Monday, March 20, 2023

Monreal out until mid-October

Arsene Wenger has confirmed that the back injury picked up by Nacho Monreal in the 2-2 draw with Manchester City will rule him out until after the international break.

The Spanish left-back will miss four games during that period, having already be unavailable for last week’s matches with Borussia Dortmund and Aston Villa. He should be fit for the first game after the October Interlull against Hull City.

With Mathieu Debuchy ruled out for three months after undergoing surgery on his injured ankle it means the Gunners are down to four ‘fit’ first team defenders – Kieran Gibbs, Calum Chambers, Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker.

Ahead of tomorrow’s Capital One Cup clash with Southampton it appears the boss is ready to draw on Academy prospects to plug the defensive gaps.

“You might see Hector Bellerin, Francis Coquelin and Isaac Hayden,” he told “In the squad, we also have Chuba Akpom and Semi Ajayi as well. These are the players that are the closest.”

Yaya Sanogo, Theo Walcott and Serge Gnabry are also tipped to return in mid-October. In their continued absence the likes of Joel Campbell, Lukas Podolski and Tomas Rosicky are expected to play on the flanks tomorrow.

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Daft Aider

Oh bum, let’s hope Gibbs is unusually lucky for the next month or so…………

Runcorn Gooner

In the words of Michael Caine at the end of Italian Job……I have a plan!

Formerly Known As El Capitano

Nacho Monreal was our ‘ace in the hole’ .. the defensive hole.. that’s getting bigger every f*cking week.



our defensive hole will soon be bigger than sasha greys… :s


Sasha got unlimited plugger for hers, we dont :\


Best comment

Scott P

For all of our figuring of who will play CB or RB in the absence of Debuchy or Mertescielny, no one has really raised the question of what will happen at LB. Guess we thought we didn’t need to, how naive!


I reckon let’s go for full on Maureen-style mind games and pick Ospina at LB…


The day we do anything Maureen-style, is the day I’ll contemplate suicide.


Death by parked bus? Is that even possible?


Just start Flamini, Coquelin or even Ormonde-Ottewill tommorow. I don’t want to see Gibbs play one game more than absolutely necessary.

Daft Aider

I don’t think Chambers, Per, Kos or Gibbs should play tomorrow to be honest


I agree. To be honest, after we got that trophy drought out of the world, I don’t care if we lose tommorow. The important part is to give some young players valuable experience and avoid injuries to first team players. Give Ospina his debut, put Hayden and Bellerin out there and see how it goes. I would like to see Akpom and Zelalem play too.

Jeremy Blue

Was that a Firefly reference?


I don’t see one there and I’m pretty well-versed in Browncoat.

“I don’t care, I’m still free; you can’t take Meterscielny from me?”


I have never watched Firefly, so I’m afraid not. I will try to sneak in a Pulp Fiction reference here and there though.


@Yacine I think the reference that Jeremy thought he saw was in the sentence “after we got that trophy drought out of the world”, which sounds not dissimilar to “Take us out of the world, Wash. Got us some crime to be done.”

We browncoats tend to see references where, sadly, there are only words. And juggled geese.


100% agree here. absolutely insane to risk any senior defender. could almost make a case for bellerin to be excluded also all things considered but would probably be good for him to play.

Runcorn Gooner

I don’t think any player due to start or sub against Spuds should be anywhere near the stadium tomorrow night.


I reckon AW ought to go into the Auld Triangle tonight and pick some of the roofers for tomorrow’s game.


Don’t even play Flamini as he’s our cover for Left back.


We could always register Steve Bould and start him at center back.


I am guessing that Gibbs will get the game, but no bombing forward. Let Bellerin bomb forward.

Bellerin, Chambers, Hayden, Gibbs
Coquelin, Diaby
Rosicky, Cazorla, Campbell
Subs: Szczesny, Arteta, Zelalem, Wilshere, Flamini, Ajayi, Akpom,


I don’t think Podolski will ever get a start up front again. Wenger has been pretty unequivocal about his performances up front for us.


Should never have come down to this. No justification for it


This is taking the piss!! WHAT THE SHAD IS GOING ON?? And there goes cover for CB!


I don’t know how Shad comes into it right now. This is at the door of Arsene, Dick and Ivan. Kind of scary to think that we talk about competing for the title with a straight face and have a squad overloaded with “I can’t tell you the number of people who want to play number 10” (Yeah Arsene, who bought them? Did the tooth fairy take a tooth and give us all of them for free?).
Very questionable decision making. Negligent.

All that said, we are supporters, let’s enjoy the football, it is getting better slowly slowly.


I don’t like the prospect of Bellerin or Chambers facing Di Maria. Unless ofcourse Di Maria get injured in the first 5 mins and goes out for the whole season

Injured Gooner

Belirin has our new sprint record, besides that he also seems to only be able to last for the first part of the match, when he fades away, the whole team falls apart.

the only sam is nelson

good opportunity for the youngsters at the back to impress. and looking forward to seeing diaby, TR7 and others tomorrow night!


Agreed. Might get to unleash Campbell too!

Have a feeling we’ll see a few first teamers too though. I think despite our injuries at the back, either Koscielny or Per will start. Probably Per who will be off resting during the international break. And Kos had that injury not so long ago so will prob not be risked. We are very short of numbers but he won’t want to lose the game either.

Love this competition

Henry! Chance!! Goal!!!

This is absolutely disturbing. 2 full backs down and we now reduced to bare bones in defense


Given our current squad, I don’t think we can risk any first team defenders. So maybe this should be the team..

Bellerin – Hayden – Ajayi – Coquelin
Wilshere – Rosicky – Diaby/Zelalem

Although it sounds like Ajayi won’t start so we’re going to risk either Kos or Per…


This is officially a joke. Guess Herr Wenger himself think he can maybe step in, clear a few balls himself when he thought all the central defenders he was eyeing were too expensive for his taste. Or this is Wenger’s new strategy to promote his U-21 defenders; a deviation from his usual U-21 midfield/striker policy. Until he finds out they’re all crap and start buying 40 million pound centre backs and then maybe we can challenge for the title in another 10 years


Arsene said this “He is not far, but he is not ready yet.”

So not too sure where you got after international break from! That was for Sanogo, Walcott & Gnabry.

Poor showing from a website I love & admire.



I’ve quoted Arsene from the website, they haven’t.

Daft Aider

According to reports from, Monreal is a one man 12 instrument mariachi band from Johannesburg called Good Charlotte



Threadbare does not even come close!

Flamini can play at LB and do a good job but we are light at CB. I think we should give Shad a game.


Shad would probably get injured.


Why do we have no defence, made some good signings in the summer and no squad depth in defence will ruin the impact they could have


Heal fast boys!

It’ll be exciting (read: Nerve Wracking) to see our youth step up. Hopefully, Coquelin will take any little opportunity he gets and prove something.

Stay healthy Gibbo!


Me too, I have a soft spot for Coquelin and keep dreaming he will take over from Arteta as time goes by.


On a midfield side-note:

I wonder if Arsene shouldn’t deploy Ozil and Cazorla consistently as our “Xavi and Iniesta”??


Arsene has royally screwed this up, he’s let the fans, the club and the current set of players down.
Why he thought 6 defenders and 2 ageing defensive midfielders were enough is anyone’s guess?
There’s no excuses left, it’s a shame we will probably never knows if he’s good enough, because he never gives it everything he could.


Hope stars are born as a result of this injury sabotage by the old gods and new. Their must be a silver lining, surely?


There* Fuck!


When sh*t hits us, it hits us hard.


That’s what happens when you run straight at it.


I still can’t understand why we refused to sign Manolas…we could as well have signed a defender in the £12m-£15m bracket…it was just crazily risky and it’s already manifesting just 4 weeks into d season


at this rate Steve Bould will be coming off the bench to fill the gaps


Wenger is being creative. No need to get worked up. #inwengerwetrust!


I can’t believe this… you mean to tell me there’s TWO Interlulls in the space of one month??!!!


Usually I’d be pissed too but considering the injures we have, this is not necessarily such a bad thing…


Three interlulls in three months, actually – there’s one in November, too.


Another reason why I no longer have faith in Arsene Wenger. This is his fault. When we should be kicking on and challenging for the premier league, now we only have four defenders available. Fucking irresponsible. Season defining mistake. He should be sacked next season if Arsenal want to progress.


And W(ho)TF are you, WHZ?


Any decent LB coming from youth ranks ?

Daft Aider

For the first time in years, no


Another injury? Yeah right…

Almost had me, Arseblog.



Flamini can cover left LB to a decent level, but hopefully it won’t come to that. He will be alright there tomorrow though.

Is Diaby available tomorrow? I would love to see him.


We have gone into this season with no centre back cover. A young talent signed as a right back will not fool the fans that this was anything other than incompetence.


Wenger got careless and now every fan will be anxious in every game for no fault of ours. Hope Gibbs stays fit but I dread the Gala game.

Tazmanian Jesus

Another damn interlull??
Only one thing positive about that, our injured players seem to come back right after them…but then we have 3 other players that got injured IN the interlull…


Does squad depth mean 3 LBs? I always thought 2 was enough.


2 is enough. The problem however is when our two backup full backs are also our two backup centre backs.

another goon

I expect it to be

Bellerin – Hayden – Chambers/Ajayi – Gibbs
Coquelin – Diaby
Campbell – Rosicky – Podolski

Not sure who could play instead of Gibbs as LB.. Bellerin or Chambers maybe, and put Ajayi in as CB?

another goon

oh yea, I forgot about the Flamster.


AW is in the market for free-agent defenders. At least one should be comin in very soon. In the next week or so.


True or not………..For a club of our stature & resources its pathetic & inexcusable to be in that situation, no 2 ways about it.


Flamini did really well at LB in 05/06 for those of you old enough to remember and he or Rambo could play RB if needed as well. Hoping to see a young defence tomorrow so we can see who may be ready to step in! Looking forward to seeing Hayden (and Bellerin again).


He’ll come good in a few matches, but Ramsey’s having enough problems playing simple passes in his preferred position so far…….let’s not confuse the lad with switching positions bc of Arsenes defensive negligence


ready or not, they are stepping into the first team squad tomorrow my friend. and therein lies the point.

This is not good. what about the NLD? Mauricio is a better coach than the shower of shit they have been hiring for the last few years. Twitchy (Redknapp), Young Clueless Hipster (Villas-Boas), Gilet hurling backroom politician (Sherwood).


We could see the debut of Cash Reserves tomorrow!

No Gibbs, Mert, Kos, or Chambers for tomorrow please. Bellerin and Flamini can cover in the back 4. Hayden and someone else as CBs.


Yet another injury that basically ends up being worst case scenario. Why don’t we have any Rooney like miracle injuries? “He’s out for two months” – bam, ready by the next big game. A bit of luck would be nice, for once!


This is pretty interesting…

Top of the injury table again. Well apart from Villa. Just like last season.


But look at that list.. two defenders injured. Two. And we’re in a full blown injury crisis. Mental. We shouldn’t be blaming the physio department for this, we are bound to have 2 defenders injured at some point this season and we should be greatful that at least it’s two we still first team cover for! With all due respect to the other injuries they pale in comparison – I don’t think Sanogo or Gnabry being injuried gives us too many problems (they are nowhere our first team right now), Giroud we effectively replaced with Welbeck and Walcott we have… Read more »

Feeder Club No More

Would you all rather have bought Mangala from Porto to break up the Mertascielny Axis of awesome? I am sure Gazidis, Dick, Arsene, Bouldie, and Stan all wanted to buy a CB but honestly what top defender could we have bought for 25 million that would have been ok with starting most games on the bench? This is reality with agents who preferably want their players not sit on the bench. I would rather let our youngsters like Hayden and Bellerin come through instead of going out and signing an older defender who has lost several yards of pace…Silvestre, Squillaci,… Read more »


I’m sorry man, calling bs on your blinkered, asinine view of this situation. We are in this situation because we did not sign the required personnel. The Mertescielny axis of awesome can always live with some competition, and be happy for a little rotation. recall what blogs said in a recent post on how he noticed Koscielny stretching in a lull in the game, favoring his knee or achilles (I don’t remember). The axis can be broken by red cards and injuries and we have lost our greatest back up left back at center back. Nacho.


We’re not the only club with loads of injuries.
I wish people would stop going on about a curse. It’s bollocks.


Actually, last year we had almost as many injuries as City, Chelsea and Liverpool combined, the three teams ahead of us on the table. Coincidence?


Suddenly it seems a no-brainer we let jenkinson leave on loan. *sigh* its funny how the earth rotates


Good point MTZ


Oh well at least we have cash reserves £35 ml to cover for Dubuchy and cash reserves £25 ml to cover for Monreal. What’s that you say? The former is on loan to Man C$ty and the latter has an ankle strain, and will be out for a least 6 weeks?


I love the amateur dramatics on this site. We could wait and see if it actually costs us any games but oh no lets jump in right it now and all declare that wenger is a total dickhead! Haha


Or just that he made a mistake in not buying cover…….nobody is above criticism.


Back problem eh? Kim Kallstrom anyone?

I’d expect Flamini will keep a watching brief in the position as alternate to Gibbs. Coquelin will then cycle into DM cover, as to some extent Diaby. Chambers will also watch RB and DM.

There is a bit of redundancy built in but obviously, lack of a fourth choice Cback presents its own problems and impacts other areas.

“Crisis” is manageable but risky.

Bouldy's Tupee

With such light cover in defense Wenger should pack the midfield with players who are exceptionally great on holding onto the ball. This will balance the lighter defense since the opposing team will never have the ball to score against us. The new “parking the bus” tactic.


Yeah, he has kind of tried this, the 4-1-4-1 is his version of this tactic.
Last season’s bad games were also built on the assumption that the opponent will just not try to take the ball from us. I mean why would they try? And what could go wrong with a 7 man midfield, they would never even let these opponents take the ball, right? Right?

Dan the Arsenal Fan

Well let’s hope the new Welbeck to Ozil, Ozil to Welbeck connection keeps finding the back of the net. Then whoevers playing defense won’t seem quite as important.


Wenger talks about getting innovative, are we going to see say a 2-5-3, to say I don’t fucking care about defence?

Or the other innovative options stated above – field himself and/or Bould!

All I can think off is ‘idiot’ but probably as usual he knows better.


Defensive cover is far from ideal but not a crisis as suggested by the media.

We have 5 at the back plus Flamini or Coquelin can shift out to fullback cover.

Also worth noting whilst numbers count, we are really only a player short at Cback.

As United has amply demonstrated, no point having paper strength back there either. We are in need of a Cback for cover at the moment bc Chambers is also covering fullback.


The point about defensive cover though is you’d think we should know it is an area where we are likely to suffer more than a fair share of knocks.

Whilst many coloured us with being unlucky with injuries last season, we were extremely luck not to sustain injuries to CF last season as well as in defense and at DM.

Tony Hall

So now we have just four fit first team defenders. There was just no excuse for not strenghening the defence in the summer, wtf was the club thinking. Competition is a good thing, it keeps players on their toes!
And people keep going on about the Mertescielny axis of awesomeness yet so far we have shipped how many goals already in games this season? Another gpod CB hungry for first team action keeping them on their toes is a GOOD thing!


We have 5 defenders :

Bellerin is very much part of the first team.

That would mean we have Gibbs and Bellerin wide + Chambers

And Meterscielny in the middle Plus Chambers.

if Chambers has to deputise in the middle and should one of the fullbacks get knocked, Flamini will cover (or Coquelin)

It is not ideal but workable short term. I think Wenger will have to visit Cback again this Jan but it will be difficult.

Meanwhile we have to be very prudent with use of assets at the back.


ie. whilst cause for concern, it is important not to be carried away either. Let’s not exaggerate the ‘crisis’…just yet at least.;)


With Debuchy and Monreal out, we will have to be extremely careful sheperding resource. If I were to even try to make sense as to why Wenger did not bring in cover at Cback, I would think he is extrapolating 6 months to a season down as to who may come available. As much as Carvalho was (this time round) made out to be the solution to all our woes, we have also had MVilla, Kayoute, Capoue, Wanyama, Gustavo, non of whom have particularly shined since. That said, one option would be to bring in a player who can cover… Read more »

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