by Bulldog Drummond
It seems to be injuries all round at the moment. Here’s the physioroom latest with Sunderland top
|#||TEAM||Total men down||Whose down last||What’s up|
|1||Sunderland||8||V Anichebe||Hamstring Injury|
|2||West Ham United||8||M Noble||Hernia|
|3||Hull City||7||H Maguire||Ankle Injury|
|4||Manchester United||6||A Young||Hamstring Injury|
|5||Everton||6||M Stekelenburg||Groin Strain|
|6||Watford||6||C Kabasele||Muscle Injury|
|7||Arsenal||5||L Koscielny||Calf Injury|
According to the press Denayer and Anichebe both limped off during the first half of Saturday’s 2-0 home defeat by Swansea and did not train on Sunday. Neither is likely to make the trip south. George Honeyman is also struggling with a back injury sustained when defender Lamine Kone fell on him in training last week. Very careless.
For us it is being said that Alexis Sanchez might be out because of the kick to the thigh in Saturday’s game of rugby (well for one side it was) and could be rested. With Liverpool winning easily at the weekend, the only way we can get top four is by them messing up on the final day. A bit like last season except with everyone having more points.
Laurent Koscielny is still struggling with his calf problem while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has a hamstring and is probably being saved for the Cup Final. If Koscielny is injured then Gabriel will presumably replace him.
Speaking ahead of the game Mr Wenger said, “Our chances depend on winning our games. We have 69 points, we can get to 75. That will be four points more than last year, so let’s focus on finishing as well as we can.
“We have created a momentum again. We had a difficult period and we recovered from it. The only chance we have to be in the top four is to win our games.”
Sunderland manager David Moyes reflected on the way Alan Shearer described Sunderland. He called them “pathetic and disgraceful” and Moyes replied, “I’d have to say that I think in many ways, he was right. I was incredibly disappointed with the performance.
“I don’t think any player ever goes out to try to perform like that. There were some reasons for it, but I’m actually privy to the stats, I can see the physical stats and on much of that, I couldn’t disagree.” I am not sure what he couldn’t disagree with, but maybe it will become clear later.
We have also just been told that Cech has just gone 318 minutes without conceding a goal at the Emirates, which I think it jolly good. The last man to score was Sergio Aguero for Manchester City in a 2-2 draw on 2 April.
If Sunderland were to win it would be their first back-to-back Premier League away wins since April 2014, when they beat Chelsea and then Manchester United as part of their Great Escape. But there is no great escape this time.
The Evening Standard is as usual giving full publicity to the anti-Wengerians giving space to Mark Halfpenny of the Online Gooner who is quoted as writing, “To offer Wenger a contract extension would be the safe option for them, but it would guarantee at least two more years of stagnation, collapses and scrapping for the leftovers.”
And his evidence for this assertion is… hard to find. But of course if he wants to declare 3 FA cup finals in four years scraps, that is up to him. Fortunately I gave up on the Gooner years ago so I don’t feel too bad these days.
“We are calling on fans that feel the same way to boycott tomorrow evening’s match against Sunderland. Don’t sell your seat to a tourist or give it to a mate. Let yours be one of the many gaps in the stands that send a direct and unarguable message to the directors. You do not want to watch any more of the same old same old.”
The difference of course is that we rarely call on anyone to do anything. Everyone can make up his or her own mind. Untold is just here to give voice to the group of people who believe the right thing to do is to support the team, the club and the manager.
According to the Standard, “fan groups estimate there could be in excess of 10,000 empty seats for the Sunderland game.” So that is about 9% or 10% empty. We’ll see. They have also estimated the numbers in protests at far beyond anything any of us have ever seen, and we’ve been looking for them and counting the numbers in the protest. We’ll have another bash at that at the Sunderland game.
More on the game tomorrow morning.
- A Little Humility Would Not Be Amiss
- How to fix the Premier League – a scoundrel’s blueprint
- Wanted: two more goals from Mesut, Granit the master passer, and why Crouch hates Gillingham
- Norris at the Arsenal part 2: heading for liquidation and the first thought of moving elsewhere
- Henry Norris at the Arsenal: Part 1. How Arsenal fell from grace.