Thursday, June 20, 2024

Arteta refuses to rule out Saliba and Zinchenko for run-in

Mikel Arteta has refused to rule out William Saliba and Oleksandr Zinchenko for the rest of the season despite reports surfacing that neither will be fit in the coming weeks.

The France international has been sidelined by a persistent back problem since early March and despite the best efforts of the medical team to get him back on the grass, progress has been slow.

“With William, it’s for sure he’s not going to be fit for this game and we are doubting whether he will be for the next game as well but we want to keep the hope going and give ourselves the best chance to bring them back,” said the manager on Friday.

Zinchenko suffered a calf injury in the 2-0 win over Newcastle on Sunday and had to be substituted just past the hour mark.

The 26-year-old picked up a similar issue earlier in the season and missed 10 games over a six-week period. All the same, Arteta said “no” when asked if the Ukrainian’s season was definitely over.

“We have another session tomorrow before the Brighton game, we are trying to get players back for that and to hopefully have them train on the pitch. We’ll know more tomorrow.”

Asked about Kieran Tierney potentially stepping into the breach, Arteta made clear that all his players need to be ready to perform whenever they are called upon.

“The opportunity is for everybody, every game. They have to prove they are up to it and then I will make the right or the wrong decision with the lineup and giving the players the minutes that they deserve.

“It’s really difficult to be fair with players because it’s a sport where you pick 11 players to play and some to be sub but it’s not always right, but we do it all the time with the best of intentions.”

Since signing from Spezia in January, Jakub Kiwior has had to be patient for his chance to shine. The manager initially turned to the right-footed Rob Holding to replace Saliba in March but in the last two weeks it’s the Pole who has been handed consecutive starts. The  23-year-old has left a strong impression on Arteta.

“He’s been really impressive, really composed, really calm. He’s been brilliant,” said the boss.

“Obviously two very difficult opponents [Chelsea and Newcastle] with a lot of individual talent to defend in many situations and he’s dealt with the situations in a great way.”

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Santi’s Thigh Grab

Mikel going to heal Zinchinko with his positive energy. The powers of our manager know no bounds.

Johnny 4 Hats

Am I an idiot or, if Zinchenko isn’t fit, could we not ask Ben White to do a Zinny role from RB and Tierney play a Ben White role as a sort of wide full back and and LCB if the ball is on the other flank?

Ben has played midfield before and is a good passer.

But maybe it’s overcomplicating things at such a late stage in the season.

Plus, Saka does love White to work on that wing.


I think because ‘Nelli tends to interchange more frequently with the CF compared to Saka, thus leaving much more space for a FB that prefers to hug the touchline more often

Johnny 4 Hats

Very good point.

Blogs, drop Arteta a WhatsApp and tell him we’ve had a think but Benchenko just isn’t going to fly.


We should be probably doing this as a matter of course and aiming to be so good and fluid we can change it mid game when everyone is fit

Man Manny

I think it’s definitely over with Saliba. There has been nothing to suggest otherwise. For Zinchenko, fingers crossed; but if the same injury kept him away for more than a month earlier in the season, it would a miracle if he donned the shirt again this season. Be that as it may, their absence should not stop us from taking the 9 points available for us. I have an uncanny feeling Everton will open a door of hope for us on Sunday; a door one of Chelsea, Brighton or Brentford might widen enough for us to sneak through and nick… Read more »

Tankard Gooner

Ahh Manny I would kiss you for your optimism. I say regardless of anyone putting their metaphorical foot in front of the metaphorical door, as long as we smash through the rest of our games I will call it a great season.

Tankard Gooner

An Erling Haland shaped door. With pep’s head for a doorknob.


Pep’s had a rant about fixtures 😄 can’t shift the Everton game cos of Eurovision!!! Lol!!
In those immortal Keegan words, I’d love it, I’d just love it….

Celebration Police

It’s the final matchday and Arsenal somehow needs 3 points to win the title. Arteta has Zin and Saliba on the bench.
Fast-forward to the end of the game. It’s 3 minutes of the 4 minutes added time while arsenal is already 3-0 up. Arteta takes off Saka, Gabriel, and Odegaard for Zin, Saliba, and ESR.
Saliba and Zin are not really fit but Arteta only wants to prevent them from doing a Terry when lifting the trophy because Arsenal is too classy to replicate anything Terry does.


Agreed Kiwior has looked good


Agreed, but his name still reminds me too much of Kiwomya

Blackpool Albert

Mikel is gonna do a Mr. Miyagi on the lads. He’ll dramatically clap and rub his hands before placing them on the injured area… everybody gets a run out!!!

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