Walcott May Be Out For Longer: Business As Usual…

As the players return to training following their exertions – bar Fabregas and Vela, presumably – attention turns towards Bolton’s visit to The Emirates on Saturday. The rationale for moving interational fixtures to the Friday and Tuesday of the international fortnight will hopefully be seen then with the traditionally average performance in matches immediately afterwards put into the backburner of history.

Injuries are dominating the landscape, like the mobile phone mast on a green field site, you know it is there, try desperately to ignore it yet are drawn inexplicably toward it as you float past. Theo Walcott has no future in medicine, it would seem. Having told Fabio Capello that he would be back in a fortnight or possibly sooner, the diagnosis from Arsenal is apparently less hopeful.

According to reports this morning, he is going to be out for at least six weeks having suffered ligament damage in the tackle during the build-up to England’s opening goal in Basle. If that is the case, combined with van Persie’s absence, it is a blow to have your in-form strikers missing for such a long spell, this early in the season.

Much is being made on the back pages of the Walcott’s track record but it is an injury, like that of his shoulder prior to the friendly in Berlin last year, which is cauised by ‘impact’ rather than growing pains. Slightly different in that his shoulder was always vulnerable from a hereditary problem, parallels to van Persie last season are not that far of the mark, although the extent of the injury does not appear to be as serious.

There is cover in the squad for both. Arshavin, Nasri and Rosicky are more than capable of playing in the advanced role supporting Chamakh whilst Carlos Vela might believe this is his chance to press those deemed to be ahead of him, for a regular starting line-up. For Walcott’s position on the right, Emmanuel Eboue and Jack Wilshere seem likely to rotate into the XI, depending on the opposition and other injuries. More will become apparent today.

That Bolton provide the first test since the win at Ewood Park at The Emirates is perhaps a blessing to some extent; it could have been a lot worse in terms of the visitors and the fact that the fixture is at home. Not that the players are going to be taking them lightly. Well, the newly returned to fitness, Denilson won’t be:

When you play Bolton you can’t think that it is an easy game. You have to think it is a good game, a brilliant game and you have to win, the same as if you play Chelsea or Manchester United. You have to focus for every game. We have a good opportunity to win, you always do when you play at home.

There is a suggestion that in the past, an element of ‘we only have to turn up to win this‘ has existed. Perhaps that is down to the arrogance of youthful immaturity. Focus has to be quickly regathered to capitalise on a decent start to this season, especially as the fixtures now come thick and fast in all competitions. A momentum can be quickly built in this run of matches which is necessary to keep the pressure on Chelsea at the top and others around them, leading into the trip to Stamford Bridge. To go there unbeaten and get a result would perhaps be the tangible signal to themselves that they are going to be able to sustain a challenge for the title no matter what injuries are suffered along the way.

The only respite for some will be the trip to White Hart Lane in the Carling Cup. Should the extent of Walcott’s injury have been reported correctly, it more or less puts paid to the hopes or suggestions that Wenger should field a strong side for that fixture. Frankly it would be an astonishing volte face were he to do so, especially given that he did not during a semi-final at the same venue not so long ago, for the starting XI at least. His rationale is not only to promote the youth but also protect his first team from injuries. The track record of seasons past suggest that this is the only option he has but is also a somewhat forlorn hope.

The immediate future though is Bolton and with no other injuries yet reported, let’s hope that those who are fit, remain so. ’til Tomorrow.

Posted on September 9, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 210 Comments.

  1. First. and do I feel a sense of dejavu all over again 😦 why us..

  2. We are well strocked in the forward area’s. We will be fine.

  3. strocked=stocked

  4. I still do not understand why our players tend to look forward to play for their country more than their club, and then get injured in internationals. Despite injuries, many of our players still look forward to these matches, not understanding who is their paymaster. Loyalty to Queen and country does not come into it. If you are paid for your service, you damn well make sure you are fit to work when you are required by your paymaster.

    It sickens me to think that people these days are not sure what is the role of paymasters and service providers. Perhaps thats why there are so many floaters in the job market, people who have very little skills but think that they owe their paymasters nothing. Cue footballers.

  5. We’re DOOOMED. Nah, were owning all before us until that fateful game against the Chav’s. I’m actually more concerned with Fab’s return to form, the sooner we get him to fire on all cylinders the better. Diaby’s performance against Bosnia was also very encouraging.

    Here’s my line up for the Wanderers:

    Sagna Koscielny Verm Clichy

    Fab Diaby

    Eboue Chamakh Arsh

    Subs: Wilshere, Squilacci, Gibbs, Vela, Rosicky.

    Would love to see more of Gibbs and Vela if the game is dead and buried.

  6. I’m not surprised having seen the pictures of the incident. He clearly turned his ankle it was not a kick, so the reports of ‘bruising’ were spurious. It’s very unfortunate, but these things happen and could just as easily have happened in a PL game. The squad is there for a reason and it is up to the rest of them to step up to fill the gap. Fortunately we have a lot of talented players in our squad and are not dependent on just one or two.


    I have a feeling you may see Dennilson in there somewhere..

  8. If anyone is concerned about 1st team cover or the Carling Cup check out the highlights of this weeks reserves match against a very grown up Bolton side which included Benjani and David Dunne. 4-3 to us and the goals and set up by JET, Chuks Aneke and Benik Afobe were sublime. The kids were fantastic without exception. The only mistakes were by Djourou and Fabianski.

  9. Pas – If you do ligament damage, you do get lots of bruising.

  10. SomeRandomGunner

    Which one to believe this one ?

    or Yogi’s source ?

    May be i should just wait for Wenger’s press conference.

  11. Bad news for Walcott, he could lose all momentum now and be back to square one when he comes back. So frustrating.

  12. “We are well strocked in the forward area’s. We will be fine”

    I understand being optimistic but that is a load of crap. We an injury away from having Arshavin as a centre forward again. We might muddle through (as we always have to) but its same old Arsenal always injured. The Walcott injury was unavoidable but again highlights our ridiculous injury problems.

    Here is the list of injuries form 2004/2005:
    2004/2005: 49 Injuries.
    2005/2006: 56 Injuries.
    2006/2007: 57 Injuries.
    2007/2008: 64 Injuries.
    2008/2009: 74 Injuries.
    2009/2010: 86 Injuries.
    2010/2011: 14 Injuries as of now.

    There is some kind of negligence going on in our Medical department (and before anyone says anything about how some injuries cannot be avoided that is true but a lot can through strengthening exercises). Notice that they are steadily rising year on year.

    I mean Utd are building a new medical centre at their Carrington training ground to improve injury prevention after having ordered a review at end of last season after 16 players were out for 6wks or more (for one season!).

    Liverpool replaced their entire medical staff during the summer due to the injuries they were suffering last season.

    We are using a GPS system that Chelsea were using two seasons ago (and that almost every other in the league are using now).

    All these calls for new players are unnecessary just keep the players we have fit. Spend the Schwarzer money on being in experts to fit the problem.

    Injury info from here:

  13. i find the constant moaning about internationals, ridiculous and sad. ridiculous because how would league clubs fair without friendlies to get the team sorted.
    sad because it is symptomatic of the general loss of national pride in todays society
    players should not even be paid for internationals, they are extraordinarily well paid by their clubs and should be playing for their country for the pride. like they used to do

  14. Sorry about the epic rant but all the people going on about a goalkeeper/defender/Messi are wrong. We will never win anything until these injury problems are sorted out.

  15. Lew – We still have Chamakh/Arshavin/Nasri/Rosicky/Vela/Eboue/Wilshere as realsitic options to fill the front 3 spots. After that you have players like JET. That is not so bad.

    That area of the pitch is proably the strongest in the squad when it comes to quality in numbers. Not ideal, but we should be able to cope.

    If Song was out for a significant period, I would be concerned. But not the forward area.

  16. @Phil, Blackburn I think we played. Unimportant though. We won. And I can’t imagine another 3 let in would’ve helped Lukasz any even if they weren’t all his fault.

    @Piresaholic, I’d prefer a 4-2-3-1 With Squillaci replacing Kozzer in your lineup and Rosicky replacing Eboue although the majority who come only to see Eboue play won’t agree with me

    🙂 🙂 Up the Arse

  17. It is so unfortunate dat arsenal players are cursed with injuries especially when any of them is in form.here comes d in form man walcot,rvp, injured,and 2 win d premier league at least u should av a player dat is consistent in scoring week in week out.that’s d fact many gunners fan wont accept.let’s hope 2weeks.

  18. I don`t think we should `ve too much o a head-ache over Walcott`s injury. Yes he is the Man in form and but we do `ve Vela, Nasri, Eboue to step-in. SO no worry guys!!!
    I hope Vela gets his much needed chance .
    Also Arshavin need to step-up . I think the starting line-up will be:


    Sub: Vela, Nasri, Eboue, Gibbs, Febiansky,Squillachi,Wilshire

    Its worrying to see that we don`t have a back-up for the Target-man position, with RVP and Bendner out.

  19. I agree with andy, Passenal, and PIRESOHOLIC

    Luckily we have numbers in attacking areas, we are better equipped than last season even, in terms of CF’s.

    Eduardo didn’t really turn up after the whole diving saga, maybe it affected his confidence as whatever comeback he was trying to make, clearly was put to bed very early last season. This is why Chamakh was brought in, who is not an Eduardo type, but a very strong CF.

    With Vela, Wilshire, Rosicky, and Eboue in reserve we should be fine until Theo, Bendtner, Nasri, and RvP get back.

    Its amazing how we can lose 3-4 very fine starting players, and have so many options still. Other teams would crumble.

  20. goonerandy

    I sorry but I just do not agree.


    We play with One central striker of which we have one player (Chamakh) that is suited to the role (the other two are injured). If Chamakh gets injuried-Arshavin.

    Nasri/Rosicky/Wilshere can do a job out wide but are at their best in the centre.

    Eboue is a fine attacking Right-back and can do a job for maybe a game or two.

    Vela and Arshavin you are correct about.

    JET has never played one minute in the PL.

    I sure you will notice the amount of times I used the words “do a job”, why are we always having to have players “do a job”-injuries, which was the main point of my rant. We have a decent to good squad that is balanced well and that has a great chance of winning things but unfortunately due to injuries it is always “do a job”.

  21. Lew1234 on September 9, 2010
    at 8:32 am

    We haven’t had 14 injuries this season.

  22. In any case it’s not the number of injuries, it’s the length of time we have players out for that matters.

  23. As i have mentioned in my blog as well, with the arsenal medical team, it’s not a matter of weeks but usually months.

  24. @Homer

    Is that the revolutionary new 4-1-1-1-3 system? hehehehe

  25. KLV,

    You shouldn’t underestimate national pride. I have none, but I imagine if I were a footballer(especially cause I’m quite the perverse deviant) I’d definately want to play for the England squad. All those prozzies and groupies, sounds like a blast! Not too sure about Cashley and mobile phones though.

    As for our players: Theo, I get the feeling it makes him and his family & friends intensely proud to see him in an England shirt, and why not. As a slightly impartial onlooker, I look at what seems to be the dislike towards him from his fellow Englishmen, look at the disdain he got in the media, the way he was dropped by Capello… if he decided to give them all the wo-fingered salute, I wouldn’t blame him.


    How many players do you suggest we have in ever department to counter injuries, and how do you balance that against the 25 man rule?

    While our players may get injured, it’s not self-induced (typically). Nasri took a knock on his knee which has resulted in surgery. Walcott had his ankle crunched, RVP went in for a ill-judged challenge which left him worse for wear.

    I’m not sure, but you may actually be doing our medical team a great disservice. When you look at Ramsey, at Eduardo, both players who suffered horrific injuries, and yet they both were or will be able to come back and play; well I’m not entirely sure if all of this can be attributed to our med staff, but I would asume them to be working/have worked with our players to get them playing again.

  26. Ole Gunner

    Injuries like Bendtner, Denilson’s etc are counted for this season.
    As to your second point we have multiples of injuries that last weeks over the last few years.

  27. SomeRandomGunner

    That is the system we have been playing for the past 15-16 months, i am surprised that you could not see it.

  28. Gadget

    “How many players do you suggest we have in ever department to counter injuries, and how do you balance that against the 25 man rule?”

    I never suggested anything of the sort re: more players, what I said is keep the players we have fit.

    “While our players may get injured, it’s not self-induced (typically). Nasri took a knock on his knee which has resulted in surgery. Walcott had his ankle crunched, RVP went in for a ill-judged challenge which left him worse for wear.”

    Strengthening exercises etc can help reduce even these types of injuries are we doing them?

    “I’m not sure, but you may actually be doing our medical team a great disservice.”

    They deserve to be commended for that but just because they did well in those instances doesn’t mean they should get a pass for their failure in most other area of injury prevention and treatment.

  29. Anyhow you want it Lew1234. Nasri missed 2 games. Denilson’s missed 3 games. Song missed 1 game. Djourou’s missed 3 games. That’s it for first team absences this season. Doesn’t seem so extreme yet.

    I understand why everyone’s upset because we’ve had 2 seasons of very extreme injury situations. But we’re not anywhere near desperate yet.

  30. If we were to lose Chamakh for any amount of time (no thanks), I’m pretty sure that JET would start, untested or not. Height and bulk’s the main reason, and unlike last season he represents a genuine option.

  31. Oh I left out Bendtner misisng 3 games too.

  32. Ole Gunner

    “Anyhow you want it Lew1234. Nasri missed 2 games. Denilson’s missed 3 games. Song missed 1 game. Djourou’s missed 3 games. That’s it for first team absences this season. Doesn’t seem so extreme yet.”

    Bendtner’s missed 3 games (and will miss at least 5 more), Van Perise will miss at least 5 games, Walcott will miss at least 3 games.

    Look at the data from previous seasons, its not desperate yet but it will be unless the core problems are solved (our Medical Staff).

  33. Morning all.

    Poor little Theo… There’s nothing worse than getting injured when in form, especially for confidence players like Mr Walcott. Hopefully this doesnt damage his season like the last couple of years…

    I dont think we can start throwing blame at the medical staff, we’ve had some of the best people and facilities in the world for a while now.

    I think it’s a mixture of things, starting with the way players go in for challenges against the ‘weak little Arsenal boys who dont like it up em’; along with having a few of our better players who are slightly injury prone, along with some incredibly bad luck.

    The stats above showing how the injuries have been racking up more and more though suggests there is more to it… i wish there was a simple solution but i fear that’s not the case and we just have to get used to it – i know i have!

  34. Ole Gunner

    Sorry only saw the post re: Bendtner after I had submitted the last one.

  35. Lew1234

    Can you explain to me how the medical staff are at fault for injuries suffered whilst on international duty?


  36. Oh, and Bendtner’s are reportedly as a result of his car accident – he shouldn’t have played at the World Cup but the Danes were desperate for him to do so, exacerbating his condition. So where is the AFC medical staff fault in that one?

    This myth has grown that the medical staff are useless, perpetuated by people who have no inside knowledge of that department of the club, compounded by their complete lack of medical knowledge.


  37. Why do people always look for someone to blame..

    Shite fans have blamed Wenger, the club, the board, the chairman, Eboue, Bendtner, Denilson, Adebayor, etc etc etc etc etc etc

    Maybe there is a lot of injuries because our players just simply get injured a lot. Its nobodies fault, nor is it a simple problem with our training methods.

    For me it is a mixture of being unlucky (Van Persie’s latest 2 injuries prove so).. and then you have the other reason, our players are very talented. The only way to get the ball from a talented player is to hack them – well in the eyes of a mediocre player.

    How many games do we play a season when inferior teams result to this behaviour against us? Too many. The thing is we can’t really complain abuot this, as it again makes us sound like a bunch of babies, but the truth is teams DO target our players when they can’t gain possession.

    Blaming our players, manager, medical team etc for the injuries is just a really crappy excuse. Injuries happen, lets just not cry about it.

  38. “This myth has grown that the medical staff are useless, perpetuated by people who have no inside knowledge of that department of the club, compounded by their complete lack of medical knowledge.”

    I agree YW. How can we start blaming them when we don’t know any obvious reasons for this happening – oh well, i suppose there’s the reason… people need someone to blame.

  39. “Why do people always look for someone to blame..” beat me to is Chris lol.

  40. YW

    Preconditioning and injury prevention exercises and treatments done at the club should (if they are done?) should help prevent these. (Obviously things like broken bones cannot be prevented).

    Also when they return to the club their injuries should be treated better (How many times has AW declared two weeks with authority only for it to end up being two months).

  41. Carlos Vela needs to take his chance. We will see a youngster like JEt coming in. I would even give Afobe a run, We simply have no choice. We can possibly play Arshavin alongside Chamakh.

  42. As of interest I asked this question of Oliver Kay The Football reporter for The Time:

    “Ollie with the news that Samir Nasri is out for month after a knee op, I would like to ask you do you have any idea what in the name of God is up with the injury problems at Arsenal and are they doing anything to fix them?”

    His response was:

    Oliver Kay:
    It’s ridiculous, isn’t it? I must say I don’t remember the incident where he was injured on Sunday (having been by far Arsenal’s best attacking player, to my mind). When there was all the discussion of Arsenal’s injury problems last year, stemming from the number of serious injuries (eg. fractures) they had sustained in matches, I remember someone suggesting that perhaps they’re either (a) not as strong physically or (b) not as well conditioned as players at other clubs. It sounds an outlandish theory, but I know Arsenal as a club have started to do a lot of research over the past few months into why so many of their players get this kind of injury. I haven’t heard of any conclusions. Clearly the way they play attracts more of a certain type of challenge than most other teams, but I’m starting to wonder whether there might be more to it than that.

  43. I do agree YW, however much I understand why the club will now be under scrutiny for our injury situation. I suspect it’s a mix of factors. I have as much medical knowledge as a dung beetle, but I suspect he’s put in 2 very intense months in which he’s placed immense strain on his body. He’s obviously done a lot of extra gym work, faced an intense preseason camp, played all our preseason games, played 3 games for England, and 3 for Arsenal.

    Nasri’s issue was corrective as far as I understand. It seems they decided to correct a problem with his physique to avert a serious injury (I stress, just how I interpret the facts).

    There doesn’t seem to be a non-random cause running through these injuries.

    Last season we had a combination of impact injuries and muscle problems. The impact injuries are caused by, you guessed right, impact i.e. tackles and the like, while muscle injuries especially if there were one or two dominant types would have suggested an issue with the training program.

  44. Yogi’s Warrior
    Where is your inside knowledge that they are not useless? If you have some please share it.

    Look at the stats I posted above and tell there is not a major problem.

  45. Preconditioning and injury prevention exercises and treatments done at the club should (if they are done?) should help prevent these.


  46. sorry geo 🙂

  47. In other lighter news Phil Brown didn’t get Southampton job. I know I shouldn’t but I just find that funny. Now Tony Pulis see what when you mess with Arsenal Karma gets you in the end (See Reina, Pepe).

  48. Lew1234. At the end of the day that is why we have a squad of players. Anyone can step in at any time. Players are going to get injured that is a fact of life. Of course it is a blow to loose Theo but we are not a one man team and we will in turn compensate for the loss based on having a squad of players.

  49. Lewi.. Oliver Kays comments don’t really bring much to back up your point.

    Leg breaks and impact injuries are not a fault of the medical team, same as injuries on International duty.

    That leaves us with about 5 muscle injuries a season? I would even go as far as saying Arsenal probably has one of the least injury counts for muscles, our lads are very well trained, and fitter than most teams. This is why they can play for 100 minutes, not 90.

  50. Preconditioning and injury prevention exercises like muscle strengthening (Hamstrings, thigh muscles, etc) core body work, full warm up and warm down exercises, ice recovery baths, cryo-treatments and the like. (Which I know we do some of to be fair)

  51. Lewi just needs someone to blame, its the modern supporter mentality of “SUCCESS NOW! if not I will scream and bitch about everything and blame everyone without reason!”

  52. Lew – i’m certain they do all of those things. We’ve got some pretty amazing facilities these days.

    I would quite like to see Jack playing on the right for this one, i’m a big fan of players upsetting their previous clubs, particularly when their previous club is Bolton. Eboue to come on as a nippy impact player when the cloggers’ legs are tiring?

  53. Lew1234- it is a combination of many things training methods are intense at Arsenal and Chamakh was shocked how hard they work in training, I even heard people say Arsenal players are a lot leaner than others because of the strict diet at Arsenal. I would agree with the latter as players from other clubs do look FAT and when you kick them it like a kicking a bag of fat. Think of Fat frank, Drogba,Essien, Rooney, Gerard … not fat but bulkier than our strikers. Anyway it only speculations we don’t know the real reason behind the injuries. one thing for sure is Arsenal players do get kicked more because of the way we play.

  54. “Yogi’s Warrior
    Where is your inside knowledge that they are not useless? If you have some please share it”

    You a medical man yourself Lew? Where’s your insider knowledge that they ARE useless. Those stats prove nothing.

    Theo got injured. It was pure bad luck. NO-ONE at Arsenal was to blame. People who would struggle to put a plaster on the correct way have now seemingly reached the conclusion it’s the medical teams fault. Sigh.

  55. if there is some sort of conditioning to make our players more robust then we should do it. I reccommend that we all convert to hinduism, do 4 hours of complex yoga per day followed by 3 hours of intense prayer to the 7 million gods.

  56. 1lc – Maybe it’s to do with the intensity of our training? But we need to keep up that intensity if we’re going to keep pressing and running off the ball creating space for the whole 90 mins every week…

  57. Dawson out for months, Defoe out for 6 weeks, Balotelli 6 weeks…it’s not just us that gets players injured.

    We have a squad, lets just quit moaning and see how the manager uses it.

  58. Lew

    I don’t claim to be a medical expert – you were the one who categorically stated that the medical department at the club is the fundamental problem with all of the injuries.

    Please provide your proof of the continued failures with a clear analysis of the cause of the injuries and where the staff were negligent in their duties.


  59. Yoga + prayers to millions of gods may just the the answer word! Although i’m sure Eboue would prefer to pray to Jesus…

  60. DFG
    True injuries happen and the best medical team in the world would not prevent all injuries (look at the AC Milan Lab and their Injury record last season) but the amount we suffer is ridiculous and growing year on year.

    Nothing can be done about leg breaks but a lot of impact injuries and the like would not happen or be less severe if strengthening exercises and the like were done properly. Same with injuries on international duty.

  61. Livearsenal – that’s very true. But we do suffer more injuries than every other EPL club. Luckily we have so many youngsters that can come in and ‘do a job’ 😉 This 25 man rule suits Arsenal more than most…

  62. all I can say to the RVP and theo situation is:


    he doesn’t need premiership experience, the premiership will experience him.

  63. ChrisGoona

    “Lewi just needs someone to blame, its the modern supporter mentality of “SUCCESS NOW! if not I will scream and bitch about everything and blame everyone without reason!”

    That is insulting and derogatory if you disagree that is fine but because I see a major problem and I want solved does not mean I” bitch about everything and blame everyone without reason”

  64. Haha word. I like your enthusiasm.

    JET can come in if necessary, and it would be good to see how he gets on against some top quality defenders. To be honest I’m yet to be convinced about the massive lad, but to be fair i’ve only seen him in a few matches. Hopefully he can make the step up if needed…

  65. True injuries happen and the best medical team in the world would not prevent all injuries (look at the AC Milan Lab and their Injury record last season) but the amount we suffer is ridiculous and growing year on year.

    Again, the number of injuries is not very significant it’s the length of time they’re out for that counts.

  66. Not many posters about today it seems… Are people actually getting on with work or something outlandish like that?

  67. Lew,

    Forgive me for misinterpreting your reply to GoonerAndy, but I saw this:

    ““We are well [stocked] in the forward area’s. We will be fine”

    I understand being optimistic but that is a load of crap. We an injury away from having Arshavin as a centre forward again”

    …and focused upon that. Admitteddly your next sentence and paragraph banged on about the med staff.

    Still, i’m not entirely sure the conditioning of our players is something the Med staff can fix. People aren’t born equal. Some people can take more punishment than others simply due to birth right, other due to the sure fire time-tested methods of kung fu training. (“Ah, my arch enemy. Thanks to years of grueling training and punishment, I now have balls of steel! Your doom is nigh!”).

    Short of having our players kick trees and knee walls, I’m not sure what can be done to endow our players with unbreakable limbs and invulnerable joints

  68. “(“Ah, my arch enemy. Thanks to years of grueling training and punishment, I now have balls of steel! Your doom is nigh!”).

    Short of having our players kick trees and knee walls, I’m not sure what can be done to endow our players with unbreakable limbs and invulnerable joints”

    Gadget you make me chuckle.

  69. I think JET is amazing, his all round game is incisive and direct whilst being completely consistant to the nature of wengerball. He is simply a match winner. I will accept a few loose balls in first few games in exchange for the looming physical threat he posseses.

  70. Hmmm, i like the sound of that, word. I’ll have to check out some more reserve highlights i think. A lot of people have been talking about his potential… I really want to see some of Afobe too, sounds like he can be a prolific striker in years to come.

  71. not quite a starter yet obviously but def should be on the bench sooner rather than later.

  72. I wouldn’t want to out & out blame the medical department, but it does make me wonder why we

    are the ONLY club which is raped by injury problems year after year. It was certainly the

    case last season, and the season before that as well, albeit to a lesser extent.

    I know every club faces injuries and every club has a few players who are perennially

    injured, but nowhere else do you see key players being crocked every time they go for an

    international friendly. If there isn’t such a game, then many never have a good season’s run

    without injury. All our young players have had to grow up dealing with these problems. It

    makes me think whether Ronaldo, Rooney, Lampard or Gerrard could have been such great

    players for their clubs had they had such problems.

    We lose our main striker, our supporting striker, our attacking midfielder and still we

    persevere. We get better results than any other team would, if put in our position because

    of our talent and depth in squad. But why do we have to go through this every season, season

    after season. Questions need to be asked why our best players are so injury prone: Is there

    something wrong with the way they run? Do they not do enough to protect themselves from mean

    challenges? Would it be prudent to impart any sort of training to avoid these injuries?

    There is only so far one can go on blaming ‘luck’ for injuries.

    At Ajax, which is now more or less a selling club, they train their players from a young age

    in all possible nuances of the game. They have dedicated coaches for everything. If a coach

    notices something missing in a players gait, his style of running, it is pointed out so that

    he can be faster and more efficient. It is easier to make these sort of changes at a young


    We remember how Arsene revolutionised training and diet regimes when he first came to

    Arsenal. We were fitter and quicker than most others in the premiership. I do believe

    something needs to be done once again to avoid these sort of incidents.


    I do realise that this rant is a bit premature and things aren’t as bad as they seem just

    yet. I also hope that everything is back to relative normality and we can field our best XI

    for once. I’m sure many people would agree, we were only one van Persie away from the title

    last season.

  73. Excuse me for the formatting above. I pasted from a text document :S

  74. check the last 2 for a start…

    he ran the show against bolton. he is the main man at the moment so the next step up must come soon enough.

  75. Our ‘project youth’ seems to be churning out some top quality youngsters these days, rather than players who are quite good – harsh maybe? But the Bentleys, Alliadieres etc are now becoming the Wilsheres, Afobes, Gibbs’, Chesneys etc. Exciting future…

  76. Lewi

    Thats rich coming from someone blaming the medical staff for injuries that have occured to our players on International duty. Don’t even try to deny that, as you wouldn’t even be questioning the injuries here if Walcott didnt get his ankle crunched.

  77. I’m raving about JET too. I like his play, like his physical threat, like his calmness and confidence, etc etc

    I still hope we don’t have to rely him. Instead I hope the absences opens up opportunities to prove himself without pressure

  78. Cool, cheers word, i’ll check them out for sure.

  79. I think I have found the solution to all our conditioning needs – the drunken master:

  80. That’s the thing Ole – the younger players need to be able to play without pressure. I thought Wilshere looked like he was trying too hard when he played last year, but now has a calmness that a lack of pressure gives you. I’m looking forward to checking out JET now…

  81. word – that’s one of my favourite martial arts films of all time. His newer stuff really annoys me though!

  82. Chuks Aneke’s assist and goal in the reserve game are sweet. Did anyone go to the game?

  83. It’ll be interesting so know the outcome of Arsenal’s assessment of our injury-proneness. Not sure the full facts will be broadcast but imagine some indications may come to light. More than likely to age old thoroughbred v carthorse analogy – the need to strike the right balance between being super fit and still being equipped to take the rigours of EPL footy….

  84. how do you let the younger players play without pressure? Go up 4-0 early and throw them on? We should do that more often I think

  85. they are the akiras of kung fu really. his american stuff is wank but a period chinese film he did recently has some good scenes and critially keeps all the cheeky chinese sense of humour. (there are torrents out there…)


  86. There is one redeeming thing from the excessive weeping and wailing about Walcott; it is coming from the same type of people who once said he had no football brain. Three months is a very long time in football, isn’t it.

    Quite frankly our excessive moaning about injuries is just making us fans and supporters look like a bunch of whiny, self-absorbed sissies.

  87. I have seen the medical resources at the club. They have to be some of the best in the world. We have more than our fair share of injuries, usualy (not always) to players who are of a slighter frame and on some occasions due to their youth. To blame the training or incompetancy of our med staff is a knee jerk reaction. The truth might be closer to a gypsies curse, its more probable than the highly trained staff at The Emirates

  88. control freeks with personlity disorders

  89. Cool cheers Rinseout – gonna check them out too! Haven’t really been keeping up with the reserves matches…

    Word – yeah tell me about it, i love his old chinese stuff, and the cheeky humour is so much better than the cheese he does these days with fools who are trying to act like, Mos Def etc etc… Got most of his old school stuff, but need to get a few more me thinks, havent watched any for a while.

    Supercod – “the need to strike the right balance between being super fit and still being equipped to take the rigours of EPL footy….”

    I think that’s a major part in all this.

  90. lol word,

    I was just thinking of that scene as I read through the above posts.

    JET will get some games I hope, but Theo’s setback is also an opportunity for Vela to play. Maybe not the Bolton game, just after the internationals.
    I’ve always seen a clear hierarchy between NB52, TW14, and CV11 based upon their age, and how long they’ve been in the first team. Bendy started a year before Theo, who came into the team a year before Vela.
    NB52 should never have played so intensley at the WC. Lots of players are forced to play with ‘niggles’ and then need longer breaks, we see it all the time.

  91. Boomer – good point on the players ages. We love to see young players make the grade but are they more injury prone than more experienced campaigners? I’m sure there’s some research out there but it would be interesting to know I guess…

  92. Word, Geo, Men of good taste!

    My favourite Kung Fu movie ever is ‘Prodigal Son’ aka Pull no Punches. Features Sammo Hung & Yuen Biao in a story which is funny but more importantly, surprisingly and brilliantly deep.

    As for Jackie Chan, Wheels on Meals (or is it Meals on Wheels?) is my favourite, but I’ve had a crush on the actress in that movie since I first laid eyes upon her as a teeny-bopper! My pre-teen loins stirred for only her (and Michelle Pfieffer a la Batman Returns, ‘Meow’ indeed).

    Of course Drunken Master & Young Master always hold a special place in my ‘eart (as does Police Story 1,2, & 3).

  93. Finsbury,

    I’m thinking Bendy’s career will have stalled a bit because of the world cup. He really needed the rest. Hopefully, he’ll be a little pragmatic in future and put pride aside

  94. “Quite frankly our excessive moaning about injuries is just making us fans and supporters look like a bunch of whiny, self-absorbed sissies.”

    shotta – do you have any suggestions as to why it is happening every year or would you rather have a dig at us fans for being genuinely worried that it is happening again to our in form players – so early in the season? Most of us disagree with that statement that he has no football brain by the way.

  95. Gadget – i’ll look Prodigal Son up – never seen it before… And i’m with you on Young Master, another great. Havent seen Meals on Wheels either – cheers for the heads up!

    What do you think of the Tony Jaa stuff? Ong Bak 1&2, and Warrior King?

  96. Gadget,

    I don’t think that many footballers would decline the opportunity to play in a WC, even if they had no legs left! But it would be nice to see more AFC players impersonating Giggsy Wiggsy during international games & friendlies.

  97. Hmm… Kung-Fu movie buffs… I watched this kung-fu film on a film course years ago and I’ve never, ever been able to find out what it was (I know… what a great student). I know the ‘drunken master’ storyline is one that recurs as it’s a popular chinese myth… this definitely wasn’t the Jackie Chan version but it did have a drunk as one of the main characters (if not the main role). It can’t have been much earlier than Drunken Master though, it was in technicolour. Maybe 1970ish? Can anyone help?

    Other notable scenes from my hazy memory are; a long fight scene in a church courtyard and the church itself (I’d say temple but it looked more like a church!), some royalty being carried on high-seats through the desert get attacked, possibly with blow-darts. There’s an obligatory tavern scene at the beginning. And it might involve a girl cross-dressing to pass as a man at some point. Ring any bells?

  98. We do seem to suffer more than out fair share of injuries but we seem to have assembled a set of injury prone players, some players suffer more injuries than others.
    Is this unlucky? I’m not sure, it might be a reflection of the kind of players we buy at the moment and the kind of football we are trying to play. I don’t think you can blame the medical team for this though.

  99. LimparA – that sounds like my local…

  100. There’s also a sort reccuperation, sobering up scene in a very misty, mossy, marshy place… with a waterfall and a little bamboo hut on stilts.

  101. Shotta – I agree that there’s too much whinging at Arsenal about injuries. It makes us look weak and just encourages the idea that Arsenal are a club with soft players who don’t like it up them.
    We are playing in the English premiership where there are some physical teams, we have to be ready for this and stop moaning about teams being over-physical.

  102. Hmm Limpar – that seems like a fairly standard format to be honest! If Rinseout’s still around he may be able to help… It wasn’t Warrior(s?) 2 was it? Win Chun as the main fighting style?

  103. Sack the Medics, bring back Dave Dein! You know it makes sense!

  104. tBM – I agree that we shouldn’t whinge about teams being over-physical, but we surely have the right to be worried about our huge injury list season after season. Blaming medical staff etc is not warranted either but to have someone calling everyone whining self-absorbed sissies when we’re trying to discuss why this is happening, is just a bit off i think.

  105. Nike’s quest to turn football boots into condoms doesn’t help matters… though Theo would have had to have been wearing Wellingtons to escape injury on Tuesday.

    I don’t think luck comes into it and I certainly don’t think it has to do with the ‘negligence’ of the Arsenal medical staff (who are these people, lawyers?)… Arsenal players have the ball at their feet more than any other players in the premiership. When the ball is at your feet people will try and get it off you, and if you’re challenged, say, 15-20 times in a match, you’re going to get a few knocks. This is also exacerbated by our almost squad-wide turn of pace and constant pass and move… if you’re hard to catch, it’s harder to tackle you and you’re going to get kicked more with mistimed tackles.

    If, on the other hand, you’re Rory Delap or Lee Cattermole and you have no pace, let alone have ever had the ball at your feet – chances of getting kicked are minimal.

  106. Yup – that’ll sort it out for sure DelBoy! David Dien is a spiritual healer who practices dark arts in his spare time. No need for a medical team when he’s around…

  107. Great post Limpar – makes a lot of sense.

  108. Geo,

    Tony Jaa is technically magnificent and each film I’ve seen of his convinces me he’s someone not to be messed with (cheroegraph can only account for someone’s bad-ass nature to an extent, and he breaches that extent by orders of magnitude).

    I’d really like to see him in a movie where he doesn’t play the naive well-meaning dude, but rather someone more urban. Some of his stunts suggest he natural could be a successor to Jackie Chan, but he needs a greater body of work.


    I know and it’s a shame, cause young Nick is on his way to becoming a top top striker, and I really want him to force his doubters to eat excrement, but for him to do this, if he’s injured he’ll need to resist the lure of the internationals. It’s the path to wickedness

  109. GEO – I’m not against the fans discussing our injury problems as there is clearly an issue there, but I think as a club (and Wenger is guilty of this) we are too quick to criticise other teams for being over-physical. This wasn’t a problem when we had players like Petit, Viera and Adams in the team, was it?

  110. Limpar,

    Would love to help but as Geo says, those are all pretty standard tropes for kung fu films! Can think of at least five different films for each scen, but I’m racking my brain to think of a film where they’ve all come together.


    The Invincibles played a different style of football, they never retained the ball as much as we currently do

    & Viera and Adams (to my mind’s eye) were enforcers. If our player’s were getting kicked, the guilty git would have to answer to one of those guys, eventually.

  111. Ras’ bit on boxing yesterday, equating the ability to ‘take a punch’ with the ability to carry a knock and play on in a game of football is just complete bollocks.

    Our players take plenty of ‘hits’ and play on after… perhaps more so than most. But it you’re injured and you know about it you have to come off, or you risk aggravating it and spending much more time out. In boxing you stand and deliver for as long as you can until your brain turns off and then recover for 6 months so you can do it again. If a footballer showed the same disregard for their own legs as boxer’s have to their face – then careers would be over before they got started.

    Sometimes you don’t know you’ve been injured, you might just think it’s a bruise whereas actually you’ve got a little crack in your bone. Like Nasri at Liverpool played 90 minutes, and Cesc against Barca. Or sometimes you know the injury isn’t something that will stop you playing the next game, like Gallas’ concussion, or when his teeth got knocked out… or Arshavin playing on with stitches in his foot. If you can’t run properly without it hurting though – it’s probably best to come off rather than carry on like a boxer, swaying groggily in the corner, in a display of how strong your ‘chin’ is.

  112. I guess that helps clarify what the distinction between contact or a collision sport might be!

    You can bleed, and be bruised in a game of football.
    But repeated blows to head don’t tend to happen. Unless you’re playing in the year 1911 with a very heavy, sodden, leather (brain) wrecking ball.

  113. Talking of boxers, did anyone hear Audley Harrison and David Haye on the R4 this morning… tense as heck after Haye’s gang rape comments t’other day.

  114. It looks to have all the ingredients of a good scrap, Rinseout. Other than two good fighters.

  115. Thanks, Geo and Gadget, for wracking the kung-fu brains. Whenever I meet people who know kung fu films I quiz them about it. It was a wicked film and it really bugs me that I might never find out what it was!

  116. http://www.premierleague.com/page/Home/0,,12306,00.html
    Vote for Theo as player of the month.

    Saddened that he will miss out for longer than we initially thought,as many have pointed out, we will cope for now.Hopefully no more injuries(long term ones atleast) in the near future.

  117. Terrible news about Theo. I had hoped this could be his true break out year. It still can be but this does not help.

    Agree about the Carling Cup. Would love to see us field a mixed side with some youth supplemented by significant experience. However, protecting the first team from injury has to be the priority. The Carling Cup run is usually one of the highlights of the year. I suspect Appy Harry will field a very strong team. I know we should be optimistic blah blah but I have a sad feeling that this year will be 1 and out. Terrible luck with the draw. Lets hope that the younglings can somehow pull off a real upset at The Lane.

  118. Rinseout / Limpar – what was that about Haye & Harrison?

    and Limpar – no worries, sorry i couldn’t help!

  119. Geo @ 11:52 am- Re excessive whining and moaning – Just read some of the prior posts. Thank heavens for Ole, Gadget, YW etc or this was getting out of hand. Hell, some were even questioning our medical personnel, who are acknowledged to be some of the best in England.

    How soon you forget the Theo bashers? I guess they have lurched from one extreme to the other so fast you couldn’t keep up with them. I remain unmoved since last June; Capello was an idiot for leaving Walcott out of his squad to Sth Africa. Theo has something that cannot be taught, speed. None of his projected replacements in the Arsenal set up can replicate that innate talent. We will simply have to play a different way especially on the right side of the park.
    Walcott – “some of us”

  120. Gadget – I know exactly what you mean. He needs to broaden his hosirzons a bit. But his balance and technique are some of the best i’ve seen. And the fact that he does all his own stunts fills me with respect for the guy. He was a bit more bad-ass in Ong Bak 2 when he’s a pirate warrior, and he uses a lot of different styles and weapons in that one too.

    With a better director (but similar choreography), he can become the star of some amazing films i think.

    Anyway, sorry non-martial arts fans, this is a football blog isn’t it 😉

  121. Fair enough shotta – I for one have never been one of those Walcott bashers, and although i was gutted for Theo about being left out, selfishly i was pleased because i knew he’d come out raring to go this season after that disappointment. And blaming the medical staff as i’ve said earlier is just ridiculous due to their status and experience.

    But the injuries we suffer are unparalelled, in numbers and length of time out – and i think that we can excuse some people for voicing their concerns.

    But you’re right, the complete contradiction in some people’s views about Theo from a few months ago are laughable.

    With Jack and Eboue down the right, they offer completely different styles to our attack which can cause just as many problems as Theo when they’re on their game.

  122. We do have options at this time, and in the foreseeable future. Arsh could go right and Vela left. Nasri could go right and Arsh left. Mozart could go left or right in various permutations. JET can deputise upfront (if needed). President Eboue is first choice straight attacking replacement for Walcott, and not without threat. If Cham suffered a knock and I were Wenger, I would shock you all and play Cesc up front in a ‘free role’, and Mozart or Nasri (or JW) at pivot.

  123. We do seem to suffer a lot of injuries. Maybe we just notice our plersy injuries more than at other clubs because we a re more interested in them? I don’t know.

    It seems daft to blame the medical staff; a club this size with the type of manager we have would not suffer bad staff in this area, I think that is obvious. Are we unlucky? Maybe.

  124. Ole @ 11:04AM

    “I still hope we don’t have to rely him. Instead I hope the absences opens up opportunities to prove himself without pressure”

    Well said. I think JET will be an excellent player but its not his time yet. Not even 20. The weight of expectation that gets put on young players like this is not fair to them. It may hinder their development rather then help them. I suspect JET makes the bench now but I sure hope we do not have to count on him for more then an occasional cameo.

  125. Zim – Playing Cesc that far up the field would negate some of his best play. He needs to be deeper to pull the strings. He is a central midfielder, and an excellent one at that. He should play there.

  126. I agree goonerandy, i think cesc would be wasted there. All the other options you talk about though Zim shows our depth nicely. Wenger likes his players to be adaptable and play in a few positions – good job too considering… I love the way wenger has seen young Jack to be able to play in the holding role, Toure of old to convert from right wing to CB, Thierry to convert from left wing to CF.

    Wonder who’ll be next? Vela at CB? Clichy up front?

  127. Gadget, great movie list! Project A 1&2 are also favorites of mine.

    Lew, it is amazing how you continually spout out complete rubbish about the state of the medical staff. You talk like you know exactly what sort of drills the squad does, how many, and in what areas. As YW said, unless you have specific knowledge in this area you’re just engaging in uninformed speculation.

    If Vela doesn’t get a sniff of PL action now that Walcott is out I will really begin to wonder what is holding him back…he seems like he has patiently bided his time

  128. Limpar @ 12:33

    I think that is the only logical and most likely explanation for our injury problems. I understand why someone who try to blame our medical staff and training methods but that is probably not realistic. Your comment is absolutely spot on, I think.


    Blaming someone and trying to understand why something goes wrong is human nature. Always has been and always will be so why complain about human nature.

  129. Given your aversion to attacking football and blooding youngsters, how did you end up supporting Arsenal, Bill?

    For the last 13 years AW has given opportunities to players far younger than JET. For the most part they won their places because of injury to a senior player.

    The successes are too long to list.

    Now, I don’t know if JET’s performances in training merit a place in the side, but, given that he hasn’t gone out on loan, he clearly must figure in AW’s plans at least a little.

    And, in terms of morale, I can’t think of anything more detrimental to a young player’s career than failing to give him a chance when he’s on form and there’s a whole in the squad that he can fill.

  130. And the first team is experienced enough to cope with a couple of youngsters coming in. Were JET to start on the weekend, which is unlikely, he’d have two players with more than 50 international caps each playing alongside him.

  131. OOU,

    I fervently hope JET gets a chance with the 2 absences. I just personally hope we don’t have to depend on him. Not because he’s not good enough, but more in line with Vela, Bendtner & Walcott, they come into the team slowly racking up sub appearances.

  132. Whoops, that was meant to be “hole” above.

    I wouldn’t want us to rely on him because we’d have to lose two more players before that could happen, OG. With Walcott and van Persie out, JET will likely find himself on the bench, which could mean a couple of appearances over the next few weeks. That’s the way it should be.

  133. I don’t get into these discussions very often because I’m not the best debater.

    What I want to say is that we have a hierarchy in place; if a young player finds himself pushed up the ladder and performs better than the player for who he’s covering, like Anelka, Ashley Cole or Cesc Fabregas did, then he deserves more game time, even if it’s at an established player’s expense.

    If he doesn’t then he can learn from the experience and await his turn further down the line.

  134. “whom”

  135. OOU:

    I agree that JET deserves a place on the bench. Like all of us I think he will be a great player for Arsenal. Just hope we do not have to rely on him to “lead the line”. If he struggles as a huge % of great players would at his age then it can not help his confidence. Most players mature in their early to mid 20’s. Diaby, Theo, Bendtner, Song, RVP etc etc. seem to be following that pattern. C. Ronaldo is an example outside of our club. I agree with Ole. I hope he can be allowed to develop without putting that much pressure on him.

  136. In light of the inevitable injuries, is it too much to demand, or better yet to require, that the players whom Arsene has been blooding over the past three years, step up to the plate when asked. Is Bolton a step too far? Or Braga and Sunderland thereafter?

    We are a big club with a big squad, no? Yes, many in the reserves are young but surely we can live without Walcott, Nasri, Van Persie and Bendtner, at least until October. Am I too optimistic?

  137. On Untold Arsenal I was reading about betting scandals in Belgian football. This part made me think about certain English players.

    “The players that were involved had been telling stories about their contacts with the Chinese gambling syndicate. They had been taken to a sex parties where pictures had been taken to put them under pressure. You can imagine that the player’s wife wasn’t invited to those sex parties… So blackmail became part of the operation.”

  138. Nasri is ‘all but’ back Shott, in training anyways.

    Being the optimist, I am of the opinion that this is fate’s way of ensuring we have RvP, Walcott and Bendtner for the latter half of the campaign.

  139. the plot thickens …

  140. Can’t we put this ‘using JET as a back-up’ discussion to bed, unless we actually fall short??
    I mean we have a perfectly healthy, less injury prone Chamakhattack, improving with every game. Why the fook are we panicking already??

    Even if we do, I do not think arsenel will use JET, unless absolutely neccessary. Arshavin did pretty well against smaller sides, at home last season. Its the more physical, away fixtures that we might see JET. Obviously all this, IF we fall short which I don’t thin we will.

  141. That’s not too optimistic shotta. I’m sure the likes of Wilshere, Rosicky, Chamakh, Vela, Eboue etc can ‘do a job’ quite nicely. In fact they are all going to be relishing the opportunity to make their claims for first team places. Our depth this year means our injury problems wont be as bad as seasons past – particularly last year. The younger players coming into the first team squad are all capable of doing something special now, whereas last year i felt a couple of them were still a bit raw…

    And we had to rely on Sylvestre and an ageing Campbell. I’m more comfortable with TV, Squillachi, KS, big Johan and Song than last year’s defensive options.

  142. You are not serious about Cesc Zimpaul, are you?

    & I completely share your optimism @ 3.35

  143. I hope I haven’t jinxed Morouane there!

  144. JET’s not going to ‘struggle’, he plays at a very high level already. Look who he shared the field with on Tuesday. If he misses a sitter then bad luck to him. The confidence of a striker is not something you protect by hiding him away in a cupboard. I’d love to see him play on Saturday or Wednesday… anything other than a cameo seems unlikely though. It’s just the way it should be as OOU says.

  145. I’m really looking forward to seeing Chamakh playing every match. I’m liking the look of him and the more he plays in that central role, the quicker he will settle and we should start to see what he’s made of. Obviously it’s too much to expect him to be amazing in his first season (like Sagna for example), but i guess we’ll see…

  146. I think JET we will be given the big stage in the carling cup and if he handles that well then his moment will soon come. 30 mins after eboue or TR7 should be a just reward. I have every faith he will bring his forward thinking confidence and can be sure the fans know how to get behind an english chap playing well. (oh wait, some people were actually bashing him after one game – unbelievable!)

    Reminds me a bit of Ali actually with his long legs and breezy stlye ‘float like a butterfly sting like a bee’

    ive bigged him a bit too much now – best be good!

  147. LA – kung fu thing rings a bell but not only is that a generic discription, all these movies have very similar titles so chances of lining the 2 up are rare…

    check out some of these tho, you may find it as chances are its well known (ish) if chosen by a college.


  148. nice one for that link word – will have a look when i get home…

  149. Obviously he’s not going to struggle, LA. But its simply not arsene’s style to put too much expectations on a youngsters shoulders. I don’t remember a single player who was just thrown onti playing first team football. All of them have been given gradual promotion into the premiership. The latest example being Wilshere, who is still sharing defensive midfield duties, & will gradually be given the responsibilty of creating play.

  150. Geo, I am sure none of us are expecting him to be amazing. He just has to do the basics right as he grows into the team, In other words ‘does the job’

  151. I don’t agree with that formula, Bill. I’ll comment again when I’ve worked out why!

    Anyways, I think every first team squad needs three or four guys in their teens. I’d guess they have an appetite that might be missing senior players.

    I’d also imagine it pushes the older ones on if they have a precocious scamp nipping at their heels – maybe it even replenishes their enthusiasm for the game to share a field with a player who’s doing it all for the first time.

    There’s also that old cliche about youngsters playing without fear; in the right environment they’ll thrive, bringing a bit of audacity as well; that kind of stuff can reinvigorate a team.

  152. OOU @ 3:17PM:

    Certainly agree that if a young player is better then a more senior player they should take their place.

    I guess no one really can answer what is best for young players. Despite seeing all of our young players struggling at times and suffering from inconsistant performances they all seem to come of age and come good. My concention was that putting them under pressure too soon could actually hurt them but I do not see that it has really hindered Song, Diaby, hopefully Theo or C. Ronaldo now that they have come of age. I guess it depends on the player. I think JET will be on the bench and will eventually be a great player. Hopefully he will score the winning goal in the CC vs. the spuds. Fingers crossed that Chamakh stays healthy until NB52 and RVP are ready so this is all a theoretical discussion.

  153. mj_ me neither – would be nice though eh? 😉

    I didnt expect that from Sagna at all, never even heard of him but he slotted into the team and the EPL seamlessly, and imo has been our most consistent player since. A rare gem though.

  154. I think there is a significant difference between blooding youngsters in previsou Wenger teams to the current crop. When players like Cesc, Cole, and even Clichy started getting games in the first team they were coming into a succsesful team with bags of experience.

    Cesc was integrated into the team with the like of PV4 guiding him through games. Bergkamp, TH14, Keown, the list goes on. He was under no real pressure in that respect.

    In today’s team players like Denilson, Diaby, and many more have been thrown into a team with little experience and no “guiding hand” such as PV4 or DB10.

  155. JET looked good in pre season against the lesser teams, but i remember thinking he was very quiet against better opposition. AC Milan or Legia maybe. He also did very little in the FA cup last season (was it against Stoke?).

    That’s not to say he shouldn’t be eased in to the first team this season, but we shouln’t be building him up AT ALL right now.

    Nothing good can come of it if we do.

  156. fucking great news to be greeted with as i come back home ffs

  157. I truly believe that this is the best time that we could get these injuries if they must happen. It gives them time to get back into the flow before the horrible stretch in the winter, and will hopefully see them hit their full stride during the business end of the season.

    Maybe this ends up being the reason Vela breaks out and we all look back at and see some great positives that have developed because of the injuries.

    No sense in crying about it…time to look forward to seeing the other members of the squad step up.

  158. Yes, JET’s gradual promotion is well under way. He’s made the squad for various Premier League games and if you make the squad that means you’re ready to take to the field, it means Arsene trusts that you can play at that level. He also played well in his first team debut against Premier League opposition in the FA Cup.

    For a young Englishman playing on the fringes of the Arsenal first team it’s suprising to me that he’s managed to avoid the pressure of media hype so far. However, it is just around the corner and is something he will need to deal with. Expectation? He is an Arsenal player… of course there is a massive expectation. It’s not up to Arsene to stop that, he can’t stop that… but he can assure the player that he is ready and tell him to go out and enjoy himself. He’s a master at blooding young players… sit back and enjoy.

  159. Why is it the blogs tend to bring out the biggest wimps in the world? They all come crawling out any time there is bad news.

    What a pathetic existence. Embrace the journey for god’s sake…Arsenal should be something to be enjoyed…let Wenger worry about squad issues and enjoy the beautiful football.

  160. I don’t know when Arsenal fans got so cynical about young talent. People seem to want a buffer that keeps them as far away from the squad as possible. Read an article about a new young signing and the comments below are always negative.

    You’re not even allowed to compliment them anymore, lest you feed their ginormous egos – as if there isn’t a whole system in place, with experienced coaches offering them advice every day, to keep their feet on the ground.

    Provided people don’t start claiming they’re world-beaters, or slag off players keeping them out of the team, I think there’s nothing wrong with celebrating one of the best things that Arsenal has going at the moment.

    It’s like they’ve been shown up at the pub or something – probably ran their mouths quickly about Quincy and Lupoli a few years ago.

  161. what news? is it oficial?

  162. Welcome back Zap! Not the end of the world though as some of the earlier posters would have you believe…

  163. *too quickly*

  164. It is not always about having the talent to suceed; sometimes luck plays a huge part for young players coming through.

  165. Andy, Diaby, Denilson & others were NEVER thrown into the team. Like everyone they played in CC first, & once first teamers like Hleb, Flamini & Gilberto left, they started featuring in PL sqaud.

    And the rest of you can take a breather, Bendtner is only 3-4 weeks away. Kids spreading roumors of him being out till November can f*ck off now

  166. OK, very last thing. Aneke’s goal was one of the best pieces of skill I’ve seen this season. Does it mean he’ll be an Arsenal great? Will he even play for our first team? I haven’t the foggiest.

    But it was a lovely goal, and it’s a pleasure to see him and the rest playing well.

    It’s like raving about a Danielle Carter goal. Only for someone to say that you shouldn’t big her up until she’s doing it regularly for the men’s team.

  167. mj – My main point was that when players like Cesc were integrated into the team they were surrounded by already succsesful players. With loads of experience as well. It is easier to settle in and develop in a team with guidence on the field. I believe this is one of the reasons why he developed so fast into what he is today.

    It has not been as smooth for some of the latest batch. More credit to them as well for coping as well as they have.

  168. That’s exactly my point andy, do you think AW will make it more rough by just throwing in JET into difficult games?? not really

  169. diaby cesc song nasri rosicky Arshavin denilson chamakh are all accomplished players. thats 8 you only nedd to pick 5 of them to compliment JET for 25 mins.

  170. thats excluding all our dreaded injuries and players like eboue who are hardly amatuer.

  171. mj – I was not meaning JET. I just meant in general. I agree with those that say we should not overhype these players. JET is clearly a very good player, but he is not yet even in the U21 squad. I have every confidence that Wenger will bring him through gradually.

    We will be fine, no need to panic over injuries yet.

  172. Andy @ 4:17PM.

    Agree completely. Unfortunately at the time they were the best options we had available. In retrospect wish we had been able to keep Gilberto Silva around to give Song, Denilson, Diaby at little more time and a great on the field mentor. Same with the great R. Pires and Theo/Nasri etc.

    Limpar @ 4:30PM.

    AW will play JET if he thinks he gives us the best chance to win the game. I do not think he plays young players in league or CL games when he has someone else who he feels gives us a better chance to win available just to “blood” them. He uses the CC for that.

    Your point about the expectations spot on. Arsenal players will always have huge expectations especially when they come with previous over hype. Criticizing Theo’s “football brain when he was 19 year olds is ridiculous. Unfortunately scrutiny is inevitable when you play for Arsenal and especially for an English lad with that level of expectation. Thankfully the hype machine has not caught up with JET so far. It will ramp up if he is forced to play significant minutes this year. He will have to deal with it.

  173. I can assure you, Bill, that no player in our entire set-up needs to be ‘forced to play’. Watch some interviews with these guys… they know how hard it is to break into that first team, they live and breathe for the day that opportunity comes – and when it comes they’ve got to be ready to take it.

    Of course AW picks the team to win the game (!), we’re talking about an actual gap on the right side of attack that has come up… with RVP and Theo both out, and Nasri unlikely to start. That leaves Rosicky, Eboue, JET and Vela in contention as far as I can see. One of the two senior midfield players will in all likelihood get the nod, and rightly so… but there is plenty of room on the bench for a couple of attacking substitutes. All three of the four above who don’t make the starting line-up will make that bench in my opinion… at least I’d like them to. JET can play up front or wide left or wide right. Very, very useful. Why would you hesitate to include a player like that? You’re scared he’ll struggle… well don’t worry, he’s not, and AW’s not.

  174. Today I wholeheartedly agree with G4E.

  175. Limpar:


    We now have a great bunch of players to fill those positions. I suspect JET will make the bench. So many other options that could also use time on the pitch. Suspect Eboue and Arshavin will start out wide this weekend. Would rather see TR7 and Arshavin. With the heavy fixture list coming up I hope Vela will get some starts and I would love to see him really take his chance. Chamakh will have heavy minutes for the next month. May be give Vela a chance at his spot if he needs a breather. Nasri will need to be worked back in. Denilson needs to play if either Song or Diaby needs rest. Losing Theo and RVP big blows but so far no where near crisis mode.

  176. personally im terrified of the over confident youngsters who sit on benches.

    largely cause its very dark out, I cant walk straight and ive gone and bloody woke up in west croyden again after the last trains departed…

  177. This is highly optimistic but I hope we can have Theo, RVP & Bendy back, away at City on the 24th Oct

  178. word, what are you on today?

  179. The hype, and criticism of Walcott has been extreme, and I don’t think it will be repeated.

    JET didn’t get taken to the WC at 16. In fact, he’s been ignored by the English selectors. Likewise, some of the others. I’d like to think that is a decision that was made by AFC.

    The way Theo has been treated by England, was questionable. No matter what the plunditry bawls out, and they are hardly credible, Theo played much better then many players who went to SA in those warm up games. No doubt about it at all. None. There is not even a little smidgen of a chance that he might have played worse then SWP in those games.

    Wilshire has had hype, but it won’t be as bad.

    There’s pattern.
    Pick a player, and then use him to attack the club IMO.


  180. By that last point I mean, it’s standard D**Mer mechanism.

    The RVP bashers were also predictable, they switched players when they realised that most AFC fans adore the player, but old habits die hard.

  181. Shotta:

    Another standing ovation for you regarding your comment at 11:30. I always wanted to say something along that line, albiet not worded quite as strongly. I wish I had your “cajones”. Great minds think alike.

  182. “Provided people don’t start claiming they’re world-beaters, or slag off players keeping them out of the team, I think there’s nothing wrong with celebrating one of the best things that Arsenal has going at the moment.”

    That is the problem OOU – too much extreme commentary going on. If a young player does well in a particular game that is great and should be acknowledged. However, some extrapolate too much from that and then veer to the opposite extreme next time they have a less than stellar performance. Context is the key to a more balanced outlook in general.

  183. eboue is more than capable of doing the job, but i would actually prefer to see vela for bolton, but eboue for sunderland away and chelsea.

  184. That meme about our medical staff being inefficient is one of the stupidest conspiracy theories that keeps on popping up. Milan and Madrid are the gold standard as far as medical facilities, yet Kaka and half the Milan team were injured for a very long time last season. Besides, there’s no amount of training or weight lifting that can prevent knee and ankles from twisting. Ligaments, no matter how strong, are damaged when they’re made to support the weight of the body in an unnatural position. The Asians have built entire martial arts systems based on the fact that joints and ligaments are some of the most vulnerable parts of the human body.

  185. My heavens – a word of praise. Thank you very much Bill @ 6:33 pm.

    PS: Trust me, dreadlocks Shotta can be charming and charitable when deserved.

  186. Bill, “cajones” are big boxes. “Cojones” are big balls.

  187. “word, what are you on today?” – im a mysterious man

  188. are you a man, word?

  189. is that avatar a self portrait shotta? i thought it was just some gloomy figure standing in the dark but i guess now they are dreads

  190. im not sure what you are failing to understand here mj…..

  191. Absolute bo*locks.

  192. were fukin cursed i tell ya.

  193. We are much more tuned in to our injuries than other teams’ understandably. End of last season was unusual in the sheer number and timing. But I’ve just read somewhere that Kuyt will be out for 4 weeks for LFC. So it’s not just us. This is the first season in a while where I feel the balance and experience of the squad players is there to compensate for the injuries we currently have. Losing players for 4 – 6 weeks is a completely different issue from losing players for months at a time as we have experienced recently.

  194. There was this article by some Stoke blogger taking on Arsene, claiming he’d lied about Shawcross fouling Go Mess the Spud keeper. In the comment section I found 1 of the best comments I’ve seen on a football blog. I love to sare, and I’m craving Yogi’s and the commenter’s indulgence in posting this;

    Firstly, thank you for recognising that not all Arsenal fans are like some that posted above, they just tend to be the ones who post more.

    Of the myths you seek to dispel:

    1) I agree Shawcross isn’t a serial leg-breaker and didn’t intentionally break Ramsey’s. The legitimate point being made is that when Pulis says ‘he’s not that sort of player’, the sort of player he is is a good defender who, perhaps due to either lack of pace or old-fashioned English get the ball and man, has a susceptibility to mistime challenges that are more aggressive than is necessary to get the ball, leading to a greater risk of injury

    2) It seems rather hypocritical to condone Shawcross’ atrocious off the pitch tackle because Adebayor made one before. I haven’t seen the supposed kung fu kick but that Shawcross tackle was poor, whether the player got injured or not doesn’t matter. These are the sort of tackles that should be stamped out of the English game, whether by an Arsenal player or Stoke player

    3) I’ve addressed this earlier. i firmly believe that teams such as Stoke, Blackburn etc. make a conscious decision to be extra physical against us. If you care to dispute this, type Ricardo fuller and ‘we will rough up Arsenal’ into the search bar, comments made 3 days before the game. I am sure Shawcross had no intention of hurting Ramsey, but there is a fine line between hard but fair and dangerous. Teams openly declare they will go closer to this line against Arsenal, meaning the line is easier to cross by accident. This is easily avoidable. Ramsey’s break is not as bad as Eduardo’s because Shawcross caught him above the ankle, the ball was on the ground so Shawcross must have, and did, leave the ground to tackle. The use of excessive force can be a red card offence. I commend Glenn Whelan for what he did, but your comments leave no room for the feelings of the Arsenal players who have seen three horrific incidents like that in 4 years. Many looked physically sick, some were close to tears, it is surely understandable they were overly emotional when they see their friend like that and it is cheap to use the actions of Whelan and Shawcross’ tears as evidence of your club being ‘holier than thou’ when that is what you’re criticising us for.

    4) I try to avoid watching all Spurs games unless they lose and frankly don’t care

    As for Cesc Fabregas v Hull. it was at the Emirates, he was celebrating a vital win with his friends and was categorically cleared of spitting. Hull used a menacing look on his face from a CCTV image as evidence and the case was thrown out. If you’re talking about vendettas and lies, then look at Phil Brown’s comments that Wenger didn’t shake his hand in the match we won at the KC, then look at the video of Wenger doing just that. Chamakh’s holding in the box was a foul, but was does that prove exactly. Are you seriously suggesting no Stoke players hold at set pieces?

    Credit to your players and manager for their charity work. Firstly, Cesc was at the World cup, then on holiday. His desire to return to Barca is understandable, but we didn’t let him go so he has stayed. Oh, and each season Arsenal choose a charity and hold events to fundraise, including getting supporters to donate, not to mention a lot of work done in the community

    As for the accusations of xenophobia. I agree this is wheeled out far too often, but when certain newspapers run a headline saying ‘if you don’t like the way we play then go back to france, Spain and Italy’ aimed at Arsene Wenger and his players, written by an ex-footballer, then this doesn’t help. It would also be useful if fans didn’t sing about Engerland when we play them, particularly as Trevor Brooking reckons England’s mid-term future relies heavily on our academy and the likes of Wilshere, Gibbs, Walcott. Also, the attitude that foreign players are ruining our game with diving and cheating is clearly xenophobic and on epeddled by none other than John Terry, who conveniently avoids the tendencies of such luminaries as Steven Gerrard and Wayne Rooney.

    I will leave you with this. I am English, and as an 11 year old was leaving Brammal Lane with my dad after Arsenal had been beaten 1-0. In front of us were a boy of a similar age and his dad. The dad turned to his son and exclaimed ‘well, what do you expect when you put out a bunch of foreigners to play a man’s game!’ The scorer of the winning goal for his team was Christian Nade, of France.

    Thank you

    Read more: http://northy.footballunited.com/2010/09/09/arsene-wenger-caught-out-lying-%E2%80%93-now-it%E2%80%99s-time-to-dispel-some-other-myths/#ixzz0z3wJIYGP
    Join FootballUnited.com for Real Fans & Real News

  195. Fukin el that post was to long for me Ole but im sure it was a good one.

  196. “I agree Shawcross isn’t a serial leg-breaker and didn’t intentionally break Ramsey’s.”

    I don’t know how anyone can say that. Only Shawcross knows what his ‘intentions’ were. The rest of us can only judge him by the outcome of his actions, regardless of his intentions. Once you lose control of your actions they can have unintended consequences. You cannot expect to escape these consequences on the basis that it was not your intention. The punishment may take this into account e.g. a charge of manslaughter as opposed to murder. But if you have a history of ‘diving in’ with reckless disregard as to the consequences, don’t be surprised when you find yourself labelled as a ‘dirty player’. You reap what you sow.

  197. Thanks for sharing that Ole.

  198. For me if you come to the match intent on “gettin stuck in” then you have an intent to harm.

    Agree Passenal, a player may not want to break someone’s leg but if you have that silly mindset is it any surprise that it goes beyond what these clowns are trying to do.

    Shawcross is a serial leg breaker. How many people does this clown have to injure before people other than Arsenal supporters call him out?

  199. Otherwise it was an excellent comment though, very well said.

  200. Ole I can’t believe you made me visit a Stoke Blog.

  201. You actually need to see the entire game before questioning the intent of Shawcross unnecessary tackle on Ramsey.

    It was in retaliation for Cesc’s tackle on him in the first half, which went unnoticed by the referee and Shawcross thought it was a foul. Then in the 2ND half he found the chance to give it back to Ramsey.

    Did he really wanted to break his leg, I doubt it, but the intent to at least cause some pain is there, and I’m not sure how can you justify that in a football match. In a boxing match, yes, in a kick boxing match, yes, in ultimate fighting match, definitely yes, but not in a football match.

    So f*ck off Shawcross and any one who defends you…in fact f*ck off to any one who condone this kind of game (Are you listening McCarthy?).

  202. For once i thought i found that post was way too polite, esp after reading the original (shit) article. But that’s our class after all.

  203. true G4E, & cesc gave it back to one of their defender in the 5th minute of injury time, before shushing Mr Pulis. Pure Awsomeness!

  204. Bradys right foot

    The Ryan Shawcross tackle shows the entire failings of the English game in reckless and out of control split second. The player it came from has plenty of previous a total coward who tackled Adebayors ankle from behind when he was three feet off the pitch being another career, indulged by Pullis and a few cavemen uttering verbage as rent a quote pundits.

  205. Yes, mj, I am serious about Cesc upfront, not in a traditional CF role, but in a typical Arsenal Bergkamp role. I think he would be a revelation. He would score plenty of goals, make many more and terrorise defenders because of his ability to keep the ball in tight situations. He is an attacking player, not a ‘Xabi’ who rarely ventures too far upfield and seldom scores.

  206. I hope Arsenal will be winner in next session

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