Friday, December 1, 2023

“News on the squad will be tomorrow” – Arteta keeps cards close to his chest

Mikel Arteta opted not to give anything away on the team news front ahead of Arsenal’s Europa League clash with Sporting Lisbon despite suggestions a few members of the first team squad are unwell.

Earlier today, we reported that Kieran Tierney would miss the trip after sitting out this morning’s training session due to illness.

Furthermore, on arrival in Portugal, Gabriel Martinelli revealed that Fabio Vieira had also stayed in London due to sickness.

Given the Portugal international was filmed boarding this afternoon’s flight from Luton that seemed surprising news. Indeed, Arsenal quickly clarified that Vieira had made the trip but was suffering from a sore throat. It turns out Martinelli meant, he’d missed the press conference, not the flight.

It’s unclear whether strikers Leandro Trossard and Eddie Nketiah, who are nursing groin and ankle injuries respectively, have travelled. The same goes for Gabriel Jesus, who trained this morning, but hasn’t played for the Gunners since November.

When pressed for a fitness update, Arteta said: “News on the squad will be tomorrow. We have brought a few players and you will see who is available.

“Let’s see how they evolve. We’re trying to accommodate everybody and get them in the best position for tomorrow.”

He was then asked if there’s a risk of illness spreading through the camp. He said: “These things happen throughout the season. Sometimes happens four days before the match, sometimes the day before the match.

“We deal with that and tomorrow everybody will be in the best possible condition to compete.”

Make of that what you will.

Predicted starting lineup: Paracetamol; Covonia, Calpol, Benylin, Night Nurse; Lemsip, Chicken Soup, Ibuprofen; Olbas, Strepsils, Vicks VapoRub

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Arsene Wenger's Secret Lovechild

Well, 12 players will offset the illness. Loving the double-barreled number 9… very Arsenal…

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

I don’t like the sound of this


That starting line up at the bottom, oh my days. I guess Europa arguably isn’t as key as the PL any more as it’s not likely we’ll finish 5th, so at least it’s illness and not new injuries.


Fisherman’s Friend to make the bench I hope?

Jeremy Flannyballs

Smells like an untimely covid outbreak…

Man Manny

Arteta’s media give away or none thereof, makes the great Arsene Wenger seem like a local loudmouth.

Dr Zebra

Haha I feel like Arsene was always such a gentleman and succumbed to honesty. But with Arteta, I believe he approaches his media duties as another tactical opportunity to maximize any advantage to win any match

Cranky Colin

There’s so much “love” within the group, I fear the whole squad will get it ( whatever it is)😜

Cranky Colin



Definitely our best 11 starters under these circumstances!


You do realise that Viagra will all his work rate misses out? we play with a high tempo and hopefully these guys can keep it up for 90 minutes without him at the base of that midfield


Who the hell is Viagra?


Oops didn’t read the lineup I get it now :)))

Frog In Ze Room

Just missing Shnaps and honey


May need a few big guns on the bench to pull through – Azithromycin, Mucosin, Simeox, Betamethasone


It’s a bit difficult to be certain with the interpreter but from the video of the interview with Martinelli but I’m pretty sure he says Fabio Vieira is sick but *did* travel with the team, he just didn’t come to the press conference (Martinelli was sent to replace him)

Not sure what that means for his participation tomorrow but would be pretty surprising, even if he’s sick, if he’d missed the opportunity to travel with the team to his homeland… i’d have to bebedridden to miss that

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