Euro Injury Updates, Likely Transfers, & 2012/2013 Fixtures Released!By: Perry | June 18th, 2012
Felegy gave a good summary of possible transfers that could be on the horizon for the Gunners, and with that we are stepping closer to sealing a few deals. The latest news being from M’Villa himself that he’s highly interested in joining with a club from the Premier League, and guess what? It just so happens he mentioned Arsenal as his desired destination. That is refreshing to hear coming from a highly sought after player…honestly, it’s been awhile. I can’t help but think that a player who out rightly says he is ready to leave his current team not just for a new league and challenge, but to a specific club means something is very close to being completed. Yes, we all know players are quoted as saying they wouldn’t mind playing here or there, but typically it’s something at broader scale such as, “I wouldn’t mind playing the Premier League one day,” or “Yes, Arsenal is a great club, and so is Chelsea, and Manchester United. All are clubs I could see myself playing for one day,” and typically they close their quote with, “…but I am happy here for now and would like to build on what we have achieved so far.” With what M’Villa told the media and with Arsenal chasing him for over a season now, I feel we might be very close to sealing this deal, though it is likely the case that the official news won’t be released until after the Euros complete or France drop out (whichever comes first).
Our other possible transfer, which Felegy covered in his last post, is the possible purchase of Olivier Giroud. The latest news from there is that the deal is essentially complete with Arsenal being told he will not sign on until after the Euros. But word is that the deal is literally pending his official stamp of approval. This is another transfer I feel fairly confident about, especially with M’Villa being able to coax his compatriot while at the Euros. You have to think Koscielny is also doing his part on selling Arsenal culture to both of these prospects.
The other transfers out there are those who Felegy covered in the last post, and any recent “news” on that front is purely speculation at this time with no concrete evidence to tell us otherwise, so we’ll look past that for now.
Onto the Euros and our players making waves over in Polkraine…
The Czech Republic made it through to the quarterfinals. Yay for Rosicky, right?! Sadly, not so much. The poor guy just can’t get a break. After having a strong spell at the Euros thus far, he has apparently inflamed his Achilles tendon and is likely out for the quarterfinals, if not longer. These injuries usually take weeks to recover from and for a player like Rosicky who is oft-injured (not to mention 31 years young), it could take more time. The good news here for Gunner fans is that he could be done for the Euros, and will use the rest of the summer to rest and rehabilitate. However, the bad news could come in the actual length of time he will need to recover, and if the injury will be another setback for his health, which could result in a subpar performance next season. Time will tell, but let’s all hope for a quick and strong recovery for Little Mozart.
Our other big injury news comes from the England camp. Coming off the back of quite possibly his best international performance of his career, Theo has reinjured that spiteful hamstring of his. Yes, the same hamstring which kept him out for a good period of time last season, and the one he barely recovered from prior to departing for the Euros. I always thought it was a bad idea for him to be playing there, much like it was a bad idea for Wilshere to playing in those asinine friendlies last summer that Wenger was so adamantly against. The only good news to come of this is that he is likely going to have to sit out in England’s crucial match against Ukraine tomorrow, and that Roy Hodgson is being very cautious with using Theo going forward. The selfish side of me hopes England loses tomorrow. Sorry, but I just can’t get behind any international team if that means there is any level of fitness risk for one of our players. Selfish, yes I know.
No other injury news that I am aware of regarding our other players on duty, but it appears Bendtner showed up in a big way for Denmark in these Euros. What that means for his future with Arsenal? I still think he will be sold, but I think it might be a bit easier to move him now. Thanks Nick for showing up at the Euros and making it easy on us. I know some of you appreciate his quality, but I honestly think he’s another player on Arsenal that is better off elsewhere especially with the emergence of other in-house talent and possible acquisitions. Our captain has been sent home and that comes as much relief as we’d much rather him be at home with his family resting and thinking about signing on the dotted line (damnit, just sign on the dotted line will you?), than be playing for the Dutch who looked completely out of sync in these Euros. Ironically enough, RVP could be held partially accountable for their knockout due to many missed opportunities. I guess he is human after all. Ox is still capable of playing for England, Kos has yet to really feature for France, while our other players’ teams have been eliminated (exception of Podolski). Keep our players who remain at the Euros in your thoughts, we need everyone back healthy, rested, and ready for the 2012-2013 campaign.
On that note, the 2012-2013 Premier League Fixtures has been released.
We have the fortune of starting the season at home against Sunderland followed by an away match against Stoke. After that we’ve got ourselves an unnerving run of matches in September. How we perform and what we come away with against Man City and Chelsea could, yet again, define our season from the early go. From there, we’ve got a relatively fair schedule from October through December where we must show our intent by going on a strong winning stretch. At the turn of the year, our steel will be tested with an absolutely atrocious month of January. First City, then Chelsea, then ‘Pool immediately followed by an always tough Stoke at the start of February. January through the beginning of February, to say the least, should be worrisome to the Gooner faithful. We’ve got Champions League, Carling, and FA somewhere in that mix too. Why does that suddenly worry me so much? The first North London derby will be held on November 17 at the Emirates, with the away fixture at White Hart Lane taking place on March 2. I’m really excited to see us face off against newly promoted Reading on December 15th, have always enjoyed them.
One other thing I took notice to regarding the Prem fixtures this coming season is that all of our weekend matches are being held on Saturdays with exception to our last two matches of the season being on Sundays. I’m not sure how I feel about that, but at the moment I’m ok with the consistency there, especially considering that I typically start my day early on Saturday and late on Sunday.
What are your thoughts about our schedule?
I hope we can soon post about an official signing, and not just more speculation or “likelihood.”