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Good News on Welbeck and Pre-Leicester Stuff

There would be a Premier League game by 8pm tonight. It’s something that we would take some time to get used to but it’s certainly a fun way to start the weekend. After the anguish of last weekend, more tales of Shkodran Mustafi surfaced in the course of the week but no new center back joined the club obviously. The manager hinted in his presser that he could bring Laurent Koscielny into action ahead of his rest schedule but there will be more on that as the days progress.

The game against Leicester would be one for the fans, as they would be thinking about how two of the club’s prized assets, Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy, used Arsenal as a smokescreen to get new contracts, so all eyes will be on them to see how they perform. Bar his penalty, Mahrez had a pretty much average game against Hull while Vardy had a stinker. The Foxes will be boosted from the news that one of their key defenders, Robert Huth, has completed his suspension, so he’s in contention to start against the Gunners.

The Leicester players have been on the news lately, talking about how they are gonna make things right when they take on the Gunners. For some reason, I take such news with a pinch of salt. I’ve seen Arsenal players come to the media after losing a game with bs about ‘bouncing back’ or ‘returning back to basics’ and all that, only to lose heavily in the next game. Just keep quiet and let your football do the talking.

Moving on to more Arsenal related news, Arsene Wenger has revealed that there has been considerable progress in Danny Welbeck’s recuperation from the meniscus tear he suffered at the tail end of last season.

‘He had an inflammation of his knee and they had to go in again to see if it is healing well or not. ‘If the healing was not good, he would have been out until April. But the news was excellent and he will be back around Christmas.

‘He had a second check, not a procedure, a check with a camera inside. That was the good news of last week, the only good news. That was very positive.’

Welbeck had suffered a long term injury early in the campaign and went through surgery, but he made his comeback in February and scored that crucial goal against Leicester. Following a couple of impressive performances in attack, Welbeck eventually usurped Olivier Giroud in attack before suffering the knee injury that made him miss England’s debacle in Euro 2016, as well as the start of the new campaign.

With Wenger stalling on signing a new forward, Welbeck is the next best thing we have to Giroud so I’m happy that he is four months ahead of his rehabilitation schedule. Then again, this is Arsenal. You can never be too sure with the club when it comes to injuries but let’s ope to see Dat Guy Welbz during Christmas.

I’m sure he would look like a new signing.


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Relegation Candidates Confirmed and Welbeck Out for Nine Months

The penultimate games of the season took center stage yet again with three fixtures being on the spotlight – Sunderland hosted Everton with hopes to avoid the drop while Norwich hosted Watford with faint hopes of floating above relegation waters. Elsewhere, Liverpool battled against Chelsea and it seemed to look like a stroll in the park for both sides, as they played as if nothing was at stake.

We started off with the Norwich and Watford game and they came off the blocks quickly with the ever-reliable Watford skipper, Troy Deeney, opening the scoring and compounding Norwich’s woes. However, the home side went on a blitz, scoring three goals in 13 minutes with Nathan Redmond inspiring the team. Odion Ighalo ended his Premier League goal drought to bring Watford back to the game but a cheeky finish from Mbokani settled the contest. Norwich had been criticized heavily this season for failing to score goals but in the game they managed to smash in four, it wasn’t enough to avoid the drop. That was the team’s fourth relegation in six Premier League campaigns and I trust them to battle hard in the Championship to seek promotion.

Elsewhere, goals from Patrick van Aanholt and Kone were enough to seal Sunderland’s Premier League status at the expense of Newcastle and Norwich. The club flirted with relegation all season long but the experience of Sam Allardyce came to the fore as they had enough in the tank to get the results they desperately needed in their bid to remain a top flight club in England’s elite competition. While I’m taking nothing away from Sunderland’s great performance, Everton was pretty much pathetic and it’s going to be interesting to see if Roberto Martinez will keep his job after such a torrid campaign.

In the late kickoff between Liverpool and Chelsea, Jurgen Klopp’s lineup was very strong but the performance from the Reds was tepid to say the least. Chelsea’s form has been indifferent all season long but it was good to see the Eden Hazard of old waltzing through some defenders like they weren’t there before side footing the ball perfectly past Simon Mignolet. Chelsea would have gone home with all three points but a schoolboy error from Asmir Begovic allowed Christian Benteke to head home the equalizer.

To more Arsenal related news, it saddens me to know that Danny Welbeck has gone under the knife after scans revealed that he had suffered significant cartilage damage on his right knee. This is a lad that spent close to 10 months out of action after injuring his left knee in April 2015. He made an emphatic return to action when he scored that last gasp winner against Leicester City in February and he went on to score some goals usurping Olivier Giroud as Arsenal’s alpha dog in attack.

This injury has obviously ruled him out of Euro 2016 and he must be gutted to miss out on such a show piece. I wish the lad a speedy recovery and I guess we would see him again sometime in 2017.


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Arsenal Injury Update: Wilshere, Welbeck and Coquelin Close to Full Fitness

Since Mohamed Elneny joined the club, I’ve learned a lot of things about him. He’s not only coming to fill the midfield gap (which will send Mathieu Flamini to the bench, hallelujah), he can also solve world hunger, destroy all pests, fight world wars on his own and end terrorism as we know it!

One of the players Elneny will be providing cover for in the team is Francis Coquelin. It was around this period last year the Coq rose in prominence to become a mainstay in the squad. His performances merited it and he got a contract he truly earned for his contributions to the team.

In order not to ‘stifle’ his steep progress, Wenger opted not to sign a new holding midfielder in the summer but it proved to be a wrong move as Coquelin’s ‘replacement’, Mikel Arteta, couldn’t be banked upon to remain fit causing the manager to use a Flamini that was close to his Arsenal exit and an inexperienced Calum Chambers that is still rough at the edges.

Coquelin got on the end of a poor challenge from West Brom’s Claudio Yacob and injured a ligament in his knee. The diagnosis was that the Coq was going to be out for three months so his expected return was around mid-February. However, the boss has come out to say that the lad is ‘running’ and he’s close to full fitness.

Was he motivated to get fit quickly before of Elneny’s imminent arrival?

Elsewhere, the boss has confirmed that Arsenal’s injury-prone English contingent, Jack Wilshere and Danny Welbeck, are also close to full fitness. It’s not like I’m doubting the boss or anything but Wilshere is one player I don’t trust to stay fit.

When I think that game against Barcelona in 2011 when Wilshere was beasting a midfield that had Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta, I feel so sad for the lad because his massive potential has never been realized because he just can’t stay fit. He’s one player that offers a different skill set to what we have at the club (maybe Tomas Rosicky’s play is somewhat similar) but there are many times injuries have been the sole reason Wilshere’s services have been unavailable for his team.

Then there’s Danny Welbeck. That lad stills divides opinions following his 16m move from Manchester United last season. He scored eight goals in his debut campaign and they were some important goals (think West Ham, West Brom and Manchester United) but there were the Emmanuel Adebayor-esque misses. Welbeck has been injured since April and had a surgery around August. It’s fair to say that he hasn’t kicked the ball this season, so when the manager says that he’s close to full fitness, you’d have to keep your fingers crossed.

Having Wilshere, Welbeck and Coquelin fit again will be a big plus. These lads offer the manager a chance to rotate his squad as the Gunners are challenging for silverware on three fronts. They’re in the fourth round of their favorite competition, currently topping the Premier League and they have a daunting fixture against Barcelona next month.

I will keep you updated as the days go by