Concussed Sokratis ruled out

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Arsenal will be without Sokratis for tomorrow’s game with Chelsea and the New Year’s Day clash with Manchester United after the Greek suffered a concussion against Bournemouth.

The Greek collided heavily with Ainsley Maitland-Niles in the Gunners’ goalmouth during the second half of the 1-1 draw and looked very groggy when he was replaced by Shkodran Mustafi.

In all likelihood, Calum Chambers, who missed the Boxing Day game due to suspension, will partner David Luiz when we take on the Blues. The duo combined to record a clean sheet in our recent 0-0 draw with Everton.

Hector Bellerin appears to have had a setback in his recovery from a hamstring problem. Before the Bournemouth game, the Arsenal medical team reported the right-back was back in full training but now they state his tight hamstring is being assessed again. Gabriel Martinelli is sidelined by a similar issue.

Dani Ceballos and Rob Holding are back in full training. Sead Kolasinac and Kieran Tierney are long-term absentees. The Bosnian, who has ankle ligament damage, is due to resume full training in a couple of weeks. The Scot is out for three months with a dislocated shoulder.

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Bless gunner

I remember when we were after Jonny Evans many of you know it all fans where saying he is no good or better than what we got well

Right across Sunderland!

Bellerin’s continual injury problems are becoming a real concern now. I get that he’s recovering from a bad injury etc…but he never seems to be fit for any period of time. For me, I’d be looking to bring in a quality right back for next season (January if possible). I like Hector, but I’m just not sure we can rely on him anymore, sadly.

Let’s face it, do we really want to keep playing AMN at right back indefinitely?

Atom

A lot of times when you have a major injury such as an ACl it leads to other issues as other parts of your body over compensate. We’re seeing the same thing with Holding this year. With Bellerin it really just takes time to get back as even a couple of years ago an ACL was a 12-18 month recover

John Jensen

It’s the curse of the number 2 squad number…

Tankard Gunner

You take that back. Please fucking take that back. I can’t imagine Bellerin going down the Diaby road. Once was fucking painful enough.

Dave M

If holding is back get him in at CB and Chambers RB. AMN is just too prone to lapses at RB. He has all the attributes to be successful, but he has been pretty below par over the last few years at full back. Chambers was surprisingly good there early in the season.

Artetas assistant

Want to dislike this twice

Badaab

Was real nice to see that during the match the ref didn’t stop play for this head injury, and that the commentators were moaning about how ‘he doesn’t look like he has a head injury’ as it was going on.

Luther

Yeah but he’s a foreigner, so he must have been faking it. It’s only the British players who go down when they’re really hurt.
Ps. Let’s kick racism out of football, but only the kind of racism we dislike – xenaphobia needn’t be an issue.

Naked Cygan

Apart from lee Dixon, I have yet to see one commentator who is not anti-Arsenal. They are all wankers.

Ho hum

You surely don’t lump such professional analysts as Chris Sutton, Michael Owen, Steve MacManaman and, the prince amongst men, Stewart Robson, in that anri-Arsenal category.

Luther

I’m afraid Dixon is also in the anti-Arsenal camp, as is Alan Smith. These people have sold out to the Arsenal-hating media.

Vonnie

Lee Dixon is just as bad.

Red-Wing

I do wonder if Ceballos can be direct replacement for Xhaka if the latter does indeed leave in January.

He seems to have similar passing range as Xhaka and has the ability to dribble out of tight spaces. If partnered with Torreira and with Ozil ahead of them, we have a pretty good looking midfield.

Wilsheres Middle Finger

That sounds very light weight to me. Might work going forward but teams would barge their way straight through that midfield. We need a replacement for Xhaka that is mobile and can pass and tackle well. Will be difficult to find no doubt, but then again what are we paying our scouts for if not that.

Martin

Whatever you say about Xhaka it’s certainly not passing that is his weakness. He has one of the best forward passing ranges of any player.

Olivije Žirod

Agree, fans criticize him for what he isn’t, rather than praise him for what he is. Fans want him to be Kante even though he is poor man’s Pirlo. Would we evaluate Pirlo’s performances based on tackling and defensive contribution? I don’t think so. Xhaka is a good player but he needs someone disciplined around him or someone who is compatible with him like Torreira.

DB’s first touch

Wish I could upvote this twice. Pirlo had Gattuso and Ambrosini beside him at AC to do the running and tackling for him (and later Marchisio and Vidal at Juve). Attempting to play Xhaka as a single pivot was one of Emery’s biggest failures that got us into the mess we are in now. The expectation that Xhaka should be a mobile tough tackling midfielder rather than, or in addition to, a deep lying playmaker likely fuelled some the negative feelings towards him as well.

Dave M

So we play two holding players and we lose our drive through the middle of the pitch – because xhaka cannot turn a player to save his life and against a good disciplined press he is a disaster because of this. It forces him into quick panicked passes, which he isn’t good at.

This is the EPL not the early 2000s Serie A. Completely different league. Like comparing apples and oranges.

Players need turn and drive and mobility in he middle of the pitch and they need to be tough defensively and strong tacklers. All those things xhaka lacks.

TotsOfJack

Pirlo was quick of thought and therefore set the tempo of the game. Xhaka on the other hand slows down the game because he takes too long to make decisions. When there’s no pressure on him he is undoubtedly very talented, as he showed by producing the pass of the game against Bournemouth.

Dave M

When given time and space. Press him and he makes mistakes.

Ram

Ozil should be sold he is a liability to the club bring in complete back line

Tankard Gooner

You’re a goat. And not in the Messi sense.

Shambles

You mean to tell me he wasn’t concussed before and that’s his level of defensive ability? Unbelievable!!!