As we had earlier revealed, the major good news from the Southampton game was that neither Jack Wilshere, Abou Diaby nor villain-captain-of-the-day, Tomas Rosciky, sustained any injuries, as did no other player.
Mattiue Flamini has returned to the team following a few weeks out with a dead leg. He provides the boss with an extra option to captain Mikel Arteta for the role of the for the hole just ahead of the defence, as we keep our fingers crossed on if the Spurs game will see Wenger use Diaby (again) in that role as part of his new project for the injury returnee. Flamini actually made his second-coming debut as a first-half substitute to Jack Wilshere in this same fixture last year.
It means that Arsene Wenger has a relatively sufficient group of resources from which to select his Matchday 18 for the home cracker against Tottenham on Saturday. Besides obvious long-term absentees Olivier Giroud and Mathiue Debuchy, who both had successful surgeries on their ankles, there’s still a good number of players taking the final doses of their medications for whom the derby will come too soon.
Walcott and Gnabry
The fast-footed pair have been away from first team duties for many months, Walcott’s last game being the 2-0 victory against Tottenham in January. It had be thought that he would make it in good time for this weekend’s clash, if anything to repeat that sign (not while on a stretcher though!). The boss, though, rightly is not in a hurry to rush the England International back to action, setting his sights at the post-International break period as the perfect time for he, and Gnabry, to resume full training with the squad.
Mertesacker and Monreal
The Big Fearless German was on the list of substitutes for the League Cup game on Tuesday as a pre-caution by Wenger on not risking his ‘gluteus’, while keeping him fresh for the challenge of the weekend. Coquelin’s impressive performance in filling in for both our standard left backs on the night implies that Monreal’s absence on the night was not sorely missed. However, he remains out of the team with a back strain set to keep him out of action till mid-october.
It appeared that the boss was willing to give his trusted boy an extended run in the team this season, but a hamstring injury prevented him from making the trip to Dortmund. It is not certain how long it will take to recover but we hope it does not follow the pattern of that of last year which turned him into a ‘new signing’ when he returned in January.
The List of Players available and likely to make the Match day 18 includes:
Szczezny, Chambers, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Gibbs, Arteta, Ramsey, Ozil, Alexis, Welbeck, Ospina, Wilshere, Chamberlain, Bellerin, Coquelin, Rosicky, Podolski.
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