Thursday, December 7, 2023

Ozil and Monreal face fitness tests ahead of Hull

Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Kieran Gibbs will miss Sunday’s trip to Hull City but that Nacho Monreal and Mesut Ozil could, depending on fitness tests to be conducted tomorrow, be available.

Ozil hasn’t featured for the Gunners since injuring his hamstring in the draw against Bayern Munich last month, while Monreal and Gibbs both picked up problems in Saturday’s Wembley win over Wigan. Thomas Vermaelen filled in (very well) at left-back in their absence on Tuesday evening and should be able to pick up the slack if the Spaniard doesn’t make it.

Mathieu Flamini is also back in contention for a starting berth after serving his two game ban and might replace Mikel Arteta who could probably do with a rest of a lot of minutes in the last couple of weeks.

After Everton’s defeat to Crystal Palace last night the Gunners have a real opportunity to tighten their grip on fourth place, especially with Roberto Martinez’s side facing Manchester United later on Sunday afternoon.

The game also represents a preview of the FA Cup final, although on this occasion Mrs Doubtfire will have cup-tied duo Nikica Jelavic and Shane Long to call upon for Hull.

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Sounds weird but given his performance on Tuesday and Nacho’s recent form I’d be slightly tempted to play Vermaelen regardless of whether Monreal is fit.

Then again, the point is often raised on here that we’re playing all four centre backs at once and that’s a bit risky. Tough call.


Agree. Monreal – and his flaws – were completely exposed against Everton. Yes, the TEAM did not show up on the day, but I think Monreal has looked like a weak link for a little while when he’s playing. Verm was solid in the back Tuesday which is something we need. Especially with Poldi hopefully continuing to contribute offensively (but not really defensively) on the left wing. A solid back four should be our foundation in the coming weeks…


I agree, absolutely need to go with Vermaelen. He is a better option than Monreal now and knows how to defend. He also will not be caught out of position as much as Monreal is. Plus it gives us another strong header for defending free kicks (though for some crazy reason Wenger has him back at midfield on corner kicks that we take just because he is an outside defender even though he is a goal scoring threat, put someone else back at midfield on our corners and let him go in the box).

ArseCast Administrator 2_3

Chamakh was great last night hope he does well for himself at Palace

ArseCast Administrator 2_3

No more Monreal please


I hope we fuck Mrs. Doubtfire twice this month, wait what?



We are no longer top of the premier league injury table!


Oor Wullie

Spurs ahead of us in a league table!


*Sniff sniff* I never thought I’d live to see the day!


Just shows how the three teams who overtook us over the second half of the season have gone by with virtually no significant injuries whereas we have been plagued with injuries, namely to our player of the moment (Ramsey) and our best player (Ozil). And then everyone says that they always knew we would fall behind. I’d like to see Liverpool play for three months without S and S and see how they fare.


At the same time this is no longer ‘unlucky’, given it happens to us season after season. It is obviously a problem of our own making and therefore can and should not be used as an excuse as to why we crumble.


Great news that Mesut is back. We have really missed his “disinterested” arse!

On another note altogether, I’ve noticed that we have fallen out of the top eight in UEFA’s coefficient ranking. Luckily there won’t be any Champions League next season for our usurpers, Valencia. So, should we indeed make it, we’ll still be in the top pot.

Really could do with a strong run in the competition next season though.


Umm, I’m pretty sure ManUre won’t be in next season’s Champions League either…


Good point! They have completely fallen off my radar!

Nor will they have any European footy next season so 0 points for that year as well. Meaning they’ll drop out of the top 8 altogether.





Seems a little silly that Valencia can rise so high from, basically, just playing Europa League. I think there’s hardly any difference in points gained for getting to the semis of the Europa as the CL, when the former is obviously far easier to do.

ringo xiii

It’s not just Valencia – as it stands, six of the top 13 clubs in UEFA’s coefficient ranking won’t be playing champions league next season. That includes Man Utd (hehe) who, if they don’t get into the Europa League will almost certainly drop in the rankings to 16th next year

bergkamp's statue

Fingers crossed monreal will be fit, the BFG needs some rest also


Mrs Doubtfire ha

Hank Scorpio

Very disappointed with that WindsorGooner. Looks like another chance for a trophy gone begging.I bet we lead the injury table for most of the season too…….


Thank GOD for what happened last night,alsenal need to be serious this time around.

Koscielny's pocket

I’ll start Vermaelen regardless, and if he continues to perform well at LB he might play there until the end of the season.

I don’t know, I just have this feeling that he’s still the team captain, his presence is well-needed, he needs to start regularly, etc.


What happened to Gibbs (again)?


Damn Hair Tonic.

True Red

FFS Another title frittered away. The players need to look at themselves. We’ve always prided ourselves on having the most injured players. We will just have to take the consolation prize of the FA Cup if we can’t win the injury league


Changing Verminator’s position frequently does not seem good for him.
Rather play him at hus original position will makr him get his full fit ASAP.


Verminator looked very solid. I liked the defensive setup in the last game.

Gary Baldy

Does this mean that a certain baseball cap wearing Welshman will be recieving a Christmas card from a M. Wenger this year ?


Maybe a shower cap for his baseball cap.


Great news about Ozil. Hopefully when he does come back he’ll show that excellent early season form. Brilliant football last night, wasn’t it? Sadly, those useless cunts at Sky and BT Sport decided to ignore the two Premier League games – which always looked like they were going to be very interesting. Sky instead chose to show us a foreign cup final. Knobs. Great goal by Monkey-Boy, though. But what does it tell you when two sides which pissed all over us at home couldn’t beat the might of Palace or Sunderland? You decide. The one thing to emerge this… Read more »


🙂 Happy easter to you too ……

2014……. bunch of nobodies on the internet calling pros like wenger ‘inspector clueless’…..

such great football culture…such civility…such intelligence……very difficult to find


What does it say about Chelsea when they can’t beat West Ham at home and we stuffed them 3-1. We could play that game all night long and come to the conclusion that everyone is shit and no one deserves to win the league.

I suspect that might be the only conclusion you would be happy with though.


You can always trust Fatgooner to take the negatives for Arsenal and especially for Arsene out of anything and everything.


kinda like spurs fans


Not surprised to see even more than the usual negativity from FG – he must have been so disappointed yesterday to get one of his comments thumbed up, and felt he had to outdo himself today to make up.


Want some cookie Fats?? I know you do..

Next will be Pulis for AFC Manager – Courtesy of Fats @ Real Fan

Here.. Have another cookie!!


Thank god Ozil is almost back. Using one of those predictor thingies I got this. I think we might draw at Hull/Norwich but win the home games. Everton’s great run was against poor teams. We were also really struggling when we played them during that run. Their away form over the season isn’t great. They have some tough games coming up and I can see them not picking up too many wins (famous last words.) We’ve got Ozil coming back and he’ll make a huge difference. Giroud has just done a Bergkamp, so hopefully he’ll have his confidence boosted like… Read more »


I did the predictor thingy, too.

This week:
Chelsea 0-1 Sunderland
Norwich 2-1 Liverpool
Hull 0-3 Arsenal
Man City 1-2 West Brom

Next week:
Liverpool 2-2 Chelsea
Crystal Palace 1-0 Man City
Arsenal 4-0 Newcastle

Week after next:
Everton 1-0 Man City
Arsenal 5-0 West Brom
Chelsea 0-1 Norwich
Crystal Palace 2-0 Liverpool
Man City 0-1 Aston Villa

Final week:
Cardiff 2-1 Chelsea
Liverpool 1-2 Newcastle
Man City 0-1 West Ham
Norwich 0-6 Arsenal

Final standings:
Arsenal 79
Liverpool 78
Chelsea 76
Man City 71


Pushing it mate.. But we can hope, right?? COYG!!!

Djangoon Unchained

Fucking hell fats. I sincerely hope that if we win the FA Cup this year, you’ll take a day off from your usual bitter and negative existence and just enjoy it. I’ve got a feeling though, you’ll find something to moan about no matter what.


Django (I’ll spell your name properly), all I care about is the FA Cup right now.
Fourth is not a trophy.


you dont know football

Az Ahmed

Obviously Martinez’ Wigan proved that the FA Cup is superior to the league. He believed it so much so that he did not give a shit about dropping out of the Premiership, as long as they won the FA Cup. Not a shit given.


And why didnt he go down with them?


He used his Master Tactician skills to personally avoid the drop.

Djangoon Unchained

Fatgooner (I’ll spell your name properly), obtaining 4th place is absolutely vital. FA Cup win is equally important. Nobody thinks fourth is a trophy, but everyone knows it’s a necessity.

By the way, I thought better of spelling your name with a ‘c’ followed by ‘unt’ because what right do I have to tell you how to spell your own name (and vice versa)? That’s right, none rights. Right, glad we righted that wrong. Don’t write back.


Give it a rest Django.. He’s a proper fan of AFC who wants THE ARSENAL to obtain mediocrity just so that he can be proven right..

Have another cookie @ Fats.. Its on the house..

Mikel Artekkers

I’d have half a mind not to play Özil for this game in case Steve Bruce tries to eat him.


Start flamini and karlstromm for this and get them to inject some steel into the side, pretty sure hull are going to try to injure our lads in the hopes that they miss the final next month. They are afterall being managed by lumpy bruce who had no qualms instructing his players to do likewise when he was managing birmingham.


Excellent news. Wouldnt mind trying Monreal at left wing one day, if we’re light. he isnt bad at the left part, its the “back” that bothgers me. Neil is right, Maureen can’t win the League. Id honestly rather Tony Pubis won the CL than listen to that git preen for the next 3 months. I just want a fit squad by the 17th May. UTA!

Az Ahmed

Sorry but I cannot stomach the thought of Liverscum winning the title. I don’t care about the petrobillionaires and for them to win the league is a given, everyone expects it. But if the Scum win the league, we run out of excuses. They are not in a better financial situation than us by any stretch.


Let point d canon on them and tell d mmotherfucker Fitch COYG

Bendtner's Hair Band

I’d take TV5 over Nacho. At the moment Nacho is playing near the level of his predecessor, a certain Andre Santos.

Djangoon Unchained

Whoa there. Nacho is decent. Granted, he’s not playing his best but certainly not anywhere near as bad as that cuddly maverick we used to have.


I’d like to see Ozil unlock a back line and release the Ox a handful of times in these final few games. The Ox’s pace could really help Ozil get back into the mix fairly quickly.

I’d like to see TV5 at LB as well to help cover for Podolski. We need goals and if Wenger is truly contemplating an old school 4-4-2, then someone will need to defend on the lefthand side for Podolski.


I agree – if Poldi plays, regardless of whether it’s TV or Nacho, that back has to play defense first, offense second. Because Poldi will prioritize the other way around. And that side holding midfielder, whoever it is, needs to be there to help cover those duties. Kallstrom did that well with TV5.


In a poll on the mirror the fans preferred the cup over 4th place … I personally wouldn’t change playing from August to March (if we get dump early) with the elite of the world’s finest , than having a happy Sunday beating Hull and play the next 8 months agains Khazagchiry United teams …. That said, thank God Arsenal can pull both goals this season and please, stop moaning about not winning the league , cuz I can guarantythat if someone would offered u the FA Cup and 4th at the beginning of this season u would of take… Read more »


4th spot is not a trophy. It isn’t negotiable. It is a MINIMUM finish we must achieve. Wenger has set a very high standard for the club if this is (and it is) stagnation. The trophy does not guarantee us CL football which will make it easier to load on quality players this summer. You don’t see top players flocking to Wigan after their cup win do you? Thereby 4th and FA should be a reasonable effort this season and better than 2nd or 3rd without a trophy IMO. In that sense (unless Chelsea win CL or god forbid both),… Read more »

Momo (@MuhamLAD)

It’s weird, I remember seeing a stat that we used the least number of players in 03/04 season than any other season. Something like rotating 6 midfielders for almost the entirety of the season.

Nowadays we have like 8 but they all need to be rested so much more. What’s changed?


The attacking midfield area has seen a bit of rotation and injury.

But Arteta and Flamini have been used heavily this season in the CDM role (along with mainly jack before injury)

Also we haven’t rotated much at the back.

Nor of course up front for different reason.:)


Wonder if there is merit in Vermaelen being at LB. He did a great job last game and contrary to cries that he is out of position, he plays LB for Belgium. He seems no nonsense maybe not as quick as Gibbs in attack but still decent going forward or providing a long ball to Giroud for the goal. Monreal is a decent player but in all honesty if he can’t get his act together over Vermaelen, I don’t see why we should play him. On recent evidence, would seem TV gets the nod for me. He secured the back… Read more »


Fat gooner are you a guy called Wayne from Thetford way?


No. But nice part of the country.


Monreal is the fastest healer at the club…stretchered off just 8 days ago. What’s his secret?



Injured Gooner South Africa

A bit off topic:
I hope Im not the only one to look forward to having Camble back from Olympioucos. That kid looks an exciting prospect along with the current crop of youngster coming through.
Im really looking forward to seeing Ozil playing alongside Camble, Ox, Walcot, Jack + hopefully Marco Rues and or Draxle. Would also be interesting to see a bit of tactical maneuvering a bit further upfront in the same vain as we saw in mid-filed. Forwards being Gidroud, Marco, Podolski, Walcot, Sonogo, and hopefully Camble/Draxler.

4-4-2 maybe? Or 4-1-3-2, even maybe a 4-3-1-2?

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