Friday, 19 April 2013

Fabianski woe -Valdes off limits -Quartet doubtful for Fulham - Rowley scouts playmaker

Morning Gooners

We'll start with the bad news following the manager's pre-match press conference yesterday. Lukasz Fabianski has suffered a cracked rib and it is yet unknown whether he'll play again this season. It's desperately sad news for the Poland international who had started to put a run of games together in which his performances indicated he was prepared and able to fight for the number one position.

He's come in for the Bayern Munich away leg and since then we've gone unbeaten for five games, conceding just three goals. I personally thought he's come back into the the team looking a lot more confident than he did previously and people forget that prior to his injury which saw Wojciech Szczesny establish himself as our number one, he had again put in a decent spell after his "Flapianski" development stage.

I have to admit to being a Fabianski fan. I know I'm part of a minority. But I think he's hardly put a foot wrong during his time back in the team. Apart from the first 15 minutes against West Brom, he's looked solid. Both our Polish goalkeepers celebrated their birthdays yesterday. Fabianski is now 28, while Szczesny is 23. It is the younger of the two Poles who will see out the season in goal and leave Arsene Wenger with a dilemma come the summer.

One potential signing would be Barcelona's Victor Valdes, but it appears the Spanish champions elect aren't keen on selling him and would rather he saw out the remaining year of his contract, leaving on a free in the summer of 2014, according to the Daily Mirror. It's clear we're looking at a number of candidates, so watch this space.

The other team news is quite positive, although the manager will give fitness tests to Santi Cazorla, Jack Wilshere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Tomas Rosicky this morning. If passed fit, all will be available for tomorrow's game at Fulham.

And the manager wants us to get back to winning ways at Craven Cottage after the disappointment of dropping two points against Everton on Tuesday night.

He said:
"We have created a fantastic run and put a fantastic run together. I believe we will do it but it is down to our performances.  
"We bounced back from a very, very difficult position but we still have a lot of work to do."
In the last ten league games we've put together a very good run, winning seven, drawing twice and losing just once. With five games to go we can''t afford to slip up. I believe we can win all our remaining games and finish within the top four, whether that be third or fourth.

The manager has come out and reaffirmed his believe that physical and not dirty football is acceptable in the league. This comes after the media wound David Moyes up on Tuesday night after the manager said Darron Gibson should have been sent off. Moyes quipped that "tackling is allowed" in the game, something Wenger never disagreed with.

And while Moyes' team targeted Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott more heavily than any of our foreign players, the manager doesn't believe the English game's physical aspect is a hinderance.

Wenger said:
"I don't think it holds the players back. I believe the opposite - that the foreign players who come to England improve because they get that aspect of the game as well. 
"I saw so many players complain about the physicality of the game when they arrived. 
"I told them it would take them some time but the intensity of the game would make them better players. 
"When I brought Robert Pires here he was not an especially physical player but nobody could stop him. Mark Overmars or Dennis Bergkamp - nobody could stop them."

Finally for today, the Daily Mail report chief scout Steve Rowley's talent spotting missions in Germany are continuing. They report the latest player to go under the Gunners talent spotter's microscope is Eintracht Frankfurt’s Japan playmaker Takashi Inui.

The 24-year-old has scored six times and has six assists to his name in 28 league appearances for the German side this season.

That's it for today. Back with more tomorrow.

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