Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Arsenal announce a signing - Bendtner staying - Fabianski's surgery - Nasri's test

Morning Gooners.

Well as we have become only very recently accustomed, transfer deadline day went by without the club making a signing. In recent years we've had the Cole/Gallas deal and the will he / won't he saga with Andrey Arshavin. I had no expectations we'd sign anyone yesterday. I think the manager was very clear that he wasn't going to sign anyone with his coded messages. Am I disappointed? Only slightly. But that's because I really thought a central defender could provide cover for the rest of the season.

We did do a bit of business yesterday. Defender Kyle Bartley moved from a loan period at Sheffield United to Glasgow Rangers until the end of the season. The scorer of fine pre-season goals at Barnet Nacer Barazite joins Austria Vienna on a permanent deal. French striker Gilles Sunu goes on loan to Lorient until the end of the season.

And two minutes before the close of the window, the club announce officially that Ryo Miyaichi has signed - something we knew long ago. Is there someone at the club who likes to play with the fans? It seems so.

The one piece of news which effected an Arsenal first team player was Nicklas Bendtner being subject to an enquiry by Newcastle. Something the club point blank turned down.

The Dane himself has said there was never any chance of him leaving the club.

He said:
"There was never any doubt that I would leave Arsenal - it was just talk. 
"I know the club are happy to have me and I'm happy to be at the club. There's never been any talk about me leaving in any formal way."
I know Bendtner is marmite to lots of Gooners. You either love him or hate him. I personally think he's an exceptional talent and if he gets a run of games he'll prove that. I think he's shown in the last few weeks he's coming into some form and is probably slightly ahead in pecking order terms than Marouane Chamakh at the moment.

The one thing which amazes me about Bendtner is his goal scoring record. For a 23-year-old, he's bagged 42 goals in 75 starts and 66 substitute appearances. Not sure there are many his age who've done that.

Ahead of tonight's game, there is some worrying news emerging regarding the fitness of Lukasz Fabianski, who may require surgery on his shoulder injury.

The Pole said:
 "A decision will be taken in midweek. I hope that I don't have to have an operation."
It's a great shame that once he's nailed down a starting spot each week he suffers an injury. I hope he comes back stronger as having two able goalkeepers in Fabianski and Szczesny is better than having one complacent keeper, who is sure of his place in the team.

Manuel Almunia now looks set for a place on the bench as Szczesny's understudy and will more than likely get games in the FA Cup to keep him on his toes.

Denilson will be out of tonight's game with Everton with a hamstring injury as will Samir Nasri who should undergo a scan today to find out how bad his hammy is. The Barcelona game is 16 days away. I would be very surprised if he made it.

In his pre-match interview with Arsenal TV Online, Arsene Wenger said it is important we keep our focus on the targets we have and not get sidetracked.

Wenger said
"We know to have a chance to win the championship we have to win our home games, I have said that many times and that is what we want to achieve on Tuesday night.
"But you see now that to go for all the competitions, it is an important part of the season where you don't want to lose your players because when you go into the final sprint it is important that you have all your best players available."
I can't imagine anything other than wholesale changes for the game. Bringing the big guns back. There are only three players I think who will survive from Sunday's starting 11. Laurent Koscielny and Andrey Arshavin I think are dead certain to start whilst there is questions over Bacray Sagna's recovery, so that would mean Emmanuel Eboue being given another game.

We have to keep up the pressure on Manchester United and only a win will do. I hope the players go out there tonight and banish my memories of Saturday. We need to move on and regain our momentum. Although this year we've been outstanding so far in the league - three wins and a draw - so long may that continue.

Pre-match team thoughts will be up in more detail later.

Follow Ashburton Grove on Twitter, chatting Arsenal throughout the day. To receive the blog everyday you can subscribe via e-mail or take the RSS feed to your favourite reader.

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