Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Arsenal Have To Rely On Djourou And Squillaci For A Few Weeks.

With Arsenal not playing until tomorrow night at home to Partizan Belgrade in the Champions League there isn't an awful lot of Arsenal news to report. Looking at the club site there is a run down of how various Arsenal players are getting on while out on loan at other clubs, as well as the latest news about injured players.

The biggest piece of Arsenal news concerns Thomas Vermaelen, who will not be available to play again until the new year according to Arsene Wenger. He picked up an achilles injury on international duty at the start of September, and at the time he was expected to return within a week or so. However, his injury has continued to perplex the Arsenal medical team, and he is now in a medical boot to protect him.
It means that Arsenal are down to two fit centre backs, as Laurent Koscielny suffered concussion, after his collision with Sebastien Squillaci in Saturday's victory over Fulham. Up to now Johan Djourou has only been used in every other game, as the boss continues to look after his knee injury that caused him to miss over a year of action. It now looks as if he will be expected to play every game for the next couple of weeks at least, as I would imagine that it will take Koscielny that long to recover.
The combination of Djourou and Squillaci is not an ideal one in my opinion, but I am happy enough to see Djourou in the team at least. He has improved with each game he has played since his return from injury, and I look forward to seeing him attempt to claim a permanent place in the team.  I'm not overly concerned at how the pair of them will play as a pair against Partizan tomorrow night, but they will need to be at their very best five days later away to "Manure".  

It's interesting to see how well Henri Lansbury is doing already after only two games at Norwich City, as he's a player I think is perfectly capable of fitting into the first team at any time. There was also a story from MrArsenal that Jay Emmanuel Thomas will be heading out on loan to Wigan Athletic. He's a player I rate very highly, and he needs to be playing far more regularly than the Arsenal reserves play. I hope the loan goes through, as I would love to see how he will perform in the Premier League for a team that play football the right way.
With so little Arsenal news about it's time for a quick rundown on how the fantasy league I'm running in conjunction with 11Gunners is progressing. There are now 752 teams in the league, and it's ranked 36th out of over 218,000 leagues. It's still open to any teams that want to join at Fantasy Premier League by using the code 33954-12064. 
Long time league leader Gurdeep Jugpal has had the lead for his team, Leave-Ma-Arcelona, cut to only nine points, but he continues to excel week after week. With my team struggling back in 177th place, it looks like I will have to do an awful lot to claim one of the three prizes on offer. Thankfully my son's team is steadily climbing up the league, and he now stands in 29th place, only 62 points off a potential trophy.
This week was a very strange week for a lot of teams, as the Blackpool v "Manure" game was postponed, and it meant that only nine of my players actually played. Thankfully I had Samir Nasri as my captain, and he managed to get me 30 of my 63 points all on his own. With no game for Nani and Rafael Van Der Vaart missing through injury, I can only imagine how many points my team may have got if they had both played. I'll try to give my ideas on what players might perform well this coming weekend, when I make my Premier League predictions on Friday. Until then here's a look at how the top ten in my league stands.

Ranking stayed the same1 Leave-Ma-Arcelona Gurdeep Jugpal 60 927
Ranking increased2 THE UNDERDOGS mike booton 68 918
Ranking fell3 Laverick 'N' Sons Stephen Laverick 61 913
Ranking stayed the same4 In Arsene We Trust Sam Griffiths 62 910
Ranking increased5 Herk City Mark von Herkomer 76 896
Ranking fell6 Izadie F.C nazrul nazri 52 891
Ranking increased7 awayboyz David Price 62 889
Ranking increased8 Half Arse(nal)d Nick McKeon EasyLuckyFree 73 888
Ranking fell9 RipRoarinReds Cole Friedlander 53 886
Ranking increased10 Frankie Fatpard Rossaldinho Thomson 60 884

That's it for today
See You Tomorrow.


  1. Re: your latest poll, it's difficult choosing the best defensive pairing to include Vermaelen simply because he's been out so much. I'd like to include him, but wonder (a) what he's going to be like when he eventually does come back, and (b) what the stats say about our defensive partnerships - that would be an interesting analysis!

    p.s. I notice Cole is at #9 in your table - I met him recently at the Tollington - nice guy (if you're reading this Cole, don't let it go to your head ;-))

  2. It's good to see a name you know in the table. Hopefully one of the prizes will go to somebody that I at least know indirectly.
    I understand what you're saying about Vermaelen and you're absolutely right but I couldn't leave him out.
    I read the stats on our central defensive partnerships so far this season on Mr Arsenal's blog and Djourou came out of it very well. He's also a personal friend of JET so it can make for good reading at times.