Back to the Premiership…

Finally.

Did this IBS  seem ten times longer than the last...? It feels like an age ago that we took on Newcastle... that good old 3-1 victory which saw us cement our position in fourth - for the time being only.

So, as most IBS's prove, players get injured. Some players get fit, some gain match practice, but most of the time players get injured... any-who, let's take a whizz around the scene to see what happened to our squad...

Van Persie, Out

Van Persie was injured in Saturday’s game against Scotland and news on the grapevine is that he’s got a groin strain which will see him out of action for the next 1-2 weeks. Apparently he will miss this weekend’s game as well as the trip to Villareal midweek.

Eduardo, In

Eduardo scored his first goal for Croatia since his injury and was back to his best, influential throughout the game. He lasted the full 90 minutes which bodes very well for us. Fingers crossed he hasn’t picked up any niggles and is back in the squad for Saturday’s game.

Nikki B, In

Mysterious recovery powers of the Danish physio team saw Niklas join the action yesterday after the half hour mark. News coming out of the camp is that the striker is absolutely fine and was taken off in the weekend for precautionary measures only.

Abou Diaby, Out

The mysterious case of Abou Diaby and the inability to stay fit for longer than 2 weeks continues. Apparently, the Frenchman has picked up a broken nail injury and is out for the next 2 weeks at minimum…

Ramsey, In, Adebayor, In

Both players, having being injured or unfit for Arsenal have played 90 minutes for their country. Ramsey having an exceptional game in his first competitive start for Wales, prompting Toshack to say:

“I was pleased and hope that in the future he can keep a permanent place. In previous matches we have used a holding, defensive player, but Aaron didn’t have that luxury.”

And of course, the Togonator is back, and only goal and scored the winner for Togo on the weekend.

Cesc won’t start

News coming out of the Arsenal HQ is that Cesc needs a few games in the reserves before he will be considered for a start, so he won’t be in the squad on Saturday – knowing Arsene, that means he’ll probably start!

So where does that leave us, well, the following formation is plausible:

Almunia

Sagna – Toure – Gallas – Clichy

Nasri – Denilson – Song – Arshavin

Bendtner – Eduardo

With Fabianski, Gibbs, Djourou, Eboue, Ramsey, Vela and Adebayor on the bench. Of course, there is a possibility that Adebayor will be drafted straight back into the first team but after his abject performances this season, I hope he does start on the bench.

To round off today, a few other stories – Arshavin is our player of the month, Barcelona was Cesc (again) and Sagna says no to Juventus talk saying he’s happy where he is…

Okay, that’s it for today… tomorrow I’ll be back with a full Man City preview (after Arsene pre-match press conference)…]]>

  • Pete

    Woohoo! The Gunners are back :)

  • Pete

    < ![CDATA[Very pleased that the internationals are over. It's not the first time we've lost RvP to injury because of them, but at least he shouldn't be out for too long. We might miss him in the Villareal game though, whatwith Arshavin ineligible for Champions League, and news that Cesc might not start.

    Am hoping that Eduardo gets his first prem league start on Saturday. Its good to hear he's completed 90 mins for Croatia without having any niggles afterwards, so hopefully this is an end to those setbacks.

    Does anyone else find that Diaby breaking a little amusing lol :P

    Was very sad news about what happend at the Ivory Coast game on the weekend where Kolo and Eboue played. I think it was 22 people who died at the stadium.

    But yes, hopefully we'll manage to dish out a thrashing on City, and pick up the rythm we had before these international games.]]>

  • Pete

    *Diaby breaking a nail*

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[From what I read Wenger say :

    "He is ready to play again, but he needs three games to be back [at his best]," Wenger told French TV channel TF1.

    "We are due to play eight games in 25 days, which are all decisive."

    It doesn't seem like he's said Cesc won't start. Because as he points out, all the remaining games are decisive. Therefore you have to have all your best players on the pitch. And Cesc is miles ahead of Song and Denilson, even when not match-fit. You could argue that since most of what he brings is vision, he doesn't really need to be perfectly match-fit to see where to pass it. Yes he might not be 100%, but I'm sure Wenger and the fans will still want Cesc on the pitch. We simply need him in the center.

    I do hope that all the emphasis isn't put on Cesc as it was before he got injured. In previous years it was Henry who had to shoulder that burden, and after him it became Cesc who had to do the same. Ever since Cesc has been injured, the team has had to play without a single pivot. They've had to play as a team. Hopefully there's a better sense of togetherness and hopefully they've learnt that they all need to contribute instead of relying on just one player.

    I'm expecting Cesc to start and maybe get substituted around the hour mark if he's struggling or if we want to save him for the next match - which happens to be the Champions League game, away at Villareal - wowiee. Why am I feeling nervous ?!]]>

  • CON-MAN

    < ![CDATA[hmmm just an update jus been on arsenal.com,
    nasri is out with the flu,
    vela wont be back til friday 10.30am so hes fatigued, eduardo has a groin injury so hes out

    cesc, theo and ade are all back...ther all gna be in the squad for man city

    and isit just me or should arsene rele have a word with slaven...wats eduardo doing on the pitch at 80 mins wen they are 2-0 up?...i mean come on, arsenal are the priority, NOT croatia,

    as far as sagna going to juve err why? are they better than arsenal...? i wouldnt think so]]>

  • AJ

    < ![CDATA[I'm disappointed to hear RVP is out injured, thats a major loss and to be honest, I would rather see Bendtner start that Ade, never thought I would say that, but both haven't had amazing seasons, but atleast Bendtner is a team player and comes back and defends instead of Ade who sits up the top of the field with his hand on his hips.

    Also regarding what zohaib had to say about Cesc being that vital pivot which the team depended on and how they have had to play alot more as a team and share the burden he would normally carry, I think it will have done the team some good, not that I want Cesc out, but hopefully it will have shown them they have to work alot harder than they have been.

    As for Sagna going to juve? lol, juve need to get their heads out of their arse and into the real world.]]>

  • Pete

    I think with Arshavin in the side and his added quality and creativity, Cesc wont be bogged down with single-handedly carrying the midfield. I think these two will really play some great football together once they build an understanding with each other, and could potentially be another great partnership in the making. But Man City wont be an easy team to beat, neither will Villareal on Tuesday.

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[It'll be interesting to see what kind of a formation he plays. We're at the Emirates. We need to win all our games since Aston Villa have much easier games and we're still not guaranteed a top 4 finish. And we also need to keep the midweek Champions League game in mind.

    Yet again we've got injuries and we'll need to rest certain players to have them fully functional for the away fixture against Villareal.

    Another point worth noticing is that ManCity usually play a 4 - 3 - 3 formation. If we deploy a 4 - 4 - 2 with Cesc and Denilson/Song in the center and Arshavin and Eboue on the wings with possibly Adebayor and Bendtner/Walcott/Vela as strikers, is that too attacking ?

    Do we then go with 3 central midfielders and essentially play a 4 - 3 - 3 / 4 - 5 - 1 ourselves ? With Cesc, Denilson and Song in the center and Eboue/Walcott and Arshavin out wide and Adebayor/Bendtner up front ? With Cesc being the attacking midfielder ? Arshavin would work better in that role. But who plays at LM if he is to play support striker ?

    Wenger said Vela would be available if he needed but it doesn't look like he'll start because he'll arrive in London on Friday morning (?). If Nasri is out with flu then only Arshavin and Vela could play LM. Unless we're willing to play Eboue or Walcott there. Or who knows, maybe the gaffer will deploy Bendtner there !

    It's quite baffling how team selection seems to confuse me every single time before a game.]]>

  • CON-MAN

    well theo needs games regardless so thers no reason why he cant start, maybe take him off if need be for ramsey or w/e jus depends on how the game goes, no reason eboue cant start either

  • Debs

    Lol Zohaib. I don’t know who gets more sleepless nights about team selections between you and Wenger! Just messing! :D

  • http://kierandelaney.net kierandelaney.net

    WTF? Nasri has flu and couldn’t train? I play all the time with a cold. Training is no issue with a runny nose. Our squad isn’t helped by things like that.

  • Debs

    But if he trains/plays with flu, he’ll not be 100% at his best, and it’d take even longer for him to recover fully. Might as well get it sorted in as little time as possible.

  • Debs

    And come on Kieran, the flu is not just having a runny nose.

  • http://kierandelaney.net kierandelaney.net

    I don’t buy that. If he’s got flu, he should be able to at least train – maybe not at 100% and i wouldn’t expect him to play 90 minutes, but he should be there unless he can’t walk.

  • Debs

    < ![CDATA[But you don't want him spreading his germs to everyone else though! :P
    But I guess it depends on how serious it is really, and whether it was his or Wenger's decision for him not to practice.]]>

  • Pete

    < ![CDATA[I think by flu he means he's vomiting from both ends!!! :S lol He should be alright in a few days time (maybe even for the Vilareal game).

    As for Saturday, the first 11 I'd like to play are

    Almunia

    Sagna Toure Gallas Clichy

    Theo Cesc Song Nasri

    Arshavin Bendtner

    But I've a feeling the first 11 will look something like this:

    Almunia

    Sagna Toure Gallas Clichy

    Eboue Cesc Song Arshavin

    Bendtner Ade

    If Nasri is well enough then maybe we'll see him on the left win and Arshavin on the right wing. Either way, hopefully it'll be a good performance.

    Apparently Robinho limped off mid week while playing for Brazil, and Bellamy didn't play on Wednesday night, so hopefully we'll be ok with those two absent.]]>

  • Fo

    News is that Robinho is fine. Apparently Nasri is very ill and also Walcott won’t be risked as w emay not have Nasri back on Tuesday either!