Speaking to the media after the disappointing 2-2 draw to Southampton, Arsene Wenger has revealed that Aaron Ramsey has suffered an injury setback in training and will be out for longer than was originally expected. Ramsey had returned to light training earlier this week, having been out since boxing day with a thigh problem picked up against West Ham. Unconfirmed reports (which I believe started with goal.com) now suggest that he could be out for up to 6 weeks, although Wenger’s quote would suggest that he might be back sooner than that.
“Aaron Ramsey is out for longer than we expected because he had a little setback in training yesterday. So I couldn’t bring him here. It’s the same muscle he did a bit again so we have to be cautious this time. I hope it’s not for too long, but certainly not for Sunday’s game [at home to Crystal Palace]”
Having Ramsey out leaves us extremely short in central midfield as we head into a crucial run of games in which we are playing Liverpool twice (in the League and the FA Cup), Manchester United, and Bayern Munich in the space of 11 days. We have no way of knowing whether Jack Wilshere will have recovered fully from his slight knee problem to take part in these games, while Mathieu Flamini is suspended for the next three fixtures after getting himself stupidly sent off against Southampton. There are also some questions over Mikel Arteta’s fitness as he has only just returned to first-team action after nearly three weeks out.
The latest Arsenal team news is out ahead of tomorrow’s early kick-off against Crystal Palace. There are not many changes post-Dortmund, although Mathieu Flamini is back in the squad after suffering concussion last weekend and Jack Wilshere will also have a late fitness test. Wilshere hurt his ankle when running through on goal on Tuesday night and was eventually substituted for Santi Cazorla with half an hour left.
“Flamini is available. He had no basic injury – it was just a precaution. Wilshere will be checked later by the medical people and we’ll see if I will involve him or not.”
Speaking after the game, Wilshere said that he didn’t think that it was anything serious and that he should be ok for the weekend:
“No, it’s just one of those things. My ankle stopped and my body went over it and I jarred it a little bit – I’ve done it before.
“I knew in five or 10 minutes I’d be able to run it off. It eased off and I’m happy about that, but it made sense to put ice on it.
“Obviously I will have treatment because it is still a bit swollen, but I should be all right for the weekend.”
In his pre-match press conference Wenger also explained why Mesut Ozil was “not as his best” for the Dortmund game. Our talismanic midfielder was apparently suffering from a short illness, although he seems to be fine now and will probably start tomorrow:
“He was sick before the game and he was not at his best on the night. He said he felt alright, but in the two days before he had a virus and you could see that physically he was not at his best.
“Dortmund were organised to stop us from playing our game and one of their game plans was to stop Ozil to get in the game. They did that well. On top of that, Ozil was not at his best physically on Tuesday night.”
Remember to look out for our match preview (including some stats and our predicted starting XI), to be published later.
The latest Arsenal team news is out ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League Matchday 1 game in Marseille. The news that we were all waiting for was on Olivier Giroud, who seemed to pull up with a knee problem after going for an Aaron Ramsey cross against Sunderland, and was replaced by Chuba Akpom. Rumours on Twitter initially suggested that Giroud could be out for around 2-3 months, but thankfully it only looks to be a short-term problem. He could even be fit to play in Marseille!
The big blow is that Santi Cazorla is out for a few weeks with an ankle injury. However, Mertesacker is back after illness and Özil should be ok despite some niggling muscle problems and a short illness. I think that Özil’s illness really started to play a part in the second half of the Sunderland game, where he did appear to fade slightly. I can’t wait to see what he’s like when he’s fully fit!
Mesut Özil/Olivier Giroud
“We have a few problems. Some with Ozil but the main one is Giroud, who has a knee problem. He will have a test tomorrow and hopefully he will be fit. But it will only be decided tomorrow.
“[Özil] was ill and has some tight muscles after Saturday. But I think he will be OK. We are optimistic.”
Options up front without Giroud
“I have not really thought about it that much but the obvious solution is Walcott. We’ll see.”
“There is good news. Mertesacker will be available again after illness.”
Cazorla (update given after the Sunderland game!)
“He has an ankle problem and he will be out for a few weeks as well. I don’t think he will play before the next international break.”
The Özil stories keep going, but today we thought that we would bring you the latest team news on Thomas Vermaelen and Abou Diaby, who are both nearing returns from long-term injuries.
We start with Vermaelen, who seems to have picked the Carling Cup game against West Brom (on September 25th) as a possible date for his return to first-team action. Vermaelen has been out since May with a back injury and will almost definitely find it difficult to work his way back into the starting line-up. Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny seem to have developed a pretty good centre-back partnership that should not be messed with; there are even rumours on Twitter that Mertesacker is poised to take over the captaincy, although at the moment this remains pure speculation.
“The West Brom game is a few weeks away yet and hopefully I will be closer to a return myself in the meantime.
“West Brom looks like an interesting draw – it looks like a tough game but a nice game too. It’s one we will take seriously and with a high focus.
“I can’t put a date on my comeback yet, as it depends on how I respond to the physical work I am doing, but I am focusing day by day and am really happy with how things are going so far.”
The news on Abou Diaby is that our talented and forever-injured French midfielder has resumed light training in Shenley after several weeks of rest and rehabilitation in France. Diaby underwent surgery to repair a torn cruciate ligament earlier in the summer and was subsequently ruled out for 9 months. We are about 7 months through now and so far it is looking positive. We will hopefully have Abou back in action before the end of the year.
The latest Arsenal team news has been revealed by Arsene Wenger ahead of the opening game of the 2013/14 season against Aston Villa on Saturday afternoon. With an already depleted squad that is suffering long-term injuries to Monreal, Vermaelen and Diaby, we are now hearing that Mikel Arteta has a thigh injury and Santi Cazorla is likely to be tired/jet-lagged following a trip to play for the Spanish national team in Ecuador.
General Arsenal team news
“We have positive news from the players on international duty. All the texts we had have back are OK. The games were quite intense but we hope everyone comes back in good shape.”
“He played almost a full game. He only lands in London tonight [Thursday] so we’ll see how he is tomorrow.”
“Mikel has a slight thigh problem. We have to check that. I don’t know if he will be out for the weekend. He has a scan today.”
“He should join up with the squad for full training in 10 days. He is out for the weekend of course.”
“It is a while longer for him. It is difficult to put a timescale on it but it will be a bit longer. He is progressing OK.”
“It is longer still for him but again the timescale is difficult. He is a few months in and it was expected to be nine months.”
“He is close and he should be back with the training group next week.”
Theo Walcott/Aaron Ramsey
Two players who weren’t specifically mentioned by Wenger include Aaron Ramsey, who was forced to pull out of the Wales friendly against The Republic of Ireland with an ankle injury, and Theo Walcott, who played for England last night and limped off with an knee injury. However, Wenger has suggested (above) that all the tests are ok and Theo Walcott then confirmed to Sky Sportsthat he could be available on Saturday:
“Hopefully, fingers crossed, I’ll be alright. I had to come off with a little bit of a swollen knee so fingers crossed I can rest up and I’ll be alright for Saturday.”
An international break is normally time for Arsenal fans to worry about which of our key players will pick up an injury that rules them out for several weeks. Unfortunately, the current international break for the World Cup qualifiers has proved to be no different.
Here’s what Roy Hodgson had to say about the Walcott injury in his press conference:
“He immediately felt a slight problem in the pelvic area, went straight off the pitch and had a scan on Friday morning. It showed a slight tear in the pelvic muscle.”
As far as we are aware, Walcott will be out for our game against Reading next weekend. BBC Sport are reporting that Walcott is only out for 10 days, but other websites are saying that it could be 3 weeks. Whatever the outcome, I would like to think that a match at home against a team in the relegation zone that doesn’t even have a manager should be something we can win without Theo. I am sure that he will have a late fitness test, but in my opinion we shouldn’t risk it if he is not fit enough. The good news is that he will definitely be back in time to face Everton and Manchester United.
The rest of the injury news during the international break is pretty good. Jack Wilshere has apparently responded well to the treatment he has been receiving over the past 2 weeks and is ready to resume full training. Our talismanic midfielder could be available to play against Reading next weekend, but the situation is very much similar to that of Walcott. If Wilshere isn’t 100% fit we can play Ramsey (or Diaby or Rosicky). That said, it will be good to have him back.
The last injury to talk about is that of Lukas Podolski. Podolski has missed Arsenal’s last 2 games (vs Bayern & Swansea) with an ankle injury, but played 70 minutes for Germany against Kazakhstan. Lukas started on bench but came on after 20 minutes to replace the injured Julian Draxler. Reports that are so far unconfirmed suggest that Podolski will undergo surgery on his ankle at the end of the season, but that he should be fit enough to continue until then. We will know more about all of the injuries when Arsene Wenger talks in his pre-match press conference on Thursday or Friday.
Lukas Podolski has emerged as an injury doubt for the Bayern Munich game on Wednesday evening after revealing on Twitter that he is still recovering from a small injury. Our German forward scored our only goal against Bayern 3 weeks ago, but may be forced to sit out the trip to Munich.
No details have been given about what injury he has picked up or when it happened. All we do know is that he played about 20 minutes against Spurs last weekeend and seemed ok. It is, of course, extremely frustrating because he is one of our potential match-winning players. On his day is is fantastic to watch and often unstoppable. He will be a big loss.
More information will be available when Arsene Wenger gives his pre-match press conference, and we will know if he has travelled to Munich pretty quickly once Arsenal release the details of the 18-man squad. As far as we are aware, the only other injuries are Sagna, Gibbs and Diaby. Sagna and Diaby are expected to have recovered in time to face Bayern, but Gibbs is still short.
Arsene Wenger has given the latest team news ahead of our Premier League match against Aston Villa on Saturday afternoon. The Champions League loss to Bayern Munich was a big blow, but we now have the perfect opportunity over the next 3 games to get our Premier League form back on track.
“Sagna has a problem with his knee. He will be out for Saturday certainly. I don’t think there are any other knocks really.”
“He is still out. He will be a few weeks yet.”
With Sagna injured, Carl Jenkinson will return to the starting line-up after serving his suspension for the FA Cup loss to Blackburn. It is not such a huge loss for one game against Villa, but you do have to wonder whether Sagna will be fit to face Spurs & Everton. jenkinson really showed his inexperience/naïvety against Sunderland so we want Bacary back as soon as possible.
The Gibbs injury we already knew about and that is why we signed Nacho Monreal on transfer deadline day. As far as I am aware there are no other injuries, which will stand us in good stead as we head into a difficult part of the season. It may be too late to save the Champions League tie, but 4th place (maybe even 3rd?) is well within our grasp if we have a strong end to the season.
Arsene Wenger has confirmed that he will not take a risk on Jack Wilshere for this afternoon’s FA Cup match against Blackburn unless he is completely convinced of Wilshere’s fitness. Referring to how our talismanic midfielder suffered burnout 2 season’s ago, Wenger says that he has to take the rest of the season into consideration. There are also short updates on Koscielny and Vermaelen, who will both be having late fitness tests. Vermaelen looks to be the most likely to be back, which could be a huge boost.
“I will not take a risk [on Jack]. [That is because I have] the rest of the season in mind and what happened to him before.
“Wilshere and Koscielny have a test this [Friday] morning and Thomas Vermaelen should be back. He has a definite test today.
“We have plenty of people in training today who have a test and we’ll see how well they come out of it. I am confident 50:50 with Wilshere and Koscielny, and Vermaelen 90:10.”
On the one hand there is no doubt that we need to field a strong team and to progress in the FA Cup. On the other hand,the team that I have predicted should be more than capable of beating Blackburn without Wilshere and we want him to be as fit as possible on Tuesday to face Bayern Munich. In my opinion, there is also the opportunity to rest some of our other key players like Arteta and Cazorla. Rumours on Twitter are that the likes of Hector Bellerin, Thomas Eisfeld and Serge Gnabry could be included in the squad. We will find out for sure when the team news comes out in just under 2 hour’s time.
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Arsene Wenger has revealed the latest Arsenal team news ahead of our FA Cup last 16 match against Blackburn on Saturday afternoon. The FA Cup represents our most likely chance at silverware this season, but obviously we will have to strike a balance between fielding a strong team and resting some of our key players for the Champions League game against Bayern Munich. Thomas Vermaelen could be back, although I am not sure that he will be risked against Blackburn. We need him fit for Tuesday.
Carl Jenkinson is suspended following his 2 yellow cards against Sunderland, which will only further add to our defensive problems if Koscielny and Vermaelen are not fit.
“He is looking quite good and is possibly back for Saturday. He should be in the squad.”
“He is having tests today [Thursday] and tomorrow. He is looking better. He is still a doubt for Saturday. He’s got a kick on the thigh.”
“That is a problem. He has a test today and tomorrow exactly like Wilshere.”
“He came back in the week so we are not too bad on the injury front.”
General team news
“Ramsey is alright. Sagna is alright. Jenkinson is suspended. DIaby is available again and all the other players are alright. We have two short-term problems, with Koscielny and Wilshere, while Gibbs is out. That is it.”