How long Cesc is out for could determine our season…

It’s clear that Cesc Fabregas is very important to the team, he’s our engine that makes the team tick. Yes, we can play without him and we did so for periods of last season, especially during our unbeaten run – but Cesc has been vital to the form we’ve been showing this season so far. He makes the team move, creates space, dribbles well and has the experience needed in this league. How long he is out for will be important for our season. After Celtic, a game in which he could have been rested for anyway, we go to Manchester United and then Manchester City for two away games that will surely be an indicator of our abilities this season.

If our captain is not available for those games, we will most probably see Diaby, Denilson and Song form our midfield shield. Arsene said we’ll find out in the next 48 hours the extent of his injury and I’ll be on edge whilst we don’t know… Whilst I don’t doubt the credentials of Diaby or Ramsey – when it comes to big games, I’d prefer Cesc in the heart of our midfield. He has the “big game” factor in his locker.

“If it is a little pull, he will be out for three weeks, if it is just tightness, maybe he can get away for Wednesday. In 48 hours, we will have a better view.”

Arsene is hoping to add to his midfield group of players, and if Cesc is injured for 3-4 weeks, then it may hasten the decision. Although Denilson and Diaby have played and can play the defensive midfield role, I feel both are more offensive as are Cesc and Ramsey. In reality Song is our only “real” defensive midfielder and that’s where we need to strengthen.

“[Will there be] Much transfer movement? Certainly not. Any? Maybe, but certainly not much. I was always happy with my squad, that’s a quality I have. Don’t forget the players we have out – we have quite a big squad. At the moment Abou Diaby hasn’t played until the other night, we have Rosicky, Eduardo and Nasri - there are plenty of offensive players who are still not there. Carlos Vela is still injured and not playing so we have plenty of possibilities; offensively I don’t think we need to strengthen the squad. Defensively, number-wise, maybe we could still do with one.”

Arsene also continued to talk about the fact that signing a quality defensive midfielder is a very hard job.

“I must confess one thing. I’ve spoken to 10 managers and all 10 are looking for centre-backs or defensive midfielders. It looks like the offensive players are the most-paid but at the end of the day, in the modern day, all the managers I speak to ask me the same thing. ‘Do you know a player somewhere?’”

The funny thing of all of this is that Arsene sees Alex Song as a centre back long term, which means we don’t actually have a defensive midfielder at the club… in one way!

In other news, Arsene has informed us that Carlos Vela won’t be back until October as he’s got an ankle injury – something he picked up on International duty. He is a player whom I’m dying to see more of this season and will definitely add something to the front three – his cameo appearances last season exciting the fans and the manager alike. He’d be very comfortable in any position in the front three in our new 4-3-3, and could be a very important player for us this season… if Carlos Vela is injured for a month, it could also hasten the attempted capture of Chamakh, but we’ll have to wait and see.

In another update from Arsene, we have also been updated on Theo Walcott’s injury and it looks like he will be out for another couple of weeks and that he will miss the next two games for definite… it’s a little bit weird because for Man United away – our next game in the league – we could be going up there with no Theo Walcott, no Samir Nasri, no Thomas Rosicky, no Cesc Fabregas and no Carlos Vela, which is half a team! Theo at the moment can’t really run and Arsene has been quite critical of the summer exploits with England and the England Under 21s.

Take a read of what Arsene had to say about Walcott:

“Theo will not be available for the Man United game. I believe it will be a problem for England as well. He has an inflammation of his lower back. At the moment straight line running is OK but no curves. That’s why last year I didn’t want him to play for the Under-21s. I know how it works. The player comes back later than everybody else, he doesn’t have a decent preparation, you are under pressure to rush him back, you play him earlier than you should, he gets an injury, and you see him again in October.  That’s what usually happens and that’s why I was adamant that he does not go with the Under-21s. He had no decent preparation for the championship, for the season, and in the end England will pay the price as well. Once a player is already playing for the top national team, what is the reason to take him with the Under-21s, who are originally destined to promote the players to the first team? That’s what I couldn’t understand. It is not anger [I feel] because I knew at the start what could happen. But it is frustration, yes, because I can’t see the logic in that whole process. In the end, England, and Arsenal, have a handicap.”

Guys, I’ll leave you now, time to spend some time in the sun… time to think about who to sign and who we should play at Celtic…

  • Leeroy.N

    As bad as it is. Now is the time for the team to really grow up. To prove to everyone that it is a team and not a one man band. Whether Fabregas is out for 2 weeks or 2 months. The team has to focus and carry on playing the way they have been. They can with out a doubt. Regardless of who is missing, the team we have is getting better and more confident each game. It’s a blow, but not the end of the world. This is a test to determine how the season goes on, but it wont define the season in my eyes. Of course our captain is integral to our games and progress, but you have to prepare for the worst at anytime and any level. In my eyes, the earlier the better. We have the time now to face adversity and strive from it or recover.. whichever it may be, we have to go on and be as strong as possible. Last season we racked up a great run without key squad members, I’m sure we can do it again.

    Win, Lose or Draw… Gooner Til I Die!!

  • http://www.natural-light-cambridge.co.uk/ GoonerGary

    Fabregas enjoyed an attacking role with the new 4-3-3 formation. If we keep the same line up with Song in the holding position, Nasri would have been the ideal creative attacking midfielder to replace Fab (assuming he is going to be out for a while). But with Nasri also injured, can Diaby do the job? He’s a bit hit and miss though..hopefully he can step up a gear this season after his extra training this summer.

  • Fabrez

    Pearce & Capello have messed it up for Theo. This shows how much wiser Wenger is than those 2 managers. What a foolish decision. Ah well… Cesc being out will show whether we have the squad to win major honours…

  • Fabrez

    Cesc missing won’t determine our season but can affect our confidence if we can’t deal with him out for a few games. I question Diaby’s credentials mainly bcuz he’s a hot & cold player. That inconsistency frustrates me soooo soooo much!

  • Fabrez

    BUT…I’ll consider him 4 the Man U game IF he players the Cesc role for 1 half in the Celtic game and Ramsey the 2nd half. Which ever 1 impresses more i’d start for the Man U game. Just hope Cesc can play but I got my doubts…

  • Leeroy.N

    FABREZ – Spot on, confidence is and has been our deciding factor in games. Whether it be going forward in front of goal, keeping the ball in the middle or keeping it tight at the back. So many times in a season has 1 out of the 3 let us down we rarely get out played in all areas of field (i would swear my life on that..very very rare), but on of them always seems to let us down when we really need it. we could be bossing the Mid and going forward strong.. but the defence lets us down.. or would could be solid at the back.. but we can’t be clinical enough up front etc. I call for and have seen the players grow up over these last few seasons. It’s upto them now to prove how serious they are about winning honours and picking up some silverware. I could be fussy and say I want the Prem and the Champions League title, But the season is too long for that, I want to see positive performances, despite whats happening on the pitch, in the dressing room and or whoever is injured. These games, when it’s seems the odds are stacked against us will mean something to us. Pull off a good and positive result against an inform Man U, with a depleted tired squad will make a statement.. no matter the result. I don’t care who plays, just aslong as ALL 11 on the pitch give 110%.

    Win, Lose or Draw… Gooner Til I Die!!

  • kuka

    …am sure no one has the answer to this question, but I will ask it anyway…….Are we going to bring in anyone before the window closes? I just cant help but ask this question. The team is really doing well and trust me, I have waited for this moment for a while. But I just fear that if we loose our key players through injury as is currently the case, we do risk to suffer. CESC is a massive player, but I think Ramsey and Arshavin can quite easily play as schemers in his absence. My main concern would be if something did happen to Song or one of our defenders for example……………….As I type, am touching all manner of wood around me, but yet again I know that this is football and unfortunately injuries is part of the game….

  • Berth

    Cesc has to play against Man u. I dont want to see any Diaby or Ramsey play. We need him as much as he needs us.

  • fan

    why the hell was cesc playing on Sat when he picked up an injury the week before? Come on Wenger

  • askhat

    Arsenal has to do smth with injury problems. may get another medical staff. the season has just started but we have half of the squad injured already. Wenger brings in only injury prone players

  • Leeroy.N

    BERTH – Would you really want to risk any more injuries to him. Is his presence so important, that we cant win without him? Those are the questions we need to ask ourselves and the players need to answer themselves. He is the captain of our and one of the best players on our team for many different reasons. But you cant let him be the deciding factor in games whether we win or not. That attitude will undoubtedly hamper the team IF that same view is shared among the rest of the players. God forbid he be out for any lengthy time. But the team need to learn to win without him.. as well as with him.

    FAN – I think it really comes down to Fabregas himself at the end of the day. I hear they do test like every week and every two weeks to determine whether they are fit enough mentally as well as physically. If he passes well, but still feels a little niggle somewhere. As the captain of our team I can imagine he wouldnt tell anyone if he was a little sore somewhere. He wants to play every game possible, he’s the kind of player who would play with broken ribs and a broke leg if he could. I admire he passion, but he needs to be 100% for us. Wenger wants all his best players to be played too. So now I think he would have TOLD Fabregas he isn’t playing now til he is fit and ready. IMO

    KUKA – It’s looking more likely that no one is coming in. Unless the negotiators are being super smart and really secretive, doing enough to keep out any rumours and specualtions. The only player we have been linked with recently is Van Der Vaart, but even that has died down to a hush. I know everyone would love to see 2 or 3 new additions and would feel a little dissapointed if we don’t (myself included). But in saying that..If the Senderos deal goes through, which is looking more likely because Lescott is making the switch, I would hope for some cover at the back to replace him and maybe a new face for the Mid. Here’s hoping!

    Win, Lose or Draw… Gooner Til I Die!!

  • Gooner Get Ya

    I admit that without a Cesc type player our team would struggle for creativity against the better teams but I think Arshavin/Nasri/Rosicky/Ramsey/Wilshire could be suitable short term replacments. Obviously only Arshavin is the only regular 1st teamer fit at the moment so i guess he will have to slot in while Cesc is out. With RVP, Eduardo & B52 forming our 3 pronged attack….No decent attacking subs though?

    As far as any transfers in, I wouldn’t be to quick to rule out another purchase…AW himself has said that the window doesn’t come alive until the last few days.

  • Marc Callan

    Leeroy…love the rebuttle…your totally right, they as a team cannot rely on one guy all the time, Man United have changed their ways to compensate for Ronaldo…my only boggling worry is why do we always have a huge injury list, I understand some of it stems from bad luck (I.e. Nasri) but it can’t all be that, i would wonder what the training ground/facilities/programmes are like, are they too vigourous on the body hence the injuries…

    Regarding transfers i hope we do sign someone but if not we make do with what we got since the team is 95% there in being complete…finally I read on skysports that diaby is saying they wanna win the cl cup, I just wish he didn’t say it since now he has jinxed us

  • Marc Callan

    I meant niggling not blogging

  • Leeroy.N

    GOONER GET YA – True words. Wenger does do his best business 2mins before the close of the window.. it’s HIS time. The waiting and wondering is excruciating! I just don’t believe how clueless we are whether it will happen or not or who it could be. It’s amazing how he and his team only let you know what they want you to know.

    MARC CALLAN – I love this board too much. It got me through the off and pre-season. Injuries wise, no one can doubt how unlucky we are. I know that our training regime and tests the players go through are vigorous. We have to wonder what they have to deal with behind them closed doors. I bet Wengers has them crying and thowing up. HAHA! Seriously though, its a perfect test for us, especially before christmas. If we can rack up enough decent performances and rack up enough points, then after the new year and when those injured players return they will be able to continue where the other left off.

    Win, Lose or Draw.. Gooner Til I Die!!

  • Bonathan

    I actually think the cesc position is an area we have loads of good cover for. Of course the problem is that cesc is exceptional. Anyway, even with the injuries to cesc, nasri and rosicky, we still have 3 from song, diaby, denilson, ramsey and one that hasn’t been mentioned yet (forgive me if he has i only skimmed through) mr Fran Merida, whom wenger has said would be given chances this season and wouldn’t send him out on loan. Having said that, i reckon he’ll start with song, diaby and denilson against united. We are spoiled for choice in those central positions though.

    On a side note, another position i think we need to stregthen is goalkeeper. Don’t get me wrong, I have no probs at all with our 1st choice, but apparentely fabianski has a lengthly injury. I actually think that even if he didn’t we should buy an old experienced keeper and send fabianski out on loan for a season. It’s the best thing to do we young keepers at some point. Havn’t seen much at all of Mannone but what i did see left a lot to be desired. As i say though, i’ve seen extremely little so i might be doing the guy a massive diservice there.

  • devday

    @Leeroy N – Spot on with your analysis – many players aren’t always 100% when they play and as long as they pass their tests, Arsene knows they can play – for our second game of the season, with the full backs rested, it made sense to play Cesc – he didn’t look injured before the game or during the first half – but you can’t not play your players in fear of them getting injured.

    I don’t think we know what the extent of the injury is yet – I’m hopeful he will still be back for Saturday.

    Congratulations to the reserves who beat Fulham 3-0 today with goals from Sunu, Coquelin and Deacon!!

  • wrecked_soul

    whoever we sign this season doesn’t matter anymore because i have a strong feeling that AW won’t buy anyone this summer unless, 1 or 2 player is added into the list of injured players. he’s quite headstrong i believe. there’s no doubt i will trust him to coach Arsenal, but at times he’s just too difficult to understand.
    though Cesc is our motor in the heart of midfield, we can still win difficult games only if those players can outrun their opponent. it is hard as running in an uphill street, but we can still do it. start making the fans believe on them by doing MORE than they should. sign off….