Arsene Wenger’s injury update: Rosicky, Djourou and Traore back, Wilshere has a setback

August 24, 2011

Arsenal are set to face Udinese today for the important second leg of the Champions League play-off, that is going to decide which team ends up in the group stages. Arsene Wenger on Tuesday gave the latest team news.

Speaking ahead of the game, Arsene Wenger revealed that Rosicky has been picked for selection in the squad; however, whether he will start is not yet confirmed. Djourou and Traore are also returning to the squad after recovering from their respective injuries.

Alex Song, Frimpong and Gervinho are back from suspension for the game.  Van Persie is also available who missed the first leg due to suspension.

On an update on Jack Wilshere, the manager informed he has suffered a setback and will not be available for at least two to three weeks.

As for Laurent Koscielny, he has a chance to be fit for Manchester United but he won’t be available today.

Arsene Wenger, on Tuesday, said:

“[Tomas] Rosicky is in the squad, he’s available, he had a test this [Tuesday] morning. We don’t know whether he will be fit to start but he is in the squad. Djourou and Traore are back as well. Alex Song and Gervinho are back from suspension. Robin van Persie and Emmanuel Frimpong are available too.

Unfortunately [Jack] Wilshere is not ready so that is bad news for us and adds to the players we miss with transfers and some through injuries. Of course at the moment the squad is short.

I don’t know if we are back to square one or for how long he [ Jack Wilshere] will be out. He’s in a boot again, so that means he will at least be out for two or three weeks.

[Laurent] Koscielny is out but he has a chance to be fit to face Manchester United.”

Squad to face Udinese:

Wojciech Szczesny
Lukasz Fabianski
Carl Jenkinson
Bacary Sagna
Thomas Vermaelen
Johan Djourou
Armand Traore
Ignasi Miquel
Andrey Arshavin
Emmanuel Frimpong
Gervinho
Aaron Ramsey
Alex Song
Theo Walcott
Tomas Rosicky
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Marouane Chamakh
Robin van Persie


Defending, Nasri and Bendtner | Injury news ahead of Villa | Wenger will strengthen the squad! |

May 14, 2011

“When are they going to learn …” this is what Ray Parlour, our former player, said that after the Stoke defeat and I feel no one but the team can answer this question and only when they play better. In my opinion not learning from our mistakes has cost us this season. I have not watched the last three Arsenal games and I regret only missing the Man United win. However, watching the highlights of the Stoke game has not been easy as once again we demonstrated our naivety in the basics of football.

Much has been already said about the Stoke defeat (it is my first post in two weeks!!) so I won’t discuss the game. Will something be done about the problems this summer? We will find out soon!! However, the thing that disappointed me was what Wenger said after the game. He said:

“We [have] conceded, I think, 21 from set-pieces and only 17 in open play. Less than anybody else in open play [but] we have been caught on set-pieces. Today, [Kenwyne] Jones didn’t even need to jump to head the ball in. That is something we have to correct. It is the easiest thing to correct in the game but you still must understand the flight of the ball and want to be first to the ball. I feel we are sometimes a bit naïve.”

The second goal that we conceded against Stoke was from open play and does anyone here think that it should have been conceded. If Wenger thinks that conceding such a goal is not a problem then I am afraid we are never going to improve. The numbers of goal doesn’t matter, the manner in which they are conceded matters. And what to say of the goals we have conceded on set pieces. Gibbs ducking at the last moment for the Stoke player to deflect the ball in for the first goal says it all. If Wenger is realizing that we have been naïve and need to correct our way of defending at the end of the season, then I am afraid we deserve where we are. Let’s hope, now that he has spotted the weakness, he corrects it for next season.   

Besides the reaction to the Stoke defeat, there has been lots of other news related to Arsenal but I haven’t had time to look at all of them. Mostly it has been speculations, possible transfers and what should be done to right the wrong. Many pundits have the same opinion that we need to buy to strengthen the squad. Yes! buying will help. We need players at certain positions and we need to let go of certain players who haven’t improved in the last three years. But with that we also need to address the attitude of the players. We have the talent, the players and we can beat any team if we want to. The problem is we don’t show up on plenty of occasions, which hurt the most, because we know that this team can perform. The Stoke game is the perfect example where we didn’t show up and there are countless others throughout the season. If we can’t change this, then I am afraid even buying players won’t help us much. Nonetheless, there is only one way to find out if we can improve by buying players and that is if we buy. And this is the only thing we haven’t done. So let’s hope that Wenger does buy quality for a change this summer

Also there were a couple of developments that I wanted to discuss. First was Samir Nasri’s agent comment regarding Nasri’s contract that went something like this:

“There is nothing going on with Juventus or Inter Milan. There are no problems with Arsenal, the opposite rather, as we are negotiating his contract extension.”

I hope this is the case because our first priority should be to improve and that can only be done by keeping our best players. Nasri was nothing short of phenomenal in the first half of the season and it will be a great loss if we don’t get him to sign the contract. That’s what I feel about Cesc Fabregas too. I know this hasn’t been his best season but he still has been one of our better players and we need to keep him at all cost. More on this when the time is right. Coming to Nasri, there was news on Arsenal.com where Wenger has said that he will do anything to keep him.  

“I will do anything possible to make him stay. We will do it at the end of the season.”

I personally feel that Nasri will stay and Wenger will do his best to keep him. However, it would have been so much better had the contract been signed in January. At least we would have avoided so many speculations. With no harm done as yet, we need to settle the contract as early as possible and before Nasri has a change of heart.

The other bit was about Bendtner who is looking forward to a talk with Wenger in the summer.

“I need to have a talk with him [Wenger] because I’m not satisfied with playing on the right wing, which I’ve done more or less all season long. I’m concentrating on getting our Champions League place and then we’ll do the evaluation at the end of the season. It’s certainly not the best thing for me but it’s not up to me and sometimes you have to adapt to what the manager says.”

I am not surprised here. Any one will be frustrated if he wasn’t playing in his favored position. If we want to keep him, Wenger needs to play him in the centre and not on the flanks. I don’t see it happening because of what Arsene has said recently:

“We are not specially buying on the flank. We have Walcott, we have Nasri, Arshavin and Bendtner.”

There you have it! Bendtner has been linked to a couple of clubs so it will be for the better if we let him go because here at Arsenal, Arsene will always play him on the flanks. At least it will create space for a winger and a new striker because right now Bendtner is occupying two places and not playing well at both positions (and sadly all is not his fault). The more thing that can be deduced from the above statement is that Arshavin, Nasri and Bendtner are all going to stay this summer. If this is the case, Wenger will be having a hard time in keeping Bendtner. 

Also Arsene Wenger had his usual pre-match press conference on Friday. The injury news ahead of the Aston Villa game looks positive. I am looking forward to Vermaelen’s return. Fabregas and Nasri may also be involved.

“We have lost Laurent Koscielny with a thigh strain from Sunday against Stoke. It opens the door for Vermaelen. I have not completely decided yet but there is a probability he will start. We have question marks against Fabregas and Nasri. They will be late decisions. During the week we lost Tomas Rosicky with a thigh strain. Diaby will be out but I believe that Clichy will be back.”

Apart from this, Wenger also said that he will look to strengthen the squad in every position.

“It is down to availability and quality. We don’t rule out any position and we don’t target any special position before the transfer market. We look to strengthen every year of course. But first we look not to weaken because we want to keep all our players, and then we try to strengthen. It’s not about the number [of players], it’s the quality. I don’t want to give out a number [we’ll go for]. I promise you that if we sign a player we will inform you and when we sell a player we will inform you as well. I would like to keep out of all the other speculation before that.”

I know it sounds more like ‘I won’t be buying’ but let’s hope this isn’t the case and we do get the players we need.

Tomorrow we play against Aston Villa.  Where we want to finish this season depends on how we play against them. We need at least four points from the last two games to finish above City and in third spot. Seeing the last three games, I don’t know what to expect from the team. Anything is possible. Maybe seeing Vermaelen return will put some extra energy into the players. And it won’t do any harm in finishing the season with a couple of wins.

The team that I expect to start is: Szczesny, Sagna, Djourou, Vermaelen, Clichy, Song, Wilshere, Ramsey, Walcott, RVP, Arshavin

I hope we get a good game to witness and we win. And as I was writing this, Man United have won the EPL title by drawing at Blackburn. Good for them and well done!!

That is all for now.


Arsene Wenger’s injury news ahead of Sunderland and Aaron Ramsey’s inclusion in the squad

March 4, 2011

Aaron Ramsey is in inline to be included in the Arsenal squad for the match against Sunderland this Saturday with Koscielny having a small chance to feature.

Speaking to Arsenal TV online on Thursday, Arsene Wenger admitted how there is a chance for Aaron to be included in the squad with him getting better every day as he praised the midfielder’s passing ability and ability to score goals and added that it will be good to have him back.

Meanwhile, the manager said that there have been no new injuries and added that how only Koscielny has a small possibility to make the Sunderland game with the Frenchman having a good chance for Barcelona.

Regarding Alex Song, the manager revealed that he isn’t available for Saturday and is also doubtful for Barcelona and added that his knee will be assessed on Monday.

Cesc Fabregas also has a possibility to feature against Barcelona as the manager said his injury is being assessed every day and as things are going, he has a good chance for Tuesday.

Ahead of the Sunderland game, Wenger said:

“There is a chance Aaron could be available in the squad for Saturday. It will be very good to have him back. He is getting better and better now. We know he has a great engine, has great passing ability and can score goals as well.
 
We did not lose anyone last night. There is a meager chance we could have Koscielny back for Sunderland. But he is the only one we can hope to have available. Koscielny has a good chance [for Barcelona] though. His hamstring is getting much better and he is not completely out for Sunderland yet.
 
However Alex Song is out on Saturday and he is doubtful for Barcelona. At the moment he has not practiced at all. He has this knee problem that gets better everyday. But we’ll assess it on Monday. As for Cesc, we go day-by-day. We assessed him today and he is positive about his injury. We feel he has a chance. I do not want to disappoint people so I say he has ‘a chance’, I strongly believe that.”


Arsene Wenger’s injury news with updates on Van Persie and Fabregas

March 2, 2011

Van Persie has been sidelined for a minimum of three weeks after a knee injury he got in the game against Birmingham on Sunday.

Speaking ahead of the Leyton Orient game, Arsene Wenger on Tuesday confirmed the bad news by saying how according to the scans it can be longer but three weeks Is the minimum time for which Van Persie is going to be out.

Van Persie as a result is going to miss the match against Barcelona as he joins Theo Walcott, who was ruled out of the Barcelona clash last week.

Fabregas, however, has a possibility to play in the return leg against Barcelona as the manager said that he is making good and quick progress on his hamstring injury.

Alex Song also has a good chance to make the Barcelona game as he is sideline for today and has a small chance to feature this Saturday due to a knee injury.

Meanwhile, Laurent Koscielny as well is going to miss today’s game due to a tight hamstring with the manager admitting he also needs a breather.

Diaby, on the other hand, is back in the squad and inline to start today’s game as the manger admitted he was cautious in not selecting him for the final on Sunday. Almunia is also going to start against Leyton Orient with Szczesny on the bench.

Speaking to Arsenal TV Online, Wenger said:

 “Unfortunately, we had bad news on the scan and he [Robin Van Persie] will be out for the next three weeks for sure. It could be longer. The shortest delay we can imagine is three weeks [so] he is definitely out for Barcelona. Cesc is looking possible [for that game]. He is making quick and good progress. It is possible. He [Theo Walcott] is out. We said from the day he got the injury against Stoke you could count three weeks.

Alex Song has a knee problem as well. From his scan we had good news, it is only blood from a kick on the outside of his knee. He is out for Leyton Orient and has a very small chance for Saturday. But he has a good chance for Barcelona.

Koscielny has a tight hamstring. There is a little bit of fatigue in there aswell so we will give him a breather. Diaby was not in the squad on Sunday. I was cautious with him. He has missed many games this season and I did not want to take a gamble with the intensity of a cup final. He will play on Wednesday night. Almunia needs games so he will play but Wojciech is alright and will be on the bench.”


Arsene Wenger’s injury update on the squad including Fabregas, Van Persie, Walcott and Koscielny

February 25, 2011

Arsenal are going to be without Cesc Fabregas in the Carling Cup Final against Birmingham City  this Sunday.

Speaking to Arsenal TV online on Thursday, the manager confirmed the bad news by saying how it is a very small injury through which he will miss the game. On a question for his return, Arsene added that it is impossible to give a deadline for his return even after Sunday’s game .

Fabregas was withdrawn early on in the game against Stoke on Wednesday due to a hamstring concern.

The manger continued by saying how Fabregas is disappointed for being side lined from the final and added that the best way to help him  now is to win the Carling Cup for him for his contributions to the team in this competition.

Fabregas joins Theo Walcott on the list of players who will miss the final as Walcott was ruled out after the game against Stoke for his ankle injury.

The manager gave an update on his injury by saying how he has a classic ankle sprain which is going to rule him out for at least two weeks.  

Arsene Wenger also gave good news in the shape of Koscielny, Van Persie and Diaby’s return to the squad after recovering from their respective injuries as the manager added that everybody else form the Stoke game are alright.

On Fabregas, Walcott and the recovering players, Arsene Wenger said:

“It is a very small injury but certainly Cesc will be out for Sunday. For how long [beyond that] I don’t know but for Sunday he will be short. It is very difficult to give a deadline. It is impossible.

He is [disappointed]. We all feel sorry and sad for him. The only way we help him now is to win the Carling Cup as he contributed a lot in this competition.

I saw him [Theo Walcott] this morning. He has a classic ankle sprain. We don’t think there is any more damage to it. But it is still a sprain. We are sad for him too. He is out for Sunday and maybe one or two more weeks.

[Van Persie, Koscielny, Diaby] All the three will be available. That’s the good news. And everybody else is all right from the Stoke game too.”


Arsene Wenger’s injury news ahead of Stoke City

February 23, 2011

Arsenal is going to be without Van Persie and Koscielny as we face Stoke City at home today.

While speaking to Arsenal TV Online on Tuesday, Arsene Wenger confirmed that Koscielny, Van Persie and Diaby are not available against Stoke while everyone else is fit.

Koscielny has a minor back problem, Van Persie is having a hamstring problem while Diaby, although suspended, has a calf injury.

However, Arsene added that the injuries to Van Persie and Koscielny are short term and they have a chance to be available for the Carling Cup final at Wembley on Sunday.

Djourou, on the other hand has recovered from his back injury as Wenger confirmed he will start today.

Today Arsenal play their 3rd game in as many competitions in just seven days as the Carling Cup final draws ever closer.

Arsene Wenger, on Tuesday, said:

 “We don’t have Van Persie, Diaby and Koscielny available. Everybody else is fit. Diaby is suspended. Van Persie has a hamstring problem and Koscielny a back problem. Both are short term and they have a chance for the game on Sunday.

Johan Djourou is better and will play”


Player Ratings: Arsenal 2 – 1 Everton

February 2, 2011

As it was expected, the game against Everton turned out to be a difficult game. However, we coped with it admirably, despite a slow start and showed the world that we are gunning for glory.

The overall team performance was above average. Most of the players who were disappointing in the first half stepped up the gear in the second which proved to be decisive.

The defense at times looked vulnerable but they did enough to keep the Everton players at bay.

The midfield players in the first half failed to make much impact but in the second half they dominated the game. There was a moment in the second half when we had hundred percent possession.

Upfront the movement was good but we couldn’t finish our chances, most of which were quite difficult. However, Arshavin’s finish was a beauty.

However, the best thing about yesterday’s win was that we never lost our focus, never stopped trying and despite not playing our best game, we still got the maximum points. In the past we have lost such games because we wouldn’t keep our patience and eventually drop points.

Coming to player ratings:

Szczesny (6): Had a quiet game as he didn’t have much to do. Wasn’t at fault for the goal. Produced one good save but must improve his distribution. Although I don’t like time wasting but it was good to see he was taking time as most teams do against us when they are leading.

Sagna (6.5): A decent game from the Frenchman. Was caught once or twice but covered up well and produced some good interceptions late on.

Djourou (6.5): He too had a decent game. Did well on most occasions but it wasn’t good to see that he at times allowed the Everton players to get past him quite easily.

Koscielny (7.5): A very good game from the Frenchman. Gave no space to Saha and was always early to clear the ball. Aerially was also dominant. Went close to scoring a couple of times and got the all important winning goal.

Clichy (8): Top game, didn’t put a foot wrong. From start to finish was solid at the back and upfront was a continuous threat. Produced a great run late on.

Wilshere (5.5): Didn’t make a good start and at times gave away the ball very cheaply. Improved his game in the second half. Produced one great pass to Van Persie, that would have been a goal any other day.

Fabregas (6.5): He too didn’t make much of an impact in the first half. Got into good positions but couldn’t finish. However, in the second produced some delightful balls one of which led to a goal.

Song (5): Good work rate but wasn’t at his best. Didn’t make much of an impact in attack and failed to make his presence felt in the middle. He got substituted after the first half due to an injury.

Walcott (6): Was a constant threat but I feel he wasn’t utilized enough. Did his part in defense.

Van Persie (6.5): Again some nice touches and good movement but couldn’t finish when required. Delivered some excellent corners one of which led to a goal. Went close to scoring form a free kick and helped the team in defending.

Rosicky (5.5): He had an anonymous game. Produced one great pass to Fabregas and had one shot on goal besides helping in defense.

Subs:

Arshavin (8) was great when he came on. Showed urgency and desire and coolly slotted the equalizer. Diaby (7) also made a quick impact in stabilizing our midfield. Had some good moments but still he needs to be quick in making decisions. Bendtner (6.5) looked confident but still needs to improve a lot. Went close to scoring with an overhead kick.