Arsenal Team News: Thomas Vermaelen, Carl Jenkinson and Kieran Gibbs
Written by Jeffrey on October 29, 2011 4:45
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger will decide in the very last minute whether to utilise defenders Thomas Vermaelen and Carl Jenkinson, today, at Stamford Bridge.
Speaking to Arsenal Player on Thursday and in Friday’s press conference, the Frenchman explained that the Belgium International will probably be in the squad but how a last minute fitness test will be carried out to understand if he’s ready to start from the first minute with the manager adding that the 25-year old is determined to start the game.
On right-back Carl Jenkinson, the Arsenal boss confessed that he has “a little chance” of featuring against the Blues but should be fit to start the mid-week Champions League game against Marseille, at home.
Wenger concluded by saying that left-back Kieran Gibbs is still out with a stomach muscle problem meaning that Brazil’s Andre Santos and Switzerland’s Johan Djourou will probably keep their place in the manager’s starting line-up.
On his squad, Wenger said:
[Thomas] Vermaelen might be available to be in the squad. We’ll have to assess him. He is not injured. He came off with a calf problem on Tuesday in the Carling Cup.
It was cramp because he has not played for a long time and he only had one training session. As I say he is not injured but he might be a little bit short for a game of that intensity.
I feel physically he is not completely ready because he had problems to finish the game against Bolton, but he is close.
We play two games in three days and I will have to evaluate the whole situation. [If he wants to play?] Thomas always wants to play.
Carl Jenkinson [knee] has a little chance to be available on Saturday, he was alright yesterday.
I don’t know if I will take him or not, if not then maybe on Tuesday for him. Gibbs [stomach muscle] is not available.
[All centre backs fit and available] is a good issue to have. I think we are defensively more solid than some time ago.
In the last five or six games it is the most solid that we have looked. But no matter who plays, for me, they are all good players.