Saturday, February 24, 2024

Mikel Arteta provides Tomiyasu update ahead of “intense” trip to Luton

Mikel Arteta says Arsenal will make a late decision on Takehiro Tomiyasu’s involvement at Luton after the player went off on Saturday with a calf problem. 

The defender was sent for a scan on Sunday and the manager is hopeful, as was the case after the game, that he was merely experiencing fatigue rather than a serious muscle problem. 

“We will wait and see if it’s useful to use him or not,” said Arteta in his pre-game press conference on Tuesday. 

“We will decide tomorrow. He’s a strong boy and hopefully he’ll be fine.”

If the club decide not to risk Tomiyasu, which seems likely, then Ben White, who was also struggling with an injury before the recent Interlull, is also available to play. The 26-year-old came on against Wolves and will be hoping to start his first game since the defeat to Newcastle nearly a month ago.

“After the injury and the way we decided to manage his loads, he’s feeling perfect, back to fitness,” reported Arteta. “He played some minutes so he’s in a good place.”

The boss was also quick to defend Oleksandr Zinchenko after the Ukraine international came in for criticism for the mistake that led to Wolves’ late goal at the weekend. Rather than dwell on the defender’s latest slip-up, he accentuated the positives.

“He created so many chances as well, he provided a goal,” said the Spaniard. “This is part of football, we all make mistakes and it’s not only about that, it’s about how you react on top of that and there are other things that happen after that that can be done better as well.”

Arsenal haven’t played Luton since 1991 but will be mindful of a terrible record at Kenilworth Road. We’ve drawn six and lost four of our last 10 visits, albeit with the mitigating factor that the majority of those were played on a terrible astroturf pitch. 

While the plastic pitch may have gone, Luton’s tight ground is a real throwback that under the lights will house an intimidating atmosphere. 

Arteta, who never faced Luton as a player, hopes his players are looking forward to the occasion. 

He said: “I would say it’s an inspiring place. I think what they’ve done is remarkable. What [manager] Rob [Edwards] did with the team last year, the way they did it, what they transmit as a team. 

“We are neighbours, always very close from here, it’s just an amazing story and they fully deserve all the credit they are getting from last year and as well the way they are playing this year, the results that they got, how close the games have been that they’ve played, they’ve been extremely close. Tomorrow we’re going to have a really intense and difficult match.”

He added: “It’s incredible the way they’ve done it with the infrastructure that they had. I think it’s a leading example for any club in the Premier League and gives hope to any club that they are able to do something extraordinary like this. So it’s a beautiful story.”

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It’s a real shit hole.


Ha the old joke “what’s the best thing to do in Luton?”


I’m concerned about the lack of undersoil heating at Luton and how hard that ground is going to be in December, especially with their fans baying for blood and the refs allowing them to kick lumps out of saka.


Indeed. It was the home of Stephen Yaxley Lennon, who prefers to be called Tommy Robinson, until he made a lot of money from his mugs… er… followers and moved to a big house in the country.


With all respect to Luton, we should be able to cope without tomi- give him the day off and let Ben white have a go.


Not a half bad replacement one might add…
Great to hear Arteta backing up Zinny too. Exceptional player. Such a bit part of everything we do. Recent negativity on here is almost as bad as the tabloids and pundits (like WTF Petit?!) coming out after a win and an Odegaard goal and stating how he’s playing rubbish this season. Fucking bollocks!


Some pundits will say anything for attention. Look at all of them thinking we should waste 80m on Ivan toney, a player who hasn’t played for a year and is nearly 30, nevermind the time he’d take to adapt to a more intense system and new team… not worth the outlay imo


Would much rather see us spend that money on Ollie Watkins, or maybe a little more on Evan Ferguson


Watkins is in the same age bracket as toney, and he’s basically just eddie with 3 more years experience.
Ferguson will cost a fortune given that he just signed a new contract, so may as well just buy osimhen at that price.

Santi’s Phonebox

Ferguson is going to be special, would love to see him in the red and white.


“nearly 30” babe he’s 27


And by the time he gets up to speed he’ll be 28 and we’ve given him 200k a week for three seasons… so he’s got no resale value. Players like Giroud or zlatan who play until theyre 40 don’t come along often.


Petit is repeating this story of player burning out since decades now. I don’t deny burnout is a serious thing, though it’s like each time a player has a deep in form, it’s due to burn out…. which has affected Petit in the past… He might project his own story on every single player who’s not at their best for whatever reason

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Certainly a game where we could make some minor tweaks. White in for Tomiyasu is an easy one, and I’d be tempted to make a couple of changes on the left as well.

Kiwior in, and rest Zinchenko for the tough trip to Villa.

Martinelli has had a lot of football lately, playing twice for Brazil, I’d keep him fresh for Villa too and play Trossard on the left and Havertz #8.


I prefer to play Zinni for Luton, and Tomi for Aston villa in his stead.


Villa are pretty reliant on pace in wide areas leading to chance creation, so two defensive minded players at fb would be preferable to zinny, imo


Good point. But that said they’re also a very intense counter pressing team aren’t they? Which is where Zinchenko always comes in very handy…


Emery will have them ready to go, and Martinez will likely be running his mouth to anyone who will listen- a player like tomi who isn’t outwardly impacted by pressure would do better in that environment, imo. Zinny is fine, but maybe he needs a rest for that one.


The trip to Luton will indeed be intense.
Once you’ve crawled through all the crap on the M1, you then turn off to a place where every third vehicle is apparently being driven by someone whose driving license was issued by Cadburys.
Still, could be worse, could be going to the airport…


didnt we play at brentford already this year


I’d like to see Kiwior come in. That way he stays involved and gets some important minutes. Luton is an important game (they all are) but surely he can be trusted with this challenge and has shown he is tidy on the ball, has recovery pace and some physical presence.


Some more color about the city of Luton please. Why is a d7mp?


A good time to loot 3points from Luton. We obviously in a rich vein of form yay!

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