Friday Round Up… Injury News… Almunia, Djourou and Adebayor return… as Cesc is charged by the FA…

The sun is shining and it's been an interesting day in the World of Arsenal. As we looked at yesterday, we only have five games left until the end of the season, and in reality, with 8 points separating us from Villa in 5th and 6 points separating us from Chelsea in 3rd, it will be a monumentous task for us to finish either 3rd or 5th.

As a result, against Middlesborough this weekend, you'd really expect Arsene to rest some players in preparation for Wednesday big game. Winning is a habit and as much as I'd like to push on and really try and challenge Chelsea for the 3rd spot, in reality, I'd rather win the Champions League then finish 3rd instead of fourth.

Arsene gave us an injury update yesterday:

“From Tuesday night we are quite safe. We will rotate a little bit again but we have no major injuries from Liverpool.

“Manuel Almunia was in full training today and we’ll see how he responds. Djourou was in full training also so we’ll see how he is too. Both could come back into the squad. It is not enough training to say [for sure] yet we need 48 hours more. Emmanuel Adebayor should come back into the training on Saturday. He could be in the squad.

“But Robin van Persie is definitely out for Sunday and for Manchester United.  Gael Clichy could be back for the second Manchester United game. He has a scan on Monday. We’ll go from there. He has a chance to be back in full training next week.”

So, as we’ve all thought and discussed, Arsene really should play a reservish squad against Middlesborough and reserve all the big guns until Wednesday. If it were my call, I’d play the following team against Middlesborough:


Eboue – Toure – Silvestre – Gibbs

Arshavin – Ramsey – Denilson – Vela

Bendtner – Eduardo

This will give a few key players a chance to rest and give us the performance of their lives away at Old Trafford. If we do play the team above against Middlesborough, then that will keep the following team ready for Wednesday:


Sagna – Toure – Djourou – Gibbs

Walcott – Song – Cesc – Diaby – Nasri


Without Van Persie this Wednesday, I’m sure it will be a 4-5-1 formation, especially away from home in the Champions League.

And just when you thought the season was overwhelmingly frustrating, news has broke that Cesc Fabregas has been charged by the FA for the alleged spitting incident:

“Cesc Fabregas and Phil Brown have both been charged with improper conduct. Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas and Hull City manager Phil Brown have both been charged with improper conduct. The charges relate to matters arising from the FA Cup match between Arsenal and Hull at the Emirates Stadium on 17 March.

“Fabregas faces two charges of improper conduct relating to his conduct on the pitch following the game. One charge concerns his behaviour in coming onto the pitch after the final whistle, the second charge relates to an alleged spitting incident. The charges are based on submissions from Hull City and video evidence.

“Brown is charged with improper conduct and/or bringing the game into disrepute in relation to media comments made after the game concerning referee Mike Riley. Fabregas and Brown have until 12 May to respond.”

If you ask me, very much ridiculous by Hull and there is still a hope they will go down. That’s all I’ve got to say on that today – I may speak more on this tomorrow.

I’ll be back later with a look at what Bendtner has had to say about this season, but here’s to a good Friday evening and some interesting games tomorrow…]]>

  • JAT

    *burps up hummus, halloumi and shawarma flavoured lunch….


    < ![CDATA[good looks on both lineups
    i rele wanna c eduardo push and give us a big lift, hes simillar to VP, left footed...good finisher so i think in subbing out VP, eduardo is a gd for cesc i think he mite get a run out vs boro jus to keep him at 100% as i think hes not quite 100% yet

    but other than that looks good...i think a 2-1 win as boro are pretty good vs arsenal]]>


    < ![CDATA[

    and read this for news on rosicky

    i rele hope he comes bk]]>

  • zohaib

    I don’t think it’s a smart idea to play Cesc. He’s played pretty much every game since he’s been back. And it’s probably better he gets a rest. I’m sure he’ll need no motivation for a Champions League semifinal. It’s what the players play for. In fact if he gets another run out against Middlesborough, I’m afraid he won’t have much gas in the tank for ManUtd. Plus we need to be careful with injuries.

  • Pissed off

    < ![CDATA[When I was Like 5 and was one day working to watch a match with my dad ; my dad told me how they dealt with matches. That they first write list of players for a match and hand over to the coach and if the coach does not field the team and the team happens to loose the match, that he (the coach) knows what follows next (massive beating).

    In our time it does not happen that way, instead it 's a field day for the media and a few rant by the fans and that's it. The coach doesn't feel the physical pain of been beating up.

    Wenger was asked why he rested Arshavin and Song his two players that seemed in form, he responded something like he had Liverpool to play and that Song might be a bit jaded.

    His responses immediately drew me back to that very day I was working with my dad to a match and wished so much that we where back in time. Am sure if we where and that most of us had assess to meeting Wenger one on one; he would have been bruised all over and any time he wants to make a decision and realize the bruises around him he won't hesitate to do the right thing.

    5 years is too much not to win the premier league and by next year it could be six, hope it doesn't happen though.

    Wenger doesn't look like he seems boarded or bruised by the fact that he has not shown anything for the team and club for the past four years.

    Am writing this not to be an inspiration to the fans, the team any think - alike gunner but to make Wenger and Fans feel bruised, that way we can have a go; the champions league is like everything now, Wenger should feel bruised by his decision against Chelsea and please do the right thing for himself, the fans and players. Who doesn't won't to hear "ah my team are European champions" or I won a medal with Arsenal as a coach or a player.]]>

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[Boy has Wenger underestimated Southgate or what :,19528,11096_5233631,00.html

    Wenger hasn't managed to register a win against Southgate's Middlesborough !!! and he's had 5 opportunities !!!]]>

  • khai

    < ![CDATA[hmm. think what Pissed Off says makes some sense.

    wenger does feel very safe and secure with his job. i'll admit that he's good but he makes mistakes, sometimes grave ones too. i wonder if anyone there challenges what decisions wenger makes, which will allow him to think properly before making any decision.

    the trophy cabinet is collecting more and more dust as the seasons go by. kinda miss the times where we had pires, viera, henry, ljungberg, bergkamp and company. that line-up is enough to make any team feel worried. sometimes it makes u wonder how long it'll take for us to be at that level again. our future always look brighter with the exceptional young talents that we have. (*age <25). but will we wait for another 3-4 years for our first major trophy when our players are at their prime age?

    the purchase of arshavin does bring some hope along. but will it be enough? there are some major flaws in the team that needs to be addressed quickly, *we all can see these, the problem with our DM and CB, and sometimes our strikers.

    if it doesnt get addressed, the seasons will just go repeating itself. these few seasons, we are always going far but never to the end.

    and everytime we face the "tougher" teams, there's this chance where we will be "out-muscled" and not kill those teams off.

    c'mon wenger, we have faith in you. dun let us down. in wenger, we trust.

    one more thing to note, if fans can still get access to the coachhes. haha. i'd think benitez would be dead a long time ago with his tinkering. and sp*rs will have quite alot of dead coaches/managers..]]>

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[Awefully quiet in here ?!

    Whats up people. Where are you lot ?]]>

  • Fabrez

    In my mind, I always remember us having a right fight with Middlesbrough every time we play them…and they tend to nick draws off us. Wonder if their plan is to come and park the bus at The Emirates? Maybe they won’t… They tend not to be easy to break down with decent attacking play…the likes of Alliadiere and King aren’t bad. I do wonder if they will want to be a bit bolder than usual seeing that they are in serious trouble in terms of relegation… But to their credit, they are more adventurous than many sides in the bottom half. Hope Wenger can register his 1st win against Southgate’s team! And of course…no injuries plz!

  • Pissed off

    < ![CDATA[Just haven't recovered from a laugh. I had a chat with a cousin of my on the phone where he interpret what he thought of the big four clubs in Premier league.

    Man U - He called politicians, when things aren't going there way, they find a way of getting favour from referees, may be Jose and Rafa haven't been proved wrong after all. At least now I know what Rafa is doing is courageous and not ranting.

    Chelsea - He called business minded and will go at anything with there business minds, regardless of the match outcome - you can attest to that with Drogba and Lampard's approach to games.

    Arsenal - knowing pretty well I support them, he called them office workers; they just go for work , never business minded, never politicians, just pass the ball around and at times could pass one out of a match.

    Liverpool - He called the police, they like policing around, not really there and are always pretenders.

    In real sense he sees premier league as a battle of politicians, business men,police men and office workers. Sounds stupid, but with a little element of truth.]]>

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[Pissed off - that is some classy stuff mate. Real funny.

    The Liverpool metaphor is a bit harsh though. They've been in 2 Champions League finals in 3 years. And they've won one of them after coming from 3 goals behind, which looked impossible at the time.]]>

  • Debs

    < ![CDATA[Still here Zohaib, still here.
    I think Middlesborough will fancy their chances of getting at least a draw from the Emirates, and I expect Aliadiere to be fired up and could possibly nick a goal. But considering the form we're in at the moment, you'd expect us to take all three points. I'm interested in seeing what team Wenger puts out today, cos he's got to have an eye on the CL semi against Man U on weds, especially as 3rd place is looking more distant at the moment. Gutted VP is injured, but there's a chance for Eduardo to start and I hope he does, but knowing Wenger, he'll probably on the bench. Should be a good match though. Come on you gunners! :)]]>

  • zohaib

    Arshavin for some more magic ? Hell yes

  • debs

    < ![CDATA[lol. Another quartet, maybe? Can't wait to see how he does this time around.
    Man U will be thanking their lucky stars he's not eligible for the CL, cos he's a massive massive threat, and since they haven't played against him yet, they don't really know that much about him. But I still fancy us against them, even without Arshavin.]]>

  • Richiebacardi

    Is Eddy in the starting line up??

  • Richiebacardi

    …or on the team at all? cuz I ain’t seein him. If not does anyone know why?

  • zohaib

    Nope he wasn’t even on the bench. No idea what the issue is now !

  • Pissed off

    < ![CDATA[What's up with Ade, he wasn't really playing well when he came in - It seems his confidence depends pretty much on Cesc. Djourou played well for me, hope he starts ahead of Silvestre; but the real question now is - Who should and who should not play.

    Ade or Bedtner - Considering Bedtner wins more area balls than Ade.

    Silvestre or Djourou - Djourou's height and calmness being important, though sometimes he seems a bit too casual.

    Song or Denilson: trust Wenger, he will be tempted to play Denilson, after seeing his commitment today,

    But surely Wenger knows best.]]>

  • AJ

    Just got back in from the ‘boro game and I thought the game was ok, bit scrappy and we gave the ball away a bit easily and our passing was a little off (and Arshavin’s shooting) but it was a good result, however Bendtner was bugging me, he won quite a few balls in the air, but other than that he seemed to get in the way most of the time, at one point he was standing out on the wing by himself while most of the team was in our box awaiting a cross. I think he’s hopeless really.

  • Pissed off

    AJ that’s a bit harsh and untrue. Besides being on the way ones I thought he had a good game. At least very convincingly better than Ade, had couple of chances on target of which one Ade only managed to spill the rebound. Common guys you don’t have to nail this guy, I was more than impressed by his area ball ability, just a bit of purpose and can be okay. Am honestly considering him starting ahead of Ade in the CL with what I saw today.

  • AJ

    Yeah was a bit harsh, but then again both him and Ade have squandered numerous chances this season, a excellent example being Ade spilling the rebound, it’s just Bendtner seems to be a headless chicken a fair amount of the time, to be honest, I think he has been more effective on the wings than up front by himself and as for Ade we all know he likes to stand up there with his hands on his hips as if he is gods gift to us. (I’m not in too good a mood incase ya hadn’t noticed so I may change my opinion later).

  • Pete

    Waiting for the highlights as I didn’t see the game, but am delighted with the win, and it’s good to have a clean sheet again after the amount of goals conceded these last 2 weeks. I know it’s easy to say “it’s only ‘boro”, and there’s some truth in that, but by the sound of it, it’s probably the type of game we needed before Wednesday.

  • Debs

    Yeah Pete, clean sheet essential for confidence, especially as we’ve got Man U next. It’s really good seeing Almunia back. I’ve actually missed him, although Fabianski would have definitely gained valuable experience from his time there. Bring on Man U!!! :)

  • unspoken

    < ![CDATA[heard silvestre was injured. any news when he might come back.

    which leaves us djourou to start alongside toure. :)]]>

  • Debs

    Wenger said he’ll have a scan 2moro…

  • Fabrez

    < ![CDATA[Well I'm well pleased...little scrappy but good warm-up for THE big game on Wednesday. Seems as if none of our starters for the CL is injured (was not considering the injured Silvestre a starter...shame to see him injured tho). But kinda worked out because Djourou got a little game time. Cesc is playing in that Gerrard role really well... seems as if he likes it and that'll give him confidence for the big games ahead. It's good for him because he worries a bit less about last season with Flamini behind he can attack whilst still play his passing game.
    Was also impressed by Nasri's mobility... played a deep game...pretty much a DM along with Denilson. But he got forward and linked up well on the attacks. Nasri will be major agaisnt Man U i think. Song shall b well rested. Almunia wasn't busy but filled me with confidence when he made that save from Aliadiere's attempt nd the long range save was good too.
    What is going on with Eduardo Da Silva??? I'm so frustrated...if something is wrong with him, plz say AW. I'm no manager...but i know for a fact that a fully fit Eduardo should have been involved today...]]>

  • Fabrez

    Oh yeah…Arshavin had a couple bad shots…like shooting outside the area then going towards the corner flag…lol And almost missed a shot completely…was a bit tired I guess. But he did work hard regardless. And Wenger will never pick Bendtner ahead of Ade agaisnt Man U…

  • Debs

    < ![CDATA[Was wondering about Eduardo too, but I was listening to ATVO after the match and Stewart Robson was like Wenger's probably being cautious with him cos when you've been out for a while, like he was, you usually start really well, but after the initial introduction, you still need a bit of time off to come to terms with everything and to build your confidence in yourself. But maybe Wenger's keeping him for next season and simply biding his time? I was a bit worried about whether he might have confidence issues, but I guess Wenger would have spoken to him about his decision and all, but then though, it's still surprising to see him not in the squad, especially as he was on the bench against Liverpool. He's probably not 100% fit, and Wenger doesn't want him to pick up another injury. Maybe someone would ask him to explain why when next he gives a press conference cos we're all in the dark.

    It was interesting to see how Nasri and Fabregas sort of switched positions and both seemed to do well in those positions. That would serve us well against Man u, especially of they decide to switch positions once in a while during the match. I guess it's a good thing to have people who can play effectively well in different positions because it gives you the chance to change things around in the match if it is not working, without having to use one of the subs!]]>

  • Debs

    < ![CDATA[Good to see Arshavin's human afterall! ;)
    But he was involved a lot in the game, and both goals too which is a good thing, cos it shows that he links up well with the other players.]]>

  • Pete

    < ![CDATA[Very good performance from the lads, and great to see Cesc on the scoresheet again, reminds me of the start of last season :) The goalkeeping was just as good., so well done to Almunia for being a fortress between the sticks lol. Very surprising how Middlesborough played, considering that we never beat them under Southgate before. They really must be struggling.

    It was probably the perfect game to play before Wednesday nights biggie. Some of the injured players got a runout, others we able to be rested. New boy Gibbs is consistantly performing well so far. Nasri did remarkably well in his new holding role (maybe he could be our new Flamini???).

    Good stuff from the Gunners. Well done lads. Good luck for Wednesday's game!]]>

  • Pissed off

    < ![CDATA[Wenger is really finding a way of accommodating Nasiri, Song Cesc , Arshavin and Walcott in one game. Looks like his found the answer.

    My formation for Wednesday will look like


    Sagna Toure Djourou Gibbs

    Nasiri Song
    Walcott Eduardo



  • Pissed off

    < ![CDATA[Aluminia
    Sagna Toure Djourou Gibbs
    Nasiri Song
    Walcott Eduardo

  • Dan

    Its a great team, pissed off. I am enjoying Nasri in the middel too. My only worry would be Ronaldo vs Gibbs and Eduardo. I think Nasri will have to play out wide for this game, but i definetly agree with him being central generally.

  • Gooner Get Ya

    < ![CDATA[I think AW is saving Eduardo for the CL as a secret weapon....but only as a sub if wwe start losing.

    My formation would be (4-2-3-1)

    Sagna Toure Djourou Gibbs
    Song Denilson
    Walcott Cesc Nasri

    Subs: Fabianski, Eboue, Diaby, Ramsey, Eduardo, Bentdner, Vela]]>

  • debs

    I’d love Eduardo to play on wednesday, but even Eduardo needs match practice like everyone else and I can’t even remember when last he played! :(

  • Pete

    < ![CDATA[Yeah, Eduardo's been keeping a low profile for quite a while. Wenger hasn't mentioned him much, which I'd imagine would suggest that he's ok physically. Be nice to see him play at Old Trafford, though as Debs said, he needs match practice like everyone else.

    I like the team selections Pissed Off and GoonerGetYa made, though I'm more inclined for adopting a 4-4-2 formation with the same players, just to help things defencively.

    Was thinking yesterday about the options of player we have available for the premier leage.

    Imagine the following lineup against Chelsea and Man United in the next few weekends.


    Sagna Toure Djourou Clichy

    Theo Cesc Song Nasri Arshavin

    Abebayor or Bendtner

    Kind of puts a smile on your face doesn't it lol :D]]>

  • Pete

    Btw, is Dev alright? Is he away or something, because there’s not been an update for a few days.

  • zohaib

    I’m a little worried about Toure, Gibbs and Nasri. They’ve all played 90 mins each, twice n 4 days. You can only make 3 substitutions so somebody was going to have to stay on. But I just hope they’re at 100% against ManUtd.

  • Debs

    < ![CDATA[Wasn't confident about the FA cup semi against Chelsea before and during the match, but I'm feeling quite confident about this semi against Man U. I hope the boys prove me right. Can't wait!!!
    And really, where's Dev?!]]>

  • Pissed off

    Dev where are you.