A lot of the attention of Arsenal fans at the minute is focused on if, and who, could be joining the Gunners in the next few days. But just as important really is having the players already in the squad fit and available. February and March are looking very testing and an FA cup fifth round clash with Liverpool has just added to the tough run of games.
Wenger keen on Vermaelen extension! by Ash
In what would be a rather surprising turn of events, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has stated in his latest press conference that he is seriously considering offering club captain Thomas Vermaelen a new contract to extend his stay with the Gunners, despite not being a regular feature on the pitch this season.
Arsenal turn down an initial bid for Vermaelen! by Ash
Arsenal’s Thomas Vermaelen has been subject to a transfer bid according to sources in both England and Italy. The defender has reportedly thought about leaving the Gunners this January after growing concerned over his lack of game time ahead of this summer’s World Cup competition in Brazil. The Belgian international is worried about his position on the national team could soon disappear much like his game time at the Emirates, but the rumours were later squashed by Vermaelen himself, putting the statement down to his agent’s misinterpretation.
Arsenal’s Vermaelen to West Ham? No chance!! by AT
It has been revealed that the Arsenal club captain Thomas Vermaelen has emerged as a target for London rivals West Ham United, with Hammers boss Sam Allardyce confirming his interest in the Belgian international, although he did go on to admit that signing him would be a different story in itself.
Vermaelen, who had a very promising start to his Arsenal career, has fallen down the pecking order at the Emirates after enduring several injury problems and a substantial drop in form in recent seasons, thereby creating doubts in regards to his future at the club. With Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny firmly established as the Gunners’ first-choice pairing in central defence, Allardyce seems to think there’s a small chance in acquiring the Belgian’s services.
Mertesacker showing why he deserves to be Arsenal Captain! by Ash
Arsenal haven’t had the best of luck with Captains of the club over the course of the last 10 years or so. Patrick Vieira was good, as was Kolo Toure in his time because both players were loyal and passionate about the club. However in more recent years there has been a bit more room for concern and our Captain’s haven’t really led the club forward like they are expected.
Arsenal have had to cope with some bad luck this season as you know. Injuries, draws for cup competitions and some fixture schedules have really put Arsene Wenger and his players to the test, but right now we have a lot to be thankful for.
Wenger has given an injury update, reported by Arsenal.com, and has revealed that Arsenal are set to have five big players back soon, which is a huge relief. However, they may not be available until the Premier League away game at Southampton on Tuesday 28th January. So the fixture list this time has been kind, because, with all due respect, Fulham and Coventry at home are not the most difficult of games, especially when the players have a nice rest before each one.
Arsenal have the best defence in the Premier League, bar none. It has been a long time since that was true, because for most of the years under Arsene Wenger, the Gunners have tended to focus more on the creative and attacking side of football. It is not as if Wenger has changed his style of play this season, but the defensive side has really improved.
It was not too long ago that the Arsenal manager was talking about Mesut Ozil and the need to start resting the German international. We have seen before that players coming in from different countries and leagues take some time to get used to England and the Premier League. And when they are used to having a winter break, the problem often becomes worse.
Vermaelen fully focused on Arsenal future! by Ash
Thomas Vermaelen used to be an Arsenal fan favourite and was notably one of the team’s best players when he first joined the club back in 2009. He joined from Dutch side Ajax and instantly impressed, scoring a goal on his debut and proved to be excellent defensively over the course of the season. However after sustaining a few successive injuries, his form dropped, as did his confidence and suddenly Vermaelen found himself in a difficult and less than favourable position at Arsenal.
Arsenal 0 – 0 Chelsea Player Ratings by KJ
Szczesny – 8
He did well to mop up the ball and save Chelsea’s shots when they countered.
Sagna – 8
He was forced to do a lot of defending on the counter against Hazard and Schurrle. He was also strong for us in an attacking sense with very little help by Theo.
Mertesacker – 8
Defensively very assured for us and made some good standing tackles.
Vermaelen – 8 (our MOTM)
Was surprisingly our best defender and that was one of the main positives for us. He did the “Koscielny” role very well for us. He was assured on the ball and cleaned up particularly well.
This Premier League clash between Arsenal and Chelsea is huge for both clubs. The Gunners can go right back to the top with a win over Jose Mourinho’s men, while Chelsea can go level on points with Liverpool if they take all three points. A draw would not be too bad for either side, but we know that it is dangerous to play for the point.
Arsenal vs Chelsea preview, line up and predicted score by KJ
It’s been a long week but Arsenal fans finally have another Premier game to look forward to and with all our Premier League rivals getting wins, it’s paramount that we also get one to reclaim our position on top of the table. But we will have to work for it with a very difficult game for Wenger against a manager who he’s never beaten before.