Wenger gives update on Vermaelen, Koscielny & Ramsey


Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Thomas Vermaelen will miss Saturday’s match with Sunderland and that Laurent Koscielny faces a late fitness test.

The Belgian, despite sitting out his country’s win over Slovakia during the week, is still nursing the same ankle problem which he picked up against Liverpool a couple of weeks back and looks set for a while longer on the sidelines.

Having picked up a calf injury in France’s defeat to Germany on Wednesday it looked as though Koscielny would definitely miss the trip to the Stadium of Light, however, after a ‘reassuring’ scan it appears he may still be an option to partner Per Mertesacker in the centre of defence.

Should the Frenchman not recover an alternative option would be to play Bacary Sagna in the middle with Carl Jenkinson on the right. Despite loaning Johan Djourou to Hannover it doesn’t look as though young Ignasi Miquel or Sebastien Squillaci are options at this stage.

The boss also reiterated Kieran Gibbs’ absence meaning Nacho Monreal should continue at left-back ahead of Andre Santos. Aaron Ramsey and Francis Coquelin are both fit and could be picked for the trip north.



  1. The Djourou loan continues to confound me. As far as I’m concerned he’s one of the best 4th choice centre backs in the league, not the best loan option knowing our history of injuries.

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    • seems to me that the loan request was initiated by Djourou rather than by Arsenal. He wanted to play regularly and Arsenal didn’t want to lose him permanently, so it seemed the best option at that stage.

      No professional worth his salt would like to be branded the 4th best in a position.. Unless you were Adebayor/Nasri at City..

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      • Even if it was Djourou who insisted to be loaned out, the club didn’t act for the clubs best on this situation. We had a very good 4th choice centre back and to loan him out doesn’t seem to make any sense other than making Djourou happy. Even if he was really pushing for a loan, we can’t just weaken our defence just because someone isn’t happy to be a backup, especially if we’r not gonna replace him.

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      • @Lasagna

        Sometimes the club’s best interest in the long run is served by maintaining good relationships with the player.

        I’m not saying I’m certain this is the case here, but I would say that I believe the management team would probably have weighed all considerations up and came to the conclusion that this was the best thing to do. Whether they end up right or not, is another matter.

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  2. Bizarre decision to let Djourou leave on loan, seems to leave us somewhat thin at centre-back. Regardless, I feel we’ll have more than enough to take three points oop norf tomorrow. This season we have a new found steeliness to take these potential ‘bananaskins’

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    • it’s a strange situation. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t type. No criticism from me. I dont think there’s a player in the world who wouldn’t want to move if he’s 4th choice for his position. Atleast we have him loaned out and can call him back next season.

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  3. Give the squid a break He might be slow as fuck, but he can still win some duals and stand in the way.

    On to more important things, will Goonersauros be red next season?

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      • Would be cool. A big surprise, but cool.
        Tbh, i’d much rather see Miquel given a chance.
        He’s played plenty for the first team, but at LB.
        Time to give him a chance i n his right position

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  4. Looks like we’re doing the “Man United” with Ramsey. Good stuff, don’t want him spending time with Coleman and Bellamy.

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    • Which must be balanced with the times when one’s activity in the January transfer window might come back to bite one in the arse as well.

      E.g. too many players on the books, higher wage commitments, not enough playing time for everyone, restless dressing room etc.

      You win some, you lose some. That’s the way life is.

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    • So we buy another CB in January and then loan him out too. The fact is players get injured sometimes the same position is affected. No club can afford to keep all their top players happy unless of course you’re Shitty or Chelski. So get off this bollox that buying will stop every situation like this ever arising

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  5. sagna in the middle? considering his (by his own fine standards) horrific season to date – only rediscovering his form in the last few games, this is exactly the kind of thing would lead to a meltdown. ignasi surely the better option?

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  6. I look at the wealth of shit centre halves we’ve gone though over the past ten year, Cygan, Stepanovs, Sylvester, Squillachi, and wonder why Upson never got his opportunity. He’s a solid player who surely would have been a better option than any of the aforementioned numpties.

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    • I completely agree, since we lost our great back four central defenders, with Keown, Bould, Adams, and Campbel,. Wenger has had a real blindspot for this position. Whilst Upson was a bit like Van Persie with his injury record, he was much better than the defenders you have mentioned. Our scouting system needs a complete overhaul. Who chooses defenders, anyone that understands football would know Santos cannot defend, is too slow, and has absolutely no positional sense whatsoever.

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      • I didn’t used to think our centre halves were bad players, more that the coaching and organisation was the problem, however when you watch Vermalean jumping and swinging his leg at the ball and missing like against Liverpool and the umpteenth Koscielny balls up you start to think, these guys are actually quite average.

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  7. I rate Ignasi Miquel and think he should be given a chance. In a back line with Sagna, Mert and Nacho, he’ll have plenty of guidance to get him through the game.

    We should have bought a midfielder in the window, one that can play emergency centre-half if needed.

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  8. I haven’t seen enough of Miquel, but i think it’s worth giving him a chance rather than Sagna out of pos. We have allways prided ourselves with giving youngsters i try. And as said here; with Bac, Per and Nacho, he will be properly guided.

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    • If Miguel isn’t ready to fill in for an away to sunderland then when will he ever be?

      He’s 20 years old, he’s tall and good on the ball.He’s looked pretty tidy the small glimpses we’ve seen of him. Sure, he could probably do with some more upper body strength which will come in later years… but next to 3 seasoned players like Mert, Nacho and Sagna, I think Arsene should roll the Ignasi dice….

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  9. If miquel is fit play him there.Wont be disappointed to see him play but yeah do have to hear commentators going on about Miguel.

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  10. @Db10 Yanga-mbiwa would have been a reat cut price deal for a utility squad player. He could cover DM and CB as well as Rb.

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  11. miguel could communicate well on the left with nacho because they can both speak Spanish. he would be better than sagna in cb vs Sunderland. It’s not like we’re playing a top 7 team…

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  12. Hopefully Subderland will do a Stoke and have no attacking intent, we could have played Arsene at the back and got by.

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  13. Why did we sell bartley and lansbury? They would be great for the squad and will both probably turn out to be quality players. Bartley was a beast against us!

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  14. A Pizza Hut located near my college used to have an all you can eat offer every Tuesday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Only two flavours though one veg and one non-veg and only the pizza was part of the offer, no drinks or sides etc. But as it cost about 2$ only, it was hugely popular. They had to shut it down as it had become too popular….

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  15. To be fair my dead Nan was available on a free during the transfer window but Wenger turned his nose up at her. She’s still more mobile than Per and makes the Squid look like a Sunday park player

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  16. Not really that bizarre a decision to loan Dojorou out. Wenger probably wanted to give him one last chance to prove himself worthy of the jersey. We All know a player needs games to find his best form. He couldn’t play him every week could he, as it would be you lot moaning and denying the lad the space to make mistakes.
    So a loa. Was the best option. He either does well and returns to stake his claim or he sinks an is sold/released.
    Though ideally we would have at least a youngster ready to fill emergency gaps.

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  17. Crazy how no one mentions this, but remember when squillaci started out all extra beast and for a time he was considered by some to be our best cb (in vermaelen’s absence)? At what part in the 2010-11 season did squillaci become terrible, because I cannot for the life of me remember

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  18. Arsenal have 3 types of centre back, slow, error prone and terrible.
    Djourou fits half way between terrible and error prone.
    Although he has reduced options, Wenger hasn’t weakened the defence further by letting Djourou go on loan- he does not play because he has not been good enough-despite those 3 other CBs ahead of him being error prone all season -the slow Mertesacker being the best of a bad lot..
    I would be happy if the positionally suspect Djourou moves on-nice guy though he appears to be.
    We really do need better options at centre back.

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