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Arsenal Injury Update: Djourou, Vermaelen, Nasri & Song

Johan Djourou Johan Djourou laughs prior to a training session ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group H match against Shakhtar Donetsk at the club's complex at London Colney on November 2, 2010 in St Albans, England.

There is yet more woe for Arsenal on the injury front. The Barcelona game in the Champions League is fast approaching, and Arsenal are facing an uphill battle to field a strong enough team who could challenge the goal hungry Catalans.

Facing Barcelona is a match that can border on impossible to win at the best of times. With a front line that strikes fear into even the strongest defence in the land, and a defence that can drive out some of the most potent attackers around, when you play Barcelona with the objective of winning, you need a strong team.

Losing a four goal lead away to Newcastle on Saturday isn’t going to inspire confidence into the Arsenal side, and at the same time, the poor result certainly won’t see the Barcelona team quaking in their boots. It is made worse then, that some of Arsenal’s brightest players this season look likely to miss the first leg on the 16th February.

The injury list is as follows: Samir Nasri, Lukasz Fabianski, Alex Song, Thomas Vermaelen and now Johan Djourou. Johan Djourou was taken off in the eight goal thriller at Newcastle on the week end, and may be out for the rest of the season with damage to his knee ligaments. Samir Nasri will return in around three weeks after suffering a hamstring strain last week which certainly rules him out of the Barca game.

Thomas Vermaelen has been out since early September but Arsene Wenger can now see the finishing line for his Belgian centre back. “Thomas Vermaelen is making very good progress so he should be [back in] three to four more weeks,” said the manager on February 3rd, which again, rules him out of the Barca game.

Lukasz Fabianski, the Polish goalkeeper has been ruled out for the rest of the season. The Polish goalkeeper has been sidelined since early January with a shoulder injury and he is about to undergo surgery to cure the problem. Alex Song’s injury isn’t as serious as the above, and will most probably be back for the 16th, as he only suffered a kick, but the injuries above still highlight the problem that will face Wenger when the time comes for him to pick the defence against Barcelona.

In the immediate future however, Arsenal will be hosting Wolves at the Emirates, and it is Wolves who have all of the momentum. After ending Manchester United’s 29 game Premier League unbeaten run, the players in orange will be on an almighty high as they continue in the fierce relegation scrap. Arsenal meanwhile will be deflated after their astonishing  breakdown at St James Park. They will be without Abou Diaby due to his sending off in that game, an, of course, the casualties will be missing.

Tell me what you think!

***UPDATE**** Since writing this article it has been reported that Djourou has only sustained bruising to his knee and may be back in time to face Barcelona next week. Although this is yet to be confirmed by

Submitted by DBSFootball



  1. saminator

    February 8, 2011 at 9:18 am

    not to mention denilson

  2. Buck

    February 8, 2011 at 9:20 am

    What do i think?
    I can not believe there was not more outrage at Wenger not signing cover for CB.
    As i told a mate when the transfer window slammed shut with no news. Wenger is happy with the Carling cup as that’s all we can hope for now. Year after year everyone knows what we need, every year Wenger refuses to buy. What is the problem with spending a little of the war chest if it means making the millions that go along with a Trophy. He is brilliant but arrogant to a fault. I say rest 1st team player against Barca. Save them the psychological damage the trashing were in for will inflict.

  3. Stan Mortlock

    February 8, 2011 at 9:31 am

    I have supported Arsenal for over 50 years.
    The Board have not been interested in investing in the team for all that time.It was only when David Dein was in charge of football matters that there was any investment in the team at all.And that got him the sack.
    Wenger is only the manager.He can only spend if the Board will give him funds.But the Board are more interested in the share price so they can all retire to a Swiss tax haven.
    By all means get rid of Wenger but his successor will still have the same transfer budget until the Board is changed!

  4. gazzap

    February 8, 2011 at 9:39 am

    so as it stands we can potentially field this side against Barca.

    Eboue Squill Koz Clichy
    Cesc Song Jack
    Theo RVP Arsh

    Thats not the end of the world but it mustn’t get any worse. Of course the defence looks weak with Eboue and Squill in there.
    Sagna can play against Wolves – I wonder if Gibbs can play, I heard he picked up an injury as well. Bendtner and Chamakh may start against Wolves.
    Personally I would recall Ramsey from Cardiff as we are very short in midfield, and Bartley is not getting a game in Glasgow either.

  5. Zziwa Ahmed

    February 8, 2011 at 9:47 am

    What Arsenal experienced on Saturday is a good lesson for them to even get to Wolves and Barca games more prepared. I trust that the boys will come out stronger. I agree with many that a win would have made things better for Arsenal but given that Chelsea and United lost three points and Arsenal made a point on a bad game is good consolation. These things happen in Socca, United won 1999 CL in extra time. That was more devastating to Bayern!

  6. John

    February 8, 2011 at 10:11 am

    @Stan Mortlock; board doesn’t invest in the club? Forgotten already we have a new stadium?

  7. Random

    February 8, 2011 at 10:15 am

    Your information is incorrect, all mentioned outside of Nasri who is now 1.5 wks away from match fitness, and Fabiansky – out for the season, Those aside, all of your progonosis are incorrect, Song is likely to be available for the wkend, Djourou has a knock, not ligament damage, and Denilson is a grade 1 hamstring tear, that is 10 days at most, 14 days precautionary, 10 days already served on the physio bench. Vermaelen has been in light training since weekend., which was scheduled to be stepped up this week. He’ll be short of fitness yes, if push came to shove, but i’m sure Wenger wouldn’t hesitate to use him if necessary. Vermaelen will definitely be available for the trip to Camp Nuo.
    Stop putting misguided information out there, at least do some digging before you speak.

    • Buck

      February 8, 2011 at 10:23 am

      Misguided? Its accurate from everything i read apart from Song, are you on Arsenals treatments staff?
      Where do you get the Djourou is only knock from. I hope you are right. When you say that “Vermaelen will definitely be available for the trip to Camp Nuo” It makes me question your Djourou info.
      Where do you get it?

      • Random

        February 8, 2011 at 10:57 am

        Either pay attention to the info you read or get different sources, I have nothing to prove. Either take my word for it or don’t. Either way, your speculation will not affect what is reality, and reality is like i said it.

        P.S. simple logic, Nasri got Injured a week and a half ago, yet this article refers to him as being out for 3 weeks still, without pointing out that Nasri stands a good chance of Making the Barcelona game. Barring a set back, he will be fit enough to either start or make the bench in a weeks time.
        The article is misguided and misinformed!

        • Buck

          February 8, 2011 at 2:09 pm

          “Either take my word for it or don’t.”
          And you are? You are pulling you info from your ass or you would point to the source.
          I didnt mention Nasri but Wenger said he wont be ready for the Barca clash. Wait, yes 3 weeks to the day, players are always 100% the DAY they are scheduled to be back. Veramlen? you come in and say he is available?? PPFFFTTT..we have heard that all season but at least we HEARD it, you just flat made it up or are you going on 6 weeks from surgery? Again, players are always 100% ready for full play the day they come back.
          As the yanks says, you are a hater, start your own blog with your secret unnamed sources..

    • DBSFootball

      February 8, 2011 at 3:10 pm

      Hi Random.
      I disagree that the information is incorrect.
      Firstly, what was said about Alex Song didn’t mean he was going to recover just in time for the Barca game, I was simply stating that he would be fit for that game as he only recieved a knock.

      For Johan Djourou, at the time of writing, the reports were that he had suffered ligament damage, and I was therefore relaying what I knew. But thanks for the update.

      Denilson, I didn’t mention, but again, thanks for the update.

      As for Nasri, well the point is, he is going to miss the first leg of the Barca game whether hi recovery is in a week and a half or three weeks.

      And Thomas Vermaelen will not be fit for the first leg against Barcelona. The article clearly states that Wenger said on the 3rd February that he will be out for 3 or 4 more weeks. My source? The official Arsenal website.

      I’m sorry if you were misguided.

  8. Steven

    February 8, 2011 at 10:15 am

    A few inaccuracies in your writeup seems to bother on the illogic and a tinge of sarcasm(slightly sounds like someone celebrating the problems) mate: First, LAST WEEK, we began counting the 21 days for Nasri and my question is, how can it still be 21 days after one week? Someone problem with maths? Yes, he wont make the Barcelona home match but he will surely be ready for the Carling Cup Final and the second leg. Also, Diaby was sent off for the EPL match and that doesn’t rule him out of the CL does it?
    And it seems you are suggesting that Vermaelen will not return this season or that Djourou is out for the season; what is your source of information on these issues since Wenger has not said too much about them? Yes, we are all unhappy that Wenger didnt get a defensive cover but to harp on about the injury problems is sounding like a doomer; stay positive even if a little, will you?

    And who says the Carling Cup is not a good cup to win this season? If I were Wenger, I’ll play my second Eleven against Barca, prime my best 11 for Wembley and focus on the EPL race and the FA Cup while other title rivals would still be in the CL/Europa Cup as we battle it out in the title run-in.

    I dont think Man Utd can run away with this one; once we have lifted the CC and out of the CL, we can concentrate on the EPL race and the FA Cup. We have a shouting chance at the title, no matter what anyone says.

    Again, we all keep harping about the ‘breakdown’ at St. James Park and forget that Newcastle were helped by a dubious referee with soft penalty decisions and a red card that was never given to the opposition when Norlan and Barton deserved same treatment as Diaby.

    • Tom

      February 8, 2011 at 10:30 am

      @Steven: I couldnt agree with you more, i have been saying ever since the draw that we need to go out to Barca so that we can concentrate on the league.

    • DBSFootball

      February 8, 2011 at 3:23 pm

      Hi Steven.

      Firstly I will tackle the Abou Diaby question. In the final paragraph, I began: “In the immediate future however…” and continued to talk about the Wolves game. When I said Diaby will be missing, I was refering to the Wolves game, not the Champions League Barcelona game.

      For Johan Djourou, at the time of writing, the reports were that he had suffered ligament damage, and I was therefore relaying what I knew.

      As for Nasri, well the point is, he is going to miss the first leg of the Barca game whether his recovery is in a week and a half or three weeks.

      And Thomas Vermaelen will not be fit for the first leg against Barcelona. I did not suggest he would be out for the season, in my opinion anyway, I just used a quote from Wenger himself.
      The article clearly states that Wenger said on the 3rd February that he will be out for 3 or 4 more weeks. My source? The official Arsenal website.

      And about the “breakdown” at Newcastle. You were four goals up. Yes, four. I agree that the second penalty was very soft, but there is no questioning the red card and the first pen, surely. A man down or not, you really shouldn’t be losing a four goal lead, especially when challenging for the title. That is just my opinion. Thanks for commenting.

  9. Donald Agont

    February 8, 2011 at 10:17 am

    What’s all this fuss about the Barcelona game. I gave up on that as soon as the draw was made because we haven’t got a hope in hell against them and now that AW hasn’t brought in any back up (as expected) we can forget the CL altogether. The main thing is to concentrate on the PL because we can still win it. Man U have got a lot of tough matches, Chelsea twice, Liverpool away, Man C at home. We’ll have Nasri, Vermaelen, and Song back by March and there are only 2 PL matches in February both at home which we should win even without the injured players. The Newcastle game was just a blip and if the ref hadn’t given the 2nd penalty (which was no penalty) we would have won. United losing to Wolves are far more shaming result.

  10. yusuf

    February 8, 2011 at 10:26 am

    bascially what my good man steven just said

  11. Anisa

    February 8, 2011 at 10:28 am

    I agree, the problem is the board, mainly the chairman who does not want spend any money. Arsene’s hands are tied behind his back I have every sympathy with him. If we turn against him who can do better with the budget that he is been getting all these young top players.

    The problem is the chairman whatever his name is .we need David Dein back.

  12. nicky

    February 8, 2011 at 10:29 am

    I like 99% of your comment. I would, however, play my best available squad against Barcelona. Remembering Arsenal’s history of losing and winning when certain to do the opposite, I think the odds on a win is well worth a flutter.

    • bossie Ug

      February 8, 2011 at 10:48 am

      we all agree that we are out of stock as far as prayers are concerned but its not a guarantee that we are going to loose. have seen the 2nd eleven of Arsenal winning Liverpool some time back. In football friends every thing is possible. if your worried of Barcelona don’t you think that however great they are they have also ever lost to a small team? this is football and anything can happen in football.

  13. Sunder

    February 8, 2011 at 10:36 am

    Can someone explain why Sagna can’t play against Barca? I keep hearing this and don’t get it…

    • Buck

      February 8, 2011 at 2:11 pm

      Red card from the groups

  14. Sunder

    February 8, 2011 at 10:39 am

    Oh, and excellent observations by Steven. Well said mate.

  15. ge'geo

    February 8, 2011 at 11:00 am

    i think lik this vs barca
    eboue song koz clichy
    cesc diaby jack
    theo vp arsh

    i think lik this vs barca,

  16. John

    February 8, 2011 at 11:08 am

    Sagna is suspended for his red card in the last group game of CL….u r quite optimist!!
    good luck gunners with
    Eboue Song Koz Clichy
    Cesc Diaby Jack
    Theo RVP Arsh

  17. Sunder

    February 8, 2011 at 11:15 am

    Thanks John…so is he suspended for just one game then?

  18. andy bil

    February 8, 2011 at 11:27 am

    Don’y u worry about barca they were beaten by hercules at home newly promoted team hoping for a good match but defense is the issue.I will love to see song at CB position rather than sqyillaci.

  19. snoopy

    February 8, 2011 at 11:34 am

    i beg to differ, Wenger si for the idea for not spending. I don`t believe that the board is the one thats stopping him, we have all hed what he has to say about spending. A 10million pound CB would have been a great addition but he was more prepared to spend that much on the Chamberlain kid. What wenger has is a dislike for experienced players and that is what has always cost us the silverware. look at our last succesful team there was a lot of experience there.

    We drew with Newcastle cause of the immaturity of our players. Fine the referee had a hand but it was our reaction that cost us the match, i mean for crying out loud we had a 4 nil lead meaning we could have given awy 3 goals and still have won. Why is it we are always building. I stand to be corrected, Wenger has been with arsenal for about ten years in his first 5yrs he achieved quite a bit where as in his last he got us absolutely nothing, a big fat nothing. Lets face facts even though ManU plyed horrible this season they still top the log and even though they lost to Wolves they still look better than us all cause of their experienced players. Cause of that they are lokely to deal with their lose better than we can deal with our draw

    Yet player for player we have the more talented squad than ManU. The thing is Wenger fails when it comes to instilling hunger in our squad.

  20. jeff

    February 8, 2011 at 11:38 am

    fubal is futbal. who thot wolves wud go down to self fancied man u? barca arent the CL champs are they? they are beatable.

  21. jeff

    February 8, 2011 at 11:41 am

    i meant mau u goin down

  22. ishola oluwaseyi

    February 8, 2011 at 11:43 am

    if half a board of Chelsea or Man. u are behind Wenger, arsenal will be 2x better than Barcelona. i wish us luck in all our subsequent matches.

  23. Mr. Ayo

    February 8, 2011 at 11:51 am

    Barsa > Best of (Chealse + MU +Arsenal). Arsenal will be Out of CL in the near future.

  24. makenzi

    February 8, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    Are u an arsenal supporter who say 8 goal thriller

  25. ebenezer

    February 8, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    is it a curse? for the past few seasons,its been injury worries at the edge of winning a trophy.well i wish the gunners get it right this time. UP ARSENAL

  26. Stevens

    February 8, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    Arsenal have all it takes to compete for the four titles available to them at this point of the season provided the players are committed and are ready to play as a gang. It is one thing to play as a team and another thing to play as a gang. Obviously Monsieur Wenger should have splashed some little change in the mkt which he didnt do for reasons solely known to him, so we cant keep dwelling on that, we should move on mates. Arsenal at this point should take each game as it comes and ensure they dont throw away valuable points. @ steven, I share your believe, @ random, I also share your optimism. We wish Arsenal all the luck against Wolves, Barca and all the other foes as they come…goodluck AW.

  27. Eremugo Geofrey D

    February 8, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    Manchester United have lost their chance of wining the English premier league likewise Chelsea for the 2011 season. What about Arsenal?
    Though Manchester United were claiming to be unbeaten, Wolverhampton taught them a lesson that Ferguson will never forget in his life likewise the players at large.
    Despite Arsenal loosing some of their players in injury, Samir Nasir and Alex Song are expected back before the March that will backup the previous squad.
    Arsenal are 4 points behind leaders Manchester United and 6 points ahead of Champions Chelsea.
    Manchester United will face Chelsea home and away of which their will be serious difference in goals/point yet they have to face Arsenal in the Emirates Stadium on 30th/April/2011.
    I think it’s time for the cup to visit Arsenal Cabinet this season.

  28. adrian

    February 8, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    It just shows the complete folly that the club did not try hard enough to recruit some defensive help in january. It seems obivious to me that kosser and the italian ‘stallion’ dont fit together and song is no stop gap solution. It is more important that the club secures the Carling cup as a pointer to better times. The barcelona match is not as important and all we can hope is to get off lightly without being beaten too badly over the 2 legs. Squillaci is plainly not up playing at this level and should be replaced as soon as possible.

  29. Rejoice

    February 8, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    We just need to stay positive and hope for the best in all fronts. Lets instill confidence into this players. Lets rally behind them; lets tell them not to feel inferior to Barcelona-just go out there and do the best you can because anything is possible is possible in football. Bookmakers can predict all they can, analysts can do their analysis, plaudits are free to express themselves, ex-players can talk of their experiences and so on and so forth. Stop listening to them because football is no rocket science. It defies predictions. Ginger the guys up and lets stop attacking one another or the Manager and board. Lets just out and vent our spleen on Wolves and get set beatable Barcelona.

  30. Alex

    February 8, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    The injuries are bad. Even though Lukasz is not the greatest keeper in the world, he certainly is better than Almunia and the younger polish one. The other problem is that with Djourou out and Vermaelen out, the central defence will be Squillaci and Koscielny. We both know that is a disaster. Agains fast paced players like Villa, Messi and Pedro, as well as their off the ball movement, the two frenchmen can just sit down on the grass and try to be in the way as much as possible to prevent Messi from scoring 27 goals in the first half. And Barca have crazy work rate, they hunt the ball like wild animals, and off the ball they run all over the place, which makes them hard to mark. The gunners need to be just as mobile, which has to exclude Denilson as he is a totem on the pitch. Also, considering Arsenal’s dreadful marking, and lazy defenders, they are going to be crushed and humiliated. The good thing is that there are few high balls and crosses for the keeper to deal with. To be honest, they all suck at that.

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