Home » The truth about Arsenal’s diminished squad ahead of Sunday’s North London Derby
The truth about Arsenal’s diminished squad ahead of Sunday’s North London Derby
By Harry Hotspur -

Numerous outlets are running with the tale that our game against the Arsenal on Sunday might be postponed. On the face of it, maybe the Arsenal gaffer has a point, telling ESPN that the Gunners are missing 9 or 10 players.

What is quite extraordinary about this load of old toffee is that most of the club’s absentees are self-inflicted. Only Martin Odegaard and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are listed with Premier League Injuries as being victims of the pandemic. Granit Xhaka is suspended.

Takehiro Tomiyasu has a Calf/Shin/Heel Injury. Emile Smith Rowe has a Groin/Hip/Pelvic Injury. Sead Kolasinac, Cedric Soares, Bukayo Saka, and Calum Chambers are all carrying assorted injuries…

Thomas Partey, Mohamed Elneny, and Nicolas Pepe are all away playing in the African Cup of Nations!

So in truth, Arsenal has 2 Covid cases and 6 injuries. The last time I checked, that was 8 legitimate absences.

The Premier League’s position was outlined clearly: clubs were told no postponements would be permitted where 13 outfield players and one goalkeeper from the squad list were available. Beyond this, additionally experienced U21 players would be considered.

Additionally, crying wolf won’t be tolerated. Any suspicious ‘injured players’ could face a house call from the Premier League’s chief medical officer to confirm the status of the individual(s).

Must try harder.

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Steve 'Killer Cushion' Williams
Steve 'Killer Cushion' Williams
4 days ago

Looking at our personnel then I wouldn’t mind a postpone… No Son, Dier. Romero is coming back.. It kind of suits us too.

East Stand
East Stand
4 days ago

The game should be played, using Covid as an excuse is underhand. They have a squad of 25 registered players and kids can be used on top of that for the bench etc, so of course they can put out a side.

Steve 'Killer Cushion' Williams
Steve 'Killer Cushion' Williams
4 days ago
Reply to  East Stand

They should and will be forced to play.. Unless they hit that magic number 13 overnight then I can’t see any other outcome it’s the same rules for everyone. They might or might not have 5 more positive cases overnight. Probably not, but it’s possible, it happened to us.

East Stand
East Stand
4 days ago

It depends on which foot the boot is on, I’m sure we’d favour a postponement if in their position. We all want our team to have the best chance of winning, which is why it should be taken out of the hands of the clubs. If you have to play kids it’s just the way it is. The fixture pileup, especially with Qatar will get unmanageable at this rate. Play your games and use the club’s resources to do so, even if it’s the U23s.

East Stand
East Stand
4 days ago

Omnicron ‘rears it’s ugly head’ I suppose… Except it doesn’t does it?

it’s a mild illness, no worse that a cold or a light flu. All the vulnerable have been vaxed, why we need to continue with all this disruption I have no idea.

Meanwhile the government have private parties, proving that those closest to the scientific advisers obviously aren’t as scared of Covid as their campaign of fear tried to make us.

it’s a complete joke, no games should be cancelled down to Covid cases anymore. Completely pointless bullsh*t…

Last edited 4 days ago by Easty
Paddio
Paddio
4 days ago
Reply to  East Stand

I get covid is an issue, the clubs don’t make the rules. We can’t all be Novak.
But any players at the ACON or suspensions should make these numbers up to get a postponment.

East Stand
East Stand
4 days ago
Reply to  Paddio

its the isolation that causes all the disruption. If doctors and nurses for example aren’t ill why should there be these heavy staff shortages just because of the isolation rules? Same goes for everyone else.

They’re still making folks isolate for what is now essentially a cold in the overwhelming majority of cases, I’d say 99% of cases.

Last edited 4 days ago by Easty
Paddio
Paddio
4 days ago
Reply to  East Stand

That’s the difference of politics and facts in the don’t have to meet

Steve 'Killer Cushion' Williams
Steve 'Killer Cushion' Williams
4 days ago
Reply to  East Stand

It’s the illness that causes everything.

East Stand
East Stand
4 days ago

Not the response? People have had chemo stopped, thousands of people who will definitely die of you stop treating them will have and will die because of the response. I know three close people who have directly because of the response, not the virus.

It should be about saving ALL lives, that has been managed actually quite appallingly. Certainly in the UK.

Last edited 4 days ago by Easty
MrChickenhead
MrChickenhead
4 days ago
Reply to  Paddio

Injuries, Acon, Loans and 1 Covid means you can’t field a team. How is that anything but their own fault. That’s what you U23’s are for, play them.

Lord Croker
Lord Croker
4 days ago
Reply to  East Stand

👍

Steve 'Killer Cushion' Williams
Steve 'Killer Cushion' Williams
4 days ago
Reply to  East Stand

The world health organisation disagrees.. It is most certainly NOT like the common cold or mild flu. There are major important differences. For over a week now omicron has killed across the globe. It is hospitalising and killing in this country…. You repeatedly peddle incorrect careless information.. You have even denied calling covid a mild flu and cold before, argued you didn’t play it down. Denied the claims you said repeatedly .. And here you go again.

ForzaSpurs
ForzaSpurs
4 days ago

I was calling covid a mild flu untill I got it and almost died. I consider myself healthy and regularly run ultra marathons. But jeez,it isnt a joke. Something about the virus when it’s in ur lungs makes it feel like it isnt a natural virus but something man made. I always had that chemical like taste. In South Africa it was killing alot of the Eurpean/White population. But the natives seem to do far better against it.My beigbour who is 93 survived it but her sons both died ,both who live in different parts of the country.very strange virus

East Stand
East Stand
4 days ago
Reply to  Harry Hotspur

I’ve had it too, it isn’t fun but for young fit athletes it generally presents mildly. Everyone I know who’s had Omnicron has had cold symptoms, South Africa was the evidence of the nature of the strain. Winter flu puts thousands into bed for weeks over the winter too.

Also, here we go, yet again with people dying ‘with’ or ‘of’ Covid. Many tragically will have died on respirators ‘of’ Covid. However, and particularly with the Omnicron strain being everywhere, if you’re going to include all deaths within 28 days the actual figures being put forward are completely unreliable. In terms of deaths ‘of’.

Nuance is needed, what symptoms an individual has is key. Blanket isolation for all is putting undue pressure on the system. You cannot stop Omnicron spreading, unless you have a hard lockdown. Nobody wants that so what we are left with is a load of ineffective measures that put more pressure on already stretched resources.

Don’t have to agree, but perhaps people need to consider the upshot of all this stuff and how it’s actually saving lives now. Especially at this stage of the game. Endemic, not pandemic.

All of that does not make one a denier…

Last edited 4 days ago by Easty
Kosher Kid
Kosher Kid
4 days ago
Reply to  East Stand

During December 2019 I got what I thought was the flu. I also know who I caught it from. I was working in a customers house who was ill at the time. This was before the blanket UK media coverage. At this stage it was something happening in China.

After a week of misery my symptoms began coming and going. I had started with the scratchy throat which progressed and morphed into high temperature, fever etc. Then I ached for a few days with a runny nose.

At this point I thought it was a seasonal illness. However; my symptoms kept rotating for the next few weeks and I couldn’t shake it off. I was so concerned at one point I visited A&E. I had started thinking my immune system wasn’t working and that I may have some underlying health issue. I didn’t tell my wife what I was doing.

They saw me and did their best to reassure me I was fine. I wasn’t convinced. I felt fatigued for weeks after and was unable to work. I forced myself to get up and go for a walk every day and built my stamina back up gradually. My appetite was poor and I went off all the food that I usually like. By March I was feeling a lot better and had returned to work through self discipline and determination.

Then the UK Covid scene began. I am very confident that I got the delta variant in September. My family were wiped out with it and I felt so ill at one point I was literally reduced to tears. In my 20’s I once broke my fibula leg bone playing football and carried on playing. I am not a soft person. I was a wreck and so was my wife. We are in our early 50’s.

Covid is real. It’s nasty too. The original variants were murder. I’ve had omicron and it is nothing like the others. I respected the original lockdown but I have never taken a test and I haven’t taken the vaccination. I object to wearing a mask.

This should be a personal decision. If you want to wear a mask; fine. If you want a vaccination; knock yourself out. The elderly and the vulnerable should have been protected and shielded. Everyone else; over 18 should have been allowed to make their own decisions regarding everything else. I am confident that the passage of time will back up my view.

The time to protect the NHS was before Tony Blair began the process of contracting out the good work it once did to private companies and when the NHS reduced the amount of UK trained nurses. The current NHS is no longer fit for purpose and fails all of the people who pay or have paid for it through their National Insurance contributions.

East Stand
East Stand
3 days ago
Reply to  Kosher Kid

I know it could be very nasty even if you didn’t go to hospital before the vaccine.

The first round of jabs were justifiable, the third if not vulnerable, we’ll there just isn’t enough science to justify the hoarding of so much vaccine in a wealthy country.

Paranoid Android
Paranoid Android
4 days ago

Well said, Steve. Too much shite about this being peddled around everywhere.

East Stand
East Stand
4 days ago

There are no official figures on Omnicron deaths, or if they’re ’with’ or ‘of’ or what role it played in the death (as has been the case since the start) The massive increase in hospitalisation hasn’t happened as they predicted it might, we are way below where we were last winter, for example.

it’s my opinion that the response should have more nuisance and be more proportionate to the actual threat being faced. Many of the measures are generally ineffectual.

Last edited 4 days ago by Easty
East Stand
East Stand
4 days ago
Reply to  East Stand

It seems the deaths are overwhelming present in the vulnerable who aren’t vaxed.

East Stand
East Stand
3 days ago

I said the vast majority of the population it will be a flu and not involve hospitalisation, generally mild now everyone has been vaccinated. I would invite anyone to provide the statistics to disprove that trend.

If people don’t have the vaccine that’s up to them, but they will put themselves at greater risk of serious illness, particularly if in a vulnerable group. The third booster to the ‘non-vulnerable’ is a waste of vaccine in my opinion. There are millions of vulnerable groups in Africa who haven’t even had one jab yet, it should be used there.

I know what I’ve said, or written on here. I have never said it wasn’t serious or that it didn’t kill many people. That was never my point, if people have missed my point then that’s their department…

Tom from the East Upper
Tom from the East Upper
4 days ago

It’s a bit like a branch of a major supermarket chain asking head office if they can shut for the day because they have too many people away on holiday..

East Stand
East Stand
4 days ago

It’s like a bad joke…

Glory Costs Too Much
Glory Costs Too Much
4 days ago

I suppose it’s swings and roundabouts, with Dier looking unlikely to make it and Sonny and Romero out. Mind you it should go ahead if Arse are only missing players due to injuries, suspensions and ACON. The rules at the moment seem to be made up on the fly.

THFC
THFC
4 days ago

Ar5e submitted a formal postponment request now? Shame, would have been a great time to play them otherwise

James McKevitt.
James McKevitt.
4 days ago
Reply to  THFC

They are saying they have players injured and at the Africa Cup of Nations. That’s not the Premier League’s fault. Unless they have numerous Covid cases the game should go ahead.

Limerick AL
Limerick AL
4 days ago

It’s their Lasagnegate. There’s something funny going on. 🤔

THFC
THFC
4 days ago

Yea F that what a joke, they knew AFCON was this year and have injuries like any other team. Plus a moron who loves a card in almost every game he plays in.

England Mike
England Mike
5 days ago

The biggest moan if this is somehow called off will come from sky, as they don’t have much of an alternative to live games for the viewers judging by how they sit complete unknowns round a table and discuss transfers that haven’t even taken place for hour after hour.

Kosher Kid
Kosher Kid
5 days ago

Why are they worried?

The referee and VAR will probably have their backs and failing that; if Winks is selected in the starting 11 for Spurs the 3 points are virtually guaranteed regardless of who they have available.

JimmyGrievance
JimmyGrievance
5 days ago
Reply to  Kosher Kid

Oh bore off with the Winks bashing. You’ve had your say, and moment in the blog sun. We get it, you don’t rate him.

Kosher Kid
Kosher Kid
5 days ago
Reply to  JimmyGrievance

That dismay and anger you just felt, that was strong enough for you to respond to my post; that is how I feel when Winks is selected for the team. It is the endless repetition of this event which causes me to react.

You are no better than me.

JimmyGrievance
JimmyGrievance
5 days ago
Reply to  Kosher Kid

😴 💤

at large
at large
5 days ago
Reply to  JimmyGrievance

In regards to Winks, I don’t hate him, he wears the badge well. Just think he’s a starter on a relegation side, a squad player on a midtable side (like us) and has no place on a top club. But at least he cares and puts forth effort which is more than I can say about some of our other middle fielders.

Billy Tonsils
Billy Tonsils
5 days ago
Reply to  at large

If Winks plays it has to be in the opposition half….no point expecting him to defend.

Don Logan
Don Logan
5 days ago
Reply to  JimmyGrievance

Not as boring as this reply posted on the Winks thread which has left you simmering nicely for two days……;-)

“You defeat your own argument. As you say. Look at who he had round him. Look who he’s had since. Look our defence then and look at it now. Both are chalk
and cheese.
It’s obviously beyond your blinkered view of Winks that you don’t recognise the then and now and further recognise how players respond to those around them.
You extol the virtues of Skip failing to acknowledge how bad we are defensively seeing he’s a defensive MF and how poor the service is to our forward players from any attacking MF option.
Winks is an attacking MF Skip isn’t. Why compare apples with oranges. The most telling thing about Winks recent games is he’s gone back being that attacking MF looking to get the ball forward. Something, that for whatever reason has been missing from his game. I put this down to the manager. The good thing is, Winks is responding. And for that, despite your assertion that a cone is a better option is to be applauded.”

Winks must be flushed down the Lamela chute.

Kosher Kid
Kosher Kid
5 days ago
Reply to  Don Logan

I think it’s called attempting to defend the indefensible. The Queen has a similar dilemna as the Winks apologists.

Don Logan
Don Logan
5 days ago
Reply to  Kosher Kid

I think this quote sheds some light on Jim’s real grievance.

You’ve had your say, and moment in the blog sun.”

You’re on his manor.

Don Logan
Don Logan
5 days ago
Reply to  Don Logan

So mind your manners….

Kosher Kid
Kosher Kid
5 days ago
Reply to  Don Logan

The winky man is there to be bashed. Nobody picked up on me calling the Spurs midfield; “the kingdom of the blind”. Who is the ‘king’ in this kingdom? The one eyed man!

Winks. Geddit?

England Mike
England Mike
4 days ago
Reply to  Don Logan

The squad itself has also had to change it’s whole approach in mentality and playing systems due to the coaching merry-go-round a number of times since Poch, which has not helped them.

East Stand
East Stand
4 days ago
Reply to  England Mike

Very good point.

JimmyGrievance
JimmyGrievance
4 days ago
Reply to  Don Logan

He’s made his point, so why, on a totally un related thread start bashing him again. It’s churlish.

Winks is the least of the squads problems. There are far worse players wearing our shirt atm.

Last edited 4 days ago by JimmyGrievance
Tangangry
Tangangry
4 days ago
Reply to  JimmyGrievance

Says the man who seems to make 9 out of every 10 of his posts about Enic.

JimmyGrievance
JimmyGrievance
4 days ago
Reply to  Tangangry

In a blog that predominantly about ENIC. Kind of makes sense. Obviously not to you. But thanks for your input 👍

BigStew
BigStew
4 days ago
Reply to  Kosher Kid

But….
Senor Conte IS better than ALL of us as a Premier League Manager/UEFA PRO licence holder & his cv speaks for itself, so if he rates & praises & picks Harry Winks, not sure why anyone would not accept his decision?
Your (or others) ‘dismay & anger 🙄’ would lead me to ask if they believe they’re cut out to be a better manager why not take the B, A & Pro licences & prove it!?

East Stand
East Stand
4 days ago
Reply to  BigStew

Winks isn’t as bad as he’s been portrayed, the whole squad have stunk the place out for some time let’s be fair. Winks was alongside Sissoko in a pair for two seasons, that was not the right combination in anyone’s book.

Skipp is more about the scrapping, as is PEH but people are expecting Winks to make things happen with the ball. He’s not really had the environment to do that in recent seasons and his game has probably suffered. Alongside PEH he looks like he has a bit more time on the ball and he has a manager who can set the team up on a cohesive fashion now. He’s no world beater but not quite as bad as advertised either, in my opinion.

Kosher Kid
Kosher Kid
4 days ago
Reply to  East Stand

Skipp excels in winning the ball and giving it to someone else. He has also played less than 50 games for Spurs and is significantly younger than Winks. PEH also has credit in the bank. We know that he can do it. He has just stopped doing it as consistently this season and he seems to save his worst performances for when Winks is his midfield partner. Why is that I wonder?

Last edited 4 days ago by The Hurrah Brigade
East Stand
East Stand
3 days ago
Reply to  Kosher Kid

Because PEH needs help doing the job he’s supposedly top class at? I like PEH but he’s no Kante.

Kosher Kid
Kosher Kid
4 days ago
Reply to  BigStew

Conte is picking Winks because he is the one eyed man in the kingdom of the blind. That is my point. Spurs have replaced players like Wanyama, Dembele and Eriksen with Sissoko, Winks, Lo Celso and N’dombele.

It is that simple. Winks has played over 150 Spurs games and has 2 assists and 2 goals in the EPL. He gets bullied in a physical battle and he neither scores or creates goals in credible numbers. Harry Winks is not fit for purpose. He is neither an attacking or defensive midfielder. He is (probably) more fit for purpose than N’dombele and Lo Celso. But even that is debatable using the margins of a fag paper.

As supporters we seem to be having an internal, continual bun fight over which combination of these jokers should be picked in the starting 11. My view is that we shouldn’t pick any of them. Give game time to young players instead.

Last edited 4 days ago by The Hurrah Brigade
BigStew
BigStew
5 days ago
Reply to  JimmyGrievance

Agreed

Glory Costs Too Much
Glory Costs Too Much
5 days ago
Reply to  Kosher Kid

Not sure about referees being against us, the Chelsea game ref gave us 2 pens and a goal that weren’t!

Kosher Kid
Kosher Kid
4 days ago

He didn’t give Rudiger a yellow for the pen that wasn’t though did he? All that got lost with the decision about where Rudiger pulled PEH down. Neither VAR or the ref picked that up despite Conte furiously protesting to the 4th official on the touchline.

Last edited 4 days ago by The Hurrah Brigade
JimmyGrievance
JimmyGrievance
5 days ago

There was a time I’d say they were running scared. Somehow though I reckon this could be legit. Their league form is as good if not better than our and I’d say they see this as good time to play us.

The spurs
The spurs
5 days ago
Reply to  JimmyGrievance

Spurs are 2nd in the form table…

Glory Costs Too Much
Glory Costs Too Much
4 days ago
Reply to  The spurs

Largely because of the quality of the opposition we’ve played recently.

Paddio
Paddio
4 days ago

The league table doesn’t lie (though we are fortunate alot in the league ain’t that great)

at large
at large
5 days ago

Maybe Spurs should apply to have the rest of our season postponed until we round up 13 qualified outfield players.

James McKevitt.
James McKevitt.
5 days ago
Reply to  at large

😀😅

East Stand
East Stand
4 days ago
Reply to  at large

Excellent idea.

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