Hello everyone. The international break is now in full flow and Gabriel Jesus is the man in the headlines from an Arsenal point of view.
The striker, who has not played since limping off during the game against Sevilla in Spain on October 24, has travelled to South America to link up with the Brazil squad for their games against Colombia and Argentina over the next fortnight.
Arsenal had hoped he would be able to stay in London to continue his recovery, but once Brazil had named him in their squad there was little they could do, unless Brazil changed their minds of course.
They didn’t and now Jesus has flown half way round the world to be assessed by his national team’s doctors. I mean, how ridiculous can you get?
What a genuinely mad situation this is. You have a player who is clearly injured, who hasn’t played in weeks and who is absolutely crucial to his club on so many levels.
Yet he has to fly all the way to South America to be checked over by medics because the Brazil manager is clearly still annoyed that Gabriel Martinelli played for Arsenal just before the last international break having been left out of the squad because of an injury.
That’s what this all stems from and Fernando Diniz admitted that himself when he named his squad at the start of last week.
“In the last call-up, we hadn’t called up [Gabriel] Martinelli, from Arsenal,” he said. “He didn’t report to the CBF (Brazilian Football Federation) in a very complete way, so we didn’t imagine that Martinelli would be ready to play against Venezuela and Uruguay, and he was ready to play before our games.
“Because of this too, we are going to bring Gabriel [Jesus] to find out the real conditions.”
The whole thing just comes across as petty.
Hopefully the Brazilian doctors quickly confirm Jesus is unable to feature in his country’s two games and he is allowed to return to the UK as quickly as possible.
If he isn’t and he ends up getting injured while he is away then Arsenal will have every right to be furious.
Jesus has barely played this season and it’s so important that he gets fit and gets into a rhythm. This just all just feels like an unnecessary risk because Diniz has still got an axe to grind over what happened with Martinelli.
It’s not all bad news, however, as Martin Odegaard has been allowed by Norway to remain in London to continue his recovery from injury.
Like Jesus, he had initially been called up by his country, but following talks between Arsenal and Norway it was decided he would be better off staying with his club over the next couple of weeks.
Elsewhere the VAR audio for the ‘goal’ at Newcastle is going to be released later when PGMOL chief Howard Webb joins Michael Owen for his hour of self-propaganda later.
Be prepared for the likes of Gary Neville and others to start crowing about how ‘open’ the whole thing is and how the officials were correct in ruling out the goal.
It is, of course, going to be complete rubbish. It was a foul on Gabriel and it always will be a foul on Gabriel. It was clear, it was obvious and nothing they will say will ever change that.
Just look at the incident in the game against Burnley on Saturday when Bukayo Saka was penalised for the exact same incident. That was foul, just like Joelinton’s was on Gabriel.
The PGMOL PR machine will no doubt go into overdrive later when the show is aired and they will ensure all the big hitters get behind them. So be warned, it’s coming.
Anyway, I’ll be sitting down with James Benge on Wednesday to record this week’s Inside Arsenal extra-time. That should be out at about 5pm, so keep your eyes peeled for that.
Until then, have a great day all.