Thursday, September 28, 2023

Arteta provides latest fitness update ahead of Hammers test

Mikel Arteta says that Bukayo Saka has recovered well since the win over Manchester United and should be fit for Sunday’s trip to West Ham.

The England international was substituted in the closing stages on Sunday and the manager later admitted the player had been struggling to be on the field in the first place.

“Yeah, hopefully he will be fine,” said the boss in his pre-game press conference.

“He had some issues in the final part of the game but he’s recovered well and we expect him to be fine.”

Having featured for a couple of minutes against United, Takehiro Tomiyasu will be looking for more minutes this weekend.

Asked if the Japan international is ready to start a match, the boss said: “You only know that after a player has been out a long spell when you put him on the pitch. He hasn’t started any matches yet and he’s lacking a little bit of time on the pitch. It’s a decision we’ll make tomorrow.”

Arteta also played down suggestions that Thomas Partey could return this season. Hopes were raised when the Ghana international was pictured on a treadmill this week but the boss remains pessimistic.

“He’s progressing,” said Arteta, “but he had a significant injury so we don’t expect him to make progress quickly enough to see him again this season. Hopefully, I am wrong.

Despite a very good record against West Ham, Arenal travel to the London Stadium knowing this match represents a potential banana skin in the race for the top four.

The Hammers are unbeaten in their last six Premier League home matches and are trying to keep alive their own hopes of qualifying for Europe.

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Hooray if Tomi and Bukayo can both play. West Ham should be fielding some youth/reserve players given the importance of their tie on Thursday, so if we have a top team we have a chance.

Win and West Ham won’t catch us and Man U would have to win all their remaining games even to have a chance.

Hope we do it! COYR!!!

Johnny 4 Hats

Yeah, I really think if we make this top 4 charge successful with no recruitment in January and with between 3 and 4 first teamers out for most of the run in, we deserve a bloody lot of respect. It amazes me that no pundits have really eulogised about us at all. We have usually taken up the 4th or 5th slot on MOTD for most the season and our wins have been met with shrugs and meh’s. Not that I’m massively complaining. I think our stealth has been one of our greatest assets this season. When we moved into… Read more »

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

Most pundits had Utd as title contenders….
What do they know

Johnny 4 Hats

Well, I remember Stillman saying Chelsea at the start of the season. And he’s a voice I massively respect. So I suppose predications are always a bit of a lottery. But when a team is playing well and climbing the table, it seems a little bizarre that, bar Wrighty, no one really noticed. In fact, Conte has come in for way more praise and he spent £60m in January and they play shite football. But as I said, no complaints. I think a lot of these pundits are too lazy to do their homework and just rely on the old… Read more »

Johnny 4 Hats

Totally off topic, but did anyone see the rumour that West Ham are prepared to pay £20m for Mavropanos? Made me feel a bit sick when I read that. Really poor. No two ways about it. Really, really poor from Arsenal.

So Stuttgart need to pay 3m euros to sell a player for £20m. Gah.


Another Gnabry deal.


But i learnt if tgey get relegated .then no obligation to buy .if so i hope dey go down

A Different George

Sometimes this season there were comments about Arsenal’s weakness defending set pieces. Everyone knows Arsenal are poor on corners.


But still best. They have yet to concede from said corners this season. Not bad for being poor.

A Different George

Yeah, I was pointing out that commentators sometimes just repeat old stereotypes that have nothing to do with what’s going on today.


Hoddle is the worst for that. That guy has really lost the plot.

It’s beyond comprehension that there are amazing analysts like Clive and stillman, effectively laymen, out there – yet all the big channels still put on ex pros who just talk shite.

Macmanananananaman!! How can someone with that accent get a commentary job?? He’s the audio version of stepping on Lego!


Xhaka out or not?


Most pundits opinions are pure dog turd, but what do I know


Spot on mate. 👍

Let McManaman, Carragher, Neville, Souness, Keane and all the other anti-Arsenal tossers willing us to fail pull themselves about over Tottenham, West Ham and Utd.

Especially when we take 4th place and ECL football again. 😂

A Different George

Some of the pundits on NBC’s USA-based feed have been much more positive about Arsenal (Danny Higgenbotham, Tim Howard, Graeme Le Saux, a few others). Lee Dixon often the most critical.


No commentators have eulogised it because it was a problem we ourselves created. January was a big risk and even if do make top 4, it won’t take that away. Regardless great job done by the team and Arteta. My expectation/hope this year was a top 6 finish and while there have been many ups and down through the season, but if we finish in top 6, I will be happy. This a really young team and manager and sky is the limit. Top 4 would just a great bonus and push our project ahead by atleast an year.


With Dawson suspended it wouldn’t surprise me if they started Cat Zouma to build up his fitness. And they do have lots of experienced substitutes so we can’t assume they will play lots of kids. Some notable regulars will be starting that game too so it’s up to us to take it serious and hope we can come away with all three points

Nainsley Aitland Miles

They’ll have to roll out Julian Dicks to partner with Pussy Cat Zouma.


That would be some Kurtesy selection for us but given how much they hate sp*rs too, roll out Old Dick

Peter Bentner

Julian Dicks has put on so much weight he’s been declared a danger to shiping. I suppose they could use him as a static back four.

A Different George

Zouma played all 90 miutes in their loss to Frankfurt (and assisted on their only goal). I think they will almost certainly hold him out against us. If I were Moyes, I might play Rice, Bowen, and Antonio for a half hour or so, but my priority would pretty clearly be the chance at a European final and Champions League qualification.

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

West Ham losing should be good for us regarding their team selection. Only thing is, Leicester are in a similar position and will probably send a weaker team out against you know who.
I doubt much will change this weekend, apart from having 1 less game to play


Yeah, I would expect both to win this weekend given the massive importance to both NL clubs & their opposition with nothing to play for with a Euro semi to follow.
Then they play away to Liverpool before we play Leeds at home. It would be fantastic to go there with a 5 point gap. (keeping everything crossed!)

A Different George

Of course, you never know, but I just can’t see Liverpool dropping points at Anfield against Spurs when a draw could end their title chance.


You never know.

Hopefully that horrible little Albert Steptoe gnome will rediscover his shooting boots this weekend.

“‘Aaarold! AAAH-ROLD…!!!”


Edward Spencer

I hope West Ham rest all their players on Sunday. They have no chance of top 4 so have to prioritise Thursdays game


I don’t think it’s all about top 4. There’s a high chance they might fancy sixth and also wolves is close behind them so no reason they don’t go for both competitions. With a home loss in Europe they might look at the safety net of any European football via league positioning.

We just have to play well and not assume anything


It’s not a do or die but a win would be huge. They are without any center backs and just played in Europe less than 3 days before the match so we cards are stacked in our favour.


They have Zouma back, but his showing last night wasnt much to be scared of.

Naked Cygan

Normally we never take advantage of these situations. It all depends which Arsenal shows up. The shi*t one that was having a pre-season game against Brighton and Palace or the Arsenal that woke up and gave a sh*t about putting a shift against Chelsea and United. What frustrates me is on paper we have the better team against 75-80% of the teams in the league. It’s just a matter of showing up on the day and not making stupid mistakes. We have the players to win all our remaining games. Are they hungry enough to win every match? That’s up… Read more »


West Ham still have a good chance of finishing 6th and another crack at Europa league next season. Don’t be so sure that they will field a weakened team against us. I would think they will field a full strength team against us and Stuttgart. Leicester on the other hand, hmmmm……




Yeah, my bad 😬


Fantastic to hear Bukayo has trained, can see it being an unchanged team from last weekend. As much as I’d prefer Tomi over Cedric, we need Tomi fit & firing for Spurs cause I’d fancy him to keep Son quiet(again) more than Cedric. My missus & her family are all West Ham so I hate this game & I won’t hear the end of it if this is the game that costs us 4th, till they once against fail to turn up for their yearly defeat at our gaff next season

Man Manny

How can Tomiyasu possibly be “fit and firing” if he doesn’t play?
I say play him on Sunday. It’s one-game-at-a-time period, remember?
We can’t afford to look that far out.
3 points is a must this weekend.
Spurs is likely to lose to Liverpool, so we must be in a position to take full advantage of that.
Meanwhile, it’s nice to know Saka is fit.
Our attack misses something – even if Pepe is playing – when he is out.

Fairly sure Arteta will stick with Nketiah and Tavares again, but a few other fun selection dilemmas for Mikel;

Tomiyasu or Cedric.
Elneny or Lokonga.
Martinelli or ESR.

Hope to see Tomiyasu start as he may need a couple of matches to shake off the ring rust for the NLD. Elneny certainly deserves to keep his place and I think he will.


I’d be tempted to play both Tomi & Cedric. We would be very lucky to keep getting away with the performances Tavares is putting in.



That’s actually a fair shout. I’d give Tavares the nod over his ability to create chaos – as a wing back, not a left back.

Cedric has been fairly ok, but the cracks were showing against Utd and I reckon a ‘Mustafi Incoming’ might be on the cards if we’re not careful.


The cracks may have been showing for Cedric but I don’t think even Mustafi ever had a game as bad as Tavares did v Man Utd !


Yeah. The goal aside, he was an absolute terror.

Watching Arsenal with him in the side should come with a Government Health Warning – for Gooners anyway.

Man Manny

Even with the goal he scored?



Public Elneny

I don’t think Cedric would be a very reliable LB though. He does well to hold his own at RB. Having to do most things on his wrong foot on his wrong side – I wouldn’t be any more confident in him than Tavares. We also don’t know if Tomiyasu is ready to start Tavares is a very raw footballer and lacks several basics, but his ability to get up and down the pitch, and to cut inside, does give us good balance going forward A new LB should be 3rd priority this summer. Someone who’s good enough that we… Read more »


Elneny over Sambi all day long.

Absolute folly not to shore up the centre of midfield with Xhaka and Mo.


I dont think elneny and lokonga is a dilemma anymore. The best egyptian is miles ahead of lokonga in terms of experience and that matters now over potential.


Tommi can play as a CB, so I’d be inclined to play three at the back and hit them on the counter – Chelsea II, if you will.


Tommi White Gilberto

Xhaka Elneny



No Cedric worries and Tavares in a more familiar wing back than the Chaos LB of yore.

Martinelli to come off the bench and (hopefully) rub their claret and blue noses in it.




Try Gabriel!!

It’s Friday afternoon and I’m knackered. Roll on the Bank Holiday weekend 😂


That one gave me a laugh. Maybe Arteta is rubbing off on you a bit; now you are playing a midfielder as a left back


I’d like to think of it as ‘channeling my inner Wenger’ 😂

”Look ehhhh, listen ehhhhh….”


Play Cedric from the start and around the 60min put Tomiyasu. You don’t want to rush playing a key player for the remaining important games, especially against spurs

Pete Plum

Hope we’re not overplaying Saka injury-wise

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