Thursday, April 25, 2024

Arteta issues positive updates on Vieira and Partey ahead of Burnley trip

Mikel Arteta was typically tight-lipped on the specifics of Arsenal’s injury situation ahead of Saturday’s trip to Burnley but he did reveal long-term absentees Thomas Partey and Fabio Vieira are back training on the grass.

The Spaniard hasn’t had much wiggle room for squad rotation in recent weeks with Emile Smith Rowe, Gabriel Jesus, Jorginho, Takehiro Tomiyasu and Oleksandr Zinchenko all missing last weekend’s 6-0 demolition of West Ham United with various bumps, bruises, niggles and muscular strains.

“The update is that some of them have been progressing better than others,” said Arteta on Friday.

“We have a training session again today. Some of them they have done a few bits this week and I’m positive that hopefully, we’re going to get a few back for tomorrow.”

He added: “There’s no big setbacks on any of those injuries and Thomas Partey as well is progressing really well. I don’t want to say too much but he’s looking very good and he’s on the field already.”

Asked for an update on midfielder Vieira, who underwent groin surgery in November, there was also positive news.

“He’s very close [to a return],” said the boss. “He’s been training already for a few days with the team, so I think he’s very close. He’s evolved probably faster than we expected and he’s in a good place.”

“There is a chance,” added Arteta when asked if the Portugal under-21 international could be part of the matchday squad for Tuesday’s Wednesday’s clash against his old club Porto.

Given Arsenal enter the business end of the season competing on two fronts – the Premier League and Champions League – the manager is keenly aware of the need to share the minutes amongst his squad where possible. That was clear for all to see at the London Stadium on Sunday when he used several fringe players in the closing stages of the win and gave minutes to academy prospect Ethan Nwaneri.

“We have to go game by game because at the moment in certain positions in the last few weeks we didn’t really have a choice [to rotate]. We had to play them, we didn’t have any other players to do so and we had the chance during matches especially to make some changes and adjust the minutes and the load of certain players.

“We have tried to manage that in the best way because it’s going to be really important.”

He added: “The most important thing to impact at the end of the season is to have the squad fully available. For me, that is requirement number one. And at the moment, we don’t have it. And we’re going to have to have it and we are working really hard to have it. This is the requirement number one.”

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I think we play Porto on Wednesday?

Johnny 4 Hats

I really had forgotten Vieira exists. And I still am not sure where, if anywhere, he’s fitting into this side.

He lacks the dynamism to play RW. I don’t think he presses or creates enough to cover Odegaard. And I really think he’s too lightweight for a number 8.

I’m not writing him off. He’s clearly an unbelievable talent. But the fact I really haven’t even noticed he’s been injured says quite a lot.


You haven’t noticed because he didn’t make any position his own as you say, and in his absence we’ve had very good play from Havertz and others who play in his positions. But our bench has been very poor, he’s a much better option off it than we’ve had in recent weeks so I’ll be very glad to have him back there, he’s had some impactful substitute appearances in the past. Whether he’s good enough to ever become someone you trust to do well when he starts a game for us is a different question, I guess we’re heading towards… Read more »


Someone reminded me a few days ago that when looking into the contribution of players these days, it’s better to consider their role rather than position. For instance, it’s generally assumed that Havertz has been playing the left eight position , as was Xhaka, but watching the game you notice that the Xhaka role is different from the Havertz role. That being said, Viera has a unique profile which has a role to play in the squad. Many opine that he has the best final ball in the squad and that can be useful in certain scenarios. Like you, l… Read more »

John C

If we want to be unpredictable we need players like Vieira as he offers something completely different to the alternative.

I think it’s so important that over the next few months we have a range of options that really make it difficult for the opposition to prepare and Vieira, Jourginho, Trossard, Partey, Smith-Rowe, Kiwor and Tomi can all offer real variety to our estabished game play and make it really difficult to counteract.

I think if used properly we have a really nice mix and verity of players.


The best final ball in the squad surely has Ødegaard. Could argue he has the best final ball in England, maybe even Europe, if you‘re looking at his stats.


I responded to this earlier and my response got filtered, I assume at some point it would get posted. Was there something even remotely controversial in it that resulted in it not getting approved by the moderators here??

Cliff Bastin

He was more effective than Havertz in the first few games, but Havertz has more than earned his spot in the first eleven now.

Jesus of Sao Paulo

Comparing these players as in “like for like” is defeatist and not practicable. For example Kiwior is a completely different player to Zinchenko and offers a different option, like we all observed against West Ham. Havertz is not Xhaka. Xhaka could comfortably cover for LB and bomb forward as a left sided 8, but Kai is comfortable occupying the right 8 (10?) space and give options to Odegaard to roam. He can play false 9 which Xhaka can’t. Vieira is also a different variant at 8/10. Having all these players available gives the boss options for different oppositions, therefore none… Read more »


If Partey can just give us over 10 games fully fit, we just might do the impossible. Dude came on for just over 10 minutes against Man City and gave us the 3 points which has proved so crucial for our season so far.
No need to overuse him, just bring him on for the big games.

A Different George

I think starting Partey in a dozen matches and taking him off after an hour or so in many of them is the way to do it. I don’t mean only when we are safe enough to bring Elneny on (though that can work sometimes). I mean with Rice and Jorginho, we can move things around so that taking Partey off gives the opponent a different problem, not an easier one.


Thomas Partey “on the grass already” sounds like the guy has made some sort of lightning recovery.


A lightning recovery to the twelfth setback to the first setback to recovering from the original injury… already.

Eric Blair

Injuries, or lack thereof, will be crucial to our chances of success this season.

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