Cesc’s hamstrings, Ramsey’s loan + Arsecast 177

Morning all,

a whole pile of stuff to get through today. I suppose because of the early kick-off on Saturday Arsene’s press conference took place yesterday and the injury news revolved around Cesc Fabregas. The manager reckons it’ll be two weeks out for the captain but says no stone is being left unturned to get to the root cause of the hamstring problems. He says:

What is remarkable in Cesc’s case – usually people who are exposed to hamstring injuries are sprinters like Owen or Ryan Giggs but Cesc is more a stamina player and that’s what puzzles me a little bit. We have analysed his body and it is not fatigued and he is not tired.

Interestingly he talks about him being under more pressure than ever before and perhaps there’s a psychological reason for his injuries. Which all sounds a bit mumbo-jumbo to me. I understand you generally feel better about yourself when you’re relaxed and not under pressure but having a lot on your mind doesn’t twinge your hammies.

And let’s be clear about this – the one who should feel most under pressure to deliver, to win something, is Arsene Wenger. If Cesc Fabregas is feeling like he’s got a huge burden on his shoulders then that’s wrong. Yes, he’s the captain but he’s one player in a team. The rest of them should feel pressure, the burden shared, and the man at the very top, who makes all the decisions should be weighed down too. And if that were the case Arsene would need plaster casts for his hamstrings which would have snapped in half by now.

As for not taking the captaincy away from him, when did that even become an issue? And whatever people might think, who else is there in this group of players that should lead the team? Bring back Almunia … oh. Exactly.

The news regarding Emmanuel Eboue is that he’s likely to miss at least four weeks with his medial knee ligament injury. Apart from that I think we’ve got a relatively clean bill of health. Robin van Persie is in line for a return to the squad tomorrow, as is Andrei Arshavin who was able to put his feet up on Tuesday and rest a while, poor dear. More on the Villa game, and a reunion with Bob … *swoons* … in tomorrow’s blog.

The other big news yesterday was that Aaron Ramsey has gone on loan to Nottingham Forest until Jan 3rd. I have to say I find this a bit odd, especially when you consider what the manager said just a couple of weeks ago:

What is important is that he comes back into the group now and that he plays for a while with us. He is making surprising progress with the team so no (to a loan).

What’s changed between now and then? Maybe I’m just being ultra-cautious but having just made his comeback with a tame 45 minutes, and having spoken himself about the need to take things slowly, I just worry about throwing him in to competitive action so quickly. Yes, there’s playing time and match fitness and all that, it just seems a bit soon. I’m not especially worried about the physical aspect of the Championship, we’ve seen three horrific injuries inflicted on our players in the top flight after all, just that the litany of post-injury injuries suffered by Diaby and Eduardo probably came from not being fully ready.

Maybe going out and playing will make the difference, certainly coming through a few games will shatter any psychological barriers he might have, so let’s hope it works out for the best. Doesn’t stop me being worried though. And I did have to laugh at the sheer number of people who suggested on Twitter yesterday that the loan to Forest was good because it got him away from our medical staff.

Another youngster on loan, Vito Mannone, looks set to extend his stay with Hull. Good luck to him. Interestingly, there was no loan move for JET. Does it mean there are plans to use him in the first team squad or were potential clubs put off by his incomprehensible Twitterings? We’ll sound find out.

Right, that’s about that in terms of the news. Let’s crack on with this week’s Arsecast and joining me to talk about the happy-clappy sunshine week we’ve had is John Cross. As well as that there’s Internet Joe, Den Nielsen, a gloating penis and a chance to win a Savile Rogue scarf (also, remember there’s a 10% discount on the scarves using the code ARSEBLOG at check-out).

You can subscribe to the Arsecast on iTunes by clicking here. Or if you want to subscribe directly to the feed URL you can do so too. To download this week’s Arsecast directly – click here (22mb MP3) or you can listen directly below without leaving this very page.

[audio:http://arseblog.com/podcasts/arsecast_episode177.mp3]

So, feast your ears upon that, stay warm and I’ll be back tomorrow with a full Villa preview. Till then.

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