Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Marouane Chamakh and Kieran Gibbs are in the squad for tomorrow’s gamea against Sunderland.
Whether or not they start remains to be seen but the manager has to juggle a must-win Premier League fixture with the demands of a midweek Champions League trip to Milan.
“Both are in contention to be in the squad,” he said. “There is no reason anymore to keep them out. But I will have to decide that tomorrow. Chamakh is now at normal fitness and Gibbs is getting closer as well.”
And the boss is aware that this is as big a week as we’ve had all season. Although the title is gone there’s still a lot to play for in the Premier League while the two cup competitions have their own importance which rather goes without saying.
“I really do think this week is that important because we play three games in three competitions”, he said.
Wenger also confirmed the earlier story that Thierry Henry would be returning to New York Red Bulls the day after the Milan game, despite wanting to keep him for longer.
“‘I would have loved Thierry to stay for two more weeks but he has to go back. It’s only fair on New York.”
He also ruled out Andrei Arshavin leaving the club before the end of the Russian transfer window, saying, “I expect Arshavin to be here after February 24 and that is clear.”
However, Arseblog News is aware the Arshavin situation is not as clear cut as that and with the emergence of Oxlade-Chamberlain, and the imminent return of Gervinho, it’s still unlikely, but not impossible, that a transfer could take place.
Press conference quotes from the official Arsenal Twitter feed.