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Gibbs, Ox & Rosicky all doubts! Surprise Diaby return?

Morning all.

More Wembley woe to talk about as we are about to embark on what is these days, a surprising yet most welcome return to the big stadium in London. Not the best of course as we have that in The Emirates. Ok, I’m biased!

Personally I think it’s a great shame that the semi-finals are played at Wembley as it takes away the whole point of playing the final on the centre stage. For me, the days of playing at neutral grounds was far better.

As Kev said yesterday, our last trip to this stadium was back in 2011 and it was a day to forget for all Arsenal fans…..

It’s been 15 years since we came away from the London venue with the big jug held high as our fantastic 2-0 victory over Chelsea back in 2002 was at the Millennium Stadium. Two stunning strikes from Ray Parlour and Freddie Ljungberg stole the headlines that day and rightly so….

Will a couple of players step up and steal the headlines for us again this weekend? I hope so.

The last time we featured in an FA Cup semi-final at Wembley was back in 2009 when we faced Chelsea. Theo Walcott struck the opening goal but Florent Malouda’s equaliser and Didier Drogba’s 84th-minute winner meant there would be no return for the big day.

Arsenal’s Road to Wembley

R3: Tottenham Hotspur (H) 2-0
R4: Coventry City (H) 4-0
R5: Liverpool (H) 2-1
R6: Everton (H) 4-1

That clearly means this is our first away match in the Cup this season and our away record of late has been simply dire!

In fact, apart from the victory at SHL, we have to go right back to January to find our last away win and that was against Aston Villa when players like Ozil, Wilshere and Gnabry were fit and playing. The young German should be fit for Wigan but the others remain on the sidelines.

This domestic cup was once great for us and under Wenger, we have won it three times, two as part of a double in 1997/98 and then again in 2001/02. The last of course was back in 2005 when a Manchester Utd side battered us for the entire game yet somehow we held on and nicked it on penalties.

But it didn’t matter did it, not once Patrick Vieria fired home our last spot kick and the players went mad. We had our hands on this famous trophy and no-one could take it away.

Over the latter years it would be fair to say that the focus by Arsene Wenger hasn’t always been on the domestic cups. The league cup was always seen as a chance to let the younger and less experienced players have their moment and once the play-offs have kicked off in the Champions League, the FA Cup has been pushed to one side.

But not this season, maybe drawing Bayern Munich out of the pot made Arsene Wenger take this competition a little more seriously and it’s paid off so far and considering who we have been drawn against so far, we have done well to get to this stage, especially with such a small squad and with the injuries suffered to key players.

But let’s not forget, just because we are going to Wembley, this Saturday’s fixture is only the semi-final.

There is a long way to go yet and Arsene Wenger has a lot of work to do to get us to the final.

I hope from somewhere deep down inside him, he can find the right words for the players, the right approach for the day and of course, the right result to see us revisit the grand stadium in May….

Kieran Gibbs, Tomas Rosicky and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are all doubts for Saturday according to Arsene Wenger in this mornings press conference and Fabianski will remain in goal as he has done throughout this competition and rightly so. Aaron Ramsey is fit, healthy and ready to start…

Finally, last weekend and before the Everton fixture, Arsene Wenger said that Abou Diaby was ‘back on the pitches’ which can only mean he’s back training. The player himself has said he hopes to return before the end of the season and this one is soon to come to an end.

Could he make a shock appearance on Saturday? I wonder……






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135 comments on “Gibbs, Ox & Rosicky all doubts! Surprise Diaby return?

  1. Great post, Rico.
    Diaby…..a shock weapon, indeed.
    Stranger things have happened.
    Not many, mind you :)
    Morning all.

  2. Arsenal will lose to wigan by 2-0 diaby useless. He should give chance to injury free players to come

  3. Thanks Scott…

    I’d love to see Diaby back and he’s running out of time…. ;)

  4. That’s nice and positive Gabriel!

  5. Nothing like a bit of P.M.A is there?
    Morning gang and Rico

  6. Gabriel, WHL is that way!!!!

  7. No Lee, nothing like it from some…

    Morning to you….

  8. That’s harsh Scott….

  9. Lol… Gabriel

    Good read Rico… you know my adoration of Diaby so enough said…

    Scott, Ramsey is shite!

    Morning fellow HHers

  10. So is tipping us to lose, Rico :)
    Ginge, don’t start mate….. Be nice lol

  11. Arsenal to beat WIgan 5-1………….

  12. Admit it Scott, he won’t make it… lol

    I failed to show me the Ramsey tattoo when I saw you… :-)

  13. Positivity is what we need….

  14. you failed… even

  15. Morning Ts, thanks..

    5-1 Wath, I like that idea….

  16. Scott, it’s the school holidays here ;)

  17. And six new players… ;)

  18. Wath, have you been using Rico’s crystal ball too… ? :-)

    Ramsey hat trick maybe…

  19. Diaby double maybe :lol:

  20. Rico, enough said then :)
    Ginge, I hadn’t had the colours filled I yet….maybe next time!

  21. Lol… you taking your time mate…

    DOn’t tell me he has Aussie ancestry too..

  22. Wigan have rested their team,in their loss to millwall they rested 8 first teamers….we havent got 8 first teamers.

    I will be shocked if we beat Wigan.Our season fell apart due to injuries,great time to play Arsenal…..

    ozil …..out

  23. I don’t need a crystal ball Ts, just a few bottles of grey goose or Lee would say maybe crystal meths…!

  24. Aren’t they all criminals???

  25. Morning all,

    Of cause Diaby is back. I see his plan, play the last few games for Arsenal, play out of his socks to get picked for France. Go to Brazil and need to stay there until next year this time when summer starts in England.

  26. It does Scott… lol

  27. Think you might be right Bradster, didn’t he say he still had hope for the WC

  28. Gibbs, Ox & Rosicky :- With Gnabry already out and not in favour anyway , that’s all the pace gone.

  29. Wonder who has leaked that story to the newspapers..

    If true, good and about time too….

  30. Interesting post Rico… watching Martino last night fall at the sword to the assassin method of Simeone shows that the old ideal of concentrating on your strengths is not suitable in the modern game especially against teams who won’t allow you to play your way…

    Working at your strength may work if you have all your best players available but when you lose one or 2 of your core players like RM and Psg did this week then adjustments have to be made…

  31. Hi All HHers. the clock is ticking to Saturday. this time we need prayers to help players come with the right attitude. we can beat Wigand 5-0 or lose 2-0. this is all about Arsenal Players and not even Arsene. Even Steve Bould can get this job done. i would actually rather have him for this one cz of the attitude factor. Nothing seriously technical required to win this. one word only, ATTITUDE. correct one and we are in the final one, wrong one and the journos (even the half baked ones) will have us for breakfast on Sunday

  32. In my view no manger not even Jose will be able to work against the strengths or weakness of the opposition.

    When you are playing Tuesday or wednesday nights away and then have to travel friday to play at 12:45 away you only have 1 day to prepare.. but any top strategist will know you need to pick your battles…

    The reason why Jose can beat us 6-0 but lose to poo-lis…

    I always ask if some managers view beating Arsenal as worth 6 points as oppose to the regular 3 points…

  33. ‘In my view no manger not even Jose will be able to work against the strengths or weakness of the opposition’…. all the time

    I should have added…

  34. The good old sideways passing let Barca down eh Ts…

    Wigan will certainly have attitude Fg, they won’t need to be ‘got up’ for this game. We have to be ready to better that…

  35. A must read imho…

    As i always say I wish fans could all have access to data such as distance run..

    Most will start questioning the effort of some of our so called better players…


  36. 71% possession Rico.

    And without Costa, Villa looked like his old self at Valencia…

  37. thanks Rico, and that is the problem. we failed to get up against a very average Birmingham side, then slept earlier before the game ended against the Swans a few weeks ago. i wish there was some kind of drill before the game like for Rugby games where players are charged up with some team song/dance to get them the right attitude in the middle of the pitch before kick off. Flamini/ BFG would do well in leading the pack in that drill

  38. You forget we won the FA Cup in 2003 against Southampton?

  39. Always liked Villa….

  40. The players and manager thought they only had to turn up to win imo Fg, huge mistake and I know I sound like a broken record but turning up in tracksuits was all a bit too laid back and disrespectful imo…

    Flamini is suspended…

  41. Villa still wanted to join us but we allegedly wanted ‘someone’ to make the fans ‘proud’ last summer… i.e a big buy.

    All i believe IG’s idea…

    In the end we tried for Vucini, Quagrierella, and the pensioner Di Natale… not forgetting Demba Ba.

    All eggs in one basket comes to mind…

  42. kris, you are right and thanks, I did. Silly me…

  43. interesting how we have been sniffing around Cuarduado(spelling) for 2 years now and haven’t been able to convince either Fiorentina or Udinese to sell him to us…

    Manure and BM now apparently want him that means his 12M price-tag will inflate …

  44. We probably offered a fiver for him Ts……………

  45. Not happy.
    I have just been conned into making a football comeback.
    I was crap when fit and healthy at 20.
    Now at 43, old and slow, i will be even crappier!!
    I thought any boots i bought would be for Sean!

  46. I think the guys will be up for this one. I’d play Arteta with Ramsey as this will be most of their last chance to win silverware with Arsenal.
    I don’t think Merts plays well with TV but I don’t see Wenger changing that nor trusting Jenks.
    I do however hope Wenger does not go with Sanogo up front. As shit as Giroud has been, he still offers more than Sanogo.

  47. Have to agree Brad… Yaya needs to earn his chance… he has had more chances than Park…

    Park scored in his 2nd appearance with us and then got only 2 more chances afterwards…

  48. All that London Pride sloshing about won’t help either. Scott.

  49. Lol Scott, sounds funny.
    What position will you be playing?

  50. Oh dear Scott….. ;)

  51. ts I wonder what kind of basics Wenger is considering going back to?
    4-4-2 is very basic

  52. Bradster, i will be the waterboy hahaha.
    Nah, striker, apparently.
    At least i have two feet…..
    Potter, believe it or not, i have lost about 5 kilos in the last month.
    All the curries guess………

  53. Lol Scott…

    Brad, he went 4-4-1-1 last sunday and left us exposed as we lacked legs and there were no support for our fulbacks…

    I think he should go back to a proper double pivot to shield our flanks…

  54. Watching our lot live , it was probably the shock and the worry.

  55. Good Morning to the Lady of the House and all fellow Gooners in residence.

    Scott – “Diaby…..a shock weapon, indeed.“ Anytime Diaby takes to the field is a shock, whether he is a weapon or not remains to be seen.

    He`ll probably return for a few games, play brilliantly, be chosen for France in the WC and then be seriously injured the first time he takes to the field for them. He will then be out for a year until his contract expires then move on a Bosman and have a great career.

  56. Scott – Re: Your revived playing career – If you can`t dazzle them with your brilliance, a little comic relief is always appreciated; as long as it doesn`t result in a goal or God forbid, an own-goal.

  57. CG, i will track back less than Santi, so no fear of me scoring an own goal, lest its a 40 yarder haha.

  58. Scott – As long as you enjoy yourself and try to do Sean proud.

    My older brother played rugby until he was in his mid-fifties. As their was no seniors league in his area he had to play with the young fellows. He could play with them no problem, but it took him all week to recover from the exertion while the young players were fine a day or two after the game.

    What age range are you playing in?

  59. Back in a bit guys, shopping needs doing…

  60. CG, i can not guarantee i will do Seany proud mate lol.
    Nah, he is more excited than i am.

  61. Afternoon Rico and all.
    I must confess to being distinctly underwhelmed by the standard of CL football I have seen recently. The tactics are way above my head I think.

  62. Adam, i guess i am lucky not to have seen any then……i haven’t missed much?

  63. Hiya Scott. I suppose that tactics are really the way you send your team out to achieve the result you want. In this way it seems that, in any game, only one coach will get it right. I watched the Chelsea v PSG game and was amazed at how average the French team were and how Mourinho’s tactic of humping long balls into the box seemed such a problem. Last night I thought BM looked low on quality but certainly relentless, apart from Robben who did look dangerous. But exciting? Not in any way for me.
    As they say though, it’s the result that counts.

  64. It was good to see Farcelona knocked out by one of the `lesser lights` of Spanish football. It will be interesting to see how they fare next season if their player trade ban is upheld. It could be a very humbling experience for them.

    I can understand why Arsene commented on their ban after they whined so often about his `unfair` dealings when he signed one of their young prospects.

  65. Mmmm…..definitely glad i missed them.
    Lets hope the Arsenal put on a display this weekend…that’s the important thing.
    If we show up, we will win.

  66. What about Simeone’s tactics?

    Hiya Cg…

  67. TS. I never saw that game but presumably he got them right.

  68. I miss eboue…He woulda singlehandedly won us the game on Saturday. Bummer. Morning guys.

  69. I am off for the night guys……have a great day, and keep the faith because you know who is back!!

  70. Keep the faith scott?? Really?? Am shitting my self and you talk about faith. We ll be turned over I tells ya. The omens are not so good. Diaby is back and WATH is positive. God help us.

  71. Good afternoon Ginge.

    Simeone did get the tactics right. Although FC Farcelona really didn`t turn up, a bit like Arsenal in some games. At the end of the game they looked like little boys lost.

    Good to see the underdogs of Atletico turn them over.

  72. Their work rate needs investigating though… They have been playing like they are on speed since diego took over… lol

    Later scott

  73. Good night Scott.

    I`m off to bed before the night is all but gone. I`ll say my prayers for good results at Wembley and despite the prognostications of the goonster, will keep alive the hope of Arsenal winning the FA Cup and earning a UCL spot.

    Have a great day fellow Gooners. Keep The Faith!

  74. Ginge – Its probably just `herbal and mineral supplements`. Maybe Arsene should ask Diego where we can get some.

  75. I wish Arsene hadn’t commented on the Barca ban. He needs to spend more time addressing our problems. He is a sucker for answering journo’s questions and then they use his answers to hang him.

  76. Stan, I’m not at all positive I’m just pissed………… I thought if you can’t beat em join em……….!

    I may have to revise my prediction… I am fancying 6-1 more and more…!

  77. Adam any good?

  78. But that’s Wenger’s way Potter. He seems to piss off almost every manager in the prem. I see Martinez responded to his comment about loaned players.

  79. Hahahahahahhaha good one WATH we haven’t scored 3 in one game since December yet we we ll score 6 against a resolute wigan side. Hilarious. Hahahahahahhaha

  80. We’ll stuff em Stan…

  81. I like to give you a good laugh Stanley……………… :D

  82. Lee. Oh, I think so mate. What about you?

  83. Yeah ok brudder!

  84. Afternoon all….

  85. We may won 5-1 and we may loss 2-0,That’s arsenal for you.Wigan may have earn respect for beating man shity,not once,twice but quality are not the decider of some match,history and experience do.We have been impersive from the 1st minute of the FA cup.I wish saturday could be one of those Arsenal vs everton FA qf,We all know the end.What’s up wath,it been a long time dude.

  86. I think the 5-1 and 6-1 comments were very much tongue in cheek Sukky…

    I really think it’ll be tough…

  87. Spk for yourself Rico of course my 5-1 6-1 comments were honest and well thought out………….. :P

    Hey Sukky…..

  88. :P Wath, yeah right…..

  89. :D

    So cynical Rico……….. I’m hurt……….

  90. :) Wath..

    Evening Adam

  91. Theo and Mel have had a baby boy….

    Congratulations to them both…..

  92. Welcome to Finley Walcott.

  93. Finley, that’s a nice name…

  94. Very popular apparently Rico.

  95. I never knew Adam. Nice to see the older names come back….

  96. I favour my middle name Rico. It’s Dogmail, an old name indeed. Adam Dogmail Adamant has a ring to it.

  97. You are missing .com in there Adam.. lol

  98. Off for the evening. Have a nice night Rico. Until tomorrow. :)

  99. And you Adam, night night…..

  100. Evening Rico and the house.
    Half time at the bridge no goals. We are parking the bus.

  101. Evening Rick.

    Good luck to the ‘boys’….

  102. Its pretty one slded at the moment Rico.

  103. Not so good then Rick…

  104. We take the lead agalnst runof play.
    Great goal by Akpom

  105. How are you watching Rick?

  106. I’m not watching any links Wath, I’ll end up with another virus knowing my luck ;)

    Thanks anyway though….

  107. Its on chavs tv.
    Rico type Football live stream lnto google
    Then open wizwog and you should see youth football.
    We are now loslng.

  108. Darn, that was a quick turnaround…

    I forgot about the Chelsea channel, will make sure I get the second leg….

  109. I’m off now guys, catch up tomorrow..

    Night all…

  110. Itv 4 next week Rico

  111. I will be here on sunday sparking ya shady ass.It will be like WOW!We are in the final,best feelings.

  112. Morning all.
    Game day is nigh.
    I wish i could be there for the final!!!

  113. Yep, once upon a time rico this game would have been played at Villa Park, it does take away a little magic from the final, no-one can deny that.
    Brent Council have to try and recoup some of the 900 mil it took to build the new state of the art Wembley even if they forgot about the roof.
    Having spent most of my youth growing up in Brent it does wind me up when poster’s like Kev come on and call Wembley a toilet, has he never been down Ealing Road in his life !!!

  114. Morning Lee and all….

  115. Ox, Rosicky and Gibbs out…??????

  116. Something seriously not right with all these injuries we have…..

  117. 50/50 Lee, late tests for all. Hope it’s spin…

  118. Morning Ts…

  119. Morning Rico and all. Blimey I feel groggy and spaced out this morning.

  120. Morning Adam, what you been smokin’? ;)

  121. Rico. The same thing as Arsene. :)

  122. I’d love to get my hands on Arsene’s stash…..a lively old strain, methinks!

  123. :) Adam, heavy stuff then… lol

    You sure Lee… lol

  124. New one up now….

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