Thursday, December 8, 2022

Arteta provides fitness update ahead of Southampton game

Mikel Arteta has provided a fitness update ahead of Sunday’s trip to Southampton.

The Gunners go into this one on the back of midweek Europa League action, after which the biggest concern was Bukayo Saka who took a kick to his calf midway through the second period.

However, the manager didn’t sound too concerned, saying, “I think he’s fine. He was struggling a bit at the end but hopefully he’ll be fine for Sunday.”

Gabriel Martinelli seems to be over a bout of illness which gave him a ‘difficult week’, but was feeling well enough to make a cameo in 1-0 win over PSV.

The only other issue is Oleksandr Zinchenko who has missed the last five games with a calf problem, but he too is on the mend.

“I think he’s close,” said Arteta.

“He’s getting better and better. He had a setback on the injury he had at the start of the season, which is a shame, but knowing Alex (Oleks?!) he will be back very soon.”

As for whether he’d be available for the weekend, we got a classic “I can’t tell you”, from the boss, but his smile suggested the Ukraine international might well be in the squad.

We’ll find out on Sunday.

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FYI Ukrainians I’ve met named Oleksandr/Oleksandra go by Alex.


I guess it’s good for them but I prefer Oleks. It’s got something about it


’Ice Cold In Alex.’

Great old classic black and white WWII flick, starring John Mills and Anthony Quale.

* Spoiler for those who haven’t seen it. Brilliant scene at the end, where the patrol, who have spent the entire film in the Libya desert, finally make it to Alexandria and a bar, where Mills spends an agonising minute watching the condensation run down the side of his glass of ice cold lager, before finally necking it in one.

“Worth waiting for” he says.

Must have been a Gooner.

Mayor McCheese

I’m so thirsty for a cold lager right now!

Boy Bastin

Let’s hope that we’ve the strongest squad possible so that Arteta can rotate players as needed. Despite his comments about players playing 70 games a season, I think he’d probably admit that he didn’t want to use so many first-choice players against PSV, but it proved necessary to get the breakthrough goal.


I don’t know why I read these knowing full well that Arteta will give nothing away 😃


That’s the very reason I enjoy reading it.

Leeds didn’t know whether they’ll be facing Jesus Nketiah from the start last Sunday. We want teams not knowing our next move. Hehe.


“I can’t tell you”…I picture the delivery of that line followed by the title image of the post…

Greg in Seattle

He sure has a bit of Wenger impishness, doesn’t he? Love it.

Dr Zebra

I’m beginning to suspect that what he says means the opposite! If someone’s on the mend maybe means they won’t feature (the opposing club wouldn’t expect that) and if the player is fit enough it’s let’s see how today’s training session goes..


Top post! 😂

Well ten positions practically pick themselves unless there’s an unknown knock. Left-back is the only position uncertain.

Worth pointing out that Jesus and Saliba are both on 4 yellows. It would clearly be sensible for them to pick up their fifth on Sunday, miss Forest at home, and be back for Chelsea.

They could both start at PSV next week so they wouldn’t be two weeks without a game.

timorous me

A striker theoretically shouldn’t be needing to get a yellow card that often, so while it seems inevitable that Jesus will get another one before the first half is up, I wouldn’t be rushing or pushing it.

Saliba’s sort of a different story, but I’d also be nervous about having a defender do something intentional to get a yellow. Even if it’s a play that runs no risk of instead being a red, you also then have a CB playing on a yellow, which isn’t ideal if the game is close.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Jesus is no ordinary striker – he’s practically our first line of defense. He commits on average 2 fouls per game – the highest in our squad. He’s also high up in the list in average tackles made per game, so the next yellow is inevitably soon, such is his swashbuckling style. I get the 5 yellows rule is open to abuse here, I’m not suggesting shoulder-barging Ward-Prowse in the first 30 seconds. They’re smart enough to pick it up in the last 15 minutes or so. The message should be get that 5th yellow out of the way before… Read more »


He should get yellow carded for taking his shirt off to celebrate being substituted in the 89th minute.

King 14enry

Just get him to take the goal kick in the 94th minute, and stand there delaying putting the ball back in play until he gets a yellow. Then he only has 30 seconds on a yellow, and doesn’t run the risk of getting a red.


Don’t think we should push it, but good to be aware of. Love Saliba but not worried at all if he were to miss a game. Ben White just slips back to his regular spot and Tomi comes back in on the right. Still rock solid. Jesus would be a huge loss, especially against Chelsea.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

I really want to see Saliba v Aubameyang.


They just need to score one each late in the second half, take off their shirts, and bobs your uncle.


I wonder if messrs Gould, Wilson, McNab, Pires and Holding have any nephews.

If they do, then Bob is definitely their uncle.


*or nieces


I disagree. Passing off games like Forest as default wins is a dangerous mental step.

Go Mik

Listening to the pod and they’re talking Fabio at this moment. I’m just gonna tell y’all my crystal ball views and in the near future Fabio is Luka Modric and MÖ is Kroos.


Thought Lakonga was quite average last evening. For me, he needs to quicken pace of play and decision-making, work more off the ball to create space, and linking play will naturally improve. Agreed “there’s a tidy footballer in there,” but he’s got to do more.


Was discussing Xhaka recently, and his transformation came when we finally accepted he wasn’t a DM and we moved him forward. Same might be true of Sambi.

Eric Blair

Time will tell with Sambi, maybe he needs a high level loan to develop.

Thank god we’ve got Xhaka playing as well as he is, we’re a bit light in quality in the middle of the park.


Yeah for all the whining he did this week of not playing enough, he definitely has not done nearly enough to stake his claim for a starting spot.


Saka is so strong and durable physically, but I feel sorry for him kicked around the pitch every game. He is made from concrete steel and perfect for the Pl.




The Wenger smirk. LOL.


I was thinking that!! 😂

Mark Hazelwood

I feel arteta could move onto the next level with obfuscation. How about including some doubts about players who are fully fit? How about everyone on the squad is a “we’ll make a late decision”? He needs to raise his game.

Cooked Patino

Press: Who’s fit and who’s not?
Arteta: We’re assessing everyone, including me. I look good but you nothing is guaranteed. I got a knock some years back and am not sure if it would kick on Sunday.


At this pace injuries will be coming soon.


Oleksander (Sasha) is the slavic variant of Alexander.

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