At the pre-match media briefing this morning, Arsene looked in good spirits but he gave us a combination of good and bad news.
The best news of the lot is that Thomas Vermaelen will be back in a month. The Belgian has hardly played any part in our season so far and it will be a major boost to have him around again. By my calculation, it seems we will have him in time for the Barcelona second leg. Who Arsene is going to pair him with is another debate entirely.
In not so news, Nasri will also miss 3 weeks and should be back for the Champions League second leg too but more worrying is the revelation that Alex Song will miss this weekend’s visit to Newcastle. Arsene said in his previous press conference that he thought Song had been kicked by Koscielny and that Song had not been able to walk. It is as though the injury is worse than first feared as he will sit out the trip to St James’ Park.
Wojciech Szczesny has now been confirmed as the Gunners new Number One but he has admitted that he directly caused the injury to his team-mate Lukasz Fabianski. Szczesny has certainly benefited from taking out Fabianski who is out for the rest of the season, and he told Sky exactly how he did it. He said:
“I was warming Fabianski up before the game with Manchester City and I took a very powerful shot. He made a beautiful save but also got an injury. I didn’t do it on purpose, I was just doing my job. I feel stupid about it. I even told him it would have been better if he didn’t save that shot. I take advantage of my team-mate’s misfortunes.”
One man expected to make that trip though is Theo Walcott as he looks to have shaken off an ankle niggle in time for the game. This is great news and comes as a relief because it would have been a big blow to have Nasri and Walcott out at the same time. Arshavin has been able to deputise for Nasri, who would have played Walcott’s role had he missed out too?
Arsene also seems to believe that Chelsea are still in the run for the Premier League. While I think they are in it mathematically, I think it’s unrealistic for Chelsea to expect a slump in form for Man United, Arsenal and Man Citeh at the same time. And considering the matches still coming up, I think Le Boss is just being modest.
News of Nasri signing a new contract have been further validated with the boss suggesting that he expects the midfielder to tie up his new deal at the end of this season. This is especially great news considering the amount of attention Nasri is due to command over the summer break after an outstanding season.
From wherever you are reading, enjoy your day.