Tommy Gunner injury boost

What? What’s that you say? A ray of hope from the Arsenal medical room? Oh, yes. For it seems that there is a modicum of comfort to be had from a season that has been dogged by injuries with the news that Thomas Vermaelen doesn’t have a broken a leg as first feared.
Tommy V limped off during the first half of Wednesday’s goalless draw at Aston Villa and remains doubtful for Sunday’s clash with Manchester United, but AW tells the Daily Mail he hopes it will not be a long-term problem.
The injury has been diagnosed as nerve trauma where the tibia and fibula bones meet at the top of the shin and AW said: ‘There is no fracture in Thomas’s leg but the injury still has to be assessed. There is still a good chance he will not play on Sunday.’
The paper says that AW will consider his options in central defence which include Sol Campbell, who came on for Vermaelen at Villa Park, Mikael Silvestre and Alex Song, who has returned to the Arsenal training camp from the Africa Cup of Nations.
The Mail goes on to tell us that Abou Diaby (calf) and Eduardo (hamstring) have been ruled out but may still be fit enough to face Premier League leaders Chelsea a week later.
And in the Sun, Sol Campbell insists he will be fit and ready if called on for the United clash. Campbell, 35, is facing his third game in a week – after one match in six months!
Campbell said: “He’s the talisman for United. He’s always going to pop up, he’s always dangerous. As a top striker, you have to watch him. In a flash, something can happen and they’re in. It’s a challenge. That’s what it’s all about. We’re at the business end of the season. It’s a big two weeks for the club. We have to get some points and go from there.
He added: “It is the media’s job to build it up. We’ve really got to calm it down and focus on the game. It’s massive, a great game to be involved in. I don’t think it’s going to determine the season but it’s going some part towards it.
“United have been there before. They’re a top side, they’ve top players. But so have we. I don’t know if I will be needed on Sunday but I’ve been training for a long time. So if it comes to it, I’ll have to be ready. It has been a strange old season but I’m knuckling down now. Everything else is in the past.”
The redtop says we have a make-or-break fortnight, which started with Villa and now takes in United, Chelsea and Liverpool. Campbell added: “Villa was unlucky for us but it’s not over. United will drop points, Chelsea will drop points, everyone will drop points.
“It’s going to come down to who gets the run going, gets wins, draws and just keeps on ticking along. It’s all about grind really, you’ve just got to grind them out. Anyone can win the title, so we have to ensure we’re focused on our game and getting points. You have to dig in, fight, play good football and believe in yourselves as a team.”
Meanwhile, Nicklas Bendtner is ready to establish himself as a regular in the our next three games. He returned as a sub at Villa Park, after a three month groin surgery lay-off.
And with Eduardo and Robin van Persie still sidelined, Bendtner feels his time has come and said: “I’ve only trained once with the team and played half an hour at Villa. But everything feels OK.
“Manchester United is the sort of big game you’d love to come back into. Is this a chance to become the No 1 striker? That is my plan. Is it achievable? Of course. Why am I so confident? Simple. I am a good player. I’ve always had that belief.”
To be fair to Bendtner, he didn’t put a foot wrong on Wednesday when he came on.
Elsewhere the Mirror, says AW is coming under pressure to make a last-ditch signing and has just three days left to do so. He has resisted moving into the transfer market even though the board have told him there is money to spend.
The paper says the club’s hierarchy – major shareholder, US tycoon Stan Kroenke is expected at Arsenal this weekend – know that shareholders will be appeased if Wenger does a deal at the last minute with a striker and centre half on his shopping list.
Arsenal bid £10million for Fulham Chris Smalling but were outbid by Manchester United. While AC Milan yesterday insisted that Dutch striker Klaas Jan Huntelaar was going nowhere after Arsenal were rumoured to be interested.

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