Arsene Wenger will be relieved at the confirmation that Sebastien Squillaci is set to return to the team for this weekend’s FA Cup clash against Huddersfield.
The Gunners boss has been lacking in defensive options recently as centre-back pair Squillaci and Thomas Vermaelen have been out of action. The latter will not be back for at least another month but Wenger will take some comfort in knowing that the Spaniard is available for selection once again.
Wenger is expected to make some changes to his starting line-up with Abou Diaby also returning from injury, Thomas Rosicky and Manuel Almunia may also feature in the squad to face the League One side on Sunday.
Arshavin talks on lost form.
Andrei Arshavin has blamed his recent dip in form on a lack of confidence and old age.
The 29-year-old has revealed that he feels ‘afraid’ when one-on-one with an opponent and has suffered a total loss of confidence since last season but is sure that one good performance will be followed by a lot more, speaking to The Daily Star Arshavin said: “I don’t know why. I still feel the same. Maybe I’m just getting old. When you are absolutely all right, you do not even think about what you are doing in certain situations. It all happens automatically.
“But now when I get the ball, I begin to think, ‘Should I out-trick an opponent? Will I lose the ball?’ I am afraid of taking the initiative.
“I need to train and play. After a few good performances the courage and automatic decision-making are going to return.”
Smith plays down McGregor link.
Rangers boss Walter Smith has played down rumours of a possible Arsenal move for goalkeeper Allan McGregor.
Reports suggest that Arsenal scouts were present at the Gers’ game against Hamilton on Saturday to watch the 28-year-old who has been in fantastic form this season.
McGregor has caught the attention of Arsenal and Manchester United with his performances this season and it is understood that an offer of at least £5million would be needed to pry the Scottish international away from Ibrox.
Speaking after his side’s 2-0 victory over Hibs, Smith said: “There are probably about 20 scouts here tonight so how do you know they were watching Allan McGregor? Were they all watching him? We have 20 scouts at every home game, it’s a natural thing that they come to football matches. I’m sure Arsene would have phoned me if he was wanting to take him.”