Gibbs to miss three weeks, Mertesacker stays home


Arsene Wenger has resisted the temptation to bring Per Mertesacker back into the squad early ahead of Arsenal’s clash with Besiktas tomorrow night.

Laurent Koscielny was passed fit this morning so the manager has given the German more time to recover from his World Cup stint.

However, Kieran Gibbs remains in London to receive treatment on a hamstring injury, while Yaya Sanogo is also suffering from a hamstring strain.

Wenger expects Gibbs to be absent for two to three weeks which leaves the Gunners short of defensive options, as we all know.

Young Spaniard Hector Bellerin has travelled with the squad to provide cover.


    • Really don’t like that we are playing Koscielny. He should be rested.

      I would like to see a rotation for this game. Ox and Campbell on the wings, Rosicky for Wilshere, and Flamini should start as well.

      We got a big fixture vs Everton on Saturday. No need to risk our key players.

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      • Agreed. We really need to get better at rotating players so as not to run them into the ground by mid-season.

        By the way, how shit is it to see Cesc making a great through ball in a blue shirt? Fuck me.

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      • Agreed, but Champions league qualification means a lot of money mate. Wenger will take an away win vs besiktas and everton draw if it were offered to him right now.

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      • Qualifying for the Champion’s league is much more important to the club than a second week fixture of a 38 game season, no matter who the opponent. Don’t take Besiktas lightly, traveling to Turkey is always tough for clubs, regardless of how well we handled Fenerbahce last year.

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      • The problem is if he doesn’t play Koscielny and Mertesacker is left home then our center backs would be Chambers and either Hayden or Miquel which could be a disaster in that environment with what is on the line.

        I know that transfers are tough to do, but with Wenger knowing Mertesacker wasn’t going to be fit to play after the WC and this big game coming up that he wouldn’t have completed a transfer for a CD before now.

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        • Agree that Wenger should have seen this coming with Mertesacker coming off WC, Sagna gone, he could have prepared better.

          Why didn’t he wait until the end of the window to sell Vermaelen to Barca? I guess he would have been cup tied if he played this game for us… But still – where is the CB signing to replace TV5?

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      • Totally disagree! This is The Champions League. The very reason we battle so hard to get in the top four. Now you want to rotate the team? Madness! We need our strongest available team. Personally Mertesacker should be on the plane.

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      • I think what The Rocket is trying to say is that Greece and Turkey are similar in that the fans are proper hysterical and bonkers. Case-in-point the “Welcome to Hell” sign at the airport when ManUtd visited Galatasaray in the Champions League.

        With his experience at Olympiakos in Greece last year, Joel Campbell would be unfazed by all this so I wouldn’t mind if he started. His mere presence with a “seen that, done that” attitude could provide a blanket of calmness for the other Arsenal players.

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  1. Will be tricky game. They have some good players plus noisy support however I hope and believe our boys can do the job. Fingers crossed for no more injuries

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    • Frankly he can’t get a run of games going without ever picking up an injury.

      As the main blog says he’s 25 now and he should be in a position to move up from this.

      I’m doubtful about Monreal particularly against high quality opposition but hopefully he can

      step in for the next month or so. But Gibbs is terribly injury prone and this is the latest in a

      long line of them. Enter Sad whatever he’s called. Time for him to get the magic sponge.

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  2. “Kieran Gibbs remains in London to receive treatment on a hamstring injury, while Yaya Sanogo is also suffering from a hamstring strain.”

    #ShadOut… right? right? right guys? hello? guys?

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    • Hopefully we should be able to cope without him for 2 games against Besitkas, Everton and Leicester than a two week international break so even if its three weeks, it gives him a week to train before the Man City game.

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  3. We’ve a big squad with players we’ve confidence in. In past years it might have been problematic, not so much now.

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    • You’re right in general but we are still short in defence. I like Bellerin though. We just need a CB as we all know, including AW.

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    • I’m pretty sure we’ve got the same amount (or less)of players than last year, everyone we signed was replacing someone else. Obviously some players are better than the one they’re replacing, but the depth is basically the same.

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      • Replacing players who weren’t trusted to play a single minute (Park) or a single minute more than necessary (Bendtner) doesn’t really count as replacing though. The number of players Wenger actually wants to use has gone up, anyway. Once we get an extra centre back, that is.

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        • Chambers seems a pretty good replacement for Vermealen. The stress is that with Mertesacker out we seem thinner at the back there than we did last season, and even with Verm in the squad, we seemed a bit thinner at the back than what would have been ideal.

          The cool thing is that Mert is not injured, he’s just not match fit. With us coping so well without him, still to be proven this evening yes, it should give us that confidence that we have the depth in the squad.

          Nothing wrong with having players prove themselves and get sharper whilst they at it.

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  4. Shame losing Gibbs, he’s been brilliant when fit, but Monreal is very good backup. Having Kos fit is a big plus, let’s hope we sign a CB soon…

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  5. Why is hamstring so wicked? We are short of men at the back and, one game into the season, our fisrt choice left-back iis struck down?

    Well … we will get the better of Slavish Billie and his sorry Besiktas.

    Demba Ba is apparently hot for them; when we are through, he will be shown for being a tad better than your everyday average stricker.

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    • He recently scored a hattrick against Feyenoord i believe, so dont want him to get to many shots off. But glad Koscielny is with us, makes me feel more confident that there wont be any screw ups for Ba to take advantage of.

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  6. Can’t rely on Sanogo. I have nothing against the guy but he looked out of his depth on Saturday and last season, and constantly picks up injuries. Needs a loan spell. If we lose Giroud to a long term injury we are stuffed!

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    • To be fair a number of players can play in that striker position like Sanchez, Campbell, Walcott and Podolski if need be, but we are rather lacking in a “classic” centre forward.

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      • Problem is that to replace Giroud with a small striker like Sanchez or Walcott without having a big strong midfielder to pick up the aerial slack created by replacing Giroud with a tiny player would make us very vulnerable on corners and freekicks, and not have any natural target for Sczczesny’s goal kicks either. Giroud is golden on set pieces and clears the ball alot in the defence winning headers.

        So either we must replace Giroud with a striker of similar stature like Cavani, or we must sign a midfielder like we used to have in Vieira. Alternatively we could play Diaby if he ever gets fit. Because without Giroud we will get dominated in the air much more since we dont exactly have an abundance of strong aerial duel players.

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        • Yeah thats corecct Moxxi. Giroud’s physicial presence gives us something that the names mentioned above dont. Extra defender at set-pieces and ability to hold the ball up to for the more quicker players to capitilize on. Arsenal had the defensive record at set-pieces last season. Palace’s goal was scored with both Giroud and the BFG off the pitch which I dont think is a coincidence. I do think we need another classic centre-forward and Sanogo should go out on loan to gain top level experience.

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        • Im looking forward to see that combination that includes Diaby. Would be cool to see how they perform whilst still giving Giroud a bit of a break. Heard that Diaby was deemed match fit for the opening game.

          Lets hope he manages to stay fit and more importantly provides that outlet, regardless of the new striker signing coming in or not.

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  7. If you believe that Shad Forsythe in his short time here is the cause of us not being able to prevent these injuries (which in itself is wrong), you also have to accept he’s responsible for Koscielny’s recovery.

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    • Koscielny might be fit enough for this game, but I worry about the consequences of playing him so many times while he’s carrying this injury, especially when people seem to be indicating that Achilles problems don’t just go away. I’m glad they are taking their time with Mertesacker, we will need him at 100% even if we do bring in another CB.

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  8. Ive had enough of this cunty hamstring player, FIFA need to ban him for life, he keeps tearing all the Arsenal players. #HamstringOut

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  9. Sigh, everyone counting on Giroud to get and stay fit. Piling all this pressure on him again this year is not fair, he needs some proper cover. Surely the Palace game highlights this?!

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  10. things we need to do till the transfer deadline
    1. buy a 4rd choice defender
    2. buy a hardworking-big DM
    3. loan Sanogo
    4. buy Falcao

    things to achieve after all these moves
    1. celerate for winning the league
    2. blame that right Camp Nou post for not letting us playing in the CL final and make Cristiano cry

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  11. We’ll be all right. If the medicos say Koscielny is fit to play, then he’s fit to play. Monreal is perfectly good cover for Gibbs, and he looked superb against Palace (perhaps even better than Gibbs was). Bellerin’s more than adequate cover.

    Anyone know if Flamini and/or Miquel travelled with the squad?

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  12. I’m a massive fan of Gibbs as a player, and a bloke… but can we really rely on him? He is incredibly injury prone. Monreal has been inconsistent, but is improving… but I’m still not sure he is good enough to be our first choice left back, and I’m not totally sure he ever will be. If Gibbs’ injury problems continue, for large parts of the season Monreal will be our only serious option at left back. It’s a difficult situation, as Wenger obviously thinks very highly of Gibbs, and so I doubt he would want 3 top class left backs competing for one place. Would love someone to ask our new German fitness guru why Gibbs gets so many injuries…

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  13. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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    • We probably would have kept Vermaelen for this week, if it wasn’t for the fact that it wouldn’t have made a blind bit of difference since he’s injured as well.

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    • You know Fatg, you go awfully quiet when there are successes around the club.

      But when there’s some change/work needed, there you are. And though there is truth most times in what you say, what you do say is over pessimistic, over negative and over stated.

      I now have the impression that while wilfully eager to proclaim the apocalypse when there’s fixes required, you find some hole with cheap drink to drown your sorrows into when there are bottles to be popped.

      Just wanted to point that out.
      Thanks for reading.

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  14. So two games and two and a half injuries. Lovely.

    Even more fun reading this news while I watch Cesc ripping apart Burnley. But we didn’t want him back because, why? We have Carzola and Wilshere, neither of who was very good on the weekend? Fuck. I so have a bad feeling about not just Besiktas but this season.

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      • Why not? With the kind of money they want to get for him, they’ll probably have to sell within the Prem unless one of the five European clubs with a huge budget swoops in.

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  15. OT :Have to admit that Cesc hasn’t lost that touch, was just played outa position at FCB. Two assists in the 1st half only, am off to bed, my heart can’t take no more.

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  16. Why did our Germans only come back last Monday when Schurrle is playing tonight? I can understand leaving Ozil out as he played every minute of the WC, but Mert and Pod couldve been back and in the squad in my opinion.

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  17. watching Chelsea
    well they don’t have our excuses, do they?

    we need a world class striker and a DM, otherwise we will end up 3rd-4th once again

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    • With this current squad, 3rd-4th place finish will be a fantastic result.

      We brought in only one progressive addition, Sanchez.
      Others were replacements of about same quality in our RB, our reserve Center half and GK, Still at status quo.

      We still have the same defensive quality of last season, agreed?

      So to the optimistic fans, please convince me what has been done so far to avoid another 6-0 trashing by Chelsea?….oh yeah, they now has Fabrepass to make it up to 8-0?

      The Ugly demon of injuries has already forked 2 players out!
      Well, my dear gooners, may the force be with you.

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      • Fabrepass? Really?

        And as for progression, Debuchy is younger than Sagna and started ahead of him at the world cup, Chambers seems endlessly promising in defence considering his age, Ospina provides more realistic competition to Szczesny and adding a world class forward like Sanchez to our attack was exactly what we needed in the first place.

        Maybe it wasn’t a perfect Summer of transfer business but we’ve certainly had much worse so there’s no need to be so cynical. If you think Dynamo Fulham are gonna beat us 8-0 this season then why not support them instead? Maybe Sugar Daddy Roman will buy you a season ticket…

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        • +1 for Dynamo Fulham.

          That’s what I’m going to call them from now on (though it doesn’t make any difference to the world but still).

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  18. Aaargh! some arsenal fans wouldn’t let this cesc thing die? Chelsea bought him from barcelona not from us! We have Mesut Ozil!!!!!!!!!!

    Let’s focus on our players and cheer them to victory instead of spending time talking about players of rival teams.


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  19. Enough about Cesc. He’s with the blue cunts now and that’s that. For all I care he was never with us in the first place

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    • Bullshit.

      I used to date Kate Upton but now it’s like it never happened, now I’m with some half Turkish, half German bird who has potential but hasn’t licked my balls yet.

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  20. Mezut has to be spectacular this season because the pundits will constantly point to Cesc and question the decision to go with Ozil over Cesc every chance they get. It will be their new stick against arsenal since they don’t have the “Haven’t won a trophy in x years” lazy and tiring narrative

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  21. Its frustrating when you’re such a bug club and your back up stricker hasnt scored a goal in top division. I trust Wenger but I dont see any club the stature of Arsenal doing that. And i guess we as a club are cursed. One game into the season and we are barely able to put our defense togethr. Hope Wenger has a plan

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  22. Henry!Chance!Goal he didn’t overlook Cesc for Ozil. He has stood by Rambo and Jack the press never see the truth and just love to stir shit. The last 2 hours were painful and I used to love Cesc but the wanker has gone to Chelsea end of

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  23. Everyone knows we deperately need a CB and i was reading sky sports today and they featured a manuel pelligrini interview and in it he said hes looking to offload 4 players. One of them was Nastasic!! We should definitely go for him! Young, PL experience, composed, potential would be a good buy and cost around 15mil

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      • If a player wants to leave and the manager has said he is open to him leaving maybe we can convince him as he would most likely get game time since we cannot use kos and mert the whole season and if we beat besiktas we offer CL too and he gets to work under arsene wegner which i am sure must appeal to players.

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  24. Agreed, Cesc’s positional equivalent at Arsenal is definitely Ramsey, but that won’t stop some scouse pundit or another piping up later in the season claiming otherwise if Ozil has any semblance of a dip in form.

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  25. Frankly don’t know why Metersecker and Podolski need to be given so much time to ‘recover’ from their travails at the World Cup.

    Neither featured terribly regularly during the tounament.

    They should have been brought back earlier to gain fitness quickly.

    As mentioned, our central priority remains a Cback.

    As good as Chambers has been, we need one more at the back. No point talking about mythical DMs when we have feet of clay. All 3 goals pre-season and first league game were from set pieces and not open play which would suggest a better Cback pairing with koscielny would help defensive organization and positioning.

    We also would benefit from a bit of height in this Cback being that we play Santi, Alexis and Jack, none of whom lend much particular height to defending set pieces.

    I’m not sure if Subotic is available but he was out of contract and packs some height (6’4)plus at 25yr, is median age between the emerging Cbacks and the older stalwarts.

    Otherwise Manolas will do at 23yrs and 6’2+

    Someone in quickly preferably.

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    • Don’t know how anyone could click on a thumbs down on this post. Totally sensible. Don’t know about Subotic….only that he rarely featured last season. But yes, we need a bit defender. I hope this Manolas talk amounts to something.

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    • I dont think they would be pleased if they were bought back early they deserve a holiday too and isnt there some rule about giving players 4 weeks of break. Manolas sounds good but hes from the greek leauge which is arguably not as good at the Pl 😛 so wouldnt nastasic be the better option he has CL and PL experience too at a club thats won trophies in the last few years since he came.. Plus pellegrini is open for him to leave it seems

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  26. “Cesc looked great, but we have to move on…” I said as I man-crushed over his amazing performance today…sniff, sniff

    Let’s smash Besiktas tomorrow please and worry about signings after the game.

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  27. I’m sure we’ll buy 1-2 after the CL qualifiers. As for Cesc dominating for Chelsea, it makes me want to vomit……..and force feed it to John Terry

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  28. Would love to see Hector Bellerin get at least a good 45 min after Debuchy puts in a solid first half performance and is able to rest. Hopefully this Kosta Manolas provides good competition for our center backs if we sign him. However, does anyone know why have Arsenal’s Academy failed to produce any promising center backs in the last few years that have made the jump to the first team? Just seems like that would be a good investment for the long term.

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  29. I still can’t understand why our Germans can’t play,the other world cup winner and losing finalist players are active and helping their different clubs,it’s quite ironic to me.

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    • Actually, it’s not ironic at all. It’s called careful management. It’s up to our club’s fitness staff to decide how much of a break to give the players who were involved in the world cup. How many games they played in that world cup doesn’t really matter that much, they were training and preparing full time right up to the final.

      Also, I thought we wanted our important players not to be overplayed this season? Just look at the number of people who already want Koscielny to be rested this week. Considering the 4 weeks since the world cup were the only proper rest the players will get until the end of May, I would rather see their break one weak too long than one weak too short.

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  30. Time to reignite the interest in Peruzzi can get him here if only on loan. If you’ve played the first game of the season and your hammy goes history shows your hammy doesn’t get better for a long time

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  31. Realistically speaking we are still 3-4 signings away from league champions; 1) verm replacement. 2) Giroud direct cover 3) DM/Utility player 4) New Manager. Before you all lose your heads over No. 4 am a Wenger fan but i really believe his a tad below the quality od champions in his management skills bow, We need to go with being ruthless in the market now, you spend as much as possible and recoup by winning trophies which begets sponsors. FFP is not worth standing by any more so spend some more and win the titles

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    • And when it turns out that other teams are pretty good too and you don’t automatically win trophies and recoup lots of money by spending lots of money, what happens then?
      You become the next Portsmouth/Leeds/Rangers.
      No thanks.

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  32. Wenger is crazy! But two weeks ago nobody knew if the young Southampton player would be ready this season, let alone a game of this magnitude a few weeks into the season. And he was bought as a RB/DM. I just can’t get my head around Wenger sometimes.

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