So tonight’s game may mean nothing in the grand scheme of things, but it will give the main Arsenal players the chance to have a rest from our gruelling fixture list, and also to give some of our youngsters a chance to impress Unai Emery in a real matchday atmosphere. And of course it gives Laurent Koscielny and Nacho Monreal a chance to gain a little bit more fitness as well.
Well there I was happily writing away at the Arsenal v Qarabag Preview when suddenly up pops the news that the young Gunner Emile Smith-Rowe was injured in training and is now set to miss tonight’s game and also the Caraboa Cup quarter final against Tottenham.
Goal reported it like this…..
The Arsenal boss Raul Sanllehi has already told us that he is not keen on the January transfer window except in emergencies, but it looks like that may be the case at the moment since Rob Holding’s season-ending injury occurred last week.
REPLACING OZIL – RODRIGO DE PAUL? by Nicholas
21 games unbeaten and counting, Arsenal faced a rather unexpectedly tough game against Huddersfield Town AFC. Having sailed passed the likes of Liverpool, Manchester United, Tottenham, Bournemouth etc., it looked relatively the easier outing, especially at the Emirates. Looks can indeed be deceiving.
We have heard many times over the years of how Arsene Wenger made personal phone calls to Arsenal’s transfer targets to persuade them to join Arsenal, but this is the first time we have heard of Unai Emery stepping in and doing the same thing. We have been led to believe that under the new regime at Arsenal it is Sven and Raul who deal with all the incoming players, but according to Lucas Torreira, it was Unai who sealed the deal. ‘At the end of my last season at Sampdoria there were lots of teams being talked about,’ Torreira told ArsenalMedia, as reported in TalkSport.
Arsenal have certainly suffered a glut of defensive injuries this season, and we are going to be even more stuck for Sundays game at Southampton with Sokratis and Mustafi facing one-game suspensions. We may have Laurent Koscielny returning to the fold after six months out, but we were rocked by the news that Rob Holding will miss the rest of the season.
We may have an easy game tomorrow night against Qarabag when we will see some of Arsenal’s youngsters on display, but we then begin the gruelling Christmas schedule on Sunday when we travel down to Southampton, where we have a poor record against the Saints. I am sure Emery will have the team fresh and ready, although we do seem to be lacking a few defenders! If we don’t lose it should mean we have gone four full months without losing a game!
The old saying ‘there is no smoke without fire’ is not always true, especially when it comes to Arsenal transfer rumours! But there seems to be a growing wave of stories about Mesut Ozil growing more frustrated and unhappy at being ignored by Unai Emery, and is on the lookout for a new club. The Italian outlet CalcioMercato has now gone further and has reported that agents of the German midfielder have been offering Ozil around to the biggest clubs in Serie A.