Friday, 10 February 2012

Definitely not dench – Frimpong out for season

It was confirmed this week that after suffering a nasty-looking injury in Wolves' game against QPR last weekend, Emmanuel Frimpong's season is regrettably over. He has ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee and has now returned to Arsenal's space-age medical facility at London Colney to get better (and presumably to have a go on the new anti-gravity treadmill – see post from 13th December), bringing his brief loan spell to an untimely end.

This is definitely not 'dench' news; Manny was having a decent season and deserved a shot at regular first-team football in the Premier League. Although he probably wouldn't have got that at Arsenal, I still can't pretend that the sight of Frimpong in black and gold sat particularly well with me. Ok, he would have got some solid PL experience under his belt, but what else he would have learned at the Mick McCarthy school of hard knocks is debatable; and how much he would have benefited from playing alongside cloggers like Karl Henry is also questionable. Given that Frimpong's play is often seen as a little too robust as it is, he hardly needed toughening up, which is a quality that Wolves already have in abundance but which Arsenal are often criticised for lacking.

Moreover Frimpong was rapidly becoming a fans' favourite among the Emirates faithful. Most Gooners welcomed the sight of an eager and committed midfielder on the pitch, especially one eminently capable of 'putting his foot in', as Lee Dixon would say, combined with the ability to add a different dimension to Arsenal's play. Wenger's decision to send him out on loan to a team like Wolves did seem a bit strange, and was not perhaps the manager's shrewdest move. In the event it has backfired horribly – we can only hope that the injury does not set back the player's longer-term development.

Still, if his Twitter feed is anything to go by, our number 26 seems to be keeping in pretty good spirits. Get well soon Manny...

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