Arsenal - Time To Release The Beast?
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Time To Release The Beast?

Arsene Wenger says that Julio Baptista could start against Newcastle on Saturday. The Brazilian, nicknamed 'the beast`, returned to full training only two days ago after missing 6 weeks with a hamstring injury.

Vital Arsenal revealed that the Brazilian was fit for action yesterday but the news that could start comes as quite a surprise after such a long lay off.

Under normal circumstances the tank-like midfielder almost certainly wouldn`t have started but a combination of Gilberto`s absence and the power Newcastle have in midfield could force Wenger into starting Julio in midfield.

Baptista has taken his time out to work on other aspects of his game and Wenger says that he will consider starting him: "Bapista has been able to work extremely hard in the last four or five weeks.

"Contrary to Freddie who was a little bit in and out, Baptista was at a consistent practice level and he looks sharp.

"I don't know if I will start him or not, but he is in the squad."

Arsenal are also boosted by Tomas Rosicky`s return to first team training. The fierce-footed Czech midfielder started full training on Friday morning. He is not included in the squad to face Newcastle and will still be a little short for the visit of Hamburg but Wenger says he will return for the trip to Bolton: "He will be short for Tuesday night. "But he should be available for Bolton."

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer: Nick Simmonett  Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday November 17 2006

Time: 5:19PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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I think it could be time, and if he takes chances like this he'll prove to be a great player for us.
Super Cesc
Report Abuse
17/11/2006 17:28:00

I don't think there is any doubt that he will be a big player for us but is it worth risking him?
Report Abuse
17/11/2006 19:33:00

depends how long he has been in training. if he is just getting over something it would be foolish to rush him back as I think he has a big role to play this season. wenger will know.
Report Abuse
17/11/2006 20:44:00


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