Cazorla comeback delayed due to Achilles problem


Arsene Wenger has cast doubt over Santi Cazorla returning to action this season as he revealed the midfielder is struggling with an Achilles tendon problem.

The Spanish midfielder has been sidelined since the end of November with a knee ligament problem, but his expected comeback has been put off indefinitely as a long-standing issue has flared up during his recovery.

“Santi is not doing too well,” said Wenger. “He has some Achilles problems that hold him back.

“His knee is doing well but his Achilles has inflamed a little bit and we have to put him off impact training.

“It has been a reaction to coming back. A return in April? We have to see now how he responds. He always had a little tendinitis in his Achilles and we have to see how he responds to that.”

It’s definitely a blow as his craft and guile in midfield would have been very useful between now and May, and if this continues to be an issue, it could put his Euro 2016 hopes at risk also.

The Arsenal manager also updated on Jack Wilshere, who remains ‘three or four weeks’ away from playing again, for about the third or fourth week in a row.

“Jack is doing quite well but has still not been outside yet, running,” he said. “He starts again, I think, this week. He will be three to four weeks out.”

It seems unlikely at this point that we’ll see him again this season, again a bit of a blow as he would certainly add something to this Arsenal side.

Step up Mohamed Elneny, now is your time.


    • I can’t help but think of ‘Snatch’. “How long on Wilshere?”, “2 weeks Turkish”. “It was 2 weeks 5 weeks ago”. Sneaky fuckin physio’s!!

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    • The issue is we’ve not had a ball carrier in midfield since December. The absence of Wilshere and Rosicky has really exacerbated the issue. Ramsey in the middle of the park cannot do that role. He’s a different type of central midfielder. He either needs to become a distributor or a ball carrier. At the moment his role is confused and he’s not doing either. Coquelin is a decent solid player, but he needs a clever partner. Ramsey at the moment isn’t a clever partner. He’s too intent on making runs into the box and overplaying. Quite frankly, I don’t see how his best position is CM, his best position- given his current style- is on the right of a front three.

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      • Nah, I’d say his best position is left back.

        Left back in the changing room.

        But seriously, he’d make a good striker. He’s too slow to play on the wing.

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      • Aaron Ramsey’s best position is goalscoring supersub, coming on with 20-25 minutes to go using his energy and movement against a tired opposition. He just doesn’t use the ball well enough to start for us in any position.

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      • So… given we’ve moving into the hazy realm of winds and caution and tossing things – why not The Jeff? Pragmatism would suggest that he must be one of the best (of the few) midfield choices we have left. Not sure whether he’d take to the more deep-lying role but he’s not had a bad game for us (although they have been precious few) and the lad clearly has BMT and serious skill on the ball. Plus he has more than a bit of About/Viera about his lanky frame… my question is: based on the last months of the ill-fated RamCoq experiment… what do we have to lose?
        He may well provide the incisive flair to match the Coq’s brute force…

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  1. Horrible horrible news! We haven’t controlled a game since Santi got injured…at lease Leicester drew against west brom

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    • So all we have left is a new elneny, Flaccid Coq, a pointing Flam and a mojo-less Rambo.

      What could possibly go wrong

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  2. Bad week just got abysmally worse.

    And yet and yet whisper it quietly but despite all of our fuck ups and serial choking were still in the title race.

    Leicester are finding smaller teams harder to break down, and Spurs run in fixture list is downright brutal, so somehow I still think it’s ours to lose. Or city’s if they get their act together.

    But we all know we’ll choke. We could be 5 points clear with 2 games to go and we would still find a way to screw it up. I’m sorry but this team has everything it needs to succeed it just has a chronic looser mentality to buckle when the pressure is on.

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    • So I just checked the calendar again and you’re right, we do have the best schedule after Leicester, among top 4 teams. I’m also glad Chelsea are finding form again (never thought I would say this) since they have to play our title rivals. It’s entirely ours to lose. I hope the team understand this and get their act together, because right now each player is playing like a pussy crawled up in a corner. No team spirit, no mental strength, no nothing.

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      • I’d say the run-ins are about equal, especially since Spurs are willing to sacrifice the other cups by resting players. The big difference will be the match this weekend. If we win that, we’re back in the game. If we lose it, we’re officially out.

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    • Buckles are designed for loosening.

      We need to brace ourselves for the run in… perhaps a pair of braces might help. Do Puma sell braces?

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        • What fucked me off was that Alexis and Ozil were falling back in our half to get the ball from our back 4 in the ManU game. That gave all the time for young Rashford and Lingard to put pressure on them and the others to cover our strikers.

          It’s a shame that Santi is looking at a set back. It would have been a glorious return to the team.

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    • Not a bad idea, you know. Especially against defensive minded team. Then we could go 4-4-2 with Sanchez and Campell on the wings and an attack of Giroud and Welbeck. Sounds interesting

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      • We’re struggling to have any sort of control in the midfield already and you want us to take one out and put in a striker?


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          • It can be just as bad because in effect we played roughly like that anyway. No midfield, and a bunch of misfiring oafs up top.

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      • Sit deeper, push further upfield. all that doesn’t matter for once we this lightweight Arsenal players are marked, they suddenly forget to pass a football and will always turn to the referee for refuge who in turn tells them to toughen up.

        we are lightweight twigs all over the pitch but Giroud.

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        • like Giroud doesn’t fall over every 5 min in a match, despite his stature? Don’t get me wrong, I like Giroud and his hold up play but if the whole team needs toughening up, surely Olivier is right up there, too.

          devil’s advocate

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          • Easy to fall when your legs are taken under you as you are about to jump. Number of times he actually is able to hold up under pressure and guide those passes is incredible for a guy called out for falling over easy for example Theo goal against Lei and Ozil goal against Bournemouth. Going far back look at this goal against WestHam at home two season ago.

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          • bournegooner, can’t reply so replying to my post. Your right, Olivier’s hold up play is fantastic at times and he does get fouled a lot, but I was playing devil’s advocate and referring to him in general, not just vs Leicester. Just sayin that he could toughen up, too, and not get as frustrated and distracted by being roughened up once in a while. Like Diego Costa minus the cuntishness.

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  3. Time, indeed, for Elneny to claim his place in the central midfield — Wenger just has to give him a chance. He’s got the incisiveness, the passing, and he works hard to be an option off the ball quite consistently. Paired with Coquelin, they could make quite a partnership. Let’s also hope Wilshere doesn’t blow a gasket in his rehab …

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  4. Fucking hell, mate. That was the only straw we still had to grasp on how we were somehow going to win the title.

    Things are looking very grim unless we really shake up the way we play. This experiment at trying to have Ramsey play like Cazorla is a failure.

    I hope the boss realizes it and changes game plans pretty significantly or the title is going to be a pipe dream now. Ramsey doesn’t link play in the CM role, and neither does Coq, which is why they don’t work together. We either need to replace Ramsey with someone who does link up the play (i.e. play a largely untested El-Nenny) or find some other way to play that doesn’t depend on the non-Coq central midfielder breaking the press with a dribble and then linking up the play to the forward, because Ramsey just can’t do that.

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  5. How does anyone on our physio staff keep his or her job?

    Every season we have a ton of injuries. And every one of those injured players has a setback. Then they get injured again.

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  6. Just curious, does anyone remember the original timeline for Wilshere? Wasn’t it January.

    Not that anyone was fooled by such an optimistic prediction.

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  7. I think as a club we need to take a good look at our situation.

    The team are not playing with the belief that they can win the title, not consistently anyway, to my mind, it all comes from the 3-3 against Liverpool, where despite going behind twice we were moments away from a win.

    The last minute equaliser in that game seems to have done us more harm than good, record a win there, don’t make Forster and Butland look world class in subsequent games and that’s another 6 points that we would have had going into the United match, where on paper we should have done far better.

    Add that to the poor form of our forward line (Welbeck excluded), and the long term injury to Cazorla, is it any wonder we are struggling lately, but, we are still there or thereabouts, with plenty of football to play.

    As much as I like Sanchez, he does not warrant a starting position at the moment, nor does Theo, as for Giroud, I can’t recall the last game he really made an impact up top. I hear the argument that Sanchez needs games to get back to full speed, but we are at a critical moment of the season.

    Personally, I’d bench all three of them and go with the following line up against Swansea:

    Nacho, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Bellerin
    El Neny (we have to start using him sometime)
    Campbell, Ozil, Ramsey

    Subs: Sanchez, Giroud, Theo, Gibbs, Iwobi, Ospina, Chambers

    There should be no reason why, that starting line up can’t achieve a win.

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    • Good team, but I would bench Ramsey a bit, maybe put him in 60th minute. He also needs to think a bit about his current level of play. Campbell on the right, on the left – Sanchez, he is still important and we can’t leave him out and he might find his form. He is still trying as hard, as opposed to others like Theo etc.

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  8. I’m generally not an advocate of the club withholding information. However, I may make an exception in this case. Not sure this information this week was a good idea

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  9. I can’t work out what’s more frustrating: injuries or the fucking uber ad that keeps jumping my phone to AppStore.

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    • Those sneaky bastards. We blocked them last week but they’ve obviously done something to get back in.

      Leave it with me, we’ll block them once more. Sorry for the inconvenience.

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      • Blogs,

        On every player ratings post on mobile, there’s always an ad that covers up one of the ratings for me. Historically it’s always been Cazorla, but now it’s Ramsey. Not necessarily complaining that I can’t see his rating (ZING), but thought you might want to know.

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  10. Still, if we can’t win the league against Leicester and Tottenham because we’re missing ONE player, then that says a lot about the quality of this team.

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  11. His achilles being that he’s an Arsenal player. Chamberlain’s recovery also delayed by having to play 40 minutes against Barcelona whilst clearly badly injured.

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  12. was about crying to myself remembering arsenal issues and I’ was like where’s cazorla …where’s santi..y can’t u comeback early…then I come here and I now see this 😑😢

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  13. well I think the line-up has to be now that carzola is gunna be out:
    Ramsey-Ozil-sanchez or sanchez on the right and ramsey on the left. Giroud or welbeck upfront.

    Now or never for elneny and tbf he looked good coming on sunday other than the rash tackles. Ramsey hasnt been good at Cm as of late he just cant beat the press the way Santi does and link up play from the midfield to the forward players. Our best performances have come when Ramsey has played RW and allowed him to get forward much more.

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    • We need the best player possible for each position. Right now it’s finally hit nearly everyone that Walcott and Ramsey are average. In fact Walcott is utter dogshite. Neither deserve to be starting after recent performances anyway. I’ve had enough of this bullshit that they can play in other positions. Time for Joel Campbell and Elneny to play, hope they rise to the occasion.

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      • I agree with nearly everything you said bro, just that I don’t wanna see either on the pitch tomorrow. Maybe I’m just really pissed off with this news

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    • I didn’t thumb you down, but have another suggestion. How about Alexis at center forward? less involvement in build up, where he is having a tough time, and perhaps a few more places to bring his natural instincts of scoring into play.

      Put Ramsey on the right or on the bench for all I care. I am with you on Coquelin and Elneny in the center. At least we will have some kind of disciplined platform (hoping).

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      • The problem with Alexis at center striker is if he’s not getting enough of the ball for his liking he will go looking for it. That in effect means no center strikers and Ozil and Alexis interfering with each others’ roles. That’s why Chile plays him behind the striker, where Ozil plays for us.

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      • Ramsey on the bench (with Feo) and Alexis for now. Elneny and Coq in midfield, Giroud, Welbeck, Ozil Campbell upfront. Hector, Nacho, Mert and Kozza, Check mate.

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    • I think this is worth a try. Sure if it doesn’t work it’ll be castigated due to on paper looking less offensive. But it seems that we have lacked the midfield control (both directions) that we have when we play well.

      Obviously we do not know if Elneny is up to it yet, but he looks the kind of player whose skillset both bolsters solidity and creates a passing outlet to keep the ball moving. The point of Ramsey back on the right, is that

      a) He probably offers as much goal threat as anyone else we may play there
      b) He can join the midfield allowing a more straight up midfield 3 as required, while having more freedom make forward runs
      c) While it potentially lessons wing play, who do we have that could offer that? Walcott – no, Ox – injured, Cambpell: I don’t really remember that much wing play from rather than a attacking midfielder operating from there.

      Of course it might not work at all, it just occurs it may bring more solidity all round which we could really do with right now. Of course we still need to finish chances, but that is another story.

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      • Elneny definitely looks more like the guy that can keep the ball moving and link play from our midfield to our forwards. for the RW ill put ramsey back there people thumbed me down but forgot we battered leicester 5-3 and took apart united 3-0 with him there, he also offers like you said another body in midfield.Theo has just been off lately. OX is now injured, and campbell tried scored a few but the last 2 games he played he looked of the boil. Ozil will take his place in the number 10 with either grioud or welbeck upfront.

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  14. Dream results:
    Leicester 2 WBA 2 cech
    West Ham 5- Spurs 1 hopefully
    Arsenal 6- Swansea 0 (Alexis 3, Walcott 2, Giroud 1 … a vision)
    then lets see whose fucking winning this thing …
    WBA, Tony Pulis, Ben Foster and lady luck did us a big favour today by holding Leicester 2-2. the Foxes should have won it at the death too. Bring on Swansea (Fabianski’s mob; didn’t they do the double over us last season?) … step up Alexis and Arsene.
    Lead us to Thunder Rd… (i.e. the Emirates going mental at night) good luck lads

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  15. This is terrible news

    We haven’t looked balanced since he and Coq went out of the side.
    Granted coq is back now but he isn’t the same player without Santi beside him.

    With Santi all coq has to do is concentrate on winning the ball. They were tethered to eachother. Coq passes 5 meters to Santi and his job is more or less done until the next attack.

    Without him, he is trying to win the ball back but the simple 5 meter pass isn’t there for him. Rambo is 40 meters away. So it is backwards or force the longer pass.

    Fuck I’m ranting. Come back soon little prince

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  16. “Step up Mohamed Elneny, now is your time.”

    True enough, looks hungry and tries to be available. I would replace Ramsey with him (Remember Wenger said he is open to Elneny being a box to box or a DM).

    But I tell you what? Ramsey will continue to play. Just like Campbell got dropped at the first opportunity. This manager has favorites, and is blind to the faults of his failing children.

    Iwobi (my favorite young player at arsenal) over campbell?! When all his games he has played at 10? Here Alex, try your hand on the wing today (Remember, I told the press you can play there), we really need a goal. Are you kidding me?!

    Feel faithless. Still will be tuning in tomorrow for the game. Being a fan is a killing addiction.

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  17. Thats it for me our chance of winning the title is dead! Cazorla is such a amazing player he really is with him in our squad we was top playing beautiful football since hes been injuried we have been a mess hes just as important as Ozil…. look what we have had since his injury Ramsey and flamini in midfield… no wonder we aint wining the league this year… Wenger has the money and didnt spend it what he has done this year has been a disgrace!

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  18. I think playing Ozil in the deeper role is not such a bad idea. Have we forgotten that Alexis used to play as a CAM while at Udinese? It would give us the creativity we were lacking for so long without Santi. Then we can bring Ramsey back to his preferred right wing role. And Danny on the left.

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    • why does everyone still want Ramsey in the team or even the squad what has Campbell done wrong to get dropped??????????? i think Elneny should start alongside the Cog with Campbell out the left Alexis on the right and Danny up top. Ramsey should get the rest of the season to rest up for the Euros!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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      • the last 2 games campbell he wasnt great tbh. passed the ball more to the other team then ours. Our best form (ala. Leciester 5-3, United 3-0) has come when ramsey has played RW. offers another body in midfield and also allowshim to get forward and be more of a goal threat.

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  19. No one has mentioned Iwobi ain’t he the same age that fabregas took over the midfield role at Arsenal. I believe we should see more of him and Elneny because God knows I can’t go through another Sunday like display. Never walked out on an Arsenal game dont wanna begin now.

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  20. Arsenal have lacked creativity since he was injured.As well as the creativity side,Wenger
    blindspot is defence. Until Wenger improves the defence,Arsenal will continue to lose the big games.

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  21. We didn’t do well against the ‘S’ teams last season, and nothing much change this season either.

    Next two games are against Swansea and Spurs, so with the way we are playing at the moment, I’ll gladly take 4 points from 6.

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  22. He was truly going to be our saviour.

    Midfield always dictate the game tempo and when you have Ramsey and pointer that is Flamini all you’re gonna get is ineffective passing from Ramsey and a ton of pointing from Flamini.

    Cazorla has been missed

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  23. Had the most horrible dream last night that we lost tonight’s game and I ended up feeling so depressed till I woke up properly and realised the game hadn’t occurred yet.. We quite clearly need to change things up and I’d welcome elneny in for rambo this eve.. Feel rambo does best behind the striker but alas that spot is filled by someone keen on winning this thing.. Not taking a shot at rambo.. I feel he’ll come right in time

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  24. Please, Oh please, UNLEASH THE JEFF!!!
    On a more serious note, why the news now? Weren’t we having a bad week/ month as it is? Atleast bring Santi and keep him on the bench even if he doesn’t play. His smile will lighten up our players.

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  25. This shouldn’t be a problem as we have the likes of Aaron, Mohammad and a plethora of top tier talent to fill the gap and get us over the line. This is our best chance in yeara and I can see us lifting the trophy come the end of the season.

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  26. I know he no longer has the legs but could we pair Arteta alongside Coq in the middle with Ramsey out wide.
    Arteta is surely the closet available player we have to Santi in terms of ball retention
    Yes I’m getting desperate

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  27. Slightly off topic but blogs makes reference to this guy who wrote a piece on leadership, he claims it is not as big a deal as people make out – I can see where he is coming from but would counter his argument with Vincent kompany at man city!!! He is the obvious leader in their defense and without him they suddenly look like a bunch of incompetents!!!

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    • We have Cech and to a certain extent Per. So blogs is right about it not being a big deal.
      It’s the piss poor mentality allround that’s the problem.

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  28. Sorry, guys, but this is not of a team willing to win the PL and compete in the CL to realise that without ONE player (a good as he is) that there is no more chance. Ramsey didn’t take Santi’s role even if he shouted he is MADE to play in that position. I remember him saying Cazorla took his place. Now he’s got it for weeks and we see the result.

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  29. Probably trying to finalise his new house in Spain ready for a well deserved summer transfer away from a club with a manager who refuses to back his best players buy investing in more.

    Good luck Santi, you’ve been a star.

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  30. Really have missed Carzola out there, he was the engine of our possession game. An inflamed achilles tendon is not good and he has to be very careful with it or he could suffer a ruptured achilles (as I did last year). So often in return from a long absence other things creep up (as we see with Wilshere often). I honestly don’t anticipate either playing much, if any, role the remainder of the season. I’d like to see Elneny get some more action as I think he sitting along with Coquelin would be a solid base to the midfield and he can provide that link between defending and the attack. Of course he has yet to do it against PL competition more than just the cameo on Sunday, but it looks like he can. Ramsey could play out wide right if Wenger doesn’t want to use Campbell (it seems for some reason he has fallen out of Wenger’s good graces for some reason, though don’t know why) there.

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