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June 2021

Arsenal cup final team news – it is all looking a bit grim

By Tony Attwood

What we do seem to know (although I use the word “know” in its footballing sense, meaning “according to reports” Gabriel will not be playing.   He has been ruled out until August with the medial knee ligament injury.

Danny Welbeck is reported to have said, in relation to his injury, “It’s just a little niggle here and there with my foot and my big toe. That’s the thing that has been putting me out of the team at the moment.

“It’s just a bruise on the bottom of my foot so every time I’m running on it, it repeatedly is banging on the bruise.”

Meanwhile Arsène Wenger has suggested that Petr Cech will start in goal rather than David Ospina.

Mr Wenger played Ospina in all eight of the club’s Champions League ties this season, plus the early rounds of the FA Cup but then moved over to Cech for the quarter-final against Lincoln City and the semi-final against Manchester City.  Given that there is a lot of talk of Ospina leaving he could be left out, although that did not stop Lukasz Fabianski playing in goal in the cup final and then immediately trotting off to Swansea.  The comment from the boss was “Will Cech play against Chelsea? It is possible. We will see.”

Mr Wenger has also suggested that Kieran Gibbs was an injury doubt having got a thigh injury which kept him out of the Everton game.  The manager said that Gibbs was not yet back in training.  Shkodran Mustafi has struggled since he suffered concussion in the home game against Sunderland.

On the positive side of things, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is back in training following a hamstring problem and it is being said that Alexis Sánchez, who had a thigh injury, should also be able to play.   Some websites are now saying that Alexis is about to sign for Bayern Munich which would make the cup final his last match.

Mustafi was forced to sit out the Everton game and he has reported dizziness when he has attempted to run in training. Wenger said that he had not been able to train properly which, with the final so close and in light of the Football Association’s guidelines on when a player can return from a head injury, suggests he is not going to make it.

Because of the way the defence has fallen to injury and suspension Mr Wenger said that he might consider a flat back four against Chelsea because of his lack of central defensive numbers and so move away from the 3-4-2-1 formation.  That would be a great shame because of the success the three central defenders at the back have had.

We do of course have Per Mertesacker, who has a huge amount of experience, but only played his first game as a sub in the 53rd-minute against Everton.    Mr Wenger said of him,  “He has the leadership qualities. It depends a little bit on the system I will go for. He has not played 90 minutes for a long time.”

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Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain or Héctor Bellerín could play as a wing back – or maybe even both of them if Gibbs is completely out.

As Mr Wenger said, “It just shows you how unpredictable football can be because we played at home against Everton, your mind is on attacking and, on the day, we lost two centre-backs [Gabriel and Koscielny]. It’s absolutely unbelievable and unpredictable, and we have been hit hard in a position where we will need to be strong on Saturday.

“We’ll have to find solutions and, hopefully, I will find the good solutions. I have until Saturday to decide. We’ll test that in training until Saturday.

“Alexis is all right. He needs to go through some tests at the moment and we’ll see how well he comes out of that. Knowing the player, knowing his character and knowing his commitment for the club, which I don’t question at all, he’ll do absolutely everything to be fit for Saturday. Chamberlain is in contention because he’s back in training.”

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6 comments to Arsenal cup final team news – it is all looking a bit grim

  • para

    Last time we had so many important injuries against a “big” team we lost.

    Lets hope this time is different.

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    Why have some Arsenal player become penerial injury prone? I think the answer will not be far fetched if we put into consideration that some top Gunners like Gibbs, Ramsey, Walcott, Welbeck, Chamberlain, Cazorla and even Ozil and Mertesacker who are key component parts of the Arsenal first team squad have at one time or the other had career threatening injuries in their careers at Arsenal which consequently must have lowered their physical body metabolism considerably to a lower degree. Hence, their inability to cope with playing consistently for a long spell without picking up injuries. An injury spell situation that used to sidelined these top Gunners doesn’t argue well for Arsenal in their PL title charge in recent seasons.

    What is the way forward if Arsenal is to break from this injury prone vicious circle to launch a credible PL title challenge next season? It will be a progressive step taken, if Arsenal will identify who is or are the most inconsistent in staying fit on his or their feet in a season campaign to play for Arsenal consistently and productively in terms of scoring regularly or assisting to score regularly for Arsenal in all their games, and discharge such a Gunner or Gunners by selling him or them in the summer or loan him or them out. Then bring in top quality new players as replacements for them.

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    As for the shortage of centrebacks for our FA Cup final match against the double title seekers Chelsea at Wembley on Saturday, I believe Le Prof will overcome this problem in his centreback pairing for this match. But at leftback, there could be a problem there if Monreal is moved to manned one of the CB positions alongside Holding or Mert’ since Mustafi, Paulista and Gibbs are all a doubt for this match. And of course we’ve already know that Koscielny will not be available.

    At rightback, we should have all our specialists there of Bellerin, Debuchy and Jenkinson and even Maitland available for the match. So, no problem there. Even Debuchy can play centreback pairing Holding or Mert’ while Monreal plays at leftback as it’s could be dangerous if BFG manned one of the CBs position but it can be argued that Debuchy hasn’t play for a long time while Mert’ had recently had some minutes under his belt against Everton to gain some fitness and he didn’t look shaky in that match. So, for the constraint in sufficient CBs and LBs confronting Le Prof, he maybe forced to start BFG alongside Holding at CB for this match while Debuchy and Maitland will standby on the bench to cover.

    Holding Mertesacker Monreal
    Bellerin Ramsey Coquelin theOx
    Sanchez Ozil

    Szczsney Maitland Debuchy Bramal Elneny Xhaka Nketiah.

    Yeah! Why not Maitland, Debuchy Bramal and Nketiah on the bench for this match? Let Le Prof put his trust and confidence in them. If he do, I believe they won’t disappoint him and Arsenal whenever he brings them on into the match. They’ll appoint Arsenal.

    Final scores:
    Arsenal 2-0 Chelsea.

  • Mandy Dodd

    This is going to be different…an injury hit Arsenal team against the newly crowned Champions, and Anthony Taylor, but a time for heroes to step up and do their best

  • para

    I would really put some youth on the bench, after all thats what they are there for, and later in game their energy could be the difference against Chel$ tired legs, that is, if we have not lost it already.

  • Damilare

    Lets keep our defensive shape intact throughout and midfielders protecting the back 3 or 4. Not conceding is a formula I will adopt. Of course it’s not same as packing the bus.

    Despite our injury worries, I’m looking forward to the game with excitement.