Rafa Benitez has been talking to Miguel Almiron since he returned from International duty and he seems ready to play mentally at the Emirates tonight.
Paraguay lost both games over the International break, and int heir game against Mexico Miguel received a straight red card.
It was a terrible tackle on Mexico’s Jose Juan Vazquez, and there was a scene before the Newcastle forward left the field.
Almiron has come in for some biting criticism back in Paraguay, and Rafa Benitez has been talking to his player to make sure he’s OK for the game tonight at Arsenal.
Miguel Almiron and Rafa Benitez in training
This is what Rafa has said about Miguel today as reported in the Chronicle:
“I was talking with him last Thursday. There was some delay with the plane,
“On Friday, when I saw him in the gym, he said he was fine. I asked him again during the training session; I asked him if he was OK, and he said ‘yes’.”
“I do not think he is the sort of player who would make a bad tackle on purpose.”
“It was the situation. They were losing and he has this energy. But mentally, he is ready and he is training well.”
“He was training well as usual. Normally, they players play a game before training and he was training with the others and enjoying himself. I think he was fine.”
“No, not really (does Rafa feel he needs to score).”
“Perhaps if I asked the specific question, he would say, ‘yes’, but he is happy and you can see that in the matches,”
“He is doing OK. I do not see any anxiety just because he is not scoring. He is fine. You talk about Rondon, Perez, and Almiron and they play well together, but I want to be fair with Christian Atsu, too, because he was doing well.”
“Almiron is fine. He is someone who likes to stay at home, come here, train.”
“He’s a nice lad, and he’s not too worried about what is going on around him.”
“He’s just concentrating on what he is doing here.”
So it looks like Miguel is fine for the game tonight.
We are 7 points above 3rd bottom Cardiff City with 7 games to play after Cardiff were unlucky to lose 2-1 at home to Chelsea yesterday.