Thursday, June 20, 2024

Wenger on squad fitness and contract negotiations

Arsene Wenger has confirmed Nicklas Bendtner will play against Coventry City in tomorrow night’s FA Cup fourth round game with Coventry City and stressed that his squad won’t rest on their laurels after last year’s shock defeat to Blackburn Rovers. 

Speaking to assembled press at London Colney this morning, the boss noted: “We had a good warning against Blackburn last season. I know much more than you think about Coventry. I’ve had many difficult games against them.

“We have to prepare for this game seriously. We are on a good run and we want to gain respect.”

Surprisingly Tomas Rosicky’s broken nose keeps him sidelined for the game, despite the fact he was on the bench at the weekend, while the boss also confirmed that Aaron Ramsey and Mikel Arteta won’t return to full training until Monday. It remains to be seen whether the duo are available for Tuesday’s Premier League encounter at Southampton.

“I haven’t decided whether to start Oxlade-Chamberlain [against Coventry]. I will assess him today, but he is close,” he added.

The boss was also asked for an update on negotiations with Per Mertesacker, Bacary Sagna and Tomas Rosicky and strangely, having been positive on all three last week, he remarked: “Close on most of them, but not all of them.”

You suspect Bacary is the sticking point.

Weirder still was his reaction to a question about Thomas Vermaelen’s future. “I’m ready to extend Vermaelen’s contract. He is a quality player and I’m open to it,” said the boss of a player who has slipped down the centre-back pecking order despite being club captain.

“We want Thomas Vermaelen to be happy and have the number of games a player of his class deserves. I have huge respect for his quality and his attitude.

“We will speak about that. At the moment, we are all on board to achieve something that is respectable and at the end of the season, I can sit down with Thomas and decide what he wants to do.”

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Very weird answers by Wenger. Probably we closing in on somebody and boss has poker face on.
“I dont know Cazorla/Not close to signing Arteta”

Edu's Braces

I love Arsene but his press conferences can be a frustrating read.


Fucking hell again Arsene delaying Ramseys return again.

I feel Arsenal players dread a layoff more than others coz it wl be exxaggerated, you will be given an abnormal amount of time away from the pitch and then when you’re fit, you’re still not fit. So you find yourself playing a reserve game or two then make it to the bench sometime later on and just when you’re starting your first few games, the season in ending.

Bring Ramsey back!


your the sort of moron who bemoans players not coming back quickly enough and are then the first to moan if a player is bought back too quickly and injures themselves because they are not fully ready. you dont take risks like that with your quality players. especially when you have enough good players to make up for it. were playing southampton, not man city, we are easily capable of beating them with the players we have now. if i was injured at arsenal I wouldnt dread it a bit, knowing youl be allowed time to come back to %100… Read more »


Do you honestly think Arsene is deliberately sidelining one of his best players for shits and giggles? If anything we need Rambo fit for the rest of the season, so why risk him against Coventry when we’ve got Southampton, Liverpool and United coming up!? If anything its super refreshing to be able to give him (and Arteta) time to come back fully rather than rushing folks back in as we’ve done in seasons past. I, like you, can’t wait for Aaron to be back on the pitch for us, but I can’t believe you actually think Arsene is delaying his… Read more »

Swede Goon

I wish you were the manager, then we would be much better off.


Are you sure you even watch Arsenal? Reserve games, what?!


Well and truly noted guy but in Ramseys case i believe he has been fit for a long time, could have made it back 2 games ago if im honest but since we have aplethora of options in midfield this is the time Arsene finds extended game time for Flamini and recently jack or the likes. so when ramsey eventually returns player B will have got more game time so he doesn’t end up complaining (sort of making everyone happy situation) forgetting that it hurts our performance goal-scoring wise.


igor stepanovs

i agree with you heroldgoon. i actually thought eduardo should have been forced to play on crutches after that tackle at birmingham.


As I scrolled down the name ‘Heraldgoon’ came into view. I had one of those ‘do I or don’t I’ moments and read it. Shit. I scrolled too far. The bastard had sucked me in and I began to read…It was like wandering through the garden in the dark and hoping I hadn’t trodden on dog shit.


Great news on the Verminator if he’s happy to stick around. Best reserve CB in the league?


Not surprised re: TV5. hard to find a 3rd string CB of his quality. the question is, is he willing to stay?

Virginia Goon

If he doesn’t decide to say the throphy drought question has to be unearthed. What kind of guys are we bringing in that they can’t stand being a key member of the squad albeit on the bench, for a league leading side capable of winning trophies. We can attack this on all angles but it just proves that being able to compensate a player of his prowess and skill yet not give him the proper game time(due to performances of people ahead of him) really does matter. Look at city, Chelsea, hate their guts but one has to question if… Read more »


Not sure about at Chelsea but I don’t think many of City’s declared squad, not even their keepers, spend most of season on the bench, only getting a rare game when the preferred choice is injured. City definitely rotate more than we do. I suspect this helps them on both the injury/jadedness front and with the morale of the squad. The feeling that you’re second best, as Monreal is surely feeling this season, must be slightly demoralising unless you’re a kid who’s fairly new to the first team, e.g. Jenkinson, Gnabry, etc. I’m not suggesting we break up the Kos-Merte… Read more »

Big F**king Cameroonian

“If something exceptional turns up of course we will do it” . Arsene words over transfers never changes.

Bould's Eyeliner

Neither does it seem to change with his dealings either, save for the price tag – which I say is a good thing.


yes, but it’s very rare for something exceptional to turn up in january and we have a pretty decent squad. we could probably do with another CB and maybe a winger/striker but if there isn’t top quality available i don’t see much point in doing business now. i’m secretly hoping we are going to do a deal for draxler in the summer. he would be the final piece of the jigsaw for me…

Canadian Arsenal Fan

I would like to see Mandzukic come to Arsenal after Lewandowski goes to Bayern. I think that he and olivier would have a huge competition to see who starts


I know much more than u think about coventry…. And I know much more that Bacary, Roscisky and Per will sign at the end… It can only be one Arsenal and solo Wenger.. In him Wε trust… Love AFC.


Talk about leaving us in suspense!!!! They should cut the re-runs of breaking bad on the team bus


Do you mean Vermaelen is not off to Fat Sam ‘s ? I can’t believe it…
And on a serious note SIGN ON SAGNA for fuck sake !!


Never heard Wenger apologise for no signings before….


He says he feels guilty because there is no news.

Gunner in Ghana

We need to keep Sagna! Pure nd simple.


No surprise that Wenger want TV5 to stay longer. Question is if he wants to stay as a 3rd. choce centre half, think it will be hard to keep a player vermaelen. However I would love if he would like to stay. Hard to find a better backup centre half.


Oh Wenger




We need a striker and he knows it. That’s why he’s apologised. Without backup for giroud the title will go to city.
The mistake was made in the summer when we should have and could bought. January is always a tough time to buy. But we also knew that too.


Somehow, you seem to be under the impression that Wenger didn’t want to an didn’t try to sign a striker in the summer

oyedotun olanrewaju akeem

He knows what is good for the team, let us pray 4his success! Gunners till infinity.


Wenger knows what is needed. He will get someone in to help us but not on a permanent deal. Let’s keep faith in him as usual…Arsenal till I die!!


Arsenal clearly needs a striker and World class DM if we’re going to challenge for titles this season… We must be able to take 3pts from the top EPL teams. We need Wenger to play Podolsk; Giroud and Rosicky/Ox/Gnabry together upfront for better goals tally. I suspect goals difference will play a major part of the title challenge this season!


Disagree with most of this, except that it might come down to Goal Difference at the end of the season. Leaving aside MC, we’re one ahead of Chelsea and one behind Liverpool. Winning every game is still paramount, but would be nice to do so by more than a goal or two (at least to keep up with the bitey racist). Don’t think we necessarily need a new striker to do this, but HFB needs to rediscover his early season ruthlessness.

21 goals ahead of Sp*rs though. Ha!


I’m pretty sure Toothy’s scoring tally = our entire GD right? He really is a fucking beast. But then Liverpool have the shittest back four I’ve seen in a top 5 club for a while, hence the GD


I hope Podolski starts this time. Ozil can be put on the bench so he can get some rest before Southampton. Cazorla starts in the middle. He is getting really confident so this game can improve it even more.


‘I know much more than you think about Coventry’ is my absolute favourite chat up line. Saunter up to a lady in a club and whisper that in her ear and she’s usually pretty much good to go.


What other brain teaser do u need I ask???….. Just listed to Le Prof press conference


If Aaron and Mikel return to training on Monday, they’ll probably be on the bench for Southampton on Tuesday then. I can’t wait for those two to be back in action for us. Such important members of our team.


Possible lineup against Coventry?


Fabianski jeckinson vermaelen mertesacker Monreal flamini wilshere cazorla\ zelalem gnabry bendtner podolski

Or, at least so I hope. Maybe Wenger wouldn’t like to rotate that much

Trex d' Gunner

According to the media (yes I know, with a pinch of salt) Arsenal is offering Sagna a contract extension on the same £60k per week from his previous contract, I guess we should prepare ourselves for his exit. He is arguably the best RB in the league (the Corporal is still to inexperienced & lacks proper game time). Keeping an experienced player of his caliber most be made paramount. £90k to £100k should seal the deal.


I’m predicting a late, cheeky £40,000,002 bid for Luis Saurez. We’ll get our man in the end!

Canadian Arsenal Fan

i would chip in that extra 2 pounds


awesome i’m to much more than previously optimistic this team and that my big hope to reward me and the supporters in the worldwide,cheers caners

teddy salad

rambing pete knows

teddy salad

shit, *rambling*.
damn you, delicious haggis, damn you to hell.

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