Wenger confirms latest Arsenal injury blow is a BIG one!!

Whenever and Arsenal player picks up an injury these days we tend to fear the worst and that is not because the Arsenal fans are naturally pessimistic or anything, but because our fears are usually well founded. Danny Welbeck, for a perfect example, is only just back in the side 10 months after he was said to have a minor knock.

So the latest injury update by Arsene Wenger, reported by the Daily Mail, sounds pretty ominous to me. The Frenchman did talk about our England international star Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in terms of weeks on the sidelines and he tried to sound positive about the young midfielder’s chances of being alright for the Euro 2016 tournament this summer.

But Wenger also described the knee problem that the Ox has got after a crunching tackle by the Barcelona defender Javier Mascherano as a serious one and admitted that he does not really know the exact extent of the injury or how long it will keep the player out of action.

The Arsenal boss said, ‘His injury is quite serious. It keeps him out for a few weeks. He is consulting at the moment, seeing a specialist. He’s definitely out for a few weeks, but for how long I don’t know.

‘When he was cut in two by Mascherano he did his knee. We have to wait to see how big the damage is in the knee. I don’t think it was a malicious tackle, it was fully-committed.

‘I don’t think [it will stop him playing for England], but it’s in his knee so I am a bit cautious. Let’s hope it’s good news, only two or three weeks and not six or seven.’

Going from previous injury lay-offs for Arsenal players, what are the chances of the Ox playing any more part in our Premier League title challenge?

Invincibles star on why Arsenal WON’T win Premier League

One Arsenal fan, who just happens to be one of our former stars and was a member of the invincibles that last won Arsenal the Premier League trophy, will be crossing his fingers harder than most this weekend and hoping that the current crop of Gunners can bring all three points home from the game against West Brom.

Robert Pires will also be nervously hoping that no more of the Arsenal squad picks up a knock because it is the current injury list and the possibility of it getting longer that the Frenchman feels is the biggest obstacle in the way of Arsene Wenger and the players this season, as reported by the Daily Mail.

Pires said, “We are in mid-November and they are doing well but what can trouble them is the number of players who are out injured.

“Physically, they feel well. Sometimes, I can see similarities with the football we were playing a few years ago – a football played with pace and fluidity.

“The team has done well particularly in the league. I think they are a team that can win the league at the end of the season.

“Of course [winning the title] is possible. It’s plausible because it’s the goal of Arsene Wenger.

“He wouldn’t tell you that, but if he has to choose between the Champions League and the Premier League, he will choose the league because it’s more difficult to win and he is a very competitive person.”

At least Arsenal have Hector Bellerin fit again and it looks like Walcott, Ramsey and the Ox are not far behind, but will our injury curse come back to haunt us yet again?

Here we go again for injury hit Arsenal – Giroud off?

Can you believe it Arsenal fans? Just after getting back to the top of the Premier League after 20 months, the injury problems that badly hurt our title challenge back then came back with a massive bang in the Capital One Cup today.

You have to feel for Arsene Wenger because his team selection showed how important it was to rest the big players, so Alexis Sanchez, Francis Coquelin, Santi Cazorla and Mesut Ozil did not even travel. How unlucky then were we to lose Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott in the first 20 minutes?

They did not even get clattered in a tackle and we just have to hope that their problems will not rule them out for long. And I dread to think what would happen if Giroud picks up a knock now. Should Wenger just cut his losses and take the French striker off?

Arsenal injury boost as international Gunners rested

There will still be two Arsenal players starting in today’s international games, but the good news for Arsene Wenger and the Gunners is that the two key Arsenal players that could have been in line to start for their countries, Theo Walcott and Santi Cazorla, will be on the bench for England and Spain respectively.

Both countries have already done their job in winning their qualifying groups for Euro 2016 and so the managers Roy Hodgson and Vicente Del Bosque are able to experiment a little and give some game time to the fringe players in their squads.

That means that Kieran Gibbs and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain come in for the away game with Lithuania, although the latter has been a regular starter for England in the past. Both Gibbs and the Ox could do with the game time as they have not been playing much for Arsenal so far this season and as long as they do not pick up an injury on the artificial pitch then it will be a good day all round.

Walcott and Cazorla should now be as fit and fresh as possible to face Watford at the weekend and after both scored last week, they will be full of confidence as well. So far so good Gooners….

Arsenal to have FIVE starters for England v San Marino

The old line about there being no easy games in international football does not really hold for San Marino, who will turn up to face an England side full of Arsenal players at Wembley tonight with just a couple of goals in mind. The first will be to not lose TOO heavily and the second will be to somehow manage to score another goal.

And that is pretty unlikely, because the minnows have managed just international goals from their 123 games, while conceding a whopping 531. So it should be a nice easy night for the Arsenal players involved and there could well be as many as five Gunners featuring for Roy Hodgson at Wembley.

Danny Welbeck and Jack Wilshere are sure to start after their recent form and performances and it could be a great night for them, especially the striker, to get some more goals or assists under the belt. And Hodgson is a big fan of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who has missed a lot or recent England games through injury, including the World Cup, so I would not be surprised if the Ox starts as well.

Then there are our two young defenders, Calum Chambers and Kieran Gibbs who will be keen to play and gain the valuable experience. Let’s just hope the San Marino players do not go flying into tackles to make a name for themselves.

Arsenal WILL have Jack for Chelsea but who can face Galatasaray?

It is definitely a great piece of news for Arsenal, as the latest injury update reported by The Mirror reveals that, despite turning his problem ankle again in the north London derby draw with Tottenham on Saturday, Jack Wilshere has not got a big problem and will be fit for the trip to face Chelsea in the Premier League this weekend.

With Arteta and Ramsey already ruled out, that is a huge boost for Arsene Wenger but it does mean that the England international will not be risked against Galatasaray in the Champions League group game on Wednesday. At least that is a home game which the Gunners should dominate, but who will fill the central midfield positions?

Wenger did suggest that Calum Chambers could be brought into that central area as he has done very well at both centre back and right back and proved his attitude is right as well as his versatility. But assuming that Flamini will start, I am not sure if that would make us too defensive. On the other hand, if the manager has got him in mind as possible cover there, a run out to gain a feel for the role before Chelsea could be very useful.

I know that Wenger said Diaby is not ready, but I think that means for 90 minutes, so the Frenchman could start the game, but I think the favourite has to be the Ox, who brings energy and attacking threat. Maybe with him and Ozil ahead of him, Arsenal can put the game to bed and then bring on Chambers to shore up the defence, although the best laid plans often go wrong. What would you do?

So who played WELL for Arsenal against Besiktas?

It is fair to say that Arsenal have not really got going properly yet this season. Despite beating the Premier League champions comfortably in the Community Shield at Wembley, the Gunners have struggled in the two competitive games since.

It is far from being a disaster so far, because we got the three points against Crystal Palace and just need to beat Besiktas at home to go into the Champions League group stages, but neither performance was very convincing, with some of our front line players looking like they are still on holiday.

Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla, for me, look a couple of weeks off the pace, and Laurent Koscielny does not seem to have really switched on yet, but there were some encouraging signs as well. Alexis Sanchez may have tried too hard at times and hgeld on to the ball when he should have passed, but you can already see what a great asset the Chilean will be due to his pace, ability and determination.

Wojciech Szczesny seems to have taken on board the strong competition he will get from David Ospina and is making the Colombian’s job of grabbing the number one shirt look very hard. He was composed and alert throughout, with one great save from a Demba Ba volley.

And having a safe keeper behind him is certainly helping Calum Chambers to slot in at centre back. The kid is pretty amazing really when you consider he has only been playing competitive football for a year and not even in that position. It looks like Wenger has found a real gem there.

I also think that Wilshere and the Ox are looking good for us after their World Cup disappointments with England. So although it hasn’t been the best of starts for Arsenal, I think the signs are there and that we are building up for a strong season. Do you agree?

The Arsenal boys are back in town! COYG

After Arsenal began their pre-season games with a nice gentle opener against the Conference South team Boreham Wood, things are gradually building towards the serious business of our first Premier League game of the season at the Emirates against Crystal Palace on August 16th. And the Gunners will be desperate to avoid a repeat of the damaging defeat against Aston Villa last season.

So it is great to see the pictures on Arsenal.com of the Gunners latest training session, as the first of the Arsenal players who were involved in the World Cup finals in Brazil are back with their club team mates at London Colney.

jack ox and santi

The Gunners whose national teams did not make it through the group stages are the first to return, which surprisingly included Spain, so our midfield maestro, who spent much of last season on the left of a front three, Santi Cazorla, is back. Not quite so shocking, to England fans anyway, was the fact that the Three Lions flopped again.

It was probably just as well for them and Arsenal, that Jack Wilshere and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain were practically spectators in Brazil, due to their lack of fitness. Not only can they avoid the blame for England’s woeful showing, it should mean that Jack and the Ox are nice and fresh and ready to go.

The pictures also show Mikel Arteta training, which is a relief as the Spaniard was missing from the squad last weekend with an injury. It was clearly a minor one, so our midfield Metronome will hopefully be ready to pass the life out of Tony Pulis’ Palace side in about four weeks’ time.

Why are Arsenal bending over backwards for England?

I could hardly believe what I was reading earlier today. It seemed like Im was getting an Arsenal injury update, but not from Arsene Wenger, it was from Roy Hodgson. Since when did the England manager have more say about what happens with Jack Wilshere and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain than his own club?

Don’t get me wrong, I am an England fan and would love for Wilshere and Chamberlain to be fit for international duty. And if they go and perform at the World Cup in Brazil, as long as they don’t get injured, it will be great news for the Gunners.

What is bothering me at the minute is that, despite all the problems that Arsenal have had to cope with on the injury front, the suggestion in the Mirror report is that Wenger is deliberately keeping the pair back so that they will be fine this summer. Am I missing something here?

Is this the same Arsene Wenger who overplayed Mesut Ozil, Ramsey and many more until they picked up knocks and we had to scrape by without them? It is not even as if Arsenal have got so many players that we can afford to do without a few, especially the likes of Jack and the Ox.

Is this one more sign that Wenger has lost it, or is just too lenient with his players? Is it time for the Frenchman to get tough?

Match preview and team news for Arsenal v Wigan

So here it is Arsenal, I don’t think so many fans have been so excited for a game in such a long time. Today, Arsenal return to Wembley for the first time since the horror show against Birmingham in the Capital One Cup a few years back. A defensive error in the closing minutes saw Arsenal plummet into disappointment, a feeling that Arsenal fans have become accustomed to far too often in the past decade. However hopefully all that changes today, with a victory and something to smile about in the FA Cup semi-final.

Arsenal face Wigan at Wembley for the first fixture of the four semi-final participators, and Arsenal are the highest ranked club by far, with other competitors being Hull City, also of the Premier League, and then Sheffield United and obviously Arsenal’s opponents Wigan. Arguably having the harder tie of the round, Arsenal are still expected to win, with all the odds going in the Gunners favour, despite our recent slump of form. But I think we will have to be very careful against a Wigan side, who are more often than not, capable of defining the odds and turning over a top class side. They have done so to Manchester City for the past two seasons, and on their day they are capable of doing the same to any top class side.

So whilst we must play effectively, with passion and determination, a little bit of luck with them not being on their day would be a great help for the Gunners too. I think if we want to achieve the best out of this game, we may have to adopt a very balanced approach. We must play strong attacking football, that has free flowing passing and a strong midfield, but also be very wary of our defensive duties because not only are Wigan very capable of causing damage on the counter attack, but this is also a game in which we can afford no defensive errors. If Wigan scores first, they will park the bus and so Arsenal will find it increasingly difficult to break them down.

Going into the game we have had a few injury updates from the many many players that Arsene wenger’s side currently has out. Rosicky, Gibbs and Chamberlain are all 50/50 to play, whilst Mathieu Flamini is suspended and so definitely won’t play. Ozil and Koscielny continue to miss out. Therefore I think Wenger will go for something as follows:

Fabianski
Sagna Mertesacker Vermaelen Gibbs
Arteta Ramsey
Cazorla Ox/Rosicky Podolski
Giroud

Ramsey and Fabianski have already been given the thumbs up to play in this game, whilst I think if one at the very least out of Rosicky or Ox can make it back for this game then they will take on an attacking CAM role. Monreal has been awful all season and so I’m hoping Gibbs can return for this game but Wenger will also be a little wary of the game on Tuesday against West Ham.

As already stated, Arsenal have all the odds in their favour, it seems as if nobody expects us to lose. However I think as excited as we all are to see our team play at Wembley again, there is still an air of doubt in us all that know that this game is not going to be so easy like others seem to think.