Thursday, 2 September 2010

Nasri hands Arsenal fitness boost + 25 man squad players announced

Morning Gooners.

I get to start this morning's post with some positive news. And that is because Samir Nasri is back in training at London Colney.

The French midfielder had been expected to be out for a month following knee surgery three days after the Liverpool game on August 15.

But as John Cross reports, Nasri could return in time for next weekend's visit of Bolton.

If he does do it would be excellent. It feels that he's not even been out for any period of time. One positive thing about being injured this early in the season is that there is the international break now, which means no Arsenal games are missed for this two week period.

And even though Nasri had an excellent pre-season, he wasn't missed against either Blackpool or Blackburn. Maybe because competition for places is so high.

It does make you wonder where Arsene Wenger is going to play Nasri or Tomas Rosicky, our two form players without dropping Cesc Fabregas. Will one of them come in alongside Cesc and Alex Song, with Abou Diaby dropping to the bench?

And where does that leave Jack Wilshere and, when he's fit, Aaron Ramsey? 

I suppose the one "luxury", if you can call it that, is that Arsenal never seems to have a squad which has every player fit at the same time.

But if we didn't have anyone out, Arsene Wenger has some tough calls to make. 

Elsewhere, Arsenal had to inform the Premier League yesterday who would form their 25 player squad.

There aren't any surprises. We have so many players under the age of 21 who were raised through the club's academy which meant we were never going to have a problem filling the criteria.

Our squad is:
Bold indicates home grown

Goalkeepers: Manuel Almunia, Lukasz Fabianski, Vito Mannone.

DefendersGaël ClichyJohan Djourou, Emmanuel Eboué, Laurent Koscielny, Bacary Sagna,
Thomas Vermaelen, Sébastien Squillaci.

MidfieldersDenilson, Abou Diaby, Cesc FábregasAlex Song, Samir Nasri, Tomas Rosicky.

Forwards: Andrey Arshavin, Nicklas Bendtner, Marouane Chamakh, Robin Van Persie.

Our squad doesn't even have to include: Kieran Gibbs, Aaron Ramsey, Armand Traoré, Carlos Vela, Theo Walcott or Jack Wilshere.

The Sun are getting themselves worked up about it.  

As is the PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor seems to be living in the dark ages rather than supporting the professionals - English, Scottish, Welsh, Irish or otherwise - who pay his wages by believing each club should have to play three homegrown players rather than "foreigners". Read his thoughts in The Sun.

I'm trying to get myself bothered by this but I can't. It's a stupid idea. Why should clubs be forced to think about producing young English players? I don't care how England do. I want Arsenal to win things. And if that means it's with a team of foreign players then so be it.

And finally, this headline made me chuckle: "Big Eck: Hleb can be our scoring sensation"
Obviously Alex Hleb's reputation has yet to reach Birmingham.

If you're not a member of Twitter yet now is the time to jump on board, as our captain Cesc Fabregas signs up. You can follow him and you can follow me. Other players already tweeting include Denilson and new signing Sébastien Squillaci.

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