Thursday, June 1, 2023

Report: Covid outbreak hits Arteta’s coaching staff

According to the Telegraph (£), Arsenal may have a skeleton coaching staff on the bench for tomorrow’s the New Year’s Day clash with Manchester City after more personnel tested positive for Covid-19.

Having kept a widespread outbreak at bay in recent weeks, four players were absent from the Boxing Day win over Norwich after testing positive and the club yesterday confirmed manager Mikel Arteta had also been forced into isolation.

As things stand, assistant coach Albert Stuivenberg will be in charge on New Year’s Day with Academy Manager Per Mertesacker being asked to support. The German was last on the bench as part of Freddie Ljungberg’s interim team just over two years ago.

Given the circumstances, the Gunners could theoretically appeal to the Premier League for a postponement even though we still seem to have enough players (13 outfield players and a goalkeeper) to make up a matchday squad.

Given the team’s form, the fact yesterday’s match with Wolves was cancelled and that City played last night, you can understand why we’re currently keen to plough on.

Obviously, this is a fluid situation and it’s possible the outbreak could worsen meaning a postponement isn’t yet off the table. It’s hardly ideal given 60,000 people are due at the Emirates for the first game of 2022.

Mikel Arteta is still expected to host his pre-game press conference although it has been pushed back from today and tomorrow. We’ll likely find out more then.

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It may be time for our kids to become men.

Arsene's Zip

“tomorrow’s clash with city”??
Have I lost a day?


Happy New Year!!!!

Arsene's Zip

How much did I drink last night?


Not enough!

Thierry Bergkamp (Xhaka Out)

Thanks for sorting out that approval issue.
2 thumbs up for you


It’s not one we expect to win, having the backroom staff unavailable gives us another excuse to reason why we aren’t at the same level as city if the worst outcome happens again X-0 thrashing).
Or we just don’t want a fixture pileup. Of those two reasons why we don’t want a postponement it has to be the latter? Without Europe an extra game midweek can’t be that hard?

I have no other thoughts on why we wouldn’t appeal?


Because an appeal wouldn’t be successful? It’s coaching staff not players that seem to be mostly affected at the moment. Also, trying to appeal if you know it won’t be successful probably sends out a pretty negative message to the players


If it’s tearing its way through the coaching staff I’m sure the players will be getting it soon enough. I wouldn’t be surprised if come Saturday morning we have several positive tests among the squad.


And given City are coming off a midweek game and we’re not we actually have an advantage in that respect. Not much, but get on with it…Mikel will obviously be watching with multiple TVs and being adding his input over the blower too…


Mahrez, Sterling and Gundogan all rested during the week…

Heavenly Chapecoense

If Freddie is available, he should be asked to help but Arteta used to see him as a threat.

Wrighty’s hats

I got the impression Freddie left the club because he wanted to pursue his personal development as a manager and felt that that would be best achieved elsewhere, somewhere where he could start afresh. The rest sounds like office gossip-style fiction!


Yeah well, of course we are not at the same level as City, FFS!


City appeared mortal vs Brentford. See no benefit them playing the same lineup 3 days apart. A midweek match and Pep using no subs, likely see a different City lineup with Sterling, Mahrez and Gundogan. With it being on New Year’s Day– not likely Foden or Grealish will be fit. 😵

We might have half a chance.


This Foden fella is over-rated anyway. Hasn’t stepped up to the plate when it really has mattered yet. Unlike our gem that is Saka, carrying our squad for large parts before the rebuild.

Heavenly Chapecoense

If I was forced at gunpoint to pick only one between Foden and Saka at the present time, it is Foden.


Those nights out with Grealish will catch up with him I tell ya !

Woolwich Tiern time

Stop poking the beast will you please

A Different George

Right, because Sterling, Mahrez, and Gundogan are really crap players. Can’t score, poor technical quality, no pace. Xhaka will eat them up.


Their ‘B team’ is pretty unreal. That’s why they are where they are.

I’m hoping the game goes ahead. Never gonna be easy, best to get it played. We have been playing well, confidence will be high, and maybe the ‘lets give the boss a get well gift’ kinda mentality can give a little lift

Woolwich Tiern time

Financial doping is why they are where they are.


Let’s just get it over and done with. The more games you have now, the less of a fixture pile up you have later. If we can of course, hopefully it doesn’t spread anymore but two days is a long time when it comes to infections.

Cranky Colin

Proves that they all sat in a room discussing how brilliant Martinelli is

Bob Holdy



Of course, if our young gunners do overturn the form book and come away from the ¢it€h game with 3 points, the Arteta Out brigade will citing his absence from touchline as the reason!

Reiss Neverseen & the DicTeta

Goodness. This is getting ridiculous.
Now you’re making up scenarios to get vexed over.😂😂.


I’m arteta in and found myself wondering how his absence will effect the team. He micromanages games barking instructions every minute of the 90. I was musing on the fact that the players may be more expressive.


Could they show Arteta on the big screen during the match and have him shouting over the speakers?

Tommy Gunner

That would be excellent. And occasionally his death stare should flash up for a millisecond on the advertising hoardings Fight Club style


But can they put the big screen and speakers halfway between the dotted line and the touchline?


As Miki has only mild symptoms obviously he will still be in charge, a big screen in the changing room for prep talk before game & halftime technical & motivation yak
aswell also being linked to the bench for subs, if we could get a screen of him close to 4th official barking in his ear he could make history being the 1st manager sent off without being there 😄


Get a hologram set up

Woolwich Tiern time

While your at it…cant hurt to also have a hologram of Arsene struggling with his coat



A Different George

Maybe, if he is still isolating for the League Cup matches, he and Klopp can have a virtual almost-fight on the touchline.

Brady’s bunch

I’d love to see us have a go at them we don’t have too much to lose but everything to gain.

Personally hope this match is postponed – I’m of the opinion that Arteta on the touchline is absolutely essential if we’re to get anything from this game.

Also a defeat at this time may somewhat knock the wind out of our sails. Happy to sidestep this game for a few weeks and concentrate on the 3 upcoming cup games which I suspect will end with a trip to Wembley and a place in the FA Cup 4th round.


Utter tosh.

I’m off the opinion our players will relish not having some madman shouting at them all the time while they are trying to do their jobs.


Respectfully disagree. I think we want this one out of the way now or it will be a distraction later in the season. There is no good time to play City, but Brentford showed that you can stay in with a shout and don’t have to roll over.


Giving Arteta a big hug after every goal against Leeds and Norwich is seeming like a bad choice now. Like waking up with a huge hangover after a few too many drinks … see you all tomorrow.
Hope everyone has mild symptoms and gets well soon

Woolwich Tiern time

Stuivenberg and Mertesacker’s Red and White Army

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