Gibbs out for another month as Wenger hints at no new signings

Arsene Wenger last night confirmed that Kieran Gibbs wouldn’t be back anytime soon. The Englishman was seen as the closest full-back to returning and easing the current defensive crisis, but speaking after the victory over Aston Villa, Wenger said:

“The injury situation is not looking good — the full-backs will not be back before mid-to-late January. We have to see who can play there from game to game and be creative.”

So it would seem we’ll try to make do with what we have between now and “mid-to-late January” without bringing anybody in. Despite players such as Wayne Bridge being linked with a loan move, the gaffer seems to have done a U-turn on Tuesday’s comments in which he said he may possibly make a loan signing and instead will be “creative” with his current squad.

I think that’s the correct decision for two reasons. Firstly, who would be available on loan who is good enough and match fit? Wayne Bridge has played one game all season in the Carling Cup and was woeful on loan for West Ham last year. Theo Walcott made him look like a pub player in January because he was so unfit and if that’s the best we can come up with, then no thanks.

Secondly, our forthcoming fixture list isn’t too taxing. Mid-to-late January would probably be the big game against Man Utd on January 22nd. Assuming we’ll have one or two back for that one (probably Gibbs and/or Jenkinson) we need to negotiate the matches before then without recognised full-backs. They are:

Dec 26 — Wolves (h) (17th in Premiership)
Dec 31 — QPR (h) (16th in Premiership)
Jan 2 — Fulham (a) (13th in Premiership)
Jan 9 — Leeds (h) (6th in Championship)
Jan 15 — Swansea (a) (14th in Premiership)

Kieran Gibbs

No return imminent for Kieran

On paper, not too difficult then. Against the league leaders on Sunday it was too big an ask, but against 12th place Aston Villa we still had enough to win despite a poor defensive mistake. So it’s a good time to be playing teams in the bottom half of the table.

Let’s hope Wenger can coax good performances from deputies such as Coquelin and Miquel over the coming weeks and that the physios fix up one or two full-backs for the Man Utd game. I think we can cope until then and we certainly don’t need the likes of Wayne Bridge.

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  1. Ganesh

    Actually, we cannot afford any more slip-ups so I assume Wenger would keep a close-eye on the league table. The last time we made a panic buy in January, it was because we were struggling to finish in the top 4. If the situation doesn’t look good till the Man United game, then Wenger would go for a full-back on loan. The main reason why we lost the Old Trafford game was because Nani and Young tore our incompetent full-backs apart. We can’t go with players who aren’t even full-backs in those positions. Can’t afford another demoralising defeat in the peak of our charge for the top-4.

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  2. Essien Isaac

    I agree wit u. But how about selling kieran gibbs… That guy is like a sickler or sometin! He hasnt played four back to back games for arsenal without coming up wit one injury or illness or the other! I’ld say sell him, bring in someone gud and rugged!

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