Saturday, June 15, 2024

Mikel Arteta issues pre-Bournemouth fitness update

Mikel Arteta says he’ll know more about the state of his squad after today’s training session but he confirmed Declan Rice, Leandro Trossard, Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka had not been able to train this week.

The quartet all sat out Wednesday’s Carabao Cup win over Brentford and the boss today confirmed that knocks had also forced William Saliba and Fabio Vieira to miss the trip to West London.

The manager wasn’t asked about Thomas Partey, who has been sidelined since early September, but it’s assumed that Saturday’s trip to Bournemouth will come too soon for the Ghanaian.

It’s clear Arteta faces some tough decisions in the next 24 hours about who, if anyone, to risk on the South Coast, especially with a Champions League trip to Lens on Tuesday and a crunch clash against Manchester City in a week’s time.

Facing the media in his pre-game press conference on Friday morning, Arteta confirmed said of Rice, Martinelli, Trossard and Saka: “They are all in the same pool and Willy [Saliba], as well had a knock. Fabio [Vieira] as well wasn’t involved in the last game.

“So we have a few [with issues], we have to assess them today, how they are and then adapt to the situation because that’s a big number.

“They [Saliba and Vieira] weren’t fit enough to be in the squad [on Wednesday]. My hope is that everybody is fit and available because we need them with the amount of games that we have already under our belt in the last two weeks and what is coming in the next seven to ten days. We need them, so hopefully today we get some good news.”

Asked whether he is looking ahead to next week’s games, particularly in relation to the availability of Bukayo Saka, Arteta responded, “The assessment is, is he fit enough? Has he done enough to be able to be selected tomorrow? That’s the question mark and so far he hasn’t trained with the team.”

Vital to Arsenal’s attack, the England international is currently on a club-record run of consecutive starts in the Premier League. When it was put to him that Saka will want to keep that going, Arteta said, “That would mean that he’s feeling good, you know, and B has got now enough experience and understanding of when he’s ready to help the team and when he’s not.

“But that’s what all the managers want to hear, that they want to play and they are feeling good to play.”

Why Arsenal have suffered a spate of injuries at the same time isn’t easy to answer. It’s certainly not ideal timing given the club’s Head of Medical Services, Gary O’Driscoll, recently departed for Manchester United.

Reflecting on the situation, Arteta said: “Different reasons [are the cause]. Some of them happened in training and some of them were knocks, some very small muscular niggles, but as well the load.

“Coming from before the national team, after the national team, the load went through the roof, the demands continued to be really high and the fact that we had three or four out already didn’t give enough time to some of them to have the exposure that they needed.”

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If you had to choose between Rice and Saja to be available for the Bournethroat game, which will you pick?


Rice. I think we have fringe players who are hungry enough to fill Sakas role.


Agree. Both great players but at the moment with Partey out too but on any given day Nelson or ESR might give you an assist or a goal the way Saka would, whereas I don’t think we have anyone who gives us anything similar to what Rice gives us defensively, especially with Partey also injured.


[Corrected]- agree both great players but on any given day Nelson or ESR might give you an assist or a goal the way Saka would, whereas I don’t think we have anyone who gives us anything similar to what Rice gives us defensively, especially with Partey also injured.


I am old enough to remember the days we were linked with Sebastian Saja but I missed the signing. Very prolific goalkeeper I must add and who wouldn’t fancy a keeper that scores goals?


Hahaha damn. Arseblog, when will you add the possibility to edit a published comment?


I’d pick a Sacka Rice for sure!

Teryima Adi



By the way, with the Negreira case getting serious at Barcelona, how probable would it be for UEFA to strip Barca of all their CL cups, and handing us the 2006 one?

I miss santi cazorla

Barcelona has been too arrogant. I would be more than happy if they shut the club down


We didn’t win the game. I’d want us to get to a final, beat the hell out of some team, celebrate like crazy and lift the champions league. Hopefully this season

I would hate someone telling me that we won the champions league in 2006 or the premier league last season


I would defo take the Prem last season as it’s a league anyway so you can quite often find out you won based on someone else’s result anyway.

A cup would defo lose the magic though.

Also the red card in that final was justified! RVP on the other hand…


Plus the Barca team bus got an escort from the Paris police while Arsenal’s was stuck in traffic till 30mins before kick off.

Spanish Gooner

I think it’s a fair point r.e. international games because it seems like some of the national setups are completely amateur compared to premier league ones. Too many players have their loads carefully managed then go away and get crocked for no good reason

I miss santi cazorla

Saliba et too?




Et merde


Et tu mamá también

Crash Fistfight

Et tu, Brute


The dreaded muscular injuries have raised their ugly heads once more. It seems to be recurring theme with our players and I wonder if its the playing surfaces we use . Or is it particular training drills? Particular coaching methods? Who knows, but players not used to being injured seem to pick them up with us very frequently.


Lot of clubs are going through this now. I don’t think it’s an Arsenal issue. This crazy schedule list with complete disregard to player health will ultimately take its toll and we are seeing it now.


Having read about Ben and how Arteta says he treats each training as a Champions League game I think we can all admit injuries will become more and more common. The decreases in rest and recovery for the worlds best players on an annual basis combined with the ever increasing loads make this inevitable…1+1=2. Good news for ESW though and a great selling point for deep squads of high quality fringe players wanting and needing game time. Also good news for Mohammad bin Bonesaw as he and his ilk can supply the necessary money while fans enjoy their moral collapse… Read more »


Has Gary O’Driscoll been replaced yet?


Got to ask Dutch about that…


So curious to see who plays on right wing in (if) Saka’s absence. Because for all the oversimplified suggestions people have made in the past, Reiss Nelson has not played any position under Arteta but left wing – even when that path is blocked my two more players in Martinelli and Trossad. I suspect it’s Fabio Viera shifted out there when Saka’s absolutely stricken, otherwise we continue to play him into the ground. Arteta simply doesn’t want a right footed player on right wing.

Dr. Gooner

I believe Arteta views the two wing positions as very different from each other. He wants to have a “strong” side that sees most of the ball, creates combinations and overloads and puts stress on the goal that way. Then there is a “weak” side that is mostly about running into space and making room for others. The right hand side is usually the strong side because of Bukayo, but against Brentford we saw the team play mostly through the left with Nelson. So I think he cares less about which individual is in which role and more that the… Read more »


On a separate note, I never want to see Jorginho play as DM in a serious game without Partey/Rice/Elneny. Lovely passing and control, but has no pace, strength or tackling to protect back four by himself.


Jorginho made seven tackles against Brentford, the most of any player on the pitch.

Dr. Gooner

Yes he works hard and anticipates well. That said I think the point stands. In a team that plays a high line, he doesn’t have the physical tools to be a lone 6. There was always someone stepping up next to him to help in case he gets skinned.

karl g

You have to question whether training during a congested fixture list is a bit too rigorous. We often hear how someone trains like an animal and Mikel encourages players to produce their best in sessions to get into the team.

Surely with so many players falling, it should be scaled back a bit.


I am sure that the players’ health is constantly monitored and the data closely scrutinised, and adjustments made accordingly.


it seems that the bulk of the team that played against brentford is fit, and it may be easier if with one or two changes, (sangoe out) and more minutes for Elneny the same players are fielded against B’mouth.
B’mouth also played mid-week and they are not as strong as Brentford.
i know MA will put in a stronger team, but if something goes wrong…


No player from the injured list features in today’s official training photo. Neither Rays no Ramsdale are in the photo. MA keeping things under close wrap

Brighton thumped Manure with more or less their second eleven, but Man U are truly shite aren’t they?


This resembles my Sunday league over 40 team, having to send a text to the group: “Gents, right now we have only 10 confirmed including a few who are not 100%. Let me know if you know anybody who can fill in.”

David C

If Rice and Partey are both out, I’d start the steady Elneny in midfield.


I do hate it when willy gets a knock.

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