Full of Festive Cheer: Injuries and Mistaken Identity

Christmas Day arrives and you’ve clicked here to escape the insanity of the family arguments over who’s been affected by the sprouts worst of all.

Merry Christmas, people.

If you’re expecting something light and jovial this morning, you’ve come to the wrong place. No respite, no let-up; we plough on ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Brighton. If the players can turn up for training today, the last we can do is turn up with the blogging.

Yesterday saw the release of the latest injury updates and it doesn’t make for pretty reading. It’s quite a dry subject so the chance for quips is low although I thought Emile Smith Rowe returned to training before the visit of Burnley.

Not too sure what’s going on with Dino either; he’s fast running out of December in which to return to training. Unless, of course, it’s December 2019 the medical team refer to. Then we can say that he’s well on target for his return.

Hector Bellerin, an ever-present until he suffered a calf strain at Southampton, is now an ever-present in the rehab rooms for the next fortnight where he’ll be joined by Nacho Monreal, whose hamstring is ready to twang.

I know he’s “being assessed ahead of” tomorrow’s game but that’s just code for “out for a fortnight” in the same “three weeks” always meant two months.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan is paying a big price for getting his double pike all wrong in diving training. He’s out for six weeks with a fractured metatarsal in his right foot. Must do better, Henners; must do better.

Sadly, Shkodran Mustafi is likely to be fit for Liverpool. God, I wish it was an acid trip similar to the one Ivan and Arsene were on when they paid thirty-five-million-bloody-quid to Valencia for the German.

It’s Mike Dean, Who Else?

Whilst Mustafi’s return for Liverpool has advantages, the euphoria of that is short-lived. We could have – should have – a full-strength back-three for the match. That is a huge positive; the prospect of Lichtsteiner marking Mane, Firmino or Salah as a centre-back is stress-inducing. Until you remember that as a right wing-back, he will be marking Mane, Firmino or Salah at some point.

Yet in his more ‘natural’ role, I see him being more effective against the league leaders. It’s the kind of comfort signing an experienced international as cover brings.

And, given the propensity Liverpool have for sh*thousery, a timely team selection.

That is getting ahead of myself; tomorrow is far from a ‘gimme’. Brighton were dismal at Bournemouth but the referee fared less well. It was Mike Dean who cocked up with his jovial “off you pop” comment to Lewis Dunk. What a shame the first booking was handed out to Dunk in mistaken identity.

Just to clarify Dean’s mistake, Lewis Dunk is on the left. The real culprit was Yves Bissouma on the right. Even with Dunk playing hide and seek, it’s still tough to give the yellow card to the culprit.

It’s so simple that not even Andre Marriner would get it wrong. Mike Dean, however, did. I’ll just leave that there. Still, at least Lewis got the day off to spend with his family.

And it was a decent present to receive for us as well. In Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, we possess forwards with the ability to take advantage of any weakness.

On the subject of tomorrow’s game, I did a Q&A with We Are Brighton which can be found here. That ought to keep you away from the family for another few minutes…

’til Tomorrow.

22 thoughts on “Full of Festive Cheer: Injuries and Mistaken Identity

  1. Jonnygunner says:

    And of course to everyone else that reads,comments,insults and offends šŸ˜„

  2. Jonnygunner says:

    Myself,my wife and our Springer-Merlyn are in a cottage overlooking Loch Sunart,Strontian in the Highlands….away for Christmas…bliss!
    Still need my daily fix of everything Arsenal though and thanks to you YW, I get it.
    Iā€™m sure I speak for everyone on here when I say a big,heartfelt THANK YOU for giving us something each day to think about,comment on,disect,add to…and sometimes fall out over!
    Cheers YW-have a lovely one with your tribe.

  3. potter says:

    Just the thought of Dean made me shudder . I thought that he was the ref for Anfield , I quickly grabbed another cup of something hot and read about his discerning visual impairment and settled down for the final pargraphs.
    I shall now stay in blissful ignorance until after Brighton ,relax and enjoy my Christmas. I hope all of the rest of your readers and your good self do so as well.

  4. Dalm says:

    The Bissouma foul is ‘interesting’ ….

    from behind, he clouts the opponent with a forearm at shoulder/neck level…I don’t think it is simply a push.

    I think closer to a red than a yellow.

  5. Bill says:

    Merry Christmas to all my ACLF colleagues around the world. Have a wonderful day and a blessed New year in 2019

  6. Two Owls says:

    Merry Christmas to all of you in the Gooner Universe. Lets hope there is some cheer, in spite of the injuries to players. Most of all, let the Gods of Football Scribes, bring eternal salvation to Yogi.

  7. HenryB says:


    A bit belated but better late than never.

    Had my op – feeling better – looking forward to 2019.


    Have a healthy and happy New Year, one and all. šŸ˜œ

  8. Blue Yonder says:

    Merry Christmas to all on ACLF – required reading for all who appreciate well-thought-out and interesting articles and comments.
    Not sure what to expect from the next few games. Between injuries and indifferent form, almost anything can happen. A win against Brighton and a point at Anfield isn’t too much to ask…is it?

  9. Alex Ice Cream says:

    Happy Christmas to all Gooners.

    Let’s hope for some cheer next year.

  10. consolsbob says:

    Merry Christmas all.

    To Ponyboy, GfE, AIC, memories of Christmas past.

  11. Jonnygunner says:


    H…..long time no hear/speak…anything else šŸ‘šŸ»

  12. consolsbob says:

    Henry is a troll. Christmas or not.

  13. Steve palmer says:

    I don’t come on very often, as being a Wenger supporter was shown the door, but I still get your reports that seem to moan about everything Arsenal. THERE COMES A TIME WHEN SOMEONE NEEDS TO REMIND YoU, that Arsenal have a new system in place, a new manager who has whipped this side into the 20th century, stiffened up the back line and made it harder for teams to score goals against. You have to realise that were going through a rebuilding process, and that, looking at a twenty game not losing streak this new guy has done more for our club than any of us could have imagined possible. We have some half decent players and some cart horses remember we are rebuilding, we are pitching against teams that seem to have vast streams of money, so obviously we will struggle against them, teams such as Spurs, have built a squad of players over several years that have jelled and are benefitting from it now, we are almost starting from scratch. We understand our owners have starved us from the good players out there, so to be where we are in the league is almost a miracle. We are doing pretty good with what we have at the moment, and really we are only just seeing just how good Wenger did for our club 20 years 30 million a season was a great feat, may never be seen again, and for the meantime may be a while before we see the like again.

    Players get injured all clubs have that, some of the deadwood has been outed, but when good strikers or defenders get injured it weakens us and we will struggle. Rebuilding like we’re doing and the way money seems to be coming through, tells us that this is a process that may take several windows. Try and be a little bit more patient with manager and players is we are a work in progress. I don’t believe any supporter thought at the start of the season we would be where we are at present. I get fed up with what our problems are, we’re supporters who support through the good and the bad times. Please give these people a chance e to shine, and commend the for what they are achieving. Don’t worry I won’t be on again for a while.

  14. Bright says:

    Yogi, you had to offer us a Christmas dish. Well served. Merry Christmas to u too.

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