Ain’t Gonna Be No Santi This Christmas

So, having hung around a little longer than normal, wondering whether Arsène had anything more to say on Santi’s situation and the answer turns out to be ‘little bit’.

Cazorla, according to the club statement, is to undergo the knife:

The club’s medical team and specialists have decided that surgery is required to the plantaris tendon in the Spain international’s right foot.

The problem has not progressed during a rehabilitation programme following the injury during the home match with Ludogorets on October 19.

We expect Santi’s full recovery to take approximately three months.

The cynical voice in my head asks if that includes recovery from the inevitable hamstring injury he will suffer on his return to the side?

Wenger spoke this morning, underlining that the situation was very much  a last resort:

“For me its very bad news. I always try and avoid surgery, it creates a lot of anxiety and rehab.

“This time it’s unfortunate that we have to draw that conclusion. He’s out for at least two months, but that could go up to three. You have the date for surgery, but not the date for his return.

“Santi is desperate to play, he’s only happy on the football pitch. He wants to get out of this vicious cycle of being in and out of the side.”

And we want him out of it as well. His absence has highlighted his importance to the side. The situation is reminiscent of Gilberto Silva’s arrival at the club. Plenty criticised him until he was injured and delayed in his return from international duty a couple of times, then his importance to the side was fully appreciated.

The same with Cazorla. Criticised quite widely last season until injury proved him to be the fulcrum of the team. The point is triple-underlined as we have struggled to get a working relationship in midfield.

It’s not a situation which will change any time soon. Santi’s injury isn’t going to force Wenger into the transfer market.

No, not really. Firstly, we have the numbers and quality in midfield. Secondly in January you won’t necessarily find another Cazorla

Which is a fair point. January, despite being Wenger’s favoured transfer window to allow foreign  players to adapt to the English game,  is difficult to buy in, particularly for players of the quality we should be looking at.

The injury news was better for Danny Welbeck. He is set to return before the end of the year which, with Lucas Perez,  offers options for the front line. Whether they are the right options, only time will tell but it’s a shame it isn’t sooner. Olivier Giroud is out for Saturday’s trip to West Ham, as is Mohammed Elneny whose illness rules him out.

Mathieu Debuchy may have played had he not knacked his hamstring. Wenger confirmed that his compatriot is out for six weeks and as a result unlikely to go out on loan in January. Whether that’s the injury stopping him or a signal of the manager’s lack of confidence in Carl Jenkinson isn’t clear and certainly won’t be mentioned all the while Arsène needs him. He is nothing if not practical.

’til Tomorrow.

39 thoughts on “Ain’t Gonna Be No Santi This Christmas

  1. Ras says:

    Taken from Arseblog…

    After the game against Southampton on Wednesday, Arsene Wenger was asked about Cazorla’s situation, and said:

    Cazorla I don’t know, honestly. It’s just inflammation. It can go in two days, two weeks – I don’t know. He has no setback, the inflammation is just still here. At the moment, it’s stable.

    I have to ask was AW telling us porky pies? Was Arsene being frugal with the ” Truth”

  2. Ras says:

    Excuse my abruptness in my haste to be 1ssttttttttt J oubliez a dire Good Morning.

    I did not see Wednesday game. Have watched a number of clips on Youtube ( Arsenal TV- ). I said recently that C Jenkinson lovely lad as he is not up to the standard required. He has heart and commitment but we need more than this.

    Let hope that defensively we are stronger. Last seasons draw after being 2-0 was a not a good result. I see A Carroll maybe fit to face us.

  3. Ras says:

    Very tranquille c matin.. Il n ya pas personne..

  4. HenryB says:


    Il est très calme, ce matin, en effet.

    Whereas Arsenal must be in a bit of a panic. No Santi, and they do not want to recall Jack it seems – and it is all very well saying (not you ? ) that the terrible game/result against S/Hampton was because we made 10 changes to the side (poor excuse) – because S/Hampton made 8 changes themselves.

    AW saying we would not have have scored against them even if we had another 2 hours blah, blah,
    but what is the solution for both these events other than go into the January market — but we seem to have been there a few times lately. 🙁

  5. C says:

    Remember at the start of the season we were all talking about how on paper this team was deep and talented; well its most certainly getting put to the test now.

    No Santi, no Elneny; well doesn’t this bode well for Ramsey though. Xhaka and Le Coq sitting I would go with at the pivots.

  6. Ian says:

    The Thing…. gave me nightmares when I saw that film!!!

  7. Jonny says:

    Probably old news to you lot but it passed me by: “RB Leipzig coach Ralph Hasenhuttl has confirmed he has been sounded out about becoming Arsene Wenger ‘s successor”.

    Found this description of him in an article:

    “He has worked miracles everywhere. Having been promoted from the youth coach to the senior team at tiny Unterhaching, he led them to promotion to the third division in 2008. In 2011, he took over at Aalen, who were in deep crisis in the relegation zone in the third division. He saved them and then immediately won promotion.

    The turnaround was even more remarkable at Ingolstadt, who looked hopeless at the foot of the table in Bundesliga’s second division, when the Austrian replaced Marco Kurtz in October 2013. They finished that season comfortably in midtable, and then won a historic first-ever promotion to the Bundesliga in 2015. Not only that, Hasenhuttl made them extremely hard to beat in the top flight.

    Only Bayern, Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen conceded fewer goals than Ingolstadt last term. The modest Bavarian outfit only leaked 42 goals, having started the season with four clean sheets in five matches. They were mightily mobile without the ball, pressed their opponents all over the pitch and were always highly motivated. The attack wasn’t especially prolific — Ingolstadt only scored 33 goals — but that was enough to win 10 games, and they were never in danger of going down.

    Hasenhuttl was their most entertaining man to watch. He loves to make a show, running wildly on the touchlines and living every moment of the game. He earned the nickname the “Alpine Klopp,” and players adore him just as they do the Liverpool manager. They are ready to follow him blindly — almost literally. Ahead of every game, Hasenhuttl asks everyone to stand in a circle, close their eyes and listen to his speech.

    More often than not, his methods work perfectly, especially at Leipzig. The newcomers might not have been expected to struggle against relegation, but nobody in their wildest dreams could have imagined they would be the first promoted side ever to go unbeaten through the first 11 matches. They could have easily lost their very first fixture — at Hoffenheim of all teams — but Marcel Sabitzer scored the last-minute equaliser. The run had started, and they now have eight wins and three draws.

    In their first home game, Hasenhuttl outfoxed Thomas Tuchel and won 1-0 against the brilliant Borussia Dortmund side, who only had one shot on target. Defensive organisation has always been the Austrian’s strongest point, and that is another reason why he is perfect to work under his sporting director. As a coach, Rangnick loved to attack — you might remember his thrilling 5-2 win with Schalke against Inter at San Siro in the Champions League in 2011 — but his teams often failed to defend properly. With Hasenhuttl on the bench, Leipzig are excelling at both ends.

    Solid at the back, inventive up front and deadly on the counter, their position at the top is no fluke. Hasenhuttl has managed to improve his players, and they are making progress on a weekly basis. Swedish prodigy Emil Forsberg is having a phenomenal season with five goals and five assists. Speedy Werner is flourishing with five goals as well. Naby Keita is an outstanding dribbler and a tenacious central midfielder in the same package.

    At the back, 31-year-old stopper Marvin Compper is the leader, and he brings in yet another link to Hoffenheim, having been part of that amazing debut season in 2008-09. Eventually, Hoffenheim finished seventh that term, and Leipzig might be happy with such an outcome as well, but for now they have no reason not to dream bigger.

    In the meantime, their exceptional coach is making a name for himself. Don’t be surprised if Hasenhuttl returns to Bayern one day as a coach, especially if Lahm and Schweinsteiger, who played with him as raw teenagers and know his personal qualities very well, become senior managers at the club”.

  8. C says:


    Just saw that this morning actually and the my first thought is that he reminded me of Thomas Tuchel.

    Would be interested to see how Gooners would react given most only watch PL futbol and he is not a big name.

  9. Jonny says:

    Have to admit I’d take almost any change at the moment, if only to escape the general apathy of repetitive familiarity; but rather like the sound of him. Sounds quirky and his results speak for themselves.

    ‘Alpine Klopp’? Yes Please.

    Would we be ill-advised to read into this contact that Arsenal & Arsene are genuinely considering regime-change at the end of the season?

  10. jjgsol says:

    Knowing our club’s secrecy about the subject, I assume that the reason he is talking about it is that we decided against

  11. C says:


    Haven’t decided whether I believe it or not but it certainly does show that there has been quite a bit of discussion regarding a regime change.

    It will certainly be interesting moving forward if there are any legs to this and it could potentially pick up steam the longer Arsene doesn’t or hasn’t signed a new deal

  12. HenryB says:

    C, and Jonny,

    Can’t say how deeply abandoned Orsey and I are feeling regarding the news about a possible successor to AW after we pared our journalistic abilities to the bone in bringing a Scoop to the home of ACLF.

    Lying through my teeth I hear you say, well there was discourse between us on this subject on Nov

    30th, to whit:
    November 30, 2016 at 4:08 pm

    I have to admit that news that rumours abound that Arsenal are scouring the coaches/managers available, in case Arsene decides to stand down next summer, dependent on how the season goes is a little premature.

    Common sense points to Arsenal having to make early plans to find a replacement coach should there be any chance of losing AW, but as the source is the Sun, I find it incomprehensible that the club would have whispered in that paper’s ear, don’t you?

    They are pushing the candidacy of Mr Hitzelsplashenburger the coach of RB Leipzig who currently are top of the Bundesliga – [RB = Red Bull, doncha know? + Not sure I have remembered the name correctly — but Orsey is the class swot – he’ll know!] ?

    Sounds like poppy cock to me.

    Orson Kaert
    November 30, 2016 at 4:18 pm
    (to) HenryB,

    Almost right Henry, but it’s Herr Hitzelsplashenburgermitmustardundonions.

    As you say it is entirely likely that the club are in the hunt for Wenger’s replacement, I just hope the search is not being led by the man himself.

    I suppose I should not mention this, but in the face of C’s denial of knowledge, it is interesting that he commented on another subject betwixt the two comments above between me and Orsey.

    Slanderous! 😀

  13. Ras says:


    Alo Henry qoi des neuf? Qui ici cest calme aussi.

    Hope your well.

  14. C says:

    The other thing is who is going to play RB. I would prefer Gabriel, but he will still have such a heavy heart after losing his friend and former manager that he might not be available, so would it then be Le Coq though that would shorten our midfield, so my preference would actually be either Holding or Maitland-Niles.

    I wouldn’t at all be surprised to see Gabriel play but in the event that he doesn’t….

  15. C says:


    I might have not even paid attention to that bit of journalistic talents, especially since I commented on another topic.

    Job well done to you and Orsey though, if he is on his way, that would most certainly rock the Goonerverse but I would gladly have him and I know Bill would worship him given his focus on having a strong defensive philosophy based on what I have read.

    Please do not feel abandoned, we are all here for you!

  16. -DFS says:

    Jonny –

    The interesting aspect of the Ralph Hastenhuttl link is the way it is being played – all contingent on whether Wenger wants to stay or go.

    I suspect the truth might be a little different – finally the board might have also decided to engage in the process. A serious investment was made in a number of players and increasingly we look to be spinning wheels. This contrasts starkly with the undeniable progress at Liverpool, Man City, Spurs and Chelsea etc.

    Another round of ‘Wenger Contract’ is not just demoralizing for many fans but for the team itself.

    Players demanded to play ‘their’ way against City two years ago. To culminate in this action, there was inevitably a period of discontent. It was papered over at the time, and power reverting back to Wenger (as it should) but it remained to be seen if it affected his outlook.

    I suspect this a similar period coupled with Wenger’s contract extension, yet again. Players want to ‘believe’, but have already reached a tipping point where (day to day) enthusiasm has evaporated. How else does anyone explain the series of lacklustre results we regularly see (especially where set against the sort of enthusiasm Hastenhuttl generates from his players).

    Good performances appear happenstance and even detached from Wenger and Bould. If the planets align, the team in a buoyant mood (new baby or wrap on the Ferrari?) we witness the kind of result the team is capable of. Otherwise it is a crap shoot.

    Players are in no man’s land, committed to club but it does not feel as though to management. I am sure they have affection for Wenger the man and don’t wish his career to end on a negative note. Yet, the fact we currently cannot produce passion and energy for two consecutive games speaks volumes.

    I’m convinced if the board announced this was Wenger’s Last Stand, we would see a wave of enthusiasm from players. Not to make Wenger look less – simply because the idea of impending change would feel refreshing and exciting.

    With key managers already entrenched at other clubs Ralph Hastenhuttl is already shaping up as a fantastic prospect to take over from Wenger. Further to that, I spidey sense if Arsenal do not enter a period of consistent form (even inspired form), the idea of succession will be openly discussed early into the New Year.

  17. HenryB says:

    Hi Ras @3:02

    Ici tout est Ok, je vous remercie.

    My schoolboy French is poor, but fun to use occasionally. 🙂

    I share your Arsenal football concerns, needless to say. We seem to blow hot and cold as a team and even tho’ I usually remain upbeat despite the disappointing bits, sometimes it is hard to take when we produce performances like Wednesday, and C is too busy yaketty yacking to Bill and does not read my scoop about our possible new coach, Mr Hatsniffbergermitchips. 🙂

  18. Orson Kaert says:

    Good afternoon to you all, tea and biscuits time here in the cart shed, Darjeeling with plain chocolate digestive.

    I actually totally discounted the rumour earlier in the week. Like Bill I’d take almost anyone at the moment if only to see a bit of animation on the touch line. I’m completely pissed off with seeing Wenger sitting there wrapped up in his stupid duvet coat doing precisely f**k all when everything is going to s**t in front of him on the pitch.

    Herr Hassenhuttl, will do just fine for me, again like Bill, I believe a strong defence is the basis for any team, while I don’t deny that we have good defenders, we don’t have a particularity effective defence.

  19. Orson Kaert says:

    Henry my dear old thing, take heart some of the greatest thinkers and writers throughout history have been ignored or ridiculed. Think Cicero, think Shakespeare, think Oscar Wilde. You may well be ignored and your opinions ridiculed but please continue to do what you are doing, you make the rest of us look great by comparison. 😀

  20. Orson Kaert says:

    To get back to the serious business of the weekend’s match, right back in fact to the right back position. Both of Southampton’s goals came from the wide open and undefended area of our right side.

    Whoever was supposed to be defending there went awol.

    If Jenkinson is fit and plays he needs to spend a bit more time defending than he has done of late. In the parts of the Southampton game that I saw, Maitland-Niles was no better at defending than Jenkinson. My choice would be Gabriel, I would prefer not to see Holding there as I think it will just cause confusion as in the case of Chambers.

  21. HenryB says:

    Oh, really, Orsey, what a dreadful social faut pas you spout!

    “Darjeeling with plain chocolate digestive.” – the devil you say!!

    It is either a plain digestive biscuit, or it is a chocolate digestive biscuit — it cannot be both, as that would be an oxymoron – and heavens know where that would take us. 😀 Tsssh

  22. HenryB says:

    OK, I am somewhat aggrieved, O rson K art — it is all very well to allude to my writing skills as being on a par with nonentities such as Willy Shake-your-spear, and Horscar V. Wilde, but you know I aspire to the echelon of comment authors such as C and Bill and, of course, your good self.

    If I am to reach for the ultimate nadir I might as well go down with you lot!! 😀

  23. Orson Kaert says:


    Once again you show your biscuit ignorance Henry, the choice of digestive biscuits includes both plain and chocolate, but there are two varieties of chocolate digestive, milk chocolate or the delicious dark chocolate now called plain.

  24. C says:


    Well therein lies the problem, haven’t heard, Americans aren’t the best authors, especially since we love exclamation marks!!!!

  25. C says:

    If Giroud wasn’t out for West Ham, I would certainly be tempted to start Perez on the LW with Sanchez and Theo.

  26. HenryB says:


    I will have to get back to you on that –I am bust trying to figure out how a chocolate covered biscuit can be called ‘plain’ – i.e. divested of any chocolate covering — I will probably, maybe, probably, perhaps have worked it out by ….. well, certainly by the time the universe implodes, and then I will get back to you!! 😀

  27. YW says:

    I’m guessing Twain, Hemingway et al, would beg to differ, C!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  28. C says:


    Perfect!!!!!!! Hmmmm, more likely to happen, you figure that out or ummmmm well Arsenal win the PL and/or CL?!?!?!?!?!??!?!!?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 😉

  29. HenryB says:

    Back again, C,

    — James Baldwin wielded an artistic pen and explored the inherent racism during his era – what’s changed?; Stephen King has been known to scare the pants off some; Fenimore Cooper could track down the occasional romance in the early years of the frontier, and of course Henry Miller cooked up some intense hot stuff! There are/were a lot of brilliant authors out there. 😀

  30. Orson Kaert says:

    Let me throw my favourite American author into the mix….. John Steinbeck.

  31. HenryB says:

    Nah, Orsey, 7:00 – too heavy.

    My favourite author/writer was S.J. Perelman one of the great humorists, whose essays/letters for the NY Times were totally stunning over many years, particularly noted for his wordplay and tremendous intelligence.

    I once had a book of his collected works (lost it somewhere in my travels) and my particular delight was the story of his collaboration with the Marx brothers, helping them with their laugh a minute films, which he later sent up superbly.

  32. Orson Kaert says:


    Too heavy? Try Cannery Row. One of the funniest books ever written.

    Mind you some of his work was heavy but great writing none the less, The Grapes of Wrath for instance.

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