Vermaelen mystery rolls on

Arsene Wenger gave his usual weekly press conference yesterday and as is the norm, most of it focused on the injury situation at the club. There is good news, not so good news and bad news for the trip to Manchester City.

The good news is that Bacary Sagna will be back in the squad after two weeks out with a thigh injury and is a chance to slot in for Emmanuel Eboue at right-back.

The not so good news is that Laurent Koscielny and Manuel Almunia are unavailable. Koscielny is rated as a 20% chance (in Arsenal terms that means he has more chance of flying to the moon and back before Sunday than he has of playing at City) while Almunia is “very, very close” but “still has some pain” in his elbow (Wenger-speak for “If Fabianski cocks up on Sunday, I’ll throw him in for the next game.”).

The bad news is that Thomas Vermaelen will be for at least the next two to three weeks with his troublesome achilles problem. As the manager alluded to the Belgian has already been out for a month after initially being diagnosed to return a couple of days after his injury, so it is a huge concern. It seems like such a strange situation – are there any physiotherapists out there who could shed some light on why his achilles would be causing such a problem?

With both Koscielny and Vermaelen out it gives another opportunity to new signing Sebastien Squillaci and “like a new signing” Johan Djourou to team up and show their quality at the back. Aside from his Chelsea wobble Squillaci has been solid at the back – a calming, no-nonsense presence – while Djourou is improving game-by-game. I am huge fan of Djourou and believe he can form a brilliant long-term partnership with Vermaelen one day but at the moment it is very much one step at a time for a player that has missed a lot of football through injury.

Away from the injury updates Wenger also spoke at the Annual General Meeting on topics such as the future of Cesc Fabregas, the potential for trophies and the Wayne Rooney situation. You can read more here.

And that’s about it in a brief little Friday morning round-up. More on the Manchester City game tomorrow.


Have your say on Arsenal’s injury situation by leaving a comment.



  1. this is a great great pic, the expression is sensational, great mood, to catch such a moment, sensational, respect 😎 ❗

  2. Not that I expect anyone to give a care about poor old me, but I too have have been struggling this year with an achilles tendon injury so I have been following the Vermaelen situation with keen interest. I have to say I have been worried about it from the moment I heard about it, and never believed the hints at the very beginning that he would only be out for 1-2 games. My injury was sustained in January and I literally managed my first light session at the gym last week. Now, I am in no way comparing my fitness levels to a professional footballer, but my understanding of the injury from the treatments I have had is that it actually doesnt make much of a difference. There are only 2 options – complete (long term) rest, or surgery. I couldnt afford the surgery or the time off work so rest was the only option for me. But every time I tried to step it up again then the pain would come back. I’m not talking about going for a run, I mean walking a bit quicker when you see the bus coming. Hopefully AW’s comments yesterday indicating that Vermaelen is 2-3 weeks away from returning are true, but if I got a $1 for every time I said that over the last 10 months then i could have afforded the surgery 🙂

  3. What the manager said about Kosch sounds like a mind game. I guess he’ll be back to partner Squillaci in central defense on Sunday.
    Overall, our injury situation has improved. Just a couple of weeks back we had B52, Cesc, Gibbs & Walcott in that long list.
    Although every player in the squad is important, at the moment the only notable absentees (out of the 6 injured players) are RvP, TV5 & Kosch.

  4. @ km1980 – Thanks for your comments. We do care about little old you and we very much care about your opinion on this topic. It is a little worrying, both for you and for him, but hopefully things will sort themselves out soon.

  5. Thanks Andrew, I’ll keep you posted

    One thing I forgot to add was that more than one doctor told me that this type of injury is often caused by another issue with the foot or ankle. Mine was caused by the poor condition of my ankle joints not providing enough flexibility. My concern with Vermaelen is that this could turn into one of those oh so familiar Arsenal injury saga’s with a number of incorrect diagnosis’ before the true source of the injury is determined. Rosicky’s hamstring comes to mind…

  6. on the achilles… i don’t know that anything has been misdiagnosed really. i don’t know the exact nature of his injury but… the achilles is a huge transition point in the leg/foot area if you think about the amount and frequency of forces that the achilles tendon is required to hold so repeatedly. for the general public i will tell people to give it rest for months and anticipate a long recovery. the other trouble is the amount of compensation other supporting structures in the foot and leg are making, most of which are not normally handling the huge amount of stress the achilles does. this causes the individual to be more prone to further injuries. while we all want the verminator back now, i say give him the slow recovery if he needs it and don’t risk anything.

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