Thursday, July 18, 2024

Arteta unsure if trio will be available for Liverpool test

Mikel Arteta says he’s unsure if Granit Xhaka, Emile Smith Rowe and Takehiro Tomiyasu will be available for Thursday’s Carabao Cup semi-final first leg with Liverpool.

All three were sorely missed as Arsenal crashed out of the FA Cup at the hands of Nottingham Forest this evening.

The Switzerland international was sidelined by Covid-19 – the second time he’s contracted the virus since September – while the other two were rested as a precaution because of groin (ESR) and calf (TT) issues respectively.

“I don’t know,” said Arteta when asked if Xhaka is likely to be out of isolation come the next game. “It will depend on the next few games and how he’s feeling.”

On Smith Rowe and Tomiyasu, he was similarly in the dark.

“Again, it depends,” said the boss. “They were injured and they couldn’t play. Gabi [Magalhaes] was suspended. I’ll have to see in the next few days how they were.”

Speaking on Friday, Arteta made clear that Arsenal were in the market to strengthen the squad this month, especially having been left exposed by the departure of four players to the African Cup of Nations.

Given the situation, it was a little surprising that Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ loan move to AS Roma was sanctioned so early. The England international made his debut for the Serie A side in a 4-3 defeat to Juventus this evening, but could easily have been included for the trip to the Forest Ground.

Arteta seemed to suggest it wasn’t quite so simple. “That decision was made for many different reasons,” he explained when pressed on the timing.

Whether Arsenal can recruit players in time for the double-header with Liverpool and Sunday’s north London derby remains to be seen. It’s a huge 10 days ahead.

“I want to try to get the best out of the players we have,” said Arteta. “It’s clear where we need to strengthen but at the moment it’s what we have and what we have has to play.”

Related articles


Notify of

newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Maxin In The Shade

Could there be a situation where this time we require the game v Liverpool to be postponed due to COVID?

Xhaka and Balogun are the only two with covid, so not unless the situation drastically changes in the next few days.

Top Tier-ney

Where did you get the info on who’s absent because of covid from?

Genuinely curious…


From the press this morning it seems only Trent AA had covid at Liverpool, the rest were ‘false positive’ which seems like total BS to me. The chances of recording so many false positive in a single round of testing must be miniscule.

Grecian Gunner

Suspicious to say the least.

Forget about it

Yes – since a delay means the return of their AFCON players. Shirley they can’t be that cynical and conniving??


Don’t call me Shirley.


I’m sure 😄 @forgetaboutit meant “surely” he/she was just boiling with anger.

Crash Fistfight

You should watch Airplane!, it’s great fun.

Someone On The Internet

If you employ your own doctor the chance of getting exactly as many false positives as you need is actually fairly high.


Completely agree, lateral flow tests are pretty accurate now compared to when first introduced.

Norman House

It’s about how many players are available, not just Covid affected. The rules are unclear still, but in Liverpool’s case, they included injuries, Covid, AfCon absentees and training ground closure. The comment on Covid at the time the first match was ‘suspected cases’ and it seems on Alexander-Arnold was the only positive test, according to Klopp; comment made since.


Surely we could have an outbreak of suspected COVID and a million to one collection of false positives. If convenient.


Hahaha, let’s see how it goes.


Seems we just need a few false positives, it worked for Liverpool.


Fingers crossed that the COVID testing is not deemed necessary from the next season onwards, in better times.


We can just fake our tests, say we have 100 staff members positive and postpone the game….
Oh wait, that would be the same thing liverpool done


We could close our training ground, it’s been done before.


Good idea, postpone the game until Salah, Mane, Keita, Thiago, Alisson, TAA, Origi and Elliott are all back.

Hank Scorpio

Hopefully we don’t rush them back. As nice as it is to be vying for a trophy (yes even this one) I’d rather we focus on the old 4th place trophy. Given we’re a somewhat threadbare at the moment I don’t think it would be the best idea to take any risks by potentially rushing players back.


I get what your saying but we didn’t prioritize the FA cup instead we are trying to push for the top 4 so we can get champions league football, we got beat by Forrest and we think that by getting into the champions league it will be easier? We will be destroyed. We should have put our best team out against Forrest, the FA cup is still a prestigious trophy, we shouldn’t have taken it lightly. Bad management if you ask me. We need to go all out for the top 4 and the carabou cup.


What’s more worrying is we near enough did put out our best 11 available players. Aside from KT and Laca I don’t think many other options were there. With the AFCON contingent gone, plus injuries and covid, we are at the bear bones

Norman House

I think we could do with some bears, but we are down to the bare bones!


Not sure how bears would get on in the Caribou cup


It might get a little grizzly.


Who knew bears could be this polarising?


I would argue that getting into the Champions League is not realistically to give us a chance at winning the Champions League. It’s to give us a better chance of signing the talent that we need to possibly put ourselves in that bracket in the near-future. We should be absolutely prioritising fourth, on the basis that it gives us so many more opportunities in the summer. I’m pissed off about last night, but if we sign a couple of players and do managed to squeak into 4th, all will be forgiven. A day at Wembley is nice but doesn’t drastically… Read more »

Santi’s Thigh Grab

Who would you have started instead of Arteta’s starting lineup given that we have an NLD as our next game?🤷‍♂️


I agree to a certain extent. When I saw the team I still thought there was enough talent to beat Forest. Even though its was not a full strength team I still belive that if they had all played to their full potential we would have won comfortably.


I think we did play our strongest available team basically, just with nketiah instead of laca


The AMN situation now looks even more weird, as he just played for Roma at, er, left back. WTF?
(Spoiler: They lost and Maureen publicly blamed his own players.)


Well Jose ain’t gonna blame himself is he? Man could ride the pavement, run someone over & it would be their fault for being in his way

A Different George

Sometimes, he starts out sounding like he is blaming himself. He says something like “It is my fault, because I picked these players. I thought they would carry out my instructions, but they did not. But it is my responsibility for choosing players who were not able to do what I asked them to do.”


After watching the game, I think Roma’s players need to take the blame. Conceded 3 goals after leading 3-1.

Alan Sunderland

Not weird at all. Amn has stated in interviews he wanted to play on wing, further forward, central midfield. The weird thing is people thinking he’s good enough. He’s 24, played a lot of games for us. After playing in midfield for WBA if he was they’re player this place would have gone into meltdown if we gave 5 million for him. Give it a rest he’s not good enough.


Arteta got is priorities wrong Seems to have confused Carabao importance for FA cup. He should be bloodying youngsters in the former instead of bowing out so early to lower opposition in the latter. Most likely, we will not be getting past Liverpool over two legs It also bespeaks the lack of priority and foresight with Edu that we are in this predicament. That Xhaka is our best midfielder doesn’t say much. It was also obvious that we will lose BOTH Partey and Elneny to AFCON. We over spent in some areas we did not need to (White) and neglected… Read more »

Nainsley Aitland Miles

The League cup semi-final takes precedence over the FA Cup 3rd round as our chances of winning the League Cup are significantly higher.
Arteta got his priorities correct.


“ wet behind the ear know-it-all Edu”
I’m not exactly an Edu fan but what makes you think Edu believes he knows it all? Not sure where the hate has come from from a lot of fans towards Edu

Santi’s Thigh Grab

Blah, blah, blah, congrats you’re still the champ.


Yesterday’s result cruelly emphasised just how weak our squad is.

With everyone available we have a fairly strong first eleven. But take away three or four quality players and we’re in trouble. That’s why Arteta and Edu must move quickly and bring in at least two decent footballers. A Premier League-standard striker is a must, and so is a defensive midfielder. A right-back wouldn’t go amiss either.

Come the summer there needs to be a clear-out of the dross and even more quality signings.

Then we might do something next season.


” That’s why Arteta and Edu must move quickly and bring in at least two decent footballers. “

how come some managers know how to work with what they’ve got?
isnt that what we aim for/our level since we cant have 2 first team squad like man city?

Hank Scorpio

Ordinarily I’d agree with you and I am not sure Arteta has done a great job in that regard but these are extraordinary circumstances, particularly in midfield.

Santi’s Thigh Grab

astute observation and calm reasonable conclusion. What have you done with Fatgooner???


I am ALWAYS astute; however, I’m not always calm: that’s because football is all about passion!

A Different George

Either everyone is really dumb, or a deal has already been made for a midfielder to replace Maitland-Niles.


‘And what we have has to play’ I wish what we have could take themselves seriously and they play. They are a professional team, for crying out loud, they need to perform nothing else. PLEASE!

djourou's nutmeg

hey, sorry for the off-topic message. i check the website every day or so and like to see the latest news all gathered in one place. though the link for it was removed, i kept using but lately it seems to be working odd: the latest articles seem to take around a day to appear there, even if i can see them in the main page, making it kinda useless in matchdays. it’s not a big issue nor a pressing matter, but it was a cool feature that im sure others enjoyed too, so i’d appreciate if you could… Read more »


Strange, not sure why that would be

Share article

Featured on NewsNow

Support Arseblog

Latest posts

Latest Arsecast

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x