Disastrous injury news for Arsenal that could seriously affect our title hopes

Sources at Arsenal are reportedly concerned about defender William Saliba’s injury, as he suffered “serious ‘structural damage'” to his lower back. Saliba sustained the injury during the Europa League match against Sporting Lisbon and since being taken off, he has missed five Premier League games, and Arsenal’s defence has struggled without him in the backline, conceding 9 goals in the games he has missed.

According to the Mail, the club is concerned that the damage could worsen if Saliba returns too soon.

The severity of the injury has raised worries about the consequences if Saliba returns to the Premier League this season.

Saliba’s injury is a significant setback for Arsenal, as he has played a vital role in the team’s success this season, featuring in 33 matches. The club is hoping beyond hope that he will recover soon and return to the field, but they are also aware that his health must come first. The severity of the injury has raised concerns about Saliba’s long-term fitness, and Arsenal is taking precautions to avoid any further damage.

The Arsenal oracle David Ornstein has also  given us a cautious update on Saliba’s fitness, but like Arteta, has not given any definite prognosis on how long the Frenchman could be on the treatment table….

In summary, it’s not looking good for Saliba, and of course the effect it will have on Arsenal’s title hopes.

We can only wait with trepidation for a true medical update on his recovery timetable.

Fingers crossed, Gooners…..


Tags William Saliba


  1. I honestly wasn’t looking for him back any time soon.

    Holding continues to hold his own, his Aerial abilities is good just need continue getting the basics right.

  2. As an unfortunate expert in chronic back pain, extreme caution should be taken with regard to Saliba’s condition which could be disk related rather than a muscular problem.The long term future of the very promising CB should be a priority and any idea of rushing him back by the end of the season should be forgotten about.

    1. Correct Grandad. I also have suffered from chronic back pain for over 50 years, and as you say, Saliba’s well being is the most important issue.

      1. The trouble with back trouble is that it has a nasty habit of reoccurring. Hopefully Saliba’s issues don’t fall into that bracket, HD. A low backhand return playing tennis did for me 30 plus years ago. You just never know when it’s going to flare up again- flipping nuisance

        1. At least you hurt yours doing something you liked SueP. I did mine digging on an allotment 😡. Mind you, working in the construction industry didn’t help.

    2. Grandad ARE you truly a back injury expert? OR are you merely referring to your own back injury, as I think you are?

      1. Purely as a long term sufferer Jon.My main hobby , namely lawn bowls, has been severely disrupted by this problem unfortunately.Have you started your outdoor season Jon?

        1. Sorry to hear of YOUR back problem Grandad.

          Through the summer I still play indoor bowls on the two days a week it is allowed to open.

          I also play at TWO outdoor clubs and in local borough and county comps.

          Yes, outdoors HAS started already, though the greens are heavy of course. I am merely a decent standard, rather than good.

  3. No disrespect for Holding, he is doing his best but he is not good enough.

    I don’t know why Arteta can not bring Ben White to fill the void at the back. He was bought for around £50m as a central defender.

    Holding is obviously average.

    1. Good point. Yeah, Holding is doing ok but he’s a “Chasing top 6” level defender whereas Saliba is proven to be good enough to chase a league title.

    2. Ideally, that would be the solution, but with Tomiyasu also out long term, and if Holding is dropped we don’t appear to have a functioning right side to our defense, so unless Arteta changes the team’s shape tomorrow, I would expect him to keep his spot.

  4. Interesting to note that Holding is being held up as the reason for our defence letting in goals since Saliba’s injury.
    I seem to remember Ramsdale, Gabriel, White, Tomi all making blatant mistakes, but can’t recall Holding making such errors since coming in for Saliba!!!

    Memories are also slack…. remember the chelsea final, where he took Costa to the cleaners, while partnering Per Mertesaker who hadn’t played a competitive game all season? We won cup final that day and Holding was absolutely tremendous – let’s hope he can handle Haaland in the same way.

    As for the injury, MA has said Saliba is two games away from coming back, let’s hope he’s not overstating the injury.

    I also have suffered with a back injury for nigh on fifty years and now use a walking stick to get around – getting old is not much fun.

    1. Yes Ken, Arsenal fans always seem to single out a player to scapegoat when we lose. A bit before my time of watching The Arsenal, but apparently Jon Sammels was driven out by the boo boys, and he, as you well know, scored the winning goal in our first European triumph.

      1. HD you chose to use an emotive though not accurate word -in Holdings case – to say we are”scapegoating” him.

        I say we areSIMPLY pointing out his inadequacies, esp when compared with SALIBA. It is not personal and I at least have been at pains to pint out his loyalty , his keenness to give his best and that he is a top club man.


        I at least, am far more concerned with the good of the team than of ANY individual player, be that Holding or such greats as HENRY, BERGKAMP, neither of whom were even anywhere near being born when I BECAME A Gooner, when aged five.

        1. jf, not sure if you know this, but NOT every post on here is aimed at You !! There’s been posts by others that HAVE scapegoated Holding !!

          Btw, you were a Gunner at the age of 5, as the Gooners only came about in the late 70’s.

          1. HD, A pointless comment about Gooners only being around since late 70’s.

            Yoiu are perfectly aware, presumably, that Gooner is simply a corruption of the word Gunner and is now widely accepted as just meaning an Arsenal fan. As for “scapegoating” I was speaking for both myself and for the many other Gooners who have the clear vision and brain to see that Holding is not good enough for what we need , even though he is a fine, loyal club man and a real tryer.

            But guess what- we need MORE than just top blokes and real tryers.- we need these qualities AND they need REAL ability too. That assumes you do actually WANT us to win titles.

            IF I should not have made that assumption, then please let me know, in which case your view about Holding would be perfectly understandable.

            1. jf, the term Gooner IS NOT a corruption of the word Gunner. It comes from a song by David Bowie, Fashion. In the lyrics are the words “goon squad”. Some of our lads were big Bowie fans and came up with the term Gooner.

              I can’t for the life of me understand why you aren’t a football manager, as you seem to know more about players than actual managers.

              Yes, I want us to win titles, in fact I want us to win every game, but being a realist I know that can never happen. Let’s face it, we’re not going to have a squad full of world class players, as we’re not owned and backed by a oil rich country like City. Even in our title winning years we’ve had players in our squad that didn’t have what you call “REAL ability”.

    2. kEN you seem not to allow that although Holding has not made specific individual errors a a la Ramsdale and Saka( penalty), it is not ONLY about individuals but a lot about all round team shape and confidence.

      Salibas disastrous injury is IMO a key reason we dropped 6 points in our last three games

      I actually sincerely believe that had Saliba been playing and not Holding, we would have won all our last three games. We let in seven goals against two poor sides and a Liverpool team that only really played for around 55 mins.

      Holding and his lack of pace and all round ability compared with Saliba, massively undermines our all round defensive confidence , cohesion , pace and ability to push up the defence while keeping the ability and PACE to get back in time when needed..

      I think it “stage one thinking” only to suggest that simply because Holding has not made individual errors, that he is adequate.

      He is NOT!

      To my mind he is nowhere near so, as results and defensive confusion and weakness has proved., since he replaced our best CB since CAMPBELL,( by a considerable distance too, IMO).

      In essence, I SINCERELY BELIEVE Salibas absence has cost us the title.

      Sorry to hear of your own back situation, as it cannot be easy for you.

      Not sure that MA has in fact actually SAID that Saliba is only “two games” from a return. My impression is that it is more likely he will miss the remainder of this season.

      Either way, the team damage is already done and it is a very long shot now for the title and not one that realists should expect, though we all naturally still hope. But its only HOPE and not a prediction from me.

      It was always on the cards with only TWO CBs of any true quality and pace in the club. As it has proved, sadly.

      1. You can write a good insight when your mind is on the game instead of fellow supporters. Why don’t you write like this often?

        1. I second that. This is one of Jf’s best posts I have ever read.
          Good insight of the game and good analysis of the shape and impact we miss because of the loss of a good defender to injury.

      2. Jon, I haven’t said that we have not missed Saliba – I made the point in a earlier article that I do believe it’s the reason we have stumbled in the last three games.

        My point, which HD picked up on, was that the fans need to have a player to zoom in on and vent their frustrations on… and YOU are one of those who do it on a regular basis.

        I pointed out that Holding, along with Mertesaker, were able to dominate the chelsea forwards (who were part of the PL champion team) and we should support our players, not denegrate them…. funnily enough you have been telling everyone that neither is / was good enough!!

        Your point about it being a “team game” never stopped you having a go at practically every single Arsenal player, including Theo Walcott, who showed Gabriel exactly what having a footballing brain is all about!!

        HD, you are quite correct regarding Jon Sammels , along with David Price and so many more down the years, except during the Invincible era of course.
        My view is that, while they wear the shirt, they should be SUPPORTED and not scapegoated and / or have their so called limitations highlighted…. that’s where I see the difference between a fan and a supporter.
        That’s why The Emirates has been such a factor in our season, the crowd are behind every single player, as Saliba witnessed when he “scored” his first own goal there.

  5. All we can pray for now is a miracle to happen tomorrow and we beat Man City, and Man City goes on to drop points in one or two games.

    If that does not happen then let’s just try to move on and hope that vital additions are made to the playing squad for next season.

  6. If we analyse carefully Saliba actually makes our defence and midfield compact,
    Now that he’s injured, Our RM looks open, making it obvious that Partey is the only complete CM we have,So we could say Holding has a part to play in this,
    If we sign a player like Bruno guimereas of Newcastle to partner Partey, I’m sure even our defence will become impenetrable.

    1. Yes and I’m sure Newcastle will let him leave because they don’t have ambitions of their own.

  7. Play white at center back and Nelson at right back. Holding is a decent player but not going to shore up the defense to get us the title.

    1. I watched the game in sunny Penang
      Very disappointed at the lack of fight.
      Mc were simply allowed too much respect.
      However this loss doesnt make MA a poor manager and Arsenal a bad team.
      Imho Arsenals build up is slow and ponderous.
      Its predictable and once it breaks down,a swift breakout.
      Shades of Wenger.The gunners have overschieved this season
      I have confidence with upgradez in the team,,Arsenal can challenge next season


  8. Seems like megahhales trepidation comes with partnering with holding. You can see it in the way Gabriel and saliba show chemistry on the field of play. There is a calm serenity to megahhales play due to the assurance of having saliba playing next to him. alongside holding , Gabriel is a bag of
    nerves. Very jittery. I do not see saliba coming back this season again. With arteta’s lack of confidence in kiwor, the fans will have to keep thier anxiety in check as megahhales and holding pair up to face a barrage of onslaught from haaland and co. If arsenal were to. Lose, then so be it but lose with dignity and not humiliation

  9. I think most of us came to terms with the implications of this injury a few games ago. In the parlance, “it is what it is”. Arteta has to play the cards he has been dealt. It’s a shame but Arsenal are not being singled out by those vengeful God’s of Football who wear Manchester City jerseys under their everyday clothes.

  10. Var.What do u expect.Bf the game i had said watch out fot the mo,ref and var.
    2-0 down Our young guns have suddemly lost form at the worst stage of the season
    The attack is too slow with too many passes.
    We need someone like Trossard to run at the defence to create panic

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