Monday, June 24, 2024

Arteta provides squad update ahead of Everton trip

Mikel Arteta says Thomas Partey will remain sidelined for a few more weeks but otherwise, Arsenal have a clean bill of health ahead of Sunday’s match with Everton at Goodison Park.

The Gunners had already hinted that the Ghana international would be absent following the international break having suffered a muscular problem linked to both his groin and thigh.

“He’s still a few weeks away,” said Arteta when quizzed about Partey in his pre-game press conference on Friday afternoon. 

“He’s got a muscle injury and he’s progressing well but he’s still a few weeks away.”

Having had 17 players away on international duty since the 3-1 win over Manchester United, it’s been a nervous couple of weeks waiting for their return. Thankfully, they all came through unscathed.

“They’re all good, they all came back well, they all trained today, so they’re in a good place,” reported the boss. 

There were suggestions earlier in the week that Bukayo Saka is currently nursing an achilles injury and that it was a factor in Gareth Southgate benching the winger for England’s midweek game with Scotland.

Arteta didn’t seem particularly concerned when asked about how serious it is.

“He’s fine, he trained normally today so there’s nothing to report. Every player has always pains or issues, it’s normal in elite sports, but nothing to worry about.”

The trip to Goodison Park kicks off a big week for the Gunners who host  PSV Eindhoven at  in the Champions League on Wednesday before the first North London derby of the season at Emirates Stadium next Sunday.

The boss is pumped but says it’s important to focus on each opponent one at a time.

“I’m really excited about it [the week ahead], obviously. First Everton, and that’s the only one we have in mind. Our record there speaks for itself, the last six years we haven’t won there, so we’re going to have to earn it.

“We know that we’re going to have to be at our best to beat them there, and it’s something that we haven’t managed to do. That’s where we’re going to start.”

Having played for the Toffees for six years, returns to Merseyside mean that bit more for the boss who says it’s a fixture he always looks out for.

“It’s a big emotional attachment [that I have] to that football club, the way they treated me, the years that I spent there, the incredible memories that I have,” he reflected. 

“So, I’ll always be grateful. It was a big, big part of my playing career and now as a coach I have to play against them and I always want to beat them.”

Asked how his squad will cope with the rigours of playing every few days, the boss pointed to the fact his side’s schedule is as busy as normal.

“Well, it’s exactly the same as last year. We played every three days but it was the Europa League so the competition is different. Obviously, the demands of that competition and expectations are different, especially after being away from there for seven years. But it’s excitement. This is what we want to be.

“When you look at the fixtures and the games that we have to play, I think everybody is really looking forward to it. everybody is really looking forward to it.”

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Santiago Phonebox

Reasonably confident of our squad to handle Everton. We ought to spank them but this has proved to be a tricky away fixture for some reason. Time to sort it out. COYG!!!

Stonks

Play the strongest 11 against Everton and rotate against PSV. There’s no emergency to win the PSV game, especially at the beginning of the group stages. We can’t however afford to lose any point in the PL.

Dave

With the amount of times we’ve seen Wenger blow ‘easy’ games in the group and run into the likes of Bayern in the second round you should know better.

A Different George

You may be right about what to do, but I think comparisons to the final four or five years in the Champions League can be misleading. The truth is that throughout that period, we never had a squad anywhere near as strong as today (a few brilliant players, but also many who would never be a starter now). Getting top four year after year, and then through the group stage very time was actually a pretty amazing accomplishment. Just a different world.

Bossman Bill

Feel like it’s going to be incredibly tight. Would be a timely match for Havertz to score a cheeky first goal.

Up4GrabsNow!

I will be the first to congratulate him

Ebo

… or two. Or a hat trick. Which shall then go on to be remembered as the “Havertzton”

PGunner

Just hoping they don’t get a fucking new owner ‘bounce’.

Please Arsenal, end this sticky run at the toffees on Sunday!

BillyKrystal

This rumbling about Sakas Achilles isn’t great. Im not crazy about how MA is so dismissive of it, maybe he’s only doing that publicly. I completely get he wants to instill fortitude in his players. But Achilles are no joke, if it’s under strain w the amount he plays that is worrying. I hope he can be rested for the cup and a couple CL home games.

Fabulous

I would leave that to our medical team to sort out rather than reading headlines. They’ve done pretty well (our medical team) the last few years.

Sheldon

Hopefully everton won’t have that new ownership bounce.

LEFT08

Since when is new ownership bounce a thing people?

Declan Fried Rice with Egg

Read the main blog

LEFT08

I did. Must say I made the comment before the blog was even published.

Kampala gooner

me too!

Rvp

If Saka is not 100%, perhaps start with 60 mins of Nelson or Trossard could be interesting.

Badaab

everton decided against firing dyche and instead hoping for the new owner bounce

Qwaliteee

Saka’s Achilles scare is a timely reminder that we need to be managing his game time sensibly, especially with the Champions League on the horizon.

Against Everton, I would START with Jesus on the right, Martinelli on the left and Eddie up front.

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