Arsenal will again play Vito Mannone in goal for this weekend’s fixture with Manchester City. He has deputised recently for the injured Wojciech Szczesny with aplomb, only conceding a penalty against Montpellier so far this season. Meanwhile Jack Wilshere and Emmanuel Frimpong are still a long way off playing despite their long awaited returns from injury. Arsenal will not face former player Samir Nasri who has picked up an injury against Real Madrid but may have to contend with Sergio Aguero who has full recovered from a knee injury suffered against Southampton.
Roberto Mancini has insisted that Arsenal remain genuine threats to their Premier League title defence ahead of their clash at The Etihad this weekend. Mancini admits it is a surprise but Arsenal have seemingly improved despite the loss of Robin van Persie and Alex Song from the club this summer; his explanation was that those departures have resulted in less pressure on the team to succeed therefore allowing them to play to their highest potential.
Arsenal and Manchester City are emerging as the frontrunners to bring Spanish international Fernando Llorente to the Premier League in January. The 27-year-old marksman is currently into the final year of his contract at Athletic Bilbao and it is not inconceivable that he could leave on a cut-price deal in January to avoid losing him on a free in the summer. Competition still exists from Juventus and Liverpool but Skysports believes the two sides who face off on Sunday have the best chance of signing the man nicknamed ‘Lion King’.
Arsene Wenger has revealed that during the darkest times of his injury lay-off Jack Wilshere feared he may never play again. The 20-year-old midfielder has been waylaid for 14 months with foot and knee injuries however the most severe of his problems, the ankle injury was the one that could have possibly ended his fledging career. Wenger feels however that the experience will make him stronger as an individual and improve his mental strength.
Montpellier are being linked with a shock move to bring Olivier Giroud back to the south of France just a few months into his North London career. The French international has had a slow start to the campaign and his former club president Louis Nicollin has admitted they would welcome him back ‘with open arms’ should the opportunity arise.
Lukas Podolski has been warned about getting an Arsenal tattoo by the Telegraph, who cites various examples of when football tattoos go awry. Podolski says he feels at home at The Emirates, so much so he may have the club crest emblazoned permanently on his skin next to his beloved FC Koln tattoo. However the paper have highlighted the case of a Newcastle fan’s Andy Cole tattoo before he signed for Manchester United and a Sheffield Wednesday fan who got the clubs establishment date wrong on his tattoo as examples of when football and body art just don’t mix.
21-year-old Irishman Conor Henderson has agreed to a three month loan deal at Coventry City. The left-sided midfielder burst onto the scene with a stunning performance against Leyton Orient in 2010 but has since struggled with knee injuries. Wenger still sees him as a potential first teamer however and hopes a loan spell will give him the first team football required to start pushing for the first team at The Emirates.
What are your thoughts on everything happening at Arsenal FC on the 21st September 2012?
image: © Ronnie Macdonald