It wouldn’t surprise me to see Vermaelen start against United

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Here’s a quick summary on what has been a quite brilliant news day for the Arsenal:

  • Thomas Vermaelen has not broken his leg and may yet play in Sunday’s epic showdown against Manchester United. Arsene Wenger’s revelation that “there is still a good chance he will not play on Sunday” suggests there is still a chance he will play and considering this is The Verminator we’re talking about it wouldn’t surprise me to see him start against United.
  • Meanwhile Sol Campbell has proclaimed he is ready to step in for Vermaelen if the hardest man in world football doesn’t manage to get up for the game. He also correctly observes that Wayne Rooney needs to be stopped if we are to win on Sunday as well as describing a potential match-up with the most in-form striker in England as “a challenge”.
  • Eduardo’s injury has proven to be a lot less severe than first thought with Wenger admitting that he may play against Chelsea next week. Not that he’ll start though – a good performance from Nicklas Bendtner on Sunday would make it hard for the Crozilian to get his position back, injured or not.
  • Alex Song and Emmanuel Eboue will both make the squad after being described as being “tired but in good shape” by the manager. I don’t think there’s any doubt that Song will start given that he would still be playing for Cameroon in the African Nations Cup if they progressed – and his return will be a huge boost to a midfield that desperately requires some grit and power.

Fudge yeah! Couldn’t really ask for better news for that on a Friday!

More tomorrow – including a match report and a taster of a very exciting Arsenal FC Blog event that will be occurring over the next three games.


For those who haven’t yet, please vote for the Arsenal FC Blog in ‘Best Team Site’ in the 2009 awards. It will only take seconds and voting closes on the 31st of January. Cheers!

Have your say on Vermaelen, Campbell, Eduardo and the Africans by leaving a comment.


46 thoughts on “It wouldn’t surprise me to see Vermaelen start against United

  1. Good post again. I’d mention Gallas who has been, for me, immense all season and was faultless again against Villa in midweek. A point was a good outcome.

    I’d snap your hand off for two more draws against Man United and Chelsea and then back us to beat Liverpool at home.

    This is what being a fan is all about – big games that will define our season and I can’t wait!

  2. Im real torn- watch the Arsenal Man Utd game or watch my Pharoahs go for their 3rd straight CAN win? Suggestions? I would do both but I am fairly sure they are on at the same time. Tempted to take my laptop to the pub lol

  3. Graham,
    You don’t win titles by drawing games, we need to win these next three games or we can forget the title.

    Chelski will only drop a few points from here on in, so we need to beat them.

  4. @ Haklid – I think the word “need” is one that is thrown around too often. We certainly don’t need to win the next three to keep challenging. Realistically two draws with United and Chelsea and a win over Liverpool would put us right up there – two wins and a draw would be brilliant.

    Not that I don’t want to win but “needing” to win is not quite the right way to look at it in my opinion.

  5. to get a point from villa is fair because remember the other members of the big 3 has got beaten by villa and they still have to play against them. so we are quite good to get 4 points from villa.

  6. George, I totaly agreed with you, to win the title, the 3 mats are crucial and we must win atleast two and I will fancy a win away from home, at stamford. c’mon we can do it, we did it last season.

  7. really good news. pheeew

    maybe this was a wake-up call to aw and he will, at last, realise he is a bit thin (to use ‘arry’s words) compared to the other big clubs.

    not every player has to be potential world class or ‘one for the future’ – surely we can have a couple of good experienced utility players on the books?

    grimaldi was never a great player – far from it – but he could play along the back or middle lines.

    most clubs have a couple of versatile squad players – but not us!

    well maybe eboue for rb and rm. not great players but useful squad men. and we are talking £3 or 4m and 30k a week.

  8. I Think we will beat Man UTD & Liverpool and i do hope we get a point at least at Chelsea I think Chelsea will drop loads more points against lower league teams They have been on a good run so far but that will end.

    At least most of our players are coming back from injury which is good to see. I predict 3-1 we will win against Man UTD Goalscorers: Fabregas, Ramsey & Bendther.
    Come on yas gunners.

  9. i have a feeling that arsene used the vermaelen leg break claims to take the pressure off the team….the truth is,if there wasn’t such a thing on the day, the press and media would have magnified the draw at villa, and put pressure on the boys….but now u see, they have focused on the verm injury,,,,which is gud

  10. Hi,

    I have been very surprised with performance of Campbell made at Villa & Stoke.His confidence, fighting sprite and timing are at more than enough level and it insists me to think why Arsenal had terminated his contract before about 4 years .The only doubt of me is his pace to resist strikes who are very fast like Rooney and Bellamy.I believe he can have a good combination either of Gallas or Vermaelen. If Vermaelen was not included in the Squad to face Man.Utd, Campbell would strongly cover his place.
    Regarding Vermaelen, he has been one of few players that contributed a lion share for Arsenal success so far.
    I believe he is a good engine at back force.In my opinion, he is the only player from Arsenal current 1st defenders has more than sufficient self confidence.So, missing him for a few weeks will be a big blow for our Club.
    I Have a little concern to Edwardo. Now, he should be rested or he should be a substitute.
    I would say Almunia should improve his through, kicks, timing and concentration.Otherwise he should be replaced by Manonne.

    Good day!
    from A.A-Ethiopia

  11. Vermaelen is a good defender,he also create goals by shooting from a long range.A rare player among gunners.Campbell does not have Vaemaelen’s quality.

  12. Fine,
    I come back.
    1st I am afraid to say please read the word ‘through’ as throw in my previous message.

    I agree that Vermaelen is a good goal scorer from a long range that Arsenal rarely has had.

    Thank you!
    from A.A-Ethiopia

  13. IT’s a good news that vermi ‘s leg is not broken.We will thrash man u.

  14. That really is good news. The return of Song and Eboue plus the news that the Verminator is OK will really lift the team. The boys just have to watch out professional thugs like Fletcher, Foster and Rooney don’t get under their skin or even worse, draw a penealty. C’mon Gunners!!!

  15. Arsene was right to bring in Campbell, he’s not farst but way better than Silvestre! The good thing about the sunday game is the fact that we have Song back in our middfield and we will have more than two good players on the bench.

  16. That picture is great. You can see the emotion in the eye exchange between Verm and Sol. Verm just forcing Sol to play better with his glare. Sol knowing exactly what he has to do. God, was he a good signing.

  17. We want to win the title and although I would be happy to win and let Chelsea fans say “we beat you twice” it would be better to go to Stamford Bridge and stamp our authority on the game.

    I will, however, accept a soak up the pressure and score on the break match but that is something we have not seen from the Arsenal for many a moon.

  18. no transfer activity means no title, so if anyone thinks were going to win the league with the amount of injuries we have and will receive before the end of the season…your suffering from delusion,this isn,t negativity its realism.its the most open premiership for years and all wenger had to do is buy a couple of players a striker and a cd to compliment what we already have but no wenger remains stubborn and until he abandons this ideology the trophy cabinet at the emirates will continue to accumulate DUST.3 days left before the transfer window closes but i dont expect any new arrivals.

  19. Lets sack Arsene Wenger, bring in a manager who knows how to spend, then in a couple of years we can go and watch Ipswich in the championship, whilst worrying about club debts. We could even sell the emirates and rent it back until we cannot afford it! Oh I cannot wait for the administrators to say “you cant play him, we need to sell him.” Or, we could get behind the team and manager, have a good go at the premier league and Champions league, AND be financially secure..Hard decision!!!!

  20. There is way too much emphasise put on the jan transfer window, personally i think it should be scrapped altogether.

    We, like every other club should have started the season with a squad big enough to cope with the league and we have, it may not be that great in some departments but again this should of been addressed in the summer.

    Manu, liverpool and chavski aren’t buyong strikers, keepers etc and they don’t have anymore in their squad than we do, yes thay may have better ones but again why sould it be addressed in jan? Surely summer would have been the time, we are only one striker down.

    As i said way too much emphasise being put on buying players in january that may or may not gell with our squad.

    Lets get on with what we have, there are lots of other teams not buying and every club has their fair share of injuries.

  21. We know if we play at our best we can beat Manchester United – we can beat everybody. Let’s focus on our strengths and show that we have made a big improvement compared to last year

  22. Bhumesh. what’s your problem? I believe that AW will bring us the trophy that we’ve been waiting for years!

  23. @bhumesh calm down son, no one said break the bank or put the club in debt, all we needed to do was to make a couple of additions to the squad a loan signing or short term deal to give us adequate cover in crucial areas of the squad as there is no guarantee bendtner will remain fit for the rest of the season or gallas/ verm wont suffer a long term injury.with regards to getting behind the team i,ve supported arsenal for over 30 years,spent lots of money following them home and sometimes away as well as taking my sons to some home games so i think we can safely say i fit the criteria.

  24. @steven,
    good point mate,but the reason it should be done now is because the opportunity to strengthen has been made available and wer are in the race (at the moment),failure to do this will result in wot the normally conservative georgetown has stated
    dude i love your match summaries and the work you do on the blog,the amount of loyal and informed fans you get on is a testament to your good work and nature…..but when you say we dont ‘particularly need’ to win this or that game i do wonder mate….need and must are the building blocks of success.set a target and deliver,anythin else is failure….unless in our case you mascarade it as ‘progression’… pretty sure youd ask me to leave the blog if you werent such as nice guy…lol

  25. @ shambo – No, I don’t mind. When I say “need” I’m dealing with facts. We don’t literally need to win these three games to win the title. Doesn’t mean it wouldn’t help though…

  26. lads,
    to all the fans who cant take legitimate criticisms of the boss in relation to lack of spending; you call us the doom and gloomers yet when a fact is stated fellas like bhumish come in with all this stuff about overspending,and debt and relegation….now thats really glooming.people leap to the defense of the manager without taking on board the fact that the argument is bang on……go look at all the outgoings and incomings since anelkas record transfer…..wev made great profit,overmars/petit and yet wev sold for odd fees; henry,vieira,gilberto(1m!!!!!!),overall the boss has been unbelievable.but wots the point if your not gonna reinvest in PROVEN QUALITY when required??go look at the money wev taken in compared to outgoings and youll see for yourselves
    you make it sound like we want guys just because utd,pool or chels are buying big….not the case we want signings because there needed…..everytime i read the uproar reply to a ‘doom and gloomers’ post by a no doubt better informed ‘real’ fan i picture bobby bouchets mamma in water boy…………………’spendin money is the devil y’alllllllllllllllll !!!!!!!!’
    do you realise we cud spend 50 mil+ and still be the most comfortable and stable team in europe,no of course you dont cause your paranoid and scared shitless about stuff of which you truly dont know….you assume we dont buy because wev no money,stadium repayments,economic downturn and ,the best one is, you cant get value for money,ur the doom and gloomers and if anything wer the optimists…..afterall we still look out EVERY day in the hope of a big name arrival while you jump to the aid of a manager whos simply too stuborn for his own good sometimes………..

  27. ice,
    if i keep agreeing with you and you with me everyones gonna think were the one person backing up our own opinions under different alias’s,lets hav a barney over something…..wot ever happened to spanish gunner and gunnerboss….and radads?????????

  28. Strikers = Goals
    Gols = Winning Games
    Winning games = Trophies


    Strikers = Trophies

    Very simple.

    There is still time to sign up a Striker

  29. And let’s not forget that The Great Man himself said he was looking to buy a couple of players. Not just a striker. That was just before Jan. Now, end of Jan. Nothing. So what’s changed? How come we needed players then but not now? Are we somehow in a better position squad-wise than we were before Jan? I would say no. We’ve just lost to Stoke and drawn against Villa. That doesn’t indicate an improvement to me. We’ve got the money. There’s plenty of clubs wanting to sell. So what’s the problem…?

    Also – I did not think our performance against Villa was good and I think those pointing to the wins Villa had against other big clubs have missed the point. Villa were on a roll at that time – when they played us their form had dropped quite dramatically. They, like us, were missing one or two important players. I’m glad we didn’t have to defend against John Carew f’rinstance. We didn’t attack their goal anywhere near enough. We weren’t very creative and not dangerous. Fear factor nil. It was a bore draw. If we play like that against manure we’re gonna get beat.

  30. Sup Shambo, I may not aggree with all your comments but I am very sure you are Arsenal through and through. The point of a dialouge is to keep the discussion going right, so just ride it out man.

    Sometimes I envy you guys because there’s so many Arsenal fans to engage with. Here in Singapore the majority support Liverpool, there’s more spurs(wtf right) supporters than gunners, at least from those I met. Its weird when I go out with my mates, we have to find a pub which screens multiple matches. I do hope I can see out the transformation of Arsenal to my golden years.

    Tommorow will be an exciting day, it may end up in anger or sweet joy. If we contain Rooney, Valencia and Evra we will win it and of course if the referee is not the 12th man for ManU.

  31. its interesting how people defend the boss everytime. we were knocked out of the CC & FA after fielding fringe players, which means we do not have depth yet we do not buy players when we get the chance (because we have enuff). i think AW is contradicting himself. i dont have a problem crashing out of CC & FA if we win CL or EPL, but what are we going to say if we dont get CL or EPL after undermining the “smaller” cups and failing to strengthen the squad………..what would be the excuse?

  32. Two days to go and no signing.
    Arsene is now saying a signing is ‘unlikely’. Interestingly he actually said he was sorry he missed out on signing the Fulham defender Chris Smalling. A tall (6 ft 4 and a 1/2 inches says Wiki) hot English prospect. That quote was on the official site 29th Jan. A week earlier on 22nd Jan the official site quoted Arsene as saying, when asked about the rumour that they were interested in signing Smalling – “He is a player we know but there is no truth in it at the moment.” No truth in it! So within a week he went from having no interest to missing out!!
    But seriously – why all the subterfuge? And why did we ‘miss out’? Most reports reckon manure paid 8 million for Smalling. It wasn’t his ‘choice’ however to go to manure, as has been cleverly suggested by AW – he was a Fulham player and Fulham I have no doubt would have accepted the highest bid. Was 9 or 10 million too much to pay? In July 2002 manure paid 30 million for Rio Ferdinand. A staggering amount even now, 8 years later – but how many League trophies, FA Cups, Carling Cups and Champions League trophies has Ferdinand help bring to the club since then? On top of that he’s a staple of the England team and brings kudos to what is an English club. I would say 30 million now looks like a reasonable price.
    But keep your money in your pocket, Arsene. Maybe we can buy Ferdinand for three quarters of a mill when manure are finished with him – like we did with Sylvestre.

  33. @nonny,
    bang on mate….smalling is actually a lifelong arsenal fan and was hangin out for a move here which wud hav meant not moving home from london to manchester…..ferguson just makes it happen and shows the player how much he wants them,border line illegal but players seem to respond to it
    dude i never know you lived in singapore,is it hard to get to see a game out there??
    didnt mean that ‘conservative’ thing as an insult mate,merely that it wud take something significant for you to question the manager or players….if you get my meaning

  34. @ shambo, no problem mate at the end of the day we all want whats best for arsenal we just express it in different ways.

  35. Vermaelen is such a freaking beast that I wont be surprised if he makes it 2 the starting XI in 2moro’s clasico. He would have fitted perfectly in the role of logan in Wolverine:X-Men Origins. Someone who is 5ft 11inches only and can make those amazing leaps is simply a class apart. The only thing that will improve with time is his positioning sense and perhaps in 3-4 years he will be much better than Terry in his peak form. I clearly remember everyone shouting their lungs off at arsene to bring in a giant as a CB when Toure’s time was over and the initial disappointment when he brought someone whose 5ft11. Looking forward to vermaelen(wolverine) vs rooney(sabertooth) tomorrow.
    -Indian Gooner

  36. Shambo ive just arrived from upton park mate. Had one or two to many at the pub to drown my sorrows. Da game was crapppppppp, so effing defensive. Again we still should have taken the points with the chances we created. At home a 6 pointer and we play 4,5,1.
    Nice comments man, i cant stp laughing, u should be on stage. Yr assumptions are totally correct as usual mate.

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