Well, yesterday we heard the news, the breaking news, the Sky Sports News ticker type of news… and the news was that Thomas Vermaelen will be out of action for the next 4 weeks. I think Arsene and Arsenal as a club have tried to play it down – but Sky Sports tried to make the biggest thing out of it possible.
“Vermaelen is in a [protective] boot. We want him back and I hope he will be back soon, but not before January.”
The thing is that we kind of knew that and in reality, as Arsenal fans, it’s not the most alarming thing we’ve heard and we’ve expected that he won’t be back for a while, considering Arsene kept on saying that he is indefinitely out! It has been a strange injury no doubt – with Tommy V being out of action for so long for what was just a small injury at the beginning.
Thomas Vermaelen proved to be an astute signing and become the rock of our team – he quickly became a mainstay of the first XI and in his absence, we have had to quickly acclimatise Koscielny and try and bring back Djourou after his year out through injury. In his absence, however, through some miraculous series of events, we have found ourselves top of the league… and that means we’re right on track for the title, if we can maintain some sort of consistency – well more than the other teams…
Tommy V took time out to speak about the race and said:
“I hope so. We’re still doing well in the race. Last week we went top of the league so I hope we can continue winning games so that we’re on top of the league at the end of the season. It’s difficult when you’re injured. I hope I will get back soon and play again.”
On the upcoming Man United:
“That [match] will not be decisive, but I think every game is important for us to win. Manchester United is a big rival and it will be really important to win that game.”
Of course, before that momentously big game, we have a more season defining one at home to Partizan Belgrade, which we have to win if we want to progress to the later stages of the Champions League – an easy group which somehow we have transpired to make very difficult for ourselves… there’s a fine line in regards to the balancing act of rotating a squad and I can see why Arsene played some of the weaker squads away in the Champions League and in all honesty, both against Shaktar and Braga, we should have come away with some sort of result, even if it wasn’t a win!
Congratulations to Samir Nasri who has won the EA Sports player of the month for November… which is basically just the player of the month competition which is now sponsored by EA sports. His two goals against Fulham were both amazing individual efforts and nothing but praise can be lauded on Samir – he has an awesome work-rate and skill to match.
Bacary Sagna knows Nasri a little better than the rest and he was full of praise for his compratriot:
“He is always crazy.He is a really good guy. He likes to spend time with the players and I think we can feel it on the pitch. He feels well with everyone and even with the team. He fits very well into Arsenal and it shows in his performances. I think he is one of our best players of the season and on Saturday he showed it again. Because of him we won the game. I’m not surprised to see him playing like this. He needed to settle a bit but now he is showing his best and he will show even more.”
It was absolutely crazy that he wasn’t included in France’s world cup squad – as we saw when England played France at Wembley, he was star of the show – we were all quite baffled about his non selection and so was Bacary…
“Honestly, I was really surprised. You never know in football. The manager [Raymond Domenech] had to make some choices and he made them but everybody was a bit surprised. But I think it was not because of football, I don’t know what happened. Maybe we should ask the manager.”
Let’s hope Nasri can keep up this form, he has 11 goals to him name this season and that is quite something isn’t it?
I’ll be back tomorrow with a Partizan preview, so until then…