It is great to have momentum in terms of quality of our football and latest results, but it is even better when the boss gets a number of team boosts on top of that.
This is the latest team news from Arsenal.com:
- Gabriel Martinelli
Right ankle. Gabi turned his right ankle during the warm-up against Newcastle United on Saturday and was subsequently taken out of the starting line-up.
Gabi has progressed very well and we’re hoping that he will return to full training with the squad in the next few days.
2. Gabriel Magalhaes
Gabriel is now back in full training and is available for selection for Thursday’s match.
3. Thomas Partey
Thomas is now back in full training with the squad after recovering from an injury to the left thigh. Thomas continues to regain full fitness and will be assessed ahead of Thursday’s match.
So with eight games between now and the weekend of 8 February possibly to come in all competitions, it is great to have these quality players return to the squad. We will be playing Crystal Palace, Newcastle again, Southampton or Shrewsbury in the cup, Southampton (again?), Manchester United, Wolves, Aston Villa, and then the next round of the FA Cup if we get through. This is a great set of games to put our teeth in and try and get as many good results as possible.
In defence we get back Gabriel and he will be ready to give the likes of Mari and Holding a break. Will he walk straight back into the team? Well both Mari and Holding have done very well with just one goal conceded in the premier league in recent matches, so he may have to wait. But sooner or later Big Gab will get his chance again. He is just too good to leave out for long and we have plenty of games to come.
In midfield we should finally get to see Partey again. His best game was obviously against the Mancs and they are coming to THOF on 30 January. Let’s hope he will have played a few games by then so he is ready for the big one. Elneny has played a lot of games recently so it is good for Mikel to have an extra option again.
In attack we could do with the fantastic energy and drive of young Martinelli, a special talent with great eagerness to win. The combo of Martinelli, ESR and Saka behind Laca is the most exciting one right now, and hopefully we will see them in action soon.
These are all fantastic boosts, but there is more to come:
4. Thinning out the squad this month will leave better and more air to breathe for those who stay on. We have too many players whose futures are in jeopardy and this distracts from the obvious goal of becoming a close unit with the single goal of becoming a better and better, cohesive footballing machine.
5. The above may enable Arteta to get another player who will strengthen his team further. We do need to get a better nr2 goalkeeper asap and there are one or two further areas in the squad that could do with strengthening.
6. It will also allow Arteta to promote a few new youngsters, especially after a few of the current wider squad go out on loan. Fresh young blood may just give the whole team another boost.
So plenty to look forward to and Mikel will be feeling much, much better a months or so ago.