Arteta gets Bellerin boost as team news for Bournemouth revealed

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Mikel Arteta will be boosted by the return of Hector Bellerin to full training as Arsenal prepare to face Bournemouth on Thursday.

The right-back has been suffering from a hamstring strain, and although is still undergoing assessment, his availability over the busy festive period will be a boost for the new boss.

The Gunners will travel to the Vitality Stadium without the suspended Calum Chambers who picked up his fifth yellow card of the season in the 0-0 draw with Everton on Sunday, but do welcome back Sokratis from suspension.

Dani Ceballos is also heading towards full fitness after a hamstring problem that has seen him sidelined since November 6th.

However, there are doubts over Gabriel Martinelli (hamstring), and Rob Holding (knee), while Sead Kolasinac’s ankle problem will keep him out until 2020.

Mesut Ozil is fit again after a foot injury kept him out of the trip to Goodison Park, but he’s made a quick recovery and will be available for selection if Arteta chooses.

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I Am Gooner

Bellerin oming back is a huge plus, Niles can go left back if so, which is a shame for him but needs must.
Chambers out is definitely a loss, back to the Sokratis-Luiz axis unfortunately. At least Arteta will boot them in the balls if they fuck up.

Tim

The Sok-Luiz partnership is stuff of nightmares.

StockholmGooner

Saka did great against Everton. I’m sure Arteta liked what he saw of him both offensively and defensively. Right footer as lb is hugely detrimental. More Saka lb please.

A Gorilla

Got to have a left footed player at left back in my book. Excited to see what he does and this team grow over the next new months

GraeB

Be nice if all these professionals could use both feet (like Santi did) – all this time being coached from 6 years old to mega bucks.

I remember doing twice as much practice with left foot to try to achieve that, unfortunately my right foot skills weren’t up to much either ?.

Merry Christmas everyone.

A Different George

With very few exceptions, professional footballers in a top league are much better with their weaker foot than you give them credit for. But they are being compared to the *strong* foot of their rival for that position, who is also a top league professional football player. And, on that basis (again, with very few exceptions, such as Santi), they are clearly inferior.

scott rice

The point about using their weaker foot is that some footballers slow the game down by taking an extra touch to get the ball on to their stronger foot. Frustrating for fans and for their colleagues.

GoonerJust

What kind of foot injury ia that….recovered on just a week?

DaDude

Maybe a gout attack? Anyway, the kind of injury that makes you unable to be on the bench on Saturday, then train with bodychecks against foam cushions on Sunday. I am aware that Freddie said he wouldn’t have played even if fit, but if you are straight forward about that anyway, you wouldn’t need to invent a foot injury, but could just say that he is not in the squad, period. If you go with the foot injury thingy, then just push through that line of argumentation consequently. But foot injury with miracle recovery next day is the worst way… Read more »

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

Broken toenail. Very uncomfortable til starts healing.
Could just be bruising from a heavy tackle, of course.

StockholmGooner

I’d rather see laca in Özils position..

Tim

It could work. Laca’s hold up play with back to goal has always been a real feature of his play. He also works bloody hard.

slew dem

At home playing video games?

Licor de Avellanas

@slew dem
Not at all.
I’m with StockholmGooner.
Bouldy mentioned it towards the end of last season saying he can play anywhere across the front 3 as well as behind the strikers in a playmaker position.

SLC Gooner

It’s worth a try, but I’d be concerned that his passing isn’t good enough.

Frank

Lacas passing is actually very solid, he used to play as a CAM too so it’s not a crazy suggestion

Mpls

His touch has been a bit leaden the last few matches, especially compared to Ozil’s first touch which is still top notch regardless of everything else.

But if he gets that back, why not?

Tim

There needs to be a long-term strategy for Hector. He came back from that knee injury looking slower, lighter and straight back into the team without real competition. I’d be inclined to continue with AMN while the fitness team give Hector a pre-season of sorts. Just 3-4 weeks working hard to regain that acceleration over 5-10 metres. I think we forget that Bellerin, for all his strengths, pretty much relied on that pace to get back into position and dispossess opponents. His positioning has never been his strong suit. So without it, he’s looked very average. I also think AMN… Read more »

Homer

Good comment here.
Current version Bellerin is a shadow of his former form. He needs time to reacclimate. Though I’m not convinced AMN is really a fullback, you are right that he’s done okay lately.

Jack

AMN was one of our best players on Saturday so it would be hard to justify him losing his place to Bellerin

GraeB

Being up against Fraser pay need all the nouse we can get and I’m not sure AMN gives us that.

Samgunz

I think Richarlison is a trickier customer than the speedy ork, and AMN dealt with him proper ting blud.

Homer

“with proper ting blud.”

WTF does that mean? No aftv morons ’round this place, if you please.
(at least that is my personal preference, which carries zero weight of course ….)

Lack of Perspective

No Simpsons’ names ’round this place either

Martin

He’s still not a natural full back so I disagree

slew dem

“but he’s made a quick recovery” LOL

Right across Sunderland!

Dropped his PlayStation controller on his foot. Nasty business, I can tell you.

Bendtnerschristmastree

Hector shouldn’t be rushed back. esp since Ains is finally finding some form at RB. Keep the same back 4 for this one.

OnlyBeingHonest

Sokratis is a massive downgrade on Chambers IMO

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

Don’t think we’re allowed to field a cardboard cutout of Chambers, so Sokratis should play.

Georgeycharles

Martinelli injury has gone a bit under the radar. It’s happened just when he’s begun to offer an effective forward option in premiership games – could be a real blow.

Mintoes

What exactly is going on with Holding and his knee? He should have been back to full fitness last month.

Santori

Indeed positive news. Although Bellerin has not been 100% since his return either and has struggled.

AMN has over last 2 odd games put in a decent shift. he’s been more focused and careful with possession.

Saka has also done reasonably well considering he has been dropped into an unfamiliar role.

But will be good tolasinac also not too far off.