Arsenal go into the weekend tie with Chelsea with no new injury concerns and are boosted by the return of captain Thomas Vermaelen, who has recovered from a stomach virus. Wojciech Szczesny, Tomas Rosicky and Bacary Sagna all remain side-lined while the recently returned to fitness pair of Emmanuel Frimpong and Jack Wilshere will not feature as they step up their recovery program with an under-21 match against West Brom on Monday.
Meanwhile Arsene Wenger insists he is unconcerned whether John Terry plays or not as he maintains his Arsenal side must focus on their own performance against Chelsea in order to be successful and not be distracted by the John Terry sideshow.
Bacary Sagna is to be offered a new contract within a fortnight. The French international right back, who is currently on the side-lines suffering with a broken leg, has recently vented his frustration at the North London sides selling tactics and admitted that seeing former team-mates Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy winning the League Title was hard to take in. However it is now believed he will remain at the club he signed for in 2007.
Also on the news of Bacary Sagna, Arsenal fans will be pleased to hear he has returned to first team action for the first time since May as he took part in light training today. Arsenal’s medical staff expect him back in full action within a fortnight, which will coincide with his new contract, all going to plan.
Arsenal are set to step up their interest in FC Basel’s defensive talent Aleksander Dragovic in January as interest from across Europe grows in the classy centre-half. A long list of clubs including Inter, Roma, Dortmund and Marseille are interested in the former Austria Vienna defender, while Norwich reportedly failed to snap him up this summer.
Carl Jenkinson is in line for an England call-up as he looks set to take advantage of another injury to stake a claim for a place in a team. With Martin Kelly injured, Roy Hodgson is keen to give Jenkinson his first competitive cap in the San Marino game as Glen Johnson is injured, and also to tie down his international allegiances to England rather than the nation he represents at under-21 level, Finland.
Andrey Arshavin has spoken of his hope to get more game time this season, and has admitted he is in the best physical shape of his life. Despite not being a regular in the side the diminutive Russian is happy at the club and enjoying the success of the team on the pitch. After a man-of-the-match performance against Coventry in the League Cup he hopes he has done his chances of a revival no harm for the rest of the season.
What are your thoughts on everything and anything happening at Arsenal FC on the 28th September 2012?
image: © Ronnie Macdonald