Excitement, injuries and the winger mystery

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is confident about next seasonWenger positive about Arsenal’s prospects

Arsene Wenger has spoken of his confidence in and excitement about his current Arsenal side at a press conference ahead of the club’s Emirates Cup opener against French side Paris Saint-Germain. Wenger spoke in length about the club’s prospects for next season and had some very positive things to say:

“I must say the desire for success, the hunger for success, the togetherness I’ve seen during pre-season has been greater than ever. I’m very excited for the new season because what I feel and saw during the camp for pre-season made me impatient to start. I’m personally very optimistic because of what I’ve seen inside my squad.”

I certainly agree with Wenger that there is much to be excited about but I will feel a lot more optimistic if/when he signs a replacement for Ljungberg. One of the suggestions I mentioned in yesterday’s post has signed for Manchester City for next to nothing but the other option remains open. Will Wenger bring him in though?

Rosicky’s injury is a worryInjuries and the Paris Saint-Germain game

Some other, less than positive news is that three of Arsenal’s likely starters; Emmanuel Adebayor, Tomas Rosicky and Theo Walcott have picked up minor injuries and will miss the Emirates Cup. However, Wenger has indicated that the injuries are not serious and the players in question will be available for the start of next season.

“We worked very hard in Austria and there was such heat that we have lost Emmanuel Adebayor, Tomas Rosicky and Theo Walcott for the tournament. The good news is that it is a question of days not weeks. They will be OK for Ajax and everybody will be ready for the start of the season.”

When it’s all said and done I’m not too impressed with this situation. The Arsenal squad is paper thin at this point in time, especially in the wide positions, and it worries me to see two of the players who were How I would like to see Arsenal start against Paris-Saint Germaininjured for long periods of last season – Rosicky and Walcott – struggling again. After last season’s injury debacle the warning bells are ringing loud and clear in my ears.

Regardless, I’m looking forward to seeing how Arsenal perform against Paris Saint-Germain on Saturday. Given the current injuries and the fact that it is still pre-season, the starting line-up is likely to be quite experimental. Personally, I’m hoping that Wenger puts out as strong a team as possible and I’ve popped in a picture on the right on how I think it should look under the current circumstances (injuries/Gilberto Silva on holidays etc). Personally I don’t care which goalkeeper starts and I’ve put in Lukasz Fabianski for the simple reason that I haven’t seen him play much yet.

What do you think?

Just before I go I’d like to wish a Happy Birthday to Gunnerblog, which turns three today. Anyone whose seen it will know it’s a top quality Arsenal blog and I wish GilbertoSilver all the best for the future. Cheers!

Voice your thoughts on Wenger, Arsenal’s injuries and the Emirates Cup by leaving a comment.



  1. shame about the injuries but still will be good to see eduardo playing on a decent playing surface..mind you would love to see theo get a chance up front and also with adebayor injuried will give bendtner more chance of playing time in the friendlies…really interested in seeing what he is capable of…fingers crossed these injuries arent any more than that..but i dont think we are paper thin…i think we have the right amount of players but could do with one more established defender (i.e. center back)…

  2. I think we’re thin out wide. We have so few options on the left, it’s very worrying. Hleb will do better there than on the right and hopefully if he does well in the two Emirates Cup games Wenger will see that he needs to get Rosicky and Hleb competing for that position, not Hleb on the right. Either way, Arsenal still need a winger.

  3. Winger must not biased. We Ethiopian ,including all other Arsenal fans all over the world and Even Winger and Youngsters Needs one thing- repairing the weakness at front side-cracking the best oponent difenders- scoring goals.

    The players has to be keen to correct the usual weakness- front side.

    if this weaknes- fault is corrected-we will be champion: no matter whatever player by huge ample money is bought by oponents.

    that is the secret- correct the front side enforce the middle and back.

  4. Winger must not biased. We Ethiopian ,including all other Arsenal fans all over the world and Even Winger and Youngsters Needs one thing- repairing the weakness at front side-cracking the best oponent difenders- scoring goals.

  5. i dont think eduardo will play today, maybe tommorow he played 90 mins on weds as well.

    well am just hoping he does not play, so i can see him in action against inter, when am at the emirates.

    well any winger news, but there is some news are arsenal to bid £4m on diarra from chelsea

    angel di maria, there is rumours he has gone to benfica, thats a shame

  6. If Da Silva is still awaiting a work permit will he be allowed to play in the emirates cup,?
    Your opinions please!

  7. i think he can play, but not in major competitions i think not too sure though

    but what idiots the home office, dont you think???

    we let idiots come into this country but a croation international footballer they refuse, what a stupid rule

  8. The work permit situation is very worrying. The appeal is next Thursday and hopefully Eduardo will be OK to play for the club. In the meantime, I think he is available for the Emirates. This can not be confirmed though.

  9. For those interested; the score in the Emirates Cup game at half-time is 1-0 to Arsenal. Flamini got the goal with a fine finish after a lovely chest down from Bendtner from a nice cross from the left. A very non-Arsenal goal. However, PSG have been dominating possession and overall chances.

  10. Clichy, as always, is impressing. Almunia has been solid. The back two of Senderos and Toure is struggling. Arsenal are again lacking width – mainly due to the fact that Flamini and Diaby are playing in the wide positions. I have been a little disappointed with Denilson’s game thus far; too many poor touches and misplaced passes. Van Persie has been very good but Bendtner has struggled, on the whole, to get involved.

  11. Well I only watched the final 10 mins of the first half and Senderos is a lot better than I remember him to be. Other than that I agree with SF.

  12. My summary of first half performance is we were horribly disjointed and played like crap. Beginning of second half is much more promising. Eboue RMF and Clichy LMF for those of you wondering.

  13. Yeah things look good. I’m loving seeing Hleb playing central as well. Much more dangerous from there. 4-5-1 suits Arsenal in my opinion.

  14. The second half team looks like:
    (4-5-1): Almunia; Hoyte; Gallas; Senderos; Traore; Eboue; Denilson; Hleb; Diaby; Clichy; Bendtner.
    Things look much better.

  15. Senderos is definitely a bit quicker could still do with gaining a yard or two though. Hoyte is also putting a few good overlapping runs down the right now. Diaby is very ‘committed’.

  16. I know, Bendtner goal! Very, very encouraging. Two really “un-Arsenal” goals – an indication that Arsenal do have various options. Very, very happy for Bendtner.

  17. Stopped watching unfortunately I’ll watch it later but I feel we need 2 wingers now and a new striker.

  18. Arsenal played poorly in the first half,despite Flamini scoring in the last minute out of the blue.
    Senderos had a really good game,very solid and reliable.
    Hleb came on and played in central midfield very effectively,impressive form.
    Best players:Senderos,Clichy and Hleb.

  19. SF – It hasen’t been discussed really, but what do you think about Clichy becoming the left wing solution? It seems he has been pushed up the pitch today and Traore seems to be getting more and more time at left back (as well as signing Sagna and persuading Flamini to stay).
    It seems strange that no-one has suggested it either – 4-5-1. We only have 4 strikers, one of which (Van Persie) also very much a winger and Ade more a #10 than a striker in my eyes. Plus, we could fill up the midfield better than anyone.
    Gonna go watch 50 Best Premiership Foreigners Or Whatever Its Called as there is bugger else on.

  20. I thought we looked solid today. Senderos defo looks quicker, and Hleb looked much more at home in the center of the park. Better second half for sure, and Clichy looked solid as ever, though I still prefer him at LB. As for our formation.. our style of football necesitates an ability to morpf from a 4-3-3 to a 4-5-1 to a 4-4-2… in the same half.. We play such a fluid, amoeba-like style and the players AW signs are able to play several positions well. Be interesting to see if we adopt more structure to our play with the loss of Henry.. less influence on one player and more emphasis on the team, as AW has said this summer…

  21. Clichy has really shown us how good he is and why he should be in the startin XI. He runs through the defence of the oposition, dodging every tackle. Sometimes no-one can tackle him, he is a solid left-back and he has excellent pace so i just thank chelsea for taking A.Cole otherwise clichy would never play a lot of games, we also got Gallas so thanks to A.Cole leaving we got 2 quality defenders. Also the midfiled is run by Fabregas. Can’t leave him out! His passes are inch-perfect. His long balls are top-notch and he does a bit of skill here and there. Needs ot score more goals though. Upfront its the Dutch wizard – RVP. No Henry has left – He will defo be our top striker and hit bout 25 gls.!! Come on you gooners!!!

  22. Flamini scores when no-one really expects it, has any-one noticed that. 90th min against Zagreb – Against Liverpool and Chelsea, Balckburn and then PSG. He is underated no-one sees him as a threat and then he pops up and slots the ball home. Go Flamini!

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