Barcelona Preview: Injuries mount up…

Greetings Fellow Gooners…

Ahead of tomorrow’s biggest game of the season, we’ve been hit by another two injuries to add to our list of lengthening injuries, which sees both Alex Song and Carlos Vela out of tomorrow’s squad to face Barcelona… It’s a big blow because Alex Song is basically our player of the season and he’s been immense for us – especially in the first leg. Arsene revealed the news this morning saying:

“It was a bad surprise this morning because he had a scan yesterday afternoon on his knee and he has an inflamed cartilage,” said Wenger before leaving for Spain. “We have to wait and see how bad it is but he is completely out for the squad for tomorrow’s game.”

He also revealed that Campbell may not be available either and that he couldn’t train today.

“That is a decision I have to make after speaking to him tomorrow,” said the manager. “Today he was still not completely available although he managed to get a warm-up. To go into such a game you must be completely fit or not play at all.”

It leaves 11 players out through injury and that’s a lot of players, considering when you look and the Missing XI, that at least 5 players would have definitely started…

[Goalkeeper]

Djourou – Gallas – Campbell – Gibbs

Song – Ramsey

Arshavin – Cesc – Vela

Van Persie

But as I have been reminded various times today and yesterday, we have pretty much been depleted at various stages all season and it’s not the first time we have had key members missing from the first XI – it is a massive injury crisis though and mental aptitude is must required… We have to remember, we’ve gone to the San Siro twice – and beaten AC Milan 2-0, Inter Milan 5-1 and of course gone to Spain and beaten Real Madrid 1-0 – I know we’ve had fullish squads then, but despite the massive injury list, we can still field a decent team… let’s have a look who I think will feature tomorrow…

Almunia

Sagna – Vermaelen – Silvestre – Clichy

Denilson – Diaby

Eboue – Nasri – Rosicky

Bendtner

With a bench of Fabianski, Campbell, Traore, Eastmond, Merida,  Walcott and Eduardo

You may be thinking – oh my gosh, we have to start Theo – but the reason I think Arsene won’t start the young winger is because he has been talking about the impact Theo can make as a sub and of course, we know that having Eboue and Sagna down the right may be a more defensive option. I think Barcelona are the type of team who will have a go and try and get a goal. Despite their away goal advantage, I can’t see them still back and letting us attack – I really think they will push forward and that’s why we must defend well first most and farmost and then look at counter attacking. As Theo showed in the first leg, he can be a brilliant impact sub – when the opposition is tired and Theo is fresh, it’s quite a battle.

I’ll be back tomorrow with more information about the squad, our chances and Barcelona’s possible team, but for the moment, I have to mention something I read about Karl Henry – the player that got sent off against us on the weekend. He’s been talking about how Arsenal don’t like being tackled and don’t like being “hit hard” and how we moan when we are. Well, sorry Mr Henry, you are even more stupid and narrow minded than you were previously – how on earth can you say that is beyond me. “Hit hard?” – we’ve lost Van Persie, Cesc and Ramsey this season alone because they were all “hit hard” by teams over physical against us. How would you like it if someone broke your ankle / leg and they complain when you moaned.

Wolves are pretty much another Hull / Stoke type team whom don’t even care for the sporting nature of football. It looks like Burnley may be going down along with West Ham and Portsmouth, but we shouldn’t really be happy to see the likes of West Ham, Pompey and last seasons relegations of Newcastle and Middlesborough, because the Premiership is now filled up with the likes of Stoke, Hull, Burnley, Blackburn, Bolton etc etc, and what do all these teams have in common? They’ll break a leg to stay in this league and normally it’s an Arsenal player.

I’ll let you digest that for the moment. Over and out, for now.

  • Steve C

    Couldn’t beleive Henry’s comments when I read them. He said something like:

    “It wasn’t a red because I went to win the ball but Rosicky was shielding it and I was already commited.”

    How is that any defence at all!! He went in when Rosicky was clearly gonna win the ball first, and if you commit so hard to a tackle that you can’t pull out even after it’s clear you won’t win the ball that is practically the definition of a dangerous challenge!

    Muppet!

  • goonerman

    I am beggining to have wolves just as much as hull and stoke! i know burnley and west brom went down and are probably going down becuase they played a nice style of football but a team like birmingham manages to build a team that can defend well and nick a game with the odd goal.

    the defensive crisins is pretty bad and i wouldnt mid seeing sagna used as a cb with vermaelen, he wont have to deal with height and hes got the pace and the brains to deal with barca hopefully!!

    im just going to forget about this game untill the team news come in tomorrow then il possibly watch the game or hide in a dark room untill its all over haha!

    HOPEFULLY SONG CAN GET HIMSELF FOT FOR SPURS!!

  • devday

    @ goonerman:
    That’s not a bad idea, having Sagna inside with Vermaelen – when we signed him, he was a RB/CB, but do you think Arsene can do that considering we haven’t played him there all season?

  • devday

    @ Steve C:
    Exactly my point – the tackle was over the top and could have been as bad of some of the ones that have seen our players badly injured – astonishing and very small minded from Henry to say those words – and even worse that he believed them. In all honesty, he should have come out and apologised.

  • Francis

    @ devday
    here is my lineup for the game

    Almunia
    Eboue Sagna Vermaelen Clichy
    Denilson Diaby Nasri
    Eastmond Bendtner Rosicky/Traore/Merida

  • Francis

    @ devday

    henry got away with stamping on walcott’s calve…ref was 2 yards from that incident…the red card was coming i must say.

    henry c’d have been sent off for the previous incident…it got Sol mad!!!!

  • devday

    @ Francis:
    Definitely – the stamp on Walcott was bad, but he didn’t mention that did he?

  • devday

    @ Francis:
    It would be a shock to see Sagna play in the middle of defence although it makes sense in a lot of ways – he is mobile, pacey etc – but would we not have seen that previously this season at all?

  • Kuka

    I watched Sagna play CB for Auxere and he was excellent. I know Wenger wouldn’t play him
    there, but how I pray he does not play Silves. His judgement ain’t that good and playing 2lefties at CB will be a disaster given all the quick footed barca front three.

  • Kuka

    This Henry guy: I used to think he was quite a gentlemen, or should I say he has the looks of a gentleman. I was really dissapointed at him, to even state that Arsenal likes morning, when we have has close to five broken legs in the past 2 years. How does someone live with such statements? I totally dislike the team including their manager.

  • devday

    @ Kuka:
    Agree! Mick McCarthy is pretty low in my opinion!

  • Sam

    Song absence is the last straw…
    We’ve gone thru most of season without RVP. Rambo’s injury made the more determined. Cesc’s injuries have made us stronger. We’ve made do despite Gallas injury. Arsh injury is unfortunate. Drawing Barca was unlucky. Getting to play wed-sat-tue (3 games in 7 days whereas ManU played tue-sat-wed or 3 in 9 days)was bad. But losing Song…
    Still in it though, let’s for best. Next 7 days may define our season!

  • Kuka

    Rosicky has been rated 50-50 for the game. Please allow me to laugh. By tomorrow we won’t have any fit player out there. I can’t wait for Wednesday morning. This anxiety isn’t good for anyone’s health

  • Nick

    I was arguing with a Man U. fan today who was bitching and moaning about their loss to Chelsea and how it “would’ve been a completely different game if they’d had Rooney!” I said, buddy, if we didn’t have half our injuries, especially RVP, all season you’d be nowhere near us in the table. He shut up pretty quick.

    Honestly to look at what we’ve dealt with this season it’s absolutely astonishing we’re where we are. Still in the CL and the title race in EPL is brilliant all things considered. I think we add those few missing pieces and it’s the invincibles part 2.

  • goonerman

    @kuka:
    Laugh!! That is what you have to do to stop yourself from crying about these injuries. How can wenegr go and hit us with another injury worry lol. i actually have a spurs freind who tried to tell me our injuries aint that bad and that spurs have it worse becuase ledley king and woodgate are injured so much, haha how can ledley king and woodgate count when they are crocked more than fit?? whatever happens tonight we cant moan because we are nearly down to picking reserves for the first team and against barca you can not be playing reserve players however good they are!

    And to top it all off even though im sure everyone was reporting he was still out INIESTA is apparently fit to play! GREAT

  • khai

    let’s all hope for a masterclass play from the gunners tonight.
    though we are already overachieving this season after being written off over and over and over again. i do hope we can achieve even more.
    let’s show the world and especially to ourselves that we can.

    we’ll definitely need almunia on form THROUGHOUT the match, basically EVERYONE NEEDS TO.

    let’s do this. we can moan about the injuries but let’s do with what we have a get ourselves some trophies.

    COME ON YOU GUNNERS! We are behind you all the way!!!

  • Josiah

    NO MORE INJURIES PLEASE.