Surgery, Victory, Injury, Jittery


 Last Friday:

  Walcott turns down a quick fix

The news came that Theo had opted for the most risk free treatment for his ACL injury. It is also the treatment that will keep him on the sidelines for the longest time.

Theo will undergo a patella tendon graft which is thought to offer the best long-term guarantees after a gruelling period of rehabilitation. Using a synthetic tendon could have got him back in time for the World Cup but there is a risk of the body rejecting it. Likewise with using a tendon from a dead body. He could have chosen to use a sliver of his own hamstring but as his game is based on speed his hamstrings are vital.

Arsene Wenger said;

“Theo is handling it as well as you can when you have had such a shock because he is mentally strong, he’s very balanced as a person and he can put it into perspective. We know that he will have the dedication and serious attitude to come back as strong as ever”.

Diaby suffers new set-back

Arsene Wenger says he is unsure if Abou Diaby will play for Arsenal this season after he suffered a new setback in his rehabilitation.

Diaby, who has been dogged by injury trouble during his time in north London, has not played for the club since last March after damaging his cruciate knee ligaments.

The Frenchman was expected to return in the next few weeks, after having extensive rehab in Dubai, but Wenger says he is nowhere near ready to come back; ‘His recovery is going very slowly,’ said Wenger.

‘Will he play again this season? I don’t know. He is still on a long-term recovery programme.’

Diaby has told supporters at a recent charity event that he hopes to be back on the pitch shortly, but Arsenal are no longer giving a predicted return date for the midfielder.




A predictable win for the Chavs over Hull City saw us toppled from the top, temporarily we hope as a win against Villa on Monday would see us bounce back regardless of City’s result against the Magpies on Sunday.

More Morata speculation, the loan deal could be on again as Real Madrid, after initially ruling out any departures during January, may be willing to let him go “later in the month”.

A bit of late news, and by late I mean two days late, Alex Oxlade Chamberlain played the first half of an U21 match against Fulham on Thursday evening, he came off at half-time in a pre-planned substitution, it was the lad’s first action since getting injured on the opening day of the season against Aston Villa. Now it seems that he could be on the bench against the same opposition on Monday.

Oh! And I forgot to mention, Eisfeld scored the only goal in the win over Fulham.


Arsene Wenger compared Oxlade Chamberlain to Steven Gerard, speaking on le professeur said

“At the moment he is still in formation. It is good for his education as he plays left, right and centrally when needed. After [the age of] 23 or 24 you settle in a definite position”.

“He will be deeper as he has a good long ball, penetration from deep and a good quality to distribute and penetrate individually. Certainly he has the same qualities to Steven Gerrard.

Now I may not have Wenger’s insight but to compare the gracefull, pacy, youngster to that lumbering carthorse “Stevie G” is just a bit unkind.


All the results are in, the calculations have been done and the outcome has been tabulated, Arsenal drop to third in the table but with the chance to bounce back by beating Villa later in the day.

Kieran Gibbs announced on his instagram page, whatever that is, that Theo had a “successful” operation on his knee and is recovering in hospital.

Team news, Monreal came in for Gibbs, Flamini, Wilshere, Cazorla, Ozil and Gnabry mixed it up in mid-field while Giroud mixed it with the Villa centre-backs.


Wilshere drives Arsenal back to the summit

A goal by Wilshere followed by one for Giroud, from a Wilshere pass, just seventeen seconds after the restart, was enough to take us back to the top of the table despite a second half goal for Villa.

Injuries to Nacho Monreal, possibly a fractured metatarsal, and Tomas Rosicky, a broken nose, were not good news and both players could be out for a while.

Bacary Sagna, whose contract expires in the summer, is set to renew talks over an extension. Sagna’s preference is to stay at Arsenal and finish his career at the club but the best offer so far is two more years at about the same wage £70,000 per week. Sagna has never agitated for more money or for a move away but feels his loyalty and experience deserves some recognition. Come on Arsenal, give him three years and a raise, you know it makes sense!!

Two more players in negotiations are Tomas Rosicky and Per Mertesacker, can we afford to pay them more or can we afford to lose them?

From The Evening Standard:- Mertesacker made his 100th appearance for the club against Villa and has come to epitomise this galvanised Arsenal. He is the organiser-in-chief, the debt collector and, last night at least, every inch the captain of this team.

The Germany international provided composure amid the chaos. He knows the importance of maintaining Arsenal’s advantage at the top of the table and developing that ruthless efficiency required to win major honours.

Contract negotiations? Just get on with it Mr. Laws!!


More recognition of the vital part Per Mertesacker is playing in Arsenal’s so far successful season came in an article in The Telegraph. Together with Laurent Koscielny the pair have brought a “perfect blend for solidity” Arsene Wenger has often in the past described Arsenal’s defending as naïve, yet no team have conceded fewer goals (19) or registered more clean sheets (nine) than Arsenal this season. The statistics behind the centre-back partnership of Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny are even more compelling. Monday’s 2-1 win against

Aston Villa was their 28th completed game together and, in those, the club have registered 20 wins, eight draws and 16 clean sheets. Also very much to the point is the fact that we are unbeaten in those 28 games.

Mertesacker and Koscielny have formed a natural partnership. Koscielny’s speed and athleticism have often covered for Mertesacker’s lack of pace, although the German’s organisational skills have been perhaps the biggest single factor.

While they both remain fit and available our title challenge should stay very much on track.

Any chance of signing Schalke’s Julian Draxler were scuppered when it emerged that the 20 year old has damaged his ankle ligaments and will be out of action for up to three months.


Le Professeur revealed the latest fitness situation ahead of Saturday’s three o’clock kick-off against Fulham.

On Theo Walcott’s surgery…
It went very well. The damage was real in the knee so he will have to take the needed time, so let’s not be hopeful that he will go to the World Cup – that is not possible. But overall his long-term future is very positive. It’s about being fit for next season now.

on Monreal and Rosicky…
Monreal looks a doubt for Saturday, a big doubt, because he twisted his foot on the kick. It is not the bruise, he turned and twisted the ligament. Rosicky had surgery with a general anaesthetic for a broken nose in two places. With a mask he may be available, but we have to monitor it closely.

on Arteta (calf), Vermaelen (knee) and Ramsey (thigh)…
Ramsey and Arteta are both out for this game. Vermaelen too. I personally believe the three will miss the Coventry game as well and will be available after that.

on Bendtner (ankle)…

He has a little chance to make Coventry. But in all probability it will be after that.

Thanks to for permission to reproduce the above.

Jack Wilshire is to appear alongside Lionel Messi in the 2014 advertising campaign for Pepsi.

Arsenal will red and white shirts with white shorts and socks, the ‘keeper will be in all green for Saturday’s match. The referee will be Lee Probert who drew this comment from Wenger after officiating in the same fixture in January 2012 when Johanne Djourou was sent of and Arsenal lost 2 – 1. “The referee influenced the game completely the wrong way in my opinion,”

That’s it for another week.

Norfolk Gooner.

68 Responses to Surgery, Victory, Injury, Jittery

  1. arnie says:

    Another NG-day, yes that is what these days we call what in good old days used to be known as “Fridays”. Very uplifting as always, Norfolk. Thank you.

    “Jack Wilshire is to appear alongside Lionel Messi in the 2014 advertising campaign for Pepsi.” Amazing!!! How do you get to find such pieces of news. 😀 😀

  2. arnie says:

    Happy birthday Kelsey. Have a good one!!!!! 😀 😀 😀

  3. arnie says:

    Terrible traffic situations today. Bad start to the day. Thought I will take the train to Glasgow, for a change, replacement bus services, oh dear!! Thought I will drive, terrible weather, bad traffic!!! Parked car in Stirling and on the train now. One hour late!!!! Oh dear!!!!! 😦

  4. arnie says:

    Per Mertesacker and Bacary Sagna set to sign new Arsenal contracts, says Arsene Wenger. Source: Metro.

  5. RC78 says:

    – Metersacker and Sagna to extend their deals, indeed…
    – Winger coy on Draxler and Berbatov as well as his own contract

  6. Big Raddy says:

    Kelsey Happy Birthday. Did you get the zimmer frame you wanted?

    NG. Excellent. How did you get permission from AFC to reproduce their article?

  7. LB says:

    Excellent NG

    Much appreciated.

  8. arnie says:

    Friday blues? 😦

  9. GunnerN5 says:

    Morning Kelsey, many happy returns my friend. I hope 2014 is a year filled with good health and good fortune for you and yours.

  10. GunnerN5 says:

    Look at ME!!” boasted the fit old man, pounding a very flat and firm stomach, having just finished 100 situps before a group of young people.

    “Fit as a fiddle! And you want to know why? I don’t smoke, I don’t drink, I don’t stay up late, I eat carefully and I don’t chase after loose women!!”

    Smiling at them, white teeth and eyes aglitter he flicked back his gray locks and said. “And tomorrow, I’m going to celebrate my -90th- birthday!!”

    “Oh, really?” drawled one of the young onlookers, “How?”

  11. GunnerN5 says:

    It’s my wife’s birthday tomorrow. Last week I asked her what she wanted as a present.

    ‘Oh, I don’t know,’ she said . ‘Just give me something with diamonds.’

    So I’m giving her a pack of playing cards.

  12. GunnerN5 says:


    Forget about the past, you can’t change it.
    Forget about the future, you can’t predict it.
    Forget about the present, I didn’t get you one.

  13. GunnerN5 says:


    Artificial intelligence is a wonderful thing.
    I told my computer that today is your birthday,
    and it said you needed an upgrade.

  14. GunnerN5 says:


    I’m a tad older than you and I intend to live forever –
    – so far, so good!

  15. GunnerN5 says:


    Don’t worry about temptation — as you grow older, it starts avoiding you.

  16. GunnerN5 says:


    Always remember that the high cost of living hasn’t affected its popularity.

  17. GunnerN5 says:

    Kelsey remember its always nice to be here? But then again – at your age it’s nice to be anywhere.

  18. GunnerN5 says:

    Kelsey finally I would like to pass on a bit of sage advice.

    The most effective way to remember your wife’s birthday is to forget it once.

  19. jnyc says:

    Is it true about sagna re signing? I’m happy, especially since his crossing seems to have improved allot. I don’t know why, , maybe he’s practiced.
    Now we need someone who can get on the end of crosses. Nacho crosses well also, and Jenks always has.
    I also like sagna as our fourth cb, but Not if he’s going to play 50 matches each season at rb. . We need to rotate more, especially bellerin, who we can lose if he doesn’t see first team progress.
    Mertesacker, I was on record as wanting him before we bought him, for his composure and positioning sense. . And defended him from day one against allot of critics.

  20. RA says:

    Well done, NG, another successful trawl through yesterday’s news to remind us of what happened last week, and to make us realise next week’s is already being made.

    Somehow you manage to glean, from whatever source, snippets of past news like the foraging media and bloggers pluck rumours from every pouf of the aether as if they were casting nets through blogdom in search of transfer sustenance.

    Well done, sir. 🙂

  21. RA says:

    Hi GN5, 😉

    If Kelsey was not previously depressed at passing 85 he will be now! 🙂

  22. GunnerN5 says:

    Hi RA.

    What’s wrong with old age Old Age

    Just the other day I was asked , What does it feel like getting old? I mean, you’re 76 years old, how do you honestly feel?”

    ”Honestly, I replied, I feel like a new born baby. I’ve got no hair, no teeth, and I wet myself.”

  23. chas says:

    Smashing, NG.
    Beautifully presented chips on a Friday (with optional battered sausage).

  24. RA says:

    GN5, 🙂

  25. RA says:

    If its not chads with you Chas, its battered sausage!! 🙂

  26. Great post mate. That’s really interesting. Here are my thoughts on Arsenal’s striking transfer targets, give it a read and let me know your opinions in the comments! 🙂

  27. Big Raddy says:

    Luke. Thanks for your comment though it would have been better had you referred to the headline post

    We have a policy of asking before promoting a website – it is only polite.

    So next time…….

  28. 26may1989 says:

    Thanks Norfolk, and happy birthday to Kelsey. Greetings from Dallas.

    Can’t believe I’m saying this, but what a shame that United won’t have either van Persie or Rooney available for their game against Chelsea.

  29. Big Raddy says:

    26. You globetrotting devil!

    As you say, shame that MU will slide further behind us, should we win and MU lose the gap will be 14 points – Thursday night Europa may be a distant target 😀

  30. 26may1989 says:

    Silver linings, Raddy! Truth be told, for all the brilliance of City’s attacking line, I’m not convinced by them defensively or in terms of team-spirit – I see them throwing a bucket of points away yet. It’s Chelsea that I see as the bigger threat – I might detest Mourinho (and I do), but fair play to him, he’s injected solidity, organisation and seriousness into a side that was in danger of become flaky.

    With their fixtures against the sides above them, United have it in them to be king-makers this season. But Chelsea get lucky with those two unjuries.

    Oh well, as you say, at least we get the enjoyment of seeing them in decline!

  31. GoonerB says:

    Another lovely Friday post Norfolk which seem, if possible, to get better every week. Can I also say thank-you to Redders for a lovely post yesterday as I only managed to read it belatedly.

    Tapping into the collective fine brains of the AA regulars, can anyone recommend a good Indian restaurant near the Ems? Preferably towards the Blackstock road end if possible. Just off out for a while but I will return later to check on any potential recommendations.

  32. Norfolk Gooner says:

    ‘evening all, as P.C. George Dixon used to say, the older AAers will know what I’m talking about, and whilst I’m talking about older members, Happy Birthday Kelsey! I sincerely hope the coming year is a good one for you and yours.

    Thankyou one and all for the nice comments.

    Big Raddy, Arsenal are always happy to allow the reproduction of their copy, providing they are acknowledged as the source.

  33. Big Raddy says:

    GB. The Ruman is good, though the AA recommendation for pre-match food is the kebabs at the Yildiz which IMO are the best ….. ever (both in Blackstock)

  34. RA says:


    I do not personally know about Indian restaurants in or near the Blackstock Road, but I googled some for you! 🙂

    These are roughly in the area you mentioned.

    130 Blackstock Rd
    020 7359 5388

    Sunderban Indian Restaurant
    50 Blackstock Rd
    London, 020 7359 9243

    Desh Indian Restaurant
    78 Highbury Park
    London, 020 7359 3444

    Dhonia Indian Cuisine
    148 Tollington Park
    London, 020 7272 6900

    Rasa South Indian Vegetarian Restaurant
    55 Stoke Newington Church St
    London, 020 7249 0344

    The Mezbaan
    45 Stroud Green Rd
    London, 020 7272 7850

    Jai Krishna
    161 Stroud Green Rd
    London, 020 7272 1680

    Hopefully you will find one you like!

  35. RA says:


    Can you let my previous comment out of moderation.

    Probably too many links for GoonerB. 🙂

  36. 26may1989 says:

    Completely agree with the Radster, Yildiz is tops – I made the mistake of taking some people to the other nearby Turkish, Iznik, a couple of months ago, on the basis that Yildiz gets a bit rammed before matches and Iznik had been very good in previous years. But it was woeful, nothing like it used to be. I should’ve gone to Yildiz…..

    Can’t think of decent Indian restaurants around there, but there are some other places that are good, and happy to share thoughts if it’d help.

  37. Norfolk Gooner says:

    All this talk of rubies and kebabs is making me hungry, I’m off to the The Erpingham Arms tonight, second visit, the first time it was very good, lovely atmosphere very friendly, great service and smashing food.

    Just time to watch the news first, have a good evening everybody.

  38. RA says:


    I love kebobs and have never been to the Yildiz — I must go there. 🙂

    Dallas? What do you there? Mayhap you are a spy – one minute Moscow then goodness only knows where else and now Texas.

    Have you bought a stetson? You cowboy you! 🙂

  39. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Slightly disappointed if the truth be told Norfolk

    Last week we had a handsome lady called Nicole Somethingorother, and I thought this may develop into “topical lady of the week”, but alas.

    However, my mood has softened as I read the post earlier and have had time to cool off and appreciate the true value of your efforts.

    Down with smut, I say.

    Thank you

  40. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Happy Birthday Kelsey 🙂

    Mmmm, not so good news about Brave and Ronney not helping Utd earn a draw against Chelsea, but as Raddy and 26 have pointed out, there is a very large silver lining.

  41. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Right, have we signed anyone expensive?

  42. GunnerN5 says:

    Wenger – Gnabry will end up in middle

    Arsène Wenger believes Serge Gnabry’s long-term future is through the middle – but says he has the raw ingredients to play on the flank as well.

    The Germany youth international has impressed when given his chance on the right wing, and scored his first senior goal at Swansea City in September.

    While Wenger feels the 18-year-old could play anywhere across the frontline, he says he is best suited out wide for the time being.

    “I’m convinced he has the pace, the dribbling capacity and the physical potential to play wide and these kind of players are very important in the modern game,” the manager said.

    “Of course he will certainly end up in a few years centrally because he can give a final ball as well. But we have congestion there, with many players who can play centrally.

    “I have pushed many times people like Wilshere, Rosicky and Cazorla to play wide because it’s an important position as well on a strategic point of view.”

    Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to

  43. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Right Wingers, Left Wingers, so I suppose Liberals in the Middle

    Oh dear, coat 😦

  44. 26may1989 says:

    RA, being in Texas just makes me behave more English – toodle pip, what-what and all that!

    Very friendly people here, their fondness for guns and big cars notwithstanding. If I lived here, I’d be even more overweight than I am now though.

    Of your suggested restaurants, I can confirm that the Rasa in Stokie is excellent. It’s not quite Indian, but there’s an excellent Mauritian restaurant on Stroud Green Road called Chez Liline (Mauritian food being roughly a mix of Indian and French).

    But do get to Yildiz at some point – you know if a pro foodie like Micky is a fan, that it’s got a lot going for it.

  45. 26may1989 says:

    Micky, no smut? Didn’t you see Norfolk “talking about older members”????

  46. Gööner In Exile says:

    Evening all, cracking news round up Norfolk.

    Tomorrow with a win we will be +1 on the swingometer I’ll update it then 🙂

  47. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Sorry Micky, I have been dating the most fabulous woman lately, trouble is not only can’t I pronounce her name, I can’t even bloody well remember it, and every time I reach for the camera I wake up. 😀

  48. arnie says:

    ha ha, Norfolk!!!!! 😀 😀 😀

    BTW, probably did not mention earlier, the title of your post today is absolutely brilliant!!!!!

  49. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ah Norfolk, the imaginary Ladies

  50. Big Raddy says:

    “Micky. Great start to the day …. “Which cheek? Left Upper”

  51. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Difficult to see many upsets this weekend from top 4. Spurs and Utd on the other hand, well, that could end up as a serious gap.

  52. Big Raddy says:

    The gap between the real contenders and the also rans is widening to the point where there are 3 mini-leagues, though Spurs who most think have been in chaos are just 2 points behind the brilliant, resurgent Liverpool with their world’s best striker and blah, blah, blah …

  53. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Sorry Raddy. Just doing some research and got eaten by youtube

  54. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Is Ronney back in Fat Camp, and where the heck is Brave when you actually need him?

  55. MickyDidIt89 says:


    Wrong clip. Sorrrry 😦

  56. Big Raddy says:

    Get a grip man

  57. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Seriously distracted this morning. Hoping I’ll get a grip shortly 🙂

    Thinking of people who’ve lost their grips, where the heck are Chas and Evonne. It’s Match Day for goodness sake.

  58. evonne says:

    match day, says it all, init?

  59. evonne says:

    oh Norfolk, I wish you didn’t mention Diaby…makes me feel sick, poor lad

    Jack with Messi, quite right )

    thank you for the news bulletin, very wholesome

  60. GoonerB says:

    Morning all. Thanks to Raddy and Redders for the curry house insights yesterday. I may suggest the Ruben to the gang I am with unless I can persuade them to swap the intended culinary experience and plump for the Yilmaz. May not see the A.A gang today as I am with some others that are aiming for a different venue but I might get there for a bit after the game pre restaurant. Not much time between work and getting the train so I will congratulate raddy now on his pre-match. Even before I have seen it you just know it will be top notch.

  61. Big Raddy says:

    Linking back to RA’s post on the FA +++

    How is it that Anelka made an openly racist action and yet nothing has happened apart from media hysteria?

    Terry and Suarez were both suspended. Is anti-semitism less of an offence?

  62. evonne says:

    hi GB, no, you cannot rely on quality of Raddy’s PMs 🙂 you have to read it to confirm . Have you read his bias bit about car thieves from Cardiff, classic 🙂

    have good time and I hope your team does well today

  63. MickyDidIt89 says:

    As the saying goes, you can take the piss out of Christians at all times, Jews a little bit, and Muslims never.
    I’d always add Buddhists to the list as Godless violent thugs 🙂

    Talking of which, I wonder what ever happened to our own Buddhist Steve, or was it Dave. He was a trouble maker 🙂

  64. MickyDidIt89 says:

    What a pleasant surprise. Been fighting, or doing your hair ready for the game?

  65. evonne says:

    don’t you dare Didit take the piss out of Catholics!!!! we have priests to do that

  66. evonne says:

    a bit of both Micky. Done the hair yesterday in case Gorgeous needs my driveway. Fighting with family a bit, but all is well now 🙂

    i am house hunting and it is mission impossible. Cannot buy a castle for peanuts 😦

  67. Rasp says:

    Morning all ……

    ….. new post …….

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