Arsenal Injuries Mount As Elvis Has Left the Building

Mary O'SheaSenior Writer IAugust 19, 2010

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - AUGUST 15:   Samir Nasri of Arsenal in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield on August 15, 2010 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

With under 48 hours to go before Arsenal's first home game of the season, personnel problems persist at Ashburton Grove.

The Gunners opened their season away at Liverpool with a 1-1 draw.

Once again, Manuel Almunia was singled out for criticism by fans and critics alike. Fulham manager Mark Hughes has admitted that Mark Schwarzer is looking for a move away from Craven Cottage, with the Emirates being his likely destination.

Manchester City's Shay Given is also a wanted man, as he has stated his intent to move from the City of Manchester Stadium after losing his starting spot to Joe Hart.

Both keepers would be a marked improvement over Almunia; however, Wenger refuses to speak out on whether he intends to bring either man to the club.

Wenger also has serious central defense issues (what's new?).

William Gallas, Mikael Silvestre, Sol Campbell, and Philippe Senderos all left the club in the summer, with only Laurent Koscielny coming in as a replacement.

Koscielny did well in his first game for Arsenal, but his late red card means he will miss the upcoming match.

This leaves Arsenal with only Thomas Vermaelen as a definite center back.

Johan Djourou is recovering from injury and is in a rush to play on Saturday. Havard Nordtveit is hugely inexperienced, which leaves Alex Song as the only other viable option.

Song, however, is also short on fitness. Were he fit to play, he would be needed in midfield.

Rumours over the past 24 hours have linked Arsenal with Frenchman Sebastien Squillaci. The Sevilla center back was omitted from their Champions League squad as a move seems imminent. Once again, money is proving to be the sticking point.

Arsenal's injury problems at the back are mirrored in midfield.

Captain Cesc Fabregas failed to make the squad at Anfield because of a stomach bug and lack of match fitness.

Alex Song barely made the squad. Denilson didn't.

Andrei Arshavin was virtually non-existent throughout the game amidst rumours he is carrying a thigh injury. Aaron Ramsey is not expected back until November. 

To add to all this, on-form Samir Nasri will miss a month of football after undergoing minor knee surgery.

And since when it rains, it pours, today impressive youngster Emmanuel Frimpong was ruled out for nine months after he tore his cruciate ligaments in a Reserve match in Dublin.

Arsene Wenger must be wondering whether he'll have 11 players to send out on Saturday at the Emirates.

Indeed, those who travel to the game on Saturday—or watch on television—will notice some marked changes to the grounds.

Continuing with the process of "Arsenalisation", the Arsenal clock has been returned, and the stands will be renamed. The stand baring the clock will be called "The Clock End", and the opposing stand will be named "The North Bank", just like at Highbury.

The players will run out in their much-liked new home shirt; however, they will do so to a different beat. Elvis has finally left the building.

For the last number of seasons, the Gunners have emerged to play their home games to the sound of the King's "Wonder of You." The song was not well-received by Arsenal fans, who deemed it inappropriate. 

It is rumoured that the club have changed the song under pressure from the supporters' group RedAction, and the Gunners will now run out to Fat Boy Slim's "Right Here, Right Now."

How good things are right here, right now at the Emirates will be judged more clearly on Saturday.


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