Thomas Vermaelen… Returning in less than 30 days…

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…

  • Kieran

    I think I was one of the only people not surprised by Nasri’s exclusion from the World Cup squad. He wasn’t on top form last season like he is now, he was not 100% fit and at the time players like Ribéry, Gourcuff, Toulalan and Malouda, hell even Arsenals own Diaby were ahead of Nasri, probably easily.

    Without a doubt though, Nasri not going to the World Cup was the best thing that could have happened to the player and Arsenal in terms of his current performances.

  • arseneknows

    Like so much Arsenal news, It sound very dramatic
    Vermalen out till next year!
    Another way of looking at it;
    Vermalen will miss just 2 big games before
    Returning to action!! Manc and dirty cash!
    Same for Kos!
    It’s all a question of how you look at it!
    ‘Simples’

    Peace

  • devday

    @ Kieran:
    Surely you haven’t forgotten THAT goal against Porto last season? But it wasn’t just that goal, his ability to create magic out of nothing was clear to see.

    I wouldn’t say Toulalan was in great form last season whatsoever, and his inclusion proved a disaster.

    In my opinion, it was a little bit personal – however, it was a good thing for Arsenal, so I’m not complaining!

  • devday

    @ arseneknows:
    Exactly!
    That’s why I switched the negative news to a positive one!
    Silly media…!!!

  • khilen

    The past few seasons I’ve been getting more and more impatient with Mr. Wenger. While Chelsea and Liverpool overtook us and challenged Man Utd for the league, we spent our seasons looking over our shoulder as Villa, Spurs and Man City got better and better. I was tearing my hair as I watched the teams around us splashed money on big players while we sat on our hands and stuck with young, inexperienced players. Every season we’d qualify for the knock-out rounds of the ChampionsLeague and every season we’d get destroyed by the first big team we faced. The way things are now I have to admit that Arsene was right. Chelsea’s success was down to Abrahamovic. Now they have stopped spending and their squad is getting older it is all falling to pieces. A few seasons ago they could have fielded a 2nd team that would beat most Prem teams, now they lose JT and Lamps for 5 games and drop 10points. Liverpool challenged for one season but again, the only players left from their “successful” spell are getting on, and are the best players in a weak squad. Arsene was building for long term success, like Utd have, and it’s working. Our squad will only get stronger as it matures and I can’t wait for the end of this season. We’ll win trophies this season for sure!

  • Kieran

    @ devday:
    Nope, but that goal aside Nasri wasn’t on fire all season, and certainly wasn’t consistent. With hindsight he has been brilliant this season, last season (Porto aside) he was simply “good”. Last season in the league he scored just two goals and bagged 4 assists. This season he has already scored 4 times as many league goals (8) with 1 assist and has picked up 14 bonus points in the FA fantasy league already compared to last seasons total – 9.

    I think with the French squad you have to look at Malouda who finished the season on fire, Gourcuff and Ribery and think, with space at a premium they probably wouldn’t have taken Nasri who’s similar to all three.

    The French team that bossed England was totally different in set up, formation, personnel and management to the WC squad, so really they aren’t comparable, they may as well be different countries.

    @ khilen:
    Look at Liverpool and Villa now. Unsustainable, dropping like stones, brilliant to watch.

  • khilen

    Watching MOTD the other day and they were comparing Birminghams Centre Halfs to Arsenal’s, not in great detail but… A good point was made Birminghams defenders are under the kosh for the games they play in near enough the whole game so the players are fully focused the whole time. We spend a lot of games attacking so our defenders lose concentration because our two centre backs at the back are spectating our attackers from the back and when the opposition goes long or counter they are not focused and collected again. What we need is Veremalen to come back in and crack the whip. Squilacci, Koscienly and Djourou watching them do you ever see them shouting? I dont… There is no leadership on our back line. We need a defender in Veremalen absence to be passionate and communicate to keep our defenders on there toes. I always see Rio, Terry, Samba, Hangeland, Carragher and others shouting/screaming at there back line. What we need are leaders like them.

  • gandiv

    So Vermaelen and Koscileny out until after Xmas, we are left with Djourou and one half of The Chuckle Bros, plus Song if required. We have games during this period against Mancs, Stoke, Chelsea, Wigan, B’ham, Man City. We will be bombarded in the air by Stoke, we haven’t beaten The Mancs or Chelsea in the PL for some time, Wigan beat us last year, B’ham away is tough for anyone and Man City are getting it together. Do people still think our squad is strong enough for the battle ahead?

  • devday

    @ gandiv:
    Koscielny isn’t injured – he is starting tomorrow.
    Behind Koscielny we have Djourou, Song and Nordtveit with Vermaelen coming back in Jan…

    And when we play the likes of Stoke, Djourou is a better option aerially anyway!

  • CON-MAN

    not gonna lie but arsene, seriously, get us another 2 CB’s. genuinely. because if we are here in may lamenting a shit 2nd half collapse because song was back at CB i will lose it