Saturday, June 15, 2024

Arteta pleased with Arsenal’s response to Jesus absence as striker closes in on return

Mikel Arteta still won’t put a date on when he expects to be able to select Gabriel Jesus but says the striker is in a good place as he steps up his rehabilitation from knee surgery.

The striker hasn’t kicked a ball in anger since limping out of the World Cup in December but is back training with the ball at London Colney. While some reports have suggested the 26-year-old could be available before the Interlull at the end of the month, the manager continues to keep his cards close to his chest.

Facing the media ahead of Saturday’s clash with Bournemouth, Arteta said: “He’s not far now, I don’t want to give a timeline. He’s not very close but he’s not far at all.

“He’s feeling better every day and the doctors are feeling confident and the dangers involved. We’re in a good place with him, I think.

“It’s been pretty straightforward [his recovery]. At the beginning, we were really concerned with the possible extent of the injury because we were talking about a few options there.

“Thankfully, it wasn’t that bad but it was still a long-term injury, required surgery and it’s not pleasing, especially the first few weeks.

“Knowing Gabby, he’s been through that before, his mentality has been incredible and the [medical] team has done a really good job to put him in the position he is today.”

Arteta went on to confirm that the player is not yet participating in full contact training sessions with his teammates but that could change in the next 10 days or so.

“I’m saying he’s not far away but obviously he needs to do much more with the team. Let’s see how the next week to 10 days develops and then we’ll have a much better picture.

On whether the striker might be eased into competitive action with the club’s under-21s, he continued: “We need to see, depending on how busy the schedule is and where we have space between games to fit that in, whether we feel he needs it and how much we think he’ll get from it. There are some questions, good questions to ask in the next 7-10 days, I think.”

In the absence of the talismanic striker, Arteta’s squad have done incredibly well to maintain the five-point advantage that was in place before Jesus suffered his injury.

In attack, Eddie Nketiah, Gabriel Martinell and Bukayo Saka have each scored six goals since Boxing Day while new boy Leandro Trossard has added further attacking guile and energy both as a winger and a false nine.

Reflecting on the way his team reacted to losing one of its biggest stars, he said: “It was a huge blow for the team because we knew the importance of Gabby, what he was bringing to the team, the way he transformed the spirit, the belief and the level of performances we could reach.

“To be fair, the team made a step forward and players individually took more responsibility and were really keen to maintain that level and we have done it so far.

“It’s really pleasing to see players not looking to find excuses or looking to somebody else to do it but taking initiative and developing their leadership qualities. I think it’s really important.”

He added: “The team had to adapt the way of playing because of the qualities Gabby had. That as well was something pleasing to see. In general, probably [we’ve coped] better than expected and we have to continue doing that and when he’s back hopefully he can take us to a different level.”

When it was put to Arteta that Jesus may struggle to get back in the team, he replied: “Probably that wouldn’t be fair on him because he was starting every single game and what he produced for the team was phenomenal.

“It’s true now that we need to see when he gets back, at what level he gets back, how we’re going to fit him in and how we’re going to load him with minutes and games.

“Then, like everybody else, he’ll have to earn his place but we know what Gabby can bring to the team, that’s for sure.”

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Johnny 4 Hats

Thought it was over

When Jesus fucked his knee up

But how wrong was I?

Yes!! Haiku!

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

First they said “Arsenal haven’t played anybody yet”.
Then it was “October is when it will fall apart.
Then it was “Jesus is injured, it’s over now”.
Then we lost a couple and it was “Arsenal always crumble around February”.
Guess what, we’re still here.
Yes, the boys have been excellent, with and without Jesus, and long may it continue. We deserve some success and happiness, after years of failure, hurt and near misses

Daveo

You forgot “Man City’s win just ended Arsenal’s title race”

Bishop

We have seen the lame walk, a bad knee ain’t stopping him.
Let me get a…

C.B.

Looking forward to seeing him help us out after the international break, perfect timing for a harder run of matches in the PL plus EL!

Badaab

He’s injured until after the international break. Sorry Brazil but you’re not doing it to us twice in one year.

ealing

there is only a friendly in Morocco on 25 March, I’m sure that even if he’s back by then, and we say not fully fit, Brazil will not kick a big fuss about it,

wrightstuff8

Let’s hope not, that prick Richarlison is somehow preferred anyway.
I’ll be fuming if Gabby’s not wrapped in cotton wool over the international break.

Third Gooner

They are not going to play him anyway. Let Jesus rest. Him and ESR will be very important when we have those tough games in April.

Onenil

Jesus back for Easter? Second coming.

Jesus of Sao Paulo

Oh no! Let him come after Easter lest they (VAR Pharisees) crucify him! 😛

Zak

Looks like we dodged a bullet this time around as none of the Gabi’s are on the list so hopefully they can have a week off – https://twitter.com/CBF_Futebol/status/1631661267617292289

Daveo

They seriously must not even be watching Arsenal. Gabi1 and Gabi2 estão pegando fogo! Oh well…their loss! Enjoy fake tough guy Richarlison…

ChickPEA

Having him and Smith Rowe back is the promise of delicious selection headaches to come. Trossard has been performing extremely well, and Eddie has been great on many occasions too.
We do have a champion’s bench now. And that’s awesome.

Daveo

A little niggling hammy to De Bruyne wouldn’t go astray…

Man Manny

Jesus, Nketiah, Martinelli, Trossard, Saka and Smith-Rowe, all fit, constitute enough firepower to make the final push for the EPL title.

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

I’d add the captain to that

Man Manny

Yea, and even Zinchenko 🤣

Gordy

Does anyone know a pub near the ground showing the Bournemouth game live tomorrow?

wrightstuff8

Unfortunately no pub will be showing it, as all the Saturday 3pm KO ‘s are not broadcast in UK

Merlin’s Panini

He’ll come back with a lot of energy. The only concern might be any knock on injuries like muscle strains etc so the first few weeks of his return might have to be with slowly building game time. But what a player to have for the final push!

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