Wenger reveals ‘bad news’ ahead of West Ham

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Arsene Wenger has revealed the latest team news ahead of tomorrow’s Premier League clash with West Ham.

There was further confirmation of the Santi Cazorla news, which will see the Spaniard ruled out for three months when he undergoes ankle surgery to correct a long-standing Achilles problem.

“For me it’s very bad news, because you always know the date of the surgery, but never the the date when they play again,” he said.

“He has an inflammation at the back of his foot, but nobody really knows where it comes from. The anti-inflammatory injections have not got rid of it.

“I always do my utmost to avoid surgery, it can cause rehab and complications, but in this case we have come to that conclusion. They tell me he’ll be out for two months at least, but it could be three.”

Asked if it might mean a January transfer move, he played that down, saying, “In midfield, we have many players. And you can’t find a Cazorla even if you wanted to.”

In terms of the rest of the injury news, he continued, “Elneny came out of our last game with sickness, we’ll test him today.”

As well as that he revealed Olivier Giroud is a doubt for tomorrow with a groin problem, and on Mathieu Debuchy he revealed the French international would miss around 6 weeks with a ‘severe hamstring’ injury.

Listen to today’s Arsecast for more on Santi and how we might cope

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Why not

Not so bad

Ang`are H Godfrey

We must win this weekend

Why not

So hard to be optimistic on this site. Relax people. Weve heard this bad news 5-6 times already. Such doom and gloom.

Gooooooooooooona

Only way it could be worse is if Sanchez got injured. No cazorla-no party!

Keep on waiting

I don’t think there’s a like for like replacement for Santi in the mid-field. someone that can keep the ball or get out of tight space in the midfield. I wanthink to see Iwobi in the midfield with Xhaka. he can dribble, got the vision to make a pass and he’s athletic. play the ox on the left. that would give us more attacking option instead of being toothless with any other midfield combo…
and who let Jack go on loan without a recall option?…or Gnabry without a buy-back clause?

Misog

Such an important player

AlbZ

“You can’t find a Cazorlia if you wanted too.”

So true – we’re better set up to cope with the loss that already derailed our season last year – but he’s remained such a unique and brilliant player.

I do hope Xhaka gets his chance now.

Ozdrexler

The boss knows his shit. There is and will forever be, only one Santi Cazorla.

Brian Outah

The only player that could come close to Santi is Rosicky. Atleast we gave Xhaka, Coq, Ramsey, Elneny and even the OX. We’re better placed than we were a couple of seasons ago #COYG

IamaGoober

I said it in a previous post, but Santi being out for this long, and over the most crucial part of the season has totally fucked us.

Gus Caesar

Yep – in my opinion it was the biggest reason we fell away last season. He’s the oil in the machine, without him there are too many sideways passes and Ozil doesn’t get the same service.

Jack

Play Xhaka with Ramsey tomorrow! It’s the one combination he hasn’t tried yet. Do it Arsene! This might be Ramsey’s chance to prove the doubters wrong!

Gus Caesar

Given his abject performance on Wednesday one might argue that he’s had his chance…

Dawn

So Ozil can’t perform effectively without Cazorla’s input, but slag Rambo off when he can’t either? Proper goon!

Stuck on repeat...

Ramsey might just prove his doubters right though.

Hass

I’d rather we continue with the Xhaka-Elneny partnership that we saw against Bournemouth. They seemed to complement each other really well. Ramsey has been unconvincing for years now.

Gus Caesar

Agreed. I know that Ramsey has a strange cult following amongst some fans but he lacks positional discipline and takes too many touches.

Aran Watson

Those two points exactly.

DB's first touch

The argument that Ramsey takes too many touches is often heard, but I think it can be coached out of him. Against PSG, I noticed that Ramsey was purposefully speeding up the tempo of his passing, and almost everything was 1 or 2 touch stuff. His ball winning abilities also seemed to be back against PSG…maybe its just be but i think there is a decent box to box midfielder in there somewhere (and contrary to popular opinion, I think that that is Ramsey’s best position, not #10 where his chance creation ability and decision making would be more exposed).

Doozer

So why not give Santi a new contract? He’s got some time to negotiate, now…

Gus Caesar

Probably because of the injury – it’s a chronic issue – as much as I love him, we might be better moving on from him if this surgery doesn’t work.

Ebo

We’ve really struggled without Santi almost every time he’s been out, his technical ability, passing and ability to get the ball out of defense is crucial to our style of play. Like Arsene says you can’t find another Cazorla, but right about now I’m starting to wonder if good ole Jack, when fit and in good form, is the closest thing?

He seems to be slowly getting back to himself over there, would’ve really loved to have him back in the squad in time for the manic Christmas period and heading into the new year.

Kadian

He has been out for over a month already he could’ve been on his way back by now if had a the surgery when this first happened

Obasang

Comments like this gets on my tits. Some people think they know everything…….

Arky

Really awful news. Well, the boss really needs to commit now to Xhaka in Santi’s place, and if it doesn’t work he needs to find a new setup that does work- how can we have attackers the calibre of Ozil and Sanchez and still look so toothless going forward in many games without Santi pulling the strings? If Xhaka doesn’t come off as the fulcrum of our attack, I’m afraid Wenger needs to hit the transfer market and find a new Santi over summer. I love the current one but an over-30 who has had two successive seasons derailed by… Read more »

John C

Wenger needs to leave in the summer and let someone else have a go.

DuckandChips

How about switching to 4-4-2 now Santi is out long term?
Have Xhaka and Coq in the middle- rotate who plays left and right of midfield and have Alexis and Giroud up top?
Why the aversion for 4-4-2? We won 3 league titles with that formation and didn’t Leicester play with a 4-4-2 formation last season?
I agree that Santi is irreplaceable, so why not switch system?

Southland Gunner

What would you do with Ozil?

DuckandChips

Yeah, good point. Maybe put him in a Bergkamp role and have Alexis drift off to the left like Henry did?

DuckandChips

That would of course mean leaving Giroud out

Sean

Alexis playing up front interchanging with Ozil is the biggest improvement in this team compared with this time last year when our football was frankly the least free-flowing I can remember under Wenger. Thierry Henry keeps bringing up the 4-4-2 with Giroud idea on skysports and for the reason I mentioned it frustrates the hell out of me every time he says it. It’s such a simplistic way of looking at things. No way we should be looking to change the Ozil-Alexis combination up front to experiment with the ‘big man-little man’ formula. Giving Elneny-Xhaka a run and sticking with… Read more »

Superanderslimpar

4-4-1-1 I think is the way forward

Cech
Hector (when fit)
Kos
Mustafi
Monreal
Theo
Coq
Chaka
Iwobi
Ozil
Alexis

Would like to see that tram get a run of games

Superanderslimpar

“team”

Mpls

If we’re having trouble controlling the midfield, I don’t know that reducing our numbers there is the answer. To me it seems a matter of the right mid combination of box-to-box and playmaker. But one needs to be a stable tempo-controlling playmaker and the other needs to be defensively/ positionally responsible. At least that’s the Coqzorla mold. If I were tinkering I’d be tempted to try Xhaka-Coq, Xhaka-Elneny, or Xhaka- Ramsey if A-A-ron can get his positional discipline in check, follow his marks (he didn’t track their runners for the 2nd against Soton) and not make dangerous plays deep in… Read more »

Andrés

Xhaka may not have Santis dribbling, but better long passing and shoot to net. The problem is that Wenger dont appreciate those last qualities, not a problem at all btw.

Holding Rob

I think xhaka can do the job. Would also like to see him playing deep in midfield with Ramsey running around alongside him

flowsen

Well, who thought about a contract negotiation with Santi? Don’t get me wrong, he’s a great player and really important to us, but he’s >30 and now misses half of the season (like he’s already done last season)

Go get Fabregas out of Chelsea, he’s benched there. If he ever get’s an opportunity to play for us again, he’ll give absolutely everything. Am I the only one stunned by the thought of a midfield containing Xhaka, Fab4, Özil, Iwobi and Walcott?

But I’m well aware that this won’t happen because of le professeur

Gus Caesar

That rat’s ship sailed a long time ago. I can’t think of anything worse than buying a player who fakes injury to force a transfer away from the club.

Dan Gunn

Wilshere anyone??

Kev S

Just a thought… How many of you would take Fabregas in January?
He is certainly in the same tier of midfielders as Cazorla and is clearly out of favour at Chelsea.
I think he would sort out so many of our problems. Also eligible to play in the Champions League.
He’ll be 30 in May and ultimately a short term solution, and is likely to be quite expensive as well.

Gus Caesar

I just don’t understand why Wenger played Cazorla in that home game against Ludogorets – you could see in the Swansea game beforehand that he needed a rest and everybody knows that he’s been struggling with a chronic achilles issue for a long time. We had plenty of other options for that game but we overplayed him and i’m afraid that Wenger has to take some of the blame for this as a consequence. Such a vital player to our style of play, he needed wrapping in cotton wool at this stage of his career, not playing three times a… Read more »

Mpls

One match isn’t what caused the Achilles problem. If it wasn’t that one it would be the next. It was already a persistent problem he had been having and had already made him unavailable for previous matches. With a player so integral to playing style you can’t play him 1 of every 3-4 matches. You have to play him or find another solution for consistency.

Mark

We certainly have the numbers in central midfield, but as Wenger said not a replacement for Carzola. Very few players like him and none would be available in a transfer. Wilshere is probably the closest we could get, but sure Wenger won’t want to recall him (even if he could). As others have said this can be partially blamed on Wenger for overplaying Santi so much early in the season when he was reluctant to give Elneny or Xhaka games. Santi was going the full 90 minutes match after match when at his age coming off of an injury already… Read more »

Diaby at his best

Iwobi and xhaka combo

Mpls

Iwobi needs to stay in attack or on the wing for now where his defensive lapses have more cover. He doesn’t track well yet, and as we saw with Ramsey against Soton, that leads to giving up goals.

Lord Emi

the lot of you calling JW10 as a like for like replacement for Santi.. wait till he plays one match and gets injured for d whole season.

Sarbajit

Kovacix

Sarbajit

Kovacic

Rob

January purchase of Ruben Neves? He wanted Cazorla like… Decent dribbling, decent passing compared to Cazorla. Better tackling and size than Cazorla. Good vision, not at Cazorla levels but other than Ozil who does? Also has incredible leadership qualities for such a young age.

The Gooner7

Why can’t we bring back TR7?

gunnerfan ov palace

Santi is an important player for arsenal fc and the midfield, even missing giroud to who has been gd on goals lately gd to hear welbeck cming back and akpom now debuchy injured and jenkinson losing concentration, elny can play well to, just put these two away fixtures with good results oi oi did you hear petit speak with wrighty about will arsenal fc win the prem an hour ago bt sport1, no said ian although me can see arsenal fc av clge and more games thabmn chavs or liverpool but you see beating west ham today would be a… Read more »