Wenger pays homage to ‘fantastic’ Santos as squad heals


Arsene Wenger has given his latest update on the health of his squad and thankfully revealed that his players appear to have come through the mid-week round of international matches unscathed.

Ahead of England’s match with Holland their had been suggestions that Robin van Persie was carrying a knock, although the boss made clear that he was in constant consultation with Dutch coach Bert van Marwijck.

“It was planned by his manager [for RVP to play only 45 minutes] because he knows we have a tough schedule. We are the only team in the world who plays Sunday, Wednesday, Saturday, Tuesday,” Wenger told the Arsenal website.

“So far it is OK, we have no injuries from Wednesday night. Everybody looks alright,” he continued. That being said there are still residing issues which will keep the likes of Aaron Ramsey, Johan Djourou and Francis Coquelin sidelined for a while longer.

On the Welshman, Arsene admitted, “It is too early for him, he has no chance for the weekend. He will be out for Milan as well.” While the Swiss, who missed his national side’s defeat to Argentina, looks set to be OK to face Milan if needed, his young French teammate Coquelin is set to miss another month with a hamstring problem.

In positive news there’s a chance Arsenal could be full-backtastic in the coming weeks. Having seen Bacary Sagna, Carl Jenkinson and Kieran Gibbs all recover from long-term problems, Andre Santos is the next in line for a comeback. Speaking about the Brazilian, who has been out since the ill-fated trip to Olympiakos three months ago, Wenger noted his admiration for the summer signing’s motivation.

“He is doing good, he is not far as well – two weeks away from returning to the group. It is a bit ahead of time and he works with a fantastic attitude. He is unbelievably focused, motivated every day and he is a credit to himself.

“It is a joy to see how hard he works and sets himself targets. In two weeks we will assess how well he is doing in training.”


Hmm…it seems everything is not quite as OK as Arsenal.com would have us believe. Speaking to the press this morning Arsene has discovered several possible problems:

“We have a problem with Vermaelen that we have to assess. Van Persie has a groin problem. I don’t know their chances of playing.” he said at London Colney.

“Rosicky has a groin problem… I think he will play.”

Oh and some fella called Abou Diaby (French midfielder apparently, bit like Vieira apparently) is available again.

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