Wenger’s latest team update: Walcott, Gibbs and Frimpong back, Miyaichi and Rosicky out!

September 10, 2011

With the international break over, it is back to club football and Arsenal is up against Swansea today. Arsene Wenger on Friday gave the latest team news ahead of the game.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference, the manager gave a mixed update on the squad. While Theo Walcott and Kieran Gibbs were confirmed to be available, Rosicky will miss the game due to a knee injury picked up on international duty. He has a chance for Tuesday night  

Jack Wilshere and Abu Diaby are, however, out for longer durations.

Wilshere has an inflamed bone and he will be in a boot for a month after which it will be further examined. Vermaelen is also out for a month due to his surgery.

Our new signing, Andre Santos, is in the squad but is lacking match fitness. On Ryo Miyaichi, Wenger revealed that he is injured at the moment and will join the squad on either Monday or Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Alex Song and Gervinho will sit out their last games due to suspension and Jenkinson will miss the game due to the two yellow cards picked up at Old Trafford. Frimpong is available after missing the game against Manchester United through suspension. Squillaci will also miss the game due to a calf injury.

Arsene Wenger, ahead of the Swansea game, said:

“[Kieran Gibbs and Theo Walcott] are available for Saturday. [Tomas Rosicky] has a chance to be available for Tuesday night, he has a knee injury. He got a kick during the internationals.

[Andre Santos] is not completely match fit, but is in the squad. [Ryo Miyaichi] will very quickly knock at the door. At the moment he is injured and is just coming back – he should join in again on Monday or Tuesday.

We have the players with long-term injuries out like [Jack] Wilshere and [Abou] Diaby of course; then we have players suspended like Gervinho, [Alex] Song and [Carl] Jenkinson as well; we have an injury from the internationals in [Tomas] Rosicky and finally [Thomas] Vermaelen, who had surgery on Monday and will be out for a month.”

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Transfer Window thoughts, Wilshere’s injury, Arsene banned for two games, Vermaelen to be sidelined for two months?

September 5, 2011

So, it’s been almost five days since the end of the transfer window and the excitement of the dead line day. My one week leave are also over with today being the first day back at work (heck! I could have used another week).

The last four days, I spent the time with family and friends away from football, the reason for no updates on the blog. And considering that the International break is underway, I don’t have missed much.

Today, it is going to be a bit of everything that has happened in the last few days.

First off, the final two days of the transfer window were the best that I remember in terms of signings for us in recent times. Five players having experience and quality were signed, a rare thing at Arsenal, which did somewhat make up for the summer of inactivity. The thrashing at United, however, still hurts and this does lead to the question why weren’t players signed earlier? Also one wonders had United not defeated us the way they did, would these signings be made then? I know these and many other questions have been discussed a lot already. However, one cannot help why were we led into such a situation by the board and management considering we had three months to sort out all our problems?

Anyways what’s done is done and cannot be reversed. Sanity was restored to the Arsenal board and management team after the humbling at old Trafford. I do wish now that this had happened earlier (on second thoughts, no I wish it had never happened, to painful and humiliating!)

The players that we have signed do bring something extra to the squad and certainly add enough quality and numbers to make us challenge for the top four. Benayoun and Arteta are both Premier League experienced and will greatly improve our midfield. Santos is also experienced and Mertesacker will add height and stability to our defense. Park, considering where he comes from will give nothing short of 100 percent. And all of these signings are winners having won trophies in different capacities (if I am not wrong!) All have a number of caps for their national teams and they certainly will bring stability to our team and the young player will learn a lot.

As for what can be achieved with the squad we have, we can challenge for the top four now and maybe end our trophy drought with the cups. If we can pull something extra, we might also be involved in the title race. However, for that, I feel, we will need to maintain a good run till January where we would at least need a couple of special signings. I am hearing that Hazard, Cahill and Yann M’Vila are still our priority. If we can manage that in January, I am certain we are in for an exciting finish to the season.

We, however, should not get ahead of ourselves.  A lot of work needs to be done still. We need to get back to winning ways and close the gap with the leaders. We certainly have made a start in the right direction with these signings and with time we can add more quality to bring the glory days back to Arsenal (we still need to replace Nasri and Fabregas by the way)

Moving on, I am glad we did get to sell or loan out the dead weights at the club. I still, though, hope we get Henri Lansbury back, because considering such loan moves, mostly the players don’t return. As for Bendtner, I am happy for him to have finally moved on, even on a loan. He was being wasted here by being used in the wrong position. What he said recently of not returning to Arsenal is justified in the sense that he wasn’t properly utilized. However, in terms of quality, we are better off without him. I feel he will be a success at Sunderland which will in return prove beneficial to both him and in return to us, as we can get a better value for him in time. If we could have only rid ourselves of Almunia, Squillaci, Diaby and to an extent Chamakh, this summer would have been close to perfect.

Life, however, isn’t that kind, always playing its joke when you least expect it. And in our case they are always the cruelest. After having a great first season, we are now going to miss our most talented player, Jack Wilshere for at least another two to three months due to injury. What started out as a rumor has been confirmed by Wilshere himself. Jack Wilshere tweeted this yesterday on twitter.

I can confirm I will be out for around 2-3 months! I am working hard in the gym to stay fit and I am gutted but I will be back stronger!

I don’t know whether to blame lady luck, the Manager or our medical staff. This is certainly the result of playing a player over his limits which is completely avoidable. And then we ask why it is that our best players suffer long term injuries? And this has happened so many times now I am starting to believe it is more than bad luck.

It was Vermaelen the season before last. Excellent first season, injury in the next, out for a year. I just hope Wilshere doesn’t suffer the same because voices raised now will surely have to be answered then.  

In other news, UEFA again showed that they are a bunch of oafs. They do this every now and then just to make sure people don’t forget. Anyways, Arsene Wenger’s appeal against the two match ban has been dismissed by UEFA. The two matches ban was given to Wenger for supposedly breaking a rule that every other manger has broken in the world of football. I guess, I don’t need to go over the rule and when it was broken. Wenger is now going to miss the Champions League group games against Borussia Dortmund, away, and Olympiacos at home. Our officials are also fined 10000 Euros for improper conduct. Below is the UEFA stamen that is available on Arsenal.com

“The UEFA Appeals Body has rejected the appeal lodged by Arsenal FC and Arsène Wenger against the two-match suspension handed to the manager in the wake of the English club’s UEFA Champions League play-off first leg against Udinese Calcio on 16 August.
 
“Wenger will now be suspended from carrying out his duties at Arsenal’s next two UEFA competition matches – the UEFA Champions League group stage games against Borussia Dortmund and Olympiacos FC on 13 and 28 September – in accordance with the decision taken by the UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body on 22 August.

“The manager was awarded this suspension for not abiding by an earlier decision of the Control and Disciplinary Body during the Udinese home game – in which Wenger was serving a one-match ban imposed following Arsenal’s final UEFA Champions League game of last season.
 
“The Control and Disciplinary Body also fined Arsenal €10,000 for improper conduct by their officials during the match against the Italian team in north London.”

As for the International break, it continues in all its boredom. There have, however, been plenty of goals for our players. Van Persie bagged four, Park has had a hat-trick, Ramsey and Lansbury also ended up with goals. Chamberlain also impressed greatly. Possibly a sign of good things to come!

That is all for now. Swansea game is not far now and it will great to see how we line up against them. Good times ahead for sure!

p.s. While writing this, news about Vermaelen’s ankle surgery are circulating that can rule him out for possibly two months. It is not yet officially confirmed but twitter is abuzz at the moment with this news. More on this to follow!

 


Arsene Wenger on Djourou and Szczesny’s start against Liverpool and Vermaelen’s return

April 15, 2011

Arsenal will face Liverpool on Sunday, where a win will take them to within four points of Manchester United. Arsene Wenger on Thursday gave the latest injury news ahead of the match.

While speaking to Arsenal TV Online, Arsene Wenger informed that there are no new injuries but there is a doubt on Sagna’s availability, who hasn’t yet recovered from his injury.

Meanwhile Djourou, Szczesny, Denilson and Song all have a chance to be available on Sunday. Wenger added that Djourou and Szczesny’s inclusion will be decided after how they perform in the training session because they have question marks on their fitness. 

The manager also gave good news on Vermaelen’s return as he confirmed that he has joined training. He added that we will need to show patience with Vermaelen as he has just joined the team and isn’t match fit yet.

On Thursday, Arsene Wenger said:

“We have no [new injuries] but we have a big doubt on Sagna. Djourou and Wojciech are question marks. Will they be fit? That all has still to be decided. We have two more days to find out. It could be a possibility that they could be available.

It’s difficult to say [what their chances are]. We have a test today [Thursday], we have a big test to see how they survive the training session. That will be very important. Denilson and Song have a chance to be available as well.

I am not reluctant [to use Vermaelen] but he is not match fit yet. He just joined the team this week so we have to be a bit patient with him.”


Arsene Wenger’s latest injury update on Vermaelen and Squillaci

January 12, 2011

When Vermaelen had his injury back in September last year, he was supposed to be out only for a single match. With plenty of setbacks and delays, his return was expected by the end of January. However, that too is now in doubt after the latest update given by Wenger.

Arsene Wenger, while speaking to Arsenal TV online yesterday, revealed that Vermaelen suffered another setback in his injury on Saturday. Wenger said that they are consulting the top specialists around the world and they will know more about Vermaelen’s condition today as he had another check yesterday.

As a result, Wenger unfortunately couldn’t give the precise date for his return. However, due to this situation Wenger is going to buy a cover for him.

Also at the weekend, Squillaci became the latest Arsenal player to join the injury list. He suffered a hamstring injury in the match against Leeds.

Regarding him, Wenger said that it is going to take a minimum two to maximum three weeks to heal. It is a grade one hamstring injury according to Wenger, and if all goes well Squillaci will be back in two weeks.

Wenger, regarding Vermaelen and Squillaci said:

“He has another check today. He had another setback on Saturday that we are concerned with. We are consulting top specialists around the world. We’ll know more on Wednesday.

Unfortunately I can’t give you any precise date but I concede that, with this little setback from Thomas, we are in a situation where we will have to look around.

Squillaci will be out for a maximum of three weeks, minimum two. It is a hamstring injury but it is not too bad – a grade one. He’ll be back in two weeks if all goes well.”


Ipswich Town vs Arsenal: Preview and Starting Eleven

January 11, 2011

After barely surviving in the FA Cup on Saturday, we are up against Ipswich Town in the Carling Cup semifinal tomorrow.

I don’t know much about Ipswich’s team. Only that their dismal performance in the Championship has led to the sacking of their coach Roy Keane and since then they have been thrashed by Chelsea in the FA Cup. But as this is the semifinal of the Carling Cup, they will be a changed team and this can be tricky match. They will no doubt fancy their chances over two legs and try and get something from their home game.

Still, as always, I expect us to win this without much fuss, provided we don’t play like we did against Leeds.

The starting eleven for tomorrow is again going to be a hard decision for Wenger. With three games in seven days coming up, rotation will be a key part of it. And as the semifinal is spread over two legs, I believe a team similar to what we saw against Leeds will be put out.

With Squillaci joining the injured players and Vermaelen yet to return, the choice for centre backs is very limited. Koscielny for me is a sure starter. Djouroru I feel won’t be risked as there is a League match at the weekend. However, we can play Song back there and also give Ignasi Miquel a chance. I will prefer Song. On the flanks Eboue and Gibbs are going to start as Sagna is still suspended and Gibbs needs a run of games.

Szczesny is a sure starter with Wenger already confirming it.

In middle I will go with Denilson and hopefully he will keep it simple and not disappoint. Rosicky should start again and Wilshere to partner him.

Up front it’s time that Wenger picks either Chamakh or Bendtner to start because both of them starting together haven’t helped us or either of them. For tomorrow, I will go with Chamakh. Arshavin hasn’t been performing well and has been highly criticized for his past few performances. Still, I would start with him so that he can get his confidence back. On the right I will start with Walcott or if he is rested then Vela will be the next best option.

Probable starting XI: Szczesny, Eboue, Koscielny, Song, Gibbs, Denilson, Rosicky, Wilshere, Walcott, Chamakh, Arshavin

Hopefully we will not have many problems tomorrow and maybe give Ramsey some playing time as he also needs to up his match fitness.

As far as the result is concerned, a win will be ideal. However, a draw or a draw plus away goal(s) won’t be bad.

Hopefully it won’t come to away goals and we will win both the fixtures and eventually the Carling Cup. Keep your fingers crossed!!


Nasri is going to make it while Van Persie is a doubt for Fulham, Ipswich in Cup semi, Vermaelen should be captain and Schwarzer is not coming to Arsenal

December 2, 2010

Nasri: He is going to make it

Arsene Wenger has given the latest on the team’s status today. Speaking to Arsenal TV online he said that he has the same squad available for the Fulham game as it was against Villa last weekend. The only concern is of Nasri. On Nasri Wenger said that he got a knock on his knee in the Wigan game. Still he believes that Nasri will be alright and ready to face Fulham as it is a minor injury. Apart from this he said there are no new fresh injury concerns.

“Nasri has got a knock from Tuesday night. It is a knee problem but he should be alright. Apart from that, we do not have any fresh players injured.”

He further added that there will be no new players returning from injury as Vermaelen and Diaby are still out along with Fabregas. The squad he said will remain unchanged from the Villa game.

“There are no other ins or out. Diaby and Vermaelen are not available. Fabregas (hamstring) is still injured so it will be a similar squad to the Aston Villa game.”

Persie: Wenger unsure about whether to play him

As for Van Persie, Wenger is yet unsure on whether to give him another start. He said that he will look in to his recovery from the Wigan game before deciding. He said that with a strong squad available he is going to rotate his players from game to game to keep the players fresh.

“I will see how Robin recovers [before deciding whether to start him]. I rotate a bit from game to game at the moment. So I’ll see. But we have quite a strong squad available.”

Carling Cup Semi-final Draws: Arsenal to face Ipswich town

In other news we are to face Ipswich Town in the two legged semi-final of the Carling Cup. The semi finals first leg is going to be played on the 11th or 12th of January at their home with the return leg on 25th or 26th.  Ipswich town overcame West Brom in the quarters to face us. Birmingham has been drawn against West Ham in the other semi final.

Ipswich’s manager, Roy Keane, commented about the draw. He said that they have got the toughest of the draws. He further elaborated that Birmingham and West Ham would be delighted to have avoided Arsenal and play each other. As for the tie he said that they will look forward to it when it comes. About Arsenal he said that they are a top team and they will be happy with the draw.

“I think it is the toughest draw we could have had. Put it this way, West Ham and Birmingham will have been delighted to have avoided Arsenal. We will look forward to that when it comes. Arsenal are a top team and will be delighted with the draw.”

On his own teams performance against West Brom he said that they played well and was pleased for the fans and his team. He said that the players responded positively after Sunday’s loss in their local derby. The match he said would have been over before they scored had the West Brom keeper not made some great saves.

 “The performance was pretty good. That does not always guarantee the right result but we should have won by three or four goals. I am pleased for the players and the supporters because it has been a frustrating time. All the players did very well and responded well after Sunday. The game should have been over by the time we scored but their keeper made some great saves.”

No match is easy and as we have seen this season none of the teams can be taken granted for. It will be a good match no doubt but I believe we will win the tie and the tournament. Fingers crossed!

Vermaelen: Will he be a good Captain?

On to Other matters. Our former player, Ray Parlour, has spoken about Vermaelen to be given the captaincy of the team. Speaking on this he asks questions regarding Squillaci, Koscielny and Djourou that if they can deliver for the whole season and be leaders along with that on the pitch. He said that the centre backs position is very important to a team. They have a bird’s eye view of everything and as a result they can direct a team effectively from there.

On Vermaelen’s return from injury, Parlour wants that Wenger should give him the captain’s armband as he is a good player and that he has the leadership qualities. He believes that Vermaelen can learn from Tony Adams and Viera’s time at Arsenal to drive the team to success.    

“You look at the situation. You’ve got Squillaci, Koscielny, Djourou – are these good enough to go through the whole season and pick you points up. We all know goalkeepers can save you 12 points a year so can centre-halves. It’s a very important position, they can see everything happening, they’re the ones who can demand from other players. That’s why they’re so important. I think Vermaelen is going to be very important because he’s a good player. He’s got a great leap on him for 5ft 11, usually centre-halves are 6ft plus. I think it’s one of these times where if he thinks Vermaelen can do the job give him the skipper’s armband and say to him ‘these are skipper’s we use to have, Tony Adams, Patrick Vieira, who used to drive the team on, can you do that’ and see if he can do it.”

Schwarzer: He has extended his contarct at Fulham

We can also forget signing Schwarzer in the January window as he has signed a new contract at Fulham.

Schwarzer has said this on fulhamfc.com:

“Delighted to have finally signed a contract extension with Fulham after a great deal of speculation surrounding my future in recent months.”

Mark Hughes had this to say on Schwarzer signing a contract extension:

 “[Schwarzer] is an important part of my plans for the future and I am delighted to see one of the game’s finest current goalkeepers commit his future to the Club.”

Personnally I am not bothered with the news as much  as currently Fabianski and Szczesny are doing good. Although if we need to sign for improvement , we can have plenty better keepers than Schwarzer.  As a matter of fact I am delighted myself that at least one speculation has been settled.


International Break:Return of the Injured, Overseas Pre-season, Goalkeepers linked again and Vito Mannone

October 8, 2010

The international break is truly underway as it is evident from the boredom and amount of news about Arsenal and the infinity number of players linked with us again. The major change is the good news that we have had in the shape of the injured players returning after the international break and most of them are not involved with their home teams during the Internationals.

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