Monthly Archives: April 2015

Just how Bad is Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s Injury?

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain receives treatment after picking up an injury

In the buildup to Arsenal’s latest clash against Chelsea, it was only normal for the media chums to ask the manager about the injury situation of his players. Per Mertesacker was ’50/50′ to play the game but the BFG made a swift recovery and started ahead of Gabriel Paulista alongside his defensive bosom buddy, Laurent Koscielny. The duo went on to have a great game and Mertesacker lauded the much-maligned Arsenal medical staff for his swift recovery.

When Arsene Wenger was asked about Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, his response didn’t offer any glimmer of hope,

“He’s still out. He has not been in training and he’s not being considered at all”

This has been a fruitful season for the Ox. Since signing for the club in 2012, he has played a bit-part role, featuring against ‘lesser opposition’ and cup ties but he usually got extended run-puts when a first team player suffers an injury layoff. This season, the Ox has gotten consistent game time and he has really improved as a player. He has even added goals to his game with a goal in the North London derby, as well as two strikes in the Champions League against Anderlecht and Monaco.

Ox’s last game for the club came in the 2-1 victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford and he was instrumental in the first goal where he made mince meat of his markers before threading a ball to Nacho Monreal that wasted no time in executing a finish that matched the buildup. However, things went awry for Alex as he pulled his hamstring and was diagnosed to be missing in action for three to four weeks. While we awaiting some hopeful news for the Ox at the start of the new month, the Daily Mail published an article that he suffered a set back and could miss the rest of the campaign due to some persistent groin injuries that has troubled the winger for a while.

According to the article, Arsenal’s medical staff have been aware of this niggling groin troubles and the club might resort to surgery or other alternatives to sort out his problems. but if the club is to take the option of making the Ox go under the knife, it would be done in the summer. Thankfully, there’s no senior European tournament this summer so he can get some deserved rest and recuperate well. The  root cause of the complaint remains unclear, with club doctors trying to establish a permanent cure for the problem.

The winger has vowed to come back strongly,

“Saying that, we have done well with the Arsenal and England physios to keep me on the pitch as long as they did. All the injuries I had picked up throughout my career had been contact injuries – the odd kick or roll of the ankle – until this knee injury.

“You do have to sometimes step back and realize that for the whole of my life I had never been out for that much of my career from the age of seven up to the age of 20. I had never been out of football for five months in my whole life.

“Your body does take some adjusting to that and to come back from that and play at the level we play at with the demands that we put on ourselves – the training and how intense the game can be but since this injury on the knee, that has changed, and I think that is what a lot of players will find during their careers.

“You just have to do as much as you can to keep yourself right. I have been doing everything and more at the moment to try to make sure I come back stronger.”

Since that long-term injury the Ox suffered after a challenge from Antonio Luna in the curtain raiser of the Premier League last season, he has had a couple of niggling injuries but he’s a young lad and he has his career ahead of him.

I wish the Ox a speedy recovery.


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Gunners Endure Frustrating Result but it was Fair Enough

Aaron Ramsey

Arsenal 0 Chelsea 0

Match ReportMatch Highlights Post-Match Press Conference

I’ve been very busy all day at work but this would be probably be the only ‘free time’ I’d get before going for another meeting scheduled for 4.00pm. Maybe I should return to the habit of blogging at night and publishing the article, first thing in the morning. It worked better for me. Sometimes, you’d wanna publish an article in the office and your boss is like ‘Enigma, remember the presentation slides for this’ and you’re like, there goes another day without a post.

Enough about my office shenanigans.

I watched some damn good football from my team against a side I kinda despise a lot because of their c*ntbag Rent Boy b*stard of a manager, Jose Moaning-H*E. From the onset, he set a team out with no center forward with the sole aim of frustrating the home side or in Chelsea English, ‘parking the bus’. However, that didn’t deter the Gunners from playing some top-notch football. Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey in particular bossed the midfield but Alexis Sanchez was at his sloppy best, conceding possession to the opposition and building up some frustration for the home fans. But he’s a good lad. You can’t doubt his effort.

I must say I’m a huge fan of Michael Oliver because he’s turning out to be a referee with some big balls between his legs. He proved his mettle in the Gunners FA Cup win over Manchester United at Old Trafford and if there’s anything I learned from the official on that game, is that he doesn’t take shit from players that try to cheat. So when that rent boy, Cesc Fabregas, who claims he still loves Arsenal more than a dog loves his master, comes to the Emirates turf, dribbles past Santi Cazorla and dives on the turf like someone that was shot with a sawn-off shotgun, you could see the sheer delight when the ref brandished a card for his attempt to cheat his way to win a penalty kick. Even if I hate everything Chelsea stands for, I feel the Gunners can count themselves extremely lucky that David Ospina remained on the pitch, especially after his rash challenge on Oscar that was meant to warrant a penalty and a sending off. The Gunners also have every right to be aggrieved that the ref didn’t award the penalty for Cahil’s handball in the box but hey, it happens innit?

There were no clear cut opportunities as the game progressed but it was heart in mouth stuff for me when Ramires the Great Lizard was sent through on goal and he missed a sitter. The Chelsea center backs had good games with John Terry shining like a knight in a new armor but it was troubling to see how Olivier Giroud was smothered from making any impact whatsoever. The attacking substitutes, Danny Welbeck and Theo Walcott offered minimal threat thanks to some resolute Chelsea defending but the Gunners did well to quell the attacks they posed, especially through counters.

In the end it was a frustrating result for the Gunners but in the grand scale of things, we can take some positives from the performance of the players, rather than the overall result. Aaron Ramsey faced the media at the end of the game and was quite Wenger-esque in his comments to the media. The Welsh Jesus touched on how the team would have won and the chances not falling to the right players. However, here was my pick of the bunch,

I think so. It’s going to be quite difficult for Chelsea to drop the points that we need to go top. Second probably is progression from last season definitely and from a couple of seasons where we have been battling for fourth. We’re in another FA Cup final so maybe you can say that’s an improvement on last season.

Things have definitely improved for the team and I’d rather end up in second place and win the FA Cup rather than scraping for the bread crumbs of Champions League qualification, which has become a norm for the Gunners in recent seasons. I was also astonished to know that this was the first time the team was drawing a match in 2015, and bar the poor results against Southampton, Monaco and Tottenham, the Gunners have won every other game in the calendar year.

I’m pretty sure that the players can’t wait to get their hands on some of that Hull goodness.

Gotta run now. 4pm meeting in a bit.


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Chelsea Preview: Team News, Injury Updates and Predicted Lineups

After watching Manchester City steal a narrow win over Aston Villa, it was a constant reminder that there was no room for complacency in this league. However, their win has sent them to second place, albeit temporarily, till Manchester United takes on Everton and of course, Arsenal hosting Chelsea in what’s undoubtedly the game of the weekend.

A lot has been said in the build-up to this one with Cesc Fabregas ‘returning home’ and of course, the long-standing rivalry between Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho. The boss has a very pathetic record against the Portuguese manager (no wins in 12 against Mou) and as expected, the journos decided to remind the boss ‘what he didn’t know’. Arsene Wenger was quick to point out that today’s game isn’t about history, but form,

“We have not always lost, first of all, in 12 attempts. We have come close to beating them a few times and they’ve always had very strong teams. I’m not a great believer in history. I just think football is down to the fact that the performance on the day will decide the game and the result, so let’s focus on that.

“We are on a good run and we have an opportunity to beat them at home, and we want to take it. From a good run of form you get a good belief and we have good solidarity. We know we have passed many tests recently where we were questioned.

“It’s the first time we’ve won away from home against Manchester City [in a while] and other things like that. We have passed many tests and we have another test on Sunday that we want to pass. It is very important for us to beat them. I think everybody on board is highly focused to achieve it. We will prepare well to do that.”

With six games left for both Arsenal and Chelsea, the Gunners would be hoping to cut down the Blues’ 10-point lead to seven as they still harbor slight hopes of gunning for the title. Chelsea has been the most consistent team in the league and if anybody deserves to be on top, it’s them. They have won ugly and I mean, Abdoulaye Faye ugly. Chelsea have kept four clean sheets in their last six clashes with Arsenal, conceding just two goals in total. This essentially means that Jose Mourinho might use the same approach he used last week against Manchester United where he packed an armored tank and caught them on the break.

When both sides met at Stamford Bridge in October, Arsenal failed to have a shot on target for the first time in a Premier League match since September 2003 (Manchester United away). At least, it wasn’t like the 6-0 mauling the Gunners received last season. The Gunners would have to be mindful about the threat Didier Drogba would pose today as the Ivorian has scored eight times in 11 Premier League appearances against Arsenal in his career. Arsenal would also put sentiment aside when they come up against their forgotten son, Cesc Fabregas, as he currently tops the assists charts this season. Cesc Fabregas has a league-high 16 Premier League assists this season. Only Thierry Henry (20 in 2002-03), Frank Lampard (18 in 2004-05) and Fabregas himself (17 in 2007-08) have ever registered more in a single Premier League campaign.

Team News

Wenger recently spoke about the fitness of Per Mertesacker and stated that Gabriel can come him for him if he fails a fitness test,

“Last week against Reading, Per Mertesacker got injured and he has not been out [training] since. He’s still in the treatment room and I don’t know if he will be available or not. [He is] 50/50 [to start against Chelsea] at the moment. Apart from Mertesacker, everybody else [from last weekend] should be available. He’s ready [to step up]. He came on in the FA Cup semi-final and I think if Per is not ready, Gabriel will start”

However, he confirmed that Mikel Arteta and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will be out of contention and one wonders when they’d make any first team appearance with the season reaching it’s climax.

Injury Updates

Arsenal: Per Mertesacker (ankle), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (hamstring)

Chelsea: Diego Costa (hamstring), Loic Remy (muscle)

Team Form


  • Last Five Games: W W W W W
  • Last Result: Arsenal 2 Reading 1
  • Leading Goalscorer: Alexis Sanchez (22)


  • Last Five Games: D W W W W
  • Last Result: Chelsea 1 Manchester United 0
  • Leading Goalscorer: Diego Costa (20)

Predicted Lineups

Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Ospina; Debuchy, Koscielny, Gabriel, Monreal; Coquelin, Cazorla; Ramsey, Ozil, Sanchez; Giroud

Chelsea (4-2-3-1 ‘Park Le Bus’): Courtois; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta; Zouma, Matic; Ramires, Fabregas, Hazard; Drogba

Gooner Daily says 2 – 0 to the Arsenal

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