Good morning, happy Friday and welcome to Injury News day.
Arsene Wenger will meet the press this morning and will hopefully expand a little further on the update he gave the official site yesterday regarding Alexis Sanchez, Mikel Arteta and Santi Cazorla. Despite what appears to be some pretty reliable information in the public domain already, the manager was a bit coy about the trio who are out of action through injury, saying:
At the moment on Alexis, Santi and Mikel, we don’t know how long they will be out for.
I think they do know. I think the know the shit out of it, so not saying it makes me even more suspicious than I already am. According to Jeremy Wilson from the Telegraph Cazorla is looking at 4 months out, while Alexis is 4 weeks. If true that would mean he’s going to miss the game against Man City on December 21st, which would be a significant blow. Who can forget his rather splendid goal in the same fixture last season? Joe Hart can’t, that’s for sure, with his overly dry scalp.
Cazorla’s 4 month absence would mean his comeback would be around the end of March, and that’s assuming it’s just 4 months. After that though you have to take into account match fitness, rustiness, finding some form and rhythm again, so all in all it’s a big blow for a team that can’t afford another injury in that central midfield area. When you’re now asking Ramsey and Flamini to play every game, it’s hard not to worry that we won’t see another problem crop up somewhere along the way because of that burden.
I guess that’s why Calum Chambers was played in midfield for the U21s in midweek to at least provide some kind of cover, and if they’re not working him hard on the training ground to get him more used to the challenges of playing in that position then I’d be very surprised. However, unless he pulls a Coq, it feels like Chambers there is someone to provide cover in the short-term.
At this point, with alarm bells ringing, one would hope that our scouts are being sent to the far corners of the globe to find someone that might fit the bill. Arsene will have typed up the brief for them:
Requirements: Midfielder. Must be alive. Both legs preferable. After that, we’re pretty easy. Take what you can get, but please remember, and I’m looking at your here Bill, there are no such things as magic beans.
“Allez Gilles, and don’t come back until you’ve found me a midfield Chamakh!”
Reports from Portugual say that we’ve enlisted the help of the Dead Snake himself, Luis Boa Morte, to look at Porto’s 18 year old defensive midfielder Ruben Neves. Apparently he’s got a €40m release clause. I say ‘Do it’. William Carvalho. Do it. Ned Pugwash from Quimstable Rovers. Do it. That’s where we are folks, that’s where we are.
But, there’s nothing we do (other than prepare transfers to happen as soon as the window opens … hahahahhaha …. hahaha haha .. haha …. sorry) right now. The players we have are the ones who will be tasked with getting the points and results we need. Hopefully we’ll get some questions for the manager about how he’s going to do that. The options are limited, in fairness, it’s not as if he’s poring over numerous options to try and find a winning formula. He kinda has to just take what’s left and find a way to make it click.
Anyway, hopefully he’ll be a bit more expansive on that in his press conference, and we’ll have the stories and updates as usual over on Arseblog News.
Right then, time now for this week’s Arsecast and in this injury hit episode I twang some ankle ligaments, wrench a hamstring, pull a calf (muscle, you scumbags), but thankfully have no groin problems to discuss. I chat to the man from East Lower about which of our players will live and die, and who might actually be able to play football before we talk about the inevitability of January transfer moves. There’s all the usual waffle, and a chance for you to win goodies from our friends at Savile Rogue.
Remember, if you do want to do some Christmas shopping, you can get 10% off everything from Savile Rogue by using the code 10ARSEBLOG at check-out. It’s top quality gear, your friends and family will love you more if you get them some.
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 (this is a much better way to do it as you don’t experience the delays from iTunes). To download the Arsecast directly, use the link below the player, and if you are a regular listener via iTunes, if you would be so kind as to leave a review/rating that would be greatly appreciated.
Some bonus reading for you this morning, Tim Stillman takes a look at the injury crisis in his latest column (also between the title and the opening paragraph I managed to conjure up The Smithsons, with Morrissey as a self-hating Homer, eating bacon he really doesn’t want to eat while Johnny Marr plays the Bart role winding him up relentlessly. I’d watch it).
And that’s just about that for today. All the news in the usual places, more tomorrow as we look forward to a game against Sunderland. Until then.