The World Cup final in Rio was July 13. They came back on the August 11. That means I gave them one month of holiday.
It was important for me that they would recover. They have been training for one month and haven’t reached 100 per cent physically yet but they’re close.
What? How can they not be 100% fit by now?
The injury curse continues and we were in Germany waiting to face Borussia Dortmund with a very depleted squad. A squad which was already lacking.
Mathieu Debuchy is out as we know, Calum Chambers is also a doubt with his chances rated as 50/50 as he’s suffering with tonsillitis. Nacho Monreal has stayed in London as he has a back injury.
Kieran Gibbs will naturally slot in at left back but what happens on the right is anyone’s guess but Arsene Wenger has been bigging up Hector Bellerin:
He’s a boy with personality, who isn’t fazed by the pressure.
That’s a very important quality when you’re a young boy playing at a big club. His transition game is fantastic. He’s very quick and his final ball is good as well. He lacks a bit of experience as a defender, but he’s very dangerous going forward.
Despite the injuries, the manager remains upbeat about tonight:
We had a very physical game against Man City on Saturday so it will be tough for us. But we have recovered well and sometimes in the second game you can be even stronger.
Dortmund have their own injury concerns with Mats Hummels, Nuri Şahin, İlkay Gündoğan, Jakub Błaszczykowski, Oliver Kirc, Ji Dong-won and, Marco Reus all likely to miss tonight’s match.
Jergen Klopp thinks we are a much better and stronger side than we were last season:
Arsenal have new players in their squad and the last time we played them they had players with injuries like Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey.
Now they have new players like Alexis Sanchez. Olivier Giroud can’t play but when you look at their squad they have a lot of alternatives. Arsenal played very defensively here last year. But you have to say that our Champions League fixtures is starting against a great team.
Arsenal are a very hard opponent and I think they did a great job on transfers over the summer. Now their squad has great stability and they’re actually able to play the type of football that Arsene Wenger wants to see.
All I can add to that is I hope we all see the kind of football we all want to see. Players creating and taking chances should they fall our way, a strong defensive midfield and of course a much better defensive performance than we witnessed on Saturday.
Apart from the two errors against City, at times we absolutely battered them and had we taken our early chances, we would have. If we can get an early control of the game, there is no reason why we can’t repeat that level of performance.
Good luck tonight boys, all injuries considered, this is a night which should go our way if Arsene Wenger get’s it right and the players all work hard!
And if Bellerin does start at right back, for goodness sake give him a bit of protection…
That’s it for today…..