Abou Diaby will miss at least three weeks with the thigh injury sustained against Chelsea at the weekend. The French international trudged off early being replace by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and it has been confirmed he will spend much of October on the side-lines. It is bad news for the impressive midfielder who started the season so impressively before a hip injury suffered while playing for France seems to have reinitiated the injury problems that have plagued him over the last 18 months.
Arsenal may face a small midfield crisis for the game with Olympiakos as Mikel Arteta faces a late fitness test on an ankle niggle also picked up during action with Chelsea. The Spaniard would be sorely missed in the heart of The Gunners midfield after cementing his place as a regular and consistent performer this season.
Carl Jenkinson insists a decision on his international future can wait, as rumour intensifies over his possible selection for England this week. The Harlow-born right-back has represented both England and Finland at youth levels, whom he qualifies via his mother’s nationality. However he maintains that his sole focus currently is playing his football for Arsenal.
Theo Walcott has received another message pleading with him to stay, by grime outfit The Roxy Arms. The video has become a YouTube hit since it was uploaded and includes such witticisms as ‘stuck on the bench, listening to Frimpong talking about dench’. They hope the video will finally convince the 23-year-old to ‘Sign Da Ting’.
Olympic legend Michael Johnson has been spied at the Arsenal training ground amid rumours he will join the coaching staff in some form of consultancy role. The sprinter has become an expert on the topic, despite his own unorthodox technique and while the likes of Theo Walcott and Carl Jenkinson need no help with their pace, Per Mertesacker could use a tip or two.
Andrei Arshavin has once again been excluded from Fabio Capello’s Russia squad. The forward hoped his recent performance against Coventry City might convince the Italian to consider him as an option but the former captain has again been left at home as Zenit rebel Igor Denisov continues to captain the side.
Arsenal fans may get a glimpse of Serge Gnabry tomorrow night as it is believed he has been included in Arsene Wenger’s 18-man-match-day-squad. The 17-year-old German made his full debut against Coventry City in the League Cup last week and he has obviously impressed the hierarchy enough to earn his call-up. Wenger himself is still serving a touchline ban, but insists it is not an excuse for anything which does not go to plan tomorrow night.
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image: © Ronnie Macdonald