Arsenal injuries: Who’s out, who’s back and how it affects our title charge

With a host of important games coming up and the number of Arsenal players in the treatment room growing by the day, I thought it would be a good idea to give you an accurate update of our current injury situation.

I’ve included everyone who didn’t feature in the last game because of injury, their expected return date and fixture and the number of games they are likely to miss.

I’ve also included Alex Song and Emmanuel Eboue who are not injured but away on international duty at the African Cup of Nations.

  • Theo Walcott – Back 20 January – Bolton (EPL) – Misses 0 games
  • Denilson – Back 20 January – Bolton (EPL) – Misses 0 games
  • Fran Merida Back 24 January – Stoke City (FA Cup) – Misses 1 game
  • Nicklas BendtnerBack 27 January – Aston Villa (EPL) – Misses 2 games
  • Emmanuel Eboue – Back 7 February – Chelsea (EPL) – Misses 4 games (assuming Ivory Coast make at least the semi-finals)
  • Alex Song – Back 7 February – Chelsea (EPL) – Misses 4 games (assuming Cameroon make at least the semi-finals)
  • Aaron RamseyBack 7 February – Chelsea (EPL) – Misses 4 games
  • Samir Nasri Back 7 February – Chelsea (EPL) – Misses 4 games
  • Kieran Gibbs – Mid-February (estimation)
  • Robin van PersieMid-April (estimation)
  • Johan Djourou – Out for the season (estimation)

Assuming we avoid picking up any major injury worries things are actually looking quite decent for the season-defining period when we play Aston Villa, Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool in a row.

Up front Nicklas Bendtner’s return will give us the physical striker we have been craving for all four of the big games. It will also allow Wenger to rotate the other attackers (Andrey Arshavin, Eduardo, Tomas Rosicky, Theo Walcott, Carlos Vela) as required to keep things sharp. The big problem would emerge if Bendtner gets a re-occurrence of his groin problem so fingers crossed he comes back strong.

Midfield looks our biggest concern but assuming there are no further problems a Cesc Fabregas-Denilson-Abou Diaby will be available for both Villa and Manchester United before Alex Song returns from Africa to play against Chelsea and Liverpool. Rosicky could provide cover if one of the three remaining midfielders goes down while Ramsey and Nasri will also return for the game at Stamford Bridge and will provide good options off the bench.

Defensively we look fine. Gael Clichy’s inevitable return on Wednesday should see the first-choice back-four restored while the signing of Sol Campbell will provide experienced cover in the unlikely event that Thomas Vermaelen or William Gallas take a knock. Armand Traore has shown he can do a job while Emmanuel Eboue will be ready to step up if Sagna gets injured.

For all of our injuries when you break it down like this we’re in a much better position to cope with the upcoming fixtures than many people realise.

Thoughts?

Have your say on Arsenal’s injury situation by leaving a comment.

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29 Responses to “Arsenal injuries: Who’s out, who’s back and how it affects our title charge”

  1. ny
    January 19, 2010 at 6:15 pm #

    Commenting for the first time. but couldnt hold back in acknowledging a job well done. thumbs up for accumulating the data and compiling it in a simple and effective manner.

    after reading this post, i feel optimistic for the games ahead.
    Come On GUNNERS…lets rock!!!

  2. Sir Fred Goodwin
    January 19, 2010 at 6:23 pm #

    “Assuming we avoid picking up any major injury worries… the unlikely event that Thomas Vermaelen or William Gallas take a knock…” Ha ha ha ha, what have you been smoking, mate? We lose an average of two players a game. Why would that suddenly cease?

  3. laban
    January 19, 2010 at 6:48 pm #

    thanks for the good work done,we really appreciate for your services.carry on.

  4. Rian Joubert
    January 19, 2010 at 6:57 pm #

    Andy you sound chilled! I am very worried! Losing Nasri and Ramsey and maybe no on form striker?? No jokes. Its gonna be hard

  5. GunnerBoss
    January 19, 2010 at 7:15 pm #

    Lets keep being positive for now. Things are going on very well despite the injuries

  6. theicehammer
    January 19, 2010 at 7:27 pm #

    @andy, Shambo, dont know if youv’e erd, but WHUFC ave just been sold to Gold and Sullivan after rival Tony Fernandes admitted defeat in the race. Looks like we could b going the way of Man Shitty. Good news you may think, unfortunately it could spell the end of Zola and Clerk as reported by Talk Sport radio this morning. Mark Hughes could take over as boss. Im off if that appens.
    On the injuries front, Wenger needs to purchase one or two built to fight the battles. Big men can play in the arsenal style when needed.

  7. Patrick
    January 19, 2010 at 7:32 pm #

    I am looking foorward to seeing the return of Thoe and I hope the stays fit enough to put together a decent run of games in the squad. This would help to stabilise his body to the strain of the game and ultimately win a regular place in the team. I also hope that he cuts out losing the ball in dangerous areas that puts us in trouble automatically. He was getting better at this in his last few matches.

  8. Omecha
    January 19, 2010 at 7:36 pm #

    I would like to disagree on the comment that we are better of with the current injurry situation, on the contrary for me I believe we need atleast one player upfront to provide a coverup for attacks. Bentner is good but he cannot provide the quality we need upfront to pose a very serious challenge to the rest of the teams, this is based no the fact that he is yet coming back from injury and he will need some time to fully fit in the team. Please dear arsene this is the time for you to act if you really want to lead us to any glory this season! Let us base on reality but not assumption because anything is yet possible for us this season and remember this is when we exactly lost it last season by assuming that the injured players will come back to help.

  9. Rians Brother
    January 19, 2010 at 7:39 pm #

    In spite of the striker problem, we are the top scorers in the league. Edwardo played well in Bolton and goals are going in from the midfield. We should be ok as long as our players support each other and play with some passion.

  10. ASNLthruNthru
    January 19, 2010 at 7:43 pm #

    Our defense is sounder with the inclusion of good ‘ol Sol.
    We obviously have a “knack” for scoring goals too,despite the loss of Robin.
    Success or failure this month, boils down to how well the Denilson/Diaby double act can cover for the absence of the”Lionheart” Song.
    We can only hope that their defensive abilities will now surface on a more consistent level.
    Based on recent showings,it seems that these two lads will match up to the challenge.

  11. Thomas
    January 19, 2010 at 7:44 pm #

    Good and sober article, but like Fred Goodwin said you must be VERY optimistic about forthcoming injuries. I can see us lose another two or three players before we play ManU.

    I think we need to take at least 8 points from a possible 12 (against Villa, ManU, Chelsea and Liverpool) to stay in the title race. We need our players to play like they played for their lives.

  12. arry
    January 19, 2010 at 8:26 pm #

    Man City must love Arsenal to buy/loan all our ex players, sylvinho, vieira, toure, adebayor and most likely Flamini. Yeah, great management ?!?

  13. rayman
    January 19, 2010 at 8:38 pm #

    The article is right up to a point. The loss of nasri is the most difficult to deal with, lose any other midfielder now and all of a sudden it all gets very difficult to field a decent midfield for the chelsea, manu and liverpool games. Ramsey blows hot and cold and can’t play teh two positions mid and up front that nasri can. He has been key for us this season, an unsung hero.

    8 points from those 4 games would be great, and is perfectly possible – beat villa and liverpool, draw with utd and chelsea, even 5 points will probably be enough to keep us in touch as the run in after those games is good and the squad gets deeper with theo, clichy and nik back to full match fitness and song back from the ACN.

    I would still like to see a CF come in but that would mean we would have to sell someone in the summer – can’t have new boy, rvp, arsh, vela, theo, nik, eddy all in the same squad someone would have to go. I have a feeling we won’t sign any experienced forward this window for that reason.

  14. GunnerCesc4
    January 19, 2010 at 8:46 pm #

    Nice analysis !

  15. Oguzo
    January 19, 2010 at 8:47 pm #

    Not withstanding, bendtner’s recovery could be ‘pseudo-recovery’. We need a world class attacker. On the issue of availability of world class attackers, i think wenger is hypocritic. There are loads and loads of strikers outside the french league-where he seems to focus his attention.

  16. Andrew Weber
    January 19, 2010 at 9:17 pm #

    @ Sir Fred Goodwin / Thomas – You guys make valid points about the injury situation ie. How can we expect to avoid picking up injuries when they’re almost inevitable?

    I suppose my point of view is that although it feels like we’ve been down to the bare bones numbers-wise for most of the season and still performed well, it supports the notion that squad depth is just about perfect. For most of the season the feeling has been “if we get one more injury in X position, we’re stuffed!” but the evidence is that as we lose a player we usually get one back.

    Arseblogger got it right when he called in the “Arsenal Injury Merry-go-Round” at the moment, but I am optimistic that regardless of injuries, we will be able to put out starting XI’s capable of winning every one of the big four games we are playing.

    I hope that makes sense. It feels like it does 🙂

  17. Andrew Weber
    January 19, 2010 at 9:18 pm #

    Oh and that comment was a reply to rayman’s as well.

  18. Francis mukwaya
    January 19, 2010 at 9:20 pm #

    Thanks for the work done Andrew,the coming back of Theo and Clichy gives us deepth.

  19. Luxinbrasil
    January 19, 2010 at 9:43 pm #

    Just saw this….probably old news…..but reckon its for the best and cant see Arsene standing in his way….

    Obviously it comes from the Guardian…..

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2010/jan/19/philippe-senderos-move-celtic

  20. Andrew Weber
    January 19, 2010 at 9:54 pm #

    Nice one Lux – it’s even on the official site.

  21. Andrus
    January 20, 2010 at 2:10 am #

    I’m worried about the Sunderland game that follows those four big matches. They are a quality club with probably the best manager (save the obvious candidates) in the league. We look poised to have a strong squad for those fixtures, but I hope we do not pick up injuries or overconfidence that will make for a(nother) letdown against Sunderland.

    I’m optimistic though.

  22. billi
    January 20, 2010 at 2:54 am #

    I will miss some matches next week, 😥 hard days are coming, even for me 😉 (at work) , I don’t think the missing striker is the key problem, resp. a new striker or even Bendtner would bring the ‘guaranteed’ success, I think every player has to take responsibility, best example is Vermaelen I would say, it is exceptional how he works forward sometimes without losing his defensive control, and of course Gallas shows hunger for a header too, then Rosicky has to prove something, Shava must be successful again, Fabregas has to keep his momentum, Nasri is a loss I confess but I think they can cope with that, Edu must keep his believe and wait for his moment and killer, I think it is the teamplay that will compensate the missing great striker, the change between long efforts and great Arsenal passing will make it, and of course a little bit fortune has to stay with them, it will be extremely exciting and I will be sorry of each game that I have to miss, but that’s life, just make the best of it……….. 😯

  23. walkpass
    January 20, 2010 at 10:59 am #

    Dun think Bendtner is the physical striker that we need. He was used in that position before and we can see he did not use his strength well. In fact he played better when deployed as a right forward/winger. Moreover, he is just back from an injury. Then again, he should take some lessons from Song or Diaby with regards to holding his own physically.

    Judo or Tai-chi could help ;

  24. MTY
    January 21, 2010 at 10:53 pm #

    This info is very useful to keep track of our players’ status.
    Please update it regularly.

  25. Anonymous
    January 22, 2010 at 7:12 pm #

    we all say dis abt d injuries stuff bt we must alwyz b sincer dat we need cheap striker…..if we reali wntz to win dis league coz we r d bst contendant so mr wenger gt us one.

  26. abraham
    January 31, 2010 at 9:26 pm #

    well done guys but i should say crowning Bendtner`s return with physical strength we need its a big joke!does he know how to hold the ball or make some crucial judgements like providing killer passes like van persie?4get it we need a striker.My way of thinking is, with Man U pair campbell and vermaelen,then when things r tight n no goals with 30 mins to go, substitute Bendtiner,pair Gallas n Campbell , n let Vermaelene play the striking role n lets bag the three points cheers!

  27. Anonymous
    April 2, 2010 at 5:38 pm #

    arsenal is going 2 be having problem in d striking option.i hope arsenal wenger by an attacker.

  28. we really need 2 buy sharp strikers to replace van persie, if we want to win the league.

  29. tunde aneru,(palacious).
    April 2, 2010 at 5:54 pm #

    tunde aneru, (palacious).we need strikers.

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