-match press conference said:

“We did not get the number of games we wanted from him because of the snow. He is a snow victim and we are as well consequently.

But I am not tempted to do it [extend his loan]. If Abou Diaby was not injured I would certainly have considered it but not now.

Aaron is not completely ready yet [for the Premier League] but he has been practising every day with the group for two months. I hope that when he comes back he should be ready in February.”

“Some offensive players don’t play games like Carlos Vela. If he can get games somewhere else we will loan him out.

Not sell him, loan him out because he needs to play. He is a top quality player and at the moment we have too many strikers.

He does not get the games he deserves. He has an opportunity that I let him go somewhere.”


Team news, Nasri extends contract and Ballon d’Or

October 26, 2010

The dust has settled by now on our massive win against the City and all thoughts will now have shifted on tomorrow’s Carling Cup fixture. Today Wenger revealed that he will approach the game the same way he did in the last round. He has said that Koscielny, Walcott, Szczesny, Vela and Bendtner are all going to be in the starting lineup for tomorrow’s game. Other players like Lansbury, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas and Eastmond are also in the squad. A few players will also be rested from the City game. Read the rest of this entry »


Partizan Belgrade vs Arsenal: Stick to the Basics

September 28, 2010

The squad for Champions League match against Partizan Belgrade was announced yesterday. Almunia and Diaby, due to injury, are not selected in the squad. Fabianski as a result is going to go in between the sticks.  Lansbury and Szczesny are also included in the squad. Read the rest of this entry »