With Chelsea coming up tomorrow and the transfer window swinging wide open yesterday, the buzz is all about comings and goings and results for the team. However, I’d like to take a minute to talk about something which we haven’t seen too recently in north London; an injury crisis.
Yet Another Injury Crisis
This year the team has benefited from the freedom of playing two separate teams, one in the league and one in the other fixtures. This has, for the most part, kept a laundry list of players from hitting the treatment table for several weeks at a go.
However, with the short rest between games in this New Year period, the injury issue seems to be becoming more pronounced. To add to the somewhat recent knocks to Olivier Giroud and Aaron Ramsey is Nacho Monreal, who went off in the draw with Liverpool.
To make matters worse, both Sead Kolasinac and Laurent Koscielny have come off worse for wear following the 1-1 with West Brom on Sunday. Arsene Wenger confirmed on Tuesday that all those players may be unavailable, same with Mesut Ozil, who was left out of the game with a mysterious knee injury.
That’s six players, not counting Santi Cazorla, with loads of Premier League experience who probably won’t be playing against the Blues on Wednesday. Giroud may be the black sheep in that list, as he has mainly featured for the rotated team, but that’s still five guys that Wenger would, ideally, want available for the big games.
Certainly, this isn’t as large of an issue as many times in the past when youngsters and emergency loanees had to be called in as backup, however it is still worrisome. Especially with the absence of Mesut Ozil, which was felt on Sunday, Arsenal just won’t be the same club.
Of course, there are capable replacements available right now. One can think of Wilshere for Ramsey (which may be an improvement), Chambers or Holding for Koscielny and Maitland-Niles for Kolasinac.
However, the team will have to play every three to four days for almost the duration of January, meaning that these replacements will be logging lots of minutes, possibly exposing them to the risk of injury.
Let’s also not forget the looming specter of losing one or two or a few players in the transfer window. Walcott, Giroud, Wilshere and, of course, Sanchez and Ozil have all been linked away, and any move would weaken the depth of this squad.
Hopefully, I’m just reading into things which won’t come to pass, but just like the consistent inconsistency of our beloved Gunners, one of the few things we can normally count on is the imminent injury crisis.
Go ahead and follow on social media (links on the right) to stay up to date with all the injury developments.
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