Sunday, 12 August 2012

van P€r$i€ facing the axe -Ramsey offers Wilshere hope -Sagna's fitness boost

Afternoon Gooners.

Firstly, there is no better place to start than to congratulate Mo Farah on another Olympic Gold medal, this time in the 5,000m. Another cracking run and a well deserved win. Can't wait to see him on the pitch at the Grove at the start of the season. He's going to get some reception!

This afternoon we'll get to see our new boys in action. Expect to see minutes for Cazorla, Giroud and Podolski. We'll also probably get to see Serge Gnabry. I'm looking forward to it, mainly because once this 90 minutes of football is out of the way, the season begins.

Pre-season games are all about fitness and getting match sharp. Once the season begins, that's when you can really get excited about the football. Arsene Wenger will start the game with Robin van P€r$i€, who is set to lead the team out wearing the captain's armband.

It seems as though the Dutchman is set to start the season as an Arsenal player. His national team coach Louis van Gaal has told the Sunday Mirror his compatriot will get 45 minutes. And Robin's non involvement this far in pre season has nearly cost him a place in the Dutch squad with van Gaal ready to axe him unless he plays.

At the moment his future is with Arsenal. By all accounts he's acting as professionally as he did last season and it seems his advisors are the ones who are doing all the work to get him moved behind the scenes. Robin has to concentrate on his football. A move to Manchester United doesn't look like it's going to materialise at the moment.

The Mail on Sunday say Alex Ferguson is unwilling to increase his £15m bid for the Dutchman and with van P€r$i€ no longer keen on either of his other two options - Juventus and Manchester City - it seems as though he'll have to see out the final year of his contract in north London.

However the Daily Star Sunday believe the Old Trafford boss will up his offer to £20m, a price which Arsenal would consider doing business at.

It could be a tricky week to do business as once Arsenal's training camp is over, the players called up for midweek internationals head to their country's respective training bases. van P€r$i€ won't return to the UK until Thursday at the earliest.

I believe there is a high possibility that he'll start the season as Arsenal's number 10 and captain, unless something significant happens.

Meanwhile Aaron Ramsey says Jack Wilshere needs to be mentally strong in order to come back to full fitness quickly.

The Welshman said:

"I know what it’s like at that stage.  
"I understand what he’s going through but he has to be mentally strong – which he has been – and he will be back before he knows it, playing again and showing what he can do."

I don't think anyone is putting any pressure on Jack to return to sooner than he is physically able to. He's been out of the game for more than a year and that's not fun for a 20-year-old who really wants to be out on the pitch showing the world what he can do.

There was some positive news the other week that he was running without pain on the training pitches at London Colney. The longer this rehab work goes on outside the gym the better it is for him. Hopefully he'll be able to incorporate some work with the ball in to his sessions soon.

It's clear that Jack is going to need several months to get himself up to speed. He's missed pre-season so is going to have to take small steps on the road to full fitness. Let's all hope that he's back to his best just as soon as he is physically able to be.

Meanwhile there are some injury updates on other players in this morning's papers. Bacary Sagna could return ahead of schedule according to the Sunday Mirror and this has cooled Arsene Wenger's interest in the Ajax defender Gregory van der Wiel. Sagna could be back in September and the manager is happy to start the season with Carl Jenkinson.

While the Sunday People say Emmanuel Frimpong is likely to miss the first three months of the campaign with his on going fight with a knee problem.

That's it for today. The football kicks of at 4pm, live on Arsenal Player or an hour later delayed on ESPN. More tomorrow.




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