It’s over once again. The last of the internationals were played yesterday and we now have 7 consecutive matches in the next 23 days before the next break kicks in. That run do have some tough games including Sunderland and Chelsea, both away games. Both places have not been very kind to Arsenal in terms of recent results and it is no stroll in the park this time around as well.
The international break brought about some good and some bad news for Arsenal. 3 more players will be rejoining the first team training and will be available for selection unless something new happens between now and Saturday. Those 3 are Johan Djourou, Denilson and new boy, Sebastien Squillaci. They completed 90 minutes of reserves match yesterday and so far, there have been no ill effects reported yet.
Another player who has recovered earlier than expected is Samir Nasri. We could have him back as early as the Sporting Braga game a week from now. This is a very good piece of news but we should not expect him to just go back into the stride and form that he was prior to the injury. Though we are blessed with individuals in the position which suits Nasri, the Frenchman is still a player that we rather have on the pitch than on the sidelines.
Just as quickly as Nasri seemed to have recovered, the opposite is happening to Robin Van Persie. From being initially diagnosed as being out for only a few weeks, he will now have to wait at least 6 weeks before he can resume training. That would mean missing the entire 7 fixtures as mentioned above. I have to admit that this is the least bit of surprising news to me. Every time I see him being tackled, I fear for the worst. Get well soon, Robin.
Another player joined him after yesterday’s round of matches and this is a player whom I think we will miss most in the next couple of games. As of now, it has yet to be determined how long the ankle injury suffered by Theo Walcott in England’s win at Switzerland will keep the most in-form player in the Premier League out. This is a massive blow, not only for Arsenal but for Walcott personally as well.
This was a season in which he is suppose to kick on to the next level and perform in a consistent basis. Remaining fit and staying away from injuries are a pre-requisite to achieve this target. We will miss his pace up front. Sheer pace that terrifies opponents. In my opinion there are two are player in the forward line who can act as our second speed merchant. Carlos Vela and Kieran Gibbs are no slouch and either one of them could occupy the left sided berth of the front 3.
Last but not least, the European Clubs’ Association have rallied among themselves to come out with a resolution to force FIFA to change their rules on international friendlies. It’s good that the major clubs got together to agree on something but this will most probably not work. Countries would still prefer to have friendlies to collect gate money, gather players together and to find the right combinations. I support the motion but I’m not keeping my hopes up.
That’s all for today. Thanks for reading.