Saturday, May 25, 2024

Timber can’t wait to join first team, Ali impressed with “very strong” return

Jurrien Timber says his return to action was both “amazing” and “weird”, especially as he marked it with a fantastic goal.

The Holland international stepped up his return from ACL surgery with a 45-minute cameo for Mehmet Ali’s under-21s against Blackburn Rovers opening the scoring inside 8 minutes with a fantastic curling effort from the edge of the box.

The young Gunners further extended their lead while the defender, who was deployed at left-back, was on the pitch but they conceded twice after the break to draw 2-2.

“It’s been eight months [since I played last], so, to be honest, I still don’t really know how to feel, but just being out there feels amazing,” Timber told Arsenal.com.

“Even now after it, it just feels strange a bit as well. It’s amazing. It’s been eight months. I feel happy, I feel blessed to be back out there. It was nice scoring a goal as well.

“Even that felt strange. I think I didn’t even realise I was scoring a goal even that felt strange because I don’t score a lot of goals, maybe I changed that during my rehab, let’s see!”

Asked about playing a part in the final weeks of the Premier League campaign, he continued: “I can’t wait. The season is almost finished, we have a couple of more games. The boys have been texting me already. So that’s going to be fun.

“I think we’re doing really well. The last couple of weeks have been tough – obviously, out of the Champions League – but I think we’re still in the mix, we’re still up there and we have every chance to win it.

“I’m glad that I can be part of it and let’s see what the last couple of weeks will bring. I hope something beautiful.”

Realistically, Timber won’t be part of a matchday squad until after the weekend – there are suggestions Arsenal will organise a friendly for him at London Colney to get more minutes in his legs – so the earliest he could play will be the Bournemouth game at the Emirates in 12 days.

It sounds as though Timber’s time with the under-21s has been beneficial for all parties. The Dutchman, still only 22 himself, trained with the academy youngsters in the build-up to yesterday’s match and has left a mark.

“It’s been great having him and the lads gave him a round of applause in our pre-match meeting,” revealed coach Ali.

“It’s never easy to be a professional footballer and to suffer the injury that he had and miss a lot of football.

“He’s come into a new country and it’s been difficult for him but since his return, he’s been excellent. Whether that’s been training with the first team or training with us, he’s been a real good role model for the younger players and his performance showed that this evening.

“He scored a very good goal showing tremendous ability to execute that finish. His decision-making and his whole performance for 45 minutes was very strong and the players will learn a lot through watching him.”

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Arsenalista

Good to have him back. Have a feeling he’s going to be a beast of a player.

C.B.

You won’t see many better hit goals than that, sensational!!!

Not expecting him to be involved much if at all this season but looking forward to what he can achieve fully fit next season. Looking very promising!

C.B.

With goals of that quality maybe he’s our new striker…

Scrubbychubby

Will really add depth and quality to the defence next season. We’ve coped well this season with numbers in defence being quite low at times but with a full squad the defence is looking stacked.

Tankard Gooner

Guy doesn’t look like a bad option to have on the bench if our forward wide players are fading during the game either. Honestly hoping he makes the LB spot his own. Him and Blanco tearing down both flanks.. Whoa!

Daveo

I’m definitely supportive of him getting some minutes over the remaining games. Looks some talent. The hard work of recovery is done and he’s not at risk of burnout type injury at this point.

yen

Timber: a walking definition of LANS!

Heiku

God damn what a goal

Daveo

Top bins!

Yesitsmeagain

Return of Timber shows that we are really well stocked up in defence. We have top level defenders in Saliba, White, Gabriel, Timber, Tomi, Zinchenko, Kiwior and I rate even Tierney highly. However same is not true attacking wise. We have only 3-4 top level forwards in Odegaard, Saka and Martinelli. Havertz is not dependable, Jesus hardly scores and Trossard is just about good enough for top level. Need to sell ESR, Nelson, Nketiah and Jesus and buy 2 proper forwards.

Torterrier

It was actually 2-2 at half time

Crash Fistfight

Yep, but not to worry: both goals came down the right-hand side.

Teryima Adi

Timber is a strong lad. He will come good.

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