Thomas Vermaelen is facing even long on the sidelines than initially thought after the defender suffered a setback on his Achilles injury in training. The 24-year-old has already been absent from the first team for over two months, and according to the The Guardian manager Arsene Wenger has confirmed the Belgian international needs to see a specialist again.
The Frenchman said: “I don’t know where we go with him time-wise but at the moment he can’t play. On the scan his achilles is clear but as soon as he stays out for a while he has pain.”
Koscielny appeal dismissed.
Arsenal have lost their appeal against the red card shown to defender Laurent Koscielny against Newcastle on Sunday. The Gunners had appealed as Arsene Wenger was convinced Koscielny was not the last man, and that his challenge on Nile Ranger did not prevent a scoring opportunity.
The FA have backed referee Mike Dean’s original decision, and the Mail Online states that the governing body said in a statement: “At an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing today, a claim for wrongful dismissal from Arsenal’s Laurent Koscielny was dismissed. As a result, Koscielny will serve a two-match suspension with immediate effect as this was his second dismissal of the season.”
Gunners target Barca bound.
Arsenal’s pursuit of PSV midfielder Ibrahim Afellay may be about to end, as the Dutch club’s assistant manager, Phillip Cocu, has indicated that the 24-year-old is set to join Spanish giants Barcelona. Cocu himself is a former Barcelona player, and the statement implies yet another transfer battle is about to ensue between the Gunners and the Catalans.
Arsene Wenger is known to be a long-time admirer of the player’s talents, and Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson travelled to Holland two weeks ago to see the star in action. According to Imscouting.com, however, Cocu told Spanish daily Sport: “It is logical to go to Barca.” When questioned about the timescale of Afellay’s potential move, he said: “I think it’s better now, because he will have a little more time to get to know the club, how to play football in Spain, the language.”