Ahead of our fourth London derby of the season, Wenger had some good news to share on the situation of things from the Arsenal injury room, where some decongestion has taken place, with the return of David Ospina, Yaya Sanogo and Tomas Rosicky to the squad, all three to be available for selection against the Rs on Boxing Day.
Ospina is yet to make an appearance in the Premier League since his arrival from Nice in the summer. His only appearances prior to his injury had both been at the Emirates against Southampton in the League Cup and Galatasaray. The circumstance that led to Ospina’s injury has been the cause of frustration amongst many fans and pundits, having strained his knee due to a lack of proper warm up before coming on as a substitute at home to Galatasaray in the Champions League. Szczesny’s solid handling against Liverpool means Ospina will resume his campaign on the bench on Friday but it is good for Wenger to know he has a dependable Number 2 on standby should any doubts be raised over Szczesny.
Arsenal’s midfield crisis may now be eased with the return of Rosicky, and we dare say he goes straight into the starting line-up for this coming game. We’ve been left with only Mattieu Flamini and Oxlade-Chamberlain as the team’s central midfielders in the absence of the Wilshere, Ramsey and Arteta, and maybe a bit of rotation and freshness will do us good. Rosicky has not made a start in the Premier League this season and his return may just have been perfectly timed to coincide with the busy schedule to hit us in the next fortnight.
But even Rosicky will not be enough to lead us through the coming fixtures which will engage us with West Ham and Southampton, and so it is also good that Ramsey is nearing a return too, with Wenger suggesting he could be available for the trip to the St. Mary’s. The Welshman just got crocked at the period when he was clicking back to form after the hamstring problem of September which tinkered with his default setting. Arteta, on the other hand, has not been so lucky with injuries this season and has even suffered a setback in the battle to be fit for January and may not be available when the defence of the FA Cup begins against Hull in the New Year.
Not much have we had to complain of in attack and certainly Sanogo’s return must be another boost there. While we struggle to assemble our best in defence and midfield, Wenger has (1) Alexis , Giroud, Welbeck, (2) Podolski, Campbell and Sanogo, all rearing to go, and it’s therefore no surprise that we have the greater number of discontented players there. Hopefully, one or two should get their chances against Rangers.
Did we miss out on Walcott? He was on the bench against Liverpool but the nature of the game did not quite need him to come on, but he surely will now be integrated as a serious part of this team going into round 2 of the season. He may not start but a 10 minute run out to regain full fitness could do him – and the team – much good.
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