Injury updates, who’s in favour, Alexis is ill, Elneny’s position, last night’s victory

By Tony Attwood

The latest from the source, (which is to say Arsenal) is that Gabriel is still a few weeks away from returning to training, Jack Wilshere is much closer to returning , there’s no date for Santi yet but he is “getting better every day”, and no one else is injured.

Except that the Telegraph has made a headline story out of the fact that Alexis not feeling well.   Actually as an occasional visitor to Australia, I can well understand that.  Flying around the world always leave me feeling decidedly dodgy, and although Alexis in the end only had to fly from Chile and had a private jet, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was under the weather.

Anyway, he’s not confined to bed or anything, so I doubt there is much in the story other than the chance to copy an instagram pic and then fill up another slot on the home page.  Oh yes, and to use the word “Wantaway” which now seems to be a part of the language.   I wonder, does anyone remember when the retired country gentlemen on their farms in Norfolk would have written outraged letters to the paper if the Telegraph had used such a word?   Probably not, just me.

Alexis and Mustafi should be training on Sunday, but the Telegraph says “if Sanchez’s latest Instagram post is anything to go by, the former Barcelona striker’s reunion with his Arsenal teammates could be in doubt.”

And when one reads “if” and “could” in the same sentence in the Telegraph, it means “this is nonsense”.  In a recent interview Mr Wenger confirmed that Alexis is staying.

Moving right along, the Elneny situation has become clearer.  The bloggettas were adamant the he was in the squad to make up numbers, and saw Elneny’s move to the middle of the back three as proof, although I was never quite sure why that was proof or indeed what exactly it was proof of.

Mr Wenger confirmed that he thinks Mo is right in that position.  “Elneny is a player who has a fantastic mentality and attitude, and his main target is to help the team. When he plays there, of course he does extremely well.

“Of course [he needs to learn the defensive side], but I always felt that a good central midfielder can be a good centre back. With the fact of course that when you’re playing in the back four you have to be decisive in the challenges, you have a bit more flexibility in the middle of a back three. He can do that.

“Overall on tour, I played players like Elneny in a back three and he coped very well. Maitland-Niles sometimes played at centre back as well, even in the big games against Chelsea.

“You see their strengths and their weaknesses, and you learn a lot about your players and your combinations too. The advantage we have is that we have a good stability in our squad, so I already know who I can combine with who, more or less.”

That could be quite an important indicator.  The suggestion is that no matter what injuries come along we ought to have a squad that can move around and slot in – just as we saw with Mertesacker in the FA Cup Final.

Meanwhile we played our match last night, and it ended in a 4-0 win on the new pitch at Borehamwood.  Mathieu Debuchy, Chuba Akpom, Carl Jenkinson, and Jeff Reine-Adelaide all started, but not Gibbs.  On Gibbs Mr Wenger said, “There are talks, yes. There is contact but we are not close.”

The team last night was

Matt Macey

Debuchy, Bielik, Pleguzuelo.

Jenkinson                                                 Toral

Reine-Adeleide                Bramall.

Nketiah                            Akpom                          Mavididi

Eddie Nketiah won a penalty, Akpom converted.   Mavididi got the second lobbing the keeper, Toral got the third and Mavididi got his second and the side’s fourth.

Elsewhere in youngster news Nathan Tormey (a “gifted pacy winger”) has signed a professional contract

In the most recent interview with Mr Wenger there was confirmation of the club’s “strong financial situation”.   And a clear statement that “we want to keep our best players. You can see that there is a fight everywhere to get top players.”

The Daily Express tells us that “Thomas Lemar: Arsenal on brink of £45m signing, he wants deal sorted today” and we have a new name on the rumour list in Jean Michaël Seri, an Ivorian central midfielder with OGC Nice and prior to that Porto.  He’s going to be signed.  Allegedly.

Oh and 442 still has Mbappe to Arsenal as a possibility – maybe this week.  Along with Mahrez, and Carvalho.  Could be a busy few days.

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10 Replies to “Injury updates, who’s in favour, Alexis is ill, Elneny’s position, last night’s victory”

  1. From last nights or me the stand out performance was from Toral. I had forgotten how good a midfielder he is – he played with confidence and for the most part was extremely tidy both in possession and with his passing. Some of his more ambitious attacking passes were cut out but he looked ready for first team action.

    The three forwards formed a potent attacking force. Nketiah, although not on the score sheet was responsible for two of the goals being upended in the penalty area in the 8th minute and rightly getting a penalty and then with a stinging shot which the keeper could only parry into the path of Toral for the third. Mavididi got the other two, the first of which was a thing of beauty lifting the ball over the keeper after a lobbed pass from Akpom. The second from a powerful run into the box following a pass from Jenkinson. Well into the second half Akpom nearly broke the crossbar with an absolute thunderbolt of a shot which somehow failed to cross the line as it deflected downwards before bouncing clear.

    Macey was assured in goal towering over everyone else on the pitch to grab everything that came his way. Debuchy and Plezuguelo solid at right and left CB and Bielik imperious in the centre until he was taken out of the game by a very poor challenge late on, I hope it wasn’t a bad injury (it was certainly a bad challenge).

    All in it was a very solid performance (albeit against a much inferior team in terms of quality) and shows that the younger members of the squad are getting ready to take their place in the senior team. Those who remain will all be hoping for gametime in the League Cup and Europa league against suitable opposition.

  2. I’m young enough to decide I’m too young for Facebook, and too young for Snapchat. My recent fellowship of a professional body begs to differ. However, I follow a lot Arsenal players as well as both official team photographers on ‘the gram’ (as us young ‘uns call it) and can see the official posts before it is muddied in the tabloids and blogs. Sanchez had one post with 2 words- Sick in Spanish and English. He and his dog in the pictures and he had a sad face. I can tell you it is not clear that it is he and not the dog who is sick. I can also tell you a lot of sick comments have been sent his way from Arsenal fans as a result. All will be clear in 5 weeks so why the aggro?

    The El Neny centre back experiment looks “pie in the sky” thinking to me as has never looked more shaky in Arsenal colours. Kolasinac looked more assured in that role (left CB, not centre) than El Neny did in preseason and he was guilty of an atrocious square pass in our penalty box which was intercepted. We currently have 6 CB’s on the books and 2 LB’s who can play CB if needed. I struggle to fathom the situation we find ourselves in when all 8 are on the pitch or injured and El Neny is required. Stop it now Mr Wenger.

  3. According to the ITV site ‘it is understood’ Sanchez is suffering from flu, see the following quote.

    ‘It is understood that he is suffering from flu and that the club are not sure as of yet if the illness will impact on his return to the club following the summer break.’

    It doesn’t elaborate on how it is ‘understood’.

  4. @ Dammy, I recall playing Flamini as an eight choice left back……*t happens. I think there would be a lot more people moaning at AW if he did have a “plan B”!!!

  5. When i look at the pic Alexis posted, i am convinced he wants to go to City only.

    I say if City pays us £100mil he can go, that would appease fans(maybe) and we can buy who we want.

    Otherwise keep him and if he performs, like he must do(to make sure others want him when his contract is run down), all well and good, if he messes it up then dont pick him at all.

    Football again. Hope this season brings more joy than sadness for Arsenal and us.


    Squad for Emirates Cup confirmed. Four of the 25 – Iwobi, Willock, Nelson and Maitland-Niles are under-21.

    Outside of the 25 are the injured Gabriel and Cazorla as well as Mustafi and Sanchez, who would fill up the four spaces in the 25 taken by the under-21s.

    That means no spaces for Wilshere, Perez, Gibbs, Jenkinson, Debuchy, Akpom, Toral, Macey or Iliev unless something changes (someone else leaves?) by September 1. They will have to leave on loan or permanently.

    If Lemar or Seri are signed, someone else will have to move on.

  7. Elneny is a bit like Song was for us; a utility player, just better than Song. I like the guy and don’t want to see him leave. Never sulks and always committed to the cause 100%.

  8. There is nothing on to suggest Sanchez is ill.
    You are all of course free to believe the Sun, Star, Metro etc etc rather than the official Arsenal website if you wish.

  9. MickHazel – Sanchez, from his own Instagram account, literally said that he was ill (pulling a sad face). It’s got nothing to do with being fooled by those rags.

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