Friday, 14 September 2012

Wenger's no risk policy over Diaby -Sagna admonished -Droga link broken

Morning Gooners.

The manager held his pre-match press conference yesterday ahead of this weekend's game with Southampton. The team news on the whole is good. The only issues we have regarding players coming back from international duty are Theo Walcott's virus and Abou Diaby's knock.

Walcott will be assessed at London Colney as will Diaby but the manager has stressed that he won't take any risks with the Frenchman, which suggests to me that he won't play this weekend. If Diaby is 50:50, that to me is a risk.

Wenger said:

"Diaby has to be assessed. He has a very minor problem. He is in a position where we can certainly play him. We just have to assess the risk to play him or not. That will be done tomorrow. 
"At the moment it's really a 50-50 situation as we play again on Tuesday night in Montpellier. We won't take a gamble on him, especially because of his history." 
Wojciech Szczesny has recovered from a hip injury and will be in the squad but fellow countryman Lukasz Fabianski will not. He picked up a shoulder problem while on international duty.

I would guess the manager will throw Szczesny straight back between the sticks but I'd actually like to see him benched for this one. I think Vito Mannone has done well for us in the last two league games. And I really think Szxzesny needs to up his game. I'm not sure that he's developed much more than when we first saw him break into the first team and think he's too comfortable.

Competition for places in a competitive squad is key and if Szczesny needs to work that bit harder to get his place back, that in my opinion is no bad thing. I think that the Pole has become to comfortable and that will only lead to complacency. I want to see more from him and I still don't think his distribution has moved on from where it was at the start of last season.

The other players coming back Jack Wilshere, Emmanuel Frimpong and Tomas Rosicky aren't too far away either with Wenger saying of Jack:
"Jack is making quick progress now. He will join in with full training soon."
The other player returning from four months out with a broken leg is Bacary Sagna and the main headlines around today revolve around his comments about the club's transfer business and the manager's reaction to what his defender said.

Wenger is clearly disappointed that Sagna aired his concerns in public but I said last week, it's only what we're saying between ourselves if we're honest.

The manager said:

"I believe any player or any employee always had to defend the company he works for and if he is not completely happy with it then he has to go somewhere else.  
"That is basically what I think. That is what I say to everybody."

It very much sends out a message to all the squad that if they're not happy with life at Arsenal they should consider leaving the club.

It should be pointed out that Sagna had said that he expected the greedy badger to leave but was surprised Song was sold.

Sagna and Song are good friends so perhaps it's not too much of a surprise our right back is slightly disappointed his mate has been sold.

Wenger said Sagna has two years to run on his deal and although the club wouldn't offer him a five year extension, expects the player to be at the club beyond the summer of 2014.

However Wenger has said he won't be rushed into sitting down with Ivan Gazidis to discuss his own future because two years as a manager is still a very long time in football and anything can happen. There are a lot of Q&A around this morning following the CEO's chat with three journalists. If you have time, take a read of one of them to hear where we're heading.

Finally, the Frenchman has ruled out making a move for Didier Drogba. It seems Wenger thinks the Ivorian wants paying off...

That's it for today. More tomorrow.

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