Tuesday, 1 March 2011

RVP "out" of Barca - Vermaelen comeback delayed - Henry wants to return

Morning Gooners,

Today feels like it could be a defining day within Arsenal's season. How positive the answers to questions we all have about the fitness to two key players could shape how we might end our season.

Yesterday Robin van Persie had a scan on his injured knee. The results are as yet unknown or being kept a closely guarded secret by Arsene Wenger and the medical staff.

The Daily Mirror are speculating that van Persie's knee is too badly swollen for him to have any chance of playing in the match with Barcelona a week today. None of the other media outlets are calling this situation, so either the Mirror are taking a punt on this or they have inside information.

The other player is Thomas Vermaelen. He was anticipated to play for the reserves tonight against West Ham, but according to the Daily Mail, his comeback has been delayed. 

That leaves him very little time to acclimatise himself to competitive football if he's going to make a comeback soon, which the manager has already stated he wants the player to get some minutes under his belt before he is handed a recall to the first team squad.

If the manager was going to organise a behind closed doors friendly for him to give him game time ahead of next Tuesday there appears to be very little time in which that might be scheduled as the reserves play tonight, the first team tomorrow night and then again on Saturday, whilst if the manager wanted to use a mixture of players to field a side which included Vermaelen, I'm sure Steve Bould would be reluctant to include any of his under 18 players as they have a big match against Chelsea at home on Saturday morning.

So who knows when we might see Vermaelen back in an Arsenal shirt.

There is continued fall out from Sunday's defeat.

Marouane Chamakh said
"I don't hold anything against any player but it's a shame and stupid to concede a goal like that. We're so frustrated - and sad and angry."
Tomas Rosicky said:
"We've three trophies to go for and we need to pick ourselves up immediately. We've got a game on Wednesday and we have to perform. The season doesn't finish now, we are still in a good position in other competitions and so we have to forget the Carling Cup and concentrate on the other stuff."
And whilst we are all feeling down from the result on Sunday, we still have a huge opportunity to win in the remaining three competitions we are in. We hold a strong position in the league, have a great chance to progress in the FA Cup and hold the advantage in our Champions League tie with Barcelona.

Rosicky is right. We have to target the competitions we're still involved in which all conclude at the end of May, not the end of March.

Winning just the Carling Cup wasn't our target this season. We want to win the league, the FA Cup and the Champions League. The first trophy of the season just wasn't to be.

And whilst I'm on the subject of the final, I have to agree with Jack Wilshere when he criticises Barry Ferguson for his unsporting conduct after Birmingham scored their winner.

Just imagine one of our players doing that? The media would create such a furore about it. It would have been worse than Wayne Rooney deliberately elbowing an opponent or Ashley Cole shooting a colleague. They'd have been calling on the FA to ban the Arsenal player for six or twelve games!

The club yesterday announced it's half yearly figures. A loss of £2.5 million. Hardly a sum to get worried over considering it's less than we make from a single game's matchday income.

Finally, something to make you feel a little bit positive. Thierry Henry wants to come back to the club, in some capacity someday. I'm sure there isn't a Gooner out there who wouldn't like that too.

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