Concussion campaigners have urged Arsenal to give Hector Bellerin time to recover after his clash with Marcos Alonso. The Spaniard has been on a specialised training programme this week after being caught in the face on Saturday. Bellerin was visibly affected by the clash and looked dazed in the immediate aftermath, with the full back unable to answer questions from the Arsenal physio Colin Lewin. The club are hoping that Bellerin is able to start this weekend against Hull City, but they have been warned that they can’t take any risks with him.
Head injuries remain one of the more difficult things to understand and there have been mistakes made in the past. The main difficulty is that the players themselves are desperate to play and the clubs want to have them available, therefore the doctors are under pressure to clear them for selection. Arsenal need to make sure that Bellerin is completely fine and get him cleared by brain specialists before picking him this weekend. If they have to give him further rest, they should do that as it isn’t worth the risk for one or two matches. Gabriel has played well when called upon and is an able deputy if Bellerin needs more time to recover.
Mohamed Elneny is set to return to North London this week after losing in the final of the African Cup of Nations with Egypt. He scored the opening goal in the final, but his nation failed to see out the match. It will be a welcome boost for the Gunners as they have had problems in the centre of midfield, with Aaron Ramsey on the treatment table and Granit Xhaka serving a suspension. They were forced to start Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain there against Chelsea but will be delighted to have a natural central midfielder available once again. However, they must assess his fitness before picking him this weekend.
The Egyptian has shown flashes of his quality since joining the club from FC Basel last year, but he will be hoping for further improvement in 2017. He is a hard worker and an effective passer, capable of adding a creative spark to the Arsenal midfield. Although he lacks the influence of Santi Cazorla, he will improve the Arsenal starting eleven and will be keen to remind the supporters of what he can do. His consistency has to improve if he wants to become a regular in the long term, but his first concern must be helping Arsenal recover from their disappointing defeat to Chelsea.
Finally, the future of Arsene Wenger has been widely debated in recent weeks and he continues to divide the fan base. There are several possible candidates to be his replacement when he does decide to leave his post, but one person who would like to manage Arsenal in the future is Thierry Henry. The Arsenal legend has been talking to French news outlet RMC about the job and his desires to one day have it:
“I will not say no [to coaching Arsenal one day]. If I say no, I would be lying. I have to respect that there are people who are in place there already. I have not done anything as a coach [yet].
“What I feel for Arsenal is true and [I have felt it] for a long time. I’m not going to say it does not make me cold or hot. I think about it, but I’m far from it.”
He is currently the Belgium assistant manager and starting to take some steps on the coaching ladder, but he is a long way from managing a huge club like Arsenal, as he states himself. Henry would be a popular appointment at Arsenal, whether it was as a manager in the future or as a coach in the coming years. He achieved great things there as a player and would certainly have something to offer as a member of the coaching staff.
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