Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Arteta provides fitness update ahead of Newcastle clash

Unbeaten in the Premier League so far this season, Arsenal head into Saturday’s clash with Newcastle United knowing a win will take them back to the top of the table. It promises to be a tough encounter at St James’ Park with the hosts showing glimpses of their best form in recent weeks despite having nine players sidelined by injury.

The Gunners aren’t without their own fitness concerns and on Friday morning Mikel Arteta provided an update on the status of three key players.

On the seriousness of Emile Smith Rowe’s knee injury…

Nothing has changed. As I said, I think he will be out for weeks. How many will be determined obviously in relation to how he progressed the first few weeks especially. It’s a big blow because he was getting some momentum and some minutes and we were starting to get the Emile that we needed but unfortunately, he’s going to be out again. 

On giving Martin Odegaard a breather in recent weeks…

We have tried to offload him a little bit because he had a little issue that he was grumbling with. He felt much better in the last few days. We gave him a few minutes against West Ham, which was good to see, and his contribution was really good. He will train today and if he’s fine, he will be ready.

On whether Gabriel Jesus will return after the international break…

I cannot guarantee that. We are trying to get that recovery as quick as possible. I said that it will be weeks, but very difficult to put a time frame still right now. It’s football, it’s what happens. He hasn’t had a lot of muscle injuries. It’s true that the load he’s had in the last few weeks to what he’s done in the past, even when he was at [Manchester] City, has been very, very different. And he’s still adapting to it. We lost four big players in the last few weeks, but it’s the challenges that you have throughout the season.


Arteta wasn’t asked specifically about the status of Thomas Partey but given he said last week that the Ghanaian was facing a long spell on the sidelines, it’s fair to say he won’t be available tomorrow.

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Johnny 4 Hats

Riddle time:

Two guards are guarding respective doors. One leads to heaven and the other to hell.

One of the guards always tells the truth. The other guard is Mikel Arteta.

How do you discover which guard is guarding the door to heaven?

Johnny 4 Hats

Oh, yeah. You only have one question.

Johnny 4 Hats

(Wrong answers only please!)


I like Johnny’s contributions. For this riddle to work though MA and the guard are disguised – you don’t know which is which.


“Mikel, if Bukayo Saka is indeed out for this weekend, and only then, then which door should I not go into if I didn’t want to avoid heaven, but in fact may have wanted to do the opposite of not entering inverted hell?”

Mikel: I don’t want to talk about every individual door in the squad innit


Surely you just ask the guard who always tells the truth?

Horse breath

Blame Kai Havertz. 🤦‍♂️


4 hats, but only one braincell.


A bit harsh. Johnny has had some good comedy moments on here….but someone urgently needs to have a ‘quality over quantity’ chat with him.

karl g

Why should a manager be honest, if that means giving the advantage to other clubs. I don’t always like what Mikel does with some players, but I want him laser focussed on making Arsenal a success.

You cannot argue with what he has done to make us competitive again.

A Different George

Easy: you ask for more wishes.


Instructions not clear, caught my dick in ceiling fan.


When we thought we solved the midfield issue, it comes back to bite us. Looks like in January we’ll need to sign a DM (Douglas Luiz?), centre forward (Toney or a BF forward) and right back (if White gets injured, what are our options? Cedric? Bitch please. Tomi? And who we put as a left back in case we play a game which requires a more defensive setup? Ah Kiwior? But what if…..AAAAAAAAHHH)

A Different George

If Haland is injured, Man City have Alvarez. But what if Alvarez is also injured? Then they’ll have to use Foden (or somebody) and doesn’t that leave them short in other areas? You can say something like this about every team at every position (except maybe France).


A great shame, but the time is nigh to cash in on Partey, ESR and, maybe, even Jesus. Talk about injury prone – if we’re going to be up there chasing the title (fingers firmly crossed) we need players we can rely on week in and week out.


ESR is young and is coming back from him first major surgery, let’s show him some grace.

Santi’s Thigh Grab

There won’t be too much “cashing” in on the players you listed. ESR hasn’t regularly started in the PL for something like 500 days. He hasn’t been available. His potential is higher than his current cash value, so I don’t think he will be sold but instead built back up into a PL starter again. Partey should and will be sold this summer but not for a lot of cash. Brilliant player when fit, just not that often fit. Given his unavailability and age, we might get £15 to £20. We won’t sell Jesus, he sets Saka and Martinelli free… Read more »


Not much cash to cash in on ESR at this point, think buyers would want to see him stay fit for a few months and contribute something before shelling out anything significant, we might as well keep him a bit longer and see if he can remain fit for a few months and increase his value. Of course at that point the temptation will be there again to keep him. Either way that would be a good problem to have, fingers crossed he can get fit and finally stay fit 🙏


You all care too much about the these players and this team, no one cares about actual people like me who needs all the kind words and hands on shoulders I can right now. Can’t afford a therapist, can’t be my therapist, football used to be my hideaway, but right now nothing makes sense anymore. Hear me out fam, you all reading this are all I have got, don’t let me fall, please, my knees are getting weak, I have been too strong for far too long, I need reasons to go one more day


Stay strong brother


Stay strong and I hope that the team smashes Newcastle this weekend and it brings you some joy.


Are you in the UK? Call the Samaritans hotline. Please, call it text 988. 24/7 brother. If you’re in the US or Canada, just Google mental health hotline.

A Different George

I saw two good things (and lots of bad things) against West Ham. Kiwior has progressed tremendously–reads the game well, brave, very good technically (which he always was). Can play either left or right side. It means injury fears in the back, even without the return of Timber, are much less than last season.

The other good thing is Martin Odegaard who, in an admittedly short appearance and with the game lost, once again looked like one of the beat midfielders in the world.

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