Rosicky & Diaby fit but Vermaelen sidelined


Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Thomas Vermaelen will miss tomorrow’s FA Cup clash with Brighton after picking up a knock to his ankle in the 5-1 win over West Ham United.

The Belgian, whose problem is not deemed serious, is joined on the sidelines by Mikel Arteta and Francis Coquelin, although in a positive development Tomas Rosicky and Abou Diaby both rejoin the first team squad.

“We will not be able to use Vermaelen tomorrow (ankle). Arteta, Coquelin [are] out, but Diaby, Rosicky [are both] fit,” the boss told press in his pre-match press conference.

It looks as though Aaron Ramsey will continue in midfield alongside Jack Wilshere after the Welshman excelled on Wednesday night at the Emirates.

“He had a good performance in a position that I think is made for him,” said the boss of a player who has all too often struggled on the left side of midfield.

While there may be room for a little rotation, Koscielny the natural replacement for Vermaelen, and perhaps a run out for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain it looks as though Arsenal will be relatively unchanged for their trip to the south coast.

The last time Arsenal played Brighton was 25 years ago this week in a clash which also came in the 4th round of the FA Cup. Kevin Richardson and Perry Groves got the goals that afternoon as George Graham’s side ran out 2-1 winners. As Perry reveals here, the Gunners celebrated with gusto after the final whistle, with the victory securing the squad a week training on the piss in Marbella.

How times have changed…

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