Arsenal have confirmed that both Mesut Ozil and Olivier Giroud took part in first team training and will travel to Marseille for the first Champions League group stage game of the season.
The duo have overcome illness and a swollen knee respectively to make the trip, while Per Mertesacker and teenagers Isaac Hayden and Chuba Akpom have also been included in the squad. Emmanuel Frimpong and Serge Gnabry missed the cut.
In other news, Semi Ajayi has taken to Twitter to confirm he’s joined Arsenal from Charlton on a permanent basis. The 19-year-old centre-back, who scored during his time on trial against Blackburn’s under-21s, revealed the following news about his free move.
“Delighted to announce that I have officially signed for @Arsenal FC. Can’t wait to see what the next two seasons here have in store for me.
It was sad to end my ten year spell with charlton this summer but I can’t speak highly enough of all of the wonderful people I met during ..my ten years there & I wish all those at @CAFCofficial the best for the future as I will always have a soft spot for the club & it’s fans.”
its early, but this is a must win game. its good to know two of our big guns are available for selection.
You’re right about this being a must-win game. We need six points against the French side with tougher games against Dortmund and Napoli to come.
win our home games and draw 1 or 2 away.. top of the group!!
nippley, mercee and door men will all cut each others throats..
this is true, but i still back giroud to do the job for us with ozil and wilshere et al to crack dortmond, yes they are extremely good, but i back out team against any comers on a game by game basis, especially once our injured soldiers return
I think Giroud is actually underrated at the moment, despite all the praise we heap on him. Just scoring the opening goal every game, save for the first, has noticeably put the entire team at ease – especially for settling Ozil’s first 11 min, that was not an easy conversion by any means, but it has an important psychological boost to the team when Giroud can score and put the team in a reasonable comfort zone so early in the game.
Needless to say, this article just about halved the tension for tomorrow
I didn’t realise Park was injured in N. Korea? Help For Heroes.
Honestly, every single game should be treated as “a must win” and I think the collective team effort of late is showing the team finally realizes this. Too often in the past we let the quality of the opposition dictate our effort on the pitch.
The signal iguna park or whatever is a tough crowd! i’d be happy with a point tbh. their the fans are really what you call the 12th man and there can also be 13th man: that is if mike dean happens to be the Referee!
At what position does Isaac Hayden play?
CB to CM.
How about ramsey
from GK to RB to CM to CAM to LW to RW to CF?
Central Midfield and Central defence.
A strong, imposing player who can play in defence or midfield, Isaac enjoyed an excellent first year in Arsenal’s youth team.
Although he started his career in a holding midfield role, the coaches at London Colney have moulded Isaac into a commanding central defender worthy of the captain’s armband.”
i assume that he’s coming in as general midfield cover, if verm is also traveling then we have all our defenders fit and ready
I saw Semi at the Emirates in the U21 game against West Brom, he looks an absolute monster, won about 9 or 10 aerial duels in a row
He can generate more power by making children laugh..
Love it. Now we’ll have Coq and Semi there are so many more jokes to come! Thanks Arsene.
Semi’s still young so if he makes mistakes we shouldn’t be too HARD ON him…
Who needs a limp Coq when you’ve got a Semi.
We all know that Semi is pretty disappointing in the final third though.
This signing is what I like to call a “Tim Henman”
-An unexpected Semi
You know Jimmy Saville is a paedo right?
Hope we’ll land up and running in the champions league, really start building some momentum the kind that kept us a class above everyone else nine years ago.
From the week after the opening game to now Arsenal have gone from relegation fodder with a crap manager to Champions League prospects with a manager who Knows…
keep up this Momentum and we may generate such energy that we can turn back time and win trophies for every season since 2005
Arsene gets a Semi for free transfers
Good to hear Arsene will have a Semi on the bench
When Giroud’s on the pitch, having a Semi on the bench is only natural.
You can’t blame Arsene for having a Semi, when he’s got midfielders like Jack, Ramsey, Arteta, Cazorla and Ozil out on the pitch.
What is our full squad for the game tomorrow?
That’s a relief.
Still, it’s a timely reminder that Giroud is one little niggle away from us having to play Walcott at centre-forward. Podolski can’t come back soon enough. I grant you he didn’t look all that special at CF when played there last season, but I think he’s our next best in terms of goal-scoring instincts.
Crap… we would be really screwed if our top scorer last season played in his favorite position… especially because who could possible pick out his runs?
Wilshire? Ozil? Ramsey?
Top scorer, yes, but most of his goals came from drifting in from wide positions, not from CF play.
The problem isn’t his finishing (Sunderland performance aside) – it’s that his strengths (speed, well-timed diagonal runs) are better utilized from wide positions, while his weaknesses (physically small, not great at link-up play, uninterested in heading) are all (traditionally) quite important as a CF.
Further, CF runs are very different from winger runs that Theo excels at. Speed is less important than timing and positioning – see Giroud’s goal against Spurs. Theo would probably not score like that.
180 of Henry’s goals where winger type goals tho.. Cutting in from the left etc. Walcott never had the service that he can have now.
Ozil could find a needle in a haystack, thread it with camels and stitch a big arrow on the pitch for walcott to follow..
The midfield now is twice as good as last year… Ramsay is twice the player, wilshire is approaching fitness and Ozil is the second coming of Bergkamp … I really think walcott can be sprung forth like never before… Ozil nearly assisted him 3 times in the first half against mackems
Yeah, I get that, but I was thinking of centre-forward. Walcott is better used on the wing, and apart from his hat-trick in a crazy game against Newcastle last December, I didn’t see anything else to justify his inclusion in the centre. He’s not a hold-up player, nor is he the type who can, from the centre, unlock teams that park the bus. Newcastle played a high line against us that day, and it was suicide. A smarter manager and team would never do that against Arsenal, especially if Walcott is playing.
Yeah but now we have a potent midfield so teams can’t sit to deep against us…
Wonder why we don’t move Theo onto the left wing, if even for a brief time during games. You’d think bearing down on goal from the lhs would be a far more natural suit for him.
The thing is that if you play with inverted wingers, then the space in the middle becomes congested and easy to defend against. With Podolski out, Cazorla or another central midfielder will take that final winger spot, and their natural game would take them to the centre.
So with Walcott out on the right, he can get to the by line, get crosses in or take a shot with his right foot. Out on the left it will be much harder to get crosses in due to his non existent left foot.
Good point. Still though, you can just imagine Walcott curling them into the far post Henry-style but that kind of opportunity rarely arises.
Not to mention he can take passes from the inside and ahead of him on his right foot from Ozil or Wilshere in the middle – considering how well that exploits his pace… too good of a weapon to not use.
Also, the “wingers” (be it Cazorla or Podolski) do sometimes switch with Walcott during the game. It’s just that we haven’t seen much of either Cazorla or Podolski this term.
would just like to point out that gnabry is not available for selection, so he did not ‘miss the cut’. At the moment I personally would rather gnabry in the squad than Ryo. I have seen no positives of Ryo in an arsenal shirt so far
Agreed. Gnabry over Ryo.
Ryo is what Theo was back when he was 20. I’d very well love to see him given a shot.
That’s because nobody but the Arsenal staff have even seen him in an Arsenal shirt. There are no negatives either. Give him a chance. You’ve seen Gnabry in maybe what, 3 more games?
You know, us Gooners are getting a lot of stick on online football forums – all the knob head Manure and Chelski fans saying we won’t get out of our group this year.
Once again we’re gonna prove them wrong – and I can’t wait to see a certain Portuguese cunt’s face when his horrible side fuck it up and go out after losing to FC Basel
I’d wish United good luck in the Europa this year, but alas I don’t see them clinching 3rd in their group.
Good news. Now Marseille you are the next enemy and against the enemies we don’t loose. COY0G!!
Well…actually we lose quite often, but we win more than we lose, so it’s all good.
Sometimes we draw.
Sometimes we get deducted points because Brian McClair is a fat cunt.
Who is this Semi Ajayi by the way? Never heard of him before.
Best news I’ve heard all day! 3 points in the bag…..
Let’s beat Drogba’s club by 4 or 5 tomorrow!!!!
Semi Ajayi seems interesting in that he’s a young centre-back who we might be able to mould into that fourth choice we’re looking to add to our squad. The last defender we bought from Charlton turned into a solid player albeit after being chucked into the deep end. Let’s hope we’re smarter with this lad.
Great that Giroud is fit but hopefully they are not taking chance with it. Hopefully he 100% fit. Cannot take chances with knees
Have we found our 4th choice CB?
Wouldn’t it just be arsenal to lose this game and then win the two ‘harder’ away ones… ( dont hurt me )
As much as I want the points, I want us to come through it unscathed. Can’t afford to lose anyone else
‘Semi’ means ‘do me’.
It is pronounced as ‘Shay Me’.
Calling him Semi will sound like people need Speech Therapists.
Like Koscienly I’ve never heard of him too….
In the event giroud scores semi could always pop up in celebration….
Semi pronounced as sheyme just like Sade pronounced as shadey or asa , asha .