Unai Emery says it’s unlikely he’ll hand Hector Bellerin his first start of the season at Manchester United on Monday with Arsenal’s medical team telling him to gradually reintegrate the 24-year-old into first team action.
Out of action since January following ACL surgery, Bellerin came off the bench to play 13 minutes of last night’s 5-0 Carabao Cup win over Nottingham Forest. He grabbed an assist and looked lively, however, it sounds as though he’ll feature a couple more times for the under-23s before taking his rightful place as our first choice at right-back.
“I think no,” replied Emery when asked in his post-game press conference if Bellerin was ready to play 90 minutes at Old Trafford.
“Maybe in his mind yes, but we need to listen to the doctor and the doctor wants to do it progressively.
“Really tonight is the first day and the first minutes, and we are going to maybe share some minutes with the under-23s.
“It depends how he’s feeling, but in his mind he’s feeling very well and I think the first minutes tonight were amazing for him. We are going to use him with Ainsley and Calum Chambers to help us in this position.
“The most important things about Hector are his attitude and experience. He’s wishing to help us.”
You get the feeling that Emery has soft spot for Hector (might he make the captaincy roster?), who he admits has continued to be a vocal member of the squad despite being sidelined for nine months.
“I think Hector’s attitude is a very big attitude to help us. When he was injured he was still a big mentality in the dressing room helping us. He assisted for Willock to score and also to have different options in the squad and first XI is good.
“We are going to play a lot of matches and tonight was his first 15 minutes (with us), which is really important.
“He wanted to play 90 and yesterday he told me he’s ready and wanted to play, but we decided to give him less minutes than 90. He played with the under-23s on Friday and also they are the first matches for him.
“We need to do it progressively and the doctor said to us that we are going to do it like that.”
Arsenal’s under-23s play on Saturday against Liverpool but after that, there is no Premier League 2 action until 18 October, just before the Interlull.
Perhaps an hour on Saturday, skipping Old Trafford and then featuring in the Europa League against Standard Liege next Thursday is a better option.
Neither is Ozil apparently.
The doctors say his body is ready. Emery says his mind isn’t.
My mind’s telling me no, but my body, my body’s telling me Mes (ut)
Quality punning right there.
Boy did he look pissed when he was subbed out.
Did he talk about Tierney? He seems a bit further along.
Tierney played last season, he just had a hernia operation I think or something like that during the summer, that’s why he is further along. But Hector, that was the thing most Players fear.
Oh definitely. Bellerin has an uphill battle, to say the least.
I just meant that, practically speaking, I’m hoping to see Tierney against United.
Of course, he is not. He needs to be eased back in.
I don’t think Arsenal fans will be complaining if he doesn’t start against United, as long as Chambers does.
Get Bellerin to feature in the U23s game against Liverpool on Friday and get him on again on Thursday against Liege. And I reckon he will be set for to start after the Oct international break.
Yea i second it
This insight about the doctors advice is something we fans don’t normally hear about. Even when players state they are ‘fit’ to play, the medical team might still advise the gaffer to take caution. I’d rather have Tierney and Bellerin 90 min match fit after the break, throughout the xmas period than be rushed for Shyte United who I know we can out score. Hope we go on another great unbeaten run like last season in a more convincing way now we got Holding and Chambers proving their up for the job. And we still got Laca coming back!! I… Read more »
Chambers and Tierney either flank and Holding in the middle with Sok or Luiz…
Although I must say Mustafi had a decent run tonight.
If criticism, manager publicly announced to search for a new club, and being dropped from first XI can get the best out of Mustafi, then be it. The rest is up to him to be consistent.
Mustafi looked better than Sokratis and Luiz… Don’t know if I’d throw him in against ManUre but…
It was Forest though. But he did play well…
It’s a good thing and I am all for it and the way Chambers played in couple of games and eager to impress the coach, And against the likes of That’s James kid from Man Utd and Ashley Young, we should be fine. In order to really give the Coach a Headache He have to perform in that Game, Utd aren’t that at all. So I am not worried at all, I have a sense that this is Chambers year to show his relevance and make everyone take him serious, that guy have been a victim of one bad season… Read more »
James vs Chambers is far from what you call a foregone conclusion. He’s probably their best player and we’ve seen Calum struggle at RB against quick wingers in the past. I’d rather him at CB to be honest and keep AMN out there.
James would be busy helping Ashley Young Mark Pepe, so Chambers should be fine, sometimes being a good Right or Left back has nothing to do with Pace, remember Monreal, he didn’t have that much of a Pace than say Gibbs but he was reliable, timing is everything and it comes with Age.
Except you won’t be seeing AMN out there, because he will be serving his ban. These days the bans are specific to the competition they were picked up in. In other words, a red card and 1 game ban picked up the PL, won’t be wiped if the next game up is a league cup game.
I am not sure this is true. Pretty sure he isn’t suspended for the United game.
AMN has already served his ban, against Forest. A sending off for two yellows cards is only a one-game ban.
The spuds and manure crises are almost too good to be true. There has never been a better time to stick the knife in on Monday. Cummon!
The Totts couldn’t win a trophy if they were the only participants
Lost to a league 2 team with zero shots on target? Haha you couldn’t make it up
We’re very lucky, considering how bad we’ve been. It’s basically been a continuation of the end of last season.
Except last year when we couldn’t lose but lost 3-1
Yeah we seem to have a knack of getting top 6 teams out of form back into it…let’s change that eh?!
They even celebrate winning the Audi Cup like a real trophy.
Believe if it’s been as long as it has been for them. A happy sticker will send them into delirium any day of the week
90 minutes at outside defender is a ton of running regardless of the formation played and in an intense match like it will be with United 90 minutes is a lot to ask of Bellerin right now, still have to be careful of other injuries coming back after being out so long so OK if he doesn’t start vs United. However, either Willock or Torreira need to start with Guendouzi against Untied in place of Xhaka. That is absolutely clear. Same thing with Holding in place of Luiz. Would be great if we can get Tierney in there as well,… Read more »
Would rather him at centre back with Holding but given that probably won’t happen he’s got to start at RB. Surely now it’s obvious that he’s a much better RB than AMN
Chambers that is! Given Hector not ready for 90 yet
R.I.P. to the Arsenal fan stabbed to death, on his way to last nights match. That’s terrible.
That is sad! My thoughts and prayer are with his loved ones at the moment.
These things shouldn’t be happening.
The fantastic game, and positive performances by Young Guns Would and should have me buzzing for , but with a Fellow gooner, killed on his way to enjoy the game with the rest of us, Sadness is the feeling that has remained. With his family and friends in total misery today, when instead they should have got to enjoy hearing him erupting superlatives and neverending sheerful songs of regained hope for glory days to return. To his family and friends, we lost a family member as well, we mourn with you and hope that we never get to experience a… Read more »