Finally, League weekend… ooooh!
Ahead of the return to regular football this weekend, Arsene Wenger has given the latest on the injury situation in the team. The International break cost us some players, but it wasn’t all gloom as a host of players are set to return to the team after mid and long term injuries.
The obvious delight was the return of Theo Walcott (and Serge Gnabry) to full training. Walcott has not played a single football match since the 4th of January in the FA Cup. He was expected to stay out for the long-term and has fulfilled the period. His return will be good for Arsene Wenger with the accusation that the team had sometimes suffered for the lack of width and pace in the team. Walcott wouldn’t be available for selection in the squad for Hull, having the need to get some game action in a less challenging environment with the U-21s on Friday. Gnabry is “a little behind Walcott” in the recovery plane, but is expected to regain full fitness in no distant time.
While captain Mikel Arteta is expected to feature this weekend, the Hull game will also come too soon for Aaron Ramsey, but he will be in the squad for the trip to Belgium next midweek.
The other good news was the possibility of Giroud returning ahead of schedule. The striker’s tibia break had been expected to keep him out till the New Year but though he did not state any specific date, Wenger was optimistic about Giroud making a come-back earlier than expected.
There was no news on Welbeck, meaning he is perhaps fit and ready for Hull.
It was good to hear that Tomas Rosicky finished a whole game for the Czechs in the first of their two Euro Qualifiers. However, he could not feature in the second against Kazakhstan, returning to the Emirates with a calf injury. He could still be available for Hull, but Wenger may want to manage the 34-year old’s aging legs.
Koscielny’s Achilles scare has turned out to be a real injury which will keep him out definitely for the Hull game. The French defender was recalled from Didier Deschamps’ squad for friendly games last week and Wenger’s word that “it has got worse” is sure to send shivers down a few spines. Central defence is the one place Arsenal cannot afford injuries this season, with only Mertesacker the available natural man in that position. The manager has admitted in the AGM that he will move for a defender in January, but between now and then we’d have to manage the recurring niggles with Koscielny and others.
The Ozil narrative has already been overplayed, with Wenger giving the full details on him not being aware that the player was even injured after the Chelsea game. Unfortunately, he wouldn’t let us lnow if he will return before the three month period foretold by the German FA.
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