Saturday, February 4, 2023

“A huge blow” – Arteta reflects on Jesus injury and possible solutions

Mikel Arteta admits the injury sustained by Gabriel Jesus on international duty is a “huge blow” for Arsenal but he’s confident the club will find alternative options to cover up front.

Having undergone surgery on his knee, it’s unclear how long the Brazil international will be sidelined but it’s more than possible he won’t kick a ball in anger until the end of February.

Jesus joined from Manchester City in the summer and has made an immediate impact, scoring five goals and making six assists in 14 appearances to help the Gunners to the top of the Premier League table.

As the club prepares to return to action following the World Cup, pressure is mounting on Eddie Nketiah to fill the void while teammates, including the returning Emile Smith Rowe, regain full fitness.

“It’s a huge blow for us, obviously,” said Arteta of Jesus’ injury.

“He’s such an important player: he’s brought something very different to the team and it’s impossible to replace him. But we have other players, other alternatives and we’ll try to get that sorted. The transfer window is another option.”

“I think [Jesus] is a unique player but Eddie [Nketiah] has incredible qualities as well for the way we want to play. We have other alternatives in that we can play Martinelli up front as well.

“We are currently a little bit short in terms of upfront positions but getting Emile [Smith Rowe] back is going to be a big one.”

Arsenal have been heavily linked with a move for Shakhtar Donetsk’s Mykhailo Mudryk but it’s possible we may well have other irons in the fire.

Despite the loss of Jesus, Arteta is buoyant about the mood around the club and says the recent warm weather training camp in Dubai was just the ticket.

After a hectic first portion of the season, staff and players were given some time to switch off before the analysis and preparations kicked off again.

While friendly victories against Lyon and AC Milan were sandwiched by defeats to Watford and Juventus, performances have been solid.

“We had a lot of players at the World Cup. We had only ten players here at Colney, so the fact that we could change the environment, it was great,” he said.

“We allowed some families to participate and spend some time with us as well. We trained hard. We had two very competitive matches. We could load players with minutes. It was great.

“[Our players] loved it, obviously. Having four weeks here in London and just trying to break it up a little bit is something that they really appreciate. It worked as well because some players went straight from Qatar to Dubai. It was a good decision.”

In the aftermath of the last league game – a 2-0 win over Wolves at Molineux – members of Arteta’s backroom staff, Carlos Cuesta and Nicolas Jover, spent three days observing the France rugby side at close quarters. 

The meet-up formed part of a wider project to get a broader understanding of where Arsenal can improve across all areas.

“We decided to analyse what we’ve been doing in the first part of the season to get a good understanding of where we are. Is it something that we need to continue doing? Are there things that we can still develop? We also got other people to assess how we were doing as well.

“We looked at other sports and then it was time to prepare the preseason that we had in Dubai with the friendly matches.”

Now attention turns to West Ham United on Boxing Day and the job of maintaining a five-point gap on Manchester City. It’s going to be a tough assignment but one that Arteta is excited about.

“We have to take it game by game. Football changes so quickly and what is very good can be very different in a week’s time. But we know our reality.

“We know what we are capable of. We deserve the position that we’re in right now. Now, we have to do the same for the next 24 matches and that’s a big challenge considering the level in this league.”

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Bill

How much I’ve missed those words: “Game by game”. COYG – cannot wait for West Ham.

Arsemusic

Its very sad to loose such a big player especially so when as a team we’re on fire, maybe the positive is we have a bit of time to reorganise and a window coming up, Maybe we can fix this from within and Eddie can really show his worth. Were still solid all over the pitch so hopefully we’ll be OK until the main man returns.

Jimboslice

We all knew the squad was light, there’s a few key players/positions in our squad that are somewhat irreplaceable, especially Jesus in our new system. I do think someone like partey could of been an even bigger hit so here’s to hoping we can find some internal solutions for the time being & strengthen in Jan. The Eddie nay sayers are back so here’s to hoping he can prove them wrong!

John

Looks like Gianfranco Zola in that picture.

Savage

Or Gus Poyet

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Or Arsene Wenger at Old Trafford.

Rabi

Or Christian Bale

TeeCee

Whoever he looks like, there’s no way the fish he caught was that bloody big.

gooner

So I am guessing we might see White and Saliba lift Big Gabi to head in corner kicks and long throws. Thanks France Rugby Federation, I have always loved you guys

C.B.

We should look at England cricket too. Different game obviously but if we could get something from their tactics and mndset that would be great. Some huge records they have created recently.

Catbiscuits

Use bats to get an advantage at corners?

jw1

That might work.

TeeCee

Well yes. Obvious one, if we could knock up a score of a couple of hundred in the first half that would give us a massive advantage.

Kevin parlour

We must not loose focus on whats ahead of us and kroenke needs to help the club replace Jesus till he is back fit and fighting and also a player that can play with him and step up to give Jesus rest time. C.O.Y.GUNNERS

Heavenly Chapecoense

I said here that Martinelli should be played up front and a lot of people here disagreed. If you have watched him ar the WC, only the shot at goal needed adjustment. He creates chance after chance using technique and speed. The future of Martinelli on the pitch is called RVP.

Fatgooner

Totally agree. If we don’t sign a striker then we have to try Martinelli as a striker. Forget about Nketia: he couldn’t score on an 18-30s holiday.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

5 goals in 8 starts at the end of last season.

Fatgooner

No PL goals this season. And we’re in December

Nainsley Aitland Miles

He hasn’t started in the PL yet this season.

How can you score on an 18-30s holiday when you’re stuck in the airport waiting for a taxi.

Daveo

If we’re fighting for the title we should be taking limos, not taxis.

Bleeding Gums Murphy

He wasn’t that good though was he. Some very lucky goals and created nothing. I thought his performance against Newcastle was woeful. Played for himself and cost us dearly. I think Arteta knows it too. Hope I’m wrong but can’t see it. He’s just not that good. Championship player me thinks.

He creates chance after chance using technique and speed” – then he should continue wide left and Eddie will be able to get on the end of those chances.

Besides, Martinelli won’t be able to vacate the left until ESR is fit. That seems several weeks away yet.

Alexander

No thanks to injury but I know with the injuries around and the players know what they want is a collective thing I believe Gabriel Jesus injury will boost nketia and co up front

Gooner7190

My missus is West Ham, been with her 7 years & she’s finally agreed to watch a ‘Relationship Derby’ with me. Already told me to pick a pub close to home cause I’m walking if we thump them 🤣

FMT

🤣🤣

Qwaliteee

Pure team spirit will get us through this. I have faith in Eddie and the Hot Rods.

Come on you Gunners!! 😊🎄🥂🍾

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