Will Injuries Force Transfer Action?

Speculation is now an ‘exclusive’ on the back pages if anyone reads them any more. The immediacy of the internet is rendering the printed word less relevant. Those media outlets which bemoan the drop in circulation are killing it themselves, posting the stories they rely on to sell papers online as soon as they break.

An example of the ‘exclusive’ is Rob Holding’s ill-timed injury, as if there is such a thing as a well-time injury. Certainly not one as serious as that which the future England centre-back is suffering. He’s been the glue which held together the defensive line Unai Emery put together. Now the Spaniard is left with a dilemma to resolve.

We all assume Holding is out for the season. ‘Speculation’ has it that the club fear the worst and his 2018-19 campaign is over. It leaves us with Sokratis, Mustafi, Koscielny and Mavropanos as the senior central defenders. We can dip into the academy sides if necessary which is something Unai Emery is tasked with doing.

Sven Mislintat observed that buying Mateo Guendouzi was pivotal for the club:

It was an important transfer for us, because we wanted to show the world – we’re still the old Arsenal, which gives opportunities to younger players.

Although bringing youngsters through is a target, doing so in the Premier League is a risky business. Injuries or suspensions could see us field callow youths in a big match. For a short-term fix, it’s a good solution. With six months of the season remaining? I’m far from convinced it’s an astute decision.

Nor do I think it is one Arsenal will take. There are too many doubts about the remaining central defenders at the club. Injury, consistency and age all play into the mix in discussions around the solution.

Fit To Drop

Emery’s favoured three-man defence is the key. We look better as a team when we play this way and it covers off ‘injuries’ elsewhere in the XI. In the short-term, Nacho Monreal’s return to training is timely although Stephan Lichtsteiner can cover as well.

It’s not an ideal situation however. It brings uncomfortable memories of going into the season without enough centre-backs. Let’s not forget that was a wilful decision while this is circumstance.

You can be critical of Emery for playing all his fit central defenders at the same time. However, that logic transfers to the strikers, surely? Should we ever see Aubameyang and Lacazette on the pitch at the same time?

Which brings us to where we are with the defenders. Laurent Koscielny’s return seems timely but the images of him leaving the pitch early against Portsmouth is a haunting reminder of his situation. He was carrying his Achilles condition for some time before this absence.

The bigger question is the propensity of players to ‘breakdown’ in the past. We have changed some things but at 33, Koscielny is no spring chicken in footballing terms. Is relying on his fitness too much of a risk?

Similar concerns exist regarding Dino Mavropanos. His absence is counted in months as well. Returning to training this month is timely but he’s playing catch-up to a large extent with the tactics and also a new goalkeeper. Those are as much of a concern as fitness.

The reality is that we’re in ‘make do and mend’ territory. We need to invest in January if Holding is out for anything more than a month, which we all expect and other transfer plans will have to go on hold. Unless, of course, Enos is dipping into his pockets which no-one expects.

It’s A Gas, Gas, Gas…

Last night, a reprehensible publication carried a tale of excess with the comments at once prurient and puritanical. Arsenal has reminded the players involved of “their responsibilities” and killed off the story.

The Murdoch Empire hoped to destabilise and upset but failed miserably. It was dealt with behind closed doors, not that anyone gave a rats arse what went on in the summer.

orry that the lads aren’t being tarred and feathered before being hauled to Tyburn. Get over yourselves, you sanctimonious, hypocritical oafs.

’til Tomorrow.

28 thoughts on “Will Injuries Force Transfer Action?

  1. jabberwocky,

    No one calls it hippy crack haha. They must have had to search the Internet to find that.

    I think with Ramsey and Welbeck definitely leaving, they’ll be some action. With Kos coming back and Mavropanos returning soon, we should be ok…. What Emery wants a LB/LWB that’s for sure. And personally, with Ramseys fluctuating form, Mkhitaryan underwhelming and Ozils back…. A creative mid and winger are needed

  2. Get The right one , or no one .
    Rather mould the CBs (and fullback cover) we’ve got than pay top whack for a stop gap.
    Score more goals, Stay in the top 4 … you know what I mean……, and have a go at the cream next summer.
    Whose been naughty? Really can’t be arsed to look it up. Desperate rags .
    Cheers YW.
    Been such a hectic week, it’s just occurred to me we’re playing again tomorrow!
    Lots of ice baths been had I hope.
    I do love Unais persistent emphasis on the next game . You can tell it’s not just a line.

  3. @ferkov – I just googled after reading this article, and some players (didn’t click on the link, don’t want that filth to rub off on me, just looked at headline) took some laughing gas balloons in a nightclub. Apparently a 30 second head rush is crack for hippies these days, who knew. All I know is that I’m OUTRAGED.

  4. Good stufd and rightly outraged at that ridiculous article.

    Kos, I’m not as convinced as others especially when you consider the two things that made him a quality CB was his pace and quickness….surely between thr Achilles and his bad back, he was lost more than a yard of pace. Mavrapanos will be interesting because he looked a player and physically has it all and while I’m excited (especially seeing how Emery has helped Holding) I want to see how quickly he can get up to speed.

  5. jabberwocky,

    Ha. Me too. There nothing funny about it.
    Hippies? That’s funnier. Way too volatile. Disco juicers more like.

    Who’ll be the ready tomorrow then?
    Guendouzi took a beating on Wednesday, but seemed to finish strongly. Tory boy, fingers crossed he’s been well resuscitated. Battled the pain from about 60 on . At least Granit will be fresh.

    On form, Both Auba and Laca should start this one . Go hard from minute 1.

  6. C,

    Mavropanos works in Emerys favour as he’s he played as a left sided CB in a back three in Greece. He said it was his best position. I liked Holding, but he was bad for stopping and pulling it back onto his dominant foot instead of passing it forward when under pressure. Also Sven said Mav was the one of the best prospects he’s ever scouted which says a lot when you look at the players he brought through at Dortmund

    Hippy crack…. Here’s me thinking hippies were all about lcd and Psychedelics not a 30s head rush. Ozil, Kola, Laca and Guendouzi don’t even drink haha.

  7. ferkov,

    I reckon we’ll see the most of team that finished Man U game minus Guendouzi. I think Xhaka and Torriera start as Torriera is too important to drop right now. Back three of Mustafi Sok and Kolasinac, Bellerin and Iwobi as wing backs and a front three of Mkhitaryan Auba and Lacazette.

    Least 90% of the team can rest after Saturday until next game at Southampton

  8. Arsenal.com has now confirmed that Holding is out for 6 – 9 months, so it does seem to be time to go shopping. It’s going to be a difficult spot to fill though, as we really need someone who can hit the ground running when called upon but isn’t too far past it that they can’t handle the pace of the games. Do we have the option to pull Chambers back? I know he is carving out a position for himself as a defensive midfielder at Fulham, but we could do with the cover at CB. There are also the general jitters over what Mustafi might do next on the pitch. Whilst he’s improved, he still dives in recklessly a few times per game.

    The story in the Scum shows that you are always going to have someone with a camera phone who is willing to take the cash. This time it looks like the images came from the CCTV camera though. If that is the case the club needs to be outted, as I’m sure that stars looking to let their hair down in private are not going look favourably on a venue which sells shots of their misdemeanours to the press. Very silly boys, but these things always happen.

  9. MesutsLeftFoot,

    Mavrapanos is a player who absolutely looks like he has all the phsyical tools and has showm quite well. I agree about Holding and I think the other thing that Mavrapanos has is that he is much quicker than Holding. I think the thing is he has to get fit and quickly adjust to the tactics and most importantly to his CB partners and Leno.

    Hippy crack, get the fuck out of here, its not even illegal and hell is laughing gas more dangerous than people athletes drinking or smoking cigarettes.

  10. C,

    Technically ,you could asphyxiate on it if multiple cans without air in between. But practically, no. Which is why it’s increasing use has gone pretty much unnoticed by everyone that does use it, as no reports of harm have surfaced.

    The worse ferkin thing about the stuff is the waste and mess. Poxy little bottles they sell it in, safe legal dosing I guess, get dropped all over the streets. Hundreds of them outside pubs and clubs.

    Rant Over. I shouldn’t have wasted my breath. Like the players.

  11. Holding’s injury looked like ligaments at the time. He’s unlucky, but there was little criticism of Rashford’s challenge and United’s fouling tactics on Wednesday night. “Part of the game” said Scousie McFuckingtwat.

    We’ve been here before a number of times: Eduardo; Ramsey; Diaby; Debuchy.

  12. Wavey

    Chambers was all at sea in the Fulham defence but is a breath of fresh air in midfield. If I were Emery, I’d be reluctant to pull him away from a loan spell where he’s put himself firmly in the shop window. I suspected at the time Chambers was loaned as a prelude to selling him and nothing since has changed my mind.

  13. Hello all, happy friday, thanks to my favorite Warrior for the write up. Agree Moaninho probably set out the squad with a little extra edge. The ref was really at fault, he should have calmed the game down when he had the chance. Instead it was a classic match where the ref cowers under the lights at Old Toilet and they were allowed to do as they pleased. Fellainie pulled Guendos hair right in front of the ref, perfect view of it!

    Didnt read the news but sounds like someone got a pic of our boys getting high on gas huh. Pretty funny. Many pro athletes here in the US for basketball & futbol americano are smokin dope on the regular I think. Many of them are still beasts and show up every game. We dont think anything of it unless someone gets caught in a drug test.

    I miss the ol days when folks would play drunk as a skunk. I’m too young to have experienced it but have seen the tapes and i get nostalgic for it!

  14. thrillbo,

    Cover your eyes C
    I played a lot of rugby. Often drunk. …not regular , but often enuff, especially on tour, and it’s like playing with concussion. Also too often!
    It’s akin to haven 10 Mustafi s , what ,where ,when ???

  15. Mourinho press conference, right?

    Whatever happened to Kristian Bielik? He was getting rave reviews a couple of years ago and then he got injured.

  16. ferkov: It’s akin to haven 10 Mustafi s , what ,where ,when ???

    That is truly a sight to see. To really spice it up lets throw in a couple of Koscielnys in the mix, reunite the chuckle brothers. Now that i mention it, given our newly injured CB we might actually get to see Laurent and Shkodran play in the same back line again. Hopefully the laughs continue coming to the boys in little canisters, instead of being produced at our backline. Given the mishaps with Kola and his defending, maybe he should be initiated as Chuckle Bro #3

  17. THAT goal ,was a true wacky races esq calamity.
    It does strike me as a perverse waist of talent to lob the ball up and go barging repeatedly into the Defenders. But as predicted, Maureen exploits weaknesses with wahatever he’s got. And it’s not imagination.

    I think there are Defenders in there somewhere. They reveal themselves on occasions, but under pressure moments our understanding is sadly wanting.
    Poor Papa, trying to back those two up. He’ll explode.

  18. Yeah that 2-2 equalizer was unforgivable! How many times have we seen Kos,Mustafi etc have a chance to clear danger and cock it up when they’ve got a nearly infinite set of options for where to clear it. straight up, out of bounds (please), sideways, touchline, banging one into row z. I recall a play in a big game where Kos tried to clear one over his head but instead banged it off his face, into the path of onrushing attacker.

    The only CB i’ve seen consistently clearing danger is Sokratis. He doesnt mess about he will kick it out of bounds at first chance to calm to the danger. Except against Son and Tottenham, I still think it was a needless free kick to give away for the 1st goal. Yes Son is a b*tch but Sokratis bought a ticket to the show and got his money worth. Could have decided to just stay close and not nibble at his heels, no free kick, No Dire straights header to go 2-1.

  19. With the ball Papa is much less risky, he off loads early, and often without thought of adventure. Whereas Mustafi andHolding tend o look to set something up, and so get us jumpy as the attackers close in and cut down their options. That’s sadly how Holding got his injury. Thirsty Pete was bemoaning it earlier, but really he invited the challenge, and Rashford played the ball. Shit happened. Good luck to Rob.

  20. Nw9gooner,

    I haven’t. If so I apologise.
    Injustices such as you and Pete describe tend to eat at me, so I now prefer to look to rationalise. … Watching live I felt the ball was there to be played, and it was just unlucky for Rob.
    Fuckin Rashford. Fucking Maureen. It’s started!

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