Saturday, July 13, 2024

Arteta provides update on injury-ravaged squad ahead of Brentford

Mikel Arteta says Bukayo Saka and Declan Rice have been unable to train since the 2-2 draw with Sp*rs and Thomas Partey, Gabriel Martinelli and Leandro Trossard are definitely out of tomorrow’s Carabao Cup clash at Brentford.

It remains to be seen how Saka recovers in the coming days – the winger took a blow to his foot and had to be substituted in the closing stages on Sunday – but Arteta admits he may not be back in time for the weekend’s game at Bournemouth.

“He was limping quite badly after the match,” he told the media on Tuesday. “As you know, we had to get him off the field which is never a good sign and he hasn’t been able to participate in the session.” 

Asked if that means he’ll miss Saturday’s match, he added, “It’s a possibility, yes.”

Various reports have suggested that the back injury that forced Rice off at half time isn’t too serious. Arteta seemed to corroborate that but kept his cards close to his chest rather than go into specifics.

“He hasn’t trained yet. Obviously, he cannot carry on in the game [on Sunday], he wasn’t comfortable at all, but hopefully, it’s not something big.

“We are confident [it’s not a big problem], but he’s still uncomfortable, he had to leave the pitch and that’s never a good sign for a player like him. Hopefully, he will progress in the next few days but he’s still doubtful. For tomorrow, he won’t be available. Let’s see day by day how he improves and whether he’s got a chance or not [for the weekend].”

Reflecting on the state of his squad, Arteta added: “It’s the situation that we have at the moment, the squad that we have at the moment is really short and we need players back, that’s for sure.”

Arteta wasn’t convinced when it was put to him that Arsenal’s involvement in the Champions League could be a reason for injuries mounting up this early.

“We only had one Champions League game and it’s still early [in the season]. It’s true that they play with the national teams and it comes after a season that had a World Cup with some players playing 60 odd games.

“It’s a lot of things. We’ve been unlucky with the injury of Jurrien [Timber], for example, it’s for other reasons, Bukayo was because they stepped in [on his foot]. There are some traumatic injuries, some that are more muscular that we try to find the right reasons to try to avoid them but they are part of football.”

With six key players sidelined and a senior squad of 25, Arteta says Arsenal won’t be in a position to completely rotate at the Community Stadium. At the same time, fringe players and youngsters from the academy are likely to get minutes.

“There are a lot of players that need minutes, that’s for sure. You can go through the squad, some players haven’t played that many minutes and tomorrow they’re going to have exposure for sure. That can include [academy youngsters], yes.” 

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It is an opportunity for the young guns to grab. Come on!

William Nilliam

Bad news indeed but Nelson and ESR especially do need minutes, will be great experience for some of the academy too.

O. Luzhny

Just play Smith-Rowe! It doesn’t matter where, but he needs a place in the first XI. Eddie gets so many chances offering such a small return, why shouldn’t Emile get these chances as well? So frustrating.


Throw times a million. ESR has to start ahead of any academy kids, whether they’re the next best thing or not.



Dr. Gooner

It’s the competition and alternatives available. For Eddie, he had Jesus ahead of him but he got injured in preseason. He’s clearly next man up. The other possible strikers like Havertz and Trossard were preferred elsewhere. For Smith-Rowe, he had to displace Havertz and Vieira who have both been fit. Plus it’s been a long time since he’s played competitive football. I’m with you though, I want to see more of him too, especially with how little Havertz has shown in that LCM role.

Heavenly Chapecoense

I think ESR should only play in the important games with so many starting XI injured. Nwaneri and Cozier-Duberry should come in and destroy whoever is in front of them. Yes, they can.


like against the spuds, the last 4 minutes of added time?


Good call, Nwaneri in midfield would be great to see


It would seem: attitude/commitment at training.


Ramsdale, Tomiyasu, Kiwior, Soares, Jorginho, Elneny, Nelson, ESR, Vieira, Havertz and Nketiah. Should be good enough. I’m going with 6-0.



Dr. Gooner

Tomi Kiwi White Walters
Vieira Smith
Jesus Havertz Nelson

Lightweight midfield but not sure if Mo is ready to play, plus Jorgi needs redemption. I’d show him I trust him still.




I think Saliba and or Gabriel will play. I’d rest white and Zink.
J20 with Elneny at midfield. If things don’t improve they may have to play on the weekend as well, so it’s a difficult one.
ESR, Nelson and 2 more upfront but rest Jesus and MO


Honestly I’d take Jesus out of that side, have Vieira in that position (with the opportunity to cut in and shoot/cross on his left) and put Smith Rowe in the Odegaard role. There’s a possibility this game may not go our way. But with the way our players are going down, I don’t want to even take the smallest risk with key players like Jesus/Zinchenko who have had injury problems as it is. Let’s do what we can to ride out this period without any further set backs


Do we need to chase the Carabao Cup? With the Epl, Champions League and FA Cup we have more games that we can handle. Play all our second list players.


I don’t think we do. Or the FA cup for that matter. It’s difficult to get anything at Brentford with a full squad. Id like t see a mix of senior players who are not starting with some U-21s for the early rounds of the cups. If we progress we can reassess.

Jamie Ryan

The League Cup is six matches. Let’s imagine 2 of our 6 Champions League group games are dead rubbers. Four “extra” matches gives us a final, a trophy, a day out at Wembley. I’d go for that!

Man Manny

I remember those Wenger days when youngsters like Carlos Vela, Fran Merida, Denilson, Hoyte, Wilshere, Traore etc would wallop championship teams 6 – 0 in the opening stages of the then Carling Cup.


I guess those lower league sides are better these days? Even towards the end of Wenger’s run we weren’t doing that anymore… the talent disparity is still pretty large but tactically and coaching-wise the gap has closed. Those teams train hard and come to play well organised, their coaches study the top leagues and the players don’t just think they’ll get by on “getting stuck in”. This isn’t the arrogant retrograde “good ole England we invented this game so out with you foreigners comin ere to teach us about it” that we grew up with. At least mostly not.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Baptista and Aliadiere at Anfield is a great memory.


This is the line-up I’d go for:
White Saliba Kiwior Tomi
Vieira Havertz
Nelson Eddie ESR

Even with our injuries that would still leave Raya, Gabriel, Zinny, Elneny, Ødegaard, Jesus on the bench plus 3 of Walters, Sousa, Nwaneri, Cozier-Duberry

Big L HoP

There’s a running joke in my house that Arteta is going to run Saka into the ground and the moment he gets a serious injury, he will hotfoot it to Barcelona. I’m not laughing. He has to protect his young players better before Saka hits 24 and has knees like Wilshere

Fireman Sam

So we have 6 of our first eleven out injured. Injury gods, what did we do to anger ye so much??

Eric Blair

Lost our doctor.


No way should players like Zinchenko, White, Jesus, Saliba and Odegaard be risked tomorrow. I would go with Nketiah up top, Havertz out wide (maybe he can do more out there) along with Nelson, ESR and Viera in the middle with Jorginho at the base and then Tomiyasu, Gabriel, Kivior and hate to say it, but even Cedric in the back. Cannot risk those that have had an injury history (and even someone like White that is so valuable). As much as I’d love to progress in the competition so younger players can get a chance and players like ESR… Read more »


You would play Kai out wide but Nelson in the middle? And they say comedy is a dying art.


I meant to say Nelson out wide on the right so ESR can get some more time in the middle where Arteta now seems him playing more than where he used to play on the left. May be a chance for Havertz to actually be productive if he plays out wide since he’s not doing anything in the middle.


You see that tiny speck on the horizon? That’s how far I’d throw the carabao cup. It’s a nothing trophy that also-rans target. Like united. Spurs even win it a few years ago. Not for me Clive.

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