Friday, 3 December 2010

Nasri fitness concern - Almunia's elbow - Chamakh feels loved - Ramsey on his return - ATVO changes

Morning Gooners.

The manager has spoken to the official site about the team news ahead of the visit of Fulham to the Grove tomorrow.

Samir Nasri is a slight doubt after picking up a knock in the game with Wigan on Tuesday night.

Arsene Wenger is also waiting to discover how Robin Van Persie has reacted to playing 90 minutes in the Carling Cup. It appears he won't be involved from the off tomorrow as the manager seems likely to ring the changes.

Cesc Fábregas, Thomas Vermaelen, Abou Diaby remain out. The manager didn't mention Sebastien Squillaci who picked up a knee injury and was unavailable on Tuesday. Although Wenger said that no one was returning from injury.

Hopefully we'll get more of an update when the manager speaks with the media this lunchtime.

One player who has been out for a considerable amount of time is Manuel Almunia.

The Guardian say he's still unable to fully extend his elbow after picking up his injury against West Brom on September 25.

The Spaniard played 45 minutes for the reserves but has yet to make it back to the first team. Many thought his Arsenal career was over when he failed to make the substitutes bench on Tuesday. But it obviously appears to be a worrying situation for Almunia.

He's seen Lukasz Fabianski take his chance and grab it with both hands with some good performances between the sticks. Fabianski,  I think, has been fairly consistent in his 14 starts for the first team, being rested for the league cup ties with Newcastle and Wigan. 

Almunia has certainly got a fight on his hands once he does find full fitness.

One of his team mates who has proved to be first choice in his position is Marouane Chamakh.

The Moroccan has probably exceeded expectations in his first three months with the club. Scoring ten goals in his 14 starts.

Personally I think he's been a great signing. I wondered whether he had missed his chance to join Arsenal when Bordeaux refused to negotiate with us in the summer of 2009.

But Arsene Wenger decided to wait for him to become a free agent and since signing for the Gunners last summer he's become a fan's favourite and a marker as to where his team mates fighting for a first team place need to be.

The Moroccan said:
"I think the fact that I give everything [is why they have taken to me].
"I give 200 per cent, I play with my heart, I've got guts, I give everything I've got. I don't cheat or cut corners, that's my strength, my character and I think that they like me for it."
We like you putting the ball in the back of the net as well and I hope he'll get his name on the scoresheet tomorrow.

On Monday we saw Aaron Ramsey make his first league appearance since his horrific leg injury with a 30 minute cameo for Nottingham Forest. 

He's been speaking about the reason why he decided to go on loan for a month after playing just 45 minutes of reserve team football.

He said
"I'm here to get back to 100% and hopefully win as many games for Forest as possible. I want to try and get them going in the right direction.
"I felt alright and I'm still a way off playing 90 minutes, but my fitness is coming along nicely. I've been out for nine months and these are what these games are for."
It will be good to see him slowly build up his playing time so when he returns to Arsenal he can be ready to fight for a place. He's got plenty of competition on his hands.

But he proved last season when put a run of games together in the first team he's got what's necessary to be an Arsenal player.

And finally, check out the new schedule on Arsenal TV Online. The shows get underway at the earlier time of 5.15pm. I'm disappointed the changes have been made to be honest. But I'll keep an open mind until I've watch / listened to the new offer.

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