By Bulldog Drummond
What with Arsenal being top of the league, the media men and women have been forced to look for novel ways of knocking the club ahead of the game against Tottenham, and to do this they’ve hit on another old favourite: the injury crisis.
Smith Rowe is apparently now out until Christmas having had an operation although there is recognition that Fabio Vieira, Marquinhos and Eddie Nketiah are “standing by” as these scribblers like to say.
And the Mirror, has come up with a replacement for Smith Rowe in terms of Reiss Nelson The Mirror says, “Should he too recover from his own injury issues, he could well be in contention to be handed a place in the side against Tottenham.” They also add…
“During his time in the Eredivisie, the 22-year-old scored four goals and notched seven assists – that productivity coming after a couple of seasons in the wilderness at Arsenal.”
Which sounds possible given that during the big sell-off and move-on of players in the summer, Nelson stayed an Arsenal player. Although it probably doesn’t matter because according to the EPL injury table website Reiss Nelson is injured and has no chance of playing.
However, when it comes to knocking Arsenal there is always going to be some ex-player who needs a few quid to pay the bills, and who is willing to tell the paper that Arsenal have a problem.
And in this case that man is William Gallas, and the headline after he has spoken is “Arteta in trouble for Tottenham clash”
Actually, neither Arsenal nor Arteta are in trouble, even in the Mirror’s own telling of the story, but they “have been warned they could be in “trouble” when they take on neighbours Tottenham this Saturday. And this is according to “former Gunners defender Mikael Silvestre.” But, and this is the twist, they don’t tell us what the trouble is. A nifty new approach to football journalism, and no mistake.
But never mind, because there is always another journalist willing to pitch in with his own opinion, and this time the opinion is, “Never play Saka at left-back” which is a change from TalkSport telling us that “Mikel Arteta told to play Bukayo Saka at left-back over easily ‘exposed’ Nuno Tavares and Granit Xhaka”. A piece which is seemingly written “by Arsenal legend Martin Keown.” But then it comes from Talk Sport. Who else?
Elsewhere we are told that Saliba could benefit from more experience, and that “He might not be ready to be the senior centre-back yet, but that’s just fine.” The same article also tells us that “Ramsdale [is] gaining from not playing,” which refers to him being picked for the England squad but then not used.
“With England number one Jordan Pickford out injured, some expected Aaron Ramsdale to be handed a chance to add to his three senior England caps. Instead, though, the 24-year-old watched on from the bench as Nick Pope played against Italy and Germany,” they tell us.
The story continues by telling us that, “Ramsdale wasn’t at his best in his last England outing, a 4-0 defeat at home to Hungary over the summer. However, Pope hardly strengthened his claim for the jersey in the draw with Germany at Wembley, with his mistake allowing Kai Havertz to equalise for the visitors.”
The Mirror adds, “Arteta may look at how poor England form has increased the pressure on others at club level, with Manchester United’s Harry Magure a prime example. It could be the case that Ramsdale, and indeed Ben White, can benefit from staying out of the firing line.”
A line that Untold Arsenal has been taking since we started. Don’t play internationals. It’s bad for both your playing ability and your health.
Elsewhere, there is more news of players who are not playing for their countries (always something Untold delights in reading about). Again the Mirror, a specialist in reporting stuff that isn’t happening, has the details….
“Some were surprised to see Brazil name a squad for their recent double header without including any of Arsenal’s three Gabriels. Jesus, Magalhaes and Martinelli all stayed in London as Tite’s squad crossed the Atlantic, reducing the risk of picking up injuries on international duty.
“It was a different story for this weekend’s opponents,” (ie Tottenham). “While Richarlison may have returned from Brazil duty unscathed, there have been reports of an injury for Dejan Kulusevski during his time away with Sweden.”
So yes, although we are picking up some injuries, some players remain fit, and Tottenham are having a few problems too. I’m glad we’ve got that covered.