Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Arteta issues fitness updates on Zinchenko, Partey, Vieira and Timber

Oleksandr Zinchenko faces a late fitness test ahead of Sunday’s FA Cup third round clash with Liverpool as he tries to recover from the calf injury that ruled him out of last weekend’s 2-1 defeat at Fulham

Following Takehiro Tomiyasu’s departure for the Asian Cup, the Gunners are short of options at left-back and could turn to Jakub Kiwior if the Ukraine international isn’t worth risking.

While it’s hard to say for certain, Arteta sounded optimistic when he faced the media on Friday afternoon.

“He’s progressing well,” said the Spaniard. “We have another training session tomorrow and I will evaluate whether he’s available or not to play and start the game. And the rest there is no actual news.”

The ‘rest’ includes long-term absentees Thomas Partey, Jurrien Timber and Fabio Vieira.

Earlier this week, Ghana opted not to include Partey in their squad for the upcoming African Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast. It had been predicted that the midfielder would return to the fold in January having been sidelined since late October with a thigh injury but that’s looking less and less likely.

“He had a long term injury, he’s been trying to push his rehab and he really wanted to be with his national team, but obviously he’s still far from training with the team and it didn’t make a lot of sense to be involved,” said Arteta.

Pressed on when the former Atletico Madrid player might return, he continued: “Hopefully, it’s weeks [not months]. When and how many weeks will depend on how the next step, training with the team, takes him. But he’s progressing well.”

The groin injury sustained by Vieira in November required surgery and it sounds like a return to action is still some way off for him.

“He’s doing well, but again it was a surgery that required two different things to get resolved,” revealed Arteta.

“The first signs are good but he’s still a bit far from what we wanted. He needs to keep working and hopefully, in the next few weeks, we can have him.”

Despite the occasional rumour to the contrary, the Gunners will likely have to cope without summer signing Jurrien Timber until much later in the season.

“Unfortunately, that’s a very long-term injury,” said Arteta. “He’s doing really well, but he’s still very far from being fit to train with the team, that’s something separate from competing with the team.

We don’t expect him back any time soon playing with the team, that’s something that we have. It’s the situation that we have now as well with Tomi[yasu] having to leave and we have to cope with that.”

On Timber’s absence forcing Arsenal to shop for a defender in January, he added: “We are open for the transfer market but again the emphasis is on making the most out of the players that we have.

“We will work together with the club to understand whether there is any possibilities and if we have any good options. First of all, we focus on the players that we have.”

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Good to see a smile on the gaffers boat race. Strongly suggests that we’ve already lined up some top top top reinforcements to bring in during the Jan window.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Kylian Mhappy, Erling Haha-land, and Smileonel Messi.

Jesus of Sao Paulo

Jude Belly hahaha? Victor Orsim hehehe?


No chance of of bringing in a youngster then, he just won’t give them a go.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

We have one of the youngest average age squads in the league.


Tired and incorrect narrative designed to bash a manager that everyone but Arsenal fans seem to love to hate. It’s simply incorrect, given our squad is one of the youngest in Europe.

Reality check

Timber, Tomi, and Partey would all have been first team regulars and not having them significantly weakens our first team and the squad overall. 5 points behind the leaders is still not too bad a position to be in considering how many players are missing and out of form.


Maybe it’s the eternal pessimist in me but I’m starting to think last season, particularly the first half, was just a fluke. Arteta has not only failed to build on that success but has taken the team backwards. He decided the best course of action was to get rid of Tierney, who had been a key player, then he followed that up by not playing Gabriel, another key player and playing Partey as a right back if that wasn’t enough, he got rid of Ramsdale for someone who after half a season at the club, people still can’t decide if… Read more »

Rice Rice Baby

Couldn’t agree more. Let’s hope he notices his mistakes before it’s too late. I feel like he’s too arrogant, forces the things to work when they clearly not working. Sometimes I wonder whether a more experienced manager could do better with the players we have. But we shouldn’t forget how he changed the club for the better so I’ll give him time.

Quentin Quarantino

He is ruining ESR as a player and an asset. Play him or sell him FFS!!


Very reasonable appraisal. I think we were very fortunate to keep Saliba too given the way he was managed.


I dont see how last season was a fluke when we are still near the top now. I think where we are now proves that last season was no fluke.
Of course… This can only be said now at this stage and might have to be reviewed come May.


Let’s also remember that most squads in the Prem have strengthened & managers figured that with a well organised low block they can cause upsets for offensively minded teams.
Last season L’pool & Spurs wer’nt the force they’d been a year earlier & Villa have surprisingly continued to improve, so top 4 mid season when the Arsenal team has rarely looked in top form, isn’t bad at all.

A Different George

‘I watch Liverpool and Klopp . . .as they bring kids from the academy.”

They bought four midfielders: MacAllister, Szoboszlai, Gravenberch, and Endo. Four.


Well said and analyzed…. do you remember that Timber got hurt just before halftime but he saw it fit to let him continue for second half… he then just crumbled up in the first 10 minutes of the second half. No trust in the bench or youth


Such a difficult window and one we need to get right. Anyone we buy should have first team ability. Or at least clear first team potential. Maybe Edu can pull something off.


This is likely me coming to terms with the fact we’ll probably fall just short this season again, but I’m not so down on current state of affairs as some – maybe just trying to bring some hope.  I think Arteta has been essentially (and for me, taking all into account – successfully) winging it ever since the season began.  I’m aware that injuries are natural part of football, but I believe the two major blows (Timber, Partey) were so significant we never truly got to see what Arteta had in mind for this season and we’ve been adapting ever… Read more »


I wish I could share your optimism but I don’t feel injuries have played such a big part in our season this far. If anything, compared to other teams, we have been “lucky”.

Arteta needs to put his nogging to good use and come up with a plan b and c. We have enough good players in the team.

I really do wonder how much the Ramsdale situation has affected the team.


But Partey was so predictable. Just looking at statistics, he is more likely to not play than play. So that is on the manager. Timber is just a freak injury which really sucked. But the Partey thing is just reckless expecting him to be there for any given period of time. Especially with the African Cup


Stressed about the window since we seem to be out of FFP room. Must remember to focus on what I can control 🙂 in Edu and Arteta I trust.


We’re suffering again by having a good squad but injuries hitting. We are still 2/3 players off from having the almost ideal balance of a first 11 team +7 genuine, reliable, 1st team options on the bench. In theory we are probably 1 defender away from being well covered in DEF. In theory we are 2 MF’s away from being well covered in MF. In theory we are 2 attackers away from being well covered in ATT. Injuries allowing. Reality is we have a proper 1st 11 and maybe, Tross, ESR, Jorge, Tomi, Zinc, Ramsdale (Raya whatever) as proper cover.… Read more »


What’s he smiling at? Needs to be booted out the blue club


Arteta must try to trust the academy’s young lands, maybe there is no need to be all over the place looking for a replacement. And how is he going to know if he does not give them the first-team crack.


Why not play Kiwior with Saliba in the middle and move Gabriel to the left back position. Gabriel is very mobile, and is well experienced to manage the shift, whereas Kiwior has shown that he feels more comfortable in the middle.

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