Arsenal balls: Hector Bellerin’s Christmas comes early and ‘superb’ Carl Jenkinson is dropped permanently
When Gabriel came on for Arsenal as replacement for the injured Mathieu Debuchy in yesterday’s Premier League match against Bournemouth, Arsene Wenger was not surprised. “When I picked the squad I imagined that something could happen to Debuchy,” said the Arsenal manager.
Gabriel, the pacy Brazilian with the look of a 1950s mobster, was not all that convincing in the role. Should Arsenal fans be panicked? The Evening Standard says they should be, noting that “a fit Carl Jenkinson” was “left entirely out of the squad after two disappointing displays against Manchester United and Paris St Germain”.
He was dropped. Not rested?
At the United match, Carl Jenkinson made his first Premier League start for Arsenal in over two years. The Standard said “there’ll be a few more ahead of him with Hector Bellerin sidelined for around a month.” (Bellerin was injured on November 6).
So how did Jenkinson play against United? Well, the Standard told us: “Jenkinson defends superbly.”
The Mirror scored Jenkinson as Arsenal’s joint best defender in the 1-1 draw at Old Trafford: “Jenkinson – 7. Solid defensively, didn’t get much chance to go forward but passed a big test.”
How did Jenkinson do against PSG? The Standard’s live blog told us:
Jenkinson gets in a crossing position… and blazes his effort over the bar. It is greeted with major moans from the Emirates faithful but what more are you expecting from a reserve right back just back from a serious injury?
The Mirror told its readers: “Jenkinson 7 – Worked hard, got forward and played his heart out. Very committed.”
The Express had a score: “Worked hard and got forward well – 7”
So back to the Standard, then, which ignores its own reports to say that Jenkinson has no future at the Gunners. James Benge writes:
Having dispensed with Jenkinson for Sunday’s game Wenger now has no choice but to persevere with the 24-year-old for at least the next fortnight, with Bellerin potentially sidelined until Christmas.
From being “superb” and worth a 7 out of 10 – and this a from player returning from a lengthy injury (“What more can you expect?”) – Jenkinson is now not even an option.
Oh, and is Bellerin out until Christmas? It’s unlikely. Because four days ago the Sun reported: “HEC OF A BOOST Arsenal injury news: Hector Bellerin hands Gunners boss Arsene Wenger a boost as he is set to return to training next week.”
Look out for more utter balls in newspapers’ football reporting every day.