Robin Van Persie and Eduardo: Fitness

Hello all, welcome back to ArseSpeak, I’m back within range of a good internet connection, so be ready for news 24/7.

First up, some injury news, Eduardo is recovering from his broken leg amazingly well, and hopes to be fit soon for the new season:

“I don’t feel pain anymore, it’s like I never broke my leg. I never watched the pictures of my injury and don’t want to see it. I’m hopeful I will forget it and continue my career as soon as possible.”

He’s hoping to come back before the end of 2008, which is really good, we need his presence, his goals were a mjor factor in some of our good for last season, I hope he continues where he left off.

RVP is another player who was out injured for long periods last season. He hopes to stay fit this season.For him the problems are more long term, he has struggled with muscle injuries for several seasons, and this has hampered his performance.

“I have learned a lot in the last two years because I have been injured so much, I learned what my body can take and what it can’t, so it was an interesting period for me. 

“I hope next season will not be so unlucky with injuries.  But at the moment, I just do not want to think about that, the negative stuff. If you think positive, you get positive. “My target is to be as fit as possible after a month because the season is long. We have to build it all up slowly with gym work, cardio work and games. It is really important for me to get a good start.”

He knows that Arsenal have to keep it together to get a good start to next season:

“Last year we had a really good pre-season and won almost every game. Then after 50 seconds against Fulham on the opening day, we were behind, so it is hard to predict. But hopefully we can get some confidence out of the first few games and slowly build it up. For every team, it is really important to get that confidence.

“If you lose the first few games, you are not at your maximum. It is important to win to get the answers to the questions.”

In terms of silverware he had this to say:

“I think any of the top four can win the title, Arsenal have to win something every year, that is our aim. If it is not happening, then everyone is really disappointed. But I am certainly committed to winning it, and if you look around, so is everyone here.”

So, amitious and positive, that’s exactly what we need to hear. RVP really needs to get a good run of games and stay fit.

He was on fire at the beginning of last season, but injuries have really held him back. If he still has problems this season, Wenger should consider offloading him, and finding someone else for the role

Eduardo training in two weeks?

According to Arsenal Analysis Boro Primorac, the Arsenal coach has been talking to the Croatian media whilst holidaying in Split.

The Croats report that he will be back in training in about two weeks which is excellent news.

Boro told them:

“We are all extremely happy that his rehabilitation went so well and that soon he will join up with the team.”

And he reckons that Eddie will be as good as he was before the injury:

“I believe that Eduardo will soon return to his form that was before the injury”

So good news if these reports are true – we will have a top quality goalscorer back in the team for the next campaign.

Happy days Gooners.

Eduardo may be back in July for pre-season training!

Eduardo is recovering fast from his horrific leg injury. Every week we seem to get little bits and bobs from his native Brazil on the progress he’s making.

We’ve heard even more recently as Croatia play without him in the Euros. Bilic, the Croatia coach, has now said that Eduardo might even be back for pre-season training at the Arse.

“He is recovering and may even join Arsenal for their preparations. Eduardo’s absence is a handicap, we feel it all the time.”

This would be great news, but the club should be wary about bringing him back too fast, I’m sure they will get it right this time, look at what happened when we tried to bring Van Persie back quickly – he got injured again.

For Eduardo to get back to his best he needs time to recover to 100% of what he had before. This will take a while and it won’t help to rush him back.

Nevertheless, I hope his speedy recovery continues and he is back playing for Arsenal as soon as he is 100% better!

Eduardo recovering fast – Video

Reading the news today I am pleasantly suprised by something that isn’t transfer related!

Eduardo is recovering well and should be fit to return to Europe by the end of the summer. It’s good news for the player who has suffered such horrific injury!

He told Sportske Novosti:

“I am returning to Europe from Brazil at the beginning of August, perhaps even the end of July,”

“Doctors tell me by then I will be fully recovered and able to play football again. I hope so too.

“I’m feeling well and my rehabilitation is going better than I would ever have hoped.”

Arsenal Analysis, which is always first with a lot of news on Eduardo, has another video of him in physiotherapy!

Hleb Talks About His Future

Hleb did an interview today in the Sunday Times, he said this:

“Who knows what will happen?”“All I can say is that I enjoy the game here and enjoy playing for Arsenal. There is more to come from this team and from me.”

This is his first response to the rumours that he might be leaving Arsenal this summer. It does hint that he might be staying, but he isn’t giving any direct answers.

Hleb also talks about winning more, and getting some silverware:

“We have to accept that sometimes victory will not look beautiful, we need to learn to play to win, not just play the beautiful game. The win is more important than beauty and my feeling is that playing the beautiful game is no compensation for not winning a trophy.”

Hleb tells us why he passes instead of shooting sometimes:

“What is it that stops me from shooting sometimes?”

“I know I pass the ball when I’m in a good position and I’m thinking ‘that was a good chance’. It all goes back to my childhood, to my coach, who always said ‘pass, pass, pass’.”

So no real answer, but a hint maybe that his future lies with Arsenal, as Wenger said, moving to the club who pays the most doesn’t apply any more, the players have to make the right decision for their future, and the team at Arsenal has a bright one.

Clichy wants Flamini to sign new contract, hear from him here.

Also Eduardo is expected to come back from injury sooner than expected, possibly even by August! Click here for more from 1970s Gooner.

Arsenal Transfer Rumours Plus Senderos, Traore

The season is not yet over and already the transfer rumours have started in earnest. David Villa is suggested as a  transfer target here.

He wants to play in England and he is a proven goalscorer: (David Villa Video). He probably would cost £20 million but would be a worthwhile signing. He’s also linked to Liverpool due to his partnership with Torres in Spain Internationals, so I hope we get him.

“I watch the Premier League a lot and the team I’m most attracted to is definitely Arsenal. If an offer comes in I’m hungry to test myself in England.”

The Sun links us to Gomes, whilst Ben Arfa is linked with us but has dismissed the rumours, till the end of the season at least. Feyenoord’s attacking midfielder  Jonathan de Guzman this is a bit less likely really.

Good analysis of the media coverage on Wenger recently, click to read Arvind Gooner’s article .

Arsene reckons Man Utd will overcome Henry and Barca here.

“It will be an English team that wins the Champions League. I wish that Thierry Henry wins it but Manchester United will be super-favourites against them.”

Traore On the Wing

Traore is to switch to the wing. He says he wants to follow in Eboue’s footsteps, I hope he doesn’t because right now Eboue hasn’t been a great conversion.

Traore is promising and used to play on the wing anyway. He is a pretty attacking player and he looks good he played well on the wing in the Reserves’ 5-1 win against Derby on Monday.

Senderos Anguish

Senderos has been calling home to his parents every night because he is so upset after we lost to Liverpool in the Champions league. Wenger gave him Sunday and Monday off, that’s why he didn’t play against Man Utd. Click here. His father said:

“He was not feeling too good after Arsenal went out of The Champions League.”

“Firstly because he is a winner and his team had been knocked out, and then because he was angry with himself.”

“Knowing his character as I do, I can fully imagine him bursting into tears in the dressing room.”

Eduardo injury news

He’ll be having treatment alongside Ronaldo in Rio, he was pretty excited about that! His cousin commented on his progress:

“When he took away the plaster, on the 31 of March, he was only managing to move the big toe of his foot. Today (Wednesday), he has already moved the foot a bit”

It’s good to hear Eduardo is progressing, we’ve missed his goals since he has been injured, I hope he can make a good recovery.

Not so good to hear about Senderos, he does seem a bit low on confidence at times, hopefully he can recover too because he has a lot of potential for Arsenal, many good centre backs struggle at first, he’s still young, and I’d like to see him mature at Arsenal, not elsewhere.

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Almunia & Should Arsene Invest In A Striker?

Two men have signed a new contract at Arsenal.. No Flamini isn’t one.. It’s Manuel and Fran Merida. The man who has taken Lehmann’s spot this season and performed well as the new ‘No.1’ or at least I think so, and our young Spanish prodigy currently on loan in Spain with Real Sociedad.

I said earlier in the season that I wasn’t sure if Almunia was a long term option in goal but the more he plays the more I feel he is a solid part of the team. His deal is long term and Almunia himself said:

“I talked to my wife and I said I did not want to go back to Spain to play. Hopefully I can finish my career here”

Most goals we concede are due to defensive errors and generally this season I think he has done a sterling job. Well done Manny!

Injury news ahead of Saturday is that, Van Persie is only 20% certain to play, and Adebayor also has a slight knock which Wenger will review today.

Recently while reading some forum posts, I came across an interesting post about our strikers, basically saying that we need the chequebook out this summer to sign some strikers. I thought I’d give my own opinions and find out yours.

Adebayor: Works hard all over the pitch, sometimes a little too hard. Has definitely got the talent to perform at the highest level. Scored 19 league goals this season, but has come in for a bit of stick recently. I think it’s undeserved, he has had many different partners this year and has often had to lead the attack on his own. He’s a versatile, pacy player who has a great future.

Van Persie: Well, a man with a lethal left foot and bags of talent, but hasn’t had the chance to shine due to terrible injury problems. I saw his appearance stats and he has only played about as many games as Justin Hoyte, not really a first-team player, in his time here. Flashes of brilliance i.e. volley against Charlton last season, but needs to be injury-free to really be useful.

Walcott: Great potential for the future, pacy, intelligent and able to score goals. He got off the mark, in the League , against Birmingham in that 2-2 draw this year and is certainly a bright hope. I think he has warranted a starting position, at least on the right wing for his recent performances. Maybe not ready for the pressure of being a first choice striker?

Bendtner: Another one with great potential, but he hasn’t lived up to it, occasionally we have seen great things, his aerial ability, great control and touch and a good ability to make space, but he is still young and needs to mature.

Eduardo: He was starting to get into his goalscoring role before his injury and looked like the goalscorer we have been looking for, out for 9 months now after his horrific leg-break, hopefully he will come back with goals, but you can never be certain he will be the same player.

So in summary, Ade, a great player – needs a good partner up front. RVP, injury prone, but could perform. Walcott and Bendtner – great potential but need more experience, and Eduardo is out injured for a long period.

It seems to me that Arsene should consider making an investment in the summer… What do you think? Feel free to get involved, just leave a comment!

Arsenal Snatch A Vital Point

The game on Saturday was not the best I have seen Arsenal play this season, 1-1 against Aston Villa. I would have been disappointed with that result had you asked me before the game, afterwards I think I will take the point. Villa are a team who are very hard to beat and we did struggle at times, 1 point is better than none!

To see the highlights click here.

Villa scored in the 28th minute through a Senderos own goal. Gallas lost Agbonlahor while trying to claim offside and the England U-21 striker put in a low cross which bounced off Senderos at the near post and past Almunia. It was disappointing and we did seem jaded to be honest. At points I though Gallas looked really lost and the same for Adebayor. Although in the opening 15 minutes we didn’t play badly, once Villa had taken the lead they played well, with very organised defence and made a lot of quick counter attacks utilising the height of Carew and Agbonlahor as well as the pace of Ashley Young.

Clichy looked quiet for much of the second half, he did his job but normally he does rampage up and down the flank, he looked a little subdued, whether that was because of last week or because Ashley Young was a handful I don’t know. In any case things were looking desperate as the second half went on. Theo had made some good moves in the first half, and played well on the right cutting in but little came of our attacks. Bendtner came on for a struggling Diaby and made some difference, but the bench looked sparse, Arseblog seems a little worried about this, and true, when I saw Gilberto and Denilson come on for Flamini and Senderos I did think it looked like a sign of a threadbare squad. In any case we kept pushing for the equaliser. As I counted down the minutes of extra time and the stadium emptied disgracefully(a very sad and annoying sight which shouldn’t be happening to a great and successful team like Arsenal), I became more and more nervous, there was still some hope, and in what must have been the last 10 seconds, just as the Villa fans started singing in celebration at their victory, Clichy put a deep cross into Adebayor at the back post who headed it down for Bendtner to control and finish from the edge of the 6-yard box.. The relief was incredible, everyone went crazy and it felt good to get something so so late out of a game which looked lost!!

Wenger said after the game:

“We had a hangover from last week definitely – you could see that in the first-half…I must say that I was impressed by Villa. Until the last minute they didn’t give us any space, or time on the ball and they are team who are very difficult to beat…I believe the point we gained today will have a big impact on the Premier League, and staying top helps. You know you go through a spell like that and I believe that the point gained can have vital importance.”

That point could indeed be crucial, now that we are sitting only one ahead of Man U in the table. This title race is one of the most tightly contested of recent years, it doesn’t make for easy watching!! Arsene makes a good point that even going through a bad spell we are still gaining some points, its good to see the likes of Bendtner and Theo getting the crucial goals when others aren’t playing so well, Gunnerblog picked up on that here.

One bad point that Wenger picked up on was the Villa fans singing songs about Eduardo which weren’t so nice. I heard them myself and really it was just sad. Wenger says:

You expect better from people who come to football stadiums. It looks that intelligence and stupidity can have no limits. Unfortunately stupidity has won.”

There was some trouble between fans after the chants and several have been arrested, one Aston Villa fan is in hospital for head injuries after falling down steps according to the Telegraph.

We have to face Milan at the San Siro midweek now, the players will have too pick themselves up for this game, we are the underdogs, but that will suit us. Milan are masters of two-legged matches and we will have to aim for a goal, meaning they wll have to push forward and get two. That might give us more room to counter attack, but we shall see how Wenger plays it. Hopefully some of our injured players like Robin VP will be back, but that doesn’t look too promising at the moment. We shall have to wait and see.

Get Well Soon Eduardo!!

Today all our thoughts should be with Eduardo. The poor guy was on the end of a horrendous tackle on Saturday against Birmingham, at the beginning of what turned iut to be a very frustrating match. He suffered a broken leg after Taylor charged into him, it took nearly ten minutes to get him off to hospital. He is now in London in hospital, is taking emails of support for him here.

It looks like he’ll be out for about 9 months, which is reasonable seeing as there were worries that it could have ended his career. We will miss him but hopefully Theo can step into the breach now, its a real opportunity for him to make his mark, now he needs to perform. Martin Taylor has been to the hospital to apologise to Eduardo, which is admirable.

The match itself had high and low points, we looked a little shell shocked in the first half, after the injury, and went behind to a McFadden freekick. In the second half we came out much more positively and within 10 minutes we were 2-1 up through 2 very well taken goals from Theo Walcott, his first in the Premiership. It all looked very good, but we didn’t capitalise on subsequent chances and come the 93rd minute Clichy had a moment of madness and took his eyes off the ball in the penalty box, allowing birmingham to steal in, Clichy’s tackle resulted in a debatable penalty, which was scored.

Gallas was visibly frustrated, kicked advertising hoardings and stood past the halfway line whilst the penalty was taken.. After the final whistle he remained on the pitch. It wasn’t good leadership and really he needs to step more into the role of a real captain, that isn’t what you want to see in the chase for a title bid.

Anyway, we have a few days now to get our heads straight and refocus. its Aston Villa on Saturday, they will be a tough test, playing well under O’Neill and in the race for fourth place. Flamini says the team is determined to win the title for Eduardo and we have to keep consistency in these last 11 games.